KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 14 – 20 FEBRUARY 2017

NEWS
1. What’s Happening in Xerabê Bava? We demand urgent information from reliable sources
2. AKP is carrying out a fresh round of massacre in Kurdistan
3. PRESS RELEASE by the International Peace Delegation
4. International Delegation member: Öcalan’s ideas are important for peace
5. International delegation blocked from visiting HDP’s Demirtaş in prison
6. Kurds pledge to fight Turkey to retain Syria’s Manbij
7. Interests of Kurds unaffected by Russian-Iranian-Turkish cooperation in Syria
8. Turkish President Erdogan eyes Kurdish town in Syria
9. YPJ fighters in Aleppo: Conspirators lost, Öcalan and his ideas won
10. Kurds Call on Russia to Defend Syria’s Federalization on International Level
11. Russia plays Kurdish card as US, Turkey watch
12. Body of YPG fighter Ryan Lock greeted with ‘Martyrs Don’t Die’ slogan
13. Joint press conference by Rojava and Bashur officials in Moscow

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. It’s raining women in Rojava; Bread and Roses TV
2. Erdogan banks on motley crew of Syrian armed groups US not persuaded to ditch Syrian Kurds
3. What’s next for Turkish Kurds’ political movement?
4. Washington quietly rebuffs Turkish delegation’s anti-YPG efforts
5. Is Erdogan promising a ghost army in Syria?
6. Turkish daily scraps anti-referendum interview with Nobel laureate
7. The Press statement by SPOT: DEMOCRACY ON A KNIFE EDGE IN TURKEY
8. The Kurdish region since the coup attempt
9. We’re Ignoring the Best Bad Option for Syria

 EVENTS
1. ONE DAY WITHOUT US: Unifying action across the UK and on social media on 20 February 2017
2. PUBLIC FORUM ‘PEACE DELEGATION CALLS FOR THE RETURN TO THE PEACE PROCESS IN TURKEY’
—————–

NEWS
1. What’s Happening in Xerabê Bava? We demand urgent information from reliable sources
19 Febraury/HDP.org
For the last nine days, there have been no communications with people in Xerabê Bava (Kuruköy), a village in Turkey’s southeastern district of Mardin-Nusaybin, that is under round-the-clock military curfew and has been cut off from electrical and telephone services in the region.
http://www.hdp.org.tr/en/english/statements/whats-happening-in-xerabê-bava-we-demand-urgent-information-from-reliable-sources/10000


2. AKP is carrying out a fresh round of massacre in Kurdistan
20 February/Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
On 1 February, the Turkish government imposed a curfew on nine villages that was lifted on the following day, yet in the village of Xirabe Baba it has been going on. Moreover, Turkish soldiers executed 3 persons, demolished or set on ablaze houses, and put on surveillance many villagers.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2017/02/20/press-statement-knk-executive-committe/


3. PRESS RELEASE by the International Peace Delegation
20 February/Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
An international peace delegation organized by the EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC) and consisting of 11 members from Europe and North America, including Members of European Parliament and of the Council of Europe, academics, and journalists, has been in Diyarbakir and Istanbul this past week.  The delegation has met with representatives from the Kurdish Freedom Movement, political parties, trade unions, academics, journalists, and other civil society organizations.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2017/02/20/press-release-by-the-international-peace-delegation/


4. International Delegation member: Öcalan’s ideas are important for peace
17 February/ANF News
The International Delegation, with journalists, academics and parliamentarians among them, had left Europe with the demand to meet with Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan and arrived in Amed. They met with the Kurdish Political Movement, political parties and NGOs to get informaton on the political atmosphere in Turkey.
http://anfenglish.com/news/international-delegation-member-ocalan-s-ideas-are-important-for-peace


5. International delegation blocked from visiting HDP’s Demirtaş in prison
17 February/ANF News
Accompanied by HDP Party Assembly member Ayşe Berktay and Istanbul MP Hüda Kaya, an international delegation organized by the EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC) went to Edirne Prison to visit HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş.
http://anfenglish.com/news/international-delegation-blocked-from-visiting-hdp-s-demirtas-in-prison


6. Kurds pledge to fight Turkey to retain Syria’s Manbij
19 February/Al Jazeera
The commander of Kurdish fighters in Syria’s Manbij city has told Al Jazeera that his forces will fight to defend any move by Turkey to take over the area.
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/02/kurds-pledge-fight-turkey-retain-syria-manbij-170218134339051.html


7. Interests of Kurds unaffected by Russian-Iranian-Turkish cooperation in Syria
18 February/Tass.com
Collaboration that Russia, Iran and Turkey are maintaining the sphere of peace settlement in Syria does not affect the interests of the Kurdish people in any way, Asya Abdullah, the co-chairperson of the Democratic Union Party told a news conference titled ‘The Middle East: Struggle for Redrawing the Spheres of Influence and Its Possible Results’.
http://tass.com/world/931617


8. Turkish President Erdogan eyes Kurdish town in Syria
18 February/UPI
After nearly securing the Islamic State-held city of al-Bab in Syria, Turkish forces will next train their fire on a Kurdish held town, setting up a potential confrontation between a NATO ally and an ethnic group that’s proven a stable partner for U.S.-led forces in the region since the 2003 Iraq invasion.
http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2017/02/18/Turkish-President-Erdogan-eyes-Kurdish-town-in-Syria/2011487455956/


9. YPJ fighters in Aleppo: Conspirators lost, Öcalan and his ideas won
18 February/ANF News
YPJ fighter Avesta stated that as the war in Syria is about to enter its seventh year, international and regional powers terrorized the peoples’ uprisings that had begun in 2011. Avesta remarked that the terrorization of peoples’ uprisings led to an intense war, and Aleppo and Sheikh Maqsoud were among the centers of this battle.
http://anfenglish.com/features/ypj-fighters-in-aleppo-conspirators-lost-ocalan-and-his-ideas-won


10. Kurds Call on Russia to Defend Syria’s Federalization on International Level
17 February/Sputnik News
The Kurds from Syria, Iraq and Turkey appealed to the Russian leadership in a joint declaration on Friday, calling to defend the federation status of northern Syrian regions on the international level.
https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201702171050793525-kurds-syria-federalization


11. Russia plays Kurdish card as US, Turkey watch
20 February/Hurriyet Daily News
Moscow hosted a Kurdish conference on Feb. 15 that drew Kurdish political figures from four neighboring Kurdish-populated countries: Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. Kurdish media outlets called it a “Kurdish National Conference,” though Russian officials refrained from labelling it.
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/russia-plays-kurdish-card-as-us-turkey-watch.aspx?pageID=449&nID=109813&NewsCatID=409


12. Body of YPG fighter Ryan Lock greeted with ‘Martyrs Don’t Die’ slogan
19 February/Roj 24
The body of British YPG fighter Ryan Lock (Berxwedan Givara), who lost his life near Raqqa during the fight against ISIS on December 21, 2016, was greeted the ‘Martyrs Don’t Die’ slogan at Heathrow Airport in London. People left gillyflowers on Lock’s body and held a moment of silence.
http://www.roj24.de/englisch/body-of-ypg-fighter-ryan-lock-greeted-with-martyrs-don-t-die-slogan-h5818.html


13. Joint press conference by Rojava and Bashur officials in Moscow
17 February/ANF News
Officials from Rojava (West) and Bashur (South) Kurdistan who attended the 6th Kurdish Conference two days ago, held a joint press briefing in Moscow today.
The press conference at Ria Novosti News Center was attended by PYD Co-chair Asya Abdullah and Kobanê Canton Executive Council President Enwer Muslim from West Kurdistan, and Goran MP Sherko Hama Amin Qadır and PUK MP Azzat Sabir İsmail from South Kurdistan who gave details regarding their talks in Russia.
http://anfenglish.com/news/joint-press-conference-by-rojava-and-bashur-officials-in-moscow

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. It’s raining women in Rojava; Bread and Roses TV
19 February/Bread and Roses TV
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnhU8BKP_2k&feature=youtu.be


2. Erdogan banks on motley crew of Syrian armed groups US not persuaded to ditch Syrian Kurds
19 February/Al Monitor
Fehim Tastekin writes this week that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s expansive goals for Syria include a “Manbij and Raqqa in a three-phased operation. First will be setting up a ‘terror-free safe zone,’ which must also be covered by a no-fly zone. Second, Arabs and Turkmens will be settled in the safe zone. Finally, a national army will be established through a ‘train and equip’ program.”
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/02/erdogan-syria-armed-groups-referendum-coup-mattis-russia.html#ixzz4ZDnHnwYq


3. What’s next for Turkish Kurds’ political movement?
15 February/Al Monitor
The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), representing the Kurdish movement in national politics, is the third largest force in Turkey’s four-party parliament. Unlike its predecessors, the party, established in October 2012, adopted a national agenda, deciding to address concerns beyond the Kurds and the Kurdish question. As such, the HDP became the most successful party in the history of the Kurdish movement.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/02/turkey-crackdown-on-kurdish-political-parties.html


4. Washington quietly rebuffs Turkish delegation’s anti-YPG efforts
16 February/Al Monitor
Turkish leaders continue to make hawkish noises about Raqqa, a high-level delegation seeking to persuade the United States to exclude the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) from a planned offensive to liberate the city from the Islamic State left Washington empty-handed, Al-Monitor has learned.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/02/turkey-fails-exclude-ypg-raqqa-offensive.html

5. Is Erdogan promising a ghost army in Syria?
17 February/Al Monitor
When talking to the Russians, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan emphasizes Syria’s territorial integrity and a peaceful resolution to that country’s civil war. When talking to the Americans, Erdogan advocates a US-Turkish partnership that will also include a buffer zone. When he is conversing with Gulf leaders, the Turkish president slams Tehran and Damascus. A Syrian policy with a truly oriental flavor!
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/02/turkey-erdogan-promising-a-national-or-a-ghost-army.html#ixzz4Z4w5tJWr

6. Turkish daily scraps anti-referendum interview with Nobel laureate
14 February/Al Monitor
The screws on free expression are tightening in the run-up to the April 16 referendum on boosting the powers of Turkey’s presidency, and the country’s mainstream media is a zealously self-censoring accomplice. In the Turkish press’ latest act of self-censorship, Hurriyet has axed its interview with Orhan Pamuk after the celebrated novelist said he will vote no on the upcoming presidential referendum.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/02/turkey-press-stifled-referendum-nears.html#ixzz4Z4xFnUi2


7. The Press statement by SPOT: DEMOCRACY ON A KNIFE EDGE IN TURKEY
16 February/SPOT
The policies of the AKP government, which have been ruling the country for the last 14 years, have pushed democracy to the edge. The severity of the situation exceeds even the circumstances of the military coup in 1980.By using the failed coup attempt of July 15th as a pretext, the government is arresting and firing all those that oppose the authoritarian regime in the country.
http://spotturkey.co.uk/2017/02/16/press-statemen-by-spot-democracy-on-a-knife-edge-in-turkey/


8. The Kurdish region since the coup attempt
2 February/Open Democracy
Especially for the young generation who believes that there is no legal way to gain rights for the Kurdish people, Turkey’s government policies will inevitably have tragic consequences.
https://www.opendemocracy.net/nurcan-baysal/kurdish-region-since-coup-attempt


9. We’re Ignoring the Best Bad Option for Syria
17 February/Defense One
A frozen conflict would give the country space to begin rebuilding.
Last year, there was no shortage of red-tinted profile pictures, “Stand with Aleppo” tweets, and op-ed after op-ed insisting that the international community could not stand by and let Syria’s second-largest city fall to the Assad regime. Once eastern Aleppo did fall in December, critics proclaimed it the hallmark of a failed Obama policy, and comparisons to Srebrenica and echos of “never again” abounded.
http://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2017/02/were-ignoring-best-bad-option-syria/135545/


EVENTS
1. ONE DAY WITHOUT US: Unifying action across the UK and on
social media on 20 February 2017
At 1pm we are inviting all migrants and their supporters to take part in a unifying action.
You can join us by
– Linking arms as a symbolic gesture of connectedness and interdependence
– Taking a picture individually or with colleagues, friends or family holding a message of support for migrants living, working, and studying in the UK
– Tweeting your support for 1 Day Without Us and migrants in the UK.
http://www.1daywithoutus.org/calendar/unifying-action-across-the-uk-and-on-social-media/


2. PUBLIC FORUM ‘PEACE DELEGATION CALLS FOR THE RETURN TO THE PEACE PROCESS IN TURKEY’
22 February 7-9pm
Committee Room 11 House of Commons
http://www.kurdishprogress.org/public_forum_peace_delegation_calls_for_the_return_to_the_peace_process_in_turkey?utm_campaign=21_feb_2017&utm_medium=email&utm_source=kurdishprogress


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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