Kurdish weekly news briefing 2nd-8th April 2016

KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 2 April – 8 April 2016

NEWS
1. Nusaybin mayor: Turkey’s military campaign targets all Kurds, not just a certain party
2. Remembering the Kurdish uprising of 1991
3. De Mistura Shares Russia’s Opinion on Kurdish Participation in Geneva Talks
4. Military wipes its hands of Turkish politics
5. Erdogan Visit to Washington “Reduces Turkey’s Image to Nothing’
6. Turkish, American delegations meet to seek a formula over PYD role
7. A New, Free Middle East Is Rising from the Ashes of Syria’s Civil War. Why is Geneva Ignoring Them?
8. Map: the  situation in Syria
9. Turkey’s Erdogan openly embraces his naked ambition
10. Turkey Sends Weapons to Daesh Terrorists in Syria Under the Disguise of “Humanitarian Aid Convoys”
11. Kurdish lawyers in Turkey – ‘It’s a reality that my life is in danger’
12. In a devastated Turkish town, teenagers dream of joining the Kurdish guerrillas
13. Can and Erdem face second court hearing but no arrests

COMMENT, OPINION, ANALYSIS
14. It’s impossible to beat Isis with Erdoğan in power
15. The EU’s deal with Turkey on refugees is inhumane
16. Human Landscapes: Turkey’s Secret Trials of Journalists
17. Turkey: Illegal mass returns of Syrian refugees expose fatal flaws in EU-Turkey deal
18. The Next System Project

REPORTS
19. Preliminary Legal Report on Human Rights Violations in Cizre since Dacember 2015
20. Sur Damage Assessment Report

STATEMENT
21. Turkey’s Attack on Teachers

NEWS
1. Nusaybin mayor: Turkey’s military campaign targets all Kurds, not just a certain party
8 April 2016 / ARA News
QAMISHLI – The Turkish army forces have been bombing the Kurdish city of Nusaybin southeastern Turkey for weeks. At least seven neighborhoods in the city have been under heavy bombardment, according to Sara Kaya, mayor of Nusaybin city and member of the Democratic Peoples’ Party (HDP).
http://aranews.net/2016/04/nusaybin-mayor-turkeys-military-campaign-targets-kurds-not-just-certain-party/

2. Remembering the Kurdish uprising of 1991
7 April 2016 / BBC News
After more than a month of intensive air attacks and a short land offensive by the US-led coalition against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, the Gulf War of 1991 drew to a close. The goal to liberate Kuwait following Iraq’s invasion in August the previous year had been met, yet Saddam remained in power and turned his wrath on the Kurd and Shia communities.
http://www.bbc.com/news/in-pictures-35967389

3. De Mistura Shares Russia’s Opinion on Kurdish Participation in Geneva Talks
7 April 2016 / Sputnik News
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister said that UN’s Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura shares Russia’s approach in regard to Kurdish participation in intra-Syrian negotiations in Geneva.
PARIS (Sputnik) – UN’s Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura shares Russia’s approach in regard to Kurdish participation in intra-Syrian negotiations in Geneva, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said Thursday.
http://sputniknews.com/world/20160407/1037641484/russia-kurds-geneva-talks.html

4. Military wipes its hands of Turkish politics
4 April 2016 / AlMonitor
The Turkish military appears to be taking a hands-off approach to the country’s toxic political environment, refusing to get stuck between the president’s impassioned followers and fervent foes.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/04/turkey-armed-forces-coup-statement.html# <http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/04/turkey-armed-forces-coup-statement.html%23>

5. Erdogan Visit to Washington “Reduces Turkey’s Image to Nothing’
4 April 2016 / Sputnik News
Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent visit to the US has been marred by an embarrassing incident that saw the Turkish president’s security detail scuffle with journalists and protesters. Turkey’s image will surely suffer as a result, journalist Amberin Zaman told Sputnik.
http://sputniknews.com/politics/20160404/1037461345/washington-erdogan-bodyguards-assault.html

6. Turkish, American delegations meet to seek a formula over PYD role
8 April 2016 / Hurriyet Daily News
Days after Turkish and American presidents, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Barack Obama respectively, held talks in Washington D.C. to discuss future phases of the joint fight against jihadists in Syria and Iraq, a delegation composed of United States’ soldiers and a diplomat has arrived in Ankara to find a formula over the role of the military wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in plans to re-take the Manjib region.
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/Default.aspx?pageID=238&nID=97294&NewsCatID=510

7. A New, Free Middle East Is Rising from the Ashes of Syria’s Civil War. Why is Geneva Ignoring Them?
1 April 2016 / Stream
How many people from Western countries would believe that there is actually a sizeable and growing area in the Middle East in which democracy, freedom of religion and equality of men and women are simple facts of life? An area in which Kurds, Syriac Christians and Arabs work together? I am here to tell you that I’ve been to such a region myself and seen it first-hand. And I am not the only one. The embattled people of these new regions need Christians and others of good will who live in the West to understand and support this fragile but hopeful new start for the battered peoples of Syria and neighboring countries.
https://stream.org/free-middle-east-rising-ashes-syria-civil-war-geneva-ignoring/

8. Map: the situation in Syria
13 March 2016 / Stream
https://stream.org/wp-content/uploads/Syria-Map.png

9. Turkey’s Erdogan openly embraces his naked ambition
31 March 2016 / AlMonitor
The War Colleges Command in Istanbul is the highest training and education institution of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK). After a stiff examination and selection process, about a hundred staff officer candidates are selected from among thousands of applicants. They assemble in Istanbul every March to mark the beginning of their academic year.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/03/turkey-erdogan-important-messages-army.html?utm_source=Al-Monitor+Newsletter+%5bEnglish%5d&utm_campaign=b5e4549b4c-April_01_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_28264b27a0-b5e4549b4c-102482749

10. Turkey Sends Weapons to Daesh Terrorists in Syria Under the Disguise of “Humanitarian Aid Convoys”
2 April 2016 / Global Research
Russia’s envoy to the United Nations (UN) says he has submitted to the Security Council purported evidence of the illicit transfer of arms and military hardware by Turkey to Daesh terrorist group in Syria.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/turkey-sends-weapons-to-daesh-terrorist-in-syria-under-the-disguise-of-humanitarian-aid-convoys/5518065

11. Kurdish lawyers in Turkey – ‘It’s a reality that my life is in danger’
6 April 2016 / Beacon Reader
After hiding for more than two weeks, Kurdish lawyers Ramazan Demir and Ayse Acinikli have turned themselves in to the Turkish authorities. They were detained on 16 March along with eight of their colleagues, all suspected of aiding and being a member of a terrorist organisation. They were all released two days later, but an arrest warrant was soon issued against six of them. Demir, in an interview via personal messages on Twitter from his hide-out: ‘I had a deadline for applications at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) connected to earlier cases I started concerning the violent situation in Cizre. As a lawyer I have my responsibilities to my clients, which is more important to me than an arrest warrant against me.’ https://www.beaconreader.com/frederike-geerdink/kurdish-lawyers-in-turkey-its-a-reality-that-my-life-is-in-danger#.VwUzRZqR5SI.twitter <https://www.beaconreader.com/frederike-geerdink/kurdish-lawyers-in-turkey-its-a-reality-that-my-life-is-in-danger%23.VwUzRZqR5SI.twitter>

12. In a devastated Turkish town, teenagers dream of joining the Kurdish guerrillas
3 April 2016 / The Guardian
Ahmet, 21, walks past a house where a man is smearing wet concrete on a wall riddled with bullet holes. A young girl balances over a massive mine crater that scars the street, filled with debris and muddy water.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/03/diyarbakir-kurdish-teenagers-dream-of-becoming-guerrillas

13. Can and Erdem face second court hearing but no arrests
1 April 2016 / Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom
Can Dündar and Erdem Gül appeared in Istanbul’s Çağlayan courthouse for the second hearing of their controversial case yesterday, 1 April, with the court again ruling not to arrest them for the duration of the trial.The second hearing was closed to the public after an earlier ruling, with Dündar and Gül facing life in jail on “espionage” charges for reporting on Turkish intelligence trucks allegedly transporting weapons to Syrian rebel groups in November 2014.The court also postponed the hearing to 22 April. Dündar said the prosecutor did not demand their arrest, but added that he thought the prosecutor would request to join the cases.
http://www.cpbf.org.uk/body.php?subject=international&doctype=news&id=3338

COMMENT, OPINION, ANALYSIS
14. It’s impossible to beat Isis with Erdoğan in power
31 March 2016 / Newsweek
Turkey’s authoritarian president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is in Washington to participate in a conference regarding strategies to defeat the Islamic State militant group (ISIS). That’s like inviting Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to a conference about fighting anti-Semitism.
http://europe.newsweek.com/impossible-beat-isis-erdogan-power-442767?utm_source=social&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=/impossible-beat-isis-erdogan-power-442767

15. The EU’s deal with Turkey on refugees is inhumane
4 April 2016 / Boston Globe
The first boatload of refugees sailed from Greece to Turkey Monday, forcibly expelling refugees and migrants who fled their homelands for sanctuary in Europe. The deportations are part of a controversial deal with the European Union, an agreement that is illegal, impractical, and immoral. The EU should rethink the ill-conceived agreement with Turkey before it sparks more violence.
http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2016/04/04/the-deal-with-turkey-refugees-inhumane/Z5jilD6MpoKhRhyXutW8SJ/story.html

16. Human Landscapes: Turkey’s Secret Trials of Journalists
1 April 2016 / Counter Punch
The secret trial of two Turkish journalists from the liberal mainstream daily CUMHURIYET—its Chief Editor Can Dundar and Erdem Gul—began this. They are charged with high treason for publishing material on a sensitive subject: Turkey’s collusion with ISIS and the US in the Syrian war.
http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/04/01/human-landscapes-turkeys-secret-trials-of-journalists/

17. Turkey: Illegal mass returns of Syrian refugees expose fatal flaws in EU-Turkey deal
1 April 2016 / Amnesty International
Large-scale forced returns of refugees from Turkey to war-ravaged Syria expose the fatal flaws in a refugee deal signed between Turkey and the European Union earlier this month, Amnesty International revealed today.
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/04/turkey-illegal-mass-returns-of-syrian-refugees-expose-fatal-flaws-in-eu-turkey-deal/

18. The Next System Project
Kurdish Women Struggle for a Next System in Rojava – http://thenextsystem.org/kurdish-women-struggle-for-a-next-system-in-rojava-kurdistan-northern-syria/
http://thenextsystem.org/

REPORTS
19. Preliminary Legal Report on Human Rights Violations in Cizre since Dacember 2015
8 April 2016 / Peace in Kurdistan
This study has been prepared as a report to present an updated and general perspective for the public on the human rights violations that occurred in Cizre, Turkey beginning on December 14, 2015. Reporting and documentation activities were conducted based on statements by the victims/witnesses who live in Cizre. In this preliminary report, we have included only some groups (women, children) and references to a limited number of cases that exemplify the nature and specifics of the incidents.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2016/04/08/preliminary-legal-report-on-human-rights-violations-in-cizre-since-december-2015/

20. Sur Damage Assessment Report
30 March 2016 / Peace in Kurdistan
Since it is located in a transition area between Eastern Anatolia and Mesopotamia plains, Diyarbakır has been the heart of caravan routes since ancient times up until today. Diyarbakır Fortress and the city are rare examples that could survive until 21st century, at the same time, symbolize development of the urban history as well as all phases of historical heritage.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2016/04/08/cultural-heritage-damage-assessment-report-on-sur-diyarbakir/ <https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2016/04/08/cultural-heritage-damage-assessment-report-on-sur-diyarbakir/>

STATEMENT
21. Turkey’s Attack on Teachers
April 2016 / The New York Review of Books
To the editors: We write to express our dismay at the deterioration of freedoms of expression, association, and personal security faced by our colleagues in Turkish universities and the media.
University professors Esra Mungan, Muzaffer Kaya, and Kıvanç Ersoy were arrested on charges of spreading “terrorist propaganda” because they signed a petition condemning the Turkish government’s security operations in cities of the southeast, owing to the disastrous impact on the Kurdish civilian population. Made public at an Istanbul news conference on January 11, the petition also called for a resumption of peace talks with the PKK.
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2016/04/21/turkeys-attack-on-teachers/

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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