KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 30 JULY – 5 AUGUST 2016

NEWS

1. Iceland Will Stand Up For Kurdish Human Rights
2. KCK: We will make life hell for those who make our lives hell
3.’Kurdish Identity Being Tried in German Court’ Says Politician on Trial
4. Erdogan’s Govt Reconciles with All Opposition Except Kurds
5. After failed coup, Turkish president embraces opposition but not the Kurds
6. Turkey’s Kurds excluded from post-coup national unity
7. The West Doesn’t Need Turkey
8. Turkey: War On Kurds Continues With 355,000 Driven From Homes
9. Tensions as tens of thousands rally for Erdogan in Germany
10. HDP co-leader calls UN to monitor ceasefire in Turkey
11. As failed coup sets Turkey on a new path, minorities fear for their future
12. KDP denies women’s delegation access to Shengal
13. Victims of Shengal Genocide commemorated in Southern Kurdistan
14. Amid Syria’s Civil War, Kurds Enjoy Newfound Language Freedoms
15. Aleppo Witnessing Increasing Tension Between Kurds and Syrian Regime
16. British man Dean Carl Evans killed fighting with Kurds against Isil in Syria
17. Iran executes 36 Sunni Kurds
18. Iran Executes Kurdish Prisoner despite Claim of Forced Confession
19. New Report: Inside the Women’s Ward: Mistreatment of Women Political Prisoners at Iran’s Evin Prison

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. Cause or cult? What it means to be a Gulenist
2.
Is Erdogan really stronger after failed coup?
3. Ece Temelkuran: Good enough for the Middle East?
4. Turkey’s Shallow Ottomania
5. The Wrong Answer
6. How to Play Nice With an Angry Erdogan
7. The Failed Coup Attempt in Turkey: A Boost for Iran-Turkey Relations
8. In retaking Mosul YPG/J and the Guerrillas must be aware of the hidden agenda
9. Monday Briefing: The Battle for Aleppo, Turkey’s Gulen Extradition Request, and IMF talks in Cairo
10. Turkey’s Attempted Coup – Cui Bono? An [Organized] Gift From Allah?

 ACTION
1. FREEDOM FOR OCALAN CAMPAIGN
2. INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ACTION FOR YEZIDI WOMEN: SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF THE GENOCIDE.

EVENT
After Genocide: From Trauma to Rebirth: a gendered perspective

——————————————-

NEWS
1. Iceland Will Stand Up For Kurdish Human Rights

August 3rd/Reykjavik Grapevine

Iceland’s Foreign Minister has pledged the country will fight human rights abuses of Kurds and other minorities in Turkey.

http://grapevine.is/news/2016/08/03/iceland-will-stand-up-for-kurdish-human-rights/

2. KCK: We will make life hell for those who make our lives hell

August 3rd/ANF English

KCK General Presidency Council released a statement on the aggravated isolation imposed on Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan from whom no news has been received since April 5, 2015.

KCK pointed out that international powers and the fascist AKP state that served as the guardian of the İmralı system were acting as if there was no İmralı prison and the Kurdish leader was not held there.
http://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/kck-we-will-make-life-hell-for-those-who-make-our-lives-hell

3. ‘Kurdish Identity Being Tried in German Court’ Says Politician on Trial

10th July/Kurdish Question

Bedrettin Kavak, one of the twelve Kurdish activists/politicians imprisoned in Germany for alleged support of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), began his defence in court on Friday by saying, “It is not Bedrettin Kavak who is being tried in this court, but the Kurdish identity that is struggling for and believes in freedom. Even if I knew I would die tomorrow, I would like to serve my people in that time.”
http://www.kurdishquestion.com/article/3280-039-kurdish-identity-being-tried-in-german-court-039-says-politician-on-trial

4. Erdogan’s Govt Reconciles with All Opposition Except Kurds

August 3rd/Telesur TV

“They are trying to create reconciliation by ignoring us, the will of some 6 million citizens,” said HDP co-president Figen Yuksekdag.

The pro-Kurdish HDP said the government has betrayed the Kurdish people by excluding the party from discussions on how to shape Turkish society following the attempted coup.
http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Erdogans-Govt-Reconciles-with-All-Opposition-Except-Kurds-20160803-0029.html

5. After failed coup, Turkish president embraces opposition but not the Kurds

August 3rd/ARA News

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has excluded the pro-Kurdish HDP party from meetings with opposition parties on 25 July in the parliament after the failed coup attempt by the Turkish army.

http://aranews.net/2016/08/failed-coup-turkish-president-embraces-opposition-not-kurds/

6. Turkey’s Kurds excluded from post-coup national unity

August 3rd/Al Monitor

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey — Tens of thousands of people flocked to Station Square in Diyarbakir, Turkey’s largest Kurdish-majority city, July 31 for the biggest gathering there since a twin bomb attack bloodied a pre-election rally of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) last year. For the first time since the deadly attack, the HDP held a rally at the venue to denounce the July 15 coup attempt, but to also warn Ankara against straying from the path of democracy.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/08/turkey-kurds-further-alienated-after-coup-attempt.html

7. The West Doesn’t Need Turkey

August 1st/The National Interest

Last month the world was riveted by the attempted military coup in Turkey, followed by President Erdoğan exploiting the situation in the country to further solidify his own grip on power. This autocrat has had a whopping seventy thousand people detained, fired or suspended. Aside from military personnel and police, this number includes thousands of teachers, deans, journalists and judges. The speed at which these individuals were rounded up has left many questioning when the lists of detainees were actually complied.
http://nationalinterest.org/feature/the-west-doesnt-need-turkey-17209

8. Turkey: War On Kurds Continues With 355,000 Driven From Homes

August 1st/Moring Star

TURKEY claimed to have killed 35 Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters in fending off an attack on a military base at the weekend.

Yesterday marked the first anniversary of renewed war between the Kurdish separatist organisation and the Turkish state.

Upheavals in the military since July 15’s failed coup have not affected the ongoing conflict, which Turkey’s Human Rights Foundation estimates has forced more than 355,000 people out of their homes.
http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-ba2f-Turkey-War-on-Kurds-continues-with-355,000-driven-from-homes#.V6O1CunlIyE

9. Tensions as tens of thousands rally for Erdogan in Germany

July 31st/Yahoo News

Cologne (Germany) (AFP) – Tens of thousands of supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan rallied in the German city of Cologne on Sunday as tensions over Turkey’s failed coup put authorities on edge.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/tensions-pro-erdogan-activists-rally-germany-033827767.html

10. HDP co-leader calls UN to monitor ceasefire in Turkey

July 31st/Kurdistan 24

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The co-leader of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) stated recently that the success of the coup in Turkey would have led to more bloodshed, especially among the Kurds.

Selahattin Demirtas, the co-leader of the HDP, proposed three solutions for resuming peace talks between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). One of the solutions includes the release of PKK’s imprisoned leader.
http://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/7c7d7675-3482-46d0-b5de-d209030cc01f/HDP-co-leader-calls-UN-to-monitor-ceasefire-in-Turkey-

11. As failed coup sets Turkey on a new path, minorities fear for their future

July 31st/Your Middle East

“They are coming!” Sivan heard through the phone, as pro-government mobs marched into the predominantly Kurdish area of Küçükçekmece. It was the day after the aborted coup. Fearing an assault, the writer and poet kept a low profile and refrained from speaking Kurdish in public.
http://www.yourmiddleeast.com/culture/as-failed-coup-sets-turkey-on-a-new-path-minorities-fear-for-their-future_42049

12. KDP denies women’s delegation access to Shengal

August 5th/ANF English

A delegation of 20 women comprised of REJAK members, intellectuals, artists and academics went from Sulaymaniyah to Duhok on their way to Shengal to mark the second year anniversary of the 3 August Shengal genocide.

KDP asayish stopped the delegation in Duhok and forced the women to return, saying “What business do you have in Shengal?”
http://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/kdp-denies-women-s-delegation-access-to-shengal

13. Victims of Shengal Genocide commemorated in Southern Kurdistan

August 4th/ANF News

The Shengal Genocide has been condemned in demonstrations in various locations in Southern Kurdistan.

Tevgera Azadi, Free Youth Movement, Shengal Women’s Assembly Women Support Unit, REJAK and many MPs, as well as different groups in society have attended the demonstrations held in various locations and calls were issued to support Shengal more.
http://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/victims-of-shengal-genocide-commemorated-in-southern-kurdistan

14. Amid Syria’s Civil War, Kurds Enjoy Newfound Language Freedoms

August 3rd/Voice of America

AMUDE, SYRIA—

Syria’s civil war and the rise of Islamic State militants have left Syrian Kurds with an opportunity to control their areas in the north and northeastern part of that war-torn country. This has allowed the Kurds to exercise their once-banned ethnic culture freely.
http://www.voanews.com/content/syria-civil-war-kurds-newfound-language-freedoms/3447797.html

15. Aleppo Witnessing Increasing Tension Between Kurds and Syrian Regime

August 1st/Assyrian International News Agency

Tensions mounted between the Kurds and the Syrian regime, after Kurdish forces of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) took positions from the armed opposition groups in Aleppo city, northern Syria.

Abdelaziz Yunis, a senior commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) –that include the YPG– told ARA News that the Assad regime wants to show itself as a strong force in Aleppo.

“By attempting to take over Kurdish-held areas, the regime wants to show the public opinion that it has won the Aleppo battle,” he said.

“It seems Assad regime and its Shiite militias have forgotten that YPG is the most effective force on ground and they cannot ignore this fact,” Yunis said.

http://www.aina.org/news/20160801193903.htm

16. Syrian Kurdish leader: We will respect outcome of independence referendum

August 3rd/ARA News

The Syrian Kurdish leader Salih Muslim told ARA News on Tuesday that they will respect the outcome of an independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan, if it’s held.

“Our principles is that we are looking for a democratic nation, not for a [ethnic] nation state. In Rojava [Syria’s Kurdish region we don’t look for independence,” the co-head of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) said.

http://aranews.net/2016/08/syrian-kurdish-leader-will-respect-outcome-independence-referendum/

17. British man Dean Carl Evans killed fighting with Kurds against Isil in Syria

August 2nd/The Telegraph

A British man has been killed fighting with Kurdish forces against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) in northern Syria.

Dean Carl Evans, a 23-year-old from Reading, was killed on July 21during an offensive by anti-Isil forces to take back the city of Manbij, according to Kurdish forces.

His death was confirmed by his father John Evans, who said “he was loved and will be missed by all his family and friends”.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/08/02/british-man-dean-carl-evans-killed-fighting-with-kurds-against-i/

18. Iran executes 36 Sunni Kurds

August 2nd/Kurdistan 24

TEHRAN, Iran (Kurdistan24) – On Tuesday at dawn, at least 36 Kurdish Sunni prisoners were hanged in Rajai Shahr Prison, Karaj, the Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA) reported.

HRANA said that “the cases of at least seven of these prisoners are still in the primary stage, and their sentences cannot be executed before the end of trial procedures.”

http://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/91d1ed50-dd23-4c1e-92cc-ce73179d009c/Iran-executes-36-Sunni-Kurds

19. Iran Executes Kurdish Prisoner despite Claim of Forced Confession

August 2nd/International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran

Kurdish prisoner Shahram Ahmadi was hanged in the courtyard of Iran’s Rajaee Shahr Prison today, August 2, 2016, at 4:53 p.m., according to a member of his family. The execution took place despite the fact that the prisoner stated the entire case against him was based on a forced false confession.

https://www.iranhumanrights.org/2016/08/iran-executes-kurdish-prisoner-despite-claim-of-forced-confession/

20. New Report: Inside the Women’s Ward: Mistreatment of Women Political Prisoners at Iran’s Evin Prison

June 20th/ International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran

Political prisoners held in the Women’s Ward at Iran’s Evin Prison are routinely denied medical care and hospitalization, face severely restricted or denied visitation rights even with their young children, are deprived of regular telephone contact with their families, and are not provided adequate nutrition, according to a report released today by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

https://www.iranhumanrights.org/2016/06/inside-the-women-ward-report/

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. Cause or cult? What it means to be a Gulenist

August 2nd/Al Monitor

The attempted coup in Turkey mobilized the nation against not just the plotting officers, but also the religious group that at least some of those plotters seem to belong: The Islamic community led by Fethullah Gulen, a US-based Turkish cleric.

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/08/turkey-coup-attempt-personal-gulen-community.html?utm_source=Boomtrain&utm_medium=manual&utm_campaign=20160803&bt_email=estella24@tiscali.co.uk&bt_ts=1470242301143


  1. Is Erdogan really stronger after failed coup?

August 1st/Al Monitor

The prevailing view among punditry and the media, both Turkish and international, is that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has emerged much stronger from the July 15 coup attempt and is now empowered to steer the country as he likes. This assumption, however, is less than convincing for those who have closely watched Erdogan’s character, relationship with power and general political style during his 14 years in power.

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/08/turkey-is-erdogan-really-stronger-after-failed-coup.html?utm_source=Boomtrain&utm_medium=manual&utm_campaign=20160802&bt_email=estella24@tiscali.co.uk&bt_ts=1470154814119

3. ECE TEMELKURAN: GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE MIDDLE EAST?

May-June 2016/New Left Review

If Cihan Tuğal’s book was filmed as a political thriller, the pre-credit sequence would go something like this: George Bush, against the backdrop of the Bosphorus Bridge, delivers a speech announcing the discovery of a cure for radical Islamism to the 2004 NATO summit in Istanbul.  As Commander-in-Chief of the ‘war on terror’, Bush has a flattering message for his Turkish hosts: ‘Your country stands as a model to others, and as Europe’s bridge to the wider world. Your success is vital to a future of progress and peace in Europe and in the broader Middle East.’ The ‘Turkish model’, showing the perfect match of moderate Islam with American-style democracy, would prevent a dangerous fundamentalism from taking hold.
https://newleftreview.org/II/99/ece-temelkuran-good-enough-for-the-middle-east

4. Turkey’s Shallow Ottomania

August 4th/The Economist

THE Ottoman Empire is in vogue in Turkish politics and popular culture. “Magnificent Century”, a 2011 soap opera based on the life of Sultan Süleyman, ran for five seasons and amassed an audience across 47 countries. The country’s foreign policy stance, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan exercising Sultan-esque authority, has grown increasingly aggressive. Yet this nostalgia is short-sighted. The causes of the Ottoman dynasty’s decline—racial tensions and the first world war chief among them—are being ignored; exploring them could provide some much-needed insight into the divisions that plague modern Turkey.
http://www.economist.com/blogs/prospero/2016/08/war-remember

5. The Wrong Answer

July 31st/Jacobin

In a recent Huffington Post article Turkish-American journalist Hasan Piker explained Turkey’s failed July 15 coup d’état to American readers. Piker offered a fairly uncontroversial account of events, but his analysis of the role of the Turkish military in the country’s history was extraordinary:
https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/07/turkey-military-coup-ataturk-erdogan-islamism/

6. How to Play Nice With an Angry Erdogan

August 3rd/New York Times

The sweeping purges and mass arrests since last month’s failed military coup in Turkey have confirmed many of the worst fears about President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government. They are the most recent in a long history of abuses. Over the last few years, Mr. Erdogan has harshly repressed the Turkish press and civil society, supported extremist militant groups in Syria, broken off a promising peace process with his country’s Kurdish nationalists, and worked relentlessly to change his country’s Constitution so he can rule as a quasi-dictator.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/04/opinion/how-to-play-nice-with-an-angry-erdogan.html?emc=edit_ee_20160804&nl=todaysheadlines-europe&nlid=73143833&_r=1

7. The Failed Coup Attempt in Turkey: A Boost for Iran-Turkey Relations

July 31st/Canada Free Press

At first the attempted coup in Turkey aroused much concern in Iran, and it is therefore no coincidence that Tehran was the first to express support for Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a few hours after the events began. The attempted coup in Turkey confronted Iran with the alarming prospect of a violent conflict in a large, important neighboring country; a possible downfall of an Islamic regime, even a Sunni one, was regarded by Tehran as a dangerous precedent. 
http://canadafreepress.com/article/the-failed-coup-attempt-in-turkey-a-boost-for-iran-turkey-relations

8. In retaking Mosul YPG/J and the Guerrillas must be aware of the hidden agenda

August4th/Zaher Baher

The plan and conspiracy between Turkey, Qatar and The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) against Rojava will never end.  Documents disclosed by Wikileaks recently regarding the meetings and agreements between the three of them and a special meeting between Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Barzani, the head of  KRG,  proves the truth if we were previously in doubt. Please see the links at the end of article.
http://zaherbaher.com/2016/08/04/in-retaking-mosul-ypgj-and-the-guerrillas-must-be-aware-of-the-hidden-agenda/

9. Monday Briefing: The Battle for Aleppo, Turkey’s Gulen Extradition Request, and IMF talks in Cairo
GULEN SPEAKS TO NRT ON THE SITUATION OF KURDS IN TURKEY

August 1st/Middle east Institute

The siege of Aleppo looks set to be a major pivot point in the Syrian crisis. While Russia’s intervention in Syria in September 2015 transformed the balance of power on the ground, it was a later Iranian push from early-2016 that facilitated the siege of Aleppo itself. As Iranian-backed pro-regime forces steadily closed in on key strangle points like the Castello Road, Russia saw itself gradually sucked into a battle in which its airpower is now a crucially important factor. Now that the siege is in place, no party to the pro-regime alliance can afford to let it slip.
http://www.nrttv.com/EN/Details.aspx?Jimare=9293

10. Turkey’s Attempted Coup – Cui Bono? An [Organized] Gift From Allah?

On 23rd May Sean Adl-Tabatabai wrote what now surely seems a prophetic article: “Erdogan Is Preparing For Military Coup In Turkey.”

The writer warned that:

“President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seems to be out of control. He is cracking down on opposition, imprisoning opponents and seizing media outlets … the Turkish leader has threatened to dissolve the Constitutional Court.” This at a time when: “ …the security problems have deteriorated amidst a wave of terrorism.”
http://www.globalresearch.ca/turkeys-attempted-coup-cui-bono-an-organized-gift-from-allah/5539362

ACTION
1. FREEDOM FOR OCALAN CAMPAIGN
a) Please join this letter writing campaign. Model letter here: https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2016/08/05/open-letter-urgent-appeal-to-convention-against-prevention-of-torture-cpt/

  1. b) Open letter sent by the Peace Delegation here: https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2016/08/05/open-letter-urgent-appeal-to-european-committee-for-the-prevention-of-torture-cpt/
  2. INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ACTION FOR YEZIDI WOMEN: SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF THE GENOCIDE.

August 3rd/Peace in Kurdistan Campaign

Press Release: Peace in Kurdistan Women Alliance for Kurdistan, Iraq and Syria together with Roj Women Assembly and Jean Lambert MEP are delivering an open letter to the Prime Minister, Theresa May, today, Wednesday 3rd August, 2pm, the second anniversary of the beginning of the Genocide of the Yezidi people in Shingal.

https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2016/08/03/international-day-of-action-for-yezidi-women-second-anniversary-of-the-genocide/

 

Open Letter: Today, on the 2nd anniversary of the beginning of a gross and systematic pattern of human rights violations against the Yezidi people, we are calling on you and the British Government to take action and to trigger mechanisms for accountability for the perpetrators of what amounted to a genocide of the Yezidi in Iraq and Syria from August of 2014 onwards.

https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2016/08/03/6283/

 
EVENT
After Genocide: From Trauma to Rebirth: a gendered perspective
Conference in Yerevan, September 17-18-19 2016 (originally planned for May but has been rescheduled)organised by Women in War (Paris)
in partnership with the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography in Yerevan.

http://womeninwar.org/wordpress/after-genocide-gendered-trauma-transmission-and-reinvention-yerevan-may-21-22-23-2016/

 

 

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 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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