KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 5 – 11 March 2016

KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 5 – 11 March 2016

NEWS

  1. 1. Rojava delegation in Luxembourg for official talks
  2. Thousands of women march in Amed to mark March 8
  3. Syrian Kurds accuse insurgents of shelling district with chemical agents
  4. Four groups in the EP call for action against AKP’s massacre of Kurds
  5. Press conference in the European Parliament on AKP’s massacres
  6. Turkey’s Kurdish leader: We will struggle on in parliament ‘till the end’
  7. Moslem: We have evidences of Turkey’s involvement in Girê Spî attack – PART I
  8. For Turkey which is the Lesser Evil: ISIS or the Kurds? 
  9. Time for a new Sykes-Picot Agreement to fix the Middle East
  10. After Cease-fire, ISIS Suddenly Transforming Into ‘Moderate Rebels’
  11. Turkey Seizes Opposition News Agency, Days After It Takes Over Newspaper
  12. UN ‘deeply concerned’ by EU-Turkey plan
  13. Kurdish Reporter Faces Jail Time in Turkey for Twitter and Facebook Posts

COMMENT, OPINION, ANALYSIS

  1. This Turkish deal is illegal and betrays Europe’s values
  2. The March Madness of Turkish Politics
  3. Does Erdogan believe he’s on a mission from God?
  4. Do not allow a new Rwanda, Vukovar and Srebrenica in Kurdistan
  5. Can a Turkey sliding into despotism and censorship still join the EU? The answer must be no
  6. This is the end of journalism in Turkey
  7. EU leaders should react to the political seizure of Zaman media group
  8. Turkish democracy is dead, but we won’t kneel to repressive govt – Zaman journalist to RT
  9. Turkey and the Kurds: A Perfect Storm?
  10. Selahattin Demirtas: It Is The Kurds’, And Turkey’s, Democracy At Stake
  11. “The People of Rojava are Staging a Social Revolution”

STATEMENTS

  1. Standing alongside all Kurdish women on International Women’s Day
  2. Mark Thomas: ‘Proud to Stand in Solidarity With the Brave Men and Women Who Organise Together and Fight as Equals’

REPORTS

  1. Mass pro-Kurdish demo hit London
  2. Plan C – Kurdish demonstration brings thousands to the streets
  3. RCG report: Stop Turkey’s war on the Kurds demo – 6 March
  4. 30. Kurds demonstrate in Brussels against E.U. concessions to Turkey, as Davutoglu arrives at summit
  5. Human rights violations in East Kurdistan by Iran in February 2016
  6. EU Turkey Summit: EU and Turkish leaders deal death blow to the right to seek asylum.
  7. FILMS AND POETRY
  1. ARTE documentary on Kurdish woman fighters on Women’s Day
  2. Shut Down – Security And Policing

EVENTS

  1. Newroz reception 2016 – Most Successful Kurds In Britain Awards

NEWS

 

  1. Rojava delegation in Luxembourg for official talks 10 March 2016 / ANF News

A delegation from Rojava, West Kurdistan has arrived in Luxembourg for official talks.

Cezire Canton Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Abdulkerim Ömer, YPJ Spokeswoman Nesrin Abdullah and YPJ Committee of Foreign Affairs Member El Derwis were received by Nicolas Schmit, Luxembourg’s Minister of Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy.

http://anfenglish.com/news/rojava-delegation-in-luxembourg-for-official-talks

 2. Thousands of women march in Amed to mark March 8

8 March 2016 / ANF News

Thousands of women staged a march in the main Kurdish city Amed to mark the finale of March 8 International Women’s Day rallies in North Kurdistan. Women expressed their determination to continue resisting until freedom for women and Kurdistan were won.

http://anfenglish.com/women/thousands-of-women-march-in-amed-to-mark-march-8

3.Syrian Kurds accuse insurgents of shelling district with chemical agents

8 March 2016 / Reuters

The Syrian Kurdish militia YPG on Tuesday accused Islamist and other rebel groups fighting President Bashar al-Assad’s forces of shelling a mainly Kurdish residential district in the northern city of Aleppo with chemical agents.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-kurds-idUSKCN0WA29B

 

  1. Four groups in the EP call for action against AKP’s massacre of Kurds

9 March 2016 / ANF News

Four political groups within the European Parliament have called for a visit to Turkey and its Kurdish region, as well as efforts in order for the re-initiation of negotiations between two sides.

http://anfenglish.com/news/four-groups-in-the-ep-call-for-action-against-akp-s-massacre-of-kurds

 

  1. Press conference in the European Parliament on AKP’s massacres

9 March 2016 / ANF News

HDP Urfa deputy Osman Baydemir, Batman deputy Ali Atalan and HDP European Parliament Representative Faik Yağızay held a press conference in the EP together with the Left Group. Marie-Christine Vergiat from the Kurdish Friendship Group in the European Parliament, Takis Hadjigeorgiou, co-chair of the Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, and Spanish MP Miguel Urban Crespo also attended the press conference which called upon the European Union and other European institutions to take action against the Turkish state massacres in North Kurdistan.

http://anfenglish.com/news/press-conference-in-the-european-parliament-on-akp-s-massacres

 

  1. Turkey’s Kurdish leader: We will struggle on in parliament ‘till the end’

8 March 2016 / Almonitor

After two decades, parliament members from Turkey’s Kurdish movement are again under the threat of losing their judicial immunities, and then probably their seats. In 1994, parliament voted to lift the immunities of six Kurdish lawmakers, among them the iconic Leyla Zana, after which they were rudely put into police cars waiting at parliament’s gate and whisked away. The deputies stood trial for collaborating with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which Ankara considers a terrorist group, and some ended up with lengthy jail terms. The image of the unprecedented arrests outside parliament has haunted Turkey ever since. The Justice and Development Party (AKP) used to be a vocal critic of this episode, but today the ruling party has launched its own drive to strip at least five deputies of the Kurdish-dominated Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) from their judicial immunities, among them party co-chairs Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag, on similar charges of supporting terrorism.

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/03/turkey-hdp-leader-demirtas-vows-to-struggle-in-parliament.html?utm_source=Al-Monitor+Newsletter+%5bEnglish%5d&utm_campaign=2394a751b0-March_08_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_28264b27a0-2394a751b0-102482749#

 

  1. Moslem: We have evidences of Turkey’s involvement in Girê Spî attack – PART I

5 March 2016 / ANF News

PYD (Democratic Union Party) co-chair Saleh Moslem spoke to ANF about the ceasefire in Syria, Turkey’s ongoing attacks on Rojava, discussions of federalism and their relations with Russia and the U.S.

Moslem said they had documents proving Turkey’s involvement in ISIS’ attack on Girê Spî, and stressed that Turkey is making a mistake that it must correct in the face of its repeated failure.

We hereby publish the first part of the interview with PYD co-chair.

http://anfenglish.com/features/moslem-we-have-evidences-of-turkey-s-involvement-in-gire-spi-attack-part-I

 

  1. For Turkey which is the Lesser Evil: ISIS or the Kurds? 

4 March 2016 / Wilson Center

In October 2014 Islamic State (ISIS) militants encircled the now iconic Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani. Turkish troops across the border passively looked on. As the noose tightened, Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, declared, “Kobani is about to fall.” U.S. airstrikes changed the course of the battle, the Kurds fought valiantly, and Kobani was saved.

https://www.wilsoncenter.org/publication/for-turkey-which-the-lesser-evil-isis-or-the-kurds?mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRons6rIde/hmjTEU5z16O4qWqWzgIkz2EFye%2BLIHETpodcMTctlNLvYDBceEJhqyQJxPr3HLdkN18NoRhfmCw%3D%3D

 

  1. Time for a new Sykes-Picot Agreement to fix the Middle East

6 March 2016 / Reuters

It’s time to renegotiate the contract that put the Middle East together.

The “contract” is the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement, which divided up most of the Arab lands that had been under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. The world that document created exists now only on yellowed maps, and the issues left unsettled — primarily the need for separate Sunni, Shi’ite and Kurdish territories — have come home begging. War is not fixing this; diplomacy might.

http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2016/03/06/redividing-the-middle-east-offers-the-best-chance-for-peace/

 

  1. After Cease-fire, ISIS Suddenly Transforming Into ‘Moderate Rebels’

7 March 2016

The French colonial green, white, and black banner of Syria adapted by the West’s proxy “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) had long been forgotten in the sea of black banners held aloft by Washington and Riyadh’s more extreme ploy to gain leverage upon and more direct access to the battlefield.

http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/after-cease-fire-isis-suddenly-transforming-moderate-rebels/ri13222

 

  1. Turkey Seizes Opposition News Agency, Days After It Takes Over Newspaper

8 March 2016 / Vice News

Turkish authorities have seized control of the Cihan news agency, according to a statement from Cihan, less than a week after they took over the country’s main opposition newspaper.

Cihan said on its website late on Monday an Istanbul court would appoint an administrator to run the agency at the request of a state prosecutor — a move being seen as the latest attempt to crack down on supporters of US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, an influential foe of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

https://news.vice.com/article/turkey-seizes-opposition-news-agency-days-after-it-takes-over-newspaper-1

 

  1. UN ‘deeply concerned’ by EU-Turkey plan

8 March 2016 / EU Observer

Plans by the EU and Turkey to expel anyone, including Syrians, who used smugglers to reach Greece is stoking widespread criticism. “I am deeply concerned about any arrangement that would involve the blanket return of anyone,” the UN High commissioner for refugees Filippo Grandi told MEPs in Strasbourg on Tuesday.

https://euobserver.com/migration/132602

 

  1. Kurdish Reporter Faces Jail Time in Turkey for Twitter and Facebook Posts 

9 March 2016 / Global Voices

Rights groups have long been reporting Turkey’s ‘trajectory towards authoritarianism’. The story of a jailed Kurdish journalist highlights the plight of the two groups — minority ethnic Kurds and media workers — that have been hit hardest by this tendency.

https://globalvoices.org/2016/03/09/kurdish-reporter-faces-jail-time-in-turkey-for-twitter-and-facebook-posts/

 

COMMENT, OPINION, ANALYSIS

 

  1. This Turkish deal is illegal and betrays Europe’s values

10 March 2016 / The Guardian

Our increasingly divided and desperate European leaders are failing to deliver an effective collective response to the escalating refugee crisis. Instead of devising a strategy to protect those fleeing the barbarity of Assad, Islamic State (Isis) and the Russian air force, EU leaders are obsessed with devising a system to “stem the flow” – in other words to push desperate refugees back into the Aegean sea.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/10/refugee-crisis-turkey-deal-europe-values

 

  1. The March Madness of Turkish Politics

10 March 2016 / Lobe Log

Turkey’s politics in March 2016 continues to be tumultuous. The most important developments center on three pivotal issues.

The first is relations between the government led by the Justice and Development party (AKP) and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its political and societal affiliate, the Union of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK).

https://lobelog.com/the-march-madness-of-turkish-politics/

 

  1. Does Erdogan believe he’s on a mission from God?

10 March 2016 / Almonitor

During his term as prime minister, Erdogan used to make long speeches at weekly AKP parliamentary meetings, which most television channels broadcast live. After he ascended to the presidency, his audience of AKP lawmakers was replaced by mukhtars, elected leaders of villages and neighborhoods, of which there are 53,000 in Turkey. At certain intervals now, he invites several hundred selected mukhtars to the presidential palace for his speeches, again, broadcast live by almost all television channels.

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/03/turkey-erdogan-steps-up-politics-in-holy-realm.html?utm_source=Al-Monitor+Newsletter+%5bEnglish%5d&utm_campaign=25d0e3ddc2-March_10_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_28264b27a0-25d0e3ddc2-102482749

 

  1. Do not allow a new Rwanda, Vukovar and Srebrenica in Kurdistan

6 March 2016 / Kurdistan National Congress

“You remember Srebrenica? Vukovar? and Rwanda?”

Twenty years ago when Ratko Mladic’s army of murderers rounded up the men and boys in Srebrenica and systematically slaughtered them, the world did nothing. Nobody did anything about the thugs on the hills overlooking Sarajevo bombarding the city and firing sniper rifles at innocent civilians. Today Turkish President Erdogan and Prime Minister Davutoglu are doing the same in the Kurdistan districts SUR, IDIL, SILOPI and CIZRE.

http://www.kongrakurdistan.net/en/do-not-allow-a-new-rwanda-vukovar-and-srebrenica-in-kurdistan/

 

  1. Can a Turkey sliding into despotism and censorship still join the EU? The answer must be no

7 March 2016 / The Guardian

It is waging war on an ethnic minority, its riot police just stormed the offices of a major newspaper, its secret service faces allegations of arming Isis, its military shot down a Russian bomber – and yet Turkey wants to join the European Union. The country’s swift descent into despotism poses yet another existential problem for the west.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/07/turkey-despotism-censorship-join-eu-answer-no

 

  1. This is the end of journalism in Turkey

8 March 2016 / Guardian

The time has come, so it seems, for the world to brace itself for the funeral of journalism in Turkey. Receiving blow after blow and left severely bruised by authoritarianism under the ruling AKP and its undisputed leader, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a key profession is now on its deathbed.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/08/journalism-turkey-zaman-media-eu

 

  1. EU leaders should react to the political seizure of Zaman media group 

5 March 2016 / European Federation of Journalists

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) are closely following and with great concerns the ongoing media crackdown against Zaman media group in Turkey. On March 4, according to local media reports, an İstanbul court has appointed trustees to take over management of Zaman-Today’s Zaman newspapers and Cihan news agency, putting at risk press freedom, media pluralism in the country and job security for over 1.000 journalists and media workers employed by the media group.

http://europeanjournalists.org/blog/2016/03/04/eu-leaders-should-react-to-the-political-seizure-of-zaman-media-group/

 

  1. Turkish democracy is dead, but we won’t kneel to repressive govt – Zaman journalist to RT

5 March 2016 / RT

Ankara’s media crackdown marked the end of democracy in Turkey, a journalist from Today’s Zaman newspaper told RT, promising that the media staff would not betray the freedom of expression and cooperate with government-imposed management.

https://www.rt.com/news/334677-turkey-repressive-zaman-journalist/

 

  1. Turkey and the Kurds: A Perfect Storm?

7 March 2016 / Atlantic Council

A perfect storm appears to be brewing as tensions rise between Turkey and the main Kurdish groups in Iraq, Syria, and Turkey itself. And this at a time when there are fears in Ankara that Russian support for Kurdish fighters in Syria might be accompanied by covert assistance for Kurdish groups at war with the Turkish state.

http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/turkey-and-the-kurds-a-perfect-storm

 

  1. Selahattin Demirtas: It Is The Kurds’, And Turkey’s, Democracy At Stake

3 March 2016 / Newsweek Europe

In Diyarbakir, where I am on this mild February winter day, I have been hearing the sounds of gunfire and artillery for hours. I wonder how many people could have died today. We are supposedly a candidate country for the European Union but it is impossible to tell that from the tanks that are firing inside our cities and round-the-clock curfews lasting weeks at a time.

http://europe.newsweek.com/selahattin-demirtas-it-kurds-and-turkeys-democracy-stake-434024?rm=eu

 

  1. “The People of Rojava are Staging a Social Revolution”

2 March 2016 / Alternatives International Journal

Dimitri Roussopoulos, a Montreal-based political activist, writer, editor, publisher, and community organizer, was a member of an International Peace Delegation that visited Istanbul, Turkey from 14 – 17 February, 2016. The delegation, which was organized by the European Union’s Turkey Civic Commission with local Kurdish lawyers and consisted of ten influential figures in politics, public life and culture, aimed to meet with Abdullah Öcalan, the Kurdish leader and President of the PKK, who is currently detained at Imrali Prison in Turkey. The Peace Delegation’s ultimate objective was to seek to facilitate the restarting of dialogue between the Turkish Government and Öcalan in order to bring about a peace process. I interviewed Mr. Roussopoulous and learned about his involvement with the Delegation, the Kurdish freedom movement and the Rojava Revolution. The interview follows.

http://www.alterinter.org/spip.php?article4448

 

 

STATEMENTS

 

  1. Standing alongside all Kurdish women on International Women’s Day

8 March 2016 / Peace in Kurdistan

On International Women’s Day, 8 March 2016, Peace in Kurdistan campaign stands alongside all Kurdish women, across Kurdistan and in the diaspora, who are engaged in the struggle for Kurdish liberation and their just democratic rights. Peace in Kurdistan campaign also expresses its solidarity with the millions of women fighting for social justice, women’s rights and freedom from state violence who are so often at the forefront of global liberation movements.

https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/resources/pik-campaign-statements/standing-alongside-all-kurdish-women-on-international-womens-day/

 

  1. Mark Thomas: ‘Proud to Stand in Solidarity With the Brave Men and Women Who Organise Together and Fight as Equals’

8 March 2016 / The Kurdistan Tribune

Comrades and friends, I am sorry not to join you today but despite my best efforts the vagaries of privatised public transport have prevented me joining you.

I am massively disappointed not to be with you as I consider it an honour to be asked to speak and stand in solidarity with the Kurdish people and their struggle for freedom.

http://kurdistantribune.com/2016/mark-thomas-proud-to-stand-in-solidarity-with-the-brave-men-and-women-who-organise-together-and-fight-as-equals/

 

 

REPORTS

 

  1. Mass pro-Kurdish demo hit London

6 March 2016

http://www.stopwaronkurds.org/over-10000-people-came-to-show-solidarity-for-the-kurds/

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=v9YrhnRjGLA

http://www.stopwaronkurds.org

https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/stopwaronkurds?source=feed_text&story_id=822536364556470

 

  1. Kurdish demonstration brings thousands to the streets

8 March 2016 / Plan C

Sunday 6th of March saw the first national demonstration in solidarity with the Kurdish struggle in the Middle East. The demo called for the Turkish state to stop its war on the Kurds in both Bakur (South-East Turkey) and over the border in Rojava (the autonomous northern region of Syria which has seen a Kurdish led social revolution). Between eight and ten thousand people gathered in London to support this demand, marching from BBC Broadcasting House to Trafalgar square. It was loud, vibrant, colourful and angry.

http://www.weareplanc.org/blog/kurdish-demonstration-brings-thousands-to-the-streets/

 

  1. RCG report Stop Turkey’s war on the Kurds demo – 6 March

8 March 2016 / Revolutionary Communist Group

On Sunday 6 March branches of the Revolutionary Communist Group supported the ‘Stop Turkey’s War on the Kurds’ national demo, a march from the BBC headquarters to Trafalgar Square that aimed to ‘break the silence’ of the British state and media with regards to recent Turkish state atrocities committed against the Kurdish people.

http://www.revolutionarycommunist.org/branches/london/4282-stw-080316

 

  1. Kurds demonstrate in Brussels against E.U. concessions to Turkey, as Davutoglu arrives at summit

7 March 2016 / Ukraine Today

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Dutch PM Mark Rutte spend five hours talking with Davutoglu

http://uatoday.tv/politics/kurds-demonstrate-in-brussels-against-eu-concessions-to-turkey-as-davutoglu-arrives-at-summit-605790.html

 

  1. Human rights violations in East Kurdistan by Iran in February 2016

1 March 2016 / Washington Kurdish Institute

Based on a detailed, statistical report on human rights violations in East Kurdistan in February 2016 prepared by Kurdistan Human Rights Association (KHRA), the Iranian regime unabatedly continued to arrest, torture, imprison, and execute Kurdish activists in Eastern Kurdistan. Due to the Iranian regime’s avoidance to let various human rights organizations have access to the victims, the KHRA claims the report is just a part of the Iranian regime’s systematic violation of human rights in East Kurdistan.

http://dckurd.org/2016/03/02/human-rights-violations-in-east-kurdistan-by-iran-in-february-2016/

 

  1. EU Turkey Summit: EU and Turkish leaders deal death blow to the right to seek asylum

8th March 2016/Amnesty International

The persistent preoccupation with shipping people back to Turkey instead of making unconditional efforts on resettlement and offering other safe and legal ways to Europe shows an alarmingly short-sighted and inhumane attitude to handling this crisis, said Amnesty International after European Council talks with Turkey today.

http://www.amnesty.ca/news/eu-turkey-summit-eu-and-turkish-leaders-deal-death-blow-right-seek-asylum

 

FILMS AND POETRY

 

  1. ARTE documentary on Kurdish woman fighters on Women’s Day

10 March 2016 / ANF News

German-French TV channel ARTE is broadcasting a new documentary on the struggle of woman fighters in Kurdistan. The documentary entitled ‘Kurdistan, Girls at War (Der Freiheitskampf der Kurdinnen/Kurdistan, La Guerre des Filles) was prepared by Mylene Sauloy, documents Sauloy’s visits to Rojava and Shengal in 2015, and will be broadcast this evening.

http://anfenglish.com/women/arte-documentary-on-kurdish-woman-fighters-on-women-s-day

Watch in French: http://www.arte.tv/guide/fr/063685-000-A/kurdistan-la-guerre-des-filles

Watch in German: http://www.arte.tv/guide/de/063685-000-A/der-freiheitskampf-der-kurdinnen

 

  1. SHUT DOWN – SECURITY AND POLICING

Poem by Sam Berkson

Poem written in response to ‘Security and Policing 2016’ arms fair.

https://vimeo.com/157826192

EVENTS

 

  1. NEWROZ RECEPTION 2016 – MOST SUCCESSFUL KURDS IN BRITAIN AWARDS

March 15, 2016 at 7pm – 9pm

We are delighted to announce that we will host our second Newroz Reception on 15 March 2016 between 7pm and 9pm. The reception will take place in Attlee Suite of the Houses of Parliament. This event is kindly co-hosted by Nadhim Zahawi Conservative MP for Stratford-on-Avon and Kate Osamor Labour MP for Edmonton.

http://www.kurdishprogress.org/newroz_reception_2016_most_successful_kurds_in_britain_awards?utm_campaign=newroz_4&utm_medium=email&utm_source=kurdishprogress

 

 

 

 

Peace in Kurdistan

Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question

Email: estella24@tiscali.co.uk

http://www.peaceinkurdistancampaign.com

Contacts Estella Schmid 020 7586 5892 & Melanie  Sirinathsingh – Tel: 020 7272 7890

Fax: 020 7263 0596

Patrons: Lord Avebury, Lord Rea, Lord Dholakia, Baroness Sarah Ludford, Jill Evans MEP, Jean Lambert MEP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Hywel Williams MP, Kate Osamor MP, Elfyn Llwyd, Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy, John Austin, Bruce Kent, Gareth Peirce, Julie Christie, Noam Chomsky, John Berger, Edward Albee, Margaret Owen OBE, Prof Mary Davis, Mark Thomas, Nick Hildyard, Stephen Smellie, Derek Wall, Melanie Gingell

 

 

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