KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 16 – 22 JULY 2016

NEWS
1. Kurds call for probe into Ocalan conditions after coup attempt
2. PKK: Democracy bloc must be formed in Turkey immediately
3. Conference participants demand freedom for Öcalan
4. Turkey’s Erdogan promises ‘new blood’ in armed forces after post-coup shake-up
5. Erdogan gets stronger but Turkey is weak and even more divided
6. Turkey: Human rights in grave danger following coup attempt and subsequent crackdown
7. Bahçeli: If AKP Is Ready For Death Penalty, Count Us in Too
8. Erdoğan: ‘We Will Build Military Barracks in Gezi Whether They Like It or Not’
9. Thousands of public employees suspended after failed coup attempt in Turkey
10.
 Turkey’s coup may have failed – but history shows it won’t be long before another one succeeds
11. Pentagon loses Turkish airspace access crucial in airstrikes against Isis
12. Injured but not out of action: Rojava’s Mala Birîndara
13. John Kerry Meets Vladimir Putin to Discuss New Syria Plan

OPINION, COMMENT, ANALYSIS
1. Post-Coup Purge Adds to Turkey’s Instability
2. Turkey’s Absurd Coup
3. Turkey’s Manipulation of Europe, Then and Now
4. How they blew the coup
5. Turkey: United against a coup, divided on the future
6.  Fethullah Gulen stirs fresh tensions between Ankara and Washington
7. Causes and Consequences of the Coup in Turkey
8. Dark Days For Turkey
9. Hints at a developing western narrative on the failed coup in Turkey?
10. Anatomy of a Turkish assassination fable
11. In Ross Kemp the Kurds have found their Byron: Sky 1’s The Fight Against Isis reviewed
STATEMENTS
1. Turkey: Dictatorship a Step Closer After Deplorable Failed Coup
2. Turkish democracy’s Nightmare
3. GMB Statement on Turkey
4. Unite Statement on the Current Situation in Turkey
————–
NEWS
1. Kurds call for probe into Ocalan conditions after coup attempt
July 21st/Middle East Eye

The pro-Kurdish People’s Democracy Party are calling for an independent committee to look into the condition of imprisoned Kurdish separatist leader Abdullah Ocalan over fears that Friday’s coup plotters would have sought to target him.

Ocalan, 68, has been imprisoned on Imrali, an island off the Turkish coast in the Marmara sea, for 15 years after he was given life imprisonment for treason and separatism. Since April 2015, he has been kept in isolation.

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/kurdish-groups-call-investigation-ocalan-conditions-following-coup-attempt-1070614184

2. PKK: Democracy bloc must be formed in Turkey immediately
July 22nd/ANF English

PKK (Kurdistan Worker’s Party) Executive Committee issued a written statement and said that the current political party oligarchy could not democratize Turkey or solve the country’s problems. The committee emphasized the need for establishing a bloc of radical democracy forces that would democratize the country, prevent further coups from happening, and put an end to oppression and cruelty.

http://anfenglish.com/news/pkk-democracy-bloc-must-be-formed-in-turkey-immediately

3. Conference participants demand freedom for Öcalan
July 22nd/ANF English

200 delegates from Kurdistan and other parts of the world participated in the conference that began on July 19: the anniversary of the revolution in Rojava. The conspiracy against Öcalan, the İmralı system, economic issues, a new economy, autonomous administrations, the Democratic Middle East Confederation and the solution possibilities in Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran were the main themes of the conference.
http://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/conference-participants-demand-freedom-for-ocalan

4. Turkey’s Erdogan promises ‘new blood’ in armed forces after post-coup shake-up
July 22nd/Middle East Eye

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to shake up the country’s military following a failed coup attempt against his government, saying that a state of emergency imposed on Thursday could be extended beyond an initial three-month period.
http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/turkeys-erdogan-promises-new-blood-armed-forces-after-post-coup-shake-2135498202

5. Erdogan gets stronger but Turkey is weak and even more divided
July 21st/Evening Standard

We are seeing the end of a secular Turkish state with a genuine if messy division of powers between the executive, parliament, armed forces and judiciary. It is being replaced by greater power concentrated at the top and a more Islamised society below. The independent media has been crushed or muted and opponents of the new regime are denounced and threatened with punishment as terrorists.
http://www.standard.co.uk/comment/comment/patrick-cockburn-erdogan-gets-stronger-but-turkey-is-weak-and-even-more-divided-a3301291.html

6. Turkey: Human rights in grave danger following coup attempt and subsequent crackdown
July 18th/Amnesty International

Human rights in Turkey are in peril following a bloody coup attempt on Friday 15 July, which resulted in the deaths of at least 208 people and almost 8,000 arrests, Amnesty International said today.
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/07/turkey-human-rights-in-grave-danger-following-coup-attempt-and-subsequent-crackdown/

7. Bahçeli: If AKP Is Ready For Death Penalty, Count Us in Too
July 19th/Bianet English

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Leader Devlet Bahçeli has said that “If AKP (Justice and Development Party) is ready for death penalty, count us in too.”Bahçeli has supported AKP regarding arguments to bring back death penalty to Turkey in his party’s group meeting.
http://bianet.org/english/politics/176901-bahceli-if-akp-is-ready-for-death-penalty-count-us-in-too

8. Erdoğan: ‘We Will Build Military Barracks in Gezi Whether They Like It or Not’
July 19th/Bianet English

Erdoğan noting they will build Topçu Military Barracks in the Gezi Park in Taksim district of İstanbul whether it is wanted or not, said that they will build Taksim Mosque and pedestrianize Taksim totally.
http://bianet.org/english/politics/176887-erdogan-we-will-build-military-barracks-in-gezi-whether-they-like-it-or-not

9. Thousands of public employees suspended after failed coup attempt in Turkey
July 22nd/Hurriyet Daily News
Thousands of public employees have been suspended from their duties amid a nationwide move against those suspected of having links to the July 15 failed coup attempt.
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/thousands-of-public-employees-suspended-after-failed-coup-attempt-in-turkey-.aspx?PageID=238&NID=101828&NewsCatID=341

 

10. Turkey’s coup may have failed – but history shows it won’t be long before another one succeeds
July 16th/Independent

Recep Tayyip Erdogan had it coming. The Turkish army was never going to remain compliant while the man who would recreate the Ottoman Empire turned his neighbours into enemies and his country into a mockery of itself. But it would be a grave mistake to assume two things: that the putting down of a military coup is a momentary matter after which the Turkish army will remain obedient to its sultan; and to regard at least 161 deaths and more than 2,839 detained in isolation from the collapse of the nation-states of the Middle East.
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/turkey-coup-erdogan-ankara-istanbul-military-army-turkey-s-coup-may-have-failed-but-history-shows-a7140521.html

11. Pentagon loses Turkish airspace access crucial in airstrikes against Isis
July 16th/ The Guardian

The coup attempt in Turkey has yielded its first tangible disruption to the war against Islamic State, as the Pentagon has temporarily lost access to the Turkish airfield it uses as its primary staging ground for its air campaign in Syria and Iraq.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/16/isis-airstrike-turkey-airspace-us-air-force

12. Injured but not out of action: Rojava’s Mala Birîndara
July 14th/Kurdish Institute of Brussels

We are writing this article as two Europeans who are living and working in Rojava. One of us has spent six months working in the physiotherapy department at the military hospital in Kobanê, and both of us have made some visits to the Mala Birîndara (MB) for YPJ/YPG in Qamişlo.
http://www.kurdishinstitute.be/injured-but-not-out-of-action-rojavas-mala-birindara/

13. John Kerry Meets Vladimir Putin to Discuss New Syria Plan
July 14th/New York Times

MOSCOW — Secretary of State John Kerry met with President Vladimir V. Putin in Moscow late Thursday night to discuss a proposed extensive military cooperation agreement that for the first time would coordinate American and Russian air attacks on the Islamic State and the Nusra Front, Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/15/world/middleeast/john-kerry-vladimir-putin-syria-plan.html?smprod=nytcore-iphone&smid=nytcore-iphone-share&_r=0

OPINION, COMMENT, ANALYSIS
1. Post-Coup Purge Adds to Turkey’s Instability
July 21st/Middle East Institute

Turkey is a country of ironies. A president who has called Twitter “the worst menace to society” and frequently expressed his “hatred” of the Internet, used both to prevent the coup against his rule when he called on his followers to take to the streets using Twitter and Facetime. 
http://www.mei.edu/content/article/post-coup-purge-adds-turkeys-instability

2. Turkey’s Absurd Coup
July 20th/Middle East Forum

It is amazing that the Crescent and Star never ceases to shock with the most unexpected insanity. The capacity to shock is a feature most observed at times of war. And Turkey is at war – a schizophrenic civil war.
http://www.meforum.org/6121/turkey-absurd-coup

3. Turkey’s Manipulation of Europe, Then and Now
July 17th/Middle East Forum

It is a historical irony that, for the second time in a century, Turkey is exploiting a major international crisis to manipulate the most powerful European nation into a hugely misconceived and self-defeating policy.
http://www.meforum.org/6117/turkey-europe-then-and-now

4. How they blew the coup
July 20th/Al Monitor

On the evening of July 15, Turkish TV networks informed the public around 11 p.m. that a small group of renegades from the Turkish Armed Forces linked to the Gulenist movement had launched a coup. Since then, there has been endless speculation about the failed attempt, including whether the coup was a ruse engineered by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In a society that cherishes conspiracy theories, there has been nothing but confusion, even among senior government officials and generals. I was an eyewitness to the long night in Ankara, and here are some of my findings about that night collaborated by top brass and senior government officials.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/07/turkey-coup-attempt-intelligence-agency-thwart.html?utm_source=Boomtrain&utm_medium=manual&utm_campaign=20160721&bt_email=estella24@tiscali.co.uk&bt_ts=1469117337497

5. Turkey: United against a coup, divided on the future
July 21st/Al Jazeera

Istanbul, Turkey – As tanks rolled on to the streets and fighter jets took the skies of Turkey’s major cities during last Friday’s attempted coup, the regular clashes between police and working-class residents of Istanbul’s Gazi district came to an abrupt halt.
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/07/turkey-united-coup-divided-future-160721072147389.html

6. Fethullah Gulen stirs fresh tensions between Ankara and Washington
July 19th/Al Monitor

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan may have averted a military coup, but the domestic and international fallout from the violent attempt to topple him on July 15 is set to continue for quite some time. Turkey’s ties with the United States — already strained over a host of issues, including the state of Turkey’s democracy and Ankara’s discordant positions on regional issues, such as the Syrian crisis — are in line for what might be their most serious stress test to date.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/07/turkey-united-states-coup-attempt-stirs-tension.html?utm_source=Boomtrain&utm_medium=manual&utm_campaign=20160720&bt_email=estella24@tiscali.co.uk&bt_ts=1469031415409

7. Causes and Consequences of the Coup in Turkey
July 19th/Lobe Log

The consequences of the attempted coup in Turkey on July 15 are already clear in terms of the government’s war against various Kurdish factions such as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), the Kurdish Syrian Nationalist Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed force, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), and the Iranian Kurdish nationalist Party for Free Life (PJAK). Turkey also has to be concerned with Kurdish nationalist movements in the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq in spite of good current relations between Ankara and Erbil.
http://lobelog.com/causes-and-consequences-of-the-coup-in-turkey/#

8. Dark Days For Turkey
July 19th/Morning Star

ALTHOUGH there have long been signs of opposition to the divisive rule of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamist AKP, few really expected the military to attempt a coup on July 15 which has now left 265 dead and 2,800 “coup-plotters” from the country’s military arrested in the immediate aftermath of the dramatic events.
https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-4991-Dark-Days-for-Turkey#.V5Ea8unlIyE

9. Hints at a developing western narrative on the failed coup in Turkey?
July 16th/Off-Guardian

The fact the Guardian is giving a sympathetic ear to Fethullah Gülen, the man Turkish president Erdogan alleges was behind the failed coup, could be a hint at some of the complex realities and conflicting loyalties here. As indeed can the media’s sudden and renewed discovery of the Erdogan government’s long history of brutality, which is also being freshly aired by theBBC.
https://off-guardian.org/2016/07/16/hints-at-a-developing-western-narrative-on-the-failed-coup-in-turkey/

10. Anatomy of a Turkish assassination fable
July 15th/Al Monitor

It was all over the front pages in Turkey: “The No. 2 leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party [PKK], Fehman Huseyin [also known as Bahoz Erdal], has been killed.” Those who believed this news report were deemed “patriots,” but those who questioned it were “terror supporters.” This is how the pro-government newspapers classify journalists.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/07/turkey-syria-pkk-leader-bahoz-erdal-assassination.html?utm_source=Boomtrain&utm_medium=manual&utm_campaign=20160718&bt_

11. In Ross Kemp the Kurds have found their Byron: Sky 1’s The Fight Against Isis reviewed
July 23rd/The Spectator

Before I set about reviewing Ross Kemp: The Fight Against Isis (Sky 1), I thought I’d have a glance to see whether other critics had been as impressed as I was. Clearly the flip groovester from the Guardian — who opened, inevitably, with a jaunty quip about Grant from EastEnders — had seen a very different documentary from the one I saw. Otherwise, he could not have failed to be moved by Kemp’s heartbreaking interview with the Yazidi woman from Sinjar who’d recently escaped from Isis.
http://www.spectator.co.uk/2016/07/in-ross-kemp-the-kurds-have-found-their-byron-sky-1s-the-fight-against-isis-reviewed/

STATEMENTS
1. Turkey: Dictatorship a Step Closer After Deplorable Failed Coup

July 18th/International Trade Union Confederation

The ITUC has expressed deep concern over the dismissal of nearly 3,000 prosecutors and judges, along with 8,000 police and a large number of civil servants in the wake of the failed military coup in Turkey. 232 people were reportedly killed during the coup attempt, and some 1,400 wounded.

http://www.ituc-csi.org/turkey-dictatorship-a-step-closer

 

2. July 20th/TUC

The deficiencies in Turkey’s democracy cannot be remedied by armed force. The fact that the attempted coup by a section of Turkey’s armed forces failed is to be welcomed; what is not is the death of over 300 people in the conflict and the wounding of over 1,000. Turkey’s military must accept that they are there to serve Turkey’s democratically elected government not some mechanism for passing judgment on that government.
http://strongerunions.org/2016/07/20/turkish-democracys-nightmare/

3. GMB Statement on Turkey
July 22nd/Peace in Kurdistan

We condemn the coup but remain concerned by continued repression in Turkey. Democratic freedoms must be respected and we repeat our call for Abullah Öcalan to be freed.
GMB joins the widespread condemnation of the attempted coup d’etat by elements of the Turkish armed forces but is concerned that President Erdogan will exploit it to justify further repression of those who are opposed to his increasingly authoritarian rule.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2016/07/22/gmb-statement-on-turkey/

 

4. Unite Statement on the Current Situation in Turkey
July 19th/UNITE

In condemning the coup attempt we must not lose sight of the violent and dictatorial regime being established by Recep Tayyip Erdogan and we must continue to stand in solidarity with those who oppose it.
Unite the union condemns the attempted coup d’etat by elements of the Turkish military and expresses its deepest sympathy to the families and friends of the more than 260 people that lost their lives during the violence. Turkey has a long history of coup d’etats and they have always brought suffering and repression for millions of Turkish and Kurdish workers and their families.
http://www.unitetheunion.org/news/unite-statement-on-the-current-situation-in-turkey/#sthash.oKh23Qb2.dpuf

Peace in Kurdistan

Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question
Email:
estella24@tiscali.co.uk <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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