KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 8 January 2016

 

NEWS

  1. Turkish police detain pro-Kurdish opposition members in Istanbul raid
  2. Turkish anti-terror police raid offices of Kurdish party
  3. Turkish document of massacre – EXCLUSIVE
  4. Kurds urge the world to stop Turkish massacres
  5. DBP member and People’s Assembly co-chair murdered in Silopi
  6. Autopsy report confirms three Kurdish women were executed
  7. Women continue to protect their neighborhoods
  8. VICE News journalist released in Turkey after 131 days arrested
  9. Whereabouts of DIHA reporter detained in Silopi unknown
  10. AFAD camp sheltering Êzîdîs evacuated and occupied by Turkish forces
  11. HDP information on military siege on Kurdish cities
  12. Kurdish protesters occupy Conservative Campaign HQ in London (VIDEO)

COMMENT, OPINION AND ANALYSIS

  1. The State Doesn’t Talk—It Only Shoots
  2. Turkey’s Military Onslaught On The Kurds: Why Are Europe And The US Silent?
  3. Losing Turkey
  4. Turkey’s War Against the Kurds
  5. The face behind the PKK story
  6. WATCH: VICE Meets Demirtas: “In some ways, AKP is Turkey’s Islamic State.”
  7. Turkey unlikely to do anything beneficial to Kurds: Analyst
  8. WATCH: The World Today – The Turkish Cauldron
  9. Has Turkey’s regional power grab come to an end?
  10. WATCH: Will U.S. Deport Kurdish Activist Ibrahim Parlak Back to Turkey Where He Was Jailed & Tortured?
  11. New World Summit: IDEOLOGY = FORM

 

STATEMENTS

  1. Turkish state and government launch all-out war against the Kurds
  2. Free Women’s Congress condemns killing of activists in Silopi
  3. International Initiative expresses concern over Ocalan’s wellbeing

 

APPEALS

  1. HDP: Call to Representatives of the Parliamentary Groups and International Public Opinion

 

 

NEWS

  1. Turkish police detain pro-Kurdish opposition members in Istanbul raid
    8 January 2016 / Reuters
    Turkish police detained six people including local officials from the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) on Friday in a raid on one of its Istanbul offices, days after President Tayyip Erdogan said he backed legal action against its members. Riot police and special forces took part in the operation, according to the state-run Anadolu Agency, which said the action was part of a crackdown on urban networks of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group’s youth wing.
  1. Turkish anti-terror police raid offices of Kurdish party
    8 January 2016 / Middle East Eye
    Turkish police on Friday raided the offices of the main pro-Kurdish party in central Istanbul, making arrests and seizing documents. Riot police blocked the entry to the street where the Beyoglu district office of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) is located while anti-terror police conducted a search. Turkish media reports said that several people were detained in the two-hour operation, including the co-chair of the Beyoglu branch of the HDP, Rukiye Demir.
  1. Turkish document of massacre – EXCLUSIVE
    4 January 2015 / Dicle News
    An official document has been revealed detailing the background of the blatant massacre committed by Turkish state forces against the civilian population in North Kurdistan. With the impositions of curfews since after the general election of 7 June, state forces have been executing unprecedented atrocity on civilians in Kurdish towns, which has left hundreds of people dead so far. A classified document numbered “84933840-3000-350-15” with the subject “Soldiers’ Authority To Use Arms And Vigilance of Personnel” is seen to have been issued by Cizre/Şırnak 3rd Tank Battalion Command affiliated to 172nd Armored Brigade Deputy Command of Land Forces Command on 30 July 2015.
  1. Kurds urge the world to stop Turkish massacres
    5 January 2016 / Med Diplomatic
    Following several weeks of curfews and isolation of towns and cities across North Kurdistan Region (Turkey), resulting in the killings of 260 civilians and hundreds of political arrests, Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) calls UN, EU, US and the whole world to break the silence and stop Turkish massacres against its own citizens. Several political analysts and observers from Turkey and abroad comparing the ongoing anti-Kurdish campaign with the Armenian massacres. In a newly released KNK statement, the organisation gives details about the recent killings of civilian population, consisting mainly in women and children, and numerous violations against Kurdish elected politicians and activists.
  1. DBP member and People’s Assembly co-chair murdered in Silopi
    6 January 2016 / Kurdish Info
    It came out that DBP Assembly member Sêvê Demir, Silopi People’s Assembly co-chair Pakize Nayır and KJA activist Fatma Uyar are among the four people murdered by state forces in Şırnak’s Silopi district yesterday. Body of another slain civilian is yet to be identified. The four people were killed as state forces opened heavy and random fire on civilian settlements in Karşıyaka neighborhood for hours late yesterday evening. The aggression has also left many wounded. Casualties have been revealed only after the bodies of four slain civilians were brought to Silopi State Hospital earlier today.
  1. Autopsy report confirms three Kurdish women were executed
    6 January 2016 / ANF
    An autopsy was performed on the bodies of three Kurdish woman politicians DBP Assembly member Sêvê Demir, Silopi People’s Assembly co-chair Pakize Nayır and KJA activist Fatma Uyar and one youth near them who were killed by state forces in Şırnak’s Silopi district the day before. The report of the autopsy at Şırnak State Hospital today has revealed that all the four people had been shot by multiple bullets. Report on Sêvê Demir’s death reveals that she was shot by 11 bullets of 5x3cm, 2×1.5 cm and 2×1 cm size. Accordingly, front part of Demir’s skull disintegrated, her nasal bone and covering skin was divided into two, her headroom became visible”.
  1. Women continue to protect their neighborhoods
    8 January 2016 / Jinha News
    Reacting the massacres of the women and the blockades in Sur and other districts in Kurdistan,Diyarbakır women said, “They should know that women are endless and they will never obey.The women will struggle everywhere and they will play an important role in protecting their neighborhoods and areas where they are living.” The resistances of people are on the 37th day in Sur district of Diyarbakır and 25th day in Cizre and Silopi districts of Şırnak against the blockade(refering to the 24 hours curfews). Medine Çur, reacted the martial law practices and said, “Our people’s dead bodies remain on the Street, that’s enough.The more they ban,the more we will be on the areas. We won’t leave our people’s dead bodies on the streets anymore.”
  1. VICE News journalist released in Turkey after 131 days arrested
    5 January 2016 / Hurriyet
    VICE News journalist and fixer Mohammed Rasool, who was arrested in southeastern Turkey 131 days ago, was finally released from jail on Jan. 5. Lawyer Muhammed Neşet Girasun had demanded Rasool’s release, citing a lack of evidence for alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the longevity of his arrest. The court in the southern province of Adana then ruled for the release of Rasool on probation on Jan. 5.
  1. Whereabouts of DIHA reporter detained in Silopi unknown
    5 January 2015 / ANF
    Dozens of people were forcibly expelled from Silopi’s Şehit Harun neighborhood and later taken to indoor sports facility in Yenişehir neighborhood today. 37 of these were detained after a criminal record check by police, who include DIHA (Dicle News Agency) Silopi reporter Nedim Oruç. DIHA’s Nedim Oruç is among the 37 who were detained after a criminal record check by police at the sports facility which has been turned into a detention center amid a state of siege across the district. Oruç was tortured by special operation teams and soldiers after he turned out to be working for DIHA which is among the main news agencies targeted by the state.

 

  1. AFAD camp sheltering Êzîdîs evacuated and occupied by Turkish forces
    4 January 2016 / ANF
    The state-run camp of AFAD (Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency) sheltering Êzîdîs in Nusaybin district of Mardin has been turned into a military headquarters. Turkish security forces have today forcibly evacuated the AFAD camp which was built to shelter Êzîdî groups who migrated from Shengal after the beginning of ISIS attacks almost two years ago. While the Êzîdî people were sent to another camp in Midyat district, special operation police have turned the refugee camp into a military headquarters. Turkish army has sent reinforcements to the AFAD camp, 5 km to Nusaybin town, throughout the day in what seems to be preparation for a new wave of attacks.
  1. HDP information on military siege on Kurdish cities
    5 January 2016 / HDP
    The first of these sieges, described as “curfews,” was imposed in Varto, starting on 16 August. There are sieges still in course in Cizre, Silopi and Sur districts. “Curfews” have been declared 56 times in 20 districts of 7 cities and so far these “curfews” have totaled 274 days.  In some districts where curfews have been officially lifted, there is still a de facto siege. The most recent situation in 3 districts is as follows: In Cizre where a curfew has been declared 5 times so far, the last curfew was declared on 14.12.2015. 30 people lost their lives in the course of 23 days of siege. In Cizre, 63 people have been killed since July 2015.
  1. Kurdish protesters occupy Conservative Campaign HQ in London (VIDEO)
    5 January 2015 / RT
    Kurdish protesters have occupied Conservative Campaign Headquarters in London to protest against the government’s support of Turkey. The activists entered the building on Tuesday afternoon and are refusing to leave the lobby. In one video from inside the building shouts of “wake up Cameron” and “stop the genocide” can be heard.  Tension between the Kurds and Turkish authorities have escalated again in recent months as the civil war in Syria and the battle against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) continues. Kurdistan shares a border with Syria. Its army, the Peshmerga, has been integral in the ground war against IS. However, Turkish authorities see fighters in the region as terrorists.On December 19 Turkish troops killed 68 members of the PKK. They said their operation would not end “until security is established.”

COMMENT, OPINION AND ANALYSIS

  1. The State Doesn’t Talk—It Only Shoots
    8 January 2016 / Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
    It’s freezing cold in Amed, as the city of Diyarbakir is known to its residents. Over ten centimeters of snow blankets the ground, something that happens only every three or four years. And at exactly this moment, fighting is escalating in Amed’s old neighborhood of Sur and in the cities of Cizre and Silopi, in Sirnak province. I’m here in the press office of the municipal administration, along with three journalists and a researcher. These days the office serves as a de facto base for journalists and researchers from western Turkey and abroad. We talk about what has been going on in the region for the past few months.

 

  1. Turkey’s Military Onslaught On The Kurds: Why Are Europe And The US Silent?
    4 January 2016 / Social Europe
    In a way that revives the memories of the Armenian massacres from 1894-1915, the Turkish state is now embarked on a new wave of ethnic cleansing against the ‘separatist-terrorist’ Kurds. It can be argued that the military onslaught on Kurdish towns and cities is a farce given that the Turkish state is still not sure of its unity a century after the Armenian genocide. However, the farce is already producing tragic consequences. Since July 2015, 108 civilians have been killed, of whom 54 are children. The death toll is set to increase, given the number of troops mobilised, the duration of the sieges around towns and neighbourhoods, the military’s deliberate targeting of drinking water and electricity supplies, and the approaching cold winter in the region.
  1. Losing Turkey
    6 January 2016 / Huffington Post
    The Obama administration must see Turkey under the reign of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for what it is, not how it used to be, or how Washington wishes it were. It is time for steely-eyed realism about Erdogan. Following are the facts: Erdogan is authoritarian: He recently praised “Hitler’s Germany,” mentioning Hitler in the context of his own tenure. Erdogan blocks independent media: Presently, 34 journalists are in jail for various charges including “insulting the President.” According to Journalists without Borders, Turkey ranks 149 out of 180 countries on press freedom.
  1. Turkey’s War Against the Kurds
    7 January 2016 / Counterpunch
    A war of words has broken out between the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the leader of the left-wing People’s Democratic Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtas. Mr. Demirtas, who is Kurdish, leads a party that unites the Kurdish nationalist forces and Turkey’s left-wing groups. Until recently, he and the HDP have called for more rights for the Kurdish population within Turkey rather than for the creation of a Kurdish state out of Turkey. The Kurds in Turkey are spread out across the country, with Istanbul having the largest concentration (one million Kurds). Nonetheless, the majority of the Kurdish population lives in the country’s south-east, which has been the epicentre of demands for self-determination. In late December, Mr. Demirtas backed a resolution passed by the Kurdish Democratic Society Congress (DTK), which reiterated an old demand for the creation of Kurdish “autonomous regions” and “self-governance bodies”. Mr. Erdogan called Mr. Demirtas’ action “treason”.
  1. The face behind the PKK story
    5 January 2016 / New Internationalist
    When circumstances allow, Zagros Hiwa always answers the phone or his e-mail. He is a mandatory first stop for journalists who want to interview a high-ranking guerrilla or simply to pay a visit to the central command of the Kurdistan Workers Party, the PKK. The area is easily reachable from the Iraqi Kurdish plains, but the situation up in the Qandil Mountains is often unpredictable. ‘Right now we are suffering continuous bombardments and reconnaissance activities of the Turkish army,’ Hiwa told New Internationalist just after the first PKK checkpoint. ‘Many villagers have lost their houses to the bombs, but there have been no civilian casualties in December so far,’ he added.
  1. WATCH: VICE Meets Demirtas: “In some ways, AKP is Turkey’s Islamic State.”
    18 December 2015 / Vice
    Selahattin Demirtas, co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party and figurehead of the Kurdish political movement in Turkey, talks to VICE News as violence between security forces and PKK militants continues to escalate.
  1. Turkey unlikely to do anything beneficial to Kurds: Analyst
    2 January 2016 / Press TV
    Press TV has conducted an interview with David Lindorff, an investigative journalist, about the clampdown on Kurdish people in Turkey. The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
    Press TV: What is the legal ground for the curfews imposed on the people? And how do you think Turkey, having the support of EU, can get away with killing Kurds, its own people?
    Lindorff: Yeah, that’s interesting, isn’t it? I mean that Assad killing his own people supposedly in that sarin strike a year ago almost led to the US doing a massive bombing raid on Syria, because we said: ‘Oh, my God! He’s killing his own people.’ But here we have Turkey killing its own people. Kurds in Turkey are a minority and are citizens of Turkey.
  1. WATCH: The World Today – The Turkish Cauldron
    2 January 2016 / Telesur
    Veteran author and political commentator Tariq Ali discusses the Turkey’s war on the Kurds and political opposition with Songur Savran, scholar and activist. Scroll to the bottom for the video.
  1. Has Turkey’s regional power grab come to an end?
    7 January 2016 / Al Monitor
    Turkey’s fervent aspiration for regional power in the Middle East is over after it made itself a party to the raging sectarian conflict rather than providing a meaningful contribution to a possible solution to the Syrian imbroglio. If there were any doubts, the ruling Justice and Development Party’s latest desperate moves to escape its increasingly international isolation should remove them: In mid-December, Ankara plunged into the Saudi-led 34-nation military alliance of Sunni nations. Parallel to this ill-conceived decision, Turkey’s rapprochement with Israel is said to be underway.
  1. WATCH: Will U.S. Deport Kurdish Activist Ibrahim Parlak Back to Turkey Where He Was Jailed & Tortured?
    6 January 2016 / Democracy Now
    We turn now to a case of Michigan resident Ibrahim Parlak, who faces imminent deportation in an asylum case that stretches back more than 20 years. Parlak is a Kurdish man who came to the United States in 1990 fleeing persecution in his native country of Turkey, where he’d been arrested and tortured for his affiliations with the political arm of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party. Once Parlak reached the United States, he was granted political asylum. A year later, he was granted permanent residence. But all this changed in the years following 2001, when the FBI began to review old asylum files.

 

  1. New World Summit: IDEOLOGY = FORM
    January 2016 / e-Flux
    A young cat is curling around the legs of Diyar Hesso—filmmaker, teacher, and one of the main organizers of the Rojava Film Commune in the city of Derbisiye, in the Canton of Cezîre.As I watch the animal play, I hear Hesso say, “He’s Terrorist.” I look up confused. “His name,” Hesso explains, “the name of the cat is Terrorist.” And with a smile, “Because we’re all terrorists here.”
    “Here” is the autonomous region of Rojava (West-Kurdistan), located in what many will know as northern Syria. In 2011, Kurdish revolutionaries, in alliance with Arabs, Assyrians, and other peoples from the region, declared Rojava independent from the Assad regime and established a system that they refer to as “democratic confederalism,” or stateless democracy. This practice of democracy without the state is structured by a collectively written social contract that defines the key principles of the revolution: self-governance, gender equality, the right to self-defense, and a communal economy.

STATEMENTS

  1. Turkish state and government launch all-out war against the KurdsKNK Press Release, 6 January 2016. 
  1. Free Women’s Congress condemns killing of activists in Silopi6 January 2016.
  1. KCK: 2016 will witness an unprecedented struggle by Kurdish people, 1 January 2016.
  1. International Initiative expresses concern over Ocalan’s wellbeing, 8 January 2016.

 

APPEALS

  1. HDP: Call to Representatives of the Parliamentary Groups and International Public Opinion, 5 January 2016.

 

 

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