KURDISH NEWS WEEEKLY BRIEFING, 12 – 18 September 2015

NEWS

  1. Report on Cizre: State forces deliberately shot civilians dead
  2. Inside Kurdish City Of Cizre, Civilians Caught In Clashes Between Turkish Government, Kurdish Militants
  3. Karayılan: Erdoğan wages this war for 400 deputies – PART I
  4. Kurdish militants rule out unilateral ceasefire in Turkey
  5. Rebecca Harms: ‘Turkey laid the ground for war’
  6. UK observers to travel to Cizre, Turkey, to report on blockade
  7. Öcalan’s lawyer: We receive no news from İmralı
  8. Letter from Abdalla Kurdi, father of Alan Kurdi
  9. Abdullah Kurdi: The long return to Kobane
  10. US think tank warns of Turkey’s possible ‘Syrianization’
  11. Gulf states lead call for regime change in Syria
  12. Turkey protested at arms fair in London

COMMENT, OPINION AND ANALYSIS

  1. Is Turkey heading toward civil war?
  2. How Turkey began the slide towards civil war
  3. Syria: What the Kurds Want
  4. Why won’t the UK help the Kurdish fighters in Northern Syria against ISIS?
  5. The Syrian Crisis is Part of a War Waged on Russia by the West
  6. The Kurdish question is now heading elsewhere
  7. Can the AK Party win when discontent is so high?
  8. Turkey: Stop Erdoğan’s war on the Kurds
  9. Stop Turkey’s war on the Kurds
  10. No-fly zone for Syria: A sceptical view

REPORTS

  1. Peoples’ Democratic Party: Foreign Affairs Commission: Information File On Violence In Turkey

STATEMENTS

  1. Appeal for peace from the chairs of the European Parliament’s political groups
  2. Press Release By HDP: For The Attention Of The Press And The Public Opinion

NEWS

  1. Report on Cizre: State forces deliberately shot civilians dead
    16 September 2015 / ANF
    Human rights organizations have released a report they prepared following a scene-examination in Cizre district of Şırnak. The report reveals that state forces deliberately targeted and shot civilians dead, violated their right to health and denied them access to treatment. IHD (Human Rights Association), TIHV (Human Rights Foundation of Turkey) Amed Branch, Amed Chamber of Medicine and General Practice Association (PHD) Amed Branch visited the town for an examination of the state terror between 4 and 12 September. 
  1. Inside Kurdish City Of Cizre, Civilians Caught In Clashes Between Turkish Government, Kurdish Militants
    16 September 2015 / IB Times
    A 10-year-old girl was killed on the fourth day of the ongoing clashes between Turkish security forces and Kurdish residents inside the locked-down Kurdish city of Cizre in southern Turkey. The government had enforced a curfew on the city’s 120,000 residents, banning any entry or exit, so Cemile Cagırga’s mother was not able to give her a proper or timely burial. Her daughter’s body remained in the family’s kitchen freezer for another three days until the curfew was briefly lifted.
  1. Karayılan: Erdoğan wages this war for 400 deputies – PART I
    18 September 2015 / ANF
    PKK Executive Council Member Murat Karayılan answered ANF’s questions regarding the recently enhanced war of Turkey against the Kurds in Northern Kurdistan. Karayılan underlined that Erdoğan started this war to be able to get 400 deputies in November 1 election. The first part of the interview was translated into English below.
  1. Kurdish militants rule out unilateral ceasefire in Turkey
    17 September 2015 / Reuters
    A commander of the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) ruled out a unilateral ceasefire on Thursday and accused the Turkish government of pursuing war to gain more votes. Hundreds have been killed in almost daily bloody clashes between the PKK and security forces in the largely Kurdish southeast since a long-standing ceasefire and peace overtures fell apart in July. With an election looming in six weeks, Ankara says the militants must put down their weapons and return to their camps in northern Iraq before it will halt operations and restart peace talks.
  1. Rebecca Harms: ‘Turkey laid the ground for war’
    16 September 2015 / Jinha
    Rebecca Harms, the co-chair of the Green European Free Alliance in the European Parliament, came to Cizre to investigate what happened during the nine days of curfew.  For nine days, Turkish security forces imposed a curfew on the Kurdish town of Cizre. Security forces opened fire indiscriminately on civilians and deprived hundreds of thousands of food, water, electricity and medical care. 23 died during the assault.
  1. UK observers to travel to Cizre, Turkey, to report on blockade
    17 September 2015 / Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
    A UK delegation of international observers will travel to Turkey today to visit Cizre, the majority-Kurdish town that has been under siege by Turkish security forces since 4 September. The delegation includes human rights barristers Margaret Owen and Melanie Gingell, and Dr. Shatha Besarani, women’s rights activist for the Iraqi Women’s League. It follows a call from the Kurdish Women’s Council (KJB) for international observers in an effort to bring the crisis in Cizre and across Turkey’s southeast to international attention.
  1. Öcalan’s lawyer: We receive no news from İmralı
    18 September 2015 / Kurdish Info
    Abdullah Öcalan’s lawyer Mahmut Şakar drew attention to the aggravated isolation imposed on Kurdish People’s Leader and said they could not obtain any information about his situation, primarily his health condition since April 5, 2015. He noted that this lack information raised concerns for not only his lawyers but also the Kurdish people. Describing the isolation of Öcalan as a state policy, Şakar said Öcalan was in fact held under a particular status since his capture in 1999, adding; “We call this ‘İmralı system’. Isolation is a major part and consequence of this system Imrali is an island prison specifically built for the isolation of Mr. Öcalan.”
  1. Letter from Abdalla Kurdi, father of Alan Kurdi
    14 September 2015 / Peace In Kurdistan Campaign
    The image of 3-year old Alan Kurdi’s small body on a beach in Turkey quickly became emblematic of the current refugee crisis. Today, we received this letter written by Alan’s father, Abdalla, and Anwar Muslim, which he wrote from Kobane where he has returned.
  1. Abdullah Kurdi: The long return to Kobane
    9 September 2015 / Middle East Eye
    Abdullah Kurdi’s sea journey was not meant to end in Kobane, the Syrian border town he had left several times over a decade in search of work and a stable life. The 40-year-old surviving father of Aylan Kurdi, the Syrian toddler who drowned last week when his family tried to cross the Mediterranean to Europe and whose lifeless image on a beach has spurred a continent to debate its policies towards refugees, had been moving from place to place, trying to find security for his family away from the Syrian civil war for years. “I decided to leave because I didn’t want my children to go through what I went through,” Abdullah Kurdi told MEE of his treks.
  1. US think tank warns of Turkey’s possible ‘Syrianization’
    16 September 2015 / Todays Zaman
    The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC), a US-based think tank, has released a report warning that political and ethnic violence and the failure to address democratic deficits could lead to the “Syrianization” of Turkey, bringing ethnic conflict to Europe’s doorstep. In the report, released on Tuesday, BPC foreign policy expert Jessica Michek argued that renewed violence between security forces and the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has disastrous spillover effects on Turkish society, which are “encouraged by the charged rhetoric of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AK Party), threatening to tear the social fabric of the country apart.”
  1. Gulf states lead call for regime change in Syria
    16 September 2015 / Middle East Eye
    The Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the world’s second largest intergovernmental body after the United Nations, issued a dramatic call this Sunday for the overthrow of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. The new OIC communique comes in the wake of recent indications that the West is willing to slow down the offensive against Assad to focus on defeating the Islamic State (IS). Earlier this month, Downing Street declared plans for “limited” airstrikes against IS targets in Syria, coupled with a diplomatic push that would see Assad remain in power for six months.
  1. Turkey protested at arms fair in London
    16 September 2015 / ANF
    Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI) 2015, the world leading land, sea and air defence and security exhibition, kicked off at ExceL London yesterday. The fair will last till 18 September. Kurds and their friends living in the British capital protested the arms trade of world leading countries and Turkey. In the demo led by Ciwanan Azad and Kurdish People’s Assembly, demonstrators lied on the ground in bloodstained cerements and protested the worldwide arms trade for causing deaths. The demonstrators who were also supported by Corporate Watch and Campaign Against the Arms Trade called on the United Kingdom to stop sale of arms to Turkey and held arms trade responsible for the flow of refugees into Europe.


COMMENT, OPINION AND ANALYSIS

  1. Is Turkey heading toward civil war?
    13 September 2015 / Al Monitor
    The fierce conflict between the Turkish security forces and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in the 1990s claimed some 40,000 lives, but it never devolved into a Turkish-Kurdish civil war. Although a number of bloody incidents took place in residential areas of western Turkey where Kurdish minorities lived, they were quickly contained before they could spread.
  1. How Turkey began the slide towards civil war
    21 September 2015 / The Conversation
    The speed with which Turkey has became engulfed in violence since the Suruç massacre on July 20 2015 is causing mass anxiety. While public discussion has largely focused on questions of whose fault it is and why the country has suddenly descended into violence, one thing everyone agrees is that the country is passing through an extraordinary period in its history. While the current crisis has much deeper roots, the developments of the past year provide us sufficient clues about why the spiral of violence is likely to continue.
  1. Syria: What the Kurds Want
    15 September 2015 / Pulitzer Centre on Crisis Reporting
    Growing up in the 1980s in Syria, Hediye Yusif was a good student. But it didn’t take her long to realize that she would have to drop out of school if she wanted to learn anything meaningful. The things that seemed important to her—Karl Marx, Palestinian resistance, feminism, Kurdish history—were not part of the curriculum at her Damascus boarding school. And back home in Derik, a city in Kurdish Syria, women were generally discouraged from becoming educated. It wasn’t until she discovered the illegal, underground classes organized by Damascus’s Kurdish dissidents that she began to lay the intellectual groundwork for a life that would include activism, prison, and, now, being at the helm of what she hopes will be a Kurdish revolution.
  1. Why won’t the UK help the Kurdish fighters in Northern Syria against ISIS?
    14 September 2015 / Kostas Olive Tree
    I was recently able to have a meeting with government officials and put some of my questions to them. First of all I’d like to express my appreciation for living in a country where I can get involved in political protest, without being arrested and where the authorities are prepared to put time and effort into hearing me and my concerns. My sincere thanks go to the British government for giving me the meeting, for not being patronising and for treating me with respect. Also for answering my questions with due care and attention particularly those questions regarding the progress of ISIS, the role of the UK in Syria and, in particular, why the UK will not engage with the Rojavan Syrian Kurds and consistently denies them any support.
  1. The Syrian Crisis is Part of a War Waged on Russia by the West
    13 September 2015 / London Progressive Journal
    It seems clear now that the West wants to defeat Russia in Syria at all costs. This latest protracted confrontation in the Middle East can be understood as a proxy war of the US and NATO against Putin’s resurgent Russia. But Syria is just one zone of engagement in a much wider war against Russia that has been taking place since Putin started to stand up to the West. The same confrontation also occurs in Ukraine and formerly in Georgia, where Russia successfully halted, albeit temporarily, the Western advance. This amounts to a new Cold War or an undeclared war where East and West are once more in global confrontation.
  1. The Kurdish question is now heading elsewhere
    16 September 2015 / Todays Zaman
    There’s little question that the chaos artificially created by the “palace” with the intent of perpetuating its own existence won’t meet its expectations in the end. One thing is certain though: The stick President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has poked into the beehive will create all kinds of new uncertainties in the region. Using calculations better suited to those made at a local “bakkal” than in a decent country’s executive, Erdoğan and his cronies have fallen to trying to collect votes in the coming elections by provoking the armed veins of the Kurdish political movement. The chaos has unfolded rapidly and is plain for all to see now.
  1. Can the AK Party win when discontent is so high?
    16 September 2015 / Hurriyet
    After June 7, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the Republican People’s Party (CHP) both thought that if new elections were held they would stand to benefit. For this reason, they both engaged in coalition talks only half-heartedly. When the negotiations failed, neither was too upset. However, there is no possibility for both parties to win this gamble: Either the AK Party will become a single-party ruler, in other words win the challenge, or the CHP would emerge from the elections stronger, weakening the AK Party.
  1. Turkey: Stop Erdoğan’s war on the Kurds
    17 September 2015 / Marxism
    Turkey is sliding towards civil war. For the past month tensions in Turkey have been rising to new highs. In order to cut through the class struggle rising against him, Erdoğan has launched a push to provoke a full blown civil war along national lines. For more than a month Turkey has been rocked by several waves of clearly coordinated racist attacks against the Kurdish minority of the country as well as the Kurdish based left-wing party, the HDP. Four hundreds HDP offices have been ravaged by reactionary mobs protected by the police. Many businesses and shops thought to belong to Kurds have been the target of arson attacks while a 21-year-old man was stabbed to death for speaking in Kurdish on his mobile phone in İstanbul.
  1. Stop Turkey’s war on the Kurds
    12 September 2015 / Socialist Alliance
    Turkey is creeping towards civil war. This is a deliberate decision of the Erdogan regime. It killed the peace process with the PKK. At the start of this year agreements had been finalised to enable the guerillas to safely withdraw across the border to their camps in northern Iraq. Then Erdogan junked the whole thing. It wasn’t going to benefit him and his gang so he went instead towards war, conflict and hatred.
  1. No-fly zone for Syria: A sceptical view
    9 September 2015 / Middle East Eye
    On its surface, Syria seems to offer an ideal case for humanitarian intervention. An incredible half of the 23 million Syrians are either internally displaced or refugees living in dire circumstances, aggravating the refugee crisis currently overwhelming Europe. What may be worse, mass atrocities have continued under the authority of the Damascus regime since March 2011, and for the last year ISIS has emerged as a principal opposition force itself responsible for unprecedented barbarism.

REPORTS

  1. Peoples’ Democratic Party: Foreign Affairs Commission: Information File On Violence In Turkey, 11 September 2015.

STATEMENTS

  1. Appeal for peace from the chairs of the European Parliament’s political groups, 15 September 2015.
  1. Press Release By HDP: For The Attention Of The Press And The Public Opinion, 15 September 2015.
Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: