KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 16-23 JANUARY 2017


NEWS
1. Kışanak: We will build a colourful future through women’s solidarity
2. Intellectuals and academics visit Qandil in support of guerrillas
3. IHD: 47 ill prisoners died in Turkish jails in 2016
4. HDP Batman MP Ayşe Acar Başaran Detained
5. Turkey deports NYT reporter for critical article on Kurds
6. Sarıyıldız: AKP tries to change the constitution to avoid standing trial
7. Merkel ‘plans to visit Turkey’ next month
8. Why Ankara’s honeymoon with Trump may be short-lived
9. Prosecutor seeks up to 142 years in prison for jailed HDP co-chair
10. Muslim: Astana meeting is another game doomed to fail
11. PYD holds conference in Hasakah Governorate to discuss future of Rojava
12. Responding to Turkey: US says they only arm SDF Arabs, not Kurds
13. Yezidi NGO resumes activities in northern Iraq after talks with Kurdish officials
14. Iranian Kurdistan: Two Activist Writers Detained in Turkey
15. Hrant Dink Commemorated on 10th Anniversary of His Murder


OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. The Tyranny In Turkey
2. Kurdish HDP Co-Chairs Sentenced to 225 Years Collectively
3. Erdogan calls dollar and euro holders ‘terrorists’
4. Is Turkish military’s role in politics over?
5. US backs Turkish offensive with airstrikes around al-Bab
6. What will be the cost of Aleppo victory for Damascus?
7. What I’ve witnessed in Turkey is an assault on democracy itself by Owen Jones, The Guardian
8. What happens to my children’s identity now?
9. The story of the ‘Angel’ who took on ISIS
10. History Repeats Itself: Uncertain 2017 for Kurds and Turkey
11. Controlling the Narrative on Syria by Louis Allday

 

EVENTS
1. CONFLICT – RESISTANCE – DISPLACEMENT Stories of survival from the Middle East
The Guardian News and Media Gallery
17th Jan 2017, 6:30-8pm

2. Opening of Şehîd Ronahî Youth Centre at 3pm Saturday 28th January 2017
Kurdish Community Centre 11 Portland Gardens, N4 1HU

===========================

NEWS
1. Kışanak: We will build a colourful future through women’s solidarity
21 January 2017 / ANF News
Amed Co-mayor Gültan Kışanak, who is jailed in Kandıra Women’s Closed Prison in Kocaeli, has sent a message to women, saying: “We will not surrender to darkness. We will build a colorful and bright future through women’s solidarity and perspective.”
http://anfenglish.com/women/kisanak-we-will-build-a-colourful-future-through-women-s-solidarity
<http://anfenglish.com/women/kisanak-we-will-build-a-colourful-future-through-women-s-solidarity>

2. Intellectuals and academics visit Qandil in support of guerrillas
14 January 2017 / ANF News
After peshmergas and youths from Southern Kurdistan, a group of intellectuals and academics from Behdinan region have visited Qandil and expressed support for guerrillas. They called on Kurdish parties to gather for national congress immediately, emphasising that the PKK is the party of all Kurdistan rather than one part alone, and that guerrillas are the defense force of the entire Kurdistan territory.
http://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/intellectuals-and-academics-visit-qandil-in-support-of-guerrillas
<http://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/intellectuals-and-academics-visit-qandil-in-support-of-guerrillas>

3. IHD: 47 ill prisoners died in Turkish jails in 2016
21 January 2017 / ANF News
IHD Istanbul Branch Prisons Commission stated that 47 ill prisoners lost their lives in Turkish jails during 2016. Human Rights Association (IHD) Istanbul Branch Prisons Commission members held a demonstration in Istanbul’s Galatasaray Square to call
attention to the ongoing denial and violation of prisoners’ rights and unlawful practices suffered by inmates in jails
.
http://anfenglish.com/human-rights/ihd-47-ill-prisoners-died-in-turkish-jails-in-2016

4. HDP Batman MP Ayşe Acar Başaran Detained
20 January 2017 / Bianet
Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Batman MP Ayşe Acar Başaran was taken into custody at 7 am on the morning of 20 January in capital city of Ankara. Acar Başaran was taken to Ankara Security Directorate following the detention.
http://bianet.org/english/politics/182862-hdp-batman-mp-ayse-acar-basaran-detained

5. Turkey deports NYT reporter for critical article on Kurds
18 January 2017 / ARA News
The New York Times reporter Rod Nordland was deported from Turkey on January 17, after Turkish officials took issue with several articles he had written about the Kurdish insurgency. Border police detained the veteran Times correspondent in Istanbul. He was then deported to London.
http://aranews.net/2017/01/turkey-deports-nyt-reporter-critical-article-kurds/
<http://aranews.net/2017/01/turkey-deports-nyt-reporter-critical-article-kurds/>

6. Sarıyıldız: AKP tries to change the constitution to avoid standing trial
22 January 2017 / ANF News
Speaking at the Kurdish Week Activities in Toulouse, France, HDP’s Faysal Sarıyıldız said: “AKP is trying to change the constitution and save themselves from standing trial.” Sarıyıldız pointed out that arrested HDP’s co-chairs and MPs who could have opposed changing the constitution. Sarıyıldız said: “Erdoğan is producing monist and nationalist policies, like Hitler and Mussolini, and trying to change the constitution with MHP by their side, and therefore to save themselves from standing trial.”
http://anfenglish.com/news/sariyildiz-akp-tries-to-change-the-constitution-to-avoid-standing-trial

7. Merkel ‘plans to visit Turkey’ next month
22 January 2017 / Hürriyet Daily News
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is planning to visit Turkey early next month, state-run Anadolu Agency quoted officials as saying on 20 January. Merkel’s planned one-day visit to Ankara will focus on joint efforts to address the refugee crisis, cooperation in the fight against terrorism, as well as economic ties, a senior diplomat said.
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/merkel-plans-to-visit-turkey-next-month-.aspx?pageID=238&nid=108777&NewsCatID=351
<http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/merkel-plans-to-visit-turkey-next-month-.aspx?pageID=238&nid=108777&NewsCatID=351>

8. Why Ankara’s honeymoon with Trump may be short-lived
18 January 2017 / Al-Monitor
Turkey has increased pressure on Washington in recent weeks, as President-elect Donald Trump has been preparing to be sworn in, by openly renouncing the outgoing Obama administration and signaling to the new administration what its conditions for improved ties with the United States will be.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/01/turkey-united-states-honeymoon-may-be-short-lived.html#ixzz4W9tJvs8f
<http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/01/turkey-united-states-honeymoon-may-be-short-lived.html#ixzz4W9tJvs8f>

9. Prosecutor seeks up to 142 years in prison for jailed HDP co-chair
22 January 2017 / Hürriyet Daily News
Indictments regarding the jailed co-leaders of the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) have been completed, with the prosecutor seeking up to 142 years in jail for Selahattin Demirtaş and up to 83 years in jail for Figen Yüksekdağ.
Among the charges directed to Demirtaş are “managing a terrorist organization,” “making terrorist propaganda,” “inciting people to violence and hatred,” and “praising crime and the criminal,” for which the prosecutor demands a prison sentence of between 43 years and 142 years. Yüksekdağ is charged with “opposing the meeting and rally law,” “inciting people to violence and hatred” and “provoking people to commit crimes,” for which the prosecutor demands a prison sentence of between 30 years and 83 years.
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/prosecutor-seeks-up-to-142-years-in-prison-for-jailed-hdp-co-chair.aspx?pageID=517&nID=108635&NewsCatID=338
<http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/prosecutor-seeks-up-to-142-years-in-prison-for-jailed-hdp-co-chair-.aspx?pageID=517&nID=108635&NewsCatID=338>

10. Muslim: Astana meeting is another game doomed to fail
19 January 2017 / ANHA
The Co-Chair of PYD Salih Muslim said that Astana meeting is another international game, which is doomed to fail, and stressed that nobody can exclude Kurds from the political solution to the future Syria as long as they exist on the ground.
http://en.hawarnews.com/muslim-astana-meeting-is-another-game-doomed-to-fail/

11. PYD holds conference in Hasakah Governorate to discuss future of Rojava
17 January 2017 / ARA News
The Democratic Union Party (PYD) held a conference in Sere Kaniye city on Monday, bringing together participants from the self-administration and the opposition blocs. The party’s co-chairs, Salih Muslim and Asiya Abdullah, directed the conference. The PYD was established in 2003, and it has been expanding its political project in northern Syria ever since. The Kurdish party has been exposed to wide-ranging criticism from the opposition, which contends that the party monopolizes power and silences its political opponents. However, the PYD has been able to form a broad coalition, which presides over a system of cantons and participatory self-administrations. The party aims to transform the vacuum they confronted at the start of Syria’s 6-year-long crisis, into an autonomous federal region.

http://aranews.net/2017/01/pyd-holds-conference-syrias-hasakah-discuss-future-rojava/
<http://aranews.net/2017/01/pyd-holds-conference-syrias-hasakah-discuss-future-rojava/>

12. Responding to Turkey: US says they only arm SDF Arabs, not Kurds
21 January 2017 / ARA News
Turkish officials have claimed that the US is arming the Syrian Kurds. On Thursday, the Pentagon rejected those accusations, insisting that it only arms Arab elements within the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Earlier this week, USA Today reported
<http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/01/17/united-states-planes-dropping-supplies-isil-syria/96558314/> that the US Air Force was expediting its airdrops, to help the SDF as they advanced towards Raqqa. However, the Pentagon has clarified that they were only arming the Syrian Arab Coalition – an SDF faction.
http://aranews.net/2017/01/in-response-to-turkey-us-says-they-only-arm-sdf-arabs-not-kurds/
<http://aranews.net/2017/01/in-response-to-turkey-us-says-they-only-arm-sdf-arabs-not-kurds/>

13. Yezidi NGO resumes activities in northern Iraq after talks with Kurdish officials
21 January 2017 / ARA News
The Yezidi NGO ‘Yazda’ has announced that it will reopen and resume its activities.  In early January, the humanitarian NGO was shuttered by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) for engaging in political agitation. “The closure of Yazda’s facilities and projects was due to a misunderstanding and the interpretation of some Yazda activities as transgressing KRG laws and regulations,” the NGO explained. “We reiterate that Yazda will follow all KRG laws and regulations regarding NGOs as it does in all countries.”
http://aranews.net/2017/01/yezidi-ngo-resumes-activities-in-northern-iraq-after-talks-with-kurdish-officials/
<http://aranews.net/2017/01/yezidi-ngo-resumes-activities-in-northern-iraq-after-talks-with-kurdish-officials/>

14. Iranian Kurdistan: Two Activist Writers Detained in Turkey
19 January 2017 / UNPO
Turkish authorities arrested two Iranian Kurdish activists in the Kurdish city of Mardin, Turkey on unspecified charges. Writer, essayist and translator Sajad Jahanfard and writer and linguist Hasan Balade were reportedly in the country for meetings related to their respective literary and academic activities.
http://unpo.org/article/19786
<http://unpo.org/article/19786>

15. Hrant Dink Commemorated on 10th Anniversary of His Murder
19 January 2017 / Bianet
A commemoration ceremony was being held on 10th anniversary of the killing of Agos Newspaper Editor-in-Chief Hrant Dink in front of Agos newspaper. Speeches were given by Rakel Dink, Hrant Dink’s wife and Bülent Aydın. Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) MP Garo Paylan, Labor Party (EMEP) Chair Selma Gürkan, Republican People’s Party (CHP) Süleyman Soylu and author Aslı Erdoğan attended the ceremony.
http://bianet.org/english/society/182840-hrant-dink-commemorated-on-10th-anniversary-of-his-murder
<http://bianet.org/english/society/182840-hrant-dink-commemorated-on-10th-anniversary-of-his-murder>


OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. The Tyranny In Turkey
21 January 2017 / Morning Star
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a tyrant. He is an authoritarian bully intent on concentrating further power into his hands as his rule sweeps away democracy and free speech. Even writing the words above carries serious consequences in Turkey, writes Steve Sweeney. It would almost certainly be deemed “insulting the president,” which under Turkish law carries a maximum four-year prison sentence.
http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-95e3-The-tyranny-in-Turkey#.WISvE2SLS2w
<http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-95e3-The-tyranny-in-Turkey#.WISvE2SLS2w>

2. Kurdish HDP Co-Chairs Sentenced to 225 Years Collectively
18 January 2017 / Telesur
Both were accused of “managing” the “terrorist” PKK and its political bodies, which both Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksedag enthusiastically deny.
http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Kurdish-HDP-Co-Chairs-Sentenced-to-225-Years-Collectively-20170118-0081.html
<http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Kurdish-HDP-Co-Chairs-Sentenced-to-225-Years-Collectively-20170118-0081.html>

3. Erdogan calls dollar and euro holders ‘terrorists’
17 January 2017 / Al-Monitor
Turkey’s president has likened dollar and euro holders to terrorists armed with guns and bombs, deepening further the controversy on how the country will overcome its foreign-exchange crunch.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/01/turkey-erdogan-says-dollar-euro-holders-are-terrorists.html
<http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/01/turkey-erdogan-says-dollar-euro-holders-are-terrorists.html>

4. Is Turkish military’s role in politics over?
17 January 2017 / Al-Monitor
Through a state of emergency decree issued 10 January, the Turkish government transferred some critical powers of the chief of the General Staff to the civilian minister of defense. Although the move passed without much debate, its importance cannot be disregarded. The powers transferred constitute the nerve endings of the military tutelage that ruled over Turkey for many years. The decree concentrates military power in a single civilian office.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/01/turkey-military-role-over-politics-over.html

5. US backs Turkish offensive with airstrikes around al-Bab
18 January 2017 / Al-Monitor
After repeated appeals from Turkey for the United States to help Turkish troops and their rebel proxies to capture al-Bab, US airstrikes are resuming in a move that could help diffuse growing tensions between the NATO allies.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/01/us-resumes-airstrikes-syria-support-turkey.html#ixzz4W8uCZe7m

6. What will be the cost of Aleppo victory for Damascus?
16 January 2017 / Al-Monitor

Larger-than-life posters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad adorn the few walls still standing in the Old City of Aleppo, alongside Syrian flags that have reappeared. What will be the political invoice for the destruction, asks Fehim Taştekin, who has been traveling in Syria.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/01/turkey-syria-was-aleppo-a-pyrrhic-victory.html#ixzz4W8urPw9X

7. What I’ve witnessed in Turkey is an assault on democracy itself
18 January 2017 / The Guardian
Turkey’s regime is fast degenerating into outright dictatorship, emboldened by the imminent ascent of Donald Trump to the most powerful position on Earth. I spent last week with Turkey’s beleaguered opposition parties, newspapers and activists. Their courage is inspiring, their plight distressing, writes Owen Jones.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/18/turkey-democracy-erdogan-trump-authoritarians

8. What happens to my children’s identity now?
19 January 2017 / The Washington Post
In both the United States and in Turkey, I am marginalized. I realize now the idea of “other” will exist no matter where I go. I don’t want my children to be ashamed of being brown-colored Muslims. I want them to be empowered by their heritage and feel that they are fully Americans in ways I never felt Turkish in Turkey, writes Neval Pektas.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2017/01/19/what-happens-to-my-childrens-identity-during-a-trump-presidency/?utm_term=.38f9732301fb

9. The story of the ‘Angel’ who took on ISIS
17 January 2017 / IN Daily
British playwright Henry Naylor hopes his Adelaide Fringe show about a Kurdish female sniper who helped drive ISIS out of her town will challenge stereotypes about Middle Eastern women.
http://indaily.com.au/arts-and-culture/adelaide-fringe/2017/01/17/the-story-of-the-angel-who-took-on-isis/ <http://indaily.com.au/arts-and-culture/adelaide-fringe/2017/01/17/the-story-of-the-angel-who-took-on-isis/>

10. History Repeats Itself: Uncertain 2017 for Kurds and Turkey 0C
16 January 2017 / Telesur
Turkey has been rocked by devastating events and developments in both domestic and foreign affairs in 2016 that are most likely to have a lasting impact on the country for years to come, shaping the Turkish-Kurdish conflict as well as the conflict in neighboring Syria – an analysis.
http://www.telesurtv.net/english/analysis/History-Repeats-Itself-Uncertian-2017-for-Kurds-and-Turkey-20170111-0029.html

11. Controlling the Narrative on Syria, by Louis Allday
13 December 2016 / MR Zine
Since 2011, the torrent of ill-informed, inaccurate and often entirely dishonest analysis of events in Syria has been unremitting.  I have written previously about the dangers of using simplistic explanations to make sense of the conflict, a problem that has surfaced repeatedly over the past five years.  However, there is a greater problem at large.  The mainstream discourse on Syria has become so toxic, detached from reality and devoid of nuance that anyone who dares to even question the constructed narrative of ongoing ‘revolution’, or opposes the arguments of those who advocate for the imposition of a no-fly zone by the West, can expect swift retribution.
http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2016/allday131216.html


EVENTS
Exhibition: CONFLICT – RESISTANCE – DISPLACEMENT Stories of survival from the Middle East, at The Guardian News and Media Gallery 17th Jan 2017, 6:30-8pm
A photography exhibition featuring the works of three leading photojournalists, telling the story of those in warzones and those displaced by it in the Middle East. The exhibition runs from 17 Jan-28 Feb at King’s Place, 90 York Way.
http://re-build.help/events/conflict-resistance-displacement/
<http://re-build.help/events/conflict-resistance-displacement/>

2. Opening of Şehîd Ronahî Youth Centre
3pm Saturday 28 January 2017 /
Kurdish Community Centre 11 Portland Gardens, N4 1HU
Ciwanên Azad-UK invites everyone to the opening of our ‘Şehîd Ronahî Youth Centre’ at the Kurdish Community Centre in Green Lanes. The Youth Centre will serve as an autonomous space for Kurdish youth and their comrades in London.
https://www.facebook.com/events/385401998481622/
<https://www.facebook.com/events/385401998481622/>



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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