KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 21 – 27 FEBRUARY 2017

NEWS
1. Kongra-Gel: Death of Moosa, the ally of the oppressed, gives us pain
2. Reports on the atrocities in Cizre submitted to the UN Security Council
3. KCK’s Karasu: Xerabê Bava is Kurdistan, everyone must rise up
4. BREAKING: Major Human Rights Violations by Turkish Army against Kurds
5. Abdullah Ocalan: EU turns screw on Turkey over jailed PKK leader’s isolation
6. Turkish opposition MPs sit in jail as president seeks more power
7. PRESS RELEASE by the International Peace Delegation
8. HDP MP welcomes President Barzani advocacy in Ankara for their jailed leaders
9. What’s Happening in Xerabê Bava? We demand urgent information from reliable sources
10. Return to Kurdish peace process in Turkey unlikely: Experts
11. Pro-Kurdish HDP leader kicked out of Turkish parliament
12. HDP applies to ECHR over arrests of its leaders
13. Paris killings: Families file charges for the investigation to be reopened
14. Our journey to the front lines with the Islamic State
15. Syria ‘safe zones’ for refugees pose dangers for U.S. Alliances
16. Syria ex-Qaeda affiliate claims Homs attacks killing dozens
17. Top US commander for Middle East in secret Syria trip: SDF
18. US struggles to maintain two key allies in Syria: Kurds and Turkey
19. Turkey to invade Manbij if ‘US does not uphold promise:’ Defense Minister
20. Why Moscow now sees value in Syrian local councils

CONDOLENCE MESSAGES
IN MEMORY OF JUDGE ESSA MOOSA
1. Kurdistan National Congress
2. EUTCC

 OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. Turkey on the Brink
2. US must clarify position on Syrian Kurds
3. Massacre in Xerabê Bava village in Nisêbîn/Kurdistan-Turkey continues
4. Turkey, torture and a £100m deal
5. Turkey: Politically-motivated trials of journalists and human rights defenders continue
6. Turkey, Kurds project confidence as Pentagon plans next Syria moves
7. US ‘ally of choice’ in north Syria irks Turkey
8.The Syrian Kurds and Allegations of War Crimes
9.Obama Abandoned Syria’s Christians. Now Trump Can Save Them
10.2016: The year of ‘us vs them’
11. IHD’s 2016 Report on Human Rights Violations in Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia Region

—————————
NEWS
1. Kongra-Gel: Death of Moosa, the ally of the oppressed, gives us pain
26 February/ANF News
Essa Moosa spent his entire life in the struggle against racism and discrimination. He struggled with Nelson Mandela against the racist Apartheid regime in South Africa. He defended Mandela as his lawyer in courts. He also became the comrade and defender of the rights of all oppressed people as a human rights defender.
http://anfenglish.com/news/kongra-gel-death-of-moosa-the-ally-of-the-oppressed-gives-us-pain

2. Reports on the atrocities in Cizre submitted to the UN Security Council
27 February/ANF News
The United Nations Human Rights Council has completed the file on the human rights abuses in Turkey and the massacres committed by the Turkish state in Cizre, Sur, Nusaybin and other cities in Northern Kurdistan. A special unit formed within the UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, who weren’t allowed by the Turkish state to enter Northern Kurdistan to investigate, has submitted their report on the Cizre massacre to the United Nations Security Council.
http://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/reports-on-the-atrocities-in-cizre-submitted-to-the-un-security-council

3. KCK’s Karasu: Xerabê Bava is Kurdistan, everyone must rise up
25 February/ANF News
KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) Executive Council Member Mustafa Karasu spoke to ANF about the AKP government’s genocidal policies, upcoming referendum and KRG President Barzani’s visit to Ankara.
http://anfenglish.com/features/kck-s-karasu-xerabe-bava-is-kurdistan-everyone-must-rise-up

4. BREAKING: Major Human Rights Violations by Turkish Army against Kurds
23 February/The media Line
Allegations of major human rights violations have emerged from Koruköy, a village of perhaps 500 in Turkey’s largely Kurdish southeast that’s been under military blockade since February 11.
http://www.themedialine.org/news/breaking-major-human-rights-violations-turkish-army-kurds/

5. Abdullah Ocalan: EU turns screw on Turkey over jailed PKK leader’s isolation
23 February/Middle East Eye
A delegation of former and present members of the European parliament and the Council of Europe, as well as academics and journalists who met Ocalan’s lawyers in Istanbul last weekend, is to send a team to Strasbourg to ask the Committee on the Prevention of Torture (CPT) to intervene.
http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/abdullah-ocalan-europe-pushes-turkey-action-detention-287676328

6. Turkish opposition MPs sit in jail as president seeks more power
22 February/Middle East Eye
Her voice crackling through the microphone, but with an expression of defiance clearly visible on the prison video, Caglar Demirel spoke from a distance of 1,000km to a panel of three judges in a heavily-guarded court room here. 
http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/hdp-turkey-court-case-kurds-63232956

7. PRESS RELEASE by the International Peace Delegation
19 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/

8. HDP MP welcomes President Barzani advocacy in Ankara for their jailed leaders
25 February/Rudaw
The Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) in Turkey praised a recent demand from the president of the Kurdistan Region to release the imprisoned HDP leaders and MPs for “the interest of peace” in the country.
http://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/250220171

9. What’s Happening in Xerabê Bava? We demand urgent information from reliable sources
19 February/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-deand-urgent-information-from-reliable-sources/10000

10. Return to Kurdish peace process in Turkey unlikely: Experts
19 February/ARA News
Experts told ARA News that a return to peace talks between the Turkish government and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) is unlikely, after rumours that peace talks could re-start in Turkey. The Turkish government could need more stability before the planned presidential referendum planned in April.
http://aranews.net/2017/02/return-to-kurdish-peace-process-in-turkey-unlikely-experts/

11. Pro-Kurdish HDP leader kicked out of Turkish parliament
21 February/Al Monitor
Turkey’s beleaguered pro-Kurdish bloc was dealt a further blow Feb. 21 when the parliament stripped its imprisoned co-leader of her seat. An appeals court upheld Figen Yuksedag’s conviction of spreading terrorist propaganda.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/02/turkey-unseats-figen-yuksedag-kurdish-bloc-leader.html#ixzz4ZjEqzLEO

12. HDP applies to ECHR over arrests of its leaders
21 February/Al Jazeera
Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has filed an application at the European Court of Human Rights regarding the continued arrest of its co-leaders , Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag.
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/02/hdp-applies-echr-arrests-leaders-170221050658145.html

13. Paris killings: Families file charges for the investigation to be reopened
23 February/ANF English
Families of the three revolutionary women murdered in Paris have filed charges for the investigation that was closed after the suspect died under suspicious circumstances to be reopened. With the filed charges, the families are expecting to ensure the identification and trial the people who ordered the executions. These charges are filed against the co-conspirators of the executions.
http://anfenglish.com/news/paris-killings-families-file-charges-for-the-investigation-to-be-reopened

14. Our journey to the front lines with the Islamic State
25 February/The Journal
For complicated reasons to do with war and politics, the only way in and out of the enclave controlled by Syria’s Kurds is on a rusty iron boat that ferries passengers across the Tigris river from Iraq. Late last year, photographer Alice Martins and I boarded one of those boats to head for the front lines in the fight against the Islamic State.
http://www.the-journal.com/article/20170225/AP/302259866/Our-journey-to-the-front-lines-with-the-Islamic-State

15. Syria ‘safe zones’ for refugees pose dangers for U.S. Alliances
22 February/Washington Times
For complicated reasons to do with war and politics, the only way in and out of the enclave controlled by Syria’s Kurds is on a rusty iron boat that ferries passengers across the Tigris river from Iraq. Late last year, photographer Alice Martins and I boarded one of those boats to head for the front lines in the fight against the Islamic State.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/feb/22/donald-trumps-plan-for-safe-zones-for-syrian-refug/

16. Syria ex-Qaeda affiliate claims Homs attacks killing dozens
25 February/Middle East Eye
Syria’s chief negotiator at UN-sponsored talks in Geneva demanded on Saturday that all opposition parties at the talks condemn the deadly assault in Homs or be considered “accomplices of terrorism”.
http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/breaking-syria-ex-qaeda-affiliate-claims-homs-attacks-524990065

17. Top US commander for Middle East in secret Syria trip: SDF
24 February/Middle East Eye
The top US military commander for the Middle East made a secret trip to northern Syria on Friday to meet a US-backed alliance fighting the Islamic State (IS) group, the alliance’s spokesman said.
http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/top-us-commander-middle-east-secret-syria-trip-sdf-1863807137

18. US struggles to maintain two key allies in Syria: Kurds and Turkey
24 February/ARA News
The Pentagon’s top military officer on Thursday underlined that one of the complex challenges the US will face in the future is how to navigate the animosity between the two key US allies in Syria: Turkey and the Syrian Kurds.
http://aranews.net/2017/02/us-struggles-to-maintain-two-key-allies-in-syria-kurds-and-turkey/

19. Turkey to invade Manbij if ‘US does not uphold promise:’ Defense Minister
22 February/Kurdistan 24
Turkey would ‘certainly’ consider a military operation to capture the town of Manbij in northern Syria if the United States did not commit to “its promise” of Kurdish forces’ retreat from there, said the country’s Defense Minister Fikri Isik on Tuesday.
http://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/5133cbe5-6c8b-46fd-972a-514463735865/turkey-to-invade-manbij-if–us-does-not-uphold-promise—defense-minister

20. Why Moscow now sees value in Syrian local councils
20 February/Al Monitor
The long-lasting civil war in Syria killed centralized government stone dead and caused a de facto territorial fragmentation. Although international players are currently voicing “commitment to Syria’s sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity,” it also is a fact that alternative forms of civic self-government, namely local councils, have held sway in rebel-controlled districts for some time now.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/02/russia-syria-value-local-councils-shift-damascus.html#ixzz4ZM9zs25W

CONDOLENCE MESSAGES
IN MEMORY OF JUDGE ESSA MOOSA
1. Kurdistan National Congress
The South African revolutionary, the lawyer of Nelson Mandela and Abdullah Ocalan, Mr. Esa Moosa has sadly left us today. His passing away is a massive loss for the people of South Africa, the Kurdish people and the whole progressive establishments. We, as his friend and comrade, are deeply saddened by his loss.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2017/02/27/condolence-to-the-family-of-judge-esa-moosa/
2. EUTCC
The EUTCC celebrates the life of a respected colleague and close friend, Judge Essa Moosa, an outspoken advocate of Kurdish rights and sharp critic of Turkish injustices. His huge efforts for the promotion of peace and democracy in Turkey and for the resumption of the unravelling of the peace process between the Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan and the Turkish government are widely known. He referred to his friend Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu when he said that “Dialogue between the parties is the only way to secure a peaceful resolution to the conflict and peace is a precondition for establishing a democratic Turkey. Successful dialogue will make all other methods unnecessary.”
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2017/02/27/in-memory-of-our-beloved-friend-judge-essa-moosa/

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. Turkey on the Brink
David L. Phillips, Director of the Program on Peace-building and Rights, addressed a Conference in the National Assembly of France on US-Turkey relations and the situation in Syria (17 February 2017).
My remarks focus on US-Turkish relations. They address the prospect of improving relations between Turkey and the United States, during President Donald J. Trump’s administration. Remarks also consider potential areas of agreement between the US and Turkey, as well as flash points in US-Turkey relations. Flash points include Turkey’s demand for the extradition of Fethullah Gülen and discontinuation of US security cooperation with Syrian Kurds.
http://www.institutkurde.org/conferences/la-turquie-au-bord-de-la-guerre-civile/son/david-phillips.mp3

http://www.humanrightscolumbia.org/sites/default/files/pbhr_turkey_brink.pdf for the full text of his presentation.

2. US must clarify position on Syrian Kurds
Michael Rubin, American Enterprise Institute 17 February 2017
Syria’s Kurds—specifically the People’s Protection Units (YPG)—have been the most successful group to fight the Islamic State in Syria. They have also done the most to save and rescue the Yezidis after that religious minority was largely abandoned by Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani’s peshmerga.
https://www.aei.org/publication/u-s-must-clarify-position-on-syrian-kurds/

3. Massacre in Xerabê Bava village in Nisêbîn/Kurdistan-Turkey continues
22 February/KongraKurdistan.net
Turkish state forces continue their siege of Xerabê Bava village, of Nisêbîn district, of Mêrdin province, for the 12th day. The attacks in Xerabê Bava (Koruköy) are carried out under the leadership of Bornova 2nd Gendarmerie Commando Brigade of Turkish Military. Xerabê Bava is a Kurdish village where humanity is trampled on with all sorts of cruelty being executed by Turkish soldiers.
<http://www.kongrakurdistan.net/en/massacre-in-xerabe-bava-village-in-nisebinkurdistan-turkey-continues/>

4. Turkey, torture and a £100m deal
February Issue 1437/Private Eye
WHILE watching TV images of Theresa May cosying up to President Erdogan made painful viewing, the real torture was continuing as usual behind closed doors elsewhere in Turkey.
http://www.private-eye.co.uk/issue-1437/news

5. Turkey: Politically-motivated trials of journalists and human rights defenders continue
20 February/Article 19
Last week, ARTICLE 19, PEN International and Reporters without Borders (RSF) monitored the hearings of several criminal cases against journalists and human rights defenders in Turkey, all of whom face politically-motivated charges of propaganda for, or involvement in, terrorist organisations.
https://www.article19.org/resources.php/resource/38639/en/turkey:-politically-motivated-trials-of-journalists-and-human-rights-defenders-continue?utm_source=ARTICLE+19+Mailing+List&utm_campaign=503c08f77d-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_02_17&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c3bf82663f-503c08f77d-209352645

6. Turkey, Kurds project confidence as Pentagon plans next Syria moves
23 February/Al Monitor
With a Feb. 28 deadline for the Pentagon to deliver revised plans to defeat the Islamic State in Syria fast approaching, speculation is rife as to what they will contain and the main players are spinning their own versions of a likely outcome.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/02/pentagon-deadline-approaches-syria-plan.html#ixzz4ZpssagRu

7. US ‘ally of choice’ in north Syria irks Turkey
27 February/Gulf News
A crowd of young Syrian fighters lined up behind a pickup truck to receive their equipment: an AK-47 and a load of ammunition. The battlefield gear was their reward for completing a 20-day course led by US Special Forces in northern Syria in how to fight Daesh.
http://gulfnews.com/news/mena/turkey/us-ally-of-choice-in-
north-syria-irks-turkey-1.1983920

8. The Syrian Kurds and Allegations of War Crimes
21 February/The Nation
 In a two-part investigation for The Nation, published here and here, Roy Gutman has accused the Syrian Kurdish militia, the YPG, of systematically violating human rights in the area it controls. Below is a response from critics, followed by Gutman’s rejoinder.
https://www.thenation.com/article/the-syrian-kurds-and-allegations-of-war-crimes/

9. Obama Abandoned Syria’s Christians. Now Trump Can Save Them
16 February/Stream.Org
The Trump administration stated that it wants to eradicate ISIS and protect persecuted Christians in the Middle East. If it’s to have any real hope of accomplishing these crucial goals, the president and his team need to work with America’s allies who are already succeeding on the ground: the Federation of Northern Syria, which coordinates efforts of Kurdish, Arab, Syriac Christian and other resistance groups.
https://stream.org/obama-abandoned-syria-christian-now-trump-can-save-them/

10. 2016: The year of ‘us vs them’
21 February/Amnesty International
From the worsening plight of refugees around the world to mass unlawful killings, from the vicious crackdowns on dissenting voices to the rise of hate speech across Europe and the USA, the world in 2016 became a darker and more unstable place.
https://www.amnesty.org.uk/2016-year-us-vs-them?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=Targted&utm_campaign=Annual_Report&utm_content=Annual_report_v1&utm_campaign=ANNUAL+REPORT&utm_source=emailCampaign&utm_content=&utm_medium=email

11. IHD’s 2016 Report on Human Rights Violations in Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia Region
1 February/IHD.Org
The ongoing conflicting environment in our country continues hurting us by multiplying the suffer that it causes. Soldiers, policemen, organization militants and civilians are losing their lives every day. In a little while, we will share with you the horrifying balance sheet and grave human rights violations which are generated and caused by this conflicting environment under categorical headings.
http://ihd.org.tr/en/index.php/2017/02/01/ihds-2016-report-on-human-rights-violations-in-eastern-and-southeastern-anatolia/

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 <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


 

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: