KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 11 – 19 DECEMBER 2016


NEWS
1. Pro-Kurdish party calls for peace after deadly bombing in Turkey
2. Call for solidarity with the people of Nusaybin facing ongoing demolition
3. [VIDEO] Pro-Kurdish HDP offices under attack across Turkey following Kayseri blast
4. [VIDEO] HDP headquarters attacked in Kayseri following terrorist attack
5. ECHR demands written statement from Turkey on Cizre and Sur cases
6. The fall of Eastern Aleppo
7. US says concerned about large-scale detentions of HDP politicians
8. Turkey dismisses 2,341 doctors in post-coup witch-hunt
9. EU to hold summit with Turkish leaders in coming months amid strained relations
10. HDP issues urgent call for action for Müjgan Ekin missing since October
11. Coalition: SDF have ‘proven their ability in battle’
12. Syrian Democratic Forces train new Arab recruits to join anti-ISIS operations
13. 270 fighters joined Wrath of Euphrates campaign
14. US to deploy additional soldiers to support Syrian forces in fight against ISIS
15. Suspect in Paris murder of Kurd rebels dies
16. Cansız, Şaylemez and Doğan families protest the non-trial of Ömer Güney


COMMENT, OPINION AND ANALYSIS
1. Kurdish woman fight double battles against terrorism, patriarchy
2. Can Syrian Democratic Council play unifier in postwar Syria?
3. The Fall of Eastern Aleppo
4. The Geneva Peace Talks on Syria and the Kurds
5. Why EU-Turkey Accession Negotiations Should Be Suspended
6. THE SILENCING OF WRITERS IN TURKEY
7. Turks and Kurds are trapped in a spiral that suits the hardliners
8. A Murder In Kurdistan
9. Will Erdogan survive his struggle with Turkey’s military?

——————-

NEWS
1. Pro-Kurdish party calls for peace after deadly bombing in Turkey
18 December / ARA News
The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) condemned a car bombing on Saturday, which killed 13 Turkish soldiers and wounded more than 56 others in Kayseri city.
http://aranews.net/2016/12/pro-kurdish-party-calls-peace-deadly-attack-turkeys-kayseri/ <http://aranews.net/2016/12/pro-kurdish-party-calls-peace-deadly-attack-turkeys-kayseri/>

2. Call for solidarity with the people of Nusaybin facing ongoing demolition
19 December / ANF
Following months of an all-out onslaught by Turkish military and police forces in Mardin’s Nusaybin district during the last one year, state forces surrounded the neighborhoods of Kanika, Fırat, Yenişehir, Abdulkadirpaşa ve Newroz -which were a scene to self-governance resistance- and started a major demolition campaign in these areas where even undamaged houses are being torn down.
http://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/call-for-solidarity-with-the-people-of-nusaybin-facing-ongoing-demolition <http://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/call-for-solidarity-with-the-people-of-nusaybin-facing-ongoing-demolition>

3. [VIDEO] Pro-Kurdish HDP offices under attack across Turkey following Kayseri blast
17 December / Turkish Minute
Attacks by ultranationalist groups in several Turkish cities on pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) offices have been reported in the past couple of hours.
A nationalist group of four people vandalized an HDP office in the western province of Çanakkale late on Saturday. According to local media, police briefly detained HDP members instead of the assailants.
https://www.turkishminute.com/2016/12/17/pro-kurdish-hdp-offices-attack-across-turkey-following-kayseri-blast/ <https://www.turkishminute.com/2016/12/17/pro-kurdish-hdp-offices-attack-across-turkey-following-kayseri-blast/>

4. [VIDEO] HDP headquarters attacked in Kayseri following terrorist attack
17 December / Turkish Minute
A group of unidentified assailants on Saturday attacked the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) provincial branch building in the central province of Kayseri several hours after a car bomb attack that killed 13 soldiers and injured 56 others including civilians.
https://www.turkishminute.com/2016/12/17/hdp-headquarters-attacked-kayseri-following-terrorist-attack/ <https://www.turkishminute.com/2016/12/17/hdp-headquarters-attacked-kayseri-following-terrorist-attack/>

5. ECHR demands written statement from Turkey on Cizre and Sur cases
16 December / ANF
ECHR announced that some complaints voiced in the appeals made by several people on the Turkish state’s curfews and massacres, including in Cizre and Sur and decided to demand a written statement on forced confinement in houses, mistreatment, failure to take necessary precautions to protect right to life and other such subjects.
http://anfenglish.com/human-rights/echr-demands-written-statement-from-turkey-on-cizre-and-sur-cases <http://anfenglish.com/human-rights/echr-demands-written-statement-from-turkey-on-cizre-and-sur-cases>

6. The fall of Eastern Aleppo
Google Document / 13 December
Eastern Aleppo has fallen today, but looking at the root causes that paved the way to that fall you will realize it was inevitable not because the Baath forces and their allies are stronger or the Islamist factions are weaker but because the tens of factors that accompanied the first fall in 2012 lead to the second fall today.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PzdVpbiD5O-sAXVg5Qu4OWLrqDCjWmkFi9zoq2jCycE/pub <https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PzdVpbiD5O-sAXVg5Qu4OWLrqDCjWmkFi9zoq2jCycE/pub>

7. US says concerned about large-scale detentions of HDP politicians
14 December / Turkish Minute
US State Department Spokesperson John Kirby said at the regular press briefing on Tuesday the United States is certainly concerned by the large-scale detentions and arrests of politicians from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) following twin blasts in İstanbul on Saturday.
https://www.turkishminute.com/2016/12/14/us-says-concerned-large-scale-detentions-pro-kurdish-hdp-politicians/ <https://www.turkishminute.com/2016/12/14/us-says-concerned-large-scale-detentions-pro-kurdish-hdp-politicians/>

8. Turkey dismisses 2,341 doctors in post-coup witch-hunt
13 December / Turkish Minute
A total of 2,341 doctors have been fired from their jobs by way of government decrees that were issued under post-coup emergency rule, according to data from the Turkish Doctors Union (TBB).
https://www.turkishminute.com/2016/12/13/turkey-dismisses-2341-doctors-post-coup-witch-hunt/ <https://www.turkishminute.com/2016/12/13/turkey-dismisses-2341-doctors-post-coup-witch-hunt/>

9. EU to hold summit with Turkish leaders in coming months amid strained relations
16 December / Turkish Minute
Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, said on Thursday that the heads of European Union institutions were given a mandate to plan a summit with Turkish leaders in the coming months in the midst of strained relations due to a government crackdown on dissent, a worsening of human rights situation and measures taken by Turkey’s government following a failed coup in July.
https://www.turkishminute.com/2016/12/16/eu-hold-summit-turkish-leaders-coming-months-amid-strained-relations/ <https://www.turkishminute.com/2016/12/16/eu-hold-summit-turkish-leaders-coming-months-amid-strained-relations/>

10. HDP issues urgent call for action for Müjgan Ekin missing since October
17 December / ANF
Twenty-nine- year-old Müjgan Ekin, former programmer at Özgür Gün TV and councilor of Sur Municipality, has been missing since 24 October 2016. The testimonies of two taxi drivers and her friends and the information gathered so far by her family and lawyers highlight the need to take urgent action to prevent another possible case of forced disappearance.
http://anfenglish.com/news/hdp-issues-urgent-call-for-action-for-mujgan-ekin-missing-since-october <http://anfenglish.com/news/hdp-issues-urgent-call-for-action-for-mujgan-ekin-missing-since-october>

11. Coalition: SDF have ‘proven their ability in battle’
12 December / Rudaw
Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) advanced towards Raqqa on multiple fronts on Monday, the campaign stated on its Facebook page, while the US-led coalition confirmed their continued support for the Kurdish-led forces who have “proven their ability in battle.”
http://rudaw.net/english/middleeast/syria/121220161 <http://rudaw.net/english/middleeast/syria/121220161>

12. Syrian Democratic Forces train new Arab recruits to join anti-ISIS operations
17 December / ARA News
In cooperation with the US-led coalition, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have rapidly scaled up their military training programs. On Friday, the SDF announced that they had trained 365 Arabs from Raqqa and that these raw fighters were heading to the front.
http://aranews.net/2016/12/sdf-training-new-recruits-to-join-anti-isis-operations-in-raqqa/ <http://aranews.net/2016/12/sdf-training-new-recruits-to-join-anti-isis-operations-in-raqqa/>

13. 270 fighters joined Wrath of Euphrates campaign
12 December / Hawar News
Martyr Feisal Abu Laila Academy has graduated 270 fighters of SDF from the Arabic and Kurdish components in military ceremonies.
http://en.hawarnews.com/270-fighters-joined-wrath-of-euphrates-campaign/ <http://en.hawarnews.com/270-fighters-joined-wrath-of-euphrates-campaign/>

14. US to deploy additional soldiers to support Syrian forces in fight against ISIS
13 December / army-technology
The US Department of Defense (DoD) is to deploy additional troops to Syria as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) begin the next phase of their operations to seize ISIS-controlled territory.
http://www.army-technology.com/news/newsus-to-deploy-additional-soldiers-to-support-syrian-forces-in-fight-against-isis-5695436 <http://www.army-technology.com/news/newsus-to-deploy-additional-soldiers-to-support-syrian-forces-in-fight-against-isis-5695436>

15. Suspect in Paris murder of Kurd rebels dies
18 December / Yahoo News
A Turkish national charged with murdering three female Kurdish rebels in Paris died Saturday, a French judicial source said, before his case came to trial.
Omer Guney died at a hospital in the French capital following a battle with a serious brain illness, the source said.
https://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/33599164/suspect-in-paris-murder-of-kurd-rebels-dies/#page1 <https://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/33599164/suspect-in-paris-murder-of-kurd-rebels-dies/#page1>

16. Cansız, Şaylemez and Doğan families protest the non-trial of Ömer Güney
18 December / ANF News
Cansız, Doğan and Şaylemez families met yesterday to assess the information submitted to their lawyers that Güney was severely ill and would demand to be released. The families were then informed by French authorities that Güney, who was set to be put on trial next month, was dead.
http://anfenglish.com/news/cansiz-saylemez-and-dogan-families-protest-the-non-trial-of-omer-guney <http://anfenglish.com/news/cansiz-saylemez-and-dogan-families-protest-the-non-trial-of-omer-guney>

COMMENT, OPINION AND ANALYSIS
1. Kurdish woman fight double battles against terrorism, patriarchy
12 December / Kurdistan 24
“The Kurdish women in Syria are having a heavy double battle against terrorism and social norms,” said a commander of the Syrian Kurdish Women Protection Units (YPJ).
http://www.kurdistan24.net/en/interview/5ce6fb2a-af0b-4c93-aa4f-a80a5ebe442a/Kurdish-woman-fight-double-battles-against-terrorism <http://www.kurdistan24.net/en/interview/5ce6fb2a-af0b-4c93-aa4f-a80a5ebe442a/Kurdish-woman-fight-double-battles-against-terrorism>

2. Can Syrian Democratic Council play unifier in postwar Syria?
13 December / Al-Monitor
Ilham Ehmed chose a path quite different from that taken by most Kurdish women in northern Syria. Instead of getting married and staying at home in line with societal norms, Ehmed chose political action — defying the tribal and social restrictions imposed on Kurdish women in the Afrin district of Aleppo governorate — and became a member of the executive committee of the Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV-DEM).
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/12/syria-kurdistan-democratic-council-federalism-turkey.html#ixzz4T8bqk6ov <http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/12/syria-kurdistan-democratic-council-federalism-turkey.html#ixzz4T8bqk6ov>

3. The Fall of Eastern Aleppo
15 December / Kurdish Question
Eastern Aleppo has fallen today (13 Dec 2016), but looking at the root causes that paved the way to that fall one realizes it was inevitable not because the Baathist forces and their allies are stronger or the Islamist factions are weaker but because the tens of factors that accompanied the first fall in 2012 lead to the second fall today.
https://kurdishquestion.com/article/3706-the-fall-of-eastern-aleppo <https://kurdishquestion.com/article/3706-the-fall-of-eastern-aleppo>

4. The Geneva Peace Talks on Syria and the Kurds
12 December / NRT
Syria’s catastrophic civil war has entered its sixth year. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have lost their lives or been injured and millions more displaced. The country’s infrastructure is in ruin and its social fabric has disintegrated. And yet, all attempts at a peaceful resolution of the conflict have so far failed.
http://www.nrttv.com/en/birura-details.aspx?Jimare=4434 <http://www.nrttv.com/en/birura-details.aspx?Jimare=4434>

5. Why EU-Turkey Accession Negotiations Should Be Suspended
12 December / Social Europe
One of the most telling indicators of the moral and political crisis in Europe has been its political elite’s appeasement of Turkey’s AKP regime. EU governments and the European Commission have bent the rules by delaying publication of critical reports on Turkey to please Recep Tayyip Erdogan. They also failed to demonstrate any honourable reaction to repeated insults by Erdogan and various AKP leaders against European officials and values alike. One might hope that the latest huge European Parliament (EP) majority for suspending accession negotiations would instigate serious EU soul-searching. Yet the signs are not encouraging: both government officials and experts are scrambling for reasons as to why it is necessary to continue appeasing Turkey; and why the EP’s decision should be ignored.
https://www.socialeurope.eu/2016/12/eu-turkey-accession-negotiations-suspended/# <https://www.socialeurope.eu/2016/12/eu-turkey-accession-negotiations-suspended/>

6. THE SILENCING OF WRITERS IN TURKEY
10 December / The New Yorker
The Hungarian-British writer Arthur Koestler, born in Budapest at the turn of the last century, became, over the course of his life, intimately familiar with the dangers of authoritarianism. It was the corroding effects of such rule on the human soul that preoccupied him as much as the unbridled concentration of power. “If power corrupts,” he wrote, “the reverse is also true: persecution corrupts the victim, though perhaps in subtler and more tragic ways.”
http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/the-silencing-of-writers-in-turkey <http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/the-silencing-of-writers-in-turkey>

7. Turks and Kurds are trapped in a spiral that suits the hardliners
17 December / The Guardian
“‘You are a writer. You have to speak up,’ I kept telling myself,” said Yasar Kemal, the great Turkish author of Kurdish descent. As a human rights activist and advocate of pluralistic democracy, his task was not easy – to promote co-existence in a land where hatred spoke louder than peace. Since his death in 2015, things have taken a turn for the worse. Yet another terror attack hit Turkey this weekend, aiming at driving a further wedge between Turks and Kurds, and shattering our hopes for peaceful reconciliation.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/17/turks-and-kurds-are-trapped-spiral-suits-hardliners-elif-shafak <https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/17/turks-and-kurds-are-trapped-spiral-suits-hardliners-elif-shafak>

8. A Murder In Kurdistan
17 December / The Huffington Post
Most mornings this August, Wedad Hussein Ali, a 28-year-old Kurdish journalist with a trim beard and a penchant for spiking his hair, would get up early to drive his big brother, Sardar, to work. The trip from Kora, their leafy, ancient village in Iraqi Kurdistan’s mountains, to Dohuk, the nearest big town, took 30 minutes.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/kurdistan-journalist-murder_us_5852f596e4b039044707b43c <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/kurdistan-journalist-murder_us_5852f596e4b039044707b43c>

9. Will Erdogan survive his struggle with Turkey’s military?
16 December / AEIdeas
Much of the reporting about Turkey in the West focuses on either President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s efforts to draft a new constitution or the aftermath of the abortive July 15 coup. But, behind-the-scenes, there is a story with ramifications as great: the competition for control of the military between followers of Erdogan on one hand and those of ultra-nationalist and former Maoist political leader and businessman Dogu Perincek on the other.
https://www.aei.org/publication/will-erdogan-survive-his-struggle-with-turkeys-military/ <https://www.aei.org/publication/will-erdogan-survive-his-struggle-with-turkeys-military/>

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
Fax: 020 7263 0596

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, Dafydd Iwan, Former President Plaid Cymru, Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy, John Austin, Christine Blower, NUT International Secretary,  Simon Dubbins, UNITE International Director, Doug Nicholls, General Secretary, General Federations of Trade Unions, Bruce Kent, Gareth Peirce, Julie Christie, Noam Chomsky, John Berger, James Kelman, Margaret Owen OBE, Prof Mary Davis, Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley, Mark Thomas, Nick Hildyard, Stephen Smellie, Derek Wall, Melanie Gingell, Steve Sweeney

 

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