KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 9 – 15 JULY 2016

NEWS
1. Demos for Öcalan’s freedom in Gävle, Marseille and
2. Kurds in Athens stage three-day march for Öcalan’s freedom
Rotterdam
3. Shengal women call for international action against the genocide of Êzidîs
4. Êzidî woman freed from ISIS tells the story of barbarism
5. ISIS confessor:Erdoğan supports us because he is against Kurds –PART I
6. ISIS confessor: Turkey’s passage ways always open for us – PART II
7. ‘Concerns of major cover-up’: Turkey bans probes into Kurdish op killings, HRW says
8. Human Rights Association Istanbul Branch Releases Report on Turkey’s War on Kurds
9. In Turkey, a loud disagreement finds a common ground: Journalism is not a crime
10. Legal shield for Turkish soldiers in anti-terror ops becomes law
11. PKK accuses Kurds and Turkish diplomats of spying
12. Kurdish Representative: Kurds Must be Involved in New UN Strategy on Syria
13. Syrian rebels stunned as Turkey signals normalisation of Damascus relations
14. Great interest in the Rojava exhibition in the European Parliament

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. Who are they, these revolutionary Rojava women?
2. VIDEO:
Public forum ‘ISIS and systematic rape of Kurdish-Yazidi Women’ organised by Centre for Kurdish Progress
3. Oppose the EU refugee deal with Turkey
4. Can Dundar: Turkey is “The Biggest Prison for Journalists in the World”
5. Silence in the media brings more destruction to Turkey
July 12th/Open Democracy
6. Turkey: Erdoğan deepens ethnic cleansing of Kurds
7. Erdogan policies have played a major role in the Region
8. Turkey: Back to Zero Problems with Neighbors?
9. Turkey Makes Overtures to Minorities, but Old Enmities Linger
10. Apocalypse Soon? The Battle for Dabiq
ACTION
Petition: Humanitarian Corridor for Kobane and all Rojava – Kampagne Tatort Kurdistan
EVENTS
1. WHERE NEXT FOR THE TURKISH JUSTICE SYSTEM?
2. PUBLIC MEETING: WHERE IS TURKEY HEADING?
—————-
NEWS
1. Demos for Öcalan’s freedom in Gävle, Marseille and Rotterdam
July 15th/ANF News
Demonstrations demanding freedom for Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan continue across European countries. Most recent demos in this scope were staged in Gävle city of Sweden, Marseille city of France and Rotterdam city of the Netherlands.
http://anfenglish.com/news/demos-for-ocalan-s-freedom-in-gavle-marseille-and-rotterdam

2. Kurds in Athens stage three-day march for Öcalan’s freedom
July 14th/ANF News
Kurdish people living in and around the Greek capital Athens have  started a three-day long march demanding physical freedom for Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan.
The march led by youths started from the town of Lavrion in Attiki region and will end with a rally outside the Turkish Embassy in Athens on July 16. The rally will also be joined by some Greek organisations.
http://anfenglish.com/news/kurds-in-athens-stage-three-day-march-for-ocalan-s-freedom

3. Shengal women call for international action against the genocide of Êzidîs
July 15th/ANF News
ISIS gangs selling women in slave markets turn Êzîdî children abducted from Shengal into suicide bombers. Thousands of Êzîdî continue to suffer in the hands of the gangs. An Êzîdî woman who managed to escape ISIS with a child in her lap, along with her 2.5 years old sister and a 11 year old child gives a chilling account.
Êzîdî woman A.K., whose full name and photograph can’t be published due to security concerns, says KDP sold them out and turned them over to ISIS gangs, that thousands of Êzidîs are still captive in the hands of ISIS and that Êzîdî children were used as suicide bombers.
http://anfenglish.com/special/ezidi-woman-freed-from-isis-tells-the-story-of-barbarism

4. Êzidî woman freed from ISIS tells the story of barbarism
July 15th/ANF News
ISIS gangs selling women in slave markets turn Êzîdî children abducted from Shengal into suicide bombers. Thousands of Êzîdî continue to suffer in the hands of the gangs. An Êzîdî woman who managed to escape ISIS with a child in her lap, along with her 2.5 years old sister and a 11 year old child gives a chilling account.
Êzîdî woman A.K., whose full name and photograph can’t be published due to security concerns, says KDP sold them out and turned them over to ISIS gangs, that thousands of Êzidîs are still captive in the hands of ISIS and that Êzîdî children were used as suicide bombers.
http://anfenglish.com/special/ezidi-woman-freed-from-isis-tells-the-story-of-barbarism

5. ISIS confessor:Erdoğan supports us because he is against Kurds –PART I
July 11th/ANF News
Savaş Yıldız, who was captured by the YPG during the ISIS attack on Girê Spi (Tel Abyad), had contributed to the exposure of the relations between ISIS and the AKP, Erdoğan and Turkey through his confessions. After Yıldız’s confessions, Turkey had launched operations in order to capture the gangs whose identities were exposed, and these operations aimed to replace the exposed gangs.
http://anfenglish.com/special/isis-confessor-erdogan-supports-us-because-he-is-against-kurds-part-i

6. ISIS confessor: Turkey’s passage ways always open for us – PART II
July 12th/ANF News
I believe the main reason is the roads. And then there was the Cemaat. ISIS organisation is present in Istanbul, Konya, Ankara and all Kurdish cities. But Antep was chosen as the central base for the effective use of the border and to have all routes pass from a common point. For example, there are many Kurdish people and PKK supporters in Urfa, so it couldn’t be a central base. The soundest road and center would be Antep. When you cross the border from Antep, you can cross directly into ISIS territory.
http://anfenglish.com/special/isis-confessor-turkey-s-passage-ways-always-open-for-us-part-ii

7. ‘Concerns of major cover-up’: Turkey bans probes into Kurdish op killings, HRW says
July 12th/Russia Today
Turkey is blocking all access to independent investigations into the abuses against civilians in southeastern Turkey, where security forces are battling Kurdish fighters, Human Rights Watch said, calling for the UN to be allowed in to investigate.
https://www.rt.com/news/350742-turkey-bans-probes-kurds-hrw/

8. Human Rights Association Istanbul Branch Releases Report on Turkey’s War on Kurds
July 12th/The Armenian Weekly
The Human Rights Association (HRA) Committee Against Racism and Discrimination Istanbul branch recently released an official report entitled, “A Racist War is Waged Against the Kurds in Turkey.” After a two-week investigation, the group confirmed that the war currently being waged against the Kurdish people is “racist in every aspect.” To collect their information, the HRA formed a delegation that visited areas in Turkey affected by the war.
http://armenianweekly.com/2016/07/12/hra-istanbul-war/

9. In Turkey, a loud disagreement finds a common ground: Journalism is not a crime
July 13th/Index on Censorship
The above was part of a series of tweets were sent out by Platform for Independent Journalism (P24) near midnight on 11 July. P24 joined editors, reporters, columnists, bloggers and civil society activists, who are, despite being a minority in the shackled media sector in Turkey, determined to defend the honour of our noble profession till the very end.
https://www.indexoncensorship.org/2016/07/turkey-loud-disagreement-finds-common-ground-journalism-not-crime/

10. Legal shield for Turkish soldiers in anti-terror ops becomes law
July 14th/Hurriyet Daily News
A proposal to provide legal protection to soldiers taking part in anti-terror operations and enable the participation of Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) in operations in urban areas was made into law after being published in the Official Gazette on July 14.

The law, which increases the authority of all soldiers participating in security operations against groups listed as terrorist organizations, also provides a legal shield to security officials by requiring permission to launch probes in case of wrongdoings.
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/legal-shield-for-turkish-soldiers-in-anti-terror-ops-becomes-law.aspx?pageID=517&nID=101597&NewsCatID=341

11. PKK accuses Kurds and Turkish diplomats of spying
July 11th/Kurdistan 24
On Monday, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), through its media outlets, accused a group of people in the Kurdistan Region of “counter-guerilla” activities.
PKK claims they have identified several members of Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in the Kurdistan Region “who were spying on PKK fighters deployed inside the Region.”
http://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/f57fba1b-5b18-4ce8-873b-9074012399e1/PKK-arrests-Kurds-and-Turkish-diplomats-for–spying-

12. Kurdish Representative: Kurds Must be Involved in New UN Strategy on Syria
July 12th/Sputnik News
A new UN strategy on Syria, which the Riyadh-backed High Negotiations Committee (HNC) is calling for, should ensure that representatives of various Syrian ethnic groups, including the Kurds, participate fully in negotiations, Fikret Igrek, the president of the exile Council of Sinjar, a district in Iraq’s Nineveh Governorate, told Sputnik.
http://sputniknews.com/politics/20160712/1042858388/kurdish-representative-un-strategy-syria.html

13. Syrian rebels stunned as Turkey signals normalisation of Damascus relations
July 13th/The Guardian
More than five years into Syria’s civil war, Turkey <https://www.theguardian.com/world/turkey> , the country that has most helped the rebellion against the rule of Bashar al-Assad, has hinted it may move to normalise relations with Damascus.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/13/turkey-pm-greatest-goal-is-to-improve-relations-with-syria-and-iraq

14. Great interest in the Rojava exhibition in the European Parliament
July 15th/ANF News
Great public interest in the Rojava themed photography exhibition in the European Parliament in Brussels continues.
Kurdish people living in Brussels visited the exhibition yesterday.
The exhibition opened on Tuesday and will be open for a week.
The revolution process in Rojava are told through the photography of Thomas Schmidinger.
http://anfenglish.com/news/great-interest-in-the-rojava-exhibition-in-the-ep

15. Turkey sees red over euro parliament’s Kurdish photo exhibit
July 13th/Reuters
Turkey accused the European Parliament of encouraging terrorism on Wednesday by exhibiting photographs from Kurdish-controlled northern Syria, highlighting the challenges Ankara and Brussels face in trying to finalize a migrants-for-visas deal.
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-turkey-kurds-idUSKCN0ZT23W

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. Who are they, these revolutionary Rojava women?
July 12th/Open Democracy Meredith Tax just had to find out who they were – the revolutionary women of Rojava, bearing arms against ISIS, building a new world…she had to find their story, for herself, and in her new book, for us. Imagine a life amidst war, another war, and recovery from decades of war, where humans decide that all public positions are shared between women and men, and where, in fact, everything is shared. It’s not a bleak but beautiful fantasy dreamed up by Ursula le Guin, it is here and now on the border between Syria and Turkey. It is Rojava.
https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/beatrix-campbell/who-are-they-these-revolutionary-Rojava-women

2. VIDEO:
Public forum ‘ISIS and systematic rape of Kurdish-Yazidi Women’ organised by Centre for Kurdish Progress
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZ8pvG8lrb4

3. Oppose the EU refugee deal with Turkey
July 11th/Peace in Kurdistan
The flow of refugees out of Syria constitutes a humanitarian crisis and presents the European Union and its member states with a profound political challenge. Democratic values and respect for different peoples are threatened by totalitarian and racist tendencies that exploit anxieties exacerbated by the so-called “refugee crisis”.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2016/07/11/oppose-the-eu-refugee-deal-with-turkey/#more-6160

4. CAN DÜNDAR: TURKEY IS “THE BIGGEST PRISON FOR JOURNALISTS IN THE WORLD”
July 8th/Index on Censorship
Turkish journalist, author and filmmaker Can Dündar spoke at the House of Commons last week about the state of politics and media freedom in Turkey. The event was hosted by the Centre for Turkey Studies and chaired by Scottish Liberal Democrat peer Lord Jeremy Purvis of Tweed.
“I’ve come from
the biggest prison for journalists in the world,” Dündar told the audience. “There are close to 40 journalists imprisoned in Turkey — we are competing with China.”
WATCH: https://www.indexoncensorship.org/2016/07/can-dundar-turkey-biggest-prison-journalists-world

5. Silence in the media brings more destruction to Turkey
July 12th/Open Democracy
Standing outside the BBC headquarters in London, thousands of Kurds demonstrated in early March to ‘break the silence in the media’ <http://rudaw.net/english/middleeast/turkey/080320161> . They claimed there was a massacre happening in south-east Turkey. Demonstrators told me that the [international] media keeps quiet about it, and that Turkey is not held properly to account.
https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening/osamah-golpy/silence-in-media-brings-more-destruction-to-turkey

6. Turkey: Erdoğan deepens ethnic cleansing of Kurds
July 11th/Green Left Weekly
Three-hundred-and-fifty thousand. That is the number of people displaced since the Kurdish-Turkish “resolution process” was interrupted by the Turkish government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last year.
That is the recorded number — many more have been displaced, but are yet to be recorded. In the predominantly Kurdish towns of south-eastern Turkey (Northern Kurdistan), Erdoğan is bringing the war home.
https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/62144

7. Erdogan policies have played a major role in the Region
July 14th/Zaher Baher.com
In this article I will try to show how the regional policies, executed by Erdogan and his AKP (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi – Justice and Development Party) in respect of Rojava, Bakur and Iraqui Kurdistan, meet the goals of the Turkey’s president.
None of these policies are in the interest of Turkey. They already have suicidal impact on the country’s social, economic and political situation. In future it may even cause a military coup in Turkey.
http://zaherbaher.com/2016/07/14/erdogan-policies-have-played-a-major-role-in-the-region/

8. Turkey: Back to Zero Problems with Neighbors?
July 11th/Lobe Log
During the earlier years of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, Turkish foreign policy had a strategic vision based on improving relations with all neighboring countries in order to raise the country’s regional economic and diplomatic status. Those were the years when Ankara pursued a historic compromise in Cyprus, normalization with Armenia, mediation between Israel and Syria, and energy and construction deals with Russia. Ankara had particularly good relations with Damascus.
 
http://lobelog.com/turkey-back-to-zero-problems-with-neighbors/

9. Turkey Makes Overtures to Minorities, but Old Enmities Linger
July 12th/The New York Times
The history of this city, about 30 miles from the border with Armenia, may best be told through its former Armenian cathedral, the Church of the Holy Apostles, poised at the base of an imposing fortress.
Built in the 10th century by an Armenian king, it was turned into a mosque three times and once into a Russian Orthodox church.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/13/world/europe/turkey-armenia-kurds-kars.html?_r=0

10. Apocalypse Soon? The Battle for Dabiq
July 12th/Small Wars Journal
The extremely confused land war against ISIS in Syria and Iraq continues to grind on, with the current situation trending somewhat against ISIS in Iraq, less so in Syria.
The Russian intervention has bought the Assad regime at least an improved stalemate, with the Assad regime consolidating their position in their western Syrian bastion (although their hold on that may still be uncertain and regaining some ground, especially around Palmyra in the south.
http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/apocalypse-soon-the-battle-for-dabiq

ACTION
Petition: Humanitarian Corridor for Kobane and all Rojava – Kampagne Tatort Kurdistan
https://www.change.org/p/diwan-krp-org-humanitarian-corridor-for-kobane-and-all-rojava

EVENTS
1. WHERE NEXT FOR THE TURKISH JUSTICE SYSTEM? – A Talk by Muharrem Erbey (18th July 2016)
The talk intends to describe the present legal climate in Turkey, with particular reference to the status of the justice system, the judiciary, the attacks on freedom of speech, press, assembly, and on the lawyers who face imprisonment for doing their job defending lawyers who are themselves in prison for speaking on behalf of the Kurds and their imprisoned leader, Abdullah Ocalan.
http://9bri.com/where-next-for-the-turkish-justice-system-a-talk-by-muharrem-erbey-18th-july-2016/

2. PUBLIC MEETING: WHERE IS TURKEY HEADING?
Meeting chaired by Ara Sarafian of the Gomidas Institute with speakers: Garo Paylan (HDP) and Muharram Erbey (human rights lawyer) 19TH July Parliament committee Room 2a
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2016/07/14/where-is-turkey-heading-public-meeting/

Peace in Kurdistan
Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question
Email:
estella24@tiscali.co.uk <../../../../../../Applications/Microsoft%20Office%202011/Microsoft%20Word.app/Contents/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 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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