KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 30 April – 6 May 2016

NEWS

  1. How Erdogan Moved to Solidify Power by Ousting a Pivotal Ally
  2. Turkey PM Ahmet Davutoglu to quit amid reports of Erdogan rift
  3. Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition says lifting immunity will bring more violence
  4. Crackdown in Turkey’s Kurdish south-east turns journalists into ‘terrorists’
  5. The U.S. should accept a Syrian Kurdish region, says Turkish opposition leader
  6. Council of Europe anti-torture Committee visits prison on the island of Imralı (Turkey)
  7. BREAKING: CPT Visits Abdullah Öcalan on Imrali Island
  8. Released Academics Kaya, Camcı Speak
  9. European commission set to approve Turkish citizens’ visa-free travel
  10. Spotlight on Turkey: Women on the ground discuss growing crisis, threats
  11. Turkey, Saudi Arabia unlikely to launch ground operations in Syria: Lavrov
  12. KHRN: KURDISH POLITICAL PRISONER TEMPORARILY ENDS HUNGER STRIKE IN MINAB PRISON
  13. ROUHANI IN ANKARA: PKK AND PJAK COMMON ENEMIES OF TURKEY AND IRAN

OPINION, COMMENT, ANALYSIS

  1. The Syrian Kurds Could Be A Key Ally In The Fight Against Islamic State 
  2. US and Syria’s Kurds: Love on the rocks?
  3. Will Turkey bid farewell to secularism?
  4. Erdogan’s secret economic weapon
  5. Kurds wage historic struggle
  6. Climate Challenges in the Middle East: Rethinking Environmental Cooperation

STATEMENT

  1. Mesopotamian Ecology Movement:  Final Declaration of the 1st Conference held on April 23-24, 2016, in Wan – North Kurdistan

 REPORT

  1. PRELIMINARY REPORT BY JURISTS BASED ON VISIT TO CİZRE

ACTION

  1. Petition for a Humanitarian Corridor for Kobane and Rojava

EVENTS

  1. Women in Rojava: Witnessing a Revolution of our Times
  2. PUBLIC FORUM THE KURDISH QUESTION AND THE CHAOS IN THE MIDDLE EAST

 

NEWS

  1. How Erdogan Moved to Solidify Power by Ousting a Pivotal Ally

5 May 2016 / NY Times

ISTANBUL — In pursuit of more power, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has purged the judiciary of enemies, jailed journalists and crushed anti-government protests. Now, he has ousted his closest political ally, the country’s prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, whose modest effort to check Mr. Erdogan’s ambition was too much for the president.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/06/world/europe/ahmet-davutoglu-turkey-prime-minister.html?smprod=nytcore-iphone&smid=nytcore-iphone-share&_r=1

  1. Turkey PM Ahmet Davutoglu to quit amid reports of Erdogan rift

5 May 2016 / BBC News

Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says he will stand down at an extraordinary congress of his ruling AK Party later this month.

Mr Davutoglu is believed to have fallen from favour because he disapproved of Mr Erdogan’s plans to move Turkey to a presidential system of government.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36213401

  1. Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition says lifting immunity will bring more violence

4 May 2016 / Reuters

A bill proposed by Turkey’s ruling party that would strip some parliamentarians of their immunity from prosecution is likely to create more violence and stifle democratic politics, the co-head of the pro-Kurdish opposition party said.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-kurds-demirtas-idUSKCN0XV1CE

  1. Crackdown in Turkey’s Kurdish south-east turns journalists into ‘terrorists’

3 May 2016 / The Guardian

Refik Tekin, an award-winning photographer and video journalist, had been covering the curfew in the predominantly Kurdish city of Cizre, south-east Turkey, for more than a month when a report by a pro-government news agency turned him into a terrorist.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/03/crackdown-in-turkeys-kurdish-south-east-turns-journalists-into-terrorists

  1. The U.S. should accept a Syrian Kurdish region, says Turkish opposition leader

2 May 2016 / The Washington Post

U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry was in Geneva on Monday aiming to further the progress of peace talks over the conflict in Syria. A February cease-fire jointly brokered by Washington and Moscow is in tatters as the Syrian regime continues to pound civilian areas, particularly in and around the beleaguered city of Aleppo.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/05/02/the-u-s-should-accept-a-syrian-kurdish-state-says-turkish-opposition-leader/

  1. Council of Europe anti-torture Committee visits prison on the island of Imralı (Turkey)

2 May 2016 / Council of Europe CPT

Strasbourg, 02.05.2016 – A delegation of the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) recently carried out a two-day visit (28 and 29 April 2016) to the F-type High-Security Closed Prison on the island of Imralı in Turkey.

http://www.cpt.coe.int/documents/tur/2016-05-02-eng.htm

  1. BREAKING: CPT Visits Abdullah Öcalan on Imrali Island

6 May 2016 / Kurdish Question

The Council of Europe anti-torture Committee has visited Imralı island prison where Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan and three other Kurdish prisoners are being kept in solitary confinement.

Pressure had been mounting on the CPT recently as Kurdish activists and politicians staged demonstrations and made calls for the Kurdish leader to be visited as concerns were rising regarding his well-being.

http://kurdishquestion.com/article/3154-cpt-visits-abdullah-ocalan-on-imrali-island

 

  1. Released Academics Kaya, Camcı Speak

25 April 2016 / Bianet

This is the first workday after the release of the four academics signing the declaration entitled “We will not be a party to this crime”.

Students at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts (MSGSÜ) University where Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kıvanç Ersoy works, and at Boğaziçi University where Assist. Prof. Dr. Esra Mungan works have greeted them.

http://m.bianet.org/english/human-rights/174196-released-academics-kaya-camci-speak

 

  1. European commission set to approve Turkish citizens’ visa-free travel

3 May 2016 / The Guardian

The European commission is poised to recommend visa-free travel for Turkish citizens in Europe’s borderless Schengen zone, one of the terms of a controversial deal over refugees struck between the EU and Turkey in March.

Approval from the commission is expected to come on Wednesday, according to sources in Brussels, even though Ankara will fall short of the 72 political and technical conditions on border control and passports set out in the agreement.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/03/european-commission-turkish-citizens-visa-free-travel-schengen

 

  1. Spotlight on Turkey: Women on the ground discuss growing crisis, threats

2 March 2016 / Global Fund for Women

Over the past few months, Turkey has been on edge. The country has been the target of three deadly suicide attacks carried out by extremists including one explosion that killed five at the end of March in Istanbul, its bustling city of 14 million, as well as two suicide bombings in the capital, Ankara. The attacks, which have heightened security anxieties, add another layer to an already tense situation—political turmoil in the country has been building since the June 2015 parliamentary elections, against a back-drop of rising tensions over closing the border to Syrian refugees, and an existing on-and-off conflict between Turkish forces and the Kurdistan Workers’ party, or PKK.

https://www.globalfundforwomen.org/women-discuss-crisis-in-turkey/#.VypWrcepmPA.facebook

 

  1. Turkey, Saudi Arabia unlikely to launch ground operations in Syria: Lavrov

6 May 2016 / Daily News

Turkey and Saudi Arabia are unlikely to launch ground operations in Syria in the light of Russian air forces already stationed in the country, RIA news agency cited Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying on May 4.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/Default.aspx?pageID=238&nID=98743&NewsCatID=352

 

  1. KHRN: KURDISH POLITICAL PRISONER TEMPORARILY ENDS HUNGER STRIKE IN MINAB PRISON

26 April 2016 / Kurdistan Human Rights Network

“On 21 April, Kurdish political prisoner Afshin Sohrabzadeh, serving a 25-year jail sentence in Minab prison, temporarily ended his hunger strike he went on 10 days ago,” a reliable source told Kurdistan Human-Rights Network (KHRN).

http://kurdistanhumanrights.net/en/?p=897

  1. ROUHANI IN ANKARA: PKK AND PJAK COMMON ENEMIES OF TURKEY AND IRAN

19 April 2016 / Kurdipost

There is not a fundamental difference of outlook between us and Turkey; the PKK and the PJAK are our common enemies, said Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani amid his trip to Turkey. Before his coming back to Iran, Hassan Rouhani participated in a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart, in […]

https://en1kurdipost.wordpress.com/2016/04/19/rouhani-in-ankara-pkk-and-pjak-common-enemies-of-turkey-and-iran/

 

OPINION, COMMENT, ANALYSIS

  1. The Syrian Kurds Could Be A Key Ally In The Fight Against Islamic State

5 May 2016 / Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty

QAMISHLI, Syria — The Kurds have never been lucky with geography, being landlocked and divided between Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. However, due to the Syrian crisis and the threat of an Islamic caliphate bordering Kurdish areas in Syria, the Syrian Kurds have become one of the most reliable coalition allies against the Islamic State (IS) militant group. Most likely they will play a prominent role in capturing the IS capital of Raqqa.

http://www.rferl.org/content/islamic-state-syris-kurds-coalition/27717483.html

 

  1. US and Syria’s Kurds: Love on the rocks?

29 April 2016 / Al Monitor

“The Kurds have no friends but the mountains.” This well-worn adage conveys the Kurds’ isolation in the face of centuries of suffering under successive rulers. In Turkey, Iran and Iraq, where the largest concentration of Kurds live, there are plenty of mountains that have provided sanctuary to Kurdish civilians and rebels alike. Not so in Syria, where some 2 million Kurds are largely confined to the arid plains bordering Turkey, putting them at the mercy of their oppressors and the flat terrain.

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/04/turkey-united-states-syria-kurds-cooperation-against-isis.html

 

  1. Will Turkey bid farewell to secularism?

27 April 2016 / Al Monitor

In the tranquility of Oxford, I was having a lunch with Eugene Rogan, a renowned historian and the director of the Middle East Centre of Oxford University. Last year, he had published a book, “The Fall of the Ottomans,” which was deservedly listed among The Economist’s top 10 best books of 2015. I mentioned something that was sure to interest him: For the first time ever, the Turkish government has issued instructions for the commemoration of the Battle of Kut.

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/04/turkey-speaker-of-parliament-purpose-islamic-constitution.html

 

  1. Erdogan’s secret economic weapon

4 May 2016 / Al Monitor

During his first decade in power, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won widespread respect as a mediator working to resolve international issues. He largely settled Turkey’s problems with neighboring countries, advocated democratic values and presided over a dynamic economy, cashing in on the reputation he had earned. From 2002 through 2012, Turkey’s exports increased fourfold, from $36 billion to $152 billion, boosting economic prosperity and employment in the country.

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/05/turkey-erdogan-secret-economic-weapon.html?utm_source=Boomtrain&utm_medium=manual&utm_campaign=20160505&bt_email=estella24%40tiscali.co.uk&bt_ts=1462466375993#

 

  1. Kurds wage historic struggle

21 April 2016 / Revolutionary Communist

The Kurdish struggle is more significant to the future of the Middle East than ever. In Iraq and Syria, Kurds are crucial to the outcome of the battle against Islamic State (IS) and other jihadi groups. In Turkey, Kurds are in insurrection, the fate of which will decide whether the country succumbs to fascism or progresses towards democracy. The British government, the European Union (EU) and the US are indifferent as towns in Turkey are destroyed by tanks and heavy artillery, civilians are burned to death in their homes, academics, lawyers and journalists are branded as terrorists and the President says that democracy and the rule of law are meaningless in Turkey. Trevor Rayne reports.

http://www.revolutionarycommunist.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4318:kw210416&catid=231&Itemid=888

 

  1. Climate Challenges in the Middle East: Rethinking Environmental Cooperation

3 May 2016 / Middle East Institute

This Policy Paper is part of The Middle East Institute’s Regional Cooperation Series. Throughout 2016, MEI will be releasing several policy papers by renowned scholars and experts exploring possibilities to foster regional cooperation across an array of sectors. The purpose is to highlight the myriad benefits and opportunities associated with regional cooperation, and the high costs of the continued business-as-usual model of competition and intense rivalry.

http://www.mei.edu/content/climate-challenges-middle-east-rethinking-environmental-cooperation

 

STATEMENT

  1. Mesopotamian Ecology Movement:  Final Declaration of the 1st Conference held on April 23-24, 2016, in Wan – North Kurdistan

6 May 2016 / Peace in Kurdistan

On April 23 and 24, 2016, in the city of Wan (Van) the first conference of the Mesopotamian Ecology Movement (MEM) has been held with the participation of 100 delegates from the provinces Amed (Diyarbakir), Dîlok (Gaziantep), Riha (Sanliurfa), Merdîn, Muş, Wan, Elih (Batman), Siirt, Dersîm and Bedlîs (Bitlis), from Turkey with activists from the following movements and groups Gaya magazine, Anti Nuclear Platform, Green Resistance, Green Newspaper, Green and Left Party, Black Sea in Rebellion, Defense of North Forests, Water Right Campaign, Dersîm-Ovacik Municipality and with of the German ICOR and the East-Kurdistan group Green Chiya. Including representatives of the DTK, KJA, HDK and HDP there were in total 170 people joining the first big gathering of the MEM since its buildup.

 

REPORT

  1. PRELIMINARY REPORT BY JURISTS BASED ON VISIT TO CİZRE

14 April 2016 / Kurdish Institute of Brussels

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.

http://www.kurdishinstitute.be/preliminary-report-by-jurists-based-on-visit-to-cizre/

 

ACTION

  1. Petition for a Humanitarian Corridor for Kobane and Rojava

This petition appeals to KRG (Northern Irak) to open the border to Rojava (Northern Syria) and provide an Humanitarian Corridor for Kobane and all Rojava.

https://www.change.org/p/diwan-krp-org-humanitarian-corridor-for-kobane-and-all-rojava?recruiter=536539310&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=share_email_responsive

Open letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to think again on the planned World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul

https://www.change.org/p/ban-ki-moon-open-letter-to-un-sec-gen-ban-ki-moon-world-humanitary-summit-should-not-be-in-turkey

 

EVENTS

  1. Women in Rojava: Witnessing a Revolution of our Times

7 May 2016, 15:00, London / Peace in Kurdistan

We would like to invite you to an in-depth discussion led by Rahila Gupta and Ali Kanea, sparked by their recent visit to Rojava on the invitation by the Foundation for the Free Women of Rojava (WAJR), to celebrate the International Women’s Day 2016 in solidarity with the Kurdish women’s struggle and to support the construction of a free society. Joining them will be the Rohash, the new UK organisation in the Middle East founded on a feminist perspective, representative of Kongra Star (Star Congress) of Rojava.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/women-in-rojava-witnessing-a-revolution-of-our-times-tickets-25161212865?ref=enivte001&invite=MTAxMDM5OTkva25rbG9uZG9uQGduLmFwYy5vcmcvMA%3D%3D&utm_source=eb_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=invitemodernv2&utm_term=eventpage

 

  1. PUBLIC FORUM THE KURDISH QUESTION AND THE CHAOS IN THE MIDDLE EAST

9 May 2016 7pm – 9pm / Centre for Kurdish Progress

You are cordially invited to Centre for Kurdish Progress Public Forum with keynote speakers Dr Michael Gunter, professor of political science at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville and Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley, Lecturer of Political Sociology and Fellow of Darwin College at the University of Cambridge.

http://www.kurdishprogress.org/public_forum_the_kurdish_question_and_the_chaos_in_the_middle_east

 

 

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, Simon Dubbins. UNITE International Director 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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