KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 3 – 9 SEPTEMBER 2016

NEWS

1. Fifth day of the hunger strike for Öcalan in Amed
2. PKK and PAJK prisoners to go on indefinite hunger strike for Öcalan
3. Turkey suspends 11,500 teachers as Erdogan declares largest operation against Kurds
4. HDP: We don’t recognize trustees, people will defend their rights
5. Redur Xelil: Turkey creates conflict with YPG due to its Kurdish enmity

  1. Former State Department Adviser And American YPG Fighter Debunk Obama’s Support Of Turkish Invasion
    7. Til Berak people protest Turkish occupation of Jarablus
    8. Turkish army bombs Kurdish town northwest Syria, civilian casualties reported
    9. What is Turkey’s next move in Syria?

    10.
    Syrian Kurds inaugurate representation office in the Netherlands
    11. US Defence Secretary: We want to work with both Turkey and Kurds in anti-terror campaign
    12. Syrian Kurds vow to fight to the death to stop Turkey ‘invading’ their territory
    13.
    Good news from Turkey: Lawyers Ramazan Demir and Ayse Acinikli were released on 7 September 2016
    14. Hundreds of Thousands of People are Fleeing to Rojava.


OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. Turkey invades Syria: escalating war on Kurds
2. WHY THE KURDS DESERVE OUR SUPPORT

  1. Pentagon And CIA at War in Syria
    4. Documents reveal Turkey’s collusion with ISIS [IMAGES, VIDEOS]
  2. The Weeks Update: A month on from Turkey’s coup
    6. Erdogan’s unexpected ally
    7. KOBANE IS UNDER ATTACK
    8. Turkey’s Coup: Winners & Losers
    9. U.S. STRATEGY TO FIGHT ISIS HAS SET OFF A NEW CONFLICT IN SYRIA
    10. Cities, towns and territory retaken from IS
    11. Turkey Tests Iran Ties with Syria Intervention
    12. The Tyranny of 9/11: The Building Blocks of the American Police State from A-Z
    13. Video: The Dirty War on Syria – Prof. Tim Anderson on GRTV 6
    PUBLICATION
    To Dare Imagining: Rojava Revolution

    STATEMENT
    1. About the Works and Ideas of Kongreya Star
    2. Kurdish Politicians Begin Indefinite Hunger Strike
    9 September/Peace in Kurdistan

    ACTION
    1. Ms. Merkel, Mr. Juncker: Call for freedom of expression in Turkey! #FreeWordsTurkey Petition.
    2. TUC fringe meeting in Brighton in solidarity with the Kurdish struggle on 12 September
    ——————————-

NEWS
1. Fifth day of the hunger strike for Öcalan in Amed
9 September/ANF News
The indefinite-irreversible hunger strike launched by 50 Kurdish volunteers in DBP (Democratic Regions’ Party) Amed headquarters with demand of an urgent meeting with Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan continues on its fifth day. Visits to the participants of the hunger strike are allowed from 10:00 in the morning to 21:00 in the evening. A number of politicians, artists and locals visited the hunger strikers in addition to their families throughout yesterday. http://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/fifth-day-of-the-hunger-strike-for-ocalan-in-amed

2. PKK and PAJK prisoners to go on indefinite hunger strike for Öcalan
8 September/ANF News
The indefinite-irreversible hunger strike of Shengal Diaspora Assembly in Strasbourg continues in its 17th day, and the one launched by 50 Kurdish politicians and activists in Amed has entered its fourth day. Both of the hunger strikes were started with demand of immediate access to Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan from whom no news has been received since April 5.
http://anfenglish.com/news/pkk-and-pajk-prisoners-to-go-on-indefinite-hunger-strike-for-ocalan

  1. Turkey suspends 11,500 teachers as Erdogan declares largest operation against Kurds
    8 September/DW
    Ankara has dismissed thousands of Kurdish teachers for alleged links to the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK). President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also announced a massive operation to cull the militants.
    http://www.dw.com/en/turkey-suspends-11500-teachers-as-erdogan-declares-largest-operation-against-kurds/a-19537662

    4. HDP: We don’t recognize trustees, people will defend their rights
    8 September/ANF English
    HDP’s lawyer MP Meral Danış Beştaş spoke to ANF regarding the appointment of trustees to Amed’s Sur and Silvan districts. Remarking that municipalities are one of the major areas that reflect the will of people, Beştaş pointed out that the government rejects the people’s will and elections by appointing trustees. She described the appointment of trustees as a practice that totally goes against the principles of democratic state of law.
    http://anfenglish.com/news/hdp-we-don-t-recognize-trustees-people-will-defend-their-rights

    5. Redur Xelil: Turkey creates conflict with YPG due to its Kurdish enmity
    8 September/ ANF English
    As the tension between Turkish government and Rojava administration continues, Ankara labels YPG ‘terrorist’, while YPG defines itself as the ‘defense force’ of Rojava. YPG (People’s Defense Units) General Command Spokesman Redur Xelil spoke to ANF about the situation on the ground and responded to the claims of the Turkish government.
    http://anfenglish.com/features/redur-xelil-turkey-creates-conflict-with-ypg-due-to-its-kurdish-enmity

    6. Former State Department Adviser And American YPG Fighter Debunk Obama’s Support Of Turkish Invasion
    7 September/Western Journalism
    A former State Department adviser who served under Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama says that the American support for the Turkish invasion in Syria was a “serious mistake” and made the United States “a protagonist in Syria’s civil war.”
    http://www.westernjournalism.com/former-state-department-adviser-and-american-ypg-fighter-debunk-obamas-support-of-turkish-invasion/

    7. Til Berak people protest Turkish occupation of Jarablus
    9 September/Anf English
    Northern Syria people continue their protests against the occupation and invasion attacks of the Turkish state. Residents of Til Berak staged a march condemning the Turkish invasion and vowed to stand against every invasion and attack targeting their lands. Speaking during the demo, Til Berak Council Member Mihemed Ahmed Sileman called attention to the war Turkish state has waged against the peoples of Syria through gang groups for years, saying; “With the dream of being a new Ottoman sultan, Erdoğan has turned our country into a blood bath.”
    http://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/til-berak-people-protest-turkish-occupation-of-jarablus

    8. Turkish army bombs Kurdish town northwest Syria, civilian casualties reported
    8 September/ARA News
    Turkish army forces bombed the Kurdish town of Afrin in Aleppo province in northern Syria with heavy artillery on Thursday, causing casualties among civilians, activists and eyewitnesses reported.
    http://aranews.net/2016/09/turkish-army-bombs-kurdish-town-northwest-syria-civilian-casualties-reported/
  2. What is Turkey’s next move in Syria?
    7 September/ ARA News
    The Turkish-backed forces in Syria have recently managed to control Azaz-Jarabulus line as part of the Euphrates Shield operation. According to analysts, Turkey’s next step is to take over al-Bab city, not Manbij–that’s been liberated recently by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) from ISIS.
    http://aranews.net/2016/09/turkeys-next-move-syria/
  3. Syrian Kurds inaugurate representation office in the Netherlands
    8 September/ARA News
    Syrian Kurds opened an office in the Netherlands on Thursday, to be the first representation office for the Rojava Administration in the Benelux countries, officials said.

Speaking to ARA News, Sinem Mohammed, co-president of the People Council of Western Kurdistan [also known as Rojava], said that the office was inaugurated on 8 September.
http://aranews.net/2016/09/syrian-kurds-inaugurate-representation-office-in-the-netherlands/

11. US Defence Secretary: We want to work with both Turkey and Kurds in anti-terror campaign
8 September/ARA News
The United States wants to work both with the Kurdish and Turkish forces in war on terrorism in Syria, US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said. Carter’s statement comes despite Turkey’s insistence that the Kurdish forces in Syria [YPG, SDF] are “terrorists”.  
http://aranews.net/2016/09/us-defence-secretary-want-work-turkey-kurds-anti-terror-campaign/

12. Syrian Kurds vow to fight to the death to stop Turkey ‘invading’ their territory
3 September/The Independent
The Syrian Kurdish leadership vows to defend their de facto state in north east Syria to the end, but is fearful of a growing understanding between the Syrian and Turkish governments in opposition to Kurdish separatism at a time when US support for the Kurds is faltering.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/kurds-syria-civil-war-turkey-isis-ypg-us-assad-erdogan-a7222851.html

13. Good news from Turkey: Lawyers Ramazan Demir and Ayse Acinikli were released on 7 September 2016
8 September/Facebook
Good news from Turkey: Lawyers Ramazan Demir and Ayse Acinikli were released on 7 September 2016, after five months in pre trial detention on suspicion of terrorist activities. 
https://www.facebook.com/lawyersforlawyersNL

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. Turkey invades Syria: escalating war on Kurds
9 September/Revolutionary Communist Group
On 24 August 2016 Turkey launched an invasion of Syria with tanks, several hundred Turkish soldiers and 1,500 fighters from the Free Syrian Army (FSA). The invasion force entered the town of Jarablus with US drones in attendance, feeding information to the Turkish forces. Turkey’s defence minister, Fikri Isit, said the intention was to degrade Islamic State (IS) and ‘prevent the Democratic Union Party (PYD) from uniting Kurdish cantons’. IS had controlled Jarablus for three years; it left the town without a fight. Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) executive member Murat Karayilan explained, ‘IS evacuated the area between Jarablus and Azaz, so what is happening is an exchange rather than a military operation’; IS and the Turkish government made a deal.
http://www.revolutionarycommunist.org/middle-east/turkey/4429-turkey-invades-syria

2. WHY THE KURDS DESERVE OUR SUPPORT
8 September/Spiked online
There are, as always, many shady and cynical things happening in international affairs. But perhaps the worst, the most offensive to anyone who has a modicum of belief in progress and democracy, is the betrayal of the Kurds. Kurdish forces in Syria and Iraq have fought more valiantly than any other group on Earth against ISIS, and how is the West repaying them? How has the West, whose leaders breathlessly brand ISIS the new ‘fascists’, rewarded the Kurds for their years of tireless combat against ISIS? By giving a green light to a new war on the Kurds by Turkey, and by seeking to prevent the creation of a Kurdish homeland in Syria. The Kurds take to the frontline against the barbarians of ISIS, and the West stabs them in the back. Global politics doesn’t get much lower than this.
http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/why-the-kurds-deserve-our-support/18746#.V9H06-nlIyE

3. Pentagon And CIA at War in Syria
3 September/Information Clearing House
“Information Clearing House” –  What a mess! In the crazy Syrian war, US-backed and armed groups are fighting other US-backed rebel groups. How can this be? It is so because the Obama White House had stirred up the war in Syria but then lost control of the process. When the US has a strong president, he can usually keep the military and intelligence agencies on a tight leash.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45403.htm

4. Documents reveal Turkey’s collusion with ISIS [IMAGES, VIDEOS]
6 September/The Canary
The Canary previously reported that ‘Free Syrian Army’ (FSA) jihadists spearheading Turkey’s invasion of Syria have strong links with al-Qaeda. And now, sources from northern Syria have produced fresh evidence of links between Turkey and Daesh (Isis/Isil) – evidence that probably explains how Turkey was able to ‘take‘ the border town of Jarablus from Daesh without a fight.
http://www.thecanary.co/2016/09/06/documents-reveal-turkeys-collusion-isis-images-videos/

5. The Weeks Update: A month on from Turkey’s coup
6 September/Audio Boom
More than a month has passed since the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan crushed an attempt by disgruntled army officers to remove him from power. The government has since arrested thousands of military personnel and police officers – accused of treason – whilst cracking down on opponents of Mr Erdogan’s rule. Emboldened by a surge in his popularity, the president has also moved in on Syria where Turkish backed rebels have cleared Islamic State fighters from Turkey’s Syrian border. Will Turkish troops stay in the area indefinitely, and what about US/Turkish relations given Washington’s support of the Syrian/Kurdish militias who Mr Erdogan claims are terrorists?
https://audioboom.com/boos/5016511-the-weeks-update-a-month-on-from-turkey-s-coup?playlist_direction=forward&t=0

6. Erdogan’s unexpected ally
3 September/The Economist
There was exhaustive coverage by international media of the post-coup meeting between Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan in St. Petersburg. Now the Kremlin host may pay a return visit. The media spotlight however did not fall on one other – perhaps, quite unexpected – Erdogan ally: Thorbjorn Jagland, the Council of Europe’s Secretary General.

In August Mr Jagland met President Ergodan and other high-ranking Turkish officials in Ankara. Mr Jagland publicly expressed his support for the measures taken by Erdogan in the aftermath of the abortive coup attempt of 15 July. Most revealingly, Secretary General stated the following in remarks published on the official website of the Council of Europe: “There has been too little understanding in Europe about the challenges facing democracy and state institutions in Turkey after the outrageous coup attempt of 15 July”.
http://korkinen.livejournal.com/12952.html

7. KOBANE IS UNDER ATTACK
8 September/Facebook
British macer gifford says : “i witness Turkish army non stop attacking anti ISIS ,Kurdish fighters in syria ”
Macer Gifford، a YPG volunteer, has just returned from Rojava in Syria to the UK to set up a charity foundation
and raise awareness for the Kurds throughout Europe.
Mr Gifford criticised the Turkish incursion into Syria and attacking the Kurds as a “very naive political decision” by the anti-IS allies to the regrets of the US.  He talked to NRT in London last week during a memorial held for two foreign fighters killed while fighting IS.
https://www.facebook.com/ari.murad/videos/vb.1224611187556064/1451646991519148/?type=2&theater

8. Turkey’s Coup: Winners & Losers
2 September/Counter Punch
As the dust begins to settle from the failed Turkish coup, there appear to be some winners and losers, although predicting things in the Middle East these days is a tricky business. What is clear is that several alignments have shifted, shifts that may have an impact on the two regional running sores: the civil wars in Syria and Yemen.
http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/09/02/turkeys-coup-winners-losers/

9. U.S. STRATEGY TO FIGHT ISIS HAS SET OFF A NEW CONFLICT IN SYRIA
31 August/The Intercept
FIVE YEARS AFTER the start of Syria’s uprising, the Turkish military directly entered the fray last week, sending troops to occupy the northern Syrian town of Jarablus, previously held by the militant group the Islamic State. Turkey’s intervention represents a significant escalation of the conflict, as well as a sign that the country is likely to take a more aggressive approach to foreign policy following July’s failed military coup and subsequent purge.
https://theintercept.com/2016/08/31/u-s-strategy-to-fight-isis-has-set-off-a-new-conflict-in-syria/

10. Cities, towns and territory retaken from IS
6 September/ Mail Online
Islamic State jihadists have given up their last positions along the Turkish-Syrian border, depriving the group of important transit points for recruits and supplies.

But IS still holds sway over a large area in Iraq and Syria and in the past few days has claimed deadly bombings in Baghdad and in Syria’s regime stronghold of Tartus.

And while air strikes have eliminated IS leaders like Omar al-Shishani and propaganda chief Mohamed al-Adnani, foreign jihadists they attracted now pose a threat to many countries.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-3776713/Cities-towns-territory-retaken-IS.html

11. Turkey Tests Iran Ties with Syria Intervention
6 September/Middle East Institute

Turkey’s intervention in the Syrian conflict signals a new milestone in the five-year-old Syrian crisis, with its insertion as a new direct player certain to further complicate the dynamics of this already complicated conflict. Turkey’s Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria wasn’t a surprise with respect to the concept—the Turks have been advocating a safe zone for several years—but it was so in terms of timing, just six weeks after the failed coup attempt. The incursion also comes as Ankara revamps its foreign policy, including a rapprochement with Russia and a warming of ties with Iran.
http://www.mei.edu/content/article/turkey-tests-iran-ties-syria-intervention

12. The Tyranny of 9/11: The Building Blocks of the American Police State from A-Z
8 September/Counter Punch
We’ve walked a strange and harrowing road since September 11, 2001, littered with the debris of our once-vaunted liberties.

We have gone from a nation that took great pride in being a model of a representative democracy to being a model of how to persuade the citizenry to march in lockstep with a police state. In doing so, we have proven Osama Bin Laden right. He warned that “freedom and human rights in America are doomed. The U.S. government will lead the American people in — and the West in general — into an unbearable hell and a choking life.”
http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/09/08/the-tyranny-of-911-the-building-blocks-of-the-american-police-state-from-a-z/

13. Video: The Dirty War on Syria – Prof. Tim Anderson on GRTV 6 September/Global Research
Government propaganda and NGO misinformation have coloured the story of the war on Syria from its inception. Stepping in to set the record straight, Dr. Tim Anderson explores the real beginnings of the conflict, the players behind it, and their agenda in his new book, “The Dirty War on Syria: Washington, Regime Change and Resistance.”

The Dirty War on Syria has relied on a level of mass disinformation not seen in living memory. In seeking ‘regime change’ the big powers sought to hide their hand, using proxy armies of ‘Islamists’, demonising the Syrian Government and constantly accusing it of atrocities. In this way Syrian President Bashar al Assad, a mild-mannered eye doctor, became the new evil in the world.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/video-the-dirty-war-on-syria-prof-tim-anderson-on-grtv/5528264

14. Hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing to Rojava
9 September/Peace in Kurdistan
Turkish army attacks almost daily along the border with northern Syria, resulting in deaths and injuries
A conversation with Meike Nack by Gitta Düperthal, published in junge Welt, Sept. 7, 2016, trans. Janet BiehlMeike Nack is the European speaker of the Fundation of Free Women in Rojava (Weqfa Jina Azad A Rojava, WJAR)
Q. In northern Syria, just south of the Turkish border in the Kurdish autonomous region of Rojava, attacks by the Turkish military are escalating. You’ve lived there for a year and have contacts there. What effect are the attacks having on the people? 
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2016/09/09/hundreds-of-thousands-of-people-are-fleeing-to-rojava-article-in-junge-welt-translated-by-janet-biehl/

PUBLICATION
To Dare Imagining: Rojava Revolution
A new collection of articles and essays concerning the Rojava Revolution, including contributions from: David Levi Strauss, Bill Weinberg, David Graeber, Pinar O unc, Peter Lamborn Wilson, Newsha Tavakolian, Havin Gune er, Saleh Muslim & Jonas Staal, Murat Bay, Abdullah Ocalan, Nazan Ustunda, El Errante / Paul Z. Simons, Dilar Dirik, and Michael Taussig. Plus The Charter of the Rojava Cantons and other related resources.”
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dare-Imagining-Rojava-Revolution/dp/157027312X/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1472678537&sr=1-1

STATEMENT
1. About the Works and Ideas of Kongreya Star
September/Kongra Star

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

2. Kurdish Politicians Begin Indefinite Hunger Strike
9 September/Peace in Kurdistan
50 Kurdish politicians began an indefinite hunger strike demanding that the state abide by international human rights and allow either his family or his lawyers of a party delegation to see Mr. Abdullah Öcalan with whom all communication has been cut for the last 515 days. Moreover, it is certain that during the 15 July failed coup attempt the coupists targeted him and there were clashes in the İmralı prison island. The whole world must know that there is profound anxiety over Mr. Öcalan’s health and security. Kurdish people and their institutions and representatives will not accept such inhuman and unlawful treatment of their leadership. The group on hunger strike at DBP headquarters in Diyarbakır, includes MPs, co-mayors, municipal assembly members, party executives, members of the women’s movement, lawyers, artists and members of many civil society associations began an indefinite hunger strike in Amed/Diyarbakır.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2016/09/09/50-kurdish-politicians-begin-indefinite-hunger-strike-in-ameddiyarbakir/
ACTION
1. Ms. Merkel, Mr. Juncker: Call for freedom of expression in Turkey! #FreeWordsTurkey Petition.
September/Change.org
Freedom of expression is in acute danger in Turkey. Since the coup attempt in July 2016, Turkish authorities have taken large-scale action against journalists and media outlets critical of the government. This development exacerbates the already tense situation for Turkish media. Journalists have had their passports revoked, authors have been detained, over 130 media companies have been closed. Among them are 29 publishing companies, which have also been expropriated. Today, a sense of alarm and fear for one’s own existence are widespread among journalists and publishers there.
https://www.change.org/p/ms-merkel-mr-juncker-call-for-freedom-of-expression-in-turkey-freewordsturkey

2. TUC fringe meeting in Brighton in solidarity with the Kurdish struggle on 12 September
Speakers Simon Dubbins – Unite Director of International Christine Blower – International Secretary of NUT Elif Sarican – Kurdish Students Union Huseyin Olan – Co-Mayor of Bitlis in South-East Turkey In Chair – Bert Schouwenburg GMB International Officer
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/jn7587-a4-tuc-kurdish-struggle-leaflet.pdf

 

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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