KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 24 JUNE – 30 JUNE 2017

NEWS
1. KNK continues tour of talks for national unity
2. HDP calls on the ECHR to take action for Turkey
3. Kürkçü: I call the Assembly to stick to its declaration in 2013 and the Turkish government to find a peaceful way out of the Kurdish Insurgency
4. European parliamentarians: Öcalan’s freedom is a must for peace
5. Jagland: ECHR launched efforts for jailed journalists in Turkey
6. Council of Europe’s Jagland says ‘justice must start working’ in Turkey
7. YPJ’s red line: Being present everywhere
8. Turkey admits to invasion plan for Efrîn
9. U.S. SPECIAL ENVOY MEETS RAQQA CIVIL COUNCIL IN ROJAVA (VIDEO)
10. Syrian Kurds send military reinforcements to Aleppo to impede Turkish advance
11. Mattis: US arms for Syrian Kurds will continue after Raqqa
12. Moments at fire line
13. Al-Shadadi women: proud to join Women Asayîş Forces
14. Europa Nostra’s Board gives statement on the endangered heritage site of Hasankeyf, Turkey

 OPINION, ANALYSIS, COMMENTARY
1. Turkey increasingly vocal against YPG’s foreign recruits
2. New clashes likely between Turkey, Europe
3. Kurds reaching critical juncture in US partnership
4. Trump‘s Red Line
5. Amid Turkey’s Purge, a Renewed Attack on Kurdish Culture

 CAMPAIGNS
1. WAR, INJUSTICE & REPRESSION START HERE BUT SO DOES OUR RESISTANCE

EVENTS
1. Who is Beating Back ISIS in Syria?
2. Kurdish Cultural Festival, 30 July 2017 in Quorn

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1. KNK continues tour of talks for national unity
30 June/ANF News
Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) delegation visited the Kurdistan Freedom Party (PAK) yesterday in continuation of the diplomatic talks with political parties from all four parts of Kurdistan, in order for the establishment of a joint platform to discuss Kurdish national unity.
https://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/knk-continues-tour-of-talks-for-national-unity-20717

2. HDP calls on the ECHR to take action for Turkey
29 June/ANF News
A delegation of the HDP made a statement in front of the European Court of Human Rights and said: “Until the release of the Co-chairs and parliamentarians of our party we will continue the march for justice, equality and freedom.”
https://anfenglish.com/news/hdp-calls-on-the-echr-to-take-action-for-turkey-20700

3. Kürkçü: I call the Assembly to stick to its declaration in 2013 and the Turkish government to find a peaceful way out of the Kurdish Insurgency
29 June/HDP.org
Yesterday in my constituency İzmir 12 academics from İzmir 9 Eylül Universty have been suspended for signing a petition of peace in 2016. Thousands of academics were also tried for having signed this petition. And this decleration criticized the Turkish Goverment’s security operations -under the pretext of combating terrorism- and the human casulities caused by around-the-clock curfews, indiscriminate shelling of cities and districts which has already caused lives of almost 1000 civilians.
http://www.hdp.org.tr/en/news/news-from-hdp/kurkcu-i-call-the-assembly-to-stick-to-its-decleration-in-2013-and-the-turkish-government-to-find-a-peaceful-way-out-of-the-kurdish-insurgency/10557

4. European parliamentarians: Öcalan’s freedom is a must for peace
26June/ANF News
Many European parliamentarians joined the demo at the vigil in Strasbourg for the freedom of Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan at its 5th anniversary, and demanded his immediate release.
https://anfenglish.com/news/european-parliamentarians-Oecalan-s-freedom-is-a-must-for-peace-20666

5. Jagland: ECHR launched efforts for jailed journalists in Turkey
28 June?ANF News
Council of Europe Secretary General Jagland answered HDP Deputy Chairperson Filiz Kerestecioğlu’s question and, pointing out the arrests, said: “Journalists and members of parliament are priority groups for the Council of Europe.”
https://anfenglish.com/news/jagland-echr-launched-efforts-for-jailed-journalists-in-turkey-20690

6. Council of Europe’s Jagland says ‘justice must start working’ in Turkey
30 June/Hurriyet
Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland has stressed the importance of “justice starting to work” in Turkey, adding that he is concerned by the current situation regarding fundamental rights in the country. Speaking to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) members on June 26, Jagland said he called Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ “immediately” after Amnesty International’s Turkey Chair Taner Kılıç was arrested for “being a member of a terrorist group.” 
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/council-of-europes-jagland-says-justice-must-start-working-in-turkey-.aspx?pageID=517&nID=114812&NewsCatID=351

7. YPJ’s red line: Being present everywhere
29 June/ANF English
YPJ Commander Şîlan Cûdî said Raqqa is very important for women and reiterated their historic and current oath for revenge. Cûdî stated that many of the women they liberate join the YPJ and that they have such women in her own battalion as well. Cudî said: “We embrace and liberate women. We don’t push this on them, we don’t force them. We chat with them, we discuss, and most importantly we listen. This, this profile for people and this understanding is new for them. They are very impressed with the YPJ. They say they have been asleep for hundreds of years and they are waking up with the YPJ.”
https://anfenglish.com/news/ypj-s-red-line-being-present-everywhere-20711

8. Turkey admits to invasion plan for Efrîn
29 June/ANF News
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Kaynak admitted that they made a deal for the invasion of Efrîn. Kaynak said: “The Afrin region will need to be cleared off terror, terrorists and terrorist elements.”
https://anfenglish.com/news/turkey-admits-to-invasion-plan-for-efrin-20709

9. U.S. SPECIAL ENVOY MEETS RAQQA CIVIL COUNCIL IN ROJAVA (VIDEO)
28 June/NRT
The U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State (ISIS), Brett McGurk, met with members and representatives of the Raqqa Civil Council in Rojava [Kurdish controlled areas in northern Syria].
http://www.nrttv.com/EN/Details.aspx?Jimare=15294

10. Syrian Kurds send military reinforcements to Aleppo to impede Turkish advance
29 June/ ARA News
The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and allied factions of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have brought military reinforcements to the northern countryside of Aleppo province to impede the Turkish progress towards Afrin district, military sources reported on Wednesday.
http://aranews.net/2017/06/syrian-kurds-send-military-reinforcements-to-aleppo-to-impede-turkish-advance/

11. Mattis: US arms for Syrian Kurds will continue after Raqqa
28 June/Military Times
Describing American reassurances to Turkey that the U.S. will take back weapons given to the Syrian Kurds after the ISIS fight, Mattis said it depends on when or where the next mission is. And he also sounded a cautionary tone when asked if all the weapons would be returned. “We’ll do what we can,” he told reporters traveling with him to Germany. 
http://www.militarytimes.com/articles/mattis-us-arms-for-syrian-kurds-will-continue-after-raqqa

12. Moments at fire line
24 June/ANHA News
Armed with iron will, experts at fighting arts, quick to reach their trigger, every fighter realizes what they do, even at breaks, they are eager to learn something new, the way they are attentive to the enemy’s movements says a lot about their bravery and tells much about their iron will.
http://en.hawarnews.com/moments-at-fire-line/

13. Al-Shadadi women: proud to join Women Asayîş Forces
25 May/ANHA News
Asayîş members in al-Shadadi town said that they joined Women Asayîş Forces according to the principle” protection is a duty everybody should undertake”, and added that they have resolved on joining the forces to defend their land and protect their own regions, noting that they are proud of their work thanks to the Ocalan philosophy, thought and struggle for women freedom.
http://en.hawarnews.com/al-shadadi-women-proud-to-join-women-asayis-forces/

14. Europa Nostra’s Board gives statement on the endangered heritage site of Hasankeyf, Turkey
29 June/Europanostra
The Board of Europa Nostra, the leading heritage organisation in Europe, made a statement about the Ancient city of Hasankeyf and its surroundings in Turkey, listed among the 7 Most Endangered heritage sites in Europe in 2016, following a nomination by the Cultural Awareness Foundation. In their statement, the Board of Europa Nostra deeply deplores the decision of the Turkish government to build a dam that would lead to the flooding of a site of world significance, without proper and transparent justification and without adequate compensation measures.
http://www.europanostra.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/20170629-PR-Hasankeyf-Turkey-EN.pdf

OPINION, ANALYSIS, COMMENTARY
1. Turkey increasingly vocal against YPG’s foreign recruits
28 June/Al Monitor
A Turkish report about foreigners, including Americans, joining Kurds in Syria to fight against the Islamic State (IS) is attracting lots of media attention. The Turkish government fears these “non-Salafi/jihadi foreign fighters” might be strengthening the Kurds’ war within a war: the effort to create a Kurdish state while simultaneously battling IS. 
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/06/turkey-syria-kurds-ypg-foreign-militants.html?utm_source=Boomtrain&utm_medium=manual&utm_campaign=20170629&bt_ee=mF06+9QSSHDSeKUfyxi3PQMzP6cxtaskqf8NYa+jkHuIjCdERwb4q48tz4L9vFgA&bt_ts=1498757382093

2. New clashes likely between Turkey, Europe
23 June/Al Monitor
The Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament on June 20 adopted a revised, strongly worded draft of its Annual Turkey Report 2016, which angered the Turkish government. The committee showed formidable support for the report: Only three members voted against it, while 51 voted in favor and 14 abstained.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/06/turkey-european-union-relations-possible-collision.html#ixzz4l9i2sFY5

3. Kurds reaching critical juncture in US partnership
22 June/Al Monitor
US President Donald Trump is wavering between members of his team who want to expand the war in Syria by also targeting Iranian-linked elements and those who say such a step would mean endless conflict in the region. This internal US disarray further complicates already-complex field developments in the Syrian civil war and the battle against the Islamic State (IS).
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/06/turkey-syria-kurds-at-critical-juncture.html#ixzz4l7WOs39F

4. Trump‘s Red Line
25 June/Welt.de
President Donald Trump ignored important intelligence reports when he decided to attack Syria after he saw pictures of dying children. Seymour M. Hersh investigated the case of the alleged Sarin gas attack.
https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article165905578/Trump-s-Red-Line.html

5. Amid Turkey’s Purge, a Renewed Attack on Kurdish Culture
29 June/New York Times
Gosto’s kebab shop is not the only diner on its block, let alone on its street. It is, however, the one that perhaps reveals most about the threat to Kurdish culture. Its owner and manager — the cheery, chubby Vural Tantekin — turned to the kebab trade only in January, after the city authorities sacked most members of his municipally run theater troupe.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/29/world/middleeast/amid-turkeys-purge-a-renewed-attack-on-kurdish-culture.html?_r=0

CAMPAIGNS
1. WAR, INJUSTICE & REPRESSION START HERE BUT SO DOES OUR RESISTANCE
Campaign Against the Arms Trade: The weekend of 22 & 23 July is where you can get involved too:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/it-starts-here-tickets-32928933326

EVENTS
1. 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/

2. 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

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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