KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 9 – 16 JUNE 2017

NEWS
1. National Assembly of Québec in solidarity with jailed HDP MPs
2. “We were waiting for you, we knew you would save us”
3. Arabs also under the YBŞ roof in Shengal
4. What does Turkey want to do in Northern Syria?
6. Turkey sentences U.N. war crimes judge on ‘terrorism’ charges: Hague
7. Exhibition on Syrian Kurds closes after Turkish embassy intervenes
8. 1st Women Economy Conference started in North Syria
9. Revenge for Sinjar: Syrian Kurds Free Islamic State Slaves
10. Turkey confirms internal fight in Free Syrian Army
11. Coalition rejects UN claims of ‘staggering’ loss of civilian lives in Raqqa, blames ISIS for civilian suffering
12. Syrian Kurds accuse Turkey of using water as weapon of war

OPINION. ANALYSIS, COMMENTARY
1. Saleh Muslim: we will commit to KNC’s appeal  
2. Turkey’s Evolving Array of Diplomatic Challenges
3. Turkey’s top commander may be on his way out
4. Opposition MP joins other lawmakers in Turkish prison
5. Turkish crackdown snares Amnesty International chair

EVENTS
1.FREEDOM FOR OCALAN CAMPAIGN – BOOK LAUNCH
3. Who is Beating Back ISIS in Syria? On 12 July, DAvid’s bookshop, Letchword Garden City
4. Kurdish Cultural Festival, 30 July 2017 in Quorn
CAMPAIGNS
1. Targeted Academic Boycott of Turkey

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NEWS
1. National Assembly of Québec in solidarity with jailed HDP MPs
15 June/ANF News
The National Assembly of Québec today passed a motion in solidarity with HDP’s imprisoned members of parliament, the first legislative assembly to do so in Canada.
https://anfenglish.com/news/national-assembly-of-quebec-in-solidarity-with-jailed-hdp-mps-20490
Watch video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgGqgpdYMNY

2. “We were waiting for you, we knew you would save us”
16 June/ANF News
This is an escape, but also an emancipation. They are surprised, they are joyful. Some still have the marks of fear on their faces. Some can’t believe they are saved. Some have children on their laps, some carry bundles, or their homes on their backs. Whatever they could save they took with them. Those who fled on foot have fewer things, it’s not easy to carry them. Some of the women are completely covered. Others have colorful scarves on their heads. Some men have beards, some are wearing the jilbab. Light colors. Because it’s too hot. Fighters accompany them. They are the Syrian Democratic Forces who launched an operation on June 6 to liberate Raqqa. Female and male fighters. Kalashnikovs on their backs, they ensure safe passage for people fleeing Raqqa.
https://anfenglish.com/news/we-were-waiting-for-you-we-knew-you-would-save-us-20498

3. Arabs also under the YBŞ roof in Shengal
16 June/ANF News
Arabs who organised self defense units under the roof of YBŞ in Shengal say that they support Öcalan’s libertarian paradigm that removes artificial divides.
https://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/arabs-also-under-the-ybS-roof-in-shengal-20500

4. What does Turkey want to do in Northern Syria?
14 June/ANF News
Syrian Democratic Council Co-chair Îlham Ehmed wrote an article published in the Özgürlükçü Demokrasi newspaper titled “What is happening in Shehba?” and commented on Turkey’s plans in Shehba, Manbij and Raqqa, stressing that international powers are silent in the face of Turkey’s plans for invasion.
https://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/what-does-turkey-want-to-do-in-northern-syria-20467

5. Pro-Kurdish party condemns arrest of Turkish opposition MP
16 June/ARA News
The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) on Thursday condemned the arrest of a MP of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) by the Turkish authorities. “The coup targeting democracy, a process that began on 20 May 2016 with the lifting of parliamentary immunity in Parliament, continued with tens of municipal co-Chairs being arrested, the appointment of government trustees to elected municipal offices and, on November 4, the taking hostage of our Co-Chairs and our members of parliament,” the HDP’s Central Executive Board.
http://aranews.net/2017/06/pro-kurdish-party-condemns-arrest-turkish-opposition-mp


6. Turkey sentences U.N. war crimes judge on ‘terrorism’ charges: Hague
15 June/Reuters
Turkey has sentenced a U.N. war crimes judge to 7 years and six months in prison on charges of “membership in a terrorist organization”, an international court in the Hague said on Thursday.
Judge Aydin Sedaf Akay has been held in Turkey since September, one of tens of thousands of Turkish officials arrested in a crackdown on people and organizations after a foiled coup in which hundreds died.
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-coup-un-judge-idUSKBN1960XO?il=0&utm_source=Boomtrain&utm_medium=MEM&utm_campaign=20170615

7. Exhibition on Syrian Kurds closes after Turkish embassy intervenes
14 June/Kurdistan 24
An exhibition on Kurds in Syria put on display in a gallery in Maribor was closed early after an intervention from the Turkish Embassy in Slovenia.
The embassy claimed the exhibition was promoting illegal terrorist groups, referring to the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and its affiliated armed branches currently leading the fight against the Islamic State (IS) in Raqqa, the group’s de facto capital in Syria.
http://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/d1c374fb-aed4-4a32-8da7-3a4bd7ea5f46

8. 1st Women Economy Conference started in North Syria
15 June/Hawar News
150 delegates from Rojava-North Syria are taking part in the 1st conference of Women Economy in Rojava-North Syria. Under the slogan” Women Are the Base of Healthy Economy, Economy Means Women’s Effectiveness in the Society” the 1st conference of Women Economy in North Syria events have been launched.
http://en.hawarnews.com/1st-women-economy-conference-started-in-north-syria/

9. Revenge for Sinjar: Syrian Kurds Free Islamic State Slaves
14 June/ US News
Islamic State militants enslaved Noura Khalaf for three years, dragging her from her small Iraqi village across their territory in Syria. They bought and sold her five times before she was finally freed with her children last week. Khalaf is one of many Yazidi women that Kurdish fighters in northern Syria have set out to free from Islamic State in covert operations, a female Kurdish militia commander told Reuters.
https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2017-06-14/revenge-for-sinjar-syrian-kurds-free-islamic-state-slaves

10. Turkey confirms internal fight in Free Syrian Army
15 June/ Hurriyet Daily News
Groups inside the Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces are involved in internal conflict, Turkish sources have admitted, amid reports that Turkish-backed rebels fought with each other in the Syrian town of al-Bab, leaving several dead and scores injured.
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-confirms-internal-fight-in-free-syrian-army-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=114338&NewsCatID=352&utm_source=Boomtrain&utm_medium=MEM&utm_campaign=20170615

11. Coalition rejects UN claims of ‘staggering’ loss of civilian lives in Raqqa, blames ISIS for civilian suffering
16 June/Ara News
The US-led coalition on Thursday rejected accusations by the United Nations that coalition strikes in Raqqa caused a staggering loss of civilian life, and made clear that ISIS brutality is the main cause of civilian suffering. In an exclusive interview with ARA News, the Coalition’s Director of Public Affairs Col. Joe Scrocca said: “The Coalition steadfastly rejects the accusations by the United Nations that place the Coalition of 68 nations and partner organizations on the same footing as ISIS.”
http://www.aranews.net/2017/06/coalition-rejects-un-claims-staggering-loss-civilian-lives-raqqa-blames-isis-civilian-suffering/

12. Syrian Kurds accuse Turkey of using water as weapon of war
13 June/Ara News
A senior Syrian Kurdish official on Monday accused Turkey of cutting of the water of the Euphrates River, causing a drop in water levels in the Kurdish town of Kobane and in Tabqa. “The Turkish government cut off the waters of the Al-Furat [Euphrates] River, causing a significant drop in the Tishreen Dam [near Kobane] and the dam of the Al-Tabqa [in Raqqa province],” said Abdulkarim Omer, the head of foreign relations for the Cezire Canton of Rojava.
http://www.aranews.net/2017/06/syrian-kurds-accuse-turkey-using-water-weapon-war/

OPINION. ANALYSIS, COMMENTARY
1. Saleh Muslim: we will commit to KNC’s appeal
14 June/Hawar News
The Democratic Union Party(PYD’s) Co-Chair Saleh Muslim described the Kurdistan National Congress’s appeal to solve the Kurdish cause as positive, Muslim also assured their commitment to work on making it successful saying” unifying the Kurdish line is the sole way to face the challenges that face the Kurdish existence”.
http://en.hawarnews.com/saleh-muslim-we-will-commit-to-kncs-appeal/

2. Turkey’s Evolving Array of Diplomatic Challenges
13 June/ Carnegie Europe
As the Turkish leadership becomes increasingly isolated from its traditional allies, Ankara seems tempted to seek refuge in an unconvincing regional role.
http://carnegieeurope.eu/strategiceurope/71224?lang=en

3. Turkey’s top commander may be on his way out
14 June/Al-Monitor
Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar has been having a tough time the past couple of months. Turkish media printed his high school photographs with Turkey’s most prominent conservative ideologue, Necip Fazil, followed by photographs of him as a lieutenant with former President Abdullah Gul and notable right-wing columnist Fehmi Koru.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/06/turkey-army-top-commander-on-way-out.html#ixzz4k6SMbD9C

4. Opposition MP joins other lawmakers in Turkish prison
14 June/Al-Monitor
Republican People’s Party member Enis Berberoglu has joined several other imprisoned lawmakers, convicted of revealing state secrets surrounding the MIT truck scandal of 2014.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/06/chp-member-sentenced-25-years-berberoglu.html#ixzz4k6Y1559K

5. Turkish crackdown snares Amnesty International chair
13 June/Al-Monitor
The Turkish government has arrested and charged the local Amnesty International chair with membership in the so-called Fethullah Gulen Terror Organization even as the rights group monitors political repression in the country.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/06/turkey-targets-rights-groups.html
EVENTS
1.FREEDOM FOR OCALAN CAMPAIGN – BOOK LAUNCH
Capitalism – The Age of Unmasked Gods and Naked Kings is the second book in a new five-volume work called Manifesto for a Democratic Civilization. Together, they present the synthesis of Ocalan’s political thinking. This volume completes his journey through the history of civilizations, preparing the ground for the upcoming volume on The Sociology of Freedom.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2017/06/09/freedom-for-ocalan-campaign-book-launch/
To register contact: http://www.kurdishprogress.org/book_launch_abdullah_ocalan_manifesto_for_a_democratic_civilization_volume_ii_capitalism_the_age_of_unmasked_gods_and_naked_kings

2. ‘Accidental Anarchist’ screening and Q&A with Carne Ross, chaired by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown/25 June
The Politics Festival at Kings Place, London.
One man’s remarkable journey: from diplomat to anarchist. British diplomat Carne Ross worked on Iraq and its WMD, and resigned from the government over its lies before the 2003 invasion. His extraordinary personal and political odyssey culminates in a remarkable encounter with new forms of democracy in the midst of war – in Rojava, Syria. A profound examination of the political and economic problems that confront the world. Chaired by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown.
http://www.kingsplace.co.uk/whats-on/spoken-word/accidental-anarchist-screening-and-qa-with-carne-ross-chaired-by-yasmin-alibhai <http://www.kingsplace.co.uk/whats-on/spoken-word/accidental-anarchist-screening-and-qa-with-carne-ross-chaired-by-yasmin-alibhai>

3. Who is Beating Back ISIS in Syria?
On 12 July, DAvid’s bookshop, Letchword Garden City
Predominantly Kurdish defence forces, led equally by women and men commanders, are in the forefront of the fight against ISIS. Unnoticed by most of the world and its media, in the middle of a war zone, in Rojava Northern Syria, a radical secular experiment in class and race equality and direct democracy with women in the driving seat is taking place. It could provide a model of governance for the rest of Syria but are its ideas too radical for both its allies and its enemies?
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2017/06/16/whos-beating-back-isis-in-syria/

4. Kurdish Cultural Festival, 30 July 2017 in Quorn
A great FREE event for all the family, with children’s activities, organised by the General Federation of Trade Unions, Freedom for Ocalan Campaign, Peace in Kurdistan, Kurdish People’s Assembly UK, Kurdish Youth Movement and KNK (Kurdish National Congress) UK
https://www.evensi.uk/kurdish-cultural-festival-quorn-grange-hotel/210585748

CAMPAIGNS
1. Targeted Academic Boycott of Turkey
« We call on all institutions of higher education, funding councils, academic and professional associations, and individual faculty members to boycott the Turkish higher education system. The aim of the academic boycott is ensuring that all dismissals are revoked and the persecution of academics, exacerbated under the state of emergency regime, is ended. The boycott is targeted against complicit universities and higher education institutions as follows: »
https://academicboycottofturkey.wordpress.com/

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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