KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 21 – 27 MARCH 2017

NEWS
1. UK Parliament calls for action to stop conflict between Turkey and Kurdish YPG in Syria
2. Turkey’s Kurds could sway tight referendum vote
3. Veteran politician says Turkey referendum a ‘test’ for Kurds
4. Swiss parties and people rally for ‘NO’ against Erdoğan’s regime
5. Turkey’s Erdogan warns Europeans ‘will not walk safely on …
6. CHP MP Tanrıkulu Visits HDP’s Imprisoned Co-Chair Demirtaş
7. Human Rights Association Diyarbakır Branch Chair Bilici Released
8. SDF forces liberate strategic Tabqa Airport, push further into ISIS capital
9. PYD’s Muslim: The US and Russia may tell Turkey to ‘get out of Syria’
10. Êzidîs marching to Brussels for Shengal cover 185 km in eight days
11. On Nowruz, massive pro-Kurdish rallies flood Turkey’s Diyarbakir
12. The Latest: US claims Tabqa dam is not in danger of bursting
13. Russia wants Syrian Kurds in Geneva talks despite Turkey’s resistance
14. The peoples of Rojava celebrates Newroz everywhere
15. Turkey Says Fires Into Kurdish-Held Syria After Soldier Killed by Sniper

 OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. ‘Sometimes I laugh at this farce’: six writers on life behind bars in Turkey
2. Kurdish family demands justice in Turkey’s Diyarbakir
3. Is Turkey rattled by Russian-Kurdish deal?
4. Syrian Kurds reject UN envoy’s paper, say it ignores Kurdish rights
5. Ankara’s Syrian plan falters as Moscow sets up in Afrin
6. Turkey still determined to play role in final Raqqa assault
7. In Erdogan’s Turkey, an Artist Gets Jailed for Painting Reality
8. PHOTOS: Kurds introduce culture, tradition in Saint Petersburg

NEW PUBLICATION
The new Spokesman Journal “Rojava in view” is now out.

EVENT
Challenging Capitalist Modernity

——————————————————————
NEWS
1. UK Parliament calls for action to stop conflict between Turkey and Kurdish YPG in Syria
26 March/ARA News
The UK Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee on Saturday said that the United Kingdom should stop the conflict between the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Turkey.
http://aranews.net/2017/03/uk-parliament-calls-action-stop-conflict-turkey-kurdish-ypg-syria/

2. Turkey’s Kurds could sway tight referendum vote
26 March/Middle East Online
With pollsters predict­ing a very close out­come to Turkey’s April 16th referen­dum, the country’s large Kurdish minority could hold the key to whether charismatic but divisive President Recep Tayyip Er­dogan succeeds in his bid to change the constitution and endow his of­fice with sweeping executive pow­ers.
http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=82249

3. Veteran politician says Turkey referendum a ‘test’ for Kurds
25 March/Middle East Online
Veteran Kurdish politician Ahmet Turk still hopes for peace but fears consequences of next month’s constitutional referendum.
http://middle-east-online.com/english/?id=82238

4. Swiss parties and people rally for ‘NO’ against Erdoğan’s regime
26 March/ANF News
Led by the second biggest political party in Switzerland the Socialist Party (SP), Greens, Solidarité, Medico International Schweiz, Solifonds, DEM-KURD and the Kurdish Women’s Movement in Switzerland, thousands of people held a rally in Bern, Switzerland to protest the AKP/MHP fascism yesterday.
http://anfenglish.com/news/swiss-parties-and-people-rally-for-no-against-erdogan-s-regime

5. Turkey’s Erdogan warns Europeans ‘will not walk safely on …
22 March/The Independent
Europeans across the world will not be able to walk the streets safely if they keep up their current attitude towards Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/turkey-erdogan-germany-netherlands-warning-europeans-not-walk-safely-a7642941.html

6. CHP MP Tanrıkulu Visits HDP’s Imprisoned Co-Chair Demirtaş
27 March/Bianet English
People’s Republican Party (CHP) İstanbul MP Sezgin Tanrıkulu has visited the Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) arrested co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş in Edirne Type-F Closed prison on Newroz, March 21.
http://bianet.org/english/politics/184729-chp-mp-tanrikulu-visits-hdp-s-imprisoned-co-chair-demirtas

7. Human Rights Association Diyarbakır Branch Chair Bilici Released
22 March/Bianet English
Human Rights Association (İHD) Deputy Chair and its Diyarbakır Bureau Chair Bilici has been released on probation following two weeks of detention.
http://bianet.org/english/human-rights/184712-human-rights-association-diyarbakir-branch-chair-bilici-released

8. SDF forces liberate strategic Tabqa Airport, push further into ISIS capital
27 March/ARA News
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on Sunday 20:00 PM liberated the strategic Tabqa Airport after several days of fighting, officials confirmed.
http://aranews.net/2017/03/sdf-forces-liberate-strategic-tabqa-airport-push-further-into-isis-capital/

9. PYD’s Muslim: The US and Russia may tell Turkey to ‘get out of Syria’
27 March/ANF News
ANF spoke to PYD (Democratic Union Party) Co-President Saleh Muslim on the Raqqa operation, talks with the US and Russia, Turkey’s threats, and the developments around Manbij and Efrîn.
http://anfenglish.com/features/pyd-s-muslim-the-us-and-russia-may-tell-turkey-to-get-out-of-syria

10. Êzidîs marching to Brussels for Shengal cover 185 km in eight days
27 March/ANF News
Êzidîs in Europe started a march from the NRW State Parliament in Dusseldorf, Germany to Brussels on March 20 in order to protest the AKP-KDP’s attacks on Shengal and demand the recognition of Shengal’s political status. During the past eight days, Êzidîs marched through Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. Protestors are carrying posters of Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan, Êzidî Federation flags, and banners that protest the KDP and the AKP, and have covered a distance of 185 kilometers in eight days so far.
http://anfenglish.com/news/ezidis-marching-to-brussels-for-shengal-cover-185-km-in-eight-days

11. On Nowruz, massive pro-Kurdish rallies flood Turkey’s Diyarbakir
21 March/Al Monitor
Their leaders are in jail, their towns are in ruins and their rights are being suppressed, yet tens of thousands of Turkish Kurds gathered today in a mix of defiance and joy to celebrate Nowruz, the arrival of spring, in their unofficial capital Diyarbakir.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/03/turkey-kurds-celebrate-nowruz.html#ixzz4c5u1eRbx

12. The Latest: US claims Tabqa dam is not in danger of bursting
26 March/The Washington Post
U.S.-led coalition forces say the Tabqa Dam in northern Syria is structurally sound. The Islamic State group claimed Sunday that coalition airstrikes had locked the dam’s gates, causing Euphrates River water levels to rise dangerously behind the structure. The group warned the dam could burst.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/the-latest-activists-say-is-evacuating-raqqa-over-dam-fears/2017/03/26/f00fc242-1219-11e7-bb16-269934184168_story.html?utm_term=.ef70f396c1c8

13. Russia wants Syrian Kurds in Geneva talks despite Turkey’s resistance
23 March/ARA News
Russia will work with Turkey to seek Kurdish involvement at intra-Syrian negotiations despite Ankara’s ambivalent stance toward the Kurds, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday.
http://aranews.net/2017/03/russia-wants-syrian-kurds-geneva-talks-despite-turkeys-resistance/

14. The peoples of Rojava celebrates Newroz everywhere
21 March/Hawar News Agency
The people of Rojava celebrated the feast of resistance by burning Newroz fire everywhere. In the cities of Rojava, in towns and in villages, thousands of citizens celebrated Newroz by lighting fire on the streets, in the fields, and even on the balconies of their homes.
http://en.hawarnews.com/the-peoples-of-rojava-celebrates-newroz-everywhere/

15. Turkey Says Fires Into Kurdish-Held Syria After Soldier Killed by Sniper
22 March/US News
Turkey fired into Kurdish-controlled Syria on Wednesday after saying one of its soldiers was killed by a sniper from across the border, risking deeper conflict with a Kurdish militia backed by the United States and building ties to Russia.
https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2017-03-22/turkish-soldier-killed-by-sniper-fire-from-kurdish-controlled-syria-military

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. ‘Sometimes I laugh at this farce’: six writers on life behind bars in Turkey
23 March/The Guardian
Turkey fired into Kurdish-controlled Syria on Wednesday after saying one of its soldiers was killed by a sniper from across the border, risking deeper conflict with a Kurdish militia backed by the United States and building ties to Russia.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/23/words-from-behind-bars-turkey-persecuted-writers-journalists

2. Kurdish family demands justice in Turkey’s Diyarbakir
22 March/Al Jazeera
One of the first things I noticed when walking into the modest home of the Cukurs, is a framed picture wrapped in a patterned brown cloth, prominently displayed next to a plaque emblazoned with Islamic calligraphy in the bare living room.
http://www.aljazeera.com/blogs/middleeast/2017/03/kurdish-family-demands-justice-turkey-diyarbakir-170322191451624.html

3. Is Turkey rattled by Russian-Kurdish deal?
24 March/Al Monitor

Turkey’s plans to expand its Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria and isolate Kurdish forces in the region appear to be backfiring.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/03/turkey-syria-russian-troops-arrive-afrin.html?utm_source=Boomtrain&utm_medium=manual&utm_campaign=20170326&bt_ee=k7Pkx6WoUcmM06camM4DOM63PAsjtGcBySNreY/8LIYZ/4FkWUVqlW+KitQLBO+r&bt_ts=1490603463416

4. Syrian Kurds reject UN envoy’s paper, say it ignores Kurdish rights
25 March/ARA News
The Kurdish National Council (KNC) on Friday rejected a paper on Syrian political solution issued by Staffan de Mistura, the UN Special Envoy for Syria published. The paper, released in early March, calls for a local administration in Syria.
http://aranews.net/2017/03/syrian-kurds-reject-un-envoys-paper-say-it-ignores-kurdish-rights/

5. Ankara’s Syrian plan falters as Moscow sets up in Afrin
22 March/Al Monitor
Turkey’s last-ditch efforts to harness Russian military and diplomatic heft to counter the Syrian Kurds and unravel their alliance with the United States are showing few signs of succeeding, like much else in the country’s ill-fated Syrian policy.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/03/turkey-attempts-fail-ally-russia.html#ixzz4c5tJ1FXs

6. Turkey still determined to play role in final Raqqa assault
21 March/Al Monitor
It sounded dramatic: The leaders of 50 Syrian Arab tribes met in Sanliurfa, Turkey, and announced they would set up the Army of Al-Jazirah and Euphrates Tribes to end Russian and Iranian occupation of Syria and cleanse the Euphrates and Al Jazeera areas of the Islamic State (IS), the Kurdish nationalist Democratic Union Party/Kurdistan Workers Party (PYD/PKK), Hezbollah and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/03/turkey-syria-ankara-promotes-arab-tribes-raqqa-operation.html#ixzz4c8x1uSwK

7. In Erdogan’s Turkey, an Artist Gets Jailed for Painting Reality
24 March/Telesur TV
A Turkish court has handed down a two-year, nine-month and 22-day jail sentence to a Kurdish artist because of her painting of a Kurdish village being razed by Turkish security forces.
http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/In-Erdogans-Turkey-an-Artist-Gets-Jailed-for-Painting-Reality-20170324-0010.html

8. PHOTOS: Kurds introduce culture, tradition in Saint Petersburg
24 March/Kurdistan 24
Kurds in Saint Petersburg, Russia, organized an event to celebrate Newroz, Kurdish New Year, and introduce Kurdish culture and tradition to Russians.
http://www.kurdistan24.net/en/culture/0e579ab2-cfc0-4f48-8786-821c211d28fa/PHOTOS–Kurds-introduce-culture–tradition-in-Saint-Petersburg

NEW PUBLICATION
The new Spokesman Journal “Rojava in view” is now out. Order your copy now:
http://www.spokesmanbooks.com/acatalog/Spokesman_Journal.html

EVENT
Challenging Capitalist Modernity Conference III: 14―16 April 201, Hamburg University
http://www.networkaq.net

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 Fax: 020 7263 0596

Patrons: Lord Rea, Lord Dholakia, Baroness Sarah Ludford, Jill Evans MEP, Jean Lambert MEP, Julie Ward 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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