KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 20 – 26 February 2016

NEWS

  1. 230 lawyers apply to meet Öcalan
  2. Lawyers launch international petition against the isolation of Öcalan
  3.  Spinelli: The terrorist label on the PKK has political motivations
  4.  It’s Time to Kick Erdogan’s Turkey Out of NATO
  5. Sarıyıldız: Silence of Europe also responsible for the massacre in Cizre
  6. Hundreds of Islamist fighters enter Azaz through Turkish territory
  7. What happened to Turkey’s foreign policy?
  8. Demirtas: Turkey’s ruling party is ‘extension’ of ISIS
  9. PYD Co-chair Muslim says Turkey suffers from “Kurd-phobia”
  10. More Arab youths join the ranks of YPG in Efrîn
  11. PYD’s Muslim says no plan for Kurdish state in Syria
  12. The Guardian view on Turkey’s Kurdish policies: compounding the region’s troubles
  13. Çavuşoğlu: Turkish-Saudi ground operation in Syria not on agenda
  14. Minister slams EU rapporteur Piri on Diyarbakır visit, claims has lost neutrality
  15. HDP against KRG pipeline to Turkey
  16. Kurdish solidarity in Turkey’s restive southeast frustrates its Syria policy
  17. Syria Kurds say they will respect ceasefire
  18. Investigation launched into journalists for terrorism propaganda in books
  19. Pro-Kurdish MP @NatalieMcGarry “safe” following detention by Turkish officials

 

 

COMMENT, OPINION AND ANALYSIS

  1. Russia is using Syria to run circles around U.S.
  2. US wants to maintain alliance with Turkey: Analyst
  3. The Enemy of My Enemy: Russia and the Kurds Reshape the Syrian Civil War
  4. Turkey Reaps the Whirlwind
  5. Tamil solidarity with Kurds to go beyond IS-US paradigm
  6. How one Kurdish woman went from child soldier to Swedish lawmaker
  7. Conspiracy Against Russia Motivates Ocalan’s Imprisonment
  8. With Abdullah Ocalan from Athens to Nairobi
  1. Kurds are now key to a Middle East solution
  2. ANALYSIS: Kurdish conundrum opens rift between US and Turkey
  3. Turkey’s Decisive Year

 

STATEMENTS

  1. European Youth Organisations: The Violation of Human Rights of Kurds in Turkey Must End Now!
  2. Open letter: Victimised academics in Turkey need support

 

REPORTS

Athens conference on Ocalan and the international conspiracy against the Kurds; Monday, 15th February  by Margaret Owen.

 

NEWS

  1. 230 lawyers apply to meet Öcalan

February 2016 / ANF News

230 lawyers who assembled under the organisation of Asrın Law Office have applied to Bursa Public Prosecutor’s House demanding a meeting with Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan who has been denied visit by his lawyers since 27 July 2011.

 

  1. Lawyers launch international petition against the isolation of Öcalan

24 February 2016 / ANF News

Lawyers launched an international petition campaign against the isolation of Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan, emphasizing that the isolation threatened peace, had torturous aspects, and should end immediately.

 

  1. Spinelli: The terrorist label on the PKK has political motivations

24 February 2016 / ANF News

In her press release in the European Parliament (EP), Italian parliamentarian Barbara Spinelli stated that the designation of the PKK as a ‘terrorist organization’ had political motivations.

 

  1. It’s Time to Kick Erdogan’s Turkey Out of NATO

23 January 2016 / The World Post

It has always been a matter of historical curiosity that one of the American diplomats who was deeply involved in the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was named Achilles. As the head of the State Department’s Office of Western European Affairs after World War II and the eventual U.S. Vice Deputy of the North Atlantic Council, Theodore Achilles played a lead role in drafting the treaty that was designed to deter an expansionist Soviet Union from engaging in an armed attack on Western Europe. With 11 European nations joining the U.S. as founding members in 1949, the alliance quickly grew to include two other countries – Greece and Turkey – by 1952 and today encompasses 28 members.

 

  1. Sarıyıldız: Silence of Europe also responsible for the massacre in Cizre

24 February 2016 / ANF News

The 5 days-long sit-in in front of the Council of Europe (EC), European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) and the European Commission for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) buildings in Strasbourg continues in its third day.

 

  1. Hundreds of Islamist fighters enter Azaz through Turkish territory

18 February 2016 / ANF News

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that 500 Islamist fighters on Wednesday crossed the Turkish border and headed for the Syrian town of Azaz in northern Aleppo province. Trusted sources confirmed to the observatory that the fighters’ moving was under the supervision of the Turkish authorities.

 

  1.  What happened to Turkey’s foreign policy?

23 February 2016 / Almonitor

Turkish experts — aside from the most hardened, pro-government experts — agree that Ankara’s foreign policy under the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is in shambles. They generally agree this was caused by the country abandoning its traditional foreign policy in favor of an Islamist outlook.

 

  1.  Demirtas: Turkey’s ruling party is ‘extension’ of ISIS

24 February 2016 / Rûdaw

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Selahettin Demirtas, co-chair of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), bitterly denounced the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Tuesday, alleging it is little more than an “extension of” the Islamic State group (ISIS).

 

  1. PYD Co-chair Muslim says Turkey suffers from “Kurd-phobia”

23 February 2016 / Puk Media

The People’s Protection Units (PYD) co-chair Salih Muslim stated in an interview with a German media outlet on Tuesday, February 23, 2016, that the main objective of the PYD is to put an end to the Islamic State in Rojava.

 

10. More Arab youths join the ranks of YPG in Efrîn

21 February 2016 / ANF News

The first group of Arab fighters have finished the “Martyr Feyrûz” training cycle at Martyr Xebat Military Academy in Efrîn Canton of Rojava, West Kurdistan.

 

 

  1. PYD’s Muslim says no plan for Kurdish state in Syria

23 February 2016 / Today’s Zaman

he Kurdish armed groups currently fighting in Syria do not want an independent Kurdish state on Turkey’s border, according to the leader of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), Saleh Muslim.

 

 

  1. The Guardian view on Turkey’s Kurdish policies: compounding the region’s troubles

18 February 2016 / The Guardian

Turkey’s misguided policies have been taking that pivotal country in the wrong direction for several years. Now the errors and contradictions apparent in its domestic politics are becoming a major international problem, threatening to widen the conflict racking the region in which until recently it was a force for stability and sanity.

 

  1. Çavuşoğlu: Turkish-Saudi ground operation in Syria not on agenda

22 February 2016 / Today’s Zaman

A military ground operation in Syria by Turkey and Saudi Arabia is not on the agenda and any such move would need to involve all countries in the US-led coalition against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Monday.

 

  1. Minister slams EU rapporteur Piri on Diyarbakır visit, claims has lost neutrality

22 February 2016 / Today’s Zaman

Turkey’s European Union and foreign ministers have harshly criticized the European Parliament’s Turkey rapporteur Kati Piri over her visit to the southeastern province of Diyarbakır last week, saying she has lost her neutrality on Turkish issues.

 

  1. HDP against KRG pipeline to Turkey

21 February 2016 / Kurdistan 24

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (K24) – The representative of Turkey’s People’s Democratic Party (HDP) to Erbil, Abit Ike said on Sunday that Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) should be more mindful of the political and social situation in Turkey.

 

  1. Kurdish solidarity in Turkey’s restive southeast frustrates its Syria policy

25 February 2016 / Reuters

In a public cemetery next to a military air base in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast, flags of a Syrian Kurdish militia are draped over many of the tombstones.

Death notices posted online by the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a key U.S. ally in the fight against Islamic State in north Syria, show about half of those killed on its front lines in the last three months alone were Turkish-born.

 

  1. Syria Kurds say they will respect ceasefire

25 February 2016 / Business Recorder

QAMISHLI: Kurdish forces in Syria, where they have been targeted by Turkish artillery, said Thursday they would respect a ceasefire due to start this weekend but retain the right to “retaliate” if attacked.

“We, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), give great importance to the process of cessation of hostilities announced by the United States and Russia and we will respect it, while retaining the right to retaliate… if we are attacked,” YPG spokesman Redur Xelil said on his Facebook page.

 

  1. Investigation launched into journalists for terrorism propaganda in books

25 February 2016 / Today’s Zaman

An investigation has been launched into Turkish journalists Hasan Cemal and Tuğçe Tatari, whose books have recently been banned from sale and distribution by Turkish courts, on suspicion of engaging in terrorist activities, according to a news report on the website of the pro-government daily Sabah.

 

  1. Pro-Kurdish MP @NatalieMcGarry “safe” following detention by Turkish officials

25 February 2016 / Common Space

Foreign Office confirms brief detention of British national over trade union visit.

GLASGOW MP NATALIE MCGARRY was detained by police in Turkey as part of a delegation travelling through the country in support of Kurdish democratic rights.

The representative for Glasgow East was part of a GMB Union visit to Diyarbakir, a city contested by Turkish and Kurdish forces, which has witnessed recent bombing attacks and mass protests.

 

COMMENT, OPINION AND ANALYSIS

 

  1.  Russia is using Syria to run circles around U.S.

23 February 2016 / CNN

It is quite clear that Russian President Vladimir Putin views the United States not as a partner or even as an adversary but as an enemy. The fact is brought to grotesque levels by a new public campaign that literally draws horns on President Barack Obama, describing him as an international mass murderer. (The Russian government denies responsibility for the campaign.) The campaign is shocking and eye-catching, like a highway wreck. But far more distressing is what Putin is doing in Syria, where he is outplaying America and its allies, with disastrous consequences.

 

 

  1. US wants to maintain alliance with Turkey: Analyst

22 February 2016 / Press TV

Press TV has conducted an interview with William Beeman, a professor at the University of Minnesota, about the attacks by the Turkish government forces against the Kurdish population of the country.

 

  1. The Enemy of My Enemy: Russia and the Kurds Reshape the Syrian Civil War

21 February 2016 / The World Post

Syria’s Kurds are on a roll. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a loose coalition consisting primarily of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), and an assortment of Sunni Arab, Turkmen, Yazidi and Assyrian ethnic militias are steadily expanding west of the Euphrates River. In the last several weeks the SDF has taken control of the Menagh Air Base and several key villages to the north and west of Aleppo. More importantly, it is closing in on its long sought goal of uniting the Kurdish majority canton of Afrin in the west with the rest of the Kurdish controlled areas of northern Syria.

 

  1. Turkey Reaps the Whirlwind

19 February 2016 / Rûdaw

Wednesday’s car bombing in Turkey killed some twenty soldiers and eight civilians. Before the smoke had even cleared from the scene, President Erdogan and Prime Minister Davutoglu announced that the attack had been carried out by a member of the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Forces (YPG). Within a few hours of the attack, in other words, Mr. Davutoglu was saying “A direct link between the attack and the YPG has been established,” and that Turkish security services had already established the identity, birthplace, personal history and political affiliation of the alleged bomber (Salih Necer, a 24-year old citizen of Syria). The alacrity of their detective work seems beyond impressive.

 

 

  1. Tamil solidarity with Kurds to go beyond IS-US paradigm

20 February 2016 / Tamil Net

Since the Mu’l’livaaykkaal killings of 2009, the Tamil diaspora has mostly focused political efforts towards demanding justice for the inhuman crimes committed against Tamil civilians. While such efforts have elevated international awareness of the gross human rights violations committed by the Sri Lanka military during the war, the approach has not yielded results on prosecuting the perpetrators of the international crimes. In light of this situation, it is imperative for the Tamil diaspora to establish alliances with the Kurds and other people marginalized by oppressive states and the International Community.

 

  1. How one Kurdish woman went from child soldier to Swedish lawmaker

23 February 2016 / Almonitor

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey — In pitch dark one night in 1991, some 50 people marched from Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq toward the Turkish border, unarmed and clad in traditional local attire. As they approached the frontier, a Turkish reconnaissance helicopter began to hover in the area, complicating their plan to sneak into Turkey. Only one woman marched among the men — 19-year-old Amineh Kakabaveh. She kept calm despite the building tension. Evading the helicopter and the border guards, the travelers managed to reach the Turkish border town of Silopi around midnight. The young Kakabaveh could have hardly imagined she was on a journey to a bright political career in Europe.

 

  1. Conspiracy Against Russia Motivates Ocalan’s Imprisonment

16 February 2016 / The Pasewan

Was the Kurdish leader Abdulla Ocalan arrested because he was a terrorist or because he was leading a reformist/secular party? Why is a non-Islamic progressive movement in the Middle East disturbing the Western powers?

The Kurdish prisoner leader Abdulla Ocalan was arrested in 1999 in Nairobi with the aid of several Western countries and political institutions including the CIA cooperating with the Turkish National Intelligence Agency. Consequentially, Apo, as Kurdish people call him affectionately, has been incarcerated on the island of Imrali in the Sea of Marmara that has been guarded by hundreds of armed Turkish soldiers for 17 years, without adequate facilities, or allowance of visitation. He was sentenced to death. Turkey had rescinded the death penalty in order to gain admission to European Union membership. The only crime he was accused of was being the founder of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the largest and strongest secular or popular reformist party in the Middle East and possibly the world.

 

  1. With Abdullah Ocalan from Athens to Nairobi

16 February 2016 / The Pasewan

Savvas Kalenteridis is a blogger, columnist, and a former Greek intelligence officer. In this exclusive interview he talks for the first time about his travels with Abdullah Ocalan, the imprisoned founder of the PKK. Kalenteridis accompanied Ocalan from Athens to Russia, and later from Athens to Kenya, where Ocalan was ultimately arrested by Turkish officials in 1999.

 

 

  1. Kurds are now key to a Middle East solution

 

 

  1. ANALYSIS: Kurdish conundrum opens rift between US and Turkey

24 February 2016 / Middle East Eye

NEW YORK, United States – US President Barack Obama is often criticised as indecisive for his hands-off approach to Syria’s civil war. His position grows more uncomfortable daily, with Washington increasingly at odds with a long-standing ally, Turkey, over the conflict. Washington is torn over its support for the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria, one of the most effective forces in the war, and Ankara’s fears that Syrian Kurds will build a proto-state on its southern border and fuel discontent among Turkey’s own restive Kurdish population.

 

 

  1. Turkey’s Decisive Year

24 February 2016 / Jacobin Mag

Turkey is descending ever further into chaos. The ruling AKP’s policy on Syria has led to the rise of extremist Islamist groups within Turkey’s borders and introduced serious tensions into its relations with Russia, as the Turkish state wages war again in North Kurdistan and cracks down on every form of opposition.

 

 

 

STATEMENTS

 

  1.  European Youth Organisations: The Violation of Human Rights of Kurds in Turkey Must End Now!

23 February 2016 / Federation of Young European Greens

The situation in Turkey’s South-East region is continuing to escalate. The latest escalation of conflict between the Turkish government and Kurds in Turkey is both alarming and critical for Turkey, Europe, the Middle East and the rest of the world.

 

 

  1. Open letter: Victimised academics in Turkey need support

22 February 2016 / Green Left Weekly

As scholars associated with universities and higher education institutions in Australia, we are extremely disturbed by Turkey’s recent treatment of academics who have spoken out against atrocities being committed by the Turkish state against Kurdish civilians in the eastern parts of the country.

Some 1128 Turkish and Kurdish “Academics for Peace” have courageously signed a statement entitled “We Will Not Be A Party To This Crime”, which calls on the Turkish government to cease hostilities against its Kurdish population. Since the publication of this statement, these academics have been subject to a sustained campaign of abuse and violence from both the Turkish state and its supporters.

 

 

REPORTS

 

Athens conference on Ocalan and the international conspiracy against the Kurds, Monday, 15th February  by Margaret Owen.

Finally, 17 years after Abdullah Ocalan was brutally and unlawfully abducted in Nairobi, drugged, blindfolded and taken to Turkey by Turkish agents, with the sinister connivance of several other sovereign states, including Greece, this international plot is at last to be exposed at the Court of First Instance of Athens on November 4th. The kidnapping and subsequent imprisonment of Ocalan was a despicable as well as an unlawful act.

 

 

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