KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 27 February – 4 March 2016


Join us at the National Demo on Sunday 6 March!

STOP TURKEY’S WAR ON THE KURDS! BREAK THE SILENCE!

NEWS

  1. Turkish Police Violently Crack Down on Protesting Kurds
  2. Kurds return to find their lives buried in rubble of Turkish offensive
  3. Over 200 killed in Kurds-Daesh clashes on Turkey-Syria border
  4. Mosul dam engineers warn it could fail at any time, killing 1m people
  5. Demirtaş: Erdoğan staged coup against Parliament, ruling party
  6. Turkish Army Suffers Heavy Losses in Kurdistan: Why Does Ankara Hide This?
  7. Erdoğan calls on prosecutors to take action against Demirtaş over call for march to Sur
  8. Demirtaş and Yüksekdağ call upon international institutions to act for Sur
  9. Erdoğan regime spelling disaster for Turkey, says Ankara platform
  10. Legal experts: Erdoğan acts unconstitutionally, clearly attempts to influence courts
  11. In Hussein’s Footsteps? Erdogan is Walking Straight into Washington’s trap
  12. Davutoglu’s Affront: Turkish PM compares pro-Russian Kurds to “Armenian gangs”
  13. PUK: Turkey seized the petroleum income of South Kurdistan
  14. Demirtaş: We never surrendered and will remain here
  15. ‘Thousands of People May Have Starved to Death’ in Syria, Warns UN
  16. Main opposition: Erdoğan must withdraw criticism of top court for constitution drafting to proceed
  17. Is Turkey ‘on the hook’ regarding Syria cease-fire?
  18. ’Stop Turkish oppression of Kurdistan’: @NatalieMcgarry cried over “terrifying” detention
  19. AKP working on a law draft to legalize the murder of Kurds
  20. Saudi Arabia Turkey ‘Alliance’: Cooperating or vying for supremacy
  21. Irish poet writes ‘For The Kurdish People in Diyarbakır and Beyond’
  22. Poetry andsilence: Iran’s Kurds tread the line between art and activism
  23. New Ghobadi film on children of Shengal and Kobanê

 

 

COMMENT, OPINION AND ANALYSIS

  1. After Syria intervention flop, what’s next for Erdogan?
  2. Turks kick around Erdogan conspiracy
  3. Saving Syria one city at a time: How to deal with the siege of Aleppo
  4. Turkey waging conventional war against Kurds: Analyst
  5. Interview with Prof Abbas Valli with Washington Kurdish Institute
  6. Elif Shafak on Turkey’s turmoil: ‘Intimidation and paranoia dominates the land’
  7. Will Turkey and the EU See the Bigger Picture?
  8. A Kurdish Girl’s Lonely Death
  9. What sort of uprising do we need in Iraqi Kurdistan?

 

REPORT

  1. PLAN C MCR – Rojava MRC Talk

 

EVENT

  1. The Iranian Revolution in the Mirror of Uneven and Combined Development

 

NEWS

  1. Turkish Police Violently Crack Down on Protesting Kurds

3 March 2016 / Telesur

Turkish police detained 33 people in the Sur district of Diyarbakir, the largest city in the country’s southeast after hundreds of Kurds took to the streets to rally against months-long security operations by Turkey’s government, who cracked down on protesters after an attack by Kurdish militants in Ankara that left about 30 dead.

 

  1. Kurds return to find their lives buried in rubble of Turkish offensive

3 March 2016 / The Telegraph

Residents of Cizre in southeastern Turkey began returning home on Wednesday after authorities partially lifted a curfew in place since December for a controversial operation against Kurdish rebels which left many homes destroyed.

 

 

  1. Over 200 killed in Kurds-Daesh clashes on Turkey-Syria border

2 March 2016 / Press TV

YPG official Redur Xelil said on Wednesday that 43 of the group’s members lost their lives during the battle, which began on Saturday and ended on Monday, in the Syrian town of Tal Abyad.

The YPG have 140 bodies of Daesh elements killed in the fighting, with the Kurdish forces keeping control of the town, Xelil added.

The official said the Tal Abyad confrontation claimed the lives of 23 civilians as well.

The YPG, which is nearly in control of Syria’s entire northern border with Turkey, has been fighting against Daesh. The Kurdish fighters liberated Tal Abyad from the grips of Daesh last year.

 

 

  1. Mosul dam engineers warn it could fail at any time, killing 1m people

2 March 2016 / The Guardian

Iraqi engineers involved in building the Mosul dam 30 years ago have warned that the risk of its imminent collapse and the consequent death toll could be even worse than reported.

 

 

  1. Demirtaş: Erdoğan staged coup against Parliament, ruling party

2 March 2016 / Today’s Zaman

Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş has said that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan joined ranks with potential coup supporters and carried out a coup against the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government and Parliament in order to prevent anyone from toppling him from power.

“We are living through a coup period right now. We have already had a coup; it’s happened. It was after July 7. And now, we have a coup government leading Turkey,” Demirtaş said during an exclusive interview with Haberdar online news portal that was made available on Tuesday and Wednesday.

 

 

  1. Turkish Army Suffers Heavy Losses in Kurdistan: Why Does Ankara Hide This?

2 March 2016 / The Kurdistan Tribune

The Inside Syria Media Center reports from Iraq that the Turkish armed forces suffered heavy losses in a battle against the Kurds on 16 February 2016. The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighters downed a Turkish S-70 Black Hawk helicopter with heavy machine gun fire. The helicopter crashed in an Iraqi region near the border with the Turkish province of Hakkari to the north-west of Erbil. Six Turkish military men died in the crash.

 

 

  1. Erdoğan calls on prosecutors to take action against Demirtaş over call for march to Sur

2 March 2016 / Today’s Zaman

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called on prosecutors to take action against pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, over his call for people to march to Diyarbakır’s Sur district, which has been a flashpoint of conflict between security forces and the terrorist Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK).

“I think prosecutors have to fulfill their duties because nobody has the right to create chaos and disturb the peace in my country,” Erdoğan said during a joint press conference with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in Nigeria on Wednesday.

 

 

  1. Demirtaş and Yüksekdağ call upon international institutions to act for Sur

3 March 2016 / ANF News

Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chairs Figen Yüksekdağ and Selahattin Demirtaş have written a letter to the Secretariat General of the United Nations, UN-affiliated institutions, all parliaments and Presidency of the European Parliament, European Commission, Secretariat General of the Organization For Security and Cooperation in Europe, embassies and political parties abroad.

HDP co-chairs called upon all national and international democratic institutions and platforms to express a solid reaction against the current political and humanitarian crisis in Sur and act in solidarity with the people of Sur.

 

 

  1. Erdoğan regime spelling disaster for Turkey, says Ankara platform

29 February 2016 / Today’s Zaman

A platform endorsing freedom of thought in Turkey has published a declaration claiming that the kind of events that are currently taking place and pushing Turkey to the brink of disaster will become commonplace if President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s dream of an executive-style presidency is realized.

 

 

  1.  Legal experts: Erdoğan acts unconstitutionally, clearly attempts to influence courts

29 February 2016 / Today’s Zaman

A number of constitutional law professors and representatives of lawyers’ associations have criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his condemnation of the Constitutional Court for ruling to release two prominent journalists from pre-trial detention, saying that Erdoğan clearly acted unconstitutionally by attempting to influence the judiciary.

 

 

  1. In Hussein’s Footsteps? Erdogan is Walking Straight into Washington’s trap

25 February 2016 / Sputnik News

Washington has set a trap for impulsive Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, US journalist Mike Whitney notes, adding that a ‘color revolution’ in Turkey may one day become a reality.

On February 19 Washington dismissed a draft resolution by Russia aimed at preventing a Turkish invasion of Syria at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC); by making move the Obama administration is in fact giving the green light to Ankara’s ground operation in Syria, US independent journalist Mike Whitney believes.

 

 

  1. Davutoglu’s Affront: Turkish PM compares pro-Russian Kurds to “Armenian gangs”

29 February 2016 / Armenia Now

In a recent public statement Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has used an expression that incites enmity towards Armenians.

In criticizing the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) of Turkey, Davutoglu reportedly said: “They’re collaborating with Russia, just like the Armenian gangs. They are going and opening a representation in Moscow.”

 

 

  1. PUK: Turkey seized the petroleum income of South Kurdistan

29 February 2016 / ANF News

PUK Central Committee Secretary Adil Murad stated that the Turkish state has been seizing the petroleum income of South Kurdistan in order to change the stances of the PUK and the Goran Movement on Western and Northern Kurdistan.

 

  1. Demirtaş: We never surrendered and will remain here

29 February 2016 / ANF News

HDP Co-President Selahattin Demirtaş, DBP Co-President Kamuran Yüksek, HDK Co-Spokesperson Gülistan Kılıç Koçyiğit, and DTK Co-Presidents Hatip Dicle and Selma Irmak issued a statement in Sur, where the resistance against state forces’ attacks enters its 90th day. In his statement from Sur, Demirtaş called upon everyone to march to Sur on Wednesday until the state ends its siege.

 

  1. ‘Thousands of People May Have Starved to Death’ in Syria, Warns UN

29 February 2016 / Vice News

Thousands of people may have starved to death in areas deliberately cut off by Syrian government troops and the Islamic State (IS), the United Nations human rights chief said on Monday. Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein said some of the estimated half a million people trapped in besieged towns and villages had been cut off for years.

“The deliberate starvation of people is unequivocally forbidden as a weapon of warfare. By extension, so are sieges, which deprive civilians of essential goods such as food,” he said.

 

  1. Main opposition: Erdoğan must withdraw criticism of top court for constitution drafting to proceed

29 February 2016 / Today’s Zaman

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy parliamentary group chairman Engin Altay has warned that if President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan does not withdraw remarks criticizing the Constitutional Court, his party will not return to a commission for drafting a new constitution.

 

 

  1. Is Turkey ‘on the hook’ regarding Syria cease-fire?

27 February 2016 / Almonitor

Laura Rozen reported from Washington this week that White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that Russia is “on the hook” regarding a cessation of hostilities in Syria, which was endorsed unanimously by the UN Security Council on Feb. 26.

 

 

  1. ’Stop Turkish oppression of Kurdistan’: @NatalieMcgarry cried over “terrifying” detention

29 February 2016 / Common Space

GLASGOW MP Natalie McGarry has called for UK Government condemnation against ongoing atrocities committed by Turkey against the people of Kurdistan following her “terrifying” detention by special forces in the city of Diyarbakir. McGarry was part of a delegation with Unite and GMB trade unions seeking to show solidarity with the millions of Kurdish people denied autonomy within current Turkish state borders, who have also faced decades of warfare as a result.

 

 

  1. AKP working on a law draft to legalize the murder of Kurds

3 March 2016 / ANF News

It has emerged that the AKP government is currently working on a law draft to ensure a kind of impunity for Turkish security members mobilized against the civilian population in North Kurdistan under the name of “fight against terror”.

 

 

  1. Saudi Arabia Turkey ‘Alliance’: Cooperating or vying for supremacy

29 March 2016 / Middle East North Africa Financial Network

While Saudi Arabia and Turkey seek Assad’s exit from Syria Ankara wants him to be replaced by Muslim Brotherhood’s Syria branch which will be totally unacceptable to Riyadh. The two also differ on the question of Kurds. Turkey wants to ‘Ottomanize’ Kurds while Saudi Arabia looks for ‘Arabizing’ them to use them against Ankara when it comes to the question of ‘leadership’ after the war Turkish media reports say an independent ‘pro-Kurdish’ channel was taken off-air on Saturday by Ankara for allegedly broadcasting propaganda for ‘militants’ or the PKK.

 

  1. Irish poet writes ‘For The Kurdish People in Diyarbakır and Beyond’

3 March 2016 / ANF News

Irish poet Séamas Carraher has written a poem for the Kurdish people addressing to the extrajudicial killings of Kurdish citizens by the Turkish state under the name of curfews.

 

 

  1. Poetry and silence: Iran’s Kurds tread the line between art and activism

26 February 2016 / The Guardian

In a sleepy town in Iranian Kurdistan, people take off their winter coats. It is evening, and outside one can just about discern the silhouettes of the mountains that lead to the Turkish and Iraqi borders. Inside, some 60 people fill the small community centre with a clammy heat. But it is not just warmth they are after. They have come for poetry.

 

  1. New Ghobadi film on children of Shengal and Kobanê

29 February 2016 / ANF News

Ghobadi’s new film ‘Life on the Border,’ depicting the stories of 8 children from Kobanê and Shengal who escaped ISIS brutality and ended up in refugee camps, was shown in Berlinale. Produced by Bahman Ghobadi, ‘Life on the Border’ was shown in Berlin Film Festival and highlights the tragedy of Kurdish children. The film was shot by children, and focuses on the lives of children who escaped ISIS attacks in Rojava, Syria and South Kurdistan.

 

COMMENT, OPINION AND ANALYSIS

  1. After Syria intervention flop, what’s next for Erdogan?

27 February 2016 / Almonitor

In early February, the Russian-backed Syrian army cut the route from Aleppo to Turkey, a critical move that spurred President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s desire for a Turkish military incursion in Syria. Ever since 2011, Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu have unsuccessfully tried all means except a military intervention to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

 

 

  1. Turks kick around Erdogan conspiracy

1 March 2016 / Almonitor

On Feb. 22, international news reported an interesting piece of sports news from Turkey: A soccer player had shown a red card to a referee. It was a kind of man-bites-dog story. Normally, of course, referees show red cards to soccer players to throw them out of the game due to a serious breach of the rules.

 

  1. Saving Syria one city at a time: How to deal with the siege of Aleppo

25 February 2016 / European Council on Foreign Relations

Can the shaky cease-fire announced this week avert a fresh disaster about to happen in Syria? The siege of Aleppo, Syria’s largest city. That will be the key test for the pact, which is to go into effect on Feb. 27. For weeks now, Aleppans have felt a sense of impending doom. Recently, Syrian government forces with the support of Russian air power cut off the last remaining major supply route to rebels in Aleppo, setting the stage for a siege. Fearing the prospect of bombardment and starvation, tens of thousands of Syrians have already fled toward Turkey and the hope of safety. With Ankara refusing to let most of them into the country, a humanitarian crisis is already brewing on the border. Many thousands more are fleeing to other parts of Syria, including to regime-held areas. A not-small percentage of them will end up on the road to Europe this spring and summer.

 

  1. Turkey waging conventional war against Kurds: Analyst

29 February 2016 / Press TV

Press TV has interviewed Manuel Ochsenreiter, editor-in-chief of Zuerst in Berlin, to discuss the remarks made by Turkey’s Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu saying over 355,000 people have been displaced since the beginning of December 2015 due to the ongoing conflict in the southeastern region of the country.

 

 

  1. Interview with Prof Abbas Valli with Washington Kurdish Institute

10 February 2016 / Washington Kurdish Institute

On February 10, 2016, the Washington Kurdish Institute conducted a Skype interview with Professor Abbas Vali on the political situation in Rojhelat (Iranian Kurdistan) and Iran’s foreign policy towards Kurds. As a distinguished political and social scholar from Mehabad, Iranian Kurdistan, Vali obtained his BA in Political Science from the National University of Tehran in 1973. In 1976, he received an MA in Politics from the University of Keele. Then in 1983, he obtained his PhD in Sociology from University of London. Dr. Vali has authored numerous books and articles on the Kurdish nationalism and also Iran. He currently teaches Modern Social and Political Theory in the Department of Sociology at Bogazici University in Istanbul.

 

 

  1. Elif Shafak on Turkey’s turmoil: ‘Intimidation and paranoia dominates the land’

1 March 2016 / The Guardian

Ankara, the city where I spent most of my childhood and early youth, is not only the capital of modern Turkey, and the centre of Turkish politics and the military. It is also home to a vast population – students, white-collar professionals, human rights activists – with a secularist worldview and liberal lifestyle. It was here that a bomb detonated at rush hour on 17 February near the Turkish parliament, killing 28 and wounding more than 60 people. This latest tragedy is yet another in a series of terror attacks that rocked the country since last summer.

 

  1. Will Turkey and the EU See the Bigger Picture?

3 March 2016 / Carnegie Europe

As the March 7 summit between the EU and Turkey approaches, most analyses are focusing on the so-called refugee deal hammered out between the two sides on November 29, 2015. After countless meetings and some acrimonious exchanges, more bickering will be heard in Brussels at next week’s gathering. But, as important as implementing the refugee agreement is, the bigger picture is worth recalling.

 

  1. A Kurdish Girl’s Lonely Death

3 March 2016 / Counter Punch

Text remarks delivered on February 18, 2016 at the Woman’s Club of Roland Park, Baltimore, Maryland.

We are all gathered here today, in safety and comfort.

That is good, and we owe the privilege to a “government of the people, by the people, for the people,” as Abraham Lincoln once memorably put it.

 

  1. What sort of uprising do we need in Iraqi Kurdistan?

2 March 2016 / Ekurd Daily

Before the uprising of March 1991 in Kurdistan, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) armed forces (Peshmerga) virtually did not exist, except for the ones on the borders with Iran and in very remote areas. This new situation resulted from the Iran/Iraq war and the Anfal campaign run by the former Regime that cost the life of over 180 thousand villagers who were evacuated and disappeared with their villages completely destroyed by way of demolition.

 

 

REPORT

 

  1. PLAN C MCR – Rojava MRC Talk

29 February 2016 / Plan C

We formed our Rojava Solidarity Cluster at the end of October and our opening statement set out 4 main aims to achieve within the first 6 months of forming. We think it is useful to publicise how well we have achieved this goals as we enter a short period of reflection and planning. The cluster has grown in size and geographical scale (we are now also active in Brighton), including those already active in Kurdish solidarity work and those new to the topic.

Full audio of the event 

 

EVENTS

  1. The Iranian Revolution in the Mirror of Uneven and Combined Development

8 March 2016 / SOAS

Nearly forty years on Iran’s 1979 revolution remains a theoretical puzzle. Its hegemonic religious form and outcome defied the secularization assumption of classical social theory, and its urban character, occurrence at the zenith of the Pahlavi state, and refraction of the modernizing processes from which it had originated challenged theories of revolution…

 

 

 

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