KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 27 November – 4 December 2015

 

NEWS

  1. International Organisations Call For Investigation Into The Murder Of Tahir Elçi
  2. Tens of thousands bid farewell to Tahir Elçi in Amed
  3. Our tribute to Tahir Elci
    4. PKK leader urges US, EU to broker peace with Turkey: report
  4. Female Kurdish ‘militant’ killed in Turkish police raid in Istanbul
  5. Today’s Zaman editor-in-chief resigns over ‘pressure on media freedom’
  6. Turkey attacks Kurds to protect ISIS. What about Germany?
  7. ‘400 Turkish soldiers situated around Azaz, Jarablus and Aleppo’
  8. After losing Key border positions to Kurdish forces, ISIS launches new supply route on Syria-Iraq border
  9. Ankara’s decision to shoot down Russian plane was wrong, says leading Turkish politician
  10. Russia reveals details of ISIS-Turkey oil smuggling
  11. Kurds & US Special Forces should be used to seal Turkish-Syrian border – Russian FM
  12. Free Syrian Army to Sputnik: We Have Proof of Turkey’s Oil Deals With Daesh
  13. Russia presented ‘evidence’ of Turkey’s oil ties to ISIS — but it has a crucial flaw

 

 

COMMENT, OPINION AND ANALYSIS

  1. An Assassination in Turkey: the Killing of Tahir Elci
  2. Kurdish Struggle Is Our Struggle
  3. The struggle for autonomy in North Kurdistan: Voices from Cizre
  4. From National Liberation to Autonomy: The Trajectory of the PKK
  5. Erdogan Blackmails NATO Allies
  6. Syria Should Not Cost Turkey Its Peace With the Kurds
  7. Why It’s Time for a Free Kurdistan
  8. Danger of escalation
  9. How Russia is Smashing the Turkish Game in Syria
  10. Under the pretext of combatting terrorism, Turkey fights Kurds who are fighting ISIS
  11. Are Syrian Kurds Becoming Erdogan’s Worst Nightmare?
  12. Time to Kick Turkey Out of NATO? Ankara Playing Dangerous Games With ISIL
  13. Turkey is now a huge liability for NATO — and America
  14. The Wishful Thinking War: a Briefing on Syria to Members of Parliament
  15. David Cameron, there aren’t 70,000 moderate fighters in Syria – and whoever heard of a moderate with a Kalashnikov, anyway?
  16. Are there 70,000 Syrian ‘moderates’ ready to back UK?
  17. Cameron’s New Cold War
  18. Remembering Murray Bookchin

 

STATEMENTS

  1. The murder of Elci must not mark the death of peace
  2. Statement of the IADL & ELDH on the assassination of Tahir Elçi, 28 November 2015
  3. BHRC and DPI deplore shooting of Tahir Elçi, President of Diyarbakir Bar Association, Turkey
  4. Arrest of journalists condemned: Release them now demands IFJ/EFJ

 

EVENTS

See below.

 

NEWS

  1. International Organisations Call For Investigation Into The Murder Of Tahir Elçi
    30 November 2015 / Kurdish Question
    The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), a non-governmental organization with consultative status to the Council on Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations (ECOSOC), and the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy & World Human Rights (ELDH) have released a joint statement regarding the brutal murder of their colleague Tahir Elçi, president of the Diyarbakir Bar Association, during a press briefing in the Sur district of Amed two days ago. 
  1. Tens of thousands bid farewell to Tahir Elçi in Amed
    29 November 2015 / ANF
    Tens of thousands are bidding farewell to Amed Bar President Tahir Elçi who was murdered in Sur district yesterday. Masses flocked to the Koşu Yolu Park as of early Sunday morning for the funeral for human rights defender Tahir Elçi who spent his life fighting against unidentified murders until he became a victim of one yesterday. Speaking here, Elçi’s wife Türkan Elçi said; “Victims of unidentified murders will welcome you now. There is no need to introduce you whom all the victims and the world know very well. We are watching you from here. Victims of unidentified murders, to which you dedicated your life, will say ‘You defended us, but who will defend you?’. And he will answer; ‘I have comrades, friends and families standing by my side. The history will understand me.”
  1. Our tribute to Tahir Elci
    4 December 2015 / University of Essex
    Professor Françoise Hampson explains the motivation behind our Human Rights Centre’s moving tribute to murdered pro-Kurdish lawyer Tahir Elci, who was shot in Turkey last week, and explains why we all have a responsibility to support and protect human rights defenders working around the world.
  1. PKK leader urges US, EU to broker peace with Turkey: report
    29 November 2015 / Yahoo News
    A Kurdish rebel leader said Sunday that Turkey has slipped into a civil war with the Kurds, as he urged the European Union and the United States to step up as peace brokers to end the conflict. “Military tanks, artillery and helicopters are being deployed in the south of Turkey against the Kurdish civilian population. The situation is the worst in decades,” Cemil Bayik, one of the leaders of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) told Bild am Sonntag newspaper. “The Turkish government say: this war will last until all Kurdish fighters surrender or are killed. Therefore I say that yes, we Kurds are once again in a civil war with Turkey,” said Bayik, speaking at his group’s stronghold of northern Iraq’s Qandil mountains.
  1. Female Kurdish ‘militant’ killed in Turkish police raid in Istanbul
    4 December 2015 / eKurd
    A female suspected member of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was killed Friday in Istanbul in a police operation against militants suspected to be planning suicide attacks, reports said. Counter-terrorism police raided a home in Istanbul’s Sancaktepe district after receiving a tip-off that PKK militants had arrived in Turkey’s biggest city to carry out suicide attacks, Dogan news agency said.
  1. Today’s Zaman editor-in-chief resigns over ‘pressure on media freedom’
    4 December 2015 / Hurriyet
    Today’s Zaman Editor-in-Chief Bülent Keneş announced his resignation on Dec. 3 over “government pressure” and personal lawsuits against him. “As the founding editor-in-chief of Today’s Zaman, I have sincerely tried to fulfill my job to the best of my ability, maintained the paper’s integrity and tried to resist all kinds of pressure from the government as much as I could,” Keneş said. Keneş was detained for “openly insulting the president” over his tweets about President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Oct. 8 and was released by the court, but continued committing the same crime, an indictment claimed. 
  1. Turkey attacks Kurds to protect ISIS. What about Germany?
    3 December 2015 / Kurdish Info
    The German state continues subjecting Kurdish political activists to repression and criminalizing Kurdish institutions, as a result of which 6 Kurdish politicians have been arrested this year. At the moment, 8 Kurdish political activists remain in German jails under heavy circumstances. All these stand trial in accordance with the Article 129b, which requires a particular approval by the Ministry of Justice. Lawyers for Kurdish politicians jailed in Germany did previously apply to the Ministry of Justice demanding the revocation of the particular approval for the implementation of Article 129b for Kurdish prisoners. The Ministry is, however, yet to answer the application.
  1. ‘400 Turkish soldiers situated around Azaz, Jarablus and Aleppo’
    26 November 2015 / ANF
    More reports are being revealed of Turkey’s support to ISIS and other gang groups after Turkish aircraft downed a Russian plane on Syrian border the day before. Sami Ali, Expert on Arabs and the Middle East, who is currently in Moscow, has written an article for ANF, in which the coordination between jihadist groups and Turkish intelligence agency is highlighted: “Syrian Democratic Forces are waging a battle against international terrorist forces, mainly the ISIS, as well as Sheikh Süleyman Forces and Turkistan Islamic Party affiliated to Jabhat Al-Nusra, which are constituted by people from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Daghestan and Chechenia.”
  1. After losing Key border positions to Kurdish forces, ISIS launches new supply route on Syria-Iraq border
    29 November 2015 / Ara News
    The radical group of Islamic State (ISIS) started a project on the Syria-Iraq border aimed at opening a highway linking Mosul in northwestern Iraq to Deir ez-Zor and Raqqa in northeastern Syria, local sources reported on Saturday. The move comes after the Kurdish Peshmerga forces took over the strategic Yezidi region of Sinjar (Shingal), cutting-off the supply lines between ISIS-held areas in Syria and Iraq. Speaking to ARA News in Mosul, journalist Abdullah al-Mulla said that ISIS has moved dozens of workers, engineers, technicians and engineering vehicles from the municipalities of Mosul and Tal Afar to the district of al-Baaj on the Syrian border.
  1. Ankara’s decision to shoot down Russian plane was wrong, says leading Turkish politician
    1 December 2015 / Telegraph
    Ankara’s decision to shoot down a Russian fighter jet has escalated tensions in an already fragile region and undermined efforts to build a global coalition against Isil, according to Turkey’s leading opposition politician. Figen Yuksekdag, Turkey’s most powerful female politician and co-leader of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), said shooting the warplane meant that Ankara hit an ally in the fight against Isil. Russia is not part of the US-led coalition bombing Isil positions. However, after the Paris terror attacks on November 13 which killed 130 people, the EU and other countries are seeking a worldwide anti-Isil coalition including Moscow after a UN resolution called for “all necessary measures” to tackle the Islamic extremist threat.
  1. Russia reveals details of ISIS-Turkey oil smuggling
    2 December 2015 / ANF
    As the crisis between Turkey and Russia gets deeper over the Russian plane downed by Turkey, Russian Ministry of Defense has released footage of the oil trade between Turkey and ISIS. The Russian Defense Ministry held a major briefing on new findings concerning ISIS funding in Moscow on Wednesday. The Russian official said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his family is directly involved in illegal oil trade with Islamic State militants.
  1. Kurds & US Special Forces should be used to seal Turkish-Syrian border – Russian FM
    3 December 2015 / RT
    With Kurdish militia and US Special Forces on the ground, there is a realistic way to shut off the illegal flow of oil from Syria into Turkey, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at talks with his Serbian counterpart, Ivica Dacic. Sealing the border between Turkey and Syria is more important at the moment than finding out who is buying the oil produced by Islamic State (IS, ISIS/ISIL), Lavrov said while speaking with Dacic in Belgrade on Wednesday. The talks come on the eve of a two-day conference of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), currently chaired by Serbia. “Rather than launching a lengthy procedure of investigation, one must take an absolutely obvious step, i.e. close the Turkish-Syrian border,” Lavrov said, stressing that “Turkey’s efforts will not be enough and it will need help,” RIA Novosti reports.
  1. Free Syrian Army to Sputnik: We Have Proof of Turkey’s Oil Deals With Daesh
    2 December 2015 / Sputnik
    Major-General Hosam Al-Awak of the Intelligence Service at the Free Syrian Army has confirmed to Sputnik Arabic that they have the proof of crude oil purchases by Turkey from Daesh (also known as ISIL/ISIS) in Syria and Iraq. Major-General Hosam Al-Awak has confirmed to Sputnik Arabic that the Free Syrian Army (FSA) has photos of the oil deals and contracts signed by a Turkish party to buy oil from Daesh (also known as ISIL/ISIS) terror organization, which controls large areas in Syria and Iraq.
  1. Russia presented ‘evidence’ of Turkey’s oil ties to ISIS — but it has a crucial flaw
    3 December 2015 / Business Insider
    The Russian Ministry of Defense (MOD) presented “evidence” on Wednesday that ISIS had been smuggling oil onto Turkish soil to be purchased by Turkey’s president “and his family.” The MOD highlighted three main routes ISIS — aka the Islamic State or ISIL — had allegedly been using to transport illicit oil into Turkey: via the Bab al-Hawa and Bab al-Salameh border gates in Syria’s Idlib Province, Hasakah Province in northeastern Syria, and Zakho in Iraqi Kurdistan on the Iraqi-Turkish border.

 

COMMENT, OPINION AND ANALYSIS

  1. An Assassination in Turkey: the Killing of Tahir Elci
    30 November 2015 / Counterpunch
    Turkey is once more in crisis. A leading pro-Kurdish lawyer has been killed. The streets fill once more with protestors.
    Tahir Elci, Chairman of the Diyarbakir Bar Association and a respected human rights lawyer, was killed on Saturday in Diyarbakir, southeastern Turkey. “We don’t want weapons, clashes and military operations in the birthplace and home of many civilizations,” he said at a press conference before he was shot. Violence in Diyarbakir had damaged many historical places in the city and in the surrounding region. The climate of war between the State and the Kurdish groups had been exacerbated since the June elections. Hundreds of people had died, including children. Many majority Kurdish cities – Nusaybin, Cizre, Sur – are under curfew. Elci had called upon both sides for a ceasefire.
  1. Kurdish Struggle Is Our Struggle
    2 November 2015 / Morning Star
    THE media and political class pre-frame debates so we are left with limited choices. Often a simple analysis of the situation shows that the positions advanced are nonsense. The current debate over how to fight Islamic State (Isis) in Syria is a typical example. The debate is framed as bombing Isis versus a pacifist position. We are set up to agonise over intervention. On the one hand Western intervention in Iraq and Libya has created the chaos which led to the birth and growth of the so-called Islamic State. On the other, after the bloodshed in Paris, to do nothing is not an option, so many of us reluctantly are tempted to support British bombing of Raqqa and other areas controlled by Isis.
  1. The struggle for autonomy in North Kurdistan: Voices from Cizre
    4 December 2015 / Corporate Watch
    People in cities across North Kurdistan (the part of Kurdistan within Turkey’s borders) are fighting for their autonomy from the Turkish state. Several cities made declarations of self-rule in Summer 2015 in response to attacks by the police and army. Barricades have been erected in city centres and people have taken up arms to prevent state forces from entering their neighbourhoods. In October 2015, the Turkish police and army began an operation in the city of Farqîn (Silvan in Turkish), aimed at breaking the movement for autonomy. The attack led to the killing of 14 civilians and the destruction of hundreds of houses in the city (to read more about the struggle in Farqîn click here). A similar attack has been waged against people in the city of Nusaybin where the police have laid siege to the city and killed nine civilians.
  1. From National Liberation to Autonomy: The Trajectory of the PKK
    2 November 2015 / Telesur
    Paul White’s new book, “The PKK – Coming Down from the Mountains,” is a useful critical analysis exploring the group’s history and ideological evolution. Kurdish liberation forces have come to global attention as the front-line defenders in the heroic battle against the marauding Islamic State group threat on the ground in northern Syria. Hand in hand with beating back the advance of the Islamic State group, the Syrian Kurds – organized in People’s Protection Units (YPG) – are also implementing a democratic revolution within the liberated territory of Rojava, part of the historic homeland of the Kurdish people.
  1. Erdogan Blackmails NATO Allies
    3 December 2015 / Counterpunch
    You know the country has really gone to the dogs when Washington’s main allies in its war on Syria are the two biggest terrorist incubators on the planet. I’m talking about Saudi Arabia and Turkey, both of which are run by fanatical Islamic zealots devoted to spreading violent jihad to the four corners of the earth. Not that the US doesn’t have blood on its hands too. It does, but that’s beside the point. The point is that if you’re trying to sell your fake war on terror to the public, then you might want to think twice about lining up with Grand Sultan Erdogan and King Chop-Chop of Riyadh. The optics alone should have sent the White House PR team running for cover. I mean, couldn’t they have hired squeaky-clean Iceland to join the fray just to persuade the public that the ongoing proxy war wasn’t a complete sham. Which it is.
  1. Syria Should Not Cost Turkey Its Peace With the Kurds
    30 November 2015 / Huffington Post
    One great casualty of the Syrian crisis has been the fragile peace between Turks and Kurds. Turkey’s downing of a Russian military jet will help little in improving this much strained relationship. But it can clarify the basic political tensions which Turkey’s Turkish and Kurdish politicians need to come to terms with, and get over, if they want to forge a new mode of coexistence inside Turkey’s borders. The challenge here is to manage to live in peace inside Turkey, whilst supporting forces with diametrically opposing agendas in Syria, which requires a shift in thinking.
  1. Why It’s Time for a Free Kurdistan
    27 November 2015 / Daily Beast
    It’s spread across several de facto ‘states,’ but Kurdish nationalism has become a reality as the rest of the Middle East crumbles. It’s time to stop debating whether or not the Kurds deserve an independent state. There are around 40 million Kurds across Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria—the largest ethnic group without self-determination. Kurds have long sought independence, but the states in which they live have always opposed it. The U.S. and its Western allies oppose Kurdish independence because of fears it could destabilize the already volatile Middle East.
  1. Danger of escalation
    26 November 2015 / Weekly Workers
    Earlier this week Turkish airforce F-16 fighter planes shot down a Russian ground attack Sukhoi 24 jet on the pretext that it had violated Turkish airspace – for 17 seconds. The Russian plane crashed in Syria and the crew ejected from the plane. One of them was shot and killed while he was descending by parachute; the other was rescued by a Russian-Syrian joint operation. The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, immediately publicised the incident, while he was speaking at an assembly of teachers’ organisations and the news of the downing of a Russian plane was met with rapturous applause. That moment is sufficient in itself to explain why the government favours such organisations as that of the teachers.
  1. How Russia is Smashing the Turkish Game in Syria
    3 December 2015 / Counterpunch
    So why did Washington take virtually forever to not really acknowledge ISIS/ISIL/Daesh is selling stolen Syrian oil that will eventually find is way to Turkey? Because the priority all along was to allow the CIA – in the shadows – to run a “rat line” weaponizing a gaggle of invisible “moderate rebels”. As much as Daesh – at least up to now – the Barzani mob in Iraqi Kurdistan was never under Washington’s watch. The oil operation the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) runs to Turkey is virtually illegal; stolen state-owned oil as far as Baghdad is concerned.
  1. Under the pretext of combatting terrorism, Turkey fights Kurds who are fighting ISIS
    29 November 2015 / Ara News
    Although Turkey agreed to join the U.S.-led coalition against the radical group of Islamic State (ISIS) in the region, the Turkish army has focused most of its strikes on positions of the Kurdish rebels of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), ignoring military actions against ISIS targets.  Kurdish activists argue that Turkey has hit few ISIS targets to justify its alleged “anti-terror” efforts and shifted its military operations towards bombing Kurdish positions. Others went on saying that Turkey has facilitated ISIS-led attacks on Kurdish civilians in Suruc last July and Ankara last month.
  1. Are Syrian Kurds Becoming Erdogan’s Worst Nightmare?
    30 November 2015 / Sputnik
    As Turkey’s Erdogan cracks down on internal dissent, Syrian Kurds, viciously opposed to Turkey-backed terrorist rebel groups, may provide the most potent challenge yet for the Turkish president. The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), began multiple offensives against the al-Nusra Front and its US-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) allies over the weekend, reports on both sides’ social media and YouTube accounts suggest.
  1. Time to Kick Turkey Out of NATO? Ankara Playing Dangerous Games With ISIL
    27 November 2015 / Sputnik
    For decades Ankara has used its NATO membership to achieve its own goals, which very often do not coincide with the interests of the Alliance, Czech-based freelance journalist and analyst Martin Berger emphasizes. Ankara’s recent provocative action toward Russia has prompted deep concerns among NATO member states: it is clear that not one of them is interested in escalating tensions with Russia. 
  1. Turkey is now a huge liability for NATO — and America
    3 December 2015 / The Week
    When Turkey entered the NATO defense alliance in 1952, it was a major coup for Europe and for America. Turkey had control of the strategically important Bosphorus Strait and the Dardanelles. The NATO alliance could therefore exercise a preemptively tight grip on the Soviet Union’s only direct access to Western warm-water ports. Furthermore, Turkey was a secular doorway into the resource-rich Middle East. But it’s now 2015. The Soviet Union has been dead and gone for a quarter of a century. The Middle East is an absolute mess. And 63 years after joining the alliance, Turkey has turned into one of NATO’s and America’s biggest liabilities in the region. Indeed, there seems to be no hope of re-balancing this alliance to make it a positive one for the West. 
  1. The Wishful Thinking War: a Briefing on Syria to Members of Parliament
    3 December 2015 / Counterpunch
    Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn invited Patrick Cockburn to brief Members of Parliament on Isis and the Syrian conflict in advance of the vote on David Cameron’s measure to authorize British airstrikes. Here is the text his briefing. Britain is on the verge of entering a conflict in Syria in which its political and military strategy is based on wishful thinking and poor information. British air strikes in Syria will be too few to make much difference to Isis, but are important because they signal Britain’s entry into what may be a long war. In one crucial respect, David Cameron’s approach is similar to that which saw Britain fight two small but unsuccessful wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003, in both cases without an effective local partner on the ground. Similarly in Syria, Britain will be at the mercy of events which are being shaped by the numerous other players in the conflict, all of whom have their own highly contradictory agendas. 
  1. David Cameron, there aren’t 70,000 moderate fighters in Syria – and whoever heard of a moderate with a Kalashnikov, anyway?
    30 November 2015 / Independent
    Not since Hitler ordered General Walther Wenck to send his non-existent 12th Army to rescue him from the Red Army in Berlin has a European leader believed in military fantasies as PR Dave Cameron did last week. Telling the House of Commons about the 70,000 “moderate” fighters deployed in Syria was not just lying in the sense that Tony Blair lied – because Blair persuaded himself to believe in his own dishonesty – but something approaching burlesque. It was whimsy – ridiculous, comic, grotesque, ludicrous. It came close to a unique form of tragic pantomime.
  1. Are there 70,000 Syrian ‘moderates’ ready to back UK?
    1 December 2015 / BBC News
    In advocating a case for extending UK air strikes into Syria, Prime Minister David Cameron outlined a strategy of targeting so-called Islamic State (IS), paralleled with a diplomatic track in which the main opposition groupings sat down with the Syrian regime and worked out a transition of power. As part of making the case for a robust diplomatic process, the prime minister noted that as many as 70,000 fighters who did not belong to extremist groups were still committed to fighting President Bashar al-Assad.
  1. Cameron’s New Cold War
    30 November 2015 / Morning Star
    EVERY state that ever existed in world history has sought to justify its actions abroad by claiming that it is has the moral right and justice on its side. Only fundamentalist regimes or non-state actors such as Isis today still insist that “God is on their side,” but as recently as the first world war of 1914-18, both contending sets of imperial powers insisted that they had divine approval. Today modern states such as Britain seek to justify their foreign policy on the basis of defending the national interest, upholding human rights and supporting their allies.In its Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015, published a week ago, the British government has added an additional argument to support its foreign policy aims, which is the defence of “economic security.”
  1. Remembering Murray Bookchin
    2 December 2015 / Counterpunch
    Thumbing through the Sunday, November 29th New York Times Magazine, there was a surprisingly revealing article by Wes Enzinnanov, “A Dream of Secular Utopia in ISIS’ Backyard.”  The article discusses the efforts by Kurdish rebel faction to created a revolutionary society in what the author calls, “a sliver of land in the far north of Syria: Rojava, or ‘land where the sun sets.’’’ The article is important because it provides an invaluable snapshot of an alternative popular movement that has gained some small amount of land and power amidst the Syrian crisis. It is opposed to Bashar al-Assad, including the Russians and Iranians, as well as the Islamic State.  Because it is affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), it is on the U.S. terrorist list but, due to the exigencies of war, it appears to be unofficially supported by the U.S./NATO-backed Syrian opposition.

STATEMENTS

  1. The murder of Elci must not mark the death of peace, Peace in Kurdistan Campaign statement, 29 November 2015.
  1. Statement of the IADL & ELDH on the assassination of Tahir Elçi, 28 November 2015. 
  1. BHRC and DPI deplore shooting of Tahir Elçi, President of Diyarbakir Bar Association, Turkey, 1 December 2015.
  1. Arrest of journalists condemned: Release them now demands IFJ/EFJ, 27 November 2015.

 

EVENTS

Saturday, 5th December, 4pm
Inter-Community Briefing: The War in Syria, the situation of the Kurds and in the Middle East
Main Speaker: Erdelan Baran – Member of the Kurdish National Congress – Foreign Affairs. With other panellists from the Middle East.
Hours after the UK Parliament once again voted for war, RAF jets started bombing raids on Syria. Despite the opposition of Jeremy Corbyn, sufficient Labour MPs made sure that Britain’s usual war machine marches into another military intervention. This meeting will be a pause for reflection and analysis. We will take a step back from the cacophony of the war mongering mass media and ask the Kurds and other peoples of the Middle East how they analyse the latest developments. We want to express our solidarity with them, and to understand from them what is really going on in their region today. We invite you to bring your questions in the spirit of dialogue, seeking common cause against oppression. What is the situation for the Kurds now? How do we assess Turkey shooting down the Russian jet? How does the situation in Palestine relate? Does the Arab awakening still have a part to play? What is the role of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states?   One hundred years after the secret Sykes-Picot agreement, in which Britain and France carved up the region into their colonial empires, imperialism is still seeking to dominate the peoples of the Middle East. But have the borders established by Sykes-Picot ran their course, and is a new carve-up on the way?
VENUE: Kurdish Community Centre, 11 Portland Gardens, London N4 1HU (nearest tube Manor House, 341 bus). Convened by the Inter-Community Forum in conjunction with Kurdish community and GIKDER

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