KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 9 – 15 MAY 2017

NEWS
1. Trump to Arm Syrian Kurds, Even as Turkey Strongly Objects
2. Will US-Kurdish deal force Turkey back to PKK negotiation table?
3. Ankara prevents the publishing of CPT’s report on İmralı
4. Moslem: The circle around ISIS tightens around Turkey as well
5. Underlying reasons for Erdoğan-Masrour Barzani meeting in the US
6. 15 thousand civilians rescued in Raqqa operation in three days
7. Turkish state continues to build walls around itself
8. Academic freedom Turkish style: Prosecutor issued arrest warrants for historians who criticized Atatürk
9. Turkish parliament strips membership of pro-Kurdish lawmaker
10. Star Reporter Held By Armed Turkish Police
11. Syrian Kurds clear mines after taking town and dam from ISIS
12. Rojda Felat: We avenged Yazidi women with the liberation of Tabqa
13. The Latest: Syrian FM Describes Kurdish Role as ‘Legitimate’
14. In blow to U.S.-Turkey ties, Trump administration approves plan to arm Syrian Kurds against Islamic State

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. He’s arming the YPG. Now Trump should tell Erdogan to restart PKK peace talks
2. ‘US arming Syrian Kurds shattered Turkey’s Ottoman Empire ambitions’
3. US Army veteran: Kurds are ‘very commendable’ people
4. How strong is the US-Kurdish alliance this time?
5. Jeremy Corbyn on Kurdish rights and conflict in Syria -Jun 8 Election in answer to PIK Patron Margaret Owen
6. Once We Beat ISIS, Don’t Abandon Us
7. MICHAEL RUBIN: ERDOGAN’S DANGEROUS GAME AGAINST THE KURDS
8. Turkey’s role in Syria raises serious questions about Nato’s future
9. Statement on Arrest of National Geographic Photographer Mathias Depardon and the Imminent Move of the Zeynel Bey Tomb
10. Newsletter 2017/05/11 – Erdoğans Transition

ACTION
Leeds Friends of Rojava at Sheffield Anarchist Bookfair

———————————–

NEWS
1. Trump to Arm Syrian Kurds, Even as Turkey Strongly Objects
9 May/The New York Times
President Trump has approved a plan to arm Syrian Kurds so they can participate in the battle to retake Raqqa from the Islamic State, a strategy that has drawn deep opposition from Turkey, a NATO ally.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/09/us/politics/trump-kurds-syria-army.html?_r=1

2. Will US-Kurdish deal force Turkey back to PKK negotiation table?
12 May/Al Monitor
Although the United States has signaled its increasing support for the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) for the last few years, US President Donald Trump’s decision to arm the Kurdish forces in Syria for the battle against the Islamic State came as a shock to the Turkish government. Turkey considers the YPG and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) to be part of one common terror group, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been throwing tantrums over symbols of US support for the YPG.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/05/turkey-united-states-trump-decision-arm-kurds-can-be-costly.html#ixzz4h3WKuXFJ

3. Ankara prevents the publishing of CPT’s report on İmralı
14 May/ANF News
Although the isolation imposed upon Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan for 18 years is defined as “torture” in the 2014 verdict by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), it continues still, stricter now since April 15, 2015.
https://anfenglish.com/human-rights/ankara-prevents-the-publishing-of-cpt-s-report-on-Imrali-20013

4. Moslem: The circle around ISIS tightens around Turkey as well
14 May/ANF News
PYD Co-chair Saleh Moslem stated that the US is clear about aiding the YPG and Turkey needs to come to terms with this fact. He said Turkey will face a reaction by the coalition forces if they repeat their attacks on Rojava.
https://anfenglish.com/news/moslem-the-circle-around-isis-tightens-around-turkey-as-well-20005

5. Underlying reasons for Erdoğan-Masrour Barzani meeting in the US
13 May/ANF News
Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan will be visiting the US soon. KDP President Masoud Barzani’s son and Southern Kurdistan intelligence official Masrour Barzani will also be in the US at the same time with Erdoğan. This is no coincidence. It is obvious in every sense that this is a planned meeting with a strategic purpose. It would be good to look at the background of the Erdoğan’s and Barzani’s visit to the US.
https://anfenglish.com/news/underlying-reasons-for-erdogan-barzani-meeting-in-the-us-19996

6. 15 thousand civilians rescued in Raqqa operation in three days
13 May/ANF News
The Operation Wrath of Euphrates launched by YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) for the liberation of Raqqa territory continues in the 4th day of the 4th phase.
https://anfenglish.com/news/15-thousand-civilians-rescued-in-raqqa-operation-in-three-days-19991

7. Turkish state continues to build walls around itself
14 May/ANF English
The Turkish state builds walls around itself due to their Kurdophobia, and the latest installment is the wall on the Rojhilat (Eastern Kurdistan) border, following the 700 km wall on the Rojava-Northern Syria border. The Turkish state aims to de-Kurdify Northern Kurdistan with plans similar to the Settlement Policy in Ottoman times and the Republic’s Eastern Reform Plan, while continuing to build walls to sever the Kurds’ connection to the other parts of Kurdistan.
https://anfenglish.com/news/turkish-state-continues-to-build-walls-around-itself-20010

8. Academic freedom Turkish style: Prosecutor issued arrest warrants for historians who criticized Atatürk
15 May/nsnbc international
An investigation was launched into Süleyman Yesilyurt for allegedly “insulting Atatürk’s memory”. The probe was launched by the Bakirköy Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office due to Yesilyurt’s comments on a TV program, while another investigation was launched into Hasan Akar for his comments on Atatürk’s mother.
https://nsnbc.me/2017/05/11/academic-freedom-turkish-style-prosecutor-issued-arrest-warrants-for-historians-who-criticized-ataturk/

9. Turkish parliament strips membership of pro-Kurdish lawmaker
9 May/Reuters
A pro-Kurdish lawmaker was stripped of her status as a member of Turkey’s parliament on Tuesday because she faces charges including membership of a terrorist organization. The move to strip Nursel Aydogan’s status was read out in parliament after a court finalised a charge against the politician from Turkey’s southeastern province of Diyarkabir.
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-politics-kurds-idUSKBN1851XJ?il=0

10. Star Reporter Held By Armed Turkish Police
11 May/Morning Star
MORNING STAR reporter Steve Sweeney was detained for eight hours in Turkey on Tuesday after travelling there to interview victims of the army crackdown on majority-Kurdish cities. Mr Sweeney and his companion were stopped at a police road checkpoint near the south-eastern city of Cizre on Tuesday.
https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-fd31-Star-reporter-held-by-armed-Turkish-police

11. Syrian Kurds clear mines after taking town and dam from ISIS
11 May/Al Arabyia
Syrian Kurdish-led forces were clearing mines at the country’s largest dam and the nearby town of Tabqa on Thursday, a day after seizing them from ISIS militants.
http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2017/05/11/Syrian-Kurds-clear-mines-after-taking-town-dam-from-ISIS.html

12. Rojda Felat: We avenged Yazidi women with the liberation of Tabqa
12 May/ANHA
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) commander Rojda Felat congratulated the liberation of Tabqa city, noting it as a historical victory which avenged Yazidi women kidnapped by ISIS. SDF fighters completely cleared the city of Tabqa and the Euphrates Dam from the occupation of ISIS on Wednesday.
http://en.hawarnews.com/rojda-felat-we-avenged-yazidi-women-with-the-liberation-of-tabqa/

13. The Latest: Syrian FM Describes Kurdish Role as ‘Legitimate’
8 May/US News
Syria’s foreign minister is describing the role of U.S.-backed Syrian Kurds fighting the Islamic State group in Syria as “legitimate.” The comment at a news conference in Damascus on Monday is one of the strongest signs of support yet for Syria’s Kurds and a stab at Turkey, which deems Syrian Kurdish militias as “terrorists.” A Kurdish-led Syrian force known as the Syrian Democratic Force has been the most effective fighting IS in Syria. The SDF is often criticized by other Syrian rebel factions of being too close to the Syrian government.
https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2017-05-08/the-latest-syrian-fm-says-no-foreign-troops-on-the-ground

14. In blow to U.S.-Turkey ties, Trump administration approves plan to arm Syrian Kurds against Islamic State
9 May/The Washington Post
President Trump has approved a plan to directly arm Kurdish forces fighting in Syria, the Pentagon said on Tuesday, inflaming already strained ties with Turkey and putting the U.S. military a step closer to seizing a remaining Islamic State stronghold.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2017/05/09/in-blow-to-u-s-turkey-ties-trump-administration-approves-plan-to-directly-arm-syrian-kurds-against-islamic-state/?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.df6f786e9750

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. He’s arming the YPG. Now Trump should tell Erdogan to restart PKK peace talks
The Trump administration’s specialists on Syria, the new brooms at the National Security Council and the Pentagon know, as well as the previous Obama team did, that the YPG are reliable “boots on the ground” for the looming struggle to liberate Raqqa, the Islamic State (IS) group’s self-declared capital in Syria. They need, and can use, the armoured vehicles, mortars, and anti-tank weapons which the Pentagon is planning to deliver.
http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/trump-erdogan-ypg-pkk-peace-process-turkey-us-249174491

2. ‘US arming Syrian Kurds shattered Turkey’s Ottoman Empire ambitions’
13 May/Kurdistan 24
Saleh Muslim, the co-president of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), the main ruling party of Syria’s northern and northeastern predominantly Kurdish areas known as Rojava, said the American support for the Syrian Kurds has nothing to do with the problems between Turkey and the PKK.
http://www.kurdistan24.net/en/interview/58767375-13f6-4421-af6a-7884a469e2d3/-US-arming-Syrian-Kurds-shattered-Turkey’s-Ottoman-Empire-ambitions-

3. US Army veteran: Kurds are ‘very commendable’ people
13 May/Kurdistan 24
 A former US Army combat engineer recently praised the Kurds for their resilience. John Fasulo, an 86-year-old former combat engineer who joined the US military in 1950, said the Kurds are “very commendable” people. Fasulo, who served in Korea and Vietnam as an explosives specialist, revealed he first learned about the Kurds when he joined the military.
http://www.kurdistan24.net/en/feature/efd9f050-75b3-489a-8e95-ce0bb15bddd0/US-Army-veteran–Kurds-are-‘very-commendable’-people

4. How strong is the US-Kurdish alliance this time?
13 May/Kurdistan 24
9 May/Christian Science Monitor
The symbolism of American solidarity with its problematic but highly valued Kurdish allies could not have been more potent. With American flag patches affixed to the chests of their uniforms, US military officers attended the funerals last week of Syrian Kurdish fighters of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), pivotal US allies in the fight against the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria.
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2017/0509/How-strong-is-the-US-Kurdish-alliance-this-time?cmpid=gigya-tw

5. Jeremy Corbyn on Kurdish rights and conflict in Syria -Jun 8 Election in answer to PIK Patron Margaret Owen
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Aatj0aDcig

6. Once We Beat ISIS, Don’t Abandon Us
11 May/New York Times
At long last, those of us struggling to maintain a fledgling democracy in Northern Syria have been buoyed by the announcement from the Trump administration that the American military will begin to directly arm the Kurdish men and women who make up the backbone of the Syrian Democratic Forces. Those forces have been America’s most valued and effective allies in the war against the Islamic State.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/11/opinion/once-syrian-kurds-beat-isis-dont-abandon-them-to-turkey.html?_r=1

7. MICHAEL RUBIN: ERDOGAN’S DANGEROUS GAME AGAINST THE KURDS
9 May/Newsweek
Turkey is angry that the United States is working with forces with deep links to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a group which, in 1984, began an insurgency inside Turkey. That said, the Syrian Kurdish forces (which I visited in 2014) now focus their efforts—more effectively than either the Turkish Army or the other Syrian opposition—on defeating ISIS.
http://www.newsweek.com/michael-rubin-erdogans-dangerous-game-against-kurds-596552

8. Turkey’s role in Syria raises serious questions about Nato’s future
8 May/Asia Times
At the upcoming May 16-17 meeting between US President Donald Trump and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, his Turkish counterpart, and the May 25 Nato summit, serious issues relating to the status of Nato will need to be addressed — namely defense expenditures reform, clarification of the alliance’s approach to new security threats, and the status of Turkey’s membership.
http://www.atimes.com/turkeys-role-syria-raises-serious-questions-natos-future/

9. Statement on Arrest of National Geographic Photographer Mathias Depardon and the Imminent Move of the Zeynel Bey Tomb
11 May/Save Hasankey and Tigris Valley
Yesterday local sources reported that the Zeynel Bey Tomb in Hasankeyf, which has been encased in a concrete foundation, has now been lifted from its original foundation. According to local reports, the tomb will be moved tomorrow (Friday) without advance notification to the press. At the time of writing, the DSI (the State Hydraulic Works), which is responsible for the Ilisu Dam Project, has not announced the move on its web site.
http://www.hasankeyfgirisimi.net/?p=449

10. Newsletter 2017/05/11 – Erdoğans Transition
15 May/German Foreign Policy
The German government is negotiating new German Turkish arms deals, as was confirmed by the German Ministry of Economics. Brigitte Zypries (SPD), Minister of the Economy, spoke with the CEO of Rheinmetall weapons manufacturer about upgrading the Turkish Leopard battle tank. “In principle,” such deals with NATO partners “can not to be restricted,” according to Berlin. The German government is also seeking to re-invigorate German-Turkish economic cooperation, to strengthen bilateral relations.
http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/en/fulltext/59027

ACTION
Leeds Friends of Rojava at Sheffield Anarchist Bookfair

20 May 10amme-6pm
https://www.facebook.com/events/1041697335975104/

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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