KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 3- 8 MAY 2017

NEWS
1. War in Syria and Iraq could spread to Iran: PKK foreign relations head
2. Russia pushing Turkey into Rojava to force Kurds submit to Assad rule: PKK official
3. Political representatives call for struggle for Öcalan’s freedom
4. Syrian Kurdish leader hopes Russia didn’t betray the Kurds through Turkey deal
5. Kurdish YPG fighters repel ISIS attack on Syrian gas facility
6. Political Representatives call for struggle for Ocalan’s Freedom
7. Imprisoned opposition leader signals new alliances in post-referendum Turkey
8. Turkey bans poem of imprisoned Kurdish leader Demirtaş
9. Syria’s Kurds march on to Raqqa and the sea
10. Advances in Kurdish struggle shake up wars in the Middle East
11. Trump to tell Turkey: We’re going to take Raqqa with the Kurds

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. No end in sight for Erdogan’s purges after referendum
2. Civilians task themselves with administering IS-free areas of Raqqa
3. Russia: Syrian safe zones plan to go into effect at midnight
4. How the US stood with Syria’s Kurds
5. International Crisis Group Managing Turkey’s PKK Conflict: The Case of Nusaybin
6. Commentary: The Times Literary Supplement The man on the island by TOM STEVENSON

 BOOK REVIEW
1. Revolution in Rojava: Democratic Autonomy and Women’s Liberation in Syrian Kurdistan.
CAMPAIGN
#FreeTurkeyMedia: “Solidarity is the most important thing we can give them”

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NEWS
1. War in Syria and Iraq could spread to Iran: PKK foreign relations head
6 May/Kom News
Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)’s foreign relations head, Riza Altun, has warned that if Iran doesn’t resolve its internal problems and democratise, the war in Syria and Iraq (Middle East crisis) could spread to the country.
https://komnews.org/war-in-syria-and-iraq-could-spread-to-iran-pkk-foreign-relations-head/

2. Russia pushing Turkey into Rojava to force Kurds submit to Assad rule: PKK official
8 May/ARA News
Rıza Altun, member of the Executive Council of the PKK-led KCK, has heavily criticized the policy of Russia and suggested that Russia wants to use the Turkish enmity towards Kurds to condemn Syrian Kurds to Assad’s domination and rule.
http://aranews.net/2017/05/russia-pushing-turkey-into-rojava-to-force-kurds-submit-to-assad-rule-pkk-official/

3. Political representatives call for struggle for Öcalan’s freedom
6 May/ANF News
The vigil launched in Kirkuk yesterday to draw attention to the isolation of Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan continues in Castle Garden. Many politicians and civil society organization members participate in the vigil led by Tevgera Azadî, Kurdistan Free Women’s Movement and Kurdistan Patriotic Youth Movement today.
https://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/political-representatives-call-for-struggle-for-Oecalan-s-freedom-19885

4. Syrian Kurdish leader hopes Russia didn’t betray the Kurds through Turkey deal
7 May/ARA News
Ilham Ahmed, Kurdish co-president of the Syrian Democratic Council, said on Friday that she hopes the recent deal by Russia, Iran, and Turkey signed in Kazakstan will not be hurtful for the Syrian Kurds.
http://aranews.net/2017/05/syrian-kurdish-leader-hopes-russia-didnt-betray-the-kurds-through-turkey-deal/

5. Kurdish YPG fighters repel ISIS attack on Syrian gas facility
May 6/ARA News
Kurdish fighters of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) on Friday repelled an attack by Islamic State’s (ISIS) jihadists on a gas facility near Shaddadi town in Syria’s northeastern Hasakah province.
http://aranews.net/2017/05/kurdish-ypg-fighters-repel-isis-attack-on-syrian-gas-facility/

6. Political Representatives call for struggle for Ocalan’s Freedom
6 May/ANF News
The vigil launched in Kirkuk yesterday to draw attention to the isolation of Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan continues in Castle Garden. Many politicians and civil society organization members participate in the vigil led by Tevgera Azadî, Kurdistan Free Women’s Movement and Kurdistan Patriotic Youth Movement today.
https://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/political-representatives-call-for-struggle-for-Oecalan-s-freedom-19885

7. Imprisoned opposition leader signals new alliances in post-referendum Turkey
5 May/Kom News
Turkey’s imprisoned opposition leader Selahattin Demirtas, in a message from prison, commented on the country’s referendum results and said new alliances could be formed concentrating on democratic demands.
https://komnews.org/imprisoned-opposition-leader-signals-new-alliances-post-referendum-turkey/

8. Turkey bans poem of imprisoned Kurdish leader Demirtaş
May 6/ARA news
The Turkish government has banned a poem written by Selahattin Demirtaş, the co-Chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
http://aranews.net/2017/05/turkey-bans-poem-imprisoned-kurdish-leader-demirtas/

9. Syria’s Kurds march on to Raqqa and the sea
6 May/The Guardian
Syria’s Kurds have revealed plans that could ultimately redraw the northern part of the country by linking the Kurdish region of Rojava with the Mediterranean Sea, in a move that will infuriate neighbouring Turkey.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/06/syria-kurds-raqqa-mediterranen

10. Advances in Kurdish struggle shake up wars in the Middle East
15 May/the Militant
Just weeks before a scheduled May 16-17 White House meeting between President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ankara used warplanes and artillery to attack Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, northern Iraq and southeastern Turkey. The April 25 assaults killed over 100.
http://www.themilitant.com/2017/8119/811904.html

11. Trump to tell Turkey: We’re going to take Raqqa with the Kurds
The Trump administration is ready to press ahead with a U.S-backed military offensive to evict the Islamic State from its last remaining urban stronghold in the Syrian city of Raqqa over strong objections from Turkey.
https://www.stripes.com/news/middle-east/trump-to-tell-turkey-we-re-going-to-take-raqqa-with-the-kurds-1.467028#.WQ9iyenlIyE

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. No end in sight for Erdogan’s purges after referendum
4 May/Al Monitor
On a flight back from India this week, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed the West for criticizing Turkey’s state of emergency, in place since the botched coup attempt in July 2016. Speaking to journalists accompanying him on the trip, he said, “The West, which fails to see the state of emergency in France, is attempting to criticize a process that we are carrying out in tranquility.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/05/turkey-referendum-emboldened-new-purges-bans.html#ixzz4gKPUkhQ7

2. Civilians task themselves with administering IS-free areas of Raqqa
4 May/Al Monitor
AIN ISA, Syria — Summer has come to Raqqa province. The extreme heat makes outdoor living difficult. Temperatures driven up by sandstorms often exceed 122 F (50 C). There is not much green space — but there are ample minefields.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/05/turkey-syria-bobby-trapped-roads-to-raqqa.html#ixzz4gFE5z4Jp

3. Russia: Syrian safe zones plan to go into effect at midnight
5 May/AP
BEIRUT (AP) — A deal hammered out by Russia, Turkey and Iran to set up “de-escalation zones” in mostly opposition-held parts of Syria went into effect in the early hours of Saturday.
https://www.apnews.com/c80332ce05724be49f7a9d586e4bab8a/Russia:-Syrian-safe-zones-plan-to-take-effect-at-midnight?utm_source=Boomtrain&utm_medium=WeekAhead&utm_campaign=20170505

4. How the US stood with Syria’s Kurds
4 May/Al Monitor
DIYARBAKIR, Turkey — Developments in northern Syria, which has a large Kurdish population, have long been on Turkey’s agenda. Turkey considers the growing power of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the region seriously disturbing.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/05/turkey-syria-de-facto-protection-zone-for-kurds.html

5. International Crisis Group Managing Turkey’s PKK Conflict: The Case of Nusaybin
Europe Report N°243 | 2 May 2017

Nusaybin, a political stronghold of the Kurdish movement bordering Syria, is among Turkey’s urban south-eastern districts that saw unprecedented levels of violence in
2016. Particularly in the wake of the failed July coup attempt and in the run-up to the 2017 presidential system referendum, emergency rule conditions resulted in the arrest and/or removal from office of elected representatives of the legal Kurdish political movement.
https://d2071andvip0wj.cloudfront.net/DRAFT%20Pre-release%20-%20Managing%20Turkeys%20PKK%20Conflict.pdf

6. Commentary: The Times Literary Supplement The man on the island by TOM STEVENSON
3 May/TLS

For eighteen years Abdullah Öcalan has been imprisoned on an island in the middle of the Sea of Marmara. Once an Ottoman naval base used against the Byzantines, the island of İmralı is now a modern Château d’If, designed to hold the man successive Turkish governments have regarded as the greatest threat to “the indivisible unity of the Sublime Turkish State”.
http://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/private/the-man-on-the-island/

BOOK REVIEW
1. Revolution in Rojava: Democratic Autonomy and Women’s Liberation in Syrian Kurdistan.
5 May/Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
Pluto Press has done a wonderful service in publishing a “Revolution in Rojava”, a first-hand account of the alternative social project being implemented at this very moment in the area called, in Kurdish, Rojava, or West -three cantons in the north of Syria with a sizeable Kurdish population, but which is home also to Arabs, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Arameans, Turkmen, Armenians and Chechens.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2017/05/05/revolution-in-rojava-democratic-autonomy-and-womens-liberation-in-syrian-kurdistan-review/

CAMPAIGN
#FreeTurkeyMedia: “Solidarity is the most important thing we can give them”
On 3 May, World Press Freedom Day, dozens of activists and journalists gathered outside the Turkish Embassy in London to protest the arrest and imprisonment of journalists in Turkey. Index on Censorship joined Amnesty International, English Pen, Article 19 and others bearing signs and messages of hope.
https://www.indexoncensorship.org/2017/05/free-turkey-media-solidarity-protest/

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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