KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 13 – 19 AUGUST 2016

NEWS

  1. Support for Öcalan’s freedom and autonomy at 16th World Social Forum
  2. HDP releases urgent call for solidarity on closure and storming of Özgür
  3. Turkish journalists recount three days of torture & threats in detention
  4. Editor Can Dündar: ‘Time to say farewell’
  5. Five years in prison sought for HDP co-chair Demirtaş and MP Önder
  6. Turkey calls for schools to destroy books and newspapers6. 
  7. Syrian Kurds blame regime attacks on Iran and Turkey
  8. Assad regime targets Kurdish positions in Hasakah
  9. KNK: We enter a new period with Manbij victory
  10. People’s Congress of Kurdistan (KONGRA-GEL) releases important declaration

OPINION, COMMENT, ANALYSIS

  1. Kurdish women’s battle continues against state and patriarchy, says first female co-mayor of Diyarbakir.
  2. Turkey’s anti-Alevi Policies in the Age of ISIS
  3. Islamic Sate atrocities against Yezidis documented in new UN report
  4.  Turkey and Iran Reach Agreement on Conditions for Syria Peace
  5. Turkish Foreign Policy After the Military Coup
  6. Germany Tries to Downplay Turkey ‘Islamization’ Report
  7. Rojava International Brigaders Honour The Legendary Bob Crow
  8. What will be Turkey’s toll for a second chance with Russia?
  9. Did Gulenists sabotage Ankara’s Kurdish peace process?
  10. Coup attempt could cost Turkey more than military might

STATEMENTS

1. Attacks on the HDP are a cynical attempt to repress Erdogan’s main democratic opponent – the Kurdish movement
2. Solidarity with daily Özgür Gündem and its detained or harassed journalists
3. Unite condemns Turkish police raid on the HDP Istanbul headquarters
4. UAW backs Kurdish solidarity call
5. Call for investigation into death of Kurdish journalist

NEWS

1. Support for Öcalan’s freedom and autonomy at 16th World Social Forum

ANF News/August 18th
The 16th World Social Forum was held in Montreal, Canada this year. Europe Kurdish Women’s Movement, Rojava Free Women’s Foundation, Montreal Kurdish Women’s Assembly, HDP MPs Selma Irmak and Hişyar Özsoy and NGOs attended the forum. In seminars held in the forum for a week, topics such as the Kurdish women’s struggle, jineology, democratic confederalism, Kurdistan history, the Rojava Revolution and women’s fight against militarism were discussed. 
http://anfenglish.com/news/support-for-ocalan-s-freedom-and-autonomy-at-16th-world-social-forum

2. HDP releases urgent call for solidarity on closure and storming of Özgür Gündem
ANF News/August 19th
The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), has sent an urgent letter to international institutions including the United Nations, the European Parliament, the European Commission, foreign political parties and embassies to request solidarity following the closure and storming of daily Özgür Gündem.
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/hdp-releases-urgent-call-for-solidarity-on-closure-and-storming-of-ozgur-gundem.aspx?pageID=238&nID=102968&NewsCatID=338

3. Turkish journalists recount three days of torture & threats in detention
August 16th/NUJ News
Four Turkish journalists have been recounting the torture and threats they faced after being arrested as the crackdown on media continues across the country.

The journalists thanked all those who campaigned for their release, believing the solidarity helped stop them being treated worse and held longer.
https://www.nuj.org.uk/news/turkish-journalists-recount-three-days-of-torture-and-threats/

4. Editor Can Dündar: ‘Time to say farewell’
August 16th/The Spark
Persecuted Turkish newspaper editor Can Dündar said yesterday he was resigning as he no longer had faith in the judiciary to hear his appeal following last month’s failed coup. In May an Istanbul court sentenced the editor-in-chief of the Kemalist Cumhuriyet daily to five years and 10 months in prison for publishing a story and photos of National Intelligence Organisation agents driving a convoy of arms to terrorists in Syria. The story infuriated Turkish president Erdogan. Mr Dündar was bailed pending appeal and is now believed to be in Germany.
http://thespark.me.uk/?p=711

5. 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

6. TURKEY CALLS FOR SCHOOLS TO DESTROY BOOKS AND NEWSPAPERS AFTER COUP
August 16th/News Week Europe
Turkey’s Education Ministry has asked schools and libraries to recall and destroy a catalog of works linked to U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom the government blames for orchestrating the attempted military coup last month, Turkish media reports.
http://europe.newsweek.com/turkey-calls-destruction-gulen-publications-after-coup-490601?utm_source=email&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=newsletter&spMailingID=652616&spUserID=MTI0NzM2NDEzOTYS1&spJobID=610165694&spReportId=NjEwMTY1Njk0S0

7. Syrian Kurds blame regime attacks on Iran and Turkey
August 19th/ARA News
The local self-administration of Syria’s Kurdish region on Thursday blamed Turkey and Iran for the attacks by the Baath-regime on Kurdish positions with airstrikes in the city of Hasakah.
http://aranews.net/2016/08/syrian-kurds-blame-regime-attacks-iran-turkey/

8. Assad regime targets Kurdish positions in Hasakah
August 19th/ARA News
VIDEO
http://aranews.net/2016/08/assad-regime-targets-kurdish-positions-hasakah/

9. KNK: We enter a new period with Manbij victory
August 13th/ANF News
Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) congratulated the liberation of Manbij in its written statement. KNK noted that the city was liberated from colonialist and bloody ISIS gangs after a long and difficult war, and described the victory in Manbij as the beginning of a new period in the history of Rojava.
http://anfenglish.com/news/knk-we-enter-a-new-period-with-manbij-victory

10. People’s Congress of Kurdistan (KONGRA-GEL) releases important declaration
August 13th/Hawar News Agency
The KONGRA-GEL (People’s Congress of Kurdistan) Council, the legislative assembly of the KCK, and Kurdistan Communities’ Union (KCK) Executive Council co-presidency released a statement declaring the final declaration of the KONGRA GEL 10th General Assembly Meeting held in the Medya(Guerrilla) Defence Zones. The meeting lasted four days and was attended by 160 Kurdish, Turkish, Arab, Persian and German delegates from the four parts of the Kurdish region and Europe.
http://en.hawarnews.com/peoples-congress-of-kurdistan-kongra-gel-releases-important-declaration/

OPINION, COMMENT, ANALYSIS
1. Kurdish women’s battle continues against state and patriarchy, says first female co-mayor of Diyarbakir.
August 12th/Open Democracy
Since the beginning of the Kurdish political movement in Turkey, women have taken active and important roles. However, we should accept that in the 1970s and 1980s women’s rights were sacrificed for the sake of general political and national aims. The slogan was to first have a revolution and then make some improvements in women’s rights and gender equality. This idea was not only part of Kurdish independence movements, but it was also followed by Turkish and other leftist and democratic groups who wanted to change the regime of their countries.
https://www.opendemocracy.net/nadje-al-ali-latif-tas-g-ltan-ki-anak/kurdish-women-s-battle-continues-against-state-and-patriarchy-

2. Turkey’s anti-Alevi Policies in the Age of ISIS
August 17th/TelesurTV
Alevis are central parts of the Kurdish freedom movement and Turkish leftist and progressive politics. Under the authoritarian, sectarian-conservative politics of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his AKP party, Turkey has been holding the European Union hostage by instrumentalizing the suffering of Syrian refugees. He continues to fortify his one-man rule with his paranoid war on terror in which he paradoxically lumps the Kurdish movement, the Islamic State group, academics, sections of the military, and his former mentor and collaborator Fethullah Gülen into one monolithic bloc.
http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Turkeys-Anti-Alevi-Politics-in-the-Age-of-the-Islamic-State-Group-20160817-0007.html

3. Islamic Sate atrocities against Yezidis documented in new UN report
August 19th/ARA News
A new United Nations report lays bare the widespread and systematic manner in which the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, Da’esh) has committed “terrible atrocities” against the Yezidi and other ethnic and religious communities, the UN envoy for Iraq said today, calling for the perpetrators to be fully and properly held to account. 
http://aranews.net/2016/08/islamic-sate-atrocities-yezidis-documented-new-un-report/

4. Turkey and Iran Reach Agreement on Conditions for Syria Peace
August 18th/Truthout. org
In a stunning diplomatic surprise, Turkey and Iran have announced a preliminary agreement on fundamental principles for a settlement of the Syrian conflict. The dramatic turn in the diplomacy of the Syria War was revealed in Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim’s regular weekly speech to the ruling AKP Party in the parliament and confirmed by a senior Iranian foreign ministry official Tuesday.
http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/37291-turkey-and-iran-reach-agreement-on-conditions-for-syria-peace

5. Turkish Foreign Policy After the Military Coup
August 17th/International Policy Digest
The massive purge that took place in Turkey after the failed military coup led by Kemalists and allegedly members of the Fethullah Gulen sect, in mid-July, prompts questions as to how this will affect the country’s foreign policy. Immediate speculation is that Turkey is likely to move further away from the West, but the road is bumpy due to the historical, economical and political relations between the West and Turkey. Turkey is also an important member of NATO.
http://intpolicydigest.org/2016/08/17/turkish-foreign-policy-military-coup/

6. Germany Tries to Downplay Turkey ‘Islamization’ Report
August 18th/Assyrian International New Agency
German officials on Wednesday sought to downplay a leaked government report alleging Turkey was a “central platform” for Islamist groups around the Middle East. The leak added to a string of rows between Berlin and Ankara, whose Foreign Ministry described the allegations as “a new manifestation of the twisted mentality, which for some time has been trying to wear down our country, by targeting our president and government.” The leaked German Interior Ministry document released by public broadcaster ARD this week said the “Islamization” of Turkey’s domestic and foreign policy had turned the country into a bastion of Islamic groups.
http://www.aina.org/news/20160817232248.htm

7. Rojava International Brigaders Honour The Legendary Bob Crow
August 16th/Morning Star
“They went because their open eyes could see no other way.” So rang the words of Cecil Day-Lewis in the ears of many last week, as a photograph emerged online showing International Brigadiers in Northern Syria sending solidarity to the RMT Southern Rail strike.
https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-3be2-Rojava-international-brigaders-honour-the-legendary-Bob-Crow#.V7OZP-nlIyE

8. What will be Turkey’s toll for a second chance with Russia?
August 11th/Al Monitor
Fearing an assassination attempt after a July 15 coup attempt, Erdogan’s entourage took a roundabout air route Aug. 9 on its way to visit Russian President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg. Journalist Fikret Bila conveyed the mood on Erdogan’s plane: Security officials crossed Turkey in fear, but were able to relax a little in Russian air space.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/08/turkey-russia-second-spring-what-will-be-the-toll.html#ixzz4Hmq74CZa

9. Did Gulenists sabotage Ankara’s Kurdish peace process?
August
August 17th/Al Monitor
“We had just left the prosecutor’s room [after questioning], and before the prosecutor had made any decision, Samanyolu TV reported we had been arrested,” Erbey told Al-Monitor, referring to a channel linked to the Gulen community. “The prosecutor was unaware, but Samanyolu TV was already running a news ticker.”
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/08/turkey-did-gulenists-sabotage-kurdish-peace-process.html#ixzz4Hmr07HMP

10. Coup attempt could cost Turkey more than military might
August 17th/Al Monitor
Turkey has always been larger than itself. With its legacy of an empire that survived centuries and stretched over the most precious real estate of today’s geopolitics, and thanks to its peculiar cultural and religious features, any development Turkey lives through will have ramifications beyond its territorial boundaries.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/08/turkey-coup-democracy-or-dismantling-military.html#ixzz4HmvLu0j2



STATEMENTS

1. Attacks on the HDP are a cynical attempt to repress Erdogan’s main democratic opponent – the Kurdish movement
August 19th/Peace in Kurdistan
Recent attacks on the HDP in Turkey mark a dangerous development that threatens to push a country still reeling from the coup and counter coup crises into further chaos and conflict.
Selahattin Demirtas, the HDP’s respected co-leader, is facing prosecution for promoting “terrorist propaganda” and could be jailed for up to five years if convicted. The baseless charges stem from Demirtas’s outspoken stand against political violence and staunch advocacy for the reopening of the peace process with the Kurds. The prosecution is surely an attempt, under the cover of the counter-coup chaos, to remove an effective politician who has proved to be a thorn in the side of President Erdogan.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2016/08/19/attacks-on-the-hdp-are-a-cynical-attempt-to-repress-erdogans-main-democratic-opponent-the-kurdish-movement/

  1. Solidarity with daily Özgür Gündem and its detained or harassed journalists
    August/Info Turk
    Info-Turk is Entirely in solidarity with Özgür Gündem, ict detained This gold harassed journalists. We condemn Erdogan’s Islamic-fascist power That Attempts to silence the free voice of the Kurdish people as well as so-called journalists in the Service of this shameful power Who do not Come contre this violation of press freedom. We also condemn the attitude of the social democrat Politicians Who Did not hesitate, by rendering visit to Erdogan’s shameful Presidential Palace and participante in His Nürnberg standard mass rally, to Give Support in His Attempt to suit les one-man Islamo-fascist dictatorship partner after the doubtful July 15 shot.
    http://www.info-turk.be/456.htm#EFJ

    3. Unite condemns Turkish police raid on the HDP Istanbul headquarters
    August 16th/UNITE the union.
    Unite the union strongly condemns the destruction by Turkish Police special operations’ teams on 11 August of the Istanbul headquarters of Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the third largest party in the Turkish parliament. Unite also condemns the prosecution of the head of the HDP, Selahattin Demirtas, and another pro-Kurdish lawmaker who are facing five-year jail sentences after being accused of spreading ‘terrorist group propaganda’. This case is one of many impending against the HDP since their parliamentary immunity from prosecution was lifted in May as part of Turkish president Erdoğan’s continued repression of any opposition to his government.
    http://www.unitetheunion.org/news/unite-condemns-turkish-police-raid-on-the-hdp-istanbul-headquarters/

    4. UAW backs Kurdish solidarity call
    August 17th/UNITE live
    Unite has welcomed the backing from the 400,000 strong US union, the UAW, for the freedom of Abdullah Ocalan, the leader of the Kurdish Workers’ Party who remains imprisoned in Turkey. In a letter sent to Britain’s biggest union, Unite, the president of the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (the UAW), Dennis Williams states, “Since the days of former UAW president Walter Reuther, our union has always taken action for peace and justice around the world.
    http://unitelive.org/uaw-backs-kurdish-solidarity-call/

    5. Call for investigation into death of Kurdish journalist
    August 16th/NUJ. org
    Journalist organisations have called for a through investigation into the killing of Kurdish journalist Wedat Hussein Ali, who was tortured and murdered on 13 August, just hours after being kidnapped in the city of Dohuk. The NUJ joined the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and Kurdistan Journalists Syndicate in expressing its condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Mr Ali – and has supported the call for a thorough investigation to bring his killers to justice in a letter from the IFJ to President Massoud Barzani.
    https://www.nuj.org.uk/news/call-for-investigation-in-to-death-of-kurdish-journalist/EVENTS
  2. 15 Years On: Time to Stop the War
    October 8th Saturday 10-5pm

    TUC Congress House, 23-28 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS
    https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/15-years-on-time-to-stop-the-war-tickets-26658109122?utm_campaign=new_event_email&utm_medium=email&utm_source=eb_email&utm_term=viewmyevent_button
  3. Respectful Conversations. All Parliamentary Group on Alternative Dispute Resolution.
    September 5th 15:00 – 17:00, Committee Room 5, Palace of Westminster.
    In the aftermath of Brexit, the Scottish independence referendum and other controversial public issues, there has been a perceived deterioration in the tone of political debate. This special session will hear from highly experienced mediators and facilitators who have been involved recently in a number of difficult situations in political, inter-government, church, family, community, international and post-war negotiations. It will explore what lessons can be learned about facilitating more constructive conversations between people who appear to hold fundamentally different views.
    If you would like to attend please email Chris Wilford, who manages the group’s secretariat:  cwilford@ciarb.org

 

 

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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