KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 16 – 22 April 2016

KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 16 – 22 April 2016

NEWS
1. Under Turkish siege, thousands of Kurdish civilians suffer shortage of food and medicine in Nusaybin
2. KURDISH OPPOSITION LEADER: TURKEY’S ERDOGAN ‘WANTS A CALIPHATE’
3. Turkey rejected return to talks with PKK: HDP co-chair
4. Turkey’s Ergenekon plot case overturned by top court of appeals
5. How Turkish intelligence scored much-needed success
6. Turkish-Syrian Border Pocket is Heart of Fight Against IS
7. US, Russia quietly debate proposed Syrian constitution
8. Turkey Media ‘Less Free’ Amid Syrian Conflict, Fighting Against Kurds
9. Êzidî women to celebrate their feast under the flag of YJŞ
10. EU report ruffles Turkey’s feathers
11. Turkey Rounds Up 100 People Accused of Links to US-Based Muslim Cleric
12. Syrian Hmeymim Delegation Ready to Accept Kurdish PYD Member

COMMENT, OPINION, ANALYSIS
13. Turkey Invokes Religion to Restore Influence
14. How Turkish police could have prevented IS massacre in Ankara
15. Free Speech Isn’t the Only Casualty of Erdogan’s Repression
16. Political humor no joke for Turkish satirists
17. Democratic confederalism in Kurdistan
18. Meet the Women of JINHA, the Kurdish All-Female News Agency
19. Women on the frontlines of Kurdish struggles: An interview with JİNHA women’s news agency
20. A Test of Turkey’s Pragmatism

STATEMENT
21. We will not be a party to this crime! (in English, French, German, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Greek)

ACTION
22. Petitioning Belgian Prime Minister, Justice Minister and Interior Minister
23. COFFEE HOUSE CULTURE HOUSE DAILY
Introducing ‘The President Erdogan Offensive Poetry Competition’ – £1000 prize to be won

EVENTS
24. Washington Kurdish Institute: Co-Existence Through Democratic Autonomy and Self-Governance: The Kurdish Case, Friday April 29, 2016
25. CENTRE FOR KURDISH PROGRESS: Public Forum on Democratic Confederalism and the Kurdish Case in Turkey

NEWS
1. Under Turkish siege, thousands of Kurdish civilians suffer shortage of food and medicine in Nusaybin
21 April 2016 / ARA News
Around 35 thousand civilians trapped inside the mainly Kurdish city of Nusaybin southeastern Turkey are suffering from severe shortage of water, food and medicines as well as complete electricity outage, local sources reported.
http://aranews.net/2016/04/turkish-siege-thousands-kurdish-civilians-suffer-shortage-food-medicine-nusaybin/ <http://aranews.net/2016/04/turkish-siege-thousands-kurdish-civilians-suffer-shortage-food-medicine-nusaybin/>

2. KURDISH OPPOSITION LEADER: TURKEY’S ERDOGAN ‘WANTS A CALIPHATE’
21 April 2016 / Breitbart
On Tuesday, Germany’s Der Spiegel published a lengthy interview with Selahattin Demirtas, leader of the Kurd-aligned HDP Party of Turkey. Demirtas leveled some serious allegations against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, saying the Kurds stood in the way of Erdogan’s creating an Islamic State-style (ISIS/ISIL) “Caliphate” of his own, and warning that Erdogan’s war against the Kurds could make the already-fearsome refugee crisis in Europe even worse.
http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2016/04/21/kurdish-opposition-leader-turkeys-erdogan-wants-a-caliphate/ <http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2016/04/21/kurdish-opposition-leader-turkeys-erdogan-wants-a-caliphate/>

3. Turkey rejected return to talks with PKK: HDP co-chair
22 April 2016 / Daily News
The outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) wanted a return to talks with the Turkish government amid the worst violence in decades in the country’s southeastern provinces, however Ankara rejected the overture, the co-chair of the Kurdish problem-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has claimed.
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/Default.aspx?pageID=238&nID=98152&NewsCatID=338 <http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/Default.aspx?pageID=238&nID=98152&NewsCatID=338>

4. Turkey’s Ergenekon plot case overturned by top court of appeals
22 April 2016 / Daily News
Turkey’s top court of appeals has overturned convictions in the Ergenekon coup plot trial, considered one of the most significant legal battles in recent Turkish history which lasted nearly a decade, ruling that the “Ergenekon Terror Organization,” the target of the allegations, did not exist at all.
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkeys-ergenekon-plot-case-overturned-by-top-court-of-appeals-.aspx?PageID=238&NID=98113&NewsCatID=509 <http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkeys-ergenekon-plot-case-overturned-by-top-court-of-appeals-.aspx?PageID=238&NID=98113&NewsCatID=509>

5. How Turkish intelligence scored much-needed success
20 April 2016 / AlMonitor
In 2013, Al-Monitor columnist Amberin Zaman penned a piece for another publication titled “Hakan Fidan, So Very Sexy” to explain how crucial Fidan’s role as director of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) is in Turkish politics — hence, the media’s persistent focus on his actions.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/04/turkey-intelligence-agency-achieve-much-needed-success.html?utm_source=Al-Monitor+Newsletter+%5bEnglish%5d&utm_campaign=e8f7b7ead8-April_21_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_28264b27a0-e8f7b7ead8-102482749 <http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/04/turkey-intelligence-agency-achieve-much-needed-success.html?utm_source=Al-Monitor+Newsletter+%5bEnglish%5d&utm_campaign=e8f7b7ead8-April_21_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_28264b27a0-e8f7b7ead8-102482749>

6. Turkish-Syrian Border Pocket is Heart of Fight Against IS
20 April 2016 / VOA News
Kurdish and Syrian rebels launched an offensive in late March to take back a small border region between Turkey and Syria that has become a key foothold for Islamic State militants. After weeks of fighting, local commanders say the operation is now intensifying.
http://www.voanews.com/content/turkey-syria-border-manbij-pocket-heart-islamic-state-fight/3294536.html <http://www.voanews.com/content/turkey-syria-border-manbij-pocket-heart-islamic-state-fight/3294536.html>

7. US, Russia quietly debate proposed Syrian constitution
20 April 2016 / Gulf News
Beirut: A new round of talks have started in Switzerland this week between the Syrian Government and the opposition, under the auspices of the United Nations and the watchful eye of Moscow and Washington DC.
http://gulfnews.com/news/mena/syria/us-russia-quietly-debate-proposed-syrian-constitution-1.1717893 <http://gulfnews.com/news/mena/syria/us-russia-quietly-debate-proposed-syrian-constitution-1.1717893>

8. Turkey Media ‘Less Free’ Amid Syrian Conflict, Fighting Against Kurds
20 April 2016 / Sputnik News
Turkey’s ranking in the World Press Freedom Index has dropped due to the ongoing conflict in Syria and continued fighting with the Kurds in Turkey, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) announced in a press release on Wednesday.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — RSF also claimed that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s growing authoritarianism and the authorities’ paranoia “just deepened the fault lines in an already polarized society.”
http://sputniknews.com/society/20160420/1038349245/media-freedom-turkey.html <http://sputniknews.com/society/20160420/1038349245/media-freedom-turkey.html>

9. Êzidî women to celebrate their feast under the flag of YJŞ
19 April 2016 / Jinha News
The Shengal Women Unite (YJŞ) Military Council member Zeynep Cudi made evaluations about the feast Çarşama Sor (Red Wednesday).” All women must join the YJŞ with the occasion of Çarşema Sor. Let’s build new life together. Let’s make this life meaningful.” said Zeynep.
http://jinhanews.com/en/ALL-NEWS/content/view/50888 <http://jinhanews.com/en/ALL-NEWS/content/view/50888>

10. EU report ruffles Turkey’s feathers
15 April 2016 / Almonitor
Just months ago European Union leaders, led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, were courting Turkey and its strongman, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to implement a deal under which Turkey would curtail the refugee flow into Europe.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/04/turkey-european-union-progress-report.html <http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/04/turkey-european-union-progress-report.html>

11. Turkey Rounds Up 100 People Accused of Links to US-Based Muslim Cleric
18 April 2016 / Vice News
Executives of a major Turkish company were among 100 people detained by police on Monday over allegations of funding the movement of Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, a foe of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, state media said.
The raids were the latest police operations targeting thousands of supporters of the US-based cleric, accused of leading what prosecutors described as a “Gulenist Terror Group” trying to overthrow Erdogan. Gulen denies the accusations.
https://news.vice.com/article/turkey-rounds-up-100-people-accused-of-links-to-us-based-muslim-cleric

12. Syrian Hmeymim Delegation Ready to Accept Kurdish PYD Member
17 April 2016 / Sputnik News
The head of Syrian opposition delegation, formed at the Hmeymim air facility, said that his delegation is ready to accept Saleh Moslem, the co-chairman of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), as its new member.
The delegation of the Syrian internal opposition, formed at the Hmeymim air facility, is ready to accept Saleh Moslem, the co-chairman of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), as its new member, the head of the delegation, Ilian Masaad, told Sputnik Sunday.
http://sputniknews.com/politics/20160417/1038158548/hmeymim-opposition-geneva-talks.html <http://sputniknews.com/politics/20160417/1038158548/hmeymim-opposition-geneva-talks.html>
COMMENT, OPINION, ANALYSIS
13. Turkey Invokes Religion to Restore Influence
18 April 2016 / Middle East Institute
Turkey’s ideologically inspired foreign policy is shifting to concentrate more directly on bolstering domestic nationalist support and highlight its regional religious identity. Ankara seeks to divert attention from its policy setbacks in Syria, as well as its internal and economic problems, while continuing to blunt U.S. efforts to crush ISIS.
http://www.mei.edu/content/article/turkey-invokes-religion-restore-influence <http://www.mei.edu/content/article/turkey-invokes-religion-restore-influence>

14. How Turkish police could have prevented IS massacre in Ankara
18 April 2016 / AlMonitor
Could Turkish police have prevented the double-suicide attack Oct. 10 in Ankara that killed 102 people? Until April 13, we could only speculate. But now, we can give a firm answer that yes, the attack could have been thwarted. This was the question asked immediately after the attack, because nobody had seen any police measures near the train station where the bombs went off. Those coming to the station, where a peace rally was being organized by labor unions and civil society organizations, were not searched by the police.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/04/turkey-isis-police-can-prevented-ankara-attack.html <http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/04/turkey-isis-police-can-prevented-ankara-attack.html>

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

16. Political humor no joke for Turkish satirists
18 April 2016 / AlMonitor
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s wrath at the media recently reached Germany, bringing Berlin and Ankara to a diplomatic confrontation over German TV programs satirizing the Turkish leader. Amid tensions simmering since mid-March, the Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned the German ambassador in protest March 22 and sent Berlin a formal request for the prosecution of a comedian for insulting Erdogan in a poem recited on a satirical TV show.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/04/turkey-political-humor-no-joke-for-satirists.html?utm_source=Al-Monitor+Newsletter+%5bEnglish%5d&utm_campaign=ab7de2a007-April_19_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_28264b27a0-ab7de2a007-102482749 <http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/04/turkey-political-humor-no-joke-for-satirists.html?utm_source=Al-Monitor+Newsletter+%5bEnglish%5d&utm_campaign=ab7de2a007-April_19_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_28264b27a0-ab7de2a007-102482749>

17. Democratic confederalism in Kurdistan
18 April 2016 / Corporate Watch
The Kurdish region is currently undergoing a transformation. People are organising themselves in grassroots people’s assemblies and co-operatives, declaring their autonomy from the state and their wish for real democracy. Feminist and anti-capitalist ideas are flourishing. These changes are inspired by a new idea: democratic confederalism. These movements have the capacity to transform the reality of millions of people in Kurdistan, and potentially spread to the wider Middle East. Last year we visited Bakur, the part of Kurdistan within Turkey’s borders, and Rojava, the Kurdish majority autonomous region in Syria. This article examines the theory and practice of democratic confederalism in Bakur and Rojava, and goes on to discuss how we can engage in solidarity, while maintaining an honest and critical perspective.
https://corporatewatch.org/news/2016/apr/18/democratic-confederalism-kurdistan <https://corporatewatch.org/news/2016/apr/18/democratic-confederalism-kurdistan>

18. Meet the Women of JINHA, the Kurdish All-Female News Agency
22 January 2016 / Vice
The reporters of JINHA women’s news agency have certainly picked a tough beat. Their colleagues wait in prison on charges of terrorism, as every day they navigate bombings, kidnappings and shootings in a region more famed for violent attacks than gender equality.
https://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/inside-a-kurdish-all-female-news-agency-765 <https://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/inside-a-kurdish-all-female-news-agency-765>

19. Women on the frontlines of Kurdish struggles: An interview with JİNHA women’s news agency
21 January 2016 / Corporate Watch
In 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).
https://corporatewatch.org/news/2016/jan/21/women-frontlines-kurdish-struggles-interview-jinha-womens-news-agency <https://corporatewatch.org/news/2016/jan/21/women-frontlines-kurdish-struggles-interview-jinha-womens-news-agency>

20. A Test of Turkey’s Pragmatism
https://www.stratfor.com/sample/analysis/test-turkeys-pragmatism <https://www.stratfor.com/sample/analysis/test-turkeys-pragmatism>

STATEMENT
21. We will not be a party to this crime! (in English, French, German, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Greek)
10 January 2016 / Baris Icin
The Turkish state has effectively condemned its citizens in Sur, Silvan, Nusaybin, Cizre, Silopi, and many other towns and neighborhoods in the Kurdish provinces to hunger through its use of curfews that have been ongoing for weeks. It has attacked these settlements with heavy weapons and equipment that would only be MOBILIZED in wartime. As a result, the right to life, liberty, and security, and in particular the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment protected by the constitution and international conventions have been violated.
https://barisicinakademisyenler.net/node/63 <https://barisicinakademisyenler.net/node/63>

ACTION
22. Petitioning Belgian Prime Minister, Justice Minister and Interior Minister
33 Kurds are currently being prosecuted by the Belgian courts. What heinous crime are they supposed to have committed? They spoke out for the Kurdish cause and PROMOTEDKurdish culture. At the behest of the Turkish state innocent people are criminalised in Belgium for alleged involvement in terrorist activities. The trial is an outrage and affront to Belgian democracy and its implications pose a danger not only for Kurds, but for everyone who stands up for his or her opinions.
https://var.change.org/p/kurdish-institute-stop-the-criminalisation-of-the-kurdish-movement?recruiter=8213937&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_term=des-sm-no_src-no_msg&fb_ref=Default#delivered-to <https://var.change.org/p/kurdish-institute-stop-the-criminalisation-of-the-kurdish-movement?recruiter=8213937&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_term=des-sm-no_src-no_msg&fb_ref=Default#delivered-to>

23. COFFEE HOUSE CULTURE HOUSE DAILY
Introducing ‘The President Erdogan Offensive Poetry Competition’ – £1000 prize to be won
Nobody should be surprised that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has instituted effective blasphemy laws to defend himself from criticism in Turkey.  But many of us had assumed that these lèse-majesté laws would not yet be put in place inside Europe.  At least not until David Cameron succeeds in his long-held ambition to bring Turkey fully into the EU. Yet here we are.  Erdogan’s rule now already extends to Europe.
http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/04/introducing-the-president-erdogan-offensive-poetry-competition/ <http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/04/introducing-the-president-erdogan-offensive-poetry-competition/>

EVENTS
24. Washington Kurdish Institute: Co-Existence Through Democratic Autonomy and Self-Governance: The Kurdish Case, Friday April 29, 2016
Friday, April 29, 2016 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
The National Press Club, Holeman Lounge
529 14th St NW Washington, DC 20045
The People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and the Kurdish Policy Research Center (KPRC) are pleased to announce the 3rd International Kurdish Conference to be held on April 29 at The National Press Club in Washington D.C. The HDP and KPRC are jointly organizing this year’s conference, the theme of which is: Co-Existence Through Democratic Autonomy and Self-Governance: The Kurdish Case.

25. CENTRE FOR KURDISH PROGRESS: Public Forum on Democratic Confederalism and the Kurdish Case in Turkey
18 April 2016 / Kurdish Progress
The public forum, entitled Democratic Confederalism and the Kurdish Case in Turkey, was kindly hosted and chaired by Labour MP George Howarth for Knowsley. The first speaker was Janet Biehl, long time collaborator and companion of American social theorist Murray Bookchin. The legacy of Bookchin’s conceptualisation of a bottom-up, face-to-face democracy can be seen in the work of Abdullah Ocalan and the democratic confederalism of Rojava-Northern Syria. Second speaker was Dr Federico Venturini. After completing his PhD, Mr Venturi travelled to Turkey as part of Imrali Delegation. The final speaker was journalist, writer and activist Rahila Gupta, who has a strong focus on women and gender-based violence.
http://www.kurdishprogress.org/public_forum_democratic_confederalism_and_the_kurdish_case_in_turkey <http://www.kurdishprogress.org/public_forum_democratic_confederalism_and_the_kurdish_case_in_turkey>

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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