KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 15 – 21 JULY 2017

NEWS
1. “ISIS and the Turkish state will both face defeat by the Kurds”
2. Following genocide, Shengal reinvents itself anew
3. Suruç martyrs remembered in Raqqa: We will make their dreams real
4. MSD: Rojava Revolution become a national symbol for resistance
5. Jailed pro-Kurdish leader says fair trial impossible in Erdogan’s Turkey
6. Turkey issues arrest warrant for pro-Kurdish co-mayor
7. Final declaration of KNK’s National Unity Workshop
8. Letter from Demirtaş to Ahmet Şık: We were not detained, but taken hostage
9. Germany Says Turkey’s Detention of Rights Activist Could Threaten EU Aid
10. Turkey: Opposition Accuses Erdogan Of Blocking Probe Into Coup
11. Turkey: Cumhuriyet journalists face trial on 24 July
12. RED LINES IN SYRIA
13. Turkey to pay $2.5bn for Russian S-400 missiles: Official
14. David Lammy MP letter to Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson MP

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. Democracy on Trial
2. SA upholds cause of Kurdish people
3. The centrality of women’s liberation in Rojava, Northern Syria
4. As war on IS continues, Iraqi Kurdish journalists face suppression
5. Turkey’s economic dilemma: Win Qatar or lose the Gulf?
6. Turkey’s ‘great wall’ nearing completion
7. Turkey will Buy and Sell Weapons in London this September

ACTION, EVENTS
1. Kurdish Cultural Festival 30 July Quorn
2. Off Grid Festival  2017
3. Call from Yazidi Women’s Movement in Sinjar for an International Day of Action against Feminicide on 3 August 2017
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NEWS
1. “ISIS and the Turkish state will both face defeat by the Kurds”
21 July/ANF News
At first they betook themselves to Kobanê, and headed afterwards to the free mountains. Sara Doğan and Delîl Welat are convinced that ISIS and the Turkish state will both be defeated by the Kurds.
https://anfenglish.com/features/isis-and-the-turkish-state-will-both-face-defeat-by-the-kurds-21098

2. Following genocide, Shengal reinvents itself anew
21 July/ANF News
The people of Shengal, dozens of its organisations and associations have reinvented themselves anew after the fatal genocide of the 3rd August 2014.
https://anfenglish.com/features/following-genocide-shengal-reinvents-itself-anew-21099

3. Suruç martyrs remembered in Raqqa: We will make their dreams real
20 July/ANF News
The Internationalist Freedom Brigade in the operation to liberate Raqqa held a military ceremony and a commemoration for the Suruç martyrs.
https://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/suruc-martyrs-remembered-in-raqqa-we-will-make-their-dreams-real-21090

4. MSD: Rojava Revolution become a national symbol for resistance
19 July/ANF News
MSD said “We believe that our revolution’s epics increased our insistence to achieve our democratic national revolution to form a democratic federal Syria.”
https://anfenglish.com/rojava/msd-rojava-revolution-become-a-national-symbol-for-resistance-21069

5. Jailed pro-Kurdish leader says fair trial impossible in Erdogan’s Turkey
19 July/Reuters
Turkey’s jailed pro-Kurdish opposition leader said no judge could stand up to Tayyip Erdogan, expressing doubts he could ever have a fair trial after the president publicly labelled him a terrorist.
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-security-kurds-idUSKBN1A41H4

6. Turkey issues arrest warrant for pro-Kurdish co-mayor
19 July/Turkey Purge
An arrest warrant has been issued for Diyarbakır Co-mayor Fırat Anlı, who was released from jail last week, after being arrested on terror charges last October.
The Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office filed an objection to the decision of the Diyarbakır 8th High Criminal Court to release Anlı and petitioned the Diyarbakır 9th High Criminal Court for a reversal of the lower court’s decision.
https://turkeypurge.com/turkey-issues-arrest-warrant-for-pro-kurdish-co-mayor

7. Final declaration of KNK’s National Unity Workshop
18 July/ANF News
The final declaration for the national unity workshop was published as an updated version with the addition of the points of the referendum in Southern Kurdistan, attacks on Efrîn, the situation in Rojhilat and coexistence with other peoples.
https://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/final-declaration-of-knk-s-national-unity-workshop-21052

8. Letter from Demirtaş to Ahmet Şık: We were not detained, but taken hostage
21 July/Cumhuriyet
HDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş, who is in detention in Edirne, has penned a letter to our reporter Ahmet Şık, who is in Silivri. Demirtaş has written, ‘We were not detained but taken hostage. We will neither belittle ourselves to the extent of begging for mercy from fascism, nor will the millions on the outside lower themselves to the extent of surrendering to fear.’
http://www.cumhuriyet.com.tr/haber/english/776423/Letter_from_Demirtas_to_Ahmet_Sik__We_were_not_detained__but_taken_hostage.html

9. Germany Says Turkey’s Detention of Rights Activist Could Threaten EU Aid
19 July/The Wall Street Journal
Germany lashed out at Turkey for jailing a German national and suggested the latest escalation in a growing feud between the two countries could cost Turkey billions of euros in European assistance.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/germany-says-turkeys-detention-of-rights-activist-could-threaten-eu-aid-1500491266

10. Turkey: Opposition Accuses Erdogan Of Blocking Probe Into Coup
17 july/Morning Star
TURKEY’S main opposition party accused President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government yesterday of blocking a full investigation into last summer’s failed coup attempt and using a state of emergency to hide the truth.
https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-052a-Brazil-Opposition-accuses-Erdogan-of-blocking-probe-into-coup#.WXECdenlIyE

11. Turkey: Cumhuriyet journalists face trial on 24 July
20 July/International Federation of Journalists
The trial involving 17 journalists and executives of Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet will start on Monday 24 July at 9:00am in Istanbul’s Çağlayan Justice Palace. The trial is expected to continue until Thursday 28 July. The International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ) join their affiliates TGS and DISK Basin-Is  in condemning the trial which is based on unfounded accusations that the paper is secretly supporting the PKK – a militant Kurdish organisation and FETO, the group allegedly responsible for last year’s failed coup.
http://www.ifj.org/nc/news-single-view/backpid/50/article/turkey-cumhuriyet-journalists-face-trial-on-24-july/

12. RED LINES IN SYRIA
19 July/Front Page
With Saturday’s bombing of Afrin, a town controlled by America’s Kurdish allies in northern Syria, Turkey appears to have crossed a line. Turkish artillery pounded the Ashrafiyeh neighborhood near the city center as well as surrounding villages. Reports from the region said the Turkish attack killed five civilians, including an entire family that was buried alive in their own home, and damaged dozens of homes.
http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/267312/red-lines-syria-kenneth-r-timmerman

13. Turkey to pay $2.5bn for Russian S-400 missiles: Official
14 July/Global Security
Turkey has agreed to shell out $2.5 billion in order to purchase Russia’s most advanced missile defense system S-400, provided that Moscow agrees to transfer the technology as well, an official says.
http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/turkey/2017/turkey-170714-presstv01.htm

14. David Lammy MP letter to Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson MP
15 July/Twitter
I am Writing to you regarding the arrest of ten human rights activists in Istanbul on 5th July, including representatives of Amnesty International, Human Rights Agenda Association and Citizens’ Assembly. These individuals are being investigated on suspicion of “membership of an armed organisation” without any evidence to support such an accusation.
https://mobile.twitter.com/DavidLammy/status/885793803189309441/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thecanary.co%2F2017%2F07%2F15%2Ftakes-intervention-labour-mp-boris-note-new-massive-purge-turkey%2F

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. Democracy on Trial
20 July/Jacobin
Earlier this month the trial of Figen Yüksekdağ, co-chair of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), began in Turkey’s capital of Ankara. Accused of supporting Kurdish separatists in the country’s southeast, Yüksekdağ has already been stripped of her place in Turkey’s parliament — but now the Erdoğan government is pursuing terrorism-related charges which come with the threat of an eighty-three-year jail term.
https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/07/yuksekdag-trial-turkey-erdogan-hdp

2. SA upholds cause of Kurdish people
20 July/Cape Argus
The Kurdish cause for self-determination was placed firmly on the South African agenda in recent weeks when both the ANC and SACP adopted resolutions on the Kurdish question, at their respective conferences. The ANC resolution, which will be sent for final ratification to the December elective conference, said: “The ANC supports the Kurdish peoples’ struggle for political rights, peace and justice in the Middle East and urges all role-players to engage for a political solution in the conflict. The ANC further calls for the release of Kurdish leader, Abdullah Ocalan, and all political prisoners.”
http://www.iol.co.za/capeargus/opinion/sa-upholds-cause-of-kurdish-people-10386469

3. The centrality of women’s liberation in Rojava, Northern Syria
24 June/Kurdish Question
The scene couldn’t be more jubilant. The sun shines brightly in a way that is simultaneously agonizing and unbearable, yet beautifully brilliant. Scores of packed cars and Toyota trucks with men and women clutching tri-color Rojavan flags make their way to a makeshift parking lot in the middle of what appears to be a seemingly endless field. The colors are vibrant and festive, indicative of the Kurdish nation’s cultural traditions and identity. Smiles abound as thousands descend on a massive public gathering, one that everyone knew was going to take place on this day, even though the location had only been announced the previous night. Security is tight. After all, this is still a warzone despite the liberatory feeling that reigns supreme.
http://kurdishquestion.com/article/3938-the-centrality-of-women-s-liberation-in-rojava-northern-syria

4. As war on IS continues, Iraqi Kurdish journalists face suppression
18 July/Al Monitor
Despite the bright picture of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan Region seen by outsiders, it is in a crisis of free expression. While Western leaders often praise its stability, relative prosperity and democratic institutions, the region — soon to hold a referendum on independence — is not a friendly place for independent-minded media workers and local journalists. US support for Kurdish politicians and soldiers battling the Islamic State (IS) may be inadvertently facilitating a further crackdown on critical voices and a growing authoritarianism.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/07/kurdistan-journalists-activists-human-rights.html#ixzz4nK0MUkM6

5. Turkey’s economic dilemma: Win Qatar or lose the Gulf?
18 July/Al Monitor
Turkey has suffered heavy economic losses over the past few years because of its misguided foreign policy in its relations with Egypt, Libya, Syria and Iraq and other regional markets. Its economy also received serious blows from Russian sanctions that followed Turkey’s shooting down a Russian jet in November 2015. Now, by taking a position supportive of Qatar in the blockade imposed by the Gulf countries and led by Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Turkey is risking further economic damages.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/07/turkey-qatar-dilemma-win-doha-lose-gulf.html#ixzz4nK0blJeb

6. Turkey’s ‘great wall’ nearing completion
14 July/Al Monitor
Turkey has suffered heavy economic losses over the past few years because of its misguided foreign policy in its relations with Egypt, Libya, Syria and Iraq and other regional markets. Its economy also received serious blows from Russian sanctions that followed Turkey’s shooting down a Russian jet in November 2015. Now, by taking a position supportive of Qatar in the blockade imposed by the Gulf countries and led by Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Turkey is risking further economic damages.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/07/turkey-syria-security-wall-under-construction-border-area.html

7. Turkey Will Buy and Sell weapons in London this September.
21 July/Kurdish Question
Every two years, the Excel Centre at London Docklands hosts the world’s biggest arms fair, showcasing military and surveillance equipment and technology for air, land, sea and cyberspace. Many of the world’s most oppressive regimes, including Turkey, go there to make deals which ultimately cost hundreds of thousands of lives.
http://kurdishquestion.com/article/3971-turkey-will-buy-and-sell-weapons-in-london-this-september


ACTION, EVENTS
1. Kurdish Cultural Festival 30 July 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://peaceinkurdistancampaign.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/kurdish-festival-programme-1-337784.pdf
Register through: http://kurdishfestival.getforge.io <http://kurdishfestival.getforge.io>

2. Off Grid Festival  2017
10-13 August Exeter
Off Grid Festival is visualized as a deep exploration of community living, creativity and consciousness; an intimate environment in which to share skills, trade knowledge, impart wisdom and make a difference. Four days out of the world to get into changing our world. We think of it as an experimental innovation lab for a new paradigm of economic, ecological and community thought, a radical gathering of empowered people making a difference in their lives and celebrating emergent culture.

http://offgrid-festival.co.uk/info/off-grid-festival-poster-2017/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxL_ukLiUW4

3. Call from Yazidi Women’s Movement in Sinjar for an International Day of Action against Feminicide on 3 August 2017
On August 3rd 2017 is the third anniversary of the genocidal attack by the so-called IslamicState (IS) on Êzidi (Yazidi) Kurds in the Northern Iraqi city of Sinjar. Starting on August 3, 2014 the attacks and massacres caused a humanitarian catastrophe but importantly had the genocidal objective of eradicating the whole Êzidi community. Women were systematically targeted within this genocide and therefore it also constitutes a feminicide.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2017/07/21/call-for-an-international-day-of-action-against-feminicide/

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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