KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 31 JANUARY – 6 FEBRUARY 2017

NEWS
1. Participants of the Long March cover 140 kilometers
2. Internationalist march for Öcalan’s freedom continues
3. 9000 HDP members detained, 2500 jailed in one and a half years
4. Referendum rush in the municipalities usurped by the AKP government
5. KCK vows to enhance resistance across Kurdistan
6. No solution for Kurds in Turkey except democracy and peace, says Ahmet Turk upon release
7. Venice Commission visits HDP in Ankara
8. U.K. parliament foreign affairs committee calls for return to Turkey-PKK peace process
9. Opinion poll: 58.2% will say ‘no’ in Turkey’s constitutional referendum
10. ‘Solution to Kurdish question in Turkey would solve refugee crisis’ opposition tells Merkel
11. Erdogan announces ‘bring along your neighbour’ campaign to boost tourism
12. Kurdish peace ambassador released in Turkey after increasing anger over his arrest
13. Rojava and disinformation
14. Commanders in the Raqqa operation: We will triumph
15. UN opposes creation of ‘safe zones’ in Syria
16. Rojava hosts over 15,000 Iraqi refugees who escaped violence in Mosul

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. David Graeber: Turkish economy being held together by scotch tape
2. How political risks wreck Turkey’s economic prospects
3. Turkey constitutional reform designed to build dictatorial rule: HDP MP Hisyar Ozsoy
4. CHP deputy Tanrikulu: Turkey constitutional reform proposal ‘a coup against democracy’
5. A real revolution is a mass of contradictions’: Interview with a Rojava Volunteer by Rojava Solidarity Cluster
6. Who supplies the news? Patrick Cockburn on misreporting in Syria and Iraq

 BOOK REVIEWS
1. New book gives inspiring account of Rojava’s revolutionary bid for autonomy and women’s liberation
2. Ecology or Catastrophe: The Life of Murray Bookchin

EVENTS
1. Turkey Spotlight: “The assault on academics and journalists in Turkey – developments & debate”  VIDEO OF MEETING
2. International Yezidi Women’s Conference 11-12 March 2017, Bielefeld, German
3. Long March for the Freedom of Ocalan.
—————————————-
NEWS
1. Participants of the Long March cover 140 kilometers
6 February/ANF News
The Long March that launched in Luxembourg with the demand of freedom for Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan and status for Kurdistan reached the town of Saint Avold yesterday, with great interest from the French public and their representatives and Kurds.
http://anfenglish.com/news/participants-of-the-long-march-cover-140-kilometers

2. Internationalist march for Öcalan’s freedom continues
3 February/ANF News
Among the marching crowd are representatives of Kurdish institutions in Europe and 67 internationalists from 15 countries and representatives from the Kurdish institutions in Europe. They are planning to arrive in Strasbourg on February 10. The marchers will call on institutions like the EU and the CPT to improve conditions for Öcalan and they will meet with many institutions on their way. The demonstrators will then attend the rally to be held in Strasbourg on February 11 to protest the international conspiracy against Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan.
http://anfenglish.com/news/internationalist-march-for-ocalan-s-freedom-continues

3. 9000 HDP members detained, 2500 jailed in one and a half years
5 February/ANF News
KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) Executive Council released a written statement providing information about the decisions they made at the January meeting of the council where the self-governance resistance and the entire year of 2016 were assessed in detail. Accordingly, the meeting ended with commitment that 2017 be made the year of victory on the self-sacrifical resistance of the martyrs.
http://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/kck-vows-to-enhance-resistance-across-kurdistan

4. Referendum rush in the municipalities usurped by the AKP government
6 February/ANF News
KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) Executive Council released a written statement providing information about the decisions they made at the January meeting of the council where the self-governance resistance and the entire year of 2016 were assessed in detail. Accordingly, the meeting ended with commitment that 2017 be made the year of victory on the self-sacrifical resistance of the martyrs.
http://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/referendum-rush-in-the-municipalities-usurped-by-the-akp-government

5. KCK vows to enhance resistance across Kurdistan
5 February/ANF News
KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) Executive Council released a written statement providing information about the decisions they made at the January meeting of the council where the self-governance resistance and the entire year of 2016 were assessed in detail. Accordingly, the meeting ended with commitment that 2017 be made the year of victory on the self-sacrifical resistance of the martyrs.
http://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/kck-vows-to-enhance-resistance-across-kurdistan

6. No solution for Kurds in Turkey except democracy and peace, says Ahmet Turk upon release
4 February/Rudaw News
He also said that the current situation is both “critical and difficult” for the Kurds. “I came out of prison today, but our leaders, our MPs, and 70 of our mayors, are in prison now,” Turk said as he recalled the moment he left the prison, leaving behind two party politicians, and also referring to dozens of senior leaders arrested by the Turkish authorities from the Pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), and Democratic Regions Party (DBP) umbrella group.
http://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/turkey/04022017

7. Venice Commission visits HDP in Ankara
6 February/ANF News
The Venice Commission headed by Herdis Kjerulf Thorgeirsdottir was welcomed by recently released HDP Group Deputy Chair İdris Baluken, Mardin MP Mithat Sancar and Amed MP Sibel Yiğitalp.
http://anfenglish.com/news/venice-commission-visits-hdp-in-ankara

8. U.K. parliament foreign affairs committee calls for return to Turkey-PKK peace process
25 January/Kom News
“It was undertaken for, it appears, internal political reasons to strengthen Erdogan’s party in the run-up to the November elections after he lost his majority in parliament in June and it was almost a deliberate strategy to undo the ceasefire, to react to PKK provocation – not as a crime but as an opportunity to reopen the war.
http://komnews.com/u-k-parliament-foreign-affairs-committee-calls-return-turkey-pkk-peace-process/#.WJYnwOl-4yE

9. Opinion poll: 58.2% will say ‘no’ in Turkey’s constitutional referendum
4 February/Kom News
According to Gezici Research’s latest poll, 58.2% of voters will opt to say ‘no in April when the referendum is expected to be held.
http://komnews.com/opinion-poll-58-2-will-say-no-turkeys-constitutional-referendum/#.WJYluOl-4yE

10. ‘Solution to Kurdish question in Turkey would solve refugee crisis’ opposition tells Merkel
3 February/Kom News
German Chancellor Angela Merkel ended her one-day trip to Turkey on Thursday by meeting representatives of the two major opposition parties, the People’s Republican Party (CHP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), at the German Consulate in Ankara.
http://komnews.com/solution-to-kurdish-question-in-turkey-would-solve-refugee-crisis-opposition-tells-merkel/#.WJYie-l-4yE

11. Erdogan announces ‘bring along your neighbour’ campaign to boost tourism
2 February/Kom News
Speaking at an event attended by representatives of the country’s tourism sector the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, called on Turkish citizens living abroad to “not just come to Turkey themselves,” but also “invite their neighbours and friends from the countries they are living in to holiday in Turkey”.
http://komnews.com/erdogan-announces-bring-along-your-neighbour-campaign-to-boost-tourism/#.WJYlLel-4yF

12. Kurdish peace ambassador released in Turkey after increasing anger over his arrest
4 February/ARA News
The 74-year-old Kurdish peace ambassador and co-mayor of Mardin, Ahmet Türk, was released pending trial on Friday after increasing worries over his health conditions and anger among Kurds over his imprisonment.
http://aranews.net/2017/02/kurdish-peace-ambassador-released-in-turkey-after-increasing-anger-over-his-arrest/

13. Rojava and disinformation
5 February/ANF News
Disinformation is omnipresent. The propaganda war is in full swing in parallel with that in the field. This war of propaganda is in full activity against the Rojava (part of Kurdistan located in Syria) and its armed forces. It is impossible to treat all poisonings but we will see the main ones that always reappear in the interest of certain agendas, most often when the Rojava and assimilated record victories.
http://anfenglish.com/features/rojava-and-disinformation

14. Commanders in the Raqqa operation: We will triumph
5 February/ANF News
Wrath of Euphrates Operation Room Spokesperson Cihan Ehmed recalled that they liberated hundreds of villages and hamlets in the 1st and 2nd phases of the operation to liberate Raqqa, and continued: “We gained control over a number of strategic locations such as Jaber Castle, Mahmudıye and Suwediye, in addition to hundreds of villages in western Raqqa.
http://anfenglish.com/features/commanders-in-the-raqqa-operation-we-will-triumph

15. UN opposes creation of ‘safe zones’ in Syria
4 February/ARA News
The United Nations’ refugee chief on Friday rejected the proposal of establishing ‘safe zones’ for refugees in Syria, saying the war-torn country was not a proper place for such an initiative.
http://aranews.net/2017/02/un-opposes-creation-of-safe-zones-in-syria/

16. Rojava hosts over 15,000 Iraqi refugees who escaped violence in Mosul
4 February/ARA News
More than 15,000 Iraqi refugees have entered Syria’s Kurdish region of Rojava, fleeing violence in Mosul city, Kurdish officials said on Friday.
http://aranews.net/2017/02/rojava-hosts-over-15000-iraqi-refugees-who-escaped-violence-in-mosul/

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. David Graeber: Turkish economy being held together by scotch tape
1 February/Kom News
Kom News spoke to well-known anthropologist and activist David Graeber about the financial situation in Turkey and its effects on political developments. A specialist in theories of value and social theory, Graeber painted a bleak picture of Turkey’s economy.
http://komnews.com/david-graeber-turkish-economy-held-together-scotch-tape/#.WJIkqOl-4yG

2. How political risks wreck Turkey’s economic prospects
3 February/Al Monitor
Invest in Turkey — a promotional website by the Turkish government — lists 10 main reasons why foreign investors should put their money in the country. Highlighting geopolitical advantages, the site describes Turkey as “a natural bridge between both East-West and North-South axes, thus creating an efficient and cost-effective outlet to major markets.” The country, it says, has an “easy access to 1.6 billion customers in Europe, Eurasia, the Middle East and North Africa” and “multiple markets worth $24 trillion” in gross domestic product.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/02/turkey-how-country-squanders-its-geopolitical-edge.html

3. Turkey constitutional reform designed to build dictatorial rule: HDP MP Hisyar Ozsoy
2 February/Kom News
A member of parliament for Kurdish city Bingol, Hisyar Ozsoy also heads the left-wing Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) foreign relations committee. The party surpassed Turkey’s 10% election threshold to enter parliament in 2015. However the jubilation was short-lived when an end to the 2013-2015 solution resulted in a return to clashes between the Turkish military and Kurdish militants.
http://komnews.com/turkey-constitutional-reform-designed-to-build-dictatorial-rule-hdp-mp-hisyar-ozsoy/#.WJYhZul-4yE

4. CHP deputy Tanrikulu: Turkey constitutional reform proposal ‘a coup against democracy’
4 February/Kom News
Kom News spoke to Sezgin Tanrikulu, a human rights lawyer and MP in the Turkish Grand National Assembly with the Republican People’s Party (CHP), about the constitutional reform package, which will be taken to a referendum in April.
http://komnews.com/chp-deputy-tanrikulu-turkey-constitutional-reform-proposal-a-coup-against-democracy/#.WJYj_-l-4yE

5. A real revolution is a mass of contradictions’: Interview with a Rojava Volunteer by Rojava Solidarity Cluster
1 February/Novara Media
Well, we should start by briefly talking about the origins of the revolution. Many people skip over this part but it is vital to understanding the dynamics of the whole revolution. The Democratic Union party (PYD) who led the revolution have been active in northern Syria/western Kurdistan (Rojava is the Kurmanji word for west) since 2003. Before them the Workers’ party of Kurdistan (PKK), who the PYD are affiliated to, were permitted by the regime to use the region as a base to organise against the Turkish state until they were ejected in 1998.
http://novaramedia.com/2017/02/01/a-real-revolution-is-a-mass-of-contradictions-interview-with-a-rojava-volunteer/

6. Who supplies the news? Patrick Cockburn on misreporting in Syria and Iraq
2 February/London Review of Books
The nadir of Western media coverage of the wars in Iraq and Syria has been the reporting of the siege of East Aleppo, which began in earnest in July and ended in December, when Syrian government forces took control of the last rebel-held areas and more than 100,000 civilians were evacuated. 
https://www.lrb.co.uk/v39/n03/patrick-cockburn/who-supplies-the-news

BOOK REVIEWS
1. New book gives inspiring account of Rojava’s revolutionary bid for autonomy and women’s liberation
4 February/Green Left
Rojava, which is Kurdish for the “west”, is to be found in Northern Syria. In the middle of a conflict zone, marked by the war against the Assad regime, a Turkish invasion and ongoing conflict with the brutal jihadists of ISIS and al-Nusra, the Kurds and their allies are creating a new kind of democratic system.
https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/new-book-gives-inspiring-account-rojava’s-revolutionary-bid-autonomy-and-women’s-liberation

2. Ecology or Catastrophe: The Life of Murray Bookchin
24 January/Green World
Almost every day, we learn of new horrors in the Middle East. Syria and Iraq are suffering from a brutal war. Fundamentalist groups like the so-called Islamic State and authoritarian leaders are murdering innocent citizens. Yet there is one sign of possible hope: in Northern Syria, the Kurdish people and their allies have established a secular, feminist and ecological republic, called Rojava, which means ‘the West’. 
http://www.greenworld.org.uk/article/ecology-or-catastrophe-life-murray-bookchin


EVENTS
1. Turkey Spotlight: “The assault on academics and journalists in Turkey – developments & debate”  VIDEO OF MEETING
https://www.facebook.com/ArtiEksi7Londra/videos/1664385330528302/

2. International Yezidi Women’s Conference 11-12 March 2017, Bielefeld, German
Two years ago on August 3th 2014, DAIS attacked for the 73 times the Yezidi community in Sengal, this last massacre is named the 73 Ferman women massacre. DAIS planned the attacks systematically to capture the Yazidi women;
to use as sex-slaves, sell on sex markets or simply to kill.
http://yazidiwomen.wixsite.com/conference

3. Long March for the Freedom of Ocalan.
In determination to triumph, we call on all patriots, friends and comrades to join our Long-March and Rally
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2017/02/06/call-for-the-long-march-rally-in-london-for-the-freedom-of-ocalan/

ACTION
Please encourage your MP to sign these early day motions:
1. GENOCIDE BY DAESH AGAINST THE YAZIDI PEOPLE
https://www.parliament.uk/edm/2016-17/839

2. PRESS FREEDOM IN TURKEY
http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2016-17/907

 

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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