KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 26 March – 1 April 2016

KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 26 March – 1 April 2016

NEWS
1) Turkey: An Uncertain Ally
2) ‘Erdogan bombing Kurds like crazy, US less than happy with that’
3) Obama Must Urge an End to the Onslaught on Kurds During Turkish President’s Visit, Says Amnesty International USA
4) Turkey’s Links With Islamic State: New Evidence Provided by Russia
5) A Federal Syria: Kurdish Initiatives
6) Turkey ‘demands deletion’ of German video mocking Erdoğan
7) Watch Song: Erdowie, Erdowo, Erdogan
8) Kurdish PKK Confront Pro-Turkey Protesters in Germany
9) How America is  bombing itself in Syria
10) Families of U.S. personnel ordered to leave parts of Turkey amid security concerns
11) Journalism on Trial: Exclusive Interview with Erdem Gül
12)  ISIS ‘Department of Artifacts’ document exposes antique loot trade via Turkey
13) Turkey’s not so secret war against the Kurds and its implications
14) Islamic State driven out of Syria’s ancient Palmyra city


COMMENT, OPINION, ANALYSIS
15) Rojava: A safe haven in the middle of Syria’s brutal war
16) Will Syrian Kurdish self-rule succeed?
17) War criminal Erdogan calls for Assad trial
18) Will Syrian Kurd self-rule trigger Turkish action?
19) Islamic State loses 22 per cent of territory
20) What Russia won by withdrawing from Syria
21) ARE CIA-BACKED SYRIAN REBELS REALLY FIGHTING PENTAGON-BACKED SYRIAN REBELS?
22) The motive for the attacks in Paris and Brussels
23) ISIS Serves US Foreign Policy: “Islamophobia” Industry Feeds War Abroad, Grows Police State at Home

REPORTS
24) International arms companies make a killing in Turkey: a case study of the Roboski Massacre
25) They stole my childhood’: The trauma of being a Kurdish child in the 1990s in Turkey
26) Special Dossier: Tourist dollars fund war against Kurdish people
27) Women on the frontlines of Kurdish struggles: An interview with JİNHA women’s news agency

STATEMENT
28) Bar Council and BHRC join forces over attack against lawyers


______________________________________________________

NEWS
1) Turkey: An Uncertain Ally
30 March 2016 / The World Post
NATO is more than a security alliance. It is a coalition of countries with shared values. If Turkey stays on its authoritarian course, the Obama administration should rethink the scope of US-Turkey relations.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-l-phillips/turkey-an-uncertain-ally_b_9577882.html

2) ‘Erdogan bombing Kurds like crazy, US less than happy with that’
30 March 2016 / RT
The US is trying to send a message it is not pleased with Erdogan’s treatment, particularly of the Kurds and the potential insurrection that could occur in Turkey’s southern region as a consequence, says former Pentagon official Michael Maloof.
https://www.rt.com/op-edge/337766-us-turkey-nuclear-summit/

3) Obama Must Urge an End to the Onslaught on Kurds During Turkish President’s Visit, Says Amnesty International USA
29 March 2016 / Amnesty International
President Obama has the opportunity to address serious human rights concerns with world leaders who will be in Washington for the Nuclear Security Summit this week. In particular, he must address the continuedrepressive security operations in east and southeast Turkey with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
http://www.amnestyusa.org/news/press-releases/obama-must-urge-an-end-to-the-onslaught-on-kurds-during-turkish-president-s-visit-says-amnesty-inter

4) Turkey’s Links With Islamic State: New Evidence Provided by Russia
29 March 2016 / Strategic Culture
The Brussels bombings have accelerated US efforts to close off the last remaining Islamic State (IS) route out of Syria through Turkey, which officials suspect was the main thoroughfare for militants who carried out deadly attacks in Belgium and France. On March 23, the day US State Secretary John Kerry arrived to Russia, top US diplomats pressed Turkey to embrace a proposal to rely on American-backed Kurdish fighters to shut down the highway, which the militant group use to send dozens of attackers across Europe. This is a very important news story.
http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2016/03/29/turkey-links-with-islamic-state-new-evidence-provided-by-russia.html

5) A Federal Syria: Kurdish Initiatives
30 March 2016 / Scoop
On 17 March, 2016, the “federal democratic system of Rojava” (a Kurdish term for northern Syria) was proclaimed officially. Some 150 representatives of Kurdish, Arab, and Assyrian (largely Christian) groups met in the city of Rmelan in north-east Syria and voted in favor of the union of three ‘cantons’ largely populated by Kurds the cantons of Afrin, Kobani, and Jezira. The government as well as a major opposition coalition present in the Syria negotiations which have been going on in Geneva since the middle of March, the Syrian National Coalition, both stated their refusal to accept a federalist system which they saw as the first step on the way to the breakup of Syria. The Syrian Foreign Ministry said that, “Any such announcement has no legal value and will not have any legal, political, social or economic impact as long as it does not reflect the will of the entire Syrian people.” There was no indication of how the “will of the entire Syrian people” was to be determined in the war-torn land.
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1603/S00117/a-federal-syria-kurdish-initiatives.htm

6) Turkey ‘demands deletion’ of German video mocking Erdoğan
29 March 2016 / The Guardian
The Turkish government has reportedly ordered the deletion from the internet of a German satirical video that pokes fun at President Recep Tayipp Erdoğan and condemns his human rights record.
Germany’s ambassador to Turkey, Martin Erdmann, was summoned to the foreign ministry in Ankara last week, according to German media, and asked to justify the contents of the short film made by Extra 3, the popular satirical television programme.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/29/turkey-german-video-mocking-president-recep-tayyip-erdogan

7) Watch Song: Erdowie, Erdowo, Erdogan
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2e2yHjc_mc <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2e2yHjc_mc>

8) Kurdish PKK Confront Pro-Turkey Protesters in Germany
29 March 2016 / TeleSUR
Both groups have told media sources a different version of events after clashes resulted in 36 people being arrested.
After clashes between a group of Kurds and Turkish protesters in the German city of Aschaffenburg Sunday, the police have arrested 36 people.
Both groups have told media sources a different version of the story that led to the incident.
According to Turkish sources, protesters of Turkish descent were holding a so-called “anti-terror” rally against both the Islamic State group and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Kurdish-PKK-Confront-Pro-Turkey-Protesters-in-Germany-20160329-0005.html

9) How America is  bombing itself in Syria
29 March 2016 / The Week
What could be worse than a messy American intervention in Syria — a military campaign that looks to be as expensive, indeterminate, and possibly counter-productive as Uncle Sam’s litany of other Middle East entanglements?
http://theweek.com/articles/612884/how-america-bombing-itself-syria

10) Families of U.S. personnel ordered to leave parts of Turkey amid security concerns
30 March 2016 / Reuters
The Obama administration ordered the families of U.S military and diplomatic personnel to leave parts of southern Turkey on Tuesday and warned U.S citizens against travel to the region amid mounting security concerns.
http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-military-turkey-security-idUKKCN0WV1W4

11) Journalism on Trial: Exclusive Interview with Erdem Gül
25 March 2016 / Research Turkey
Erdem Gül, the Ankara bureau chief for Cumhuriyet newspaper, went to trial today alongside his colleague Can Dündar, Cumhuriyet’s editor-in-chief. They were originally detained in November after President Erdoğan filed a complaint against the two for publishing photographs allegedly showing Turkish trucks carrying ammunition to Syrian militants. After spending 92 days incarcerated, the two journalists were released when the Constitutional Court overruled their imprisonment, stating that their “rights to personal liberty and security had been violated.”
http://researchturkey.org/journalism-on-trial-exclusive-interview-with-erdem-gul/

12) ISIS ‘Department of Artifacts’ document exposes antique loot trade via Turkey (RT EXCLUSIVE)
31 March 2016 / RT
A new trove of documents, obtained by an RT Documentary crew who recently uncovered details of illicit ISIS oil business with Turkey, sheds light on jihadists’ lucrative trade of looted antiquities along their well-established oil and weapons transit routes.
https://www.rt.com/news/337829-isis-artifacts-trade-turkey/ <https://www.rt.com/news/337829-isis-artifacts-trade-turkey/>

13) Turkey’s not so secret war against the Kurds and its implications
26 March 2016 / RT
While the Kurds have been absolutely instrumental to opposing terror in both Iraq and Syria, offering military relief and crucial geostrategic expertise, Erdogan’s Turkey – a NATO ally – has waged a brutal crackdown against the ethnic group.
https://www.rt.com/op-edge/337310-erdogans-war-kurds-turkey/

14) Islamic State driven out of Syria’s ancient Palmyra city
28 March 2016 / Reuters
Syrian government forces backed by heavy Russian air support drove Islamic State out of Palmyra on Sunday, inflicting what the army called a mortal blow to militants who seized the city last year and dynamited its ancient temples.
The loss of Palmyra represents one of the biggest setbacks for the ultra-hardline Islamist group since it declared a caliphate in 2014 across large parts of Syria and Iraq.
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-palmyra-idUSKCN0WT04R?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=New%20Campaign&utm_term=%2aMorning%20Brief

COMMENT, OPINION, ANALYSIS
15) Rojava: A safe haven in the middle of Syria’s brutal war
30 March 2016 / CNN
(CNN)As world leaders grapple with how to end the Syrian war, most people in the west are struggling to look beyond the bombs, destruction and refugee crisis to understand the tangle of alignments that is Syria.
http://edition.cnn.com/2016/03/30/opinions/rojava-kurds-syria-democracy/index.html

16) Will Syrian Kurdish self-rule succeed?
28 March 2016 / Almonitor
Many analysts are busy trying to understand the motivation that led to the unexpected declaration recently of a federal system by Syrian Kurds, who until then were promoting a cantonal model that would incorporate divergent ethnic and religious groups.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/03/turkey-syria-kurds-confident-their-self-rule-succeed.html

17) War criminal Erdogan calls for Assad trial
22 March 2016 / Word War 4 Report
In a move of towering cynicism and hypocrisy, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on March 20 called for the prosecution of his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad by the International Criminal Court. Speaking to state TV, Erdogan demanded that Assad be charged with “state terrorism,” saying he is responsible for the death of 500,000 people, and rhetorically asked how the Syrian dictator can receive “red carpet treatment” in Russia while killing his own people with barrel bombs. (Jurist, March 31) This from the guy who is waging his own vigorous campaign of state terror against the Kurds of Turkey’s east, even burning civilians alive in Diyarbakir, and all too clearly esclatintg towards a genocidal threshold.
http://ww4report.com/node/14723

18) Will Syrian Kurd self-rule trigger Turkish action?
24 March 2016 / Almonitor
ERBIL, Iraq — The recent declaration of a federal structure in northern Syria by the local Kurdish administration and its Arab and Assyrian allies is likely to put the Syrian Kurds further at odds with neighboring Turkey, as it will pose serious challenges to Ankara amid renewed conflict with its own Kurds.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/03/syria-kurds-federalism-turkey-reaction.html?utm_source=Al-Monitor+Newsletter+%5bEnglish%5d&utm_campaign=d3447490f0-March_28_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_28264b27a0-d3447490f0-102482749

19) Islamic State loses 22 per cent of territory
15 March 2016 / IHS Jane’s 360
The tide of the war is turning against the Islamic State. Between 1 Jan and 15 December 2015, the Islamic State lost control of 14 per cent of its territory. New analysis indicates that in the last 3 months, the Islamic State has lost a further 8 per cent of its territory.
http://www.janes.com/article/58831/islamic-state-loses-22-per-cent-of-territory?utm_source=Al-Monitor+Newsletter+%5bEnglish%5d&utm_campaign=69a3f41cae-Week_in_review_March_28_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_28264b27a0-69a3f41cae-102482749

20) What Russia won by withdrawing from Syria
23 March 2016 / Almonitor
Russian President Vladimir Putin presented medals on March 17 to armed forces personnel who distinguished themselves in Syria, congratulating the gathering of 700 military men and women and members of the defense industry for contributing to what the Kremlin is hailing as a victorious campaign in Syria.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/03/russia-syria-withdrawal-lesson-afghanistan-putin.html?utm_source=Al-Monitor+Newsletter+%5bEnglish%5d&utm_campaign=69a3f41cae-Week_in_review_March_28_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_28264b27a0-69a3f41cae-102482749

21) Are CIA-backed Syrian rebels really fighting pentagon-backed Syrian rebels?
28 March 2016 / War on the Rocks
The Los Angeles Times’ contention Sunday that “in Syria, militias armed by the Pentagon fight those armed by the CIA” is basically incorrect.
This is complicated, but bear with me. The Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are not a monolithic force. Like nearly every other faction in Syria, they’re spread across an archipelago of enclaves nationwide. The SDF units clashing with Syrian rebels reportedly supported by the CIA are not supported by the Pentagon —they’re from a different enclave. The U.S. military is exclusively supporting the SDF in northeastern Syria on the other side of the Euphrates River. The Pentagon-backed SDF east of the Euphrates is fighting the self-proclaimed Islamic State, not rebels with or without U.S. backing.
http://warontherocks.com/2016/03/are-cia-backed-syrian-rebels-really-fighting-pentagon-backed-syrian-rebels/

22) The motive for the attacks in Paris and Brussels
28 March 2016 / Voltairenet
We don’t yet know who ordered the attacks in Paris and Brussels. Several potential leads have been mentioned, but only the hypothesis of an operation decided by Turkey has any serious backing. Thierry Meyssan describes the secret conflict which, for the last five years, has haunted the relations between the Europan Union, France and Turkey.
http://www.voltairenet.org/article190968.html

23) ISIS Serves US Foreign Policy: “Islamophobia” Industry Feeds War Abroad, Grows Police State at Home
27 March 2016 / Global Research
It’s real simple. Create a threat, predicate expanding autocracy at home and endless wars of hegemony abroad upon confronting that threat, and all the while intentionally perpetuate fear, hysteria, hatred, and division to keep that threat relevant in the hearts and minds of as many people as possible.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/isis-serves-us-foreign-policy-islamophobia-industry-feeds-war-abroad-grows-police-state-at-home/5516695

REPORTS
24) International arms companies make a killing in Turkey: a case study of the Roboski Massacre
23 March 2016 / Corporate Watch
Today, Turkey continues its brutality in its war against its Kurdish population. The state is imposing new curfews daily in the south-east of the country. Hundreds of citizens have been killed so far, whilst the western mainstream media and politicians remain largely silent about the massacres.
https://corporatewatch.org/news/2016/mar/23/international-arms-companies-make-killing-turkey-case-study-roboski-massacre

25) They stole my childhood’: The trauma of being a Kurdish child in the 1990s in Turkey
30 March 2016 / Corporate Watch
Turkey’s latest attacks on its Kurdish population follow on from decades of repression and ethnic cleansing by the state of Turkey, its military and its police. In the 1990s, more than 3,000 villages in the Kurdish countryside were destroyed and effectively wiped from existence. The Kurdish population were uprooted from their land, and many were forced to migrate to the cities. Roughly three million people had to flee their homes. Thousands of people were also killed and many disappeared. The aim of burning down the villages was to assimilate the Kurdish population, in an attempt to erase their culture, their language, and their identities.
https://corporatewatch.org/news/2016/mar/30/they-stole-my-childhood-trauma-being-kurdish-child-1990s-turkey

26) Special Dossier: Tourist dollars fund war against Kurdish people
19 January 2016 / Kurdish info
While idyllic images of sun, sea and beaches in the western coastal regions of the country sell the idea of a holiday-maker’s paradise, in the Kurdish regions an entirely different story is unravelling. Here, the revenue generated from foreign tourists is not being used to drive the local economy. Instead, it is falling on Kurdish citizens in the form of sniper fire, F16 missiles and tear gas.
http://www.kurdishinfo.com/special-file-boycott-turism-in-turkey

27) Women on the frontlines of Kurdish struggles: An interview with JİNHA women’s news agency
21 January 2016 / Corporate Watch
2015, Corporate Watch visited Bakur (meaning ‘North’ in Kurmanji), the Kurdish region within Turkey’s borders. We interviewed two journalists from JİNHA (Jin Haber Ajansı), an all-women news agency made up of mostly Kurdish women, based in Amed (Diyarbakır in Turkish).
Our meeting with JİNHA took place just after the Turkish election in June 2015. Since our interviews, the Turkish state has begun a new war on its Kurdish population. Cities have been attacked by the police and military with mortars, tanks and helicopters and every day Kurdish citizens are being murdered. People in cities across Bakur have erected barricades in their neighbourhoods to defend themselves against the violence and are trying to organise autonomously from the state.
https://corporatewatch.org/news/2016/jan/21/women-frontlines-kurdish-struggles-interview-jinha-womens-news-agency

STATEMENT
28) Bar Council and BHRC join forces over attack against lawyers
24 March 2016 / Bar Talk
On 16 March, nine human rights lawyers, known for their work in representing minority groups and people accused of terrorism and crimes against the state, were arrested in police raids on their homes. The mass arrest of these lawyers is in breach of the United Nations Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers.
http://us9.campaign-archive2.com/?u=e62da2fc8581944c41e2adc33&id=a7ef0b10a0&e=5d0df6399a

 

Peace in Kurdistan
Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question
Email: estella24@tiscali.co.uk
<mailto:estella24@tiscali.co.uk>
http://www.peaceinkurdistancampaign.com
Contacts Estella Schmid 020 7586 5892 & Melanie Gingell – 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, Christine Blower, NUT General Secretary, 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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