KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 16 – 22 MAY 2017

 

NEWS
1. Hunger strikers Gülmen and Özakça taken in custody
2. Kemalbay elected co-chair of HDP in place of Yüksekdağ
3. Turkey forming a new military force of gangs
4. Up to 22,5 years in prison sought for Co-mayor of Dersim
5. Gorran leader Nawshirwan Mustafa dies in Iraqi Kurdistan at age 73
6. Turkey Calls on Trump to Fire Obama Appointee McGurk
7. Syrian force ‘tightens noose’ on Islamic State in Raqqa: U.S.-led coalition
8. U.S. envoy to the U.N. will visit Syrian refugees in Jordan, Turkey
9. Turkey demands US replace envoy in spat over Syrian Kurds
10. SDF Secures 350 Square km in Past Week, Coalition Spokesman Says
11. US delegation in Rojava
12. Kurds disappointed by Trump statements after Erdogan meeting
13. Ankara hunger strikers reach 70 days without food
14. The role given to Turkey: to be the protectorate of jihadists
15. Death sentence for Rojavan Kurd in Iran
16. “Elections in Iran are a show and fraud”

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. In A City Under Siege A Smile Is Resistance
2. A route out of paralysis
3. Erdogan-Trump: The most unsuccessful Washington visit ever
4. McCain reacts to DC brawl: throw Turkey’s ambassador ‘the hell out’
5. How two clerics topped agenda of Erdogan-Trump meeting
6. Erdogan’s foreign policy leaves Turkey in the doldrums
7. DC think tank accused of bending over backwards for Erdogan
8. Erdoğan-Trump meeting interpreted by political analysts from Turkey
9. Prof. Dr. Ibrahim Kaboglu: Individual, party and state are merged
10. ‘Hands off Josh Walker’ protest for Bristol man who fought ISIS but now faces
11. Iran’s Kurds voice frustrations, hopes heading into election

CAMPAIGNS
1. 8 JUNE 2017 ELECTION: Green Party
2. CAMPACC Questions to Election Candidates

EVENTS
The U.S. – Kurdish Collaboration in the Course of Reshaping the Middle East
————————————-
NEWS
1. Hunger strikers Gülmen and Özakça taken in custody
22 May/ANF News
Academic Nuriye Gülmen and teacher Semih Özakça have been on a hunger strike for the last 75 days, and they were taken into custody last night in a midnight raid to their home.
https://anfenglish.com/news/hunger-strikers-guelmen-and-Oezakca-taken-in-custody-20115

2. Kemalbay elected co-chair of HDP in place of Yüksekdağ
20 May/ANF News
Following elections held at the 3rd Extraordinary Congress of the HDP, Serpil Kemalbay and Selahattin Demirtaş were elected as co-chairs.
https://anfenglish.com/news/kemalbay-elected-hdp-co-chair-in-place-of-yueksekdag-20099

3. Turkey forming a new military force of gangs
21 May/ANF News
The Turkish state is forming a new military force in the areas they have invaded. The new gang structure is reportedly going to be formed from the remnants of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) which has come under Turkish state control.
https://anfenglish.com/news/turkey-forming-a-new-military-force-of-gangs-20107

4. Up to 22,5 years in prison sought for Co-mayor of Dersim
21 May/ANF News
Dersim Co-mayor Nurhayat Altun was arrested on November 16, 2016 in the investigation carried out by Tunceli Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office and a trustee was appointed in her place.
https://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/up-to-22-5-years-in-prison-sought-for-co-mayor-of-dersim-20105

5. Gorran leader Nawshirwan Mustafa dies in Iraqi Kurdistan at age 73
19 May/EKurd
SULAIMANI
, Iraq’s Kurdistan region,— A prominent Kurdish leader and the head of Change (Gorran) Movement Nawshirwan Mustafa died on Friday morning at the age of 73 in Sulaimani city in Iraqi Kurdistan after taking medical care for nearly nine months in the UK.
http://ekurd.net/nawshirwan-mustafa-dies-2017-05-19

6. Turkey Calls on Trump to Fire Obama Appointee McGurk
18 May/Bloomberg Politics
Turkey called on President Donald Trump to get rid of Brett McGurk, the U.S. envoy for the global coalition to counter Islamic State, over his backing for Kurdish groups it views as its top national security threat.
https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-05-18/turkey-calls-on-trump-to-fire-obama-appointed-anti-is-envoy?utm_source=Boomtrain&utm_medium=MEM&utm_campaign=20170519

7. Syrian force ‘tightens noose’ on Islamic State in Raqqa: U.S.-led coalition
17 May/Reuters
The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have seized 350 square km (135 square miles) in the past week, tightening “their noose” on Islamic State in an advance to isolate its base of operations at Raqqa, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition said on Wednesday.
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-raqqa-idUSKCN18D2SD?utm_source=Boomtrain&utm_medium=MEM&utm_campaign=20170518

8. U.S. envoy to the U.N. will visit Syrian refugees in Jordan, Turkey
17 May/Reuters
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Wednesday she will visit Turkey and Jordan from May 19-25 to see how Syrian refugees “are coping, day in and day out,” to see U.N. humanitarian work and highlight the U.S. aid response.
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-jordan-turkey-usa-haley-idUSKCN18D2U0?utm_source=Boomtrain&utm_medium=MEM&utm_campaign=20170518

9. Turkey demands US replace envoy in spat over Syrian Kurds
18 May/abc News
Turkey has told the United States it will not join in any military operations that include Kurdish fighters in Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday, while vowing to strike the U.S.-backed Kurds if they threaten Turkey’s security.
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/fm-us-understands-turkeys-position-syrian-kurds-47481719

10. SDF Secures 350 Square km in Past Week, Coalition Spokesman Says
18 May/NRT
Turkey has told the United States it will not join in any military operations that include Kurdish fighters in Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday, while vowing to strike the U.S.-backed Kurds if they threaten Turkey’s security.
http://www.nrttv.com/En/Details.aspx?Jimare=14535

11. US delegation in Rojava
17 May/ANF News
US President Donald Trump’s representative in the global coalition against ISIS Brett Mc Gurk arrived in Rojava yesterday with officials from the US State Department.
https://anfenglish.com/rojava/us-delegation-in-rojava-20047

12. Kurds disappointed by Trump statements after Erdogan meeting
17 May/ARA News
In a press conference with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, United States President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that Washington supports Turkey in its fight against “terror groups” such as the Islamic State (ISIS) and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
http://aranews.net/2017/05/kurds-disappointed-trump-statements-erdogan-meeting/

13. Ankara hunger strikers reach 70 days without food
18 May/Al Monitor
Nuriye Gulmen, a research assistant at Selcuk University in Konya, was first suspended from duty and then removed from her position during the state of emergency after the attempted coup in July. She started a solo protest to get her job back on Nov. 9 on Ankara’s Yuksel Street and soon was joined by Semih Ozakca, who had been dismissed from his position in an elementary school in Mardin’s Mazidagi district, along with his wife.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/05/turkey-academics-hunger-strikes-70-day-long.html#ixzz4hf4k6LjM

14. The role given to Turkey: to be the protectorate of jihadists
10 May/SPOT
In Syria, we have moved onto the stage of delicate calculations. Proxy wars waged by use of various organisations have for some time been replaced by those who have designated the proxies. It seems that it is now the time of “correction”, and one of the main issues is how to “put into order” those jihadists who were moved into the region from outside. One must admit that Turkey will be the one who will have the most severe headache.
http://spotturkey.co.uk/2017/05/21/the-role-given-to-turkey-to-be-the-protectorate-of-jihadists/

15. Death sentence for Rojavan Kurd in Iran
22 May/ANF News
The Iranian regime judiciary has sentenced Rojavan Kemal Hesen Remezan, who had previously received a 7 year sentence, to death with the new case prepared by the Itlaat. The death sentence was approved by the Urmia 3rd Revolution Court Branch.
https://anfenglish.com/human-rights/death-sentence-for-rojavan-kurd-in-iran-20116

16. “Elections in Iran are a show and fraud”
21 May/ANF News
Administrators from Iranian and Eastern Kurdistani parties and organizations active in Sweden state that the election of “reformist” Rouhani will not change anything in Iran where all authority is in the hands of spiritual leader Ali Khamenei.
https://anfenglish.com/news/elections-in-iran-are-a-show-and-fraud-20108

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. In A City Under Siege A Smile Is Resistance
20 May/Morning Star
In 2015 in Cizre, Turkey, around 189 men, women and children were trapped for weeks in three basements without water, food or medical aid before they were burned alive. STEVE SWEENEY met some of the relatives
https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-424b-In-a-city-under-siege-a-smile-is-resistance#.WSF76OnlIyE

2. A route out of paralysis
18 May/Weekly Worker
The heading of Morning Star editorial dated April 18 -‘Turkey on the road to fascism’ – reflects a quite common leftwing outlook which is prevailing in Turkey and abroad.1
http://weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/1155/a-route-out-of-paralysis/

3. Erdogan-Trump: The most unsuccessful Washington visit ever
17 May/Al Monitor
“The mountain gave birth to a mouse” is a well-known Turkish saying for describing the disappointing results after big expectations.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/05/turkey-united-states-the-most-unsuccessful-visit-ever.html?utm_source=Boomtrain&utm_medium=manual&utm_campaign=20170518&bt_ee=NVgWTnymenTb92B6R4YJqX5t42LOujwUsgj3KG+3L+D4EweWNTlzSjVVzw/szHi1&bt_ts=1495126232897

4. McCain reacts to DC brawl: throw Turkey’s ambassador ‘the hell out’
18 May/Al Monitor
Reaction to the trademark thuggery of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s security detail continued to grow today as US Sen. John MCain, a veteran voice on foreign policy issues in Congress, called for the expulsion of Turkey’s ambassador. “We should throw their ambassador the hell out of the United States of America. This kind of thing cannot go unresponded to diplomatically,” McCain, the head of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told MSNBC in an interview. McCain also called for legal action.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/05/erdogan-guards-violence-mccain-expell-ambassador.html#ixzz4herbBzR4

5. How two clerics topped agenda of Erdogan-Trump meeting
19 May/Al Monitor
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s May 16 meeting with his US counterpart Donald Trump was eagerly anticipated in Turkey amid fury over Washington’s decision to supply heavy weapons to the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a Syrian Kurdish group that Ankara sees as a terrorist organization. 
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/05/turkey-united-states-clerics-topped-agenda-trump-erdogan.html#ixzz4hetHcrcl

6. Erdogan’s foreign policy leaves Turkey in the doldrums
16 May/Al Monitor
Turkey was once considered by the West to be a positive force in a turbulent part of the world. Just a few years ago, it provided a model for the Middle East with its secular and modern outlook, parliamentary democracy and rapidly developing liberal economy.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/05/turkey-gives-impression-of-beleaguered-country-all-fronts.html#ixzz4hNKcc9p9

7. DC think tank accused of bending over backwards for Erdogan
16 May/Al Monitor
The last time Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan came to Washington was in March last year to attend the Nuclear Security Summit, and things went horribly wrong. Erdogan delivered a speech at the Brookings Institution. What most people remember is not what he said there but what happened outside the think tank’s Massachusetts Avenue premises. News that Erdogan’s notoriously thuggish security detail set upon protesters and reporters, physically assaulting and hurling insults at them, made international headlines.
ttp://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/05/erdogan-washington-visit-think-tanks.html#ixzz4hNKT71fQ


8. Erdoğan-Trump meeting interpreted by political analysts from Turkey
16 May/SPOT
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and US President Donald Trump had their first face to face meeting on Tuesday, 16 May. This is how political scientists Sinan Birdal, Sezin Öney and Fatih Yaşlı interpreted this meeting.
http://spotturkey.co.uk/2017/05/21/erdogan-trump-meeting-interpreted-by-political-analysts-from-turkey/

9. Prof. Dr. Ibrahim Kaboglu: Individual, party and state are merged
21 May/SPOT
One of the most hotly argued topics of constitutional change had been the judiciary. Regardless of the legislative, executive and judicial powers given to the President in a way that is unseen in any other country; the transfer of parliamentary powers to one person – the President – without any attempt for justification; it is particularly striking that the higher organisation of judiciary is subordinated to the executive and especially one man. We are entering a period in which the level of authority has never been so high historically; including the period of Kanun-i Esasi. (the Ottoman Constitution)
http://spotturkey.co.uk/2017/05/21/prof-dr-ibrahim-kaboglu-individual-party-and-state-are-merged/

10. ‘Hands off Josh Walker’ protest for Bristol man who fought ISIS but now faces terror charge. VIDEO
13 May/Bristol Post
A demonstration has been organised in support of Bristol man Josh Walker who is due to appear at the Old Bailey next week accused of terrorism offences. Josh was arrested by counter-terrorism officers after returning from Syria where he was fighting with Kurdish forces against ISIS.
http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/hands-josh-walker-protest-bristol-58962#ICID=sharebar_twitter

11. Iran’s Kurds voice frustrations, hopes heading into election
18 May/Al Monitor
On the eve of Iran’s presidential election, a group of poor Iranian Kurds who risk their lives every day to make ends meet on the border with Iraq spoke to Al-Monitor about what matters to them in deciding which candidate they will vote for — or why they plan to boycott the vote. 
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/05/iran-kurds-kolbar-rouhani-raisi-2017-presidential-vote.html#ixzz4hf5esQOj

CAMPAIGNS
1. 8 JUNE 2017 ELECTION: Green Party
http://www.maidenhead-advertiser.co.uk/gallery/maidenhead/115372/green-candidate-derek-wall-to-stand-against-theresa-may-in-maidenhead.html

2. CAMPACC Questions to Election Candidates
22 May/Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
The General Election on 8 of June is a critical for our future. Theresa May as Home Secretary under David Cameron has played a key role in pushing through some key police powers which criminalise innocent people. There are many issues that we face. Here we are going to focus on the issues that CAMPACC has been working on for a long time.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2017/05/22/campacc-questions-to-election-candidates-2017/

EVENTS
The U.S. – Kurdish Collaboration in the Course of Reshaping the Middle East
https://www.kprc.us/copy-of-4-5-17-book-launch

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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