KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 6 – 12 AUGUST 2016

NEWS

  1. Five years in prison sought for HDP co-chair Demirtaş and MP Önder
  2. 20 detained in ongoing political genocide operations
  3. Final declaration of KONGRA GEL General Assembly Meeting released
  4. KONGRA GEL holds 10th General Assembly Meeting
  5. Protests for Öcalan spread across Europe
  6. KCK’s Sabri Ok urges Turkish state to enable urgent access to İmralı
  7. Saleh Moslem: Liberation of Manbij is of great importance for Rojava
  8. Turkmen Commander: Manbij operation is an initiative for joint and free life
  9. ‘You can’t deny the people forever’: Kurdish Voices in Exile.
  10. Kurds Sceptical About Erdogan’s ‘Change of Heart’ After Talks With Putin
  11. Syrian Kurds Worried Erdogan Will Try to Mend Ties With Assad of Spite
  12. Turkish Asylum Application To Germany On The Rise
  13. Austria is capital of radical racism, says Turkish foreign minister
  14. How a Turkish daily targeting army tutelage was banned for supporting a coup
  15. Kurdish political prisoner Mohammad Abdullahi executed in Iran
  16. U.N. rights boss says executions in Iran were “grave injustice”

 

COMMENT, OPINION, ANALYSIS

  1. Democracy Threatened
  2. Coup attempt in Turkey: war on Kurds continues
  3. How ambitions of ‘Islamist cult’ united Islamists, secularists in Turkey
  4. Turkey’s Attempted Coup – Cui Bono?
  5. After the Coup, Turkey is Being Torn Apart
  6. Syrian Kurd says Islamists have infiltrated Free Syrian Army – interview with Kamal Sido
  7. The battle for Aleppo and the hypocrisy of US war propaganda
  8. TURKEY: POST-COUP PURGE REACHES ARMENIANS
  9. WWI – Part Fourteen: The Middle East and the Sykes-Picot treaty – A poisonous legacy
  10. MASS EXECUTION OF SUNNI KURDS HIGHLIGHTS UNCHANGED ATTITUDES TOWARD DEATH PENALTY

 PUBLICATIONS

  1. THE ISIS HOSTAGE: MY TORTURERS WERE NOT EVIL
  2. NEW BOOK: A Road Unforeseen: Women Fight the Islamic State by Meredith Tax  (Author)

 STATEMENT

HDP Statement on Police Raid on HDP Istanbul Headquarters.

 ACTION

  1. Freedom for Ocalan March and Rally 2pm Sunday 14th August
  1. Writers for Peace letter writing campaign.
  2. CAMPACC Call to support the Freedom for Ocalan Campaign

 

—————-

NEWS

  1. Five years in prison sought for HDP co-chair Demirtaş and MP Önder

August 12th/ANF News

HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş and HDP Ankara MP, Imralı Delegation Spokesperson Sırrı Süreyya Önder were sued after the removal of parliamentary immunities.

Bakırköy Public Prosecutor prepared an indictment against Demirtaş and Önder on grounds of “spreading propaganda for a terrorist organisation” in their speeches at a rally in Istanbul’s Zeytinburnu district on March 17, 2013.
http://anfenglish.com/news/five-years-in-prison-sought-for-hdp-co-chair-demirtas-and-mp-onder

2. 20 detained in ongoing political genocide operations

August 12th/ANF News

Unable to break the resistance of the Kurdish people, Turkish state continues the operations of political genocide, as part of which 20 people were detained today.

http://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/20-detained-in-ongoing-political-genocide-operations

3. Final declaration of KONGRA GEL General Assembly Meeting released

August 11th/ANF News

Kongra-Gel Council and KCK Executive Council Co-Presidency released a statement declaring the final declaration of the KONGRA GEL 10th General Assembly Meeting held in Medya Defense Zones. The meeting lasted four days and was attended by 160 Turkish, Arab, Persian and German delegates from four parts of Kurdistan. The meeting witnessed significant discussions, criticism of practice and self-criticism.

http://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/final-declaration-of-kongra-gel-general-assembly-meeting-released

4. KONGRA GEL holds 10th General Assembly Meeting

August 10th/ANF News

 

KONGRA GEL held its 10th General Assembly Meeting in Medya Defense Zones with the participation of 161 delegates on August 1.

KONGRA GEL co-chair Hacer Zagros held the opening speech and stated that they dedicated the congress to Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan.

http://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/kongra-gel-holds-10th-general-assembly-meeting

5. Protests for Öcalan spread across Europe

August 11th/ANF News

Kurds living in Europe continue their protest demonstrations against Turkey’s isolation of Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan.

Masses took to the streets in Germany, France, England and Austria condemning the aggravated isolation of the Kurdish leader and demanding urgent access to İmralı where he is held.
http://anfenglish.com/news/protests-for-ocalan-spread-across-europe

6. KCK’s Sabri Ok urges Turkish state to enable urgent access to İmralı

August 5th/ANF News

KCK Executive Council Member Sabri Ok who answered questions of journalist M. Emin Yıldırım for Stêrk TV called attention to the growing concerns over the situation of Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan in the wake of the coup attempt of July 15.
http://anfenglish.com/features/kck-s-sabri-ok-urges-turkish-state-to-enable-urgent-access-to-imrali

7. Saleh Moslem: Liberation of Manbij is of great importance for Rojava

August 8th/ANF News

“The intertwining of Syrian peoples in Manbij is a development of great importance for the building of democratic nation perspective which is realized through entities. We as the Kurdish people are followers of our martyrs. The blood of all peoples have coalesced into one on these lands today. Kurds, Arabs, Turkmens and other folks are bound to each other to develop the democratic nation mindset. This is of great importance in order to develop the democratic nation mindset in entire Syria. The fight given in Manbij sets an example to us with regards to the building of democratic future.”

http://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/saleh-moslem-liberation-of-manbij-is-of-great-importance-for-rojava

8. Turkmen Commander: Manbij operation is an initiative for joint and free life

August 12th/Hawar News Agency

Botan Turkmeni, Turkmen Commander of Suwar Al-Manbij, a constituent of Manbij Military Council, pointed out that they as Manbij Military Council want to be a bridge between peoples and defend a joint and equal living of all peoples.

http://en.hawarnews.com/turkmen-commander-manbij-operation-is-an-initiative-for-joint-and-free-life/

9. ‘You can’t deny the people forever’. Kurdish Voices in Exile.

August 5th/Open Democracy

Harringay Green Lanes is home to London’s largest Kurdish community. The Victorian Grand Parade advertises this identity, with shops named after Gaziantep and Diyarbakir, the two most populous cities in Turkish Kurdistan. The pavements were recently widened to accommodate the crowds that flock for food at one of the many enticing restaurants, or buy the legendary pastrygözleme, rolled by women sitting at a kiln in the front windows of the cafes, one of which is named after Taksim Square.

https://www.opendemocracy.net/benjamin-ramm/you-can-t-deny-people-forever-kurdish-voices-in-exile

10. Kurds Sceptical About Erdogan’s ‘Change of Heart’ After Talks With Putin

August 10th/Sputnik News

While the Kurds are skeptical about the possibility of a change in Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s attitude to the ethnic minority after the start of the country’s rapprochement with Russia, experts believe that the historic meeting between the two presidents could be followed by a “change of heart.”
http://sputniknews.com/politics/20160810/1044131462/kurds-erdogan-putin.html

11. Syrian Kurds Worried Erdogan Will Try to Mend Ties With Assad of Spite

August 5th/Sputnik News

In an interview for Sputnik, Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party co-chair Salih Muslim expressed his concerns over the possibility of Ankara attempting to normalize relations with the Syrian government out of spite for the Kurds.

http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20160805/1043981849/kurdish-concerns-syrian-turkish-normalization.html

12. Turkish Asylum Application To Germany On The Rise

August 5th/Breitbart London

A rising number of Turkish nationals have sought asylum in Germany, official data showed Friday, as tensions rise in Turkey over an intensifying crackdown by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/08/05/germany-migrants-turkey-2016/

13. Austria is capital of radical racism, says Turkish foreign minister

August 5th/The Guardian

The Turkish foreign minster, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, has called Austria the “capital of radical racism” after the country’s chancellor, Christian Kern, suggested ending EU accession talks with Ankara.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/05/mevlut-cavusoglu-austria-capital-of-radical-racism-turkey

14. How a Turkish daily targeting army tutelage was banned for supporting a coup

August 5th/Al Monitor

In April 27, 2007, the Turkish General Staff posted a statement on its website cataloguing the supposed anti-secular activities occurring under the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) watch. The underlying message of the “e-memorandum” was unmistakable: If Abdullah Gul, then foreign minister, whose wife wore the Islamic headscarf, persisted in his campaign to become Turkey’s president, the army would intervene.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/08/turkey-coup-attempt-tale-taraf.html?utm_source=Boomtrain&utm_medium=manual&utm_campaign=20160808&bt_email=estella24@tiscali.co.uk&bt_ts=1470673708942

15. Kurdish political prisoner Mohammad Abdullahi executed in Iran

August 9th/ANF News

According to Kurdistan Human Rights Network, Iranian regime executed Kurdish political prisoner Mohammad Abdullahi and five other prisoners charged with drug traffic after transferring them to cells in Urmia Prison Tuesday morning.

The names of the five prisoners are reported to be Kamuran Pûrreft (Piranshahr), Tewhid Purmehdi (Urmia, Emir Ezizi, Cehangir Rezevizade (Urmia) and Cebrail Kenani (Urmia).

http://anfenglish.com/human-rights/kurdish-political-prisoner-mohammad-abdullahi-executed-in-iran

16. U.N. rights boss says executions in Iran were “grave injustice”

August 5th/Reuters.com

The hanging of up to 20 people in Iran this week followed serious doubts about the fairness of their trials and respect for due process, leading to a “grave injustice” being committed, the United Nations’ top human rights official said on Friday.
http://in.reuters.com/article/iran-executions-un-idINKCN10G0Y0

COMMENT, OPINION, ANALYSIS

  1. Democracy Threatened

August 6th/Moring Star
Professor Mary Davis speaks to LEYLA BIRLIK, a Kurdish HDP MP in the Turkish parliament, about the government’s war on her people and region
https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-6f9b-Democracy-threatened#.V6ZhfOnlIyE

2. Coup attempt in Turkey: war on Kurds continues

August 10th/Revolutionary Communist Group

The failed coup attempt of 15 July 2016 demonstrates the fragility of Turkish society and has accelerated its descent into fascism and war. President Erdogan said the coup attempt was ‘a gift from God to us because this will be a reason to cleanse our army’. At the latest count some 60,000 people have been detained or sacked; soldiers, academics, journalists, judges, civil servants, teachers, anyone who opposed Erdogan’s government, is at risk of being accused of backing the coup.

http://www.revolutionarycommunist.org/middle-east/turkey/4403-coup-attempt-in-turkey

3. How ambitions of ‘Islamist cult’ united Islamists, secularists in Turkey

August 5th/Al Monitor

April 27, 2007, the Turkish General Staff posted a statement on its website cataloguing the supposed anti-secular activities occurring under the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) watch. The underlying message of the “e-memorandum” was unmistakable: If Abdullah Gul, then foreign minister, whose wife wore the Islamic headscarf, persisted in his campaign to become Turkey’s president, thearmy would intervene.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/08/turkey-secularists-stand-with-erdogan.html?utm_source=Boomtrain&utm_medium=manual&utm_campaign=20160810&bt_email=estella24@tiscali.co.uk&bt_ts=1470844803404

4. Turkey’s Attempted Coup – Cui Bono?

August 5th/London Progressive Journal

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://londonprogressivejournal.com/article/view/2569/turkeys-attempted-coup-cui-bono

5. After the Coup, Turkey is Being Torn Apart

August 4th/Counter Punch

Coup attempt and purge are tearing Turkey apart. The Turkish armed forces, for long the backbone of the state, are in a state of turmoil. Some 40 per cent of its generals and admirals have been detained or dismissed, including senior army commanders.
http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/08/04/after-the-coup-turkey-is-being-torn-apart/
http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/08/04/after-the-coup-turkey-is-being-torn-apart/

6. Syrian Kurd says Islamists have infiltrated Free Syrian Army – interview with Kamal Sido

August 11th/Jerusalem Post

The Western, Qatari and Turkish- backed Free Syrian Army has been infiltrated by Islamists, and factions near Aleppo “are no different than Islamic State,” said a Syrian Kurd researcher who toured Kurdish areas in northern Syria.
Dr. Kamal Sido, who works at the Middle East desk for the German human rights NGO Society for Threatened Peoples, told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday that Kurdish forces are winning the battle against Sunni Islamist groups, though the humanitarian situation remains dire.
http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Syrian-Kurd-says-Islamists-have-infiltrated-Free-Syrian-Army-463802

7. The battle for Aleppo and the hypocrisy of US war propaganda

August 10th/World Socialist Website

This week marks two years since President Barack Obama initiated the latest US war against Iraq and Syria, launched in the name of combating the Islamic State militia. The American president cast the new military intervention as not only a continuation of the “global war on terrorism,” but also a crusade for human rights, invoking the threat to Iraq’s Yazidi population and insisting that he could not “turn a blind eye” when religious minorities were threatened.
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/08/10/pers-a10.html

8. TURKEY: POST-COUP PURGE REACHES ARMENIANS

August 8th/ Philos Project

This scale of arrests and governmental pressures might be new to Muslim Turks, but Armenians – the victims of Turkish racism for all seasons – are being targeted again.

The newspaper Agos covered the latest rights abuses against Armenians:

Armenian trainer fired under the cover of “Fethullah Terrorist Organization”

As part of the purge that was started after the coup attempt, Ari Hergel, who was working as a guitar teacher in the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Art and Vocational Training Courses, has been fired from his job.
https://philosproject.org/turkey-post-coup-purge-reaches-armenians/

9. WWI – Part Fourteen: The Middle East and the Sykes-Picot treaty – A poisonous legacy

August 4th/Socialist Appeal

The frontiers of the Arab world today are the product of a secret plan drawn in pencil on a map of the Levant in May 1916 in a deal struck between British and French imperialism at the height of the First World War. Worked out one hundred years ago, the Sykes-Picot agreement is now synonymous with imperial deceit, cynicism and treachery.
http://www.socialist.net/wwi-part-fourteen-the-middle-east-and-the-sykes-picot-treaty-a-poisonous-legacy.htm

10. MASS EXECUTION OF SUNNI KURDS HIGHLIGHTS UNCHANGED ATTITUDES TOWARD DEATH PENALTY

August 5th/Iran News Updates

Last month, it was reported that the Islamic Republic of Iran had executed approximately 250 people in roughly the first half of 2016. While this was presented as a significant step down from the figures for the previous year, it still leaves Iran firmly in possession of its title as the country with the highest rate of executions per capita. Last year, very nearly 1,000 people were put to death by hanging in the Islamic Republic. The vast majority of them were reportedly non-violent drug offenders, and some others could certainly be categorized as political prisoners.

http://irannewsupdate.com/news/human-rights/2959-mass-execution-of-sunni-kurds-highlights-unchanged-attitudes-toward-death-penalty.html

PUBLICATIONS
1. THE ISIS HOSTAGE: MY TORTURERS WERE NOT EVIL

August 7th/Newsweek Europe
Danish photographer Daniel Rye lays all bare in a new book on his 13-month ordeal in Syria.

Daniel Rye Ottosen has just returned to the Malawian town of Chikwawa from a week in the bush with a small family, surviving on a bland dough known locally as nsima. The austere diet reminds the 27-year-old Danish freelance photographer of harder times.
http://europe.newsweek.com/isis-hostage-my-torturers-were-not-evil-487554?utm_source=email&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=newsletter&spMailingID=622260&spUserID=MTI0NzM2NDEzOTYS1&spJobID=610068010&spReportId=NjEwMDY4MDEwS0

2. NEW BOOK: A Road Unforeseen: Women Fight the Islamic State by Meredith Tax  (Author)
Paperback – the title will be released on 1 Nov 2016 Order your copy now!
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Road-Unforeseen-Women-Fight-Islamic/dp/1942658109/ref=la_B001HCXVUG_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1470578215&sr=1-1

 

 

August 12th/Peace in Kurdistan Campaign

12.08.2016 The Police Raid on HDP Istanbul Headquarters The Istanbul headquarters of HDP, the third largest party in the parliament representing the will of more than five million voters, was ravaged and vandalized by Turkish Police Special Operations teams at 3.00 a.m. on 11 August. Backed by a helicopter and armored vehicles, the police broke in the building like gangs; they stayed there for five hours and did not let any HDP executives or lawyers in.

https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2016/08/12/police-raid-on-hdp-istanbul-headquarters/

 
ACTION

 

  1. Freedom for Ocalan March and Rally

2pm Sunday 14th August

Following the coup attempt on 15th July , the atmosphere is disintegrating and concern is mounting for the wellbeing of the Kurdish leader, Abdullah Ocalan who is being held in solitary confinement in an island prison. No one has been allowed access , including his lawyers and family, since April of last year. Please join the protests all over Europe this weekend to demand his freedom.

https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2016/08/12/freedom-for-ocalan-rally-and-march/

 

  1. Writers for Peace letter writing campaign.

https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/news/

 

  1. CAMPACC Call to support the Freedom for Ocalan Campaign

In April 2016,  UNITE and GMB, two of the biggest trade unions in the UK, together with a number of sympathetic MPs, launched the ‘Freedom for Öcalan’ campaign. This was the result of a UNITE and GMB delegation visiting the region and engaging in discussions with local groups on the ground. The unions are now totally convinced that a peaceful solution to the current conflict will only be found if the jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan is freed and allowed to play a full role in the development of a new peace process.

https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2016/08/12/campacc-call-to-support-the-freedom-for-ocalan-campaign/

 

 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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