KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 9 – 15 April 2016

KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 9 – 15 April 2016

NEWS

  1. Turkish Parliament Considering Lifting Immunity for Kurd Deputies
  2. TURKISH OPPOSITION POLITICIAN SLAMS EU, U.S. FOR ERDOGAN DEALS
  3. PYD leader: We should be invited to Geneva talks as representatives of Syrian Kurds
  4. The Attacks Against Women in Turkey Target The Organization of Women
  5. Turkey’s ‘irrational opposition’ to Kurds attending Syria peace process ignored by West – Churkin
  6. Turkey Uses Kurdish issue to Radicalize People and Consolidate Power’
  7. Free Speech Isn’t the Only Casualty of Erdogan’s Repression
  8. Isis in Iraq: The female fighters that strike fear into jihadis – because they’ll rob them of paradise
  9. Misguided Critiques of a Kurdish-centric Strategy against the Islamic State
  10. HDP committee headed by Demirtaş continues talks in Berlin
  11. Lawyers demand separation of powers in the social contract of federal system
  12. News websites blocked in Turkey
  13. Turkey witnesses ‘unprecedented onslaught on critical media’
  14. Spain: Left denounces EU-Turkey refugee deal
  15. War with the Kurds—Or Urban Transformation?

COMMENT, OPINION, ANALYSIS

  1. Jihadists joining with Turkey to attack Kurds in Syria
  2. First Turkey-backed operation against IS becomes a fiasco
  3. Battle lines shift in northern Syria
  4. Rojava’s commitment to Jineoloji: the science of women
  5. German Comedians Are Making Turkey’s President Really, Really Upset
  6. Democracy Left Out in the Cold
  7. Meet the Man Awarded a CBE Whose Company Is Refining ISIS Oil
  8. UN CSW: the way to empower women is to use CEDAW Article 5, not CSW

STATEMENT

  1. Al Sheikh Maqsoud statement 

ACTION

  1. Activists on trial for trying to stop the DSEI arms fair
  2. Solidarity with Academics in Turkey! Communication Blockade

 

 

 

 

NEWS

  1. Turkish Parliament Considering Lifting Immunity for Kurd Deputies

14 April 2016 / VOA News

ISTANBUL—Turkish parliament has begun the process of lifting the immunity of leading parliamentary deputies of the pro-Kurdish party. Parliament is considering a motion by the ruling AKP to amend the constitution to ease immunity for parliamentary deputies.

http://www.voanews.com/content/turkish-parliament-considering-lifting-immunity-for-kurd-deputies/3286119.html

 

  1. TURKISH OPPOSITION POLITICIAN SLAMS EU, U.S. FOR ERDOGAN DEALS

4 April 2016 / Newsweek

The U.S. and Europe are ignoring alleged human rights abuses in Turkey to further their own political ends, a pro-Kurdish opposition politician from the country has said.

Writing in The New York Times, Selahattin Demirtas, co-chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), said: “Both Europe and the United States have turned a blind eye to the human rights violations in Turkey’s Kurdish towns over the past year.

http://europe.newsweek.com/turkey-eu-deal-demirtas-erdogan-447754?rm=eu

 

  1. PYD leader: We should be invited to Geneva talks as representatives of Syrian Kurds

14 April 2016 / ARA News

DUHOK – Syrian Kurdish leader of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), Salih Muslim, blamed Turkey for excluding the PYD from the Geneva peace talks that will resume this week. The PYD leader stated that their fight is in Syria and not Turkey.

http://aranews.net/2016/04/pyd-leader-invited-geneva-talks-representatives-syrian-kurds/

 

  1. The Attacks Against Women in Turkey Target The Organization of Women

15 April 2016 / Peace in Kurdistan

The centre of Free Women’s Congress (KJA) Association was raided anomalously by police on April 10, 2016, around 05:00 am. The Association was raided without any prior notification and in an unusual hour that none of the administrators were there. 16 politicians, including 6 women who are members, administrators and activists of KJA, were detained in the same time with similar illegal methods. Our 4 women members, Çimen Işık, Pero Dündar, Olcay Kanlıbaş and Zozan Toprak are imprisoned after they were judged in the court on April, 11.

https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2016/04/15/state-attacks-against-women-in-turkey-targetingthe-attacks-against-women-in-turkey-target-the-organization-of-women/

 

  1. Turkey’s ‘irrational opposition’ to Kurds attending Syria peace process ignored by West – Churkin

14 April 2016 / RT

The Russian Ambassador to the UN has called on members of the Security Council to exert influence on Turkey so that Kurds be included in the Syria peace process. Vitaly Churkin also warned against any “secret agenda” and further unilateral endeavors in Libya.

https://www.rt.com/news/339520-churkin-turkey-opposition-kurds/

 

  1. Turkey Uses Kurdish issue to Radicalize People and Consolidate Power’

13 April 2016 / Sputnik News

A car bomb rammed into a military base in Diyarbakir province, killing one soldier and injuring twenty others. The incident occurred just hours after the country’s ministers adjourned in the neighboring Sanliurfa province to discuss ways of rebuilding the region’s shattered economy.

http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20160413/1037960765/turkey-kurds-clashes-power.html

 

  1. Free Speech Isn’t the Only Casualty of Erdogan’s Repression

13 April 2016 / NY Times

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey — When Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, recently paid a visit to Washington, he gave Americans a taste of the kinds of policies he employs at home. His guards reportedly roughed up reporters outside a think tank while an LED-lit van that said “Truth + Peace = Erdogan” drove around the United States capital.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/14/opinion/free-speech-isnt-the-onlycasualty-of-erdogans-repression.html?_r=1

 

  1. Isis in Iraq: The female fighters that strike fear into jihadis – because they’ll rob them of paradise

11 April 2016 / Independent

“Raping the Yazidi women was part of [the Isis] plan. Destroy the women, destroy the culture,” Haveen, a 22-year-old Kurdish fighter says as she scans the road ahead.

Dressed in the green guerilla uniform synonymous with Kurdish armed groups, Haveen and her friend Denis keep watch, as two members of a unit of fighters within the YBS – a Kurdish civil defence militia. The all-women or “jin” unit based in Kananshor village near Sinjar mountain is home to a rotating group of female fighters made up of local Yazidi women and Kurds from nearby Turkey and Syria.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/isis-in-iraq-the-women-kurd-and-yazidi-fighters-that-put-the-fear-into-jihadis-because-theyll-rob-a6977761.html

 

  1. Misguided Critiques of a Kurdish-centric Strategy against the Islamic State

6 March 2016 / Washington Kurdish Institute

A number of analysts have rung alarm bells regarding Washington’s increasingly “Kurdish-centric strategy” against the Islamic State. Maria Fantapie of the International Crisis Group warns that “By picking the Kurds as strategic allies, you have created an imbalanced relationship between the Kurds and the other communities living with the Kurds.” Denise Natali warns that “Relying on Iraqi Kurds to act as coalition boots on the ground may eliminate some [ISIS] safe havens, but it is fueling Kurdish land grabs.” Hassan Hassan and Bassam Barabandi, in an article entitled “Kurds Can’t Be Syria’s Saviors,” likewise present a slew of arguments to warn Western powers away from cooperation with the Kurds. The implicit policy recommendations of these naysayers would seriously compromise the best chance to bring about a semblance of stability to the Syrian quagmire.

http://dckurd.org/2016/04/06/misguided-critiques-of-a-kurdish-centric-strategy-against-the-islamic-state/

 

  1. HDP committee headed by Demirtaş continues talks in Berlin

12 April 2016 / Washington Kurdish Institute

An HDP committee headed by co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş continue their visits to German political parties and democratic groups in Germany’s capital Berlin.

Amed Metropolitan Municipality Co-mayor Gültan Kışanak, HDP Foreign Affair Chair and Bingöl MP Hişyar Özsoy and HDP Europe representative Eyüp Doru are also taking part in the committee.

The topics in the visits have been the war in Rojava and Northern Kurdistan, the problems asylum seekers face and Turkey-EU relations, on which the committee has voiced criticisms and suggestions.

http://dckurd.org/2016/04/12/hdp-committee-headed-by-demirtas-continues-talks-in-berlin/

 

  1. Lawyers demand separation of powers in the social contract of federal system

11 April 2016 / Washington Kurdish Institute

QAMIŞLO – Lawyers in Cezîre Canton wanted the legislative, executive, and judiciary powers to be separated and clearly identified in the Social Contract of the Democratic Federal System in Rojava-Northern Syria.

The committee of the social contract continues visiting different groups and organizations to get their suggestions for making laws of the federal system.

The committee yesterday had a meeting with the lawyers in the People’s Court of Qamişlo to hear their suggestions for the social contract that is expected to be written in mid-April.

http://dckurd.org/2016/04/11/lawyers-demand-separation-of-powers-in-the-social-contract-of-federal-system/

 

  1. News websites blocked in Turkey

July 2015 / Washington Kurdish Institute

Turkish Government has blocked a number of Kurdish online news agencies. The decision was made by the Turkish Presidency of Telecommunication (TIB), five of them publishing news in Kurdish and Turkish, according to Rudaw.

http://dckurd.org/2015/07/25/news-websites-blocked-in-turkey/

 

  1. Turkey witnesses ‘unprecedented onslaught on critical media’

11 April 2016 / AlMonitor

ANKARA, Turkey — In late March, Turkey’s 20-year-old liberal daily Radikal announced it was closing down, two years after it terminated its print edition to become a web-only publication. Though financial strains were said to have forced the closure, the real reason was an open secret — the daily’s editorial line and writers had long irked President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In his valedictory column, Radikal veteran Cengiz Candar — also an Al-Monitor columnist — said he was ending his four-decade career because doing journalism in Turkey was no longer possible.

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/04/turkey-akp-unprecedented-measures-curb-critical-media.html?utm_source=Al-Monitor+Newsletter+%5bEnglish%5d&utm_campaign=ac6d45c382-April_12_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_28264b27a0-ac6d45c382-102482749

 

  1. Spain: Left denounces EU-Turkey refugee deal

10 April 2016 / Green Left

The Spanish parliament was the scene of a sharp clash on April 6 over the March 18 European Union-Turkey “pact of shame” that will return up to 50,000 asylum seekers from Greece to Turkey. The asylum seekers — most fleeing from the Syrian civil war — will then be placed in an archipelago of detention centres.

https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/61517

 

  1. War with the Kurds—Or Urban Transformation?

11 April 2016 / LobeLog

The title of Mahmut Bozarslan’s recent article in Al- Monitor, is “How Turkey Seeks to Kill Two Birds with One Stone in Diyarbakir.” It describes the policies Turkey is pursuing in southeast Turkey to pacify the populace after Ankara’s devastating military assault that commenced in December 2015.

Many locals in Diyarbakir, the center of this predominantly Kurdish part of Turkey, believe that the state’s attack was more about transforming the urban landscape rather than defeating the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). By the end of March, the government issued decrees for the expropriation of 7,000 properties in the district of Sur, the heart of Diyarbakir that is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.

http://lobelog.com/war-with-the-kurds-or-urban-transformation/

 

COMMENT, OPINION, ANALYSIS

  1. Jihadists joining with Turkey to attack Kurds in Syria

12 April 2016 / WND

WASHINGTON – Turkey apparently is carrying out a threat to attack Kurds in Syria by placing special forces in the country’s largest city, Aleppo, in response to a request from the al-Qaida-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra Front and associated jihadist groups, a Kurdish source told Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

http://www.wnd.com/2016/04/jihadists-joining-with-turkey-to-attack-kurds-in-syria/

 

  1. First Turkey-backed operation against IS becomes a fiasco

14 April 2016 / AlMonitor

Turkey recently proposed that the United States abandon Syrian Kurdistan’s People’s Protection Units (YPG) and “let us wipe out the Islamic State [IS] jointly with the moderate opposition.” Turkey then made its first such move last week at al-Rai, Syria, with a composite force of Turkmens, Free Syrian Army factions and Salafists.

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/04/turkey-syria-first-isis-operation-becomes-fiasco.html

 

  1. Battle lines shift in northern Syria

13 April 2016 / AlMonitor

KOBANI, Syria — On April 1, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) started making military movements in northern Syria, at the Tishrin Dam west of the Euphrates, to level ground offensives against Manbij and Jarablous. This military maneuver points to an imminent large-scale offensive to expel the Islamic State (IS) from the remaining areas it controls in the eastern Aleppo countryside.

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/04/military-movements-expel-islamic-state-northern-aleppo-syria.html?utm_source=Al-Monitor+Newsletter+%5bEnglish%5d&utm_campaign=ce976c239a-April_14_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_28264b27a0-ce976c239a-102482749

 

  1. Rojava’s commitment to Jineoloji: the science of women

11 April 2016 / Open Democracy

Its 3.30pm and Daham Basha, the border control officer, is clocking off. He jumps into the car with me because his home town Rîmelan, is on the way to Amuda where I am to be hosted by the Media Centre. The rolling countryside is dotted with oil wells, one reason why Rojava may prove to be self-sustaining and why both Assad and ISIS might want to get their grubby hands on it.

https://www.opendemocracy.net/rahila-gupta/rojava-s-commitment-to-jineoloj-science-of-women

 

  1. German Comedians Are Making Turkey’s President Really, Really Upset

12 April 2016 / Vice News

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has filed a complaint against a comedian who recited a satirical and sexually crude poem about him on German television, complicating Berlin’s attempts to get Turkey’s help in dealing with Europe’s migrant crisis.

https://news.vice.com/article/german-comedians-are-making-turkeys-president-really-really-upset

 

  1. Democracy Left Out in the Cold

11 April 2016 / New York Times

This week, United Nations talks meant to chart a path toward a peaceful, democratic future for Syria are set to resume in Geneva. But, in an absurd twist, the legitimate representatives of a large, democratically governed area in the country will not be invited to attend.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/12/opinion/international/whats-missing-from-the-syria-peace-talks.html?_r=0

 

  1. Meet the Man Awarded a CBE Whose Company Is Refining ISIS Oil

12 April 2016 / Strategic Culture

One of the most disturbing and depressing aspects of the rise of ISIS is how it is able to finance itself through the sale of oil on the black market.

Back in October when I participated in the Georgetown Leadership Seminar I was appalled to learn from a former State Department official that the United States Government estimated that ISIS was making up to $15 million a day selling oil on the black market. The individual was making a presentation to the assembled group and almost casually mumbled the figure, in much the same way Sir Geoffrey Howe used to speak in the British Cabinet in a quiet, sheepish way to the consternation of Mrs Thatcher who would instruct him to speak up. The other participants and I looked at each other in disbelief as if we had misheard so I asked him to repeat what he had just said and project his voice for the benefit of the group. When it became clear it was indeed the sum of $15 million there was a collective gasp. Not willing to let go, I pressed him further on this and asked who it was that was purchasing the oil for refinement which was helping to fund the barbaric activities of ISIS. On this point he was very vague and stated it was a combination of «entrepreneurs» and «regional governments».

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2016/04/12/meet-man-awarded-cbe-whose-company-refining-isis-oil.html

 

  1. UN CSW: the way to empower women is to use CEDAW Article 5, not CSW

31 March 2016 / Open Democracy

At the 60th Session of the annual UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW60) this month, 8,000 women’s NGOS, representing feminist and women’s movements around the world, had the golden opportunity to rally around this year’s priority theme: “Women’s Empowerment and its link to Sustainable Development”.

https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/margaret-owen/un-csw-cedaw-article-5-must-be-applied-now

 

STATEMENT

  1. Al Sheikh Maqsoud statement

13 April 2016 / Peace in Kurdistan

Al Sheikh Maqsoud neighbourhood, which is predominantly populated by Kurdish residents in Aleppo city, is witnessing an indiscriminate and barbaric attack on innocent civilians. Dozens of people have been killed and hundreds of children, women and the elderly have been seriously wounded.

https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2016/04/14/pyd-call-to-the-international-syria-support-group-and-the-security-council-to-stop-acquiescing-in-terrorist-attacks-in-sheikh-maqsoud-alleppo/

 

ACTION

  1. Activists on trial for trying to stop the DSEI arms fair

13 April 2016 / CAAT Blog

This week activists are on trial for taking action against the DSEI arms fair last September.

Yesterday, three of the defendants presented their case. All of them spoke at length about why they felt their actions against DSEI were necessary in order to prevent greater crimes.

https://blog.caat.org.uk/2016/04/13/activists-on-trial-for-trying-to-stop-the-dsei-arms-fair/

 

  1. Solidarity with Academics in Turkey! Communication Blockade

Since March 2016, four of our colleagues – Professors Esra Mungan Gürsoy, Meral Camcı, Kıvanç Ersoy and Muzaffer Kaya – have been held in pre-trial detention and accused of terrorist propaganda under Article 7(2) of the Anti-Terror Law. On the 22nd April 2016 they go on trial, facing potential sentences of between 1½ and 7½ years imprisonment.

https://www.facebook.com/events/942521519194782/

 

 

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 Gingell – Tel: 020 7272 7890

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, Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley, Mark Thomas, Nick Hildyard, Stephen Smellie, Derek Wall, Melanie Gingell

 

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