WOMEN’S ALLIANCE FOR KURDISTAN, IRAQ AND SYRIA NEWSLETTER August 2016

NEWS

  1. Kobanê women: Stop the occupation and pillage
  2. I Don’t Leave This Time
  3. ‘Actions to continue until having a meeting with Abdullah Öcalan’
  4. Yazidis in Afrin denounce Sinjar massacre
  5. Arrest Demanded For Özgür Gündem Board Member Necmiye Alpay
  6. Necmiye Alpay jailed
  7. Police Women Now Allowed to Wear Headscarves
  8. Incredible Photos Show Civilians celebrating freedom in Syria by cutting beards
  9. British mum sells jewellery, takes loans to rescue Kurdish Yazidi sex slaves
  10. Iraqi Woman Shoots Dead ISIS Commander That Once Made Her A Sex Slave
    11. Iraq’s Sinjar Yazidis: Bringing IS slavers to justice
  11. Human Rights Lawyer Eren Keskin Speaks Out On Newspaper Closure
    13. Islamic Sate atrocities against Yezidis documented in new UN report
  12. Seeking solutions to stop crimes against women, meetings held
  13. Arab Women’s Union: ISIS went but their practice continues in Jarablus

    OPINION AND COMMENTARY

 

  1. Kurdish women’s battle continues against state and patriarchy, says first female
  2. Voices above the chaos: female war poets from the Middle East
  3. NEW BOOK: A Road Unforeseen: Women Fight the Islamic State by Meredith Tax  (Author)
    4. Voices above the chaos: female war poets from the Middle East
  4. Why is Turkey wasting its time arresting peace advocates?
    6. Democracy Threatened
  5. The Women’s Movement in Rojava – Kongreya Star
  6. Understanding Patriarchy. bell hooks

 OPEN LETTERS TO THE PRIME MINISTER

  1. Letter to Theresa May re the Yezidi Genocide.
  2. Letter to Theresa May re Turkish Airstrikes

———————————–

 

NEWS

  1. Kobanê women: Stop the occupation and pillage
    2 September/JINHA Newsagency

Kobanê women went to the border where Turkey is trying to build a wall and released a press statement. Kobanê Women’s Home member Ixlas Hisên read the statement in behalf of women. Ixlas said, “As women of Kobanê where is a city of martyrs and resistance, we condemn the occupation and wall of Turkish state. We want to ask those who have occupation and massacres mentality; are you still hungry for occupation and pillage? As women, we say enough. The world public opinion shouldn’t close their eyes against what is going on and they should raise their voice. Kobanê is the city of martyrs; this city has been liberated by these martyrs. We say no to this occupation and pillage.”

http://jinhaber.link/en/ALL-NEWS/content/view/62270

  1. I Don’t Leave This Time
    2 September/JINHA News Agency

Naime Uçar had been forced to migrate to Istanbul from her hometown Nusaybin while she was a child. She returned to Nusaybin where she describes as, “the city of childhood dreams” and built a new life. Naime, who had been forced to migrate again due to the attacks of the state, said, “I don’t leave this time” and she is making preparations to return her homeland.

http://jinhaber.link/en/ALL-NEWS/content/view/62250

  1. ‘Actions to continue until having a meeting with Abdullah Öcalan’
    1 September /JINHA News Agency

AMED – The Democratic Regions Party (DBP) co-chair Sebahat Tuncel made evaluations about the hunger strike to be launched with demand of having a meeting with the PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan. “Time is the time to raise this struggle. The actions will continue until having a meeting Mr.Öcalan. This is a call for peace to Turkey and Kurdistan,” said Sebahat.

http://jinhaber.link/en/ALL-NEWS/content/view/62161

  1. Yazidis in Afrin denounce Sinjar massacre
    4 August/ANHAR News Agency

AFRIN – people of the Yazidi component in Afrin canton recalled the 2nd anniversary of Sinjar(Şengal) massacre by organizing a sit-in.

The Yazidi Society organized a sit-in tent, decrying the massacre IS committed against Yazidis in Sinjar.

The tent was erected before the center of the society, with the participation of dozens of Yazidis dressed in black. The tent was decorated with photos of the Kurdish leader Abdulla Ocalan and strugglers of YPG and YPJ (People and Women Protection Units), in addition to banners written with” with deep love and appreciation to YPG and YPJ who met the calls of Sinjar.
http://en.hawarnews.com/yazidis-in-afrin-denounce-sinjar-massacre/

  1. Arrest Demanded For Özgür Gündem Board Member Necmiye Alpay
    31 August/Bianet

As part of the investigation launched into the closed Özgür Gündem daily, writer Necmiye Alpay testified before prosecution today (August 31). Alpay has consequently been referred to court for arrest.

According to a report by Dicle News Agency (DİHA), Özgür Gündem daily’s Publishing Consultant Board member, linguist and writer Necmiye Alpay went to İstanbul Courthouse in Çağlayan to give testimony to prosecutor Umut Tepe. She was later referred to court for arrest.

http://bianet.org/english/freedom-of-expression/178330-arrest-demanded-for-ozgur-gundem-board-member-necmiye-alpay

  1. Necmiye Alpay jailed
    1 September/ JINHA News Agency

İSTANBUL – Publishing Consultant Board Member of Özgür Gündem daily and linguist Necmiye Alpay has been jailed on charges of “being member of a terrorist organization”.
Publishing Consultant Board Member of Özgür Gündem daily and linguist Necmiye Alpay was jailed on charges of “being member of a terrorist organization” yesterday by the court.

http://jinhaber.link/en/ALL-NEWS/content/view/62147

 

  1. Police Women Now Allowed to Wear Headscarves
    29 August/Bianet

Police women can now wear headscarves.

With the latest amendments in the Dress Code For Security Employees published on the Official Gazette on August 27, it is now possible that police women wear headscarves.

The respective regulations in the dress code were changed as;

“No civil sweaters, vests and similar clothes worn under the official dress and can been seen from outside, are allowed except patternless clothes in the same color as the uniform, worn by ladies under hats, caps and knitted beanies”.

http://bianet.org/english/women/178238-police-women-now-allowed-to-wear-headscarves

 

  1. Incredible Photos Show Civilians celebrating freedom in Syria by cutting beards and burning burqas.
    13 August/Independent

Ecstatic Syrian civilians have been shaving off their beards, burning their burqas, smoking and dancing in the streets after being freed from Isis.

The jubilant celebrations were seen in the Syrian city of Manbij on Friday, where militants have been driven out after months of fighting by US-backed rebel groups.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/isis-incredible-photos-show-civilians-celebrating-freedom-in-syria-by-cutting-beards-and-burning-a7188991.html

 

  1. British mum sells jewellery, takes loans to rescue Kurdish Yazidi sex slaves
    27 August/Ekurd Daily

Mother-of-three Rachel Miller sells her jewellery and takes out loans to end the horrors suffered by women and girls at the hands of ISIS militants.

She pays “brokers” up to £7,500 a time to free the sex slaves, travelling with her driver to parts of southern Turkey the Foreign Office has declared no-go zones.

http://ekurd.net/british-mum-rescues-yazidis-2016-08-27

 

  1. Iraqi Woman Shoots Dead ISIS Commander That Once Made Her A Sex Slave
    19 August/ American Miltary News

A woman,  believed to be of the Yazidi-Kurdish minority, shot and killed senior Islamic State commander Abu Anas just outside the ISIS stronghold of Mosul, Iraq.

The woman is a part of a group of Iraqi women, who are growing in numbers that are fighting against ISIS, the terrorist organization that abused them for so long.

http://americanmilitarynews.com/2016/08/iraqi-woman-shoots-dead-isis-commander-that-once-made-her-a-sex-slave-2/

 

  1. Iraq’s Sinjar Yazidis: Bringing IS slavers to justice
    August/BBC News

Two years ago this week, an atrocity helped launch the international campaign to turn back the advance of so-called Islamic State (IS). Thousands of terrified villagers fled for their lives near Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq, as heavily armed IS fighters attacked their ancestral homeland.

The victims were Yazidis, an ancient community considered heretical or even sub-human by IS jihadists. Hundreds fled up the mountainside where many died in the scorching heat.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-36960657?SThisFB%3FSThisFB

 

  1. Human Rights Lawyer Eren Keskin Speaks Out On Newspaper Closure
    August 17th/Kurdish Question
    The former editor-in-chief of recently closed Kurdish daily newspaper Özgür Gündem, lawyer Eren Keskin, has spoken to the Firat News Agency (ANF) about the raid conducted by masked special operations police in her home.

Following the court order to close Özgür Gündem for alleged PKK propaganda, the police raided the newspaper and detained 23 members of staff and journalists; the homes of publisher Kemal Sancılı, former editor-in-chief Eren Keskin and columnist Filiz Koçali were also raided by the police concurrently.
http://kurdishquestion.com/article/3362-human-rights-lawyer-eren-keskin-speaks-out-on-newspaper-closure

 

  1. 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/

 

  1. Seeking solutions to stop crimes against women, meetings held
    July 12/ANHAR News Agency

AFRIN– seeking solutions to the cases of women killing in Afrin Canton, institutions and organizations concerned with women rights revealed a schedule to hold a series of meetings to enlighten people about this issue.

As the number of women killed reached 10 for different reasons since the beginning of the present year, aiming to discuss its reasons with people, and seeking decisive solutions, women organizations uncovered their schedule to hold a series of meetings in the center of the Canton and its associated villages.

http://en.hawarnews.com/seeking-solutions-to-stop-crimes-against-women-meetings-held/

  1. Arab Women’s Union: ISIS went but their practice continues in Jarablus
    1 September/JINHA News Agency
    QAMIŞLO – Arab Women’s Union member Vela Elağa evaluated Turkey’s attacks towards North Syria and said, “In Jarablus, Turkey-supported gangs have imposed the same atrocity that ISIS imposed on Manbij. As women, we know where the freedom of women is. We won’t allow them to occupy our lands.”
    Arab women react to the attacks on North Syria carried out by Turkey with gangs. Arab Women’s Union member Vela Elağa pointed out that ISIS has targeted women where they have occupied. Vela reminded that gangs had held women captive in Manbij and had sold these women in slave markets.

http://jinhaber.link/en/ALL-NEWS/content/view/62171

OPINION AND COMMENTARY

  1. Kurdish women’s battle continues against state and patriarchy, says first female co-mayor of Diyarbakir. Interview
    12 August/Open Democracy

The prominence of Kurdish women in Rojava (western Kurdistan/northern Syria) inspired us initially to understand the historical role of women in the Kurdish political movement. We were also interested in the role of Kurdish women in challenging traditional patriarchal society and rules. As part of this wider project, we wanted to hear the thoughts of Gültan Kışanak, the female co-mayor of Diyarbakır, the largest Kurdish city in southeastern Turkey.

https://www.opendemocracy.net/nadje-al-ali-latif-tas-g-ltan-ki-anak/kurdish-women-s-battle-continues-against-state-and-patriarchy-

 

  1. Voices above the chaos: female war poets from the Middle East
    4 September/The Guardian 

The Syrian city of Aleppo crumbles into rubble, assailed by Russian bombs, government artillery and chemical weapons. In the heat of battle, Turkish troops and Kurdish fighters turn on one another, fighting their age-old war, though both are supposed to be fighting a common enemy, Islamic State (Isis), advancing on the battered, tortured civilians of Aleppo and other Syrian and Kurdish communities in a murderous pincer movement.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/sep/04/female-poets-of-syrian-war-turkey-middle-east?CMP=share_btn_fb

 

  1. 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

 

  1. Voices above the chaos: female war poets from the Middle East
    4 September/The Guardian 

The Syrian city of Aleppo crumbles into rubble, assailed by Russian bombs, government artillery and chemical weapons. In the heat of battle, Turkish troops and Kurdish fighters turn on one another, fighting their age-old war, though both are supposed to be fighting a common enemy, Islamic State (Isis), advancing on the battered, tortured civilians of Aleppo and other Syrian and Kurdish communities in a murderous pincer movement.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/sep/04/female-poets-of-syrian-war-turkey-middle-east?CMP=share_btn_fb

  1. Why is Turkey wasting its time arresting peace advocates?
    30 August/Al Monitor

On Aug. 16, Ozgur Gundem, one of the few remaining independent news outlets in Turkey, was closed by a decision from Istanbul’s 8th Court of Peace. Pro-government newspaper Sabah reported the news as “PKK’s [Kurdistan Workers Party] newspaper is shut down. It was a tool for both the PKK” and followers of self-exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen. Police raided the offices of Ozgur Gundem and the homes of several columnists and staff and detained them.

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/08/turkey-jailed-world-renowned-author.html#ixzz4Iv1XT6Ix

 

  1. Democracy Threatened
    6 August /Morning 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

 

  1. The Women’s Movement in Rojava – Kongreya Star
    7 September/Peace in Kurdistan

August 2016.  Kongreya Star is a confederation of women’s movements throughout the region of Rojava, a predominantly Kurdish area of northern Syria, also referred to as West-Kurdistan. While Kurds make up the majority of Rojava and most of the population is Muslim, the area is home to many different peoples, including Arabs, Assyrians and Ezidis, as well as a large Christian minority and many other smaller groups. One year after the Syrian Civil War began, Rojava declared its autonomy from both the Assad regime and the various other armed organisations active in the war.
The women’s movement in Rojava was founded in 2005 and originally called Yekîtiya Star. Under the fierce oppression of Bashar Al- Assad’s Ba’ath regime, women in towns and villages across the northern areas of Syria began to come together and organise themselves, creating a strong basis for the confederated women’s movement.

https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2016/09/07/the-womens-movement-in-rojava/

  1. Understanding Patriarchy. bell hooks
    August/Films for Action

Patriarchy is the single most life-threatening social disease assaulting the male body and spirit in our nation. Yet most men do not use the word “patriarchy” in everyday life. Most men never think about patriarchy—what it means, how it is created and sustained. Many men in our nation would not be able to spell the word or pronounce it correctly. The word “patriarchy” just is not a part of their normal everyday thought or speech.

http://www.filmsforaction.org/articles/understanding-patriarchy

OPEN LETTERS TO THE PRIME MINISTER

  1. Letter to Theresa May re the Yezidi Genocide.
    3 August/Peace in Kurdistan

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. Now that the independent international Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic has definitively established that the Yezidi people have suffered and continue to suffer a genocide, it is time for the UK government to join the voices calling for an international remedy, for action and for accountability for the barbaric atrocities that have taken place, without any further delay. It is time for the UK Government to accept its international responsibilities under article IV of the Genocide Convention which include the responsibility to punish not only persons committing genocide, but also those who conspire to commit genocide, directly and publicly incite the commission of genocide, attempt to commit genocide, and/or who are complicit in genocide.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/news/page/3/

  1. Letter to Theresa May re Turkish Airstrikes
    6 September /Peace in Kurdistan

The ISIS military campaign has been characterised by a brutal catalogue of sexual violence primarily against women. The widely documented mass abduction of women and girls for sexual violence demonstrates ISIS’s view that women are the spoils of war, and was among the factors which led the British Parliament and the United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry to conclude that a genocide had occurred of the Yezidi people in Iraq.

In stark contrast to this victimisation of women has been the Kurdish women’s defence units, which have been in the frontline of the fight against ISIS. The Kurdish women’s movement has been developed over two decades amidst the struggle for Kurdish liberation. Women have emerged at the forefront and are an outstanding example of women’s self-determination and self –defence in the Middle East, a region often lagging behind in progressive gender policies. Women make up 50% of the fighting force, over 40% of elected representatives in the Kurdish autonomous region of Rojava and within their political parties in Syrian and Turkish Kurdistan.

https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2016/09/07/womens-alliance-open-letter-to-the-pm/

 

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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