KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 12 – 18 March 2016

KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 12 – 18 March 2016

 NEWS

  1. Vice News Interview with Salih Muslim
  2. Kurdish-controlled areas declare federation in Syria’s north – media reports
  3. What is the Kurdish Calculation in Rojava?
  4. Kurds declare federal region in Syria’s north
  5. British academic deported from Turkey after 25 years over ‘terror propaganda’ claim
  6. Convention for establishing ‘Democratic Federal Syria’ starts in Rimêlan
  7. British academic detained by Istanbul police over ‘PKK propaganda’
  8. Intensified attacks by state forces Şırnak under curfew
  9. Definition of ‘terrorists’ should be broadened to include ‘accomplices,’ says Erdoğan
  10. Turkey “Invades” Syria on the Eve of Geneva “Peace Talks”
  11. How Iran views the Russian withdrawal from Syria
  12. The world is ‘Turning a Blind Eye’ as Turkey Targets Kurdish Communities
  13. Kurds must be able to give views on Syria’s future: UN envoy
  14. Putin: Syrian truce is real chance to end bloodshed [FULL STATEMENT]
  15. How this Kurdish agency breaks news, taboos
  16. Rojava delegation speaks at conference in Luxemburg
  17. Peoples’ United Revolutionary Movement established for a joint struggle

 

COMMENT, OPINION, ANALYSIS

  1. Turkey’s Erdogan must reform or resign
  2. Silence on campus: How a Turkish historian got death threats for writing an exam question
  3. 5 Years After the Spark, Syria War at a Critical Juncture
  4. Jabhat al-Nusra Oversteps Mark with Idlib Crackdown
  5. Revisiting Western Strategies against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria
  6. Iranian Casualties in Syria and the Strategic Logic of Intervention
  7. The Dirty War on Syria: Professor Anderson Reveals the “Unspoken Truth”
  8. War Intensifies Between Turkey and the Kurds

 

STATEMENTS

  1. Solidarity from Portugal
  2. Academic Freedom Monitor
  3. KNK: The Turkish State is Continuing its Massacre of Kurds and destruction of Towns While the World Remains Silent. Read the statement.
  4. Statement issued by the Constituent Council for The Federal System in Rojava/Northern Syria

 

REPORTS

  1. Report from Social Ecology Seminar in Istanbul and International Peace Delegation

 

ACTION

  1. #JusticeForKurds – WE URGE UNHRC TO INVESTIGATE ALLEGED MASS KILLING OF KURDS IN TURKEY
  2. Petitioning Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg (Secretary General of NATO)

 


 

NEWS

  1. Vice News Interview with Salih Muslim

15 March 2016 / Peace in Kurdistan & Vice News

We spoke to Salih Muslim, the leader of the Syrian Kurds

Salih Muslim Muhammad (Kobani, Aleppo, 1951) is co-chairman of the Democratic Union Party-PYD, the political force that has led the uprising of the Kurds in Syria since the war began, in March 2011.

After spending 12 years as an oil industry engineer in Saudi Arabia, Muslim returned to Syria in the 90s to work clandestinely -Kurdish political parties were banned. By the time he became president of the Democratic Union Party, in 2010, he already paid for his political dissent with torture and imprisonment in Assad´s prisons.

https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/vice-news-interview-with-salih-muslim-2/

 

  1. Kurdish-controlled areas declare federation in Syria’s north – media reports

17 March 2016 / RT

Kurdish-controlled areas in Syria have declared a federal region in the north, according to officials cited by AFP and a Reuters witness.

Idris Nassan, an official in the foreign affairs directorate of Kobani, said on Wednesday that the Kurdish-controlled areas will reportedly be named the Federation of Northern Syria, and will represent all ethnic groups living there.

Speaking to RT Arabic, Nassan said that the proposal of federation has existed since the start of the Syrian conflict in 2011.

https://www.rt.com/news/335951-kurds-federal-system-syria/

 

  1. What Is The Kurdish Calculation In Rojava?

13 March 2016 / The Rojava Report

The following is a translation of an article written by Fehim Taştekin for Radikal. In the article Taştekin interviews Eldar Halill, a member of the executive committee of TEV-DEM, and Zuhat Kobani, a representative of the PYD in Europe, and reflects on the current calculations of the Kurds in Rojava in light of the complex geopolitics unfolding in the region.

https://rojavareport.wordpress.com/2016/03/13/what-is-the-kurdish-calculation-in-rojava/

 

  1. Kurds declare federal region in Syria’s north

17 March 2016 / France 24

Syria’s Kurds on Thursday declared a federal region in the country’s north, officials told AFP, but both the government and an opposition coalition swiftly rejected the announcement.

http://www.france24.com/en/20160317-kurds-declare-federal-region-northern-syria-pyd?ns_campaign=reseaux_sociaux&ns_source=FB&ns_mchannel=social&ns_linkname=editorial&aef_campaign_ref=partage_user&aef_campaign_date=2016-03-17

 

  1. British academic deported from Turkey after 25 years over ‘terror propaganda’ claim

16 March 2016 / Independent

A British academic has been deported from Turkey after being accused of “making terrorist propaganda” for allegedly handing out Kurdish leaflets.

Chris Stephenson, whose wife is a Turkish citizen, told the Associated Press before boarding a flight that there was “no offence, no trial, just an administrative decision to deport me after 25 years of residency in Turkey.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/british-academic-to-leave-turkey-after-25-years-over-terror-propaganda-claim-a6935121.html

 

 

 

  1. Convention for establishing ‘Democratic Federal Syria’ starts in Rimêlan

16 March 2016 / Hawar News Agency

GIRKÊ LEGÊ – Convention for Establishing the Political System in Rojava and North Syria launched in Rimêlan with attendance of 200 delegates from parties and organizations in Rojava and North Syria.

http://en.hawarnews.com/convention-for-establishing-democratic-federal-syria-starts-in-rimelan/

 

  1. British academic detained by Istanbul police over ‘PKK propaganda’

15 March 2016 / Hurriyet Daily News

A British academic has been taken into custody on suspicion of making propaganda for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), after distributing leaflets inviting people to Nevruz holiday celebrations on March 21.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/british-academic-detained-by-istanbul-police-over-pkk-propaganda-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=96492&NewsCatID=509

 

  1. Intensified attacks by state forces in Şırnak under curfew

16 March 2016 / Kurdish Info

Artillery shooting towards the city started following the declaration of a curfew in the Şırnak city center. With tanks stationed at Çakırsöğüt Gendarmerie Outpost to the north of the city and 23rd Gendarmerie Border Division to the east, the army has started its attacks on neighborhoods with the self-government resistance. The attacks concentrate mainly on Gazipaşa and Yeşilyurt neighborhoods.

http://www.kurdishinfo.com/intensified-attacks-state-forces-sirnak-curfew

 

  1. Definition of ‘terrorists’ should be broadened to include ‘accomplices,’ says Erdoğan

15 March 2016 / Hurriyet Daily News

The definition of “terrorists” needs to be broadened to include supporters of terrorism, who are equally guilty, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has argued in the aftermath of the third major suicide bomb attack to hit Ankara in the past five months.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/Default.aspx?pageID=238&nID=96461&NewsCatID=338

 

  1. Turkey “Invades” Syria on the Eve of Geneva “Peace Talks”

14 March 2016 / Global Research

Witnessing his Ottoman Empire remake dream crumbling on the ground in northern Syria, sultan Turkish President Recep Erdogan launched his highly touted (mini invasion) into Syria this weekend. After a near month and a half of constant daily artillery shelling into Syria from the Turkish side of the border, Ankara has just stepped up its desperate aggression in the five year war to rid Syrian president Assad. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov meeting in Geneva for peace talks resuming on Monday stated that Turkey is advancing its “creeping expansion” into Syrian territory which of course violates both the recent US-Russian ceasefire as well as all international law.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/turkey-invades-syria-on-the-eve-of-geneva-peace-talks/5514006

 

  1. How Iran views the Russian withdrawal from Syria

15 March 2016 / Almonitor

Iranian officials and analysts are speculating about why Russian President Vladimir Putin suddenly decided to begin withdrawing troops from Syria. Some wonder whether Russia won concessions from the United States and the Syrian opposition, but most seem to think that Russia’s action is a positive sign, or at the least nothing to worry about.

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/03/iran-reaction-russia-withdrawal-syria.html?utm_source=Al-Monitor+Newsletter+%5bEnglish%5d&utm_campaign=6de1926750-March_16_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_28264b27a0-6de1926750-102482749

 

  1. The world is ‘Turning a Blind Eye’ as Turkey Targets Kurdish Communities

14 March 2016 / Sputnik News

Despite Ankara’s ongoing crackdown on Kurds, the international community has preferred to ignore the problem, according to Kani Xulam, a Kurdish activist and director of the American Kurdish Information Network.

http://sputniknews.com/world/20160314/1036232745/turkey-kurds-curfew.html

 

  1. Kurds must be able to give views on Syria’s future: UN envoy

14 March 2016 / Your Middle East

UN envoy Staffan de Mistura said Saturday that Syria’s Kurds have a right to express their views on the country’s political future, even if they are not invited to next week’s peace talks in Geneva. “The Syrian Kurds are an important component of the country, so we need to find a formula in which they are able to express an opinion on the constitution and governance of the country,” the UN’s Syria envoy told Swiss newspaper Le Temps.

http://www.yourmiddleeast.com/news/kurds-must-be-able-to-give-views-on-syrias-future-un-envoy_39573

 

  1. Putin: Syrian truce is real chance to end bloodshed [FULL STATEMENT]

22 February 2016 / RT

A ceasefire in Syria will come into effect on February 27, Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, said in a special address, in which he also expressed hope that all of the warring parties will support the action plan agreed upon by Moscow and Washington.

https://www.rt.com/politics/official-word/333294-putin-syria-ceasefire-us/

 

  1. How this Kurdish agency breaks news, taboos

15 March 2016 / Almonitor

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey — In Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, the working day starts early for journalists. The agenda is hectic with urban clashes between the security forces and Kurdish militants, military operations and round-the-clock curfews resulting in dire humanitarian fallout.

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/03/turkey-all-female-media-outlet-breaks-news-taboos.html?utm_source=Al-Monitor+Newsletter+%5bEnglish%5d&utm_campaign=74b2f6fb25-March_15_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_28264b27a0-74b2f6fb25-102482749

 

  1. Rojava delegation speaks at conference in Luxemburg

12 March 2016 / Hawar News Agency

NEWS DESK – The Rojava delegation holding official talks in Luxembourg attended a conference titled ‘Life for Kobanî’ at the well-known theater hall ‘Theatre de Casemates’ yesterday. The conference was attended by 100 politicians, journalists, writers and artists from France and Luxembourg.

http://en.hawarnews.com/rojava-delegation-speaks-at-conference-in-luxemburg/

 

  1. Peoples’ United Revolutionary Movement established for a joint struggle

12 March 2016 / Kurdish Info

10 revolutionary organisations from Kurdistan and Turkey have announced the establishment of Peoples’ United Revolutionary Movement as a unity of force and action formed in the wake of discussions ongoing since December.

Representatives of 10 revolutionary organisations attended a joint press meeting in guerrilla zones to announce their alliance with the purpose of stepping up the revolution in all areas including armed struggle against the “collaborative fascist AKP and TC (Turkish Republic) system of sovereignty”.

http://www.kurdishinfo.com/peoples-united-revolutionary-movement-established-joint-struggle

 

COMMENT, OPINION, ANALYSIS

  1. Turkey’s Erdogan must reform or resign

10 March 2016 / The Washington Post

Under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey has steadily descended into authoritarianism and instability. The recent government seizure of one of the main opposition media groups, including Turkey’s highest-circulation newspaper, is only the latest demonstration of how Erdogan has betrayed his county’s potential.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/turkeys-erdogan-must-reform-or-resign/2016/03/10/80cc9be2-dffe-11e5-9c36-e1902f6b6571_story.html?postshare=7121457783941863&tid=ss_tw

 

  1. Silence on campus: How a Turkish historian got death threats for writing an exam question

June 2015 / Index on Censorship

Earlier this year, an academic at Ankara University’s political sciences department spent an evening writing questions for an exam. He never for one minute suspected that one of those questions might lead to death threats. Kaya Genç reports on the struggle for academic freedom in Turkey’s election year

http://ioc.sagepub.com/content/44/2/10.full

 

  1. 5 Years After the Spark, Syria War at a Critical Juncture

12 March 2016 / ABC News

After five years of bloodshed — after a quarter of a million deaths, and the flight of millions of refugees — Syria has arrived at a critical juncture: A diplomatic framework is in place to end the carnage, a two-week-old partial cease-fire is holding, and peace talks are set to resume in coming days.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/years-spark-syria-war-critical-juncture-37596328

 

  1. Jabhat al-Nusra Oversteps Mark with Idlib Crackdown

14 March 2016 / Middle East Institute

Ten days ago, under the relative calm of Syria’s cessation of hostilities, hundreds of civilians gathered in the Idlib town of Maarat al-Numan to celebrate the continuation of their populist revolution. For the first time in many months, the world heard Syrian people peacefully protesting in favor of change: “the people are one, and united, the revolution continues!” they chanted, while waving the three star revolutionary flag made popular by the moderate Free Syrian Army (FSA). Similar demonstrations took place in over 100 other towns across the country that day, in a stark reminder to the world that five years of being brutally suppressed by their own government had not defeated their zeal for a just and socially representative future for Syria.

http://www.mei.edu/content/article/jabhat-al-nusra-oversteps-mark-idlib-crackdown

 

  1. Revisiting Western Strategies against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria

Winter 2016 / The Middle East Journal

This article suggests a combination of military, political, and diplomatic approaches for Western states to combat the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). In Syria, support should be strengthened for the only effective moderate force fighting against ISIS: the Kurdish militias. In Iraq, where ISIS relies on local partners from Sunni Arab tribes to help govern, it is incumbent on the West to break this coalition in order to hamper ISIS’s military operations and weaken its governing capacity.

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/mei/mei/2016/00000070/00000001/art00002?token=005c1f09033994c6dd06a7c6e58654624312542386b79217e3f2a44505e4e2663433b393f6a333f256648a96d4e1

 

  1. Iranian Casualties in Syria and the Strategic Logic of Intervention

11 March 2016 / The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Tehran’s military intervention in Syria is a unique event in the history of the Islamic Republic. Reviewing the scope and nature of this intervention and analyzing death notices for Iran’s military personnel and members of its “foreign legion” — Shiite militias from Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Syria — provide revealing insights into the strategic logic guiding its decision making.

http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/iranian-casualties-in-syria-and-the-strategic-logic-of-intervention

 

  1. The Dirty War on Syria: Professor Anderson Reveals the “Unspoken Truth”

14 March 2016 / Global Research

Although every war makes ample use of lies and deception, the dirty war on Syria has relied on a level of mass disinformation not seen in living memory. The British-Australian journalist Philip Knightley pointed out that war propaganda typically involves ‘a depressingly predictable pattern’ of demonising the enemy leader, then demonising the enemy people through atrocity stories, real or imagined (Knightley 2001). Accordingly, a mild-mannered eye doctor called Bashar al Assad became the new evil in the world and, according to consistent western media reports, the Syrian Army did nothing but kill civilians for more than four years. To this day, many imagine the Syrian conflict is a ‘civil war’, a ‘popular revolt’ or some sort of internal sectarian conflict. These myths are, in many respects, a substantial achievement for the big powers which have driven a series of ‘regime change’ operations in the Middle East region, all on false pretexts, over the past 15 years.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-dirty-war-on-syria/5491859

 

  1. War Intensifies Between Turkey and the Kurds

15 March 2016 / LobeLog

The leadership of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) promised that its response to the devastating war waged since July against it—and its political arm, the Union of Kurdistan Communities (KCK)—would be attacks in western Turkey, including Ankara and Istanbul. The latest such attack occurred in the middle of Ankara on March 13, killing an estimated 37 people and injured 125. It took place right in the middle of Ankara in the city’s most popular entertainment and tourist center, close to a large bus station servicing all of Turkey. It seemed to be intended to kill as many civilians as possible.

http://lobelog.com/war-intensifies-between-turkey-and-the-kurds/#

 

STATEMENTS

  1. Solidarity from Portugal

Please join us in solidarity with the mesopotamian people kurds, yazidis, arabs, turkish, muslims, christians….

http://www.peaceformesopotamia.org/

Petition: http://www.peaceformesopotamia.org/solidariedade.html

 

  1. ACADEMIC FREEDOM MONITOR

14 March 2016 / Academic Freedom Monitor

On March 14, 2016, Turkish authorities reportedly arrested three scholars for whom arrest warrants were issued in connection with their participation in a March 10 press conference. At the conference, the scholars reportedly discussed and expressed their support for fellow scholars who are under investigation for having signed a petition calling on the Turkish government to end its crackdowns targeting Kurdish rebels in the southeastern part of the country. After attempts by the police were made to arrest the scholars at their homes, the scholars reportedly presented themselves to the İstanbul Security Directorate, where they were put into custody and, on March 15, formally charged of “making terrorist propaganda.” As of this report, the scholars are said to remain in custody pending the outcome of their trial.

http://monitoring.academicfreedom.info/reports/2016-03-14-bo%C4%9Fazi%C3%A7i-university-mimar-sinan-university-fine-arts-ni%C5%9Fanta%C5%9F%C4%B1-university

 

  1. The Turkish State is Continuing its Massacre of Kurds and destruction of Towns While the World Remains Silent.

17th March 2016/ KNK

The destruction of Kurdish towns by the Turkish state’s armed forces has been ongoing since August, 2015. To date, Cizre, Diyarbakır’s SurSilopi, İdil (Hezex), Dargeçit (Kerboran), Derik andSilvan have been largely destroyed and a total of 715 civilians, of whom 97 are children and 94 are women, have been massacred. In Cizre alone 105 civilians were burnt alive.Now similar attacks are happening in SIRNAK, NUSAYBIN, Yuksekova (GEVER) and in Diyarbakir’s BAGLAR district. According to reports, 20,000 soldiers are going to take part in the operations in GEVERr and will saturate the region up to the borders of Iran and Iraq

https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/the-turkish-state-is-continuing-its-massacre-of-kurds-and-destruction-of-towns-while-the-world-remains-silent/

 

  1. Statement issued by the Constituent Council for The Federal System in Rojava/Northern Syria

17th March 2016/ CCFSR

In response to the appeal made by the General Coordination of Democratic Self-Administration Areas (Al Jazira, Kobane and Afrin), all components of political forces, parties, and social actors in the cantons of Rojava and the areas liberated from terrorist forces held a meeting resulting in a comprehensive political vision for a Syrian resolution and an agreement on the management system for Rojava/Northern Syria. This can serve as a model for the rest of Syria, providing a solution for the whole Syrian crisis. We, the representatives of these areas, met during 16th and 17th March 2016. Remembering with appreciation and respect the martyrs of our people, who wrote with their blood the greatest historical heroic resistance, and made courageous sacrifices. Our martyrs have brought our people to the milestone that they are at today. This aforementioned meeting resulted in the following decisions.

https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/federal-democratic-union-of-rojavanorthern-syria/

 

 

REPORTS

  1. Report from Social Ecology Seminar in Istanbul and International Peace Delegation

4 March 2016 / Transnational Institute of Social Ecology

TRISE Members Hold Social Ecology Seminar in Istanbul and Participate in International Peace Delegation

On February 15-16, four TRISE members traveled to Istanbul to participate in a ten-member peace delegation. Our purpose was to attempt to restart the peace talks concerning the Turkish-Kurdish conflict, which had been suspended since the spring of 2015, by meeting with members of the Turkish state and with Abdullah Öcalan, imprisoned on Imrali Island since 1999.

http://trise.org/node/172

 

ACTION

  1. #JusticeForKurds – WE URGE UNHRC TO INVESTIGATE ALLEGED MASS KILLING OF KURDS IN TURKEY

Change.org / RT

In February 2016, Kurdish activists accused Turkish troops of slaughtering hundreds of civilians trapped in basements in Cizre. Reports stated that some 150 people were burned to death.

Petition and more information: https://www.change.org/p/un-human-rights-council-justiceforkurds-we-urge-unhrc-to-investigate-alleged-mass-killing-of-kurds-in-turkey

 

  1. Petitioning Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg (Secretary General of NATO)

Suspend Turkey’s membership of NATO

Change.org

The preamble to the NATO treaty states that their member states are “determined to safeguard the freedom, common heritage and civilisation of their peoples, founded on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law”

Petition and more information: https://www.change.org/p/jens-stoltenberg-suspend-turkey-s-membership-of-nato

 

 

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 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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