KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 25 June – 1 JULY 2016

KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 25 June – 1 JULY 2016

NEWS

  1. Karayılan: We are in a process of creating free Kurdistan
  2. Sarıyıldız: We will create public awareness for Lice in Europe
  3. Kurdish Towns Still Blazing, Turkey Setting Outposts on Ashes
  4. German lawsuit accuses Turkey of ‘war crimes’ in military operations against Kurds
  5. Turkey Waging ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ Campaign Against Kurds
  6. Turkey grants immunity to security forces fighting militants
  7. HDP’s Yüksekdağ: They cannot take Kurds, socialists being a power in central politics
  8. Besieged Kurds host over 37,000 Syrians displaced by war in Afrin
  9. Kurdish and Arab forces push into centre of Syria’s Manbij
  10. Syrian Kurds do not fear improvement in Russian-Turkish relations
  11. Russian officials meet Syrian Kurdish blocs in Moscow after improvement of relations with Turkey
  12. [Video] Ezidi girl kidnapped by Islamic State recalls her escape
  13. Russia, Syrian Kurds Discuss Including Syrian Ethnic Groups in Geneva Talks
  14. Isil kidnaps 900 Kurds and forces them to fight for terror group as battle losses mount

OPINION, COMMENT, ANALYSIS

  1. War Between Kurds and Turks?
  2. Turkish journalist Can Dundar braves guns, jail to rally for press freedom
  3. U.S. and E.U. Must Step-Up Pressure on Turkey over Human Rights Violations
  4. Erdoğan’s overtures to Russia part of wider diplomatic bridge-building
  5. Turkey plays diplomatic chess in Middle East
  6. Voices from Turkey: Emerging Threats and New Trends in Turkish Foreign Policy

CAMPAIGNS & ACTIONS
1. Kurds in Europe to protest Germany in 8 countries
2. Turkey New case against lawyers: Demir and Acinikli kept in jail
3.
Turkish President Urged to Drop Charges Against Human Rights Defenders
4. International Call for the Freedom of Öcalan


NEWS
1. Karayılan: We are in a process of creating free Kurdistan
July 1st 2016-07-01/ ANF News
PKK Executive Committee Member Murat Karayılan answered Dengê Kurdistan Radio’s questions on the recent developments in Northern Kurdistan.The interview by Dengê Kurdistan Radio was translated by ANF English service below.Eights cities and towns in Northern Kurdistan have been burned and torn down by the AKP government and state which now tries to design these areas through various plans and projects in accordance with its own plans. These include TOKİ buildings and ‘street police’ application under the name of a ‘watchman’ system. How do you evaluate this plan?http://anfenglish.com/features/karayilan-we-are-in-a-process-of-creating-free-kurdistan

2. Sarıyıldız: We will create public awareness for Lice in Europe
July 1st 2016/ ANF News
HDP Şırnak MP Faysal Sarıyıldız said they were to meet with the UN Human Rights Council to relay the events in Lice in line with the AKP’s massacrist policies in Kurdistan and continued: “As you know, the forest fires in Lice’s rural areas started by arsons in line with AKP’s massacrist policies in Kurdistan have continued for days, and people in villages are trapped in their homes due to the curfews. Aside from the forests, many houses were burned down in these operations. There is a massive massacre of nature and life in Lice as a result of state policies. In this framework, we will hold a series of meetings in the name of HDP in Europe to relay the events and create public awareness.”
http://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/sariyildiz-we-will-create-public-awareness-for-lice-in-europe

3. Kurdish Towns Still Blazing, Turkey Setting Outposts on Ashes
June 29th 2016/ Telsur TV
Turkish special forces say they have cracked down on marijuana production, but residents say that they were forced to evacuate their homes. Uncontrolled fires are blazing through dozens of Kurdish villages, which Kurdish media reports have been set by Turkish special forces under the guise of a drug trafficking operation in order to raze the villages for military outposts.
http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Kurdish-Towns-Still-Blazing-Turkey-Setting-Outposts-on-Ashes-20160629-0022.html

4.German lawsuit accuses Turkey of ‘war crimes’ in military operations against Kurds
June 27th 2016/ DW.com
A group of German lawmakers and rights activists on Monday filed a civil lawsuit against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for alleged “war crimes” committed in ongoing military operations in the Kurdish populated southeast of the country.
http://www.dw.com/en/german-lawsuit-accuses-turkey-of-war-crimes-in-military-operations-against-kurds/a-19361089

5. Turkey Waging ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ Campaign Against Kurds
July 1st 2016/ Assyrian International News Agency
People’s Democratic Party (HDP) Co-chair Figen Yuksekdag said on Sunday (June 26) the Turkish government is carrying out a campaign of “ethnic cleansing” against ethnic Kurds in the country’s southeast. Yuksekdag spoke on the sidelines of a panel in Italy and said thousands of people have been forced to leave their homes due to military operations in the mainly-Kurdish southeast, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News reported. “An ethnic cleansing war is being conducted against the Kurdish people,” she said. “Lots of deaths and exiles have taken place; 600,000 Kurds have been forced to migrate from the lands they had been living in. But Kurds haven’t abandoned their lands.”
http://www.aina.org/news/20160627194802.htm

6. Turkey grants immunity to security forces fighting militants
June 24th 2016/ Reuters
Turkey’s parliament has granted immunity from prosecution to members of the armed forces conducting counter-terrorism operations as security forces battle Kurdish militants in fighting that has killed thousands in the past year. The law, passed late on Thursday, gives expansive powers to the military as it tries to stamp out an insurgency by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) after last year’s collapse of a two-year ceasefire.
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-security-kurds-idUSKCN0ZA1IV

7. HDP’s Yüksekdağ: They cannot take Kurds, socialists being a power in central politics
July 1st 2016/ Hurriyet Daily News
The co-leader of Turkey’s Kurdish problem-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has indicated that sovereign forces dominant in the country’s system could not endure the presence of both Kurdish people and socialists as “a power in central politics.”
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/Default.aspx?pageID=238&nid=100924&NewsCatID=338

8. Besieged Kurds host over 37,000 Syrians displaced by war in Afrin
June 28th 2016/ ARA News
Since May this year, thousands of displaced people have arrived in the town of Afrin in northwestern Syria, being hosted by Kurds, while Turkey closed its borders for Syrians fleeing the fighting between ISIS militants and Syrian rebel groups.
http://aranews.net/2016/06/besieged-kurds-host-over-37000-syrians-displaced-by-war-in-afrin/

9. Kurdish and Arab forces push into centre of Syria’s Manbij
June 28th 2016/ Middle East Eye
Kurdish and Arab forces have pushed further into the heart of the Islamic State-controlled city of Manbij, as an influential US think tank declared Kurdish autonomy in the region inevitable. A US defence spokesperson confirmed that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a group composed of the pro-Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and allied Arab groups, began to push into the centre of the northern Syrian city of Manbij, after surrounding its perimeter.
http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/sdf-assault-manbij-2026184828

10. Syrian Kurds do not fear improvement in Russian-Turkish relations
June 28th 2016/ ARA News
After Turkey shot down a Russian jet, Moscow increased their diplomatic and media support to the Syrian Kurds. However, now that Turkey has made concessions to Russia, trying to repair relations, Kurds say they do not think this would have many effects on the situation of northern Syria and Rojava.
http://aranews.net/2016/06/syrian-kurds-not-fear-improvement-russian-turkish-relations/

11. Russian officials meet Syrian Kurdish blocs in Moscow after improvement of relations with Turkey
June 30th 2016/ARA News
The Russian Special Presidential Representative for the Middle East and Africa and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, met both with the Kurdish National Council (KNC) and the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in separate meetings to discuss future peace talks in Geneva. The meetings come after the improvement of relations between Turkey and Russia.
http://aranews.net/2016/06/russian-officials-meet-syrian-kurdish-blocs-moscow-improvement-relations-turkey/

12. [Video] Ezidi girl kidnapped by Islamic State recalls her escape
June 22nd 2016/ NRT
A teenage Ezidi girl who escaped after over a year of captivity under the Islamic State described brutal conditions and sexual slavery at the hands of the militants, in a video released by a charity group on Wednesday.
http://www.nrttv.com/EN/media-video-detail.aspx?Cor=2&Jimare=8166

13. Russia, Syrian Kurds Discuss Including Syrian Ethnic Groups in Geneva Talks
June 28th 2016/ Sputnik News
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov discussed with representatives of the Syrian Kurdish National Council the importance of including representatives of all ethnic and religious groups in the country in intra-Syrian negotiations in Geneva for finding solutions and determining the future of a united, independent and sovereign Syria.
http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20160628/1042104828/russia-syria-geneva.html

14. Isil kidnaps 900 Kurds and forces them to fight for terror group as battle losses mount
June 25th/ The Telegraph
Islamic State fighters are reported to have abducted hundreds of Kurdish civilians in the Syrian city of Aleppo, in retaliation for an offensive on its territory in a nearby area.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/25/isil-kidnaps-900-kurds-and-forces-them-to-fight-for-terror-group/

OPINION,COMMENT, ANALYSIS
1. War Between Kurds and Turks?
June 30th 2016/ Lobe Log
Selahattin Demirtas, co-chair of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), has mentioned several times in the last few months that Turkey and its Kurdish population will go to war. He stated such a possibility in early March while in Washington and has repeated it several times since. “By summer, the tension between the PKK and the government could grow,” he said at the time.
http://lobelog.com/war-between-kurds-and-turks/

2. Turkish journalist Can Dundar braves guns, jail to rally for press freedom
June 27 th 2016/ France 24
There are few threats Turkey’s leading newspaper editor has not faced, from government threats to gunmen attempting a daylight assassination. But during a trip to Paris, Can Dundar vowed to keep fighting.
http://www.france24.com/en/20160628-turkey-journalist-can-dundar-guns-jail-press-freedom

3. U.S. and E.U. Must Step-Up Pressure on Turkey over Human Rights Violations
June 30th 2016/ Kurdish Question
Representatives from three major international human rights organizations have called on American and European officials to increase pressure on the Turkish government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to stop jailing journalists and human rights activists.
http://kurdishquestion.com/article/3261-u-s-and-e-u-must-step-up-pressure-on-turkey-over-human-rights-violations

4. Erdoğan’s overtures to Russia part of wider diplomatic bridge-building
June 28th 2016/ The Guardian
Even tough guys have to say sorry sometimes, and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is no exception. But the regrets expressed this week by Turkey’s famously stubborn president over last November’s shooting down of a Russian military plane have an ulterior purpose. Erdoğan boxed Turkey into a diplomatic corner in recent years. Now he’s on the ropes and he badly needs a wet towel and a breather.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/28/erdogan-russia-turkey-foreign-policy

5. Turkey plays diplomatic chess in Middle East
June 29th 2016/BBC News
The normalisation agreement signed between Israel and Turkey creates what might be termed a “new normal”.
There will be no going back to the close strategic ties of the 1990s – major arms deals, for example, are unlikely.
The formal improvement of ties, which will lead to the return of ambassadors, has been accompanied by a more recent effort by the Turks to reconcile with Russia.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has offered a full apology to Moscow for Turkey’s shooting down of a Russian warplane on the Turkish-Syrian frontier in November 2015.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-36650141

6. Voices from Turkey: Emerging Threats and New Trends in Turkish Foreign Policy
June 29th 2016 /Centre for American Progress
Turkey’s foreign policy during most of the republican era was informed by the security imperatives of the Cold War and the crises that ensued from the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. These influences were coupled with the country’s republican elites crafting Turkey’s identity along the lines of strict secularism, militant nationalism, and a western orientation.
https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/security/report/2016/06/29/140618/emerging-threats-and-new-trends-in-turkish-foreign-policy/

CAMPAIGNS & ACTIONS
1. Kurds in Europe to protest Germany in 8 countries
July 1st 2016/ANF News
KCDK-E will be holding demonstrations against the German government’s criminalisation policies, lawsuits and arrests against the Kurdish people and overlooking the massacres of the Turkish state.
A written statement issued by the European Kurdish Democratic Society Congress (KCDK-E) states: “We as the KCDK-E condemn the German government’s criminalisation policies, lawsuits and arrests against the Kurdish people and their legitimization of the massacres of the Turkish state in Kurdistan by overlooking and empowering. We are obliged to stress once more that these are clear attacks on the rightful struggle of the Kurdish people.”
http://anfenglish.com/news/kurds-in-europe-to-protest-germany-in-8-countries

2. Turkey New case against lawyers: Demir and Acinikli kept in jail
June 29th 2016/ Lawyers for Lawyers
On Wednesday 22 June 2016 the criminal trial against twelve lawyers and a group of members of TUHAD-FED, an aid organization that serves as an intermediary between prisoners, relatives and lawyers, started in Istanbul. They had been arrested on March 16th 2016 and were released some days later, but lawyers Ramazan Demir and Ayşe Acinikli were rearrested on April 6th 2016. At the start of the trial Demir, Acinikli and 6 members of TUAD-FED were still in pre-trial detention.
http://www.advocatenvooradvocaten.nl/11740/turkey-new-case-against-lawyers-demir-and-acinikli-kept-in-jail/

3. Turkish President Urged to Drop Charges Against Human Rights Defenders
June 24th 2016/ World Medical Association
A call for all charges to be dropped against one of Turkey’s leading doctors and two campaigning journalists and for their immediate release from prison has come from the World Medical Association and four other organisations. The call coincides with the International Day in support of Victims of Torture
http://www.wma.net/en/40news/20archives/2016/2016_14/index.html

4. International Call for the Freedom of Öcalan
1st July 2016/Peace in Kurdistan
Several European parliamentarians and human rights defenders met in front of the Council of Europe last Friday and issued a call for the freedom of Öcalan.
As the vigil for the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan being in front of the Council of Europe by representatives from institutions in the European Kurdish Democratic Society Congress (KCDK-E) continues, a press conference was held emphasizing the importance of the Öcalan’s freedom for peaceful solutions in Kurdistan and the Middle East.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2016/07/01/international-call-for-the-freedom-of-ocalan/

EVENTS

  1. Day-Mer Culture and Arts Festival
    3rd July 2016/ Clissold Park
    Speakers :Selma Gurkan, Christine Blower, Matt Wrack, Chris Baugh, and many more.
    http://daymer.org/content/27th-culture-and-arts-festival

 

  1. World View
    9th July 2016/ Halkevi
    A free cultural event with special guests, live music, photography & art exhibition.
    https://www.eventbrite.com/e/world-view-talks-music-art-halkevi-dalston-tickets-25956720249

 

Peace in Kurdistan
Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question
Email: estella24@tiscali.co.uk
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 International 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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