KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 4 – 10 APRIL 2017

NEWS
1. Sancar: The power balance will be reshaped after the referendum
2. Thousands join the ‘NO’ rally of the HDP in Istanbul
3. Pro-Kurdish HDP hold rallies ahead of Turkish referendum
4. KCK calls for mass demonstrations to support the prison resistance
5. Social democrats in Sweden launch campaign in solidarity with HDP
6. Danish MPs call on Turkey to release Kurdish politicians
7. British woman who went to fight ISIS in Syria goes on hunger strike – and says she’s ‘homesick’ for her stepmum’s cottage pie
8. Turkey not giving up on dirty plans against Rojava

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. MSD Co-chair Ehmed: YPJ is the guarantee of women and future
2. YPJ’s Abdullah: We will avenge Nûjiyan, Nazê through women’s struggle
3. ‘All massacres being committed by ISIS’ – Kurdish paramilitary commander fighting for Raqqa to RT
4. KCK’s Bayık: Turkey is using the most lethal methods in this war
5. Operation Euphrates Shield: A post-mortem
6. Tabqa Dam: The key to capturing Raqqa
7. Turkey’s referendum held in a climate of fear
8. To win more power, Turkey’s president needs his enemies’ votes
9. The Looming End to the Western-Turkish Alliance?
10. Donald Trump feels he had no choice but to launch airstrikes…..
11. Manbij crossfire: Liberated from IS, Kurdish-controlled city now fears Turkish invasion

STATEMENTS, REPORTS, DOSSIERS
1. Hunger Strikes in Turkish Prisons: Information Note
2. Hunger Strikes by Political Prisoners in Turkey
3. Turkey: Crackdown on Kurdish Opposition

 ACTION
Call for Hunger Strike

————————————-
NEWS
1. Sancar: The power balance will be reshaped after the referendum
10 April/ANF News
HDP’s Sancar thinks the “no” vote will be around 54%. Sancar said there is trouble boiling below the surface in both AKP and MHP and that the power balance in Turkey will be reshaped after the referendum.
https://anfenglish.com/news/sancar-the-power-balance-will-be-reshaped-after-the-referendum-19416

2. Thousands join the ‘NO’ rally of the HDP in Istanbul
8 April/ANF News
Thousands of people are joining the ‘No’ rally organised by Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in Istanbul for the upcoming referendum of April 16.
https://anfenglish.com/news/thousands-join-the-no-rally-of-the-hdp-in-istanbul-19385

3. Pro-Kurdish HDP hold rallies ahead of Turkish referendum
8 April/Kurdistan 24
Turkey’s Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) on Saturday stepped up efforts against empowering President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with rallies in Istanbul and Adana, two cities where it has a significant voter base.
http://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/599086e6-5863-4ce5-9ebb-30f89597aea7/Pro-Kurdish-HDP-hold-rallies-ahead-of-Turkey-referendum

4. KCK calls for mass demonstrations to support the prison resistance
9 April/ANF News
KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) Executive Council Co-presidency released a statement regarding the hunger strikes of political prisoners across Turkey and North Kurdistan.
https://anfenglish.com/news/kck-calls-for-mass-demonstrations-to-support-the-prison-resistance-19396

5. Social democrats in Sweden launch campaign in solidarity with HDP
10 April/ANF News
The Swedish Social Democratic Party (SAP), partner of the Swedish coalition government, and Olof Palme Center launched a donation campaign to provide financial support for arrested politicians, mayors, and their families. SAP began to collect donations during its congress in Gothenburg on April 8.
https://anfenglish.com/news/social-democrats-in-sweden-launch-campaign-in-solidarity-with-hdp-19415

6. Danish MPs call on Turkey to release Kurdish politicians
9 April/ARA News
Members of the Danish Parliament have called on Turkey’s authorities to release Kurdish officials of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
http://aranews.net/2017/04/danish-mps-call-turkey-release-kurdish-politicians/

7. British woman who went to fight ISIS in Syria goes on hunger strike – and says she’s ‘homesick’ for her stepmum’s cottage pie
8 April/Daily Mail
Kimberley Taylor, the first British woman to join the fight against Isis in Syria, has described how a five-day hunger strike in support of political prisoners in Turkey has made her ‘desperately homesick’ for her stepmother’s cottage pie.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4393422/Woman-went-fight-ISIS-goes-hunger-strike.html#ixzz4dhgPOv00

8. Turkey not giving up on dirty plans against Rojava
6 April/ANF News
Northern Syrian Federation Executive Council Co-chair Foza Yusuf pointed out an attempted attack on Shehba and Efrîn and said: “Turkey will face a great resistance. Everybody knows how it ended for ISIS when they attacked Kobanê.”
https://anfenglish.com/features/turkey-not-giving-up-on-dirty-plans-against-rojava-19351

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. MSD Co-chair Ehmed: YPJ is the guarantee of women and future
3 April/ANF News
Syrian Democratic Council (MSD) Co-chair İlham Ehmed stated that the Women and Defense Workshop is of historic importance for the future of the Middle East.
https://anfenglish.com/women/msd-co-chair-ehmed-ypj-is-the-guarantee-of-women-and-future-19302

2. YPJ’s Abdullah: We will avenge Nûjiyan, Nazê through women’s struggle
23 March/ANF News
Kurdish journalist Nûjiyan Erhan who was shot in a deliberate and targeted attack by KDP-AKP gangs in Shengal on March 3, has lost her life last night after 22 days under intensive care.
https://anfenglish.com/women/ypj-s-abdullah-we-will-avenge-nujiyan-naze-through-women-s-struggle-19126

3. ‘All massacres being committed by ISIS’ – Kurdish paramilitary commander fighting for Raqqa to RT
9 April/Russia Today
In an interview with RT, Kurdish paramilitary commander Cihan Sheikh talked about the rising civilian death toll in Syria and the possible consequences of Turkish intervention, but avoided discussing the impact of US-led coalition strikes.
https://www.rt.com/news/384141-kurdish-commander-raqqa-interview/

4. KCK’s Bayık: Turkey is using the most lethal methods in this war
10 April/ANF News
KCK Executive Council Co-chair Cemil Bayık remarked that the aim of the Turkish government’s decision to wage the war on them was to suppress the Kurdish movement for freedom.
https://anfenglish.com/news/kck-s-bayik-turkey-is-using-the-most-lethal-methods-in-this-war-19408

5. Operation Euphrates Shield: A post-mortem
5 April/Al Monitor
A day before the long-awaited March 30 visit of new US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Ankara, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim dramatically announced that Operation Euphrates Shield, Turkey’s military intervention in northern Syria, had “successfully” come to a close. A precursory postmortem of the vaunted military campaign raises a number of questions, including what caused its termination and why it was not reported immediately? The answers lead one to wonder what comes next.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/04/turkey-post-mortem-in-syria.html?utm_source=Boomtrain&utm_medium=manual&utm_campaign=20170406&bt_ee=0fa5lWCukRvkgOhsvSrM8FmCOH3KkkKCgPCdhtP+m4Lw9EI/KU2rcjOM2SYUlsR0&bt_ts=1491503997869

6. Tabqa Dam: The key to capturing Raqqa
9 April/ANF News
On the 5th of November 2016, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) launched an extensive military operation called ‘Wrath of Euphrates’ to liberate the city of Raqqa and its surroundings from the Islamic State (IS). Raqqa is the de-facto capital of the IS controlled regions in Syria, and its fall would significantly weaken their rule.
https://anfenglish.com/news/tabqa-dam-the-key-to-capturing-raqqa-19395

7. Turkey’s referendum held in a climate of fear
5 April/Revolutionary Communist Group
Turkey’s President Erdogan is holding a constitutional referendum on 16 April 2017 in the midst of the most ferocious repression, in an atmosphere of fear and intimidation where anyone who dares to say ‘No’ to the proposed constitutional changes is branded a terrorist.
http://www.revolutionarycommunist.org/middle-east/turkey

8. To win more power, Turkey’s president needs his enemies’ votes
6 April/The Economist
WITH just over a week before a referendum on constitutional changes that would give him practically unchecked powers, Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, ought to be coasting to victory. The media have been defanged. Critics, including members of his own party, are afraid to speak up. The secular opposition is tripping over its own shoelaces. Yet Mr Erdogan is not assured of a win on April 16th.
http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21720304-kurds-and-nationalists-are-key-whether-recep-tayyip-erdogans-referendum-succeeds-win

9. The Looming End to the Western-Turkish Alliance?
6 April/Global Research
The growing tension between Turkey and its Western allies, which was further heightened during the Obama administration, is narrowing the space for cooperation between the two sides and in fact is progressively worsening. Erdogan’s hope that he and President Trump would improve their ties as members of NATO has dramatically diminished. Washington and the EU still deeply disagree with Ankara on a host of issues, which are unlikely to be resolved on a mutually gainful basis any time in the foreseeable future.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-looming-end-to-the-western-turkish-alliance/5583688

10. Donald Trump feels he had no choice but to launch airstrikes…..
7 April/The Independent
President Donald Trump had little option but to order a missile strike against a Syrian airbase after holding Syria responsible for that poison gas attack on Khan Sheikhoun that killed 80 civilians. He had criticised President Obama for being weak, slow and indecisive when facing similar challenges, so he could scarcely do nothing when President Bashar al-Assad appeared to breach the agreement in 2013 to hand over all his chemical weapons to be destroyed.
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/donald-trump-syria-air-strike-missile-airbase-chemical-attack-russia-no-choice-balance-power-bashar-a7673051.html

11. Manbij crossfire: Liberated from IS, Kurdish-controlled city now fears Turkish invasion
27 March/Russia Today
Months after Kurdish-led forces kicked Islamic State out of Syria’s Manbij, change is in the air with IS-imposed burqas replaced by a women’s council. Now, however, the city finds itself on the edge of the Turkish-Kurdish conflict, RT’s Lizzie Phelan reports.
https://www.rt.com/news/382391-manbij-sdf-turkey-kurds-women/

STATEMENTS, REPORTS, DOSSIERS
1. Hunger Strikes in Turkish Prisons: Information Note
10 April/Peace in Kurdistan Campaign

The hunger strike protests of political prisoners in Turkish penitentiary institutions have reached a critical point. The protest was initiated in Izmir Şakran High Security Prison on 15 February 2017 to draw attention to gross human rights violations and inhumane living conditions in prisons, the isolation on the imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, and Erdoğan-AKP Government’s renewed politics violence and war in the Kurdish issue. It soon spread to other prisons across Turkey.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2017/04/10/hunger-strikes-in-turkish-prisons-information-note/

2. Hunger Strikes by Political Prisoners in Turkey
30 March/Peace in Kurdistan Campaign

Hundreds of political prisoners are on an indefinite-irreversible hunger strike in several Turkish prisons. Their aim is tocondemn Turkey’s fascist and racist system, to protest the arbitrary practices of the prison administration and the increasing violations of their rights. The isolation of all political prisoners and especially that of Kurdish People’s Leader, Abdullah OCALAN, has been expanded to include all prisons.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2017/04/10/hunger-strikes-in-turkish-prisons-information-note/

3. Turkey: Crackdown on Kurdish Opposition
20 March/HRW
The Turkish government has jailed 13 members of the pro-Kurdish democratic opposition in parliament on terrorism charges and taken direct control of 82 municipalities in the Kurdish southeast region, suspending and incarcerating elected mayors, Human Rights Watch said today. The crackdown on democratically elected officials not only violates their rights to political association and participation, and freedom of expression, but also interferes with the rights of constituents who voted for them and whom they serve in office.
https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/03/20/turkey-crackdown-kurdish-opposition

ACTION
Call for Hunger Strike
10 April/ Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
The isolation of Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan by the fascist AKP government of Turkey is continuing. The resistance of the Kurdish people and all the peoples with demands of freedom, especially in the prisons of Turkey against this state terror are also continuing. The hunger strikes in the prisons have reached a critical phase and the strikers are on the death threshold. An indefinite hunger strike will be started in London in support of the glorious defiance of the strikers in the prisons of Turkey.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2017/04/10/call-for-hunger-strike/

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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