KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 7 – 13 FEBRUARY 2017

NEWS
1. International delegation to visit Turkey applies to visit Öcalan
2. 15,000 European Kurds protest for leader’s release
3. Bayık’s message in Strasbourg calls for a joint struggle by peoples
4. Kartal at Strasbourg rally: We will finish Erdoğan fascism this spring
5. Kurds and Italians condemn the conspiracy against Öcalan in Milan
6. 98 Villages and Hamlets Liberated in the Operation Wrath of Euphrates.
7. ‘Freedom for Öcalan’ demonstration in Stockholm
8. Blackburn activist becomes first British woman to join fight against Isis in Syria
9. KCK leader asks US, Russia to not support Turkey’s anti-Kurdish ‘conspiracy’
10. Syrian Democratic Forces seize more ground east Raqqa amid ISIS retreat
11. Syrian Arab women battle  IS, social stigma
12. Kurdistani delegates to carry out meeting in Moscow
13. Russia Pushes Hard to Include Syria’s Kurds in Geneva Talks

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. Turkish Protesters Halted by Turkey “Fascists” and French Cops.
2. PKK: The Kurdish people are resisting the most vile conspiracy in history
3. Turkey’s top Kurdish politician faces up to 143 years in jail
4. Why Turkey’s approach to Syria may again push it to sidelines
5. Turkey walks fine line in dealing with ‘frenemy’ jihadis
6. How embracing ‘Ottomania’ may backfire on Turkey’s ruling party
7. Turkey’s wealth fund is less about wealth and more about debt
8. Rojava Emergency
9. The Unknown American Heroes of Syria’s Civil War
10. For Volunteers in New York, a Tumultuous Wait for a Refugee Family
11. Trump, Erdogan discuss Syria cooperation in first presidential call
———–
NEWS
1. International delegation to visit Turkey applies to visit Öcalan
10 February/ANF News
The isolation of Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan, who was brought to Turkey on February 15, 1999 as a result of an international conspiracy, enters its 19th year.
http://anfenglish.com/news/international-delegation-to-visit-turkey-applies-to-visit-ocalan

2. 15,000 European Kurds protest for leader’s release
11 February/Yahoo.com
Strasbourg (France) (AFP) – Some 15,000 people marched in the eastern French city of Strasbourg on Saturday demanding that Turkey release Kurdish separatist leader Abdullah Ocalan, as Europe’s Kurds held their biggest annual gathering.
https://www.yahoo.com/news/15-000-european-kurds-protest-leaders-release-142009491.html

3. Bayık’s message in Strasbourg calls for a joint struggle by peoples
11 February/ANF News
Strasbourg (France) (AFP) – Some 15,000 people marched in the eastern French city of Strasbourg on Saturday demanding that Turkey release Kurdish separatist leader Abdullah Ocalan, as Europe’s Kurds held their biggest annual gathering.
http://anfenglish.com/news/bayik-s-message-in-strasbourg-calls-for-a-joint-struggle-by-peoples

4. Kartal at Strasbourg rally: We will finish Erdoğan fascism this spring
11 February/ANF News
Kongra-Gel Co-President Remzi Kartal spoke at the rally in Strasbourg, France in protest at the 15 February 1999’s international conspiracy against Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan on its 18th anniversary.
http://anfenglish.com/news/kartal-at-strasbourg-rally-we-will-finish-erdogan-fascism-this-spring

5. Kurds and Italians condemn the conspiracy against Öcalan in Milan
12 February/ANF English
The international conspiracy that targeted Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan on February 15, 1999 has been condemned in a demonstration in Milan, Italy.Kurds and Italians gathered at Porta Venezia area in Milan and staged a march to the Cairoli Square in protest at the conspiracy with the motto “Freedom for Öcalan”. Representatives of more than 150 institutions participated in the demonstration.
https://www.anfenglish.com/news/kurds-and-italians-condemn-the-conspiracy-against-ocalan-in-milan

6. 98 Villages and Hamlets Liberated in the Operation Wrath of Euphrates.
12 February/ANF News

Wrath of Euphrates Operation Room has announced the balance sheet of the third phase in their military campaign to liberate Raqqa from ISIS occupation.
http://anfenglish.com/news/98-villages-and-hamlets-liberated-in-the-operation-wrath-of-euphrates

7. ‘Freedom for Öcalan’ demonstration in Stockholm
12 February/ANF News
Hundreds of protestors started a march from Arlanda Airport to capital Stockholm around 10:00 yesterday in protest at the February 15, 1999’s international conspiracy against Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan on its 18th anniversary. The protestors spent the night in Sollantuna from where they resumed the second stage of the march this morning.
http://anfenglish.com/news/freedom-for-ocalan-demonstration-in-stockholm

8. Blackburn activist becomes first British woman to join fight against Isis in Syria
9 February/Guardian
A self-styled “revolutionary” from Blackburn is believed to have become the first British woman to travel to Syria to join the fight against Islamic State. Kimberley Taylor, 27, left the UK to join the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ), the all-female affiliate army of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) of Syrian Kurdistan, last March.
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/feb/09/blackburn-activist-kimberly-taylor-becomes-first-british-woman-join-fight-isis-syria

9. KCK leader asks US, Russia to not support Turkey’s anti-Kurdish ‘conspiracy’
12 February/Rudaw News
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — The leader of the Group of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK) has called on Russia and America to avoid giving credence to Turkish officials’ anti-Kurdish “conspiracy” messages and advocated for a Kurdish National Conference this year, according to Kurdish news outlets.
http://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/120220174

10. Syrian Democratic Forces seize more ground east Raqqa amid ISIS retreat
12 February/ARA News
Raqqa– The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on Saturday expelled Islamic State’s (ISIS) militants form the strategic town of Meyzla east of Raqqa, in northeastern Syria.
http://aranews.net/2017/02/syrian-democratic-forces-seize-ground-east-raqqa-amid-isis-retreat/

11. Syrian Arab women battle  IS, social stigma
10 February/The Tribune
They are fighting the world’s most feared militants, but hundreds of Arab female fighters battling the Islamic State group in Syria are also confronting the disapproval of their relatives and society.
https://tribune.com.pk/story/1322801/syrian-arab-women-battle-social-stigma/

12. Kurdistani delegates to carry out meeting in Moscow
8 February/ANHA News
Party representatives from all four parts of Kurdistan (North, West, South and East) will come together for a meeting expected to take place in the Russian capital Moscow on February 15.PYD Russian Representative Ebdulselam Eli told ANHA that they aimed to make a joint Kurdistani meeting on the status of Kurdistan in the Middle East with the participation of Kurdish parties.
http://en.hawarnews.com/kurdistani-delegates-to-carry-out-meeting-in-moscow/

13. Russia Pushes Hard to Include Syria’s Kurds in Geneva Talks
10 February/Assyrian International News Agency
Russia has called for the inclusion of the Kurds in the expected Geneva talks later this month, after their exclusion in previous rounds of both Geneva and Astana talks. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that his country is trying to bring the Kurds and the Syrian regime to a common ground aimed at preserving the unity of the country.
http://aina.org/news/20170210182217.htm

14. Assad Confirms Readiness to Talk to Political, Armed Opposition
8 February/Sputnik News
Syrian President Bashar Assad has confirmed his readiness to hold talks with representatives of the opposition, including armed opposition groups, Russian lawmaker Dmitry Sablin said Wednesday.
https://sputniknews.com/politics/201702081050460125-assad-oppositions-talks/

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. Turkish Protesters Halted by Turkey “Fascists” and French Cops.
9 February/Tele Sur TV

An estimated 13,000 to 15,000 pro-PKK marchers are walking to Strasbourg to demand European institutions do more to protect Kurds in Turkey.
http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Kurdish-Protesters-Halted-by-Turkey-Fascists-and-French-Cops-20170209-0046.html

2. PKK: The Kurdish people are resisting the most vile conspiracy in history
13 February/ANF English
PKK (Kurdistan Worker’s Party) Executive Committee has issued a written statement on the February 15 conspiracy against the Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan and condemned the conspiracy powers once more. PKK stated that the AKP-MHP are looking to continue on the conspiracy and stressed that the outcome of the referendum on April 16 should be “No”.
http://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/pkk-the-kurdish-people-are-resisting-the-most-vile-conspiracy-in-history

3. Turkey’s top Kurdish politician faces up to 143 years in jail
8 February/Al Monitor

On March 17, 2015, Selahattin Demirtas, the co-chair of the Kurdish-dominated Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), delivered the shortest speech in Turkish parliamentary history. “We won’t let you become an executive president,” he proclaimed at his party’s weekly parliamentary meeting, repeating the sentence three times. The HDP leader was addressing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose drive to install a presidential regime was already a major theme ahead of general elections in June of that year.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/02/turkey-kurdish-politicians-face-up-143-years-jail.html#ixzz4YZWW5lSW


4. Why Turkey’s approach to Syria may again push it to sidelines
8 February/Al Monitor
Turkish-supported Syrian opposition groups met in Ankara last week at the request of the Turkish government, reportedly to determine a common position prior to the Feb. 6 talks on Syria in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, and the talks to be held under UN auspices scheduled for Feb. 20 in Geneva.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/02/turkey-usa-russia-ankara-steering-syrian-opposition.html#ixzz4YZWwDkVh

5. Turkey walks fine line in dealing with ‘frenemy’ jihadis
12 February/Al MonitorTurkish police detained four terrorist suspects linked to the Islamic State (IS), as well as a cache of explosives and suicide belts, as CIA Director Mike Pompeo arrived in Turkey for official talks Feb. 9.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/02/turkey-crackdown-terror-groups-syria-kurds-federalism-al-bab.html#ixzz4YZYESoud

6. How embracing ‘Ottomania’ may backfire on Turkey’s ruling party
7 February/Al Monitor
If you scanned last week’s news from Turkish newspapers or social media, you might doubt that the Ottoman Empire had in fact collapsed in 1922 and that the descendants of the dynasty had been sent into exile in 1924. Turkey has gone neo-Ottoman on steroids.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/02/turkey-neo-ottoman-vision-become-a-battleground.html#ixzz4YW5LqssA

7. Turkey’s wealth fund is less about wealth and more about debt
9 February/Al Monitor
In a stunning move Feb. 6, the Turkish government transferred public assets worth billions of Turkish liras to a sovereign wealth fundthat it hastily created last year. Structured through legislative decrees under the state of emergency declared after the coup attempt in July, the Turkey Wealth Fund (TVF) appears destined to continue to stir controversy.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/02/turkey-wealth-fund-company-rescue-fund.html#ixzz4YZbvMdUD

8. Rojava Emergency
The situation in Syrian Kurdistan, Rojava, is not just a local Middle-Eastern problem, it is a global one and concerns the future of human rights
In the Middle-East, there practically no equal rights
http://womeninwar.org/wordpress/category/rojava-emergency/

9. The Unknown American Heroes of Syria’s Civil War
6 February/National Review
The Anglo-American hero Winston Churchill once said, “This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” There is no better way to describe the impact that the March 2015 victory in Kobanî had on the war against the Islamic State.
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/444626/syria-civil-war-rojava-revolution-american-heroes-democracy-ypg

10. For Volunteers in New York, a Tumultuous Wait for a Refugee Family
8 February/The New York Times
A hearty cheer some 50 voices strong greeted the eight members of the Khoja family Tuesday night as they wheeled their luggage into the arrivals area of Kennedy International Airport.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/08/nyregion/after-agonizing-delay-kurdish-syrian-refugees-reach-new-york.html

11. Trump, Erdogan discuss Syria cooperation in first presidential call
8 February/Al Monitor
In a late night phone call Feb. 7 with Donald Trump, Erdogan drew attention to the close ties between the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Kurdistan Workers Party, the group that is fighting for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey and is on the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/02/erdogan-urges-trump-drop-ypg.html#ixzz4Y7rGmddQ

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, 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, 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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