KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 14 – 21 AUGUST 2017 NEWS

  1.  KCK’s Bayık: Raqqa will determine the future
    2. Syrian Democratic Forces announce liberation of 60% of Raqqa city
    3. Raqqan women prepare for freedom
    4. PKK on August 15: Resistance and unity a must for victories
    5. Democratic autonomy declared in Shengal – UPDATE
    6. Global Coalition and al-Raqqa Civil Council meet
    7. Al-Raqqa clans support Federalism elections
    8. The Elections High Commission opens its center in al-Shahba
    9. Yousef: elections to be held is the first experience in Syria.
    10. SDF general promises to liberate Syria’s al-Bab from Turkey-backed rebels
    11. At the request of Erdogan, the Spanish authorities arrest a German writer
    12. HDP demands compensation from Erdogan over calling Demirtas ‘terrorist’

  1.  OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
    1. Condolence letter to The President of the Generalitat of Catalonia and Ambassador of Spain to Turkey
    2. Kurds plan ahead for shifting status in Syria
    3. Turkey and Iran step up coordination in Syria
    4. In the Middle East, Longtime Rivals Try a Temporary Alliance
    5. Is Erdogan Planning To Arm Himself With Nukes?
    6. Aiding And Abetting Erdogan’s Brutality
    7. The Council of Europe and the death of the peace process in Turkey –
    8. “The formal end of war in Colombia that cost more than 260,000 lives has increased the hopes of peoples of the world for peace” Message from HDP Co-Chairs
    9. What happens the day after the Kurdish referendum?
    10. The true account of a storyteller’s quest to save the folkloric tales of the Kurds of Turkey.
    11. Conflict Period and following Demolition of the Old city (SURİÇİ) of DIYARBAKIR|
    CAMPAIGN, ACTION
    A Week of Action to Stop the Arms Fair – 4th-11th September, 2017———————————————-
    NEWS
    1. KCK’s Bayık: Raqqa will determine the future
    20 August/ANF English
    “The future of Rojava and Northern Syria will mainly be determined with the liberation of Raqqa. The character Syria will have will take more shape.”
    https://anfenglish.com/features/kck-s-bayik-raqqa-will-determine-the-future-21635
  2. Syrian Democratic Forces announce liberation of 60% of Raqqa city
    17 August/ARA News
    The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have liberated 60% of Raqqa city since the launch of a major operation against Islamic State’s (ISIS) extremists in the key city on June 6, 2017.
    http://www.aranews.net/2017/08/syrian-democratic-forces-announce-liberation-60-raqqa-city/

    3. Raqqan women prepare for freedom
    9 August/ANF English
    The women of Raqqa have suffered greatly in the last five years. It was not just the ISIS cruelty. ISIS itself is a product of the barbaric mindset the statist capital system causes. It was The Man who took everything in his own hands and put himself to the center of life and led to the emergence of such vile organizations. 
    https://anfenglish.com/news/raqqan-women-prepare-for-freedom-21437

    4. PKK on August 15: Resistance and unity a must for victories
    15 August/Anf English
    The PKK drew attention to the values created by the 15 August Initiative and called on the Kurdish people and revolutionary-democratic forces to enhance the resistance for freedom and democracy against fascism.
    https://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/pkk-on-august-15-resistance-and-unity-a-must-for-victories-21546 

    5. Democratic autonomy declared in Shengal – UPDATE
    20 August/ANF English
    Democratic autonomy has been declared at a press conference in Shengal town, Southern Kurdistan.
    https://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/democratic-autonomy-declared-in-shengal-21644 

    6. Global Coalition and al-Raqqa Civil Council meet
    17 August/ANHA News
    AIN ISSA – The member of General Relations Committee in Al-Raqqa Civil Council Omar Alloush stated that the council would discuss with the Global Coalition the situations of Al-Raqqa Civil Council and the active organizations in al-Raqqa to support the council and consolidate relations with it.
    http://en.hawarnews.com/global-coalition-and-al-raqqa-civil-council-meet/#prettyPhoto7.

    Al-Raqqa clans support Federalism elections
    18 August/ANHA News
    GIRÊ SIPÎ- Al-Raqqa clans’ sheiks and notables assured their support to Democratic North-Syria Federation during an expanded meeting as the most prominent clans of the area met in a tent in the northern countryside of al-Raqqa.
    http://en.hawarnews.com/al-raqqa-clans-support-federalism-elections/ 

    8. The Elections High Commission opens its center in al-Shahba
    20 August/ANHA News
    The Elections High Commission opened an office in al-Shahba canton to oversee the process of elections in the canton and the co-presidency of the commission was elected.
    http://en.hawarnews.com/the-elections-high-commission-opens-its-center-in-al-shahba/ 

    9. Yousef: elections to be held is the first experience in Syria.
    17 August/ANHA News
    The Democratic North-Syria Federation is getting ready to hold elections which is considered the first experience in the region and Syria since 7 years.
    http://en.hawarnews.com/yousef-elections-to-be-held-is-the-first-experience-in-syria/ 

    10. SDF general promises to liberate Syria’s al-Bab from Turkey-backed rebels
    16 August/ARA News
    The General Commander of the SDF-linked al-Bab Military Council, Jamal Abo Jomaa, has promised the people of al-Bab city that the SDF will soon liberate their areas from the Turkey-backed Euphrates Shield rebels.
    http://www.aranews.net/2017/08/sdf-general-promises-liberate-syrias-al-bab-turkey-backed-rebels/ 

    At the request of Erdogan, the Spanish authorities arrest a German writer
    20 August/ANHA News
    The Spanish authorities arrested a German writer of Turkish origin on the grounds that he opposed the government of the Justice and Development Party. The Turkish government has demanded that the Spanish authorities arrest the German writer “Dogan Axanlî” of Turkish origins, on charges that his book is opposed to the regime of Justice and Development Party head Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
    http://en.hawarnews.com/at-the-request-of-erdogan-the-spanish-authorities-arrest-a-german-writer/ 

    12. HDP demands compensation from Erdogan over calling Demirtas ‘terrorist’
    12 August/Kurdistan 24
    ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) filed a second criminal complaint in a month on Saturday against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over his earlier remarks calling the party’s imprisoned co-chair Selahattin Demirtas a “terrorist.”
    http://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/bf6349e9-a507-4e12-8568-389638c686bf


OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. Condolence letter to The President of the Generalitat of Catalonia and Ambassador of Spain to Turkey
18 August/HDP English
Our Vice Co-Chair Mr Hişyar Özsoy sent a condolence letter to Mr Rafael Mendívil Peydro, Ambassador of Spain to Turkey and to Ms Carme Forcadell, The President of the Generalitat of Catalonia, on behalf of our co-chairs Mr Selahattin Demirtaş and Ms Serpil Kemalbay to share our condolences and sincere solidarity with the peoples of Spain.
http://www.hdp.org.tr/en/english/news/news-from-hdp/condolence-letter-to-the-president-of-the-generalitat-of-catalonia-and-ambassador-of-spain-to-turkey/10785

2. Kurds plan ahead for shifting status in Syria
16 August/Al Monitor
Syrian Kurds are taking critical steps to deal with the threat of being caught in a vise between their worsening relations with the Damascus regime, and Turkey’s possible cross-border operations. Syria’s Kurds have just proposed a new governmental structure comprising three federal regions and six cantons in the Democratic Federal System of Northern Syria (previously known as Rojava). They have devised a three-phase election calendar to decide who will run these new areas.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/08/turkey-syria-kurds-fear-improved-ties-ankara-washington.html#ixzz4qJtjvN1e

3. Turkey and Iran step up coordination in Syria
19 August/Al Monitor

We wrote here last month that US-Russian coordination on Syria could “be a catalyst for a new alignment that brings Turkey closer to Syria and Iran, while testing the limits and extent of Moscow’s influence among the regional players.”
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/08/turkey-iran-syria-coordination.html#ixzz4qIXOQBch

4. In the Middle East, Longtime Rivals Try a Temporary Alliance
18 August/World View
Politics and war make for strange bedfellows, as Iran and Turkey can attest. The two countries, historically rivals, are laying aside some of their differences to focus on common priorities: managing the Syrian civil war and slowing the Kurds’ progress toward greater autonomy.
https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/middle-east-longtime-rivals-try-temporary-alliance

5. Is Erdogan Planning To Arm Himself With Nukes?
12 August/Morning Star
Politics and war make for strange bedfellows, as Iran and Turkey can attest. The two countries, historically rivals, are laying aside some of their differences to focus on common priorities: managing the Syrian civil war and slowing the Kurds’ progress toward greater autonomy.
http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-ada2-Is-Erdogan-planning-to-arm-himself-with-nukes#.WZAeq-nlIyE

6. Aiding And Abetting Erdogan’s Brutality
10 August/Morning Star
ONE of the three biggest arms companies in the world is helping a genocidal dictator to autonomously develop his own weapons for generations to come. That company is British-owned BAE Systems.
https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-17b3-Aiding-and-abetting-Erdogans-brutality#.WZnCFek5u-9

7. The Council of Europe and the death of the peace process in Turkey –
14 August/The Region
Judge Essa Moosa passed away at the end of February (2017).  His death – its timing – seemed symbolic.  For his had been a consistent voice of optimism, of hope, in the quest for a peaceful, political solution to the long and bloody conflict between the Turkish state and the Kurdish Freedom Movement. 
http://theregion.org/article/11108-the-council-of-europe-and-the-death-of-the-peace-process-in-turkey

8. “The formal end of war in Colombia that cost more than 260,000 lives has increased the hopes of peoples of the world for peace” Message from HDP Co-Chairs
18 August/HDP English
Dear Mr. Saavedra,
We congratulate the peoples of Colombia! At the end of varied negotiations and agreements, the protracted war between the Colombian state and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) ended with the FARC surrendering its remaining weapons to UN monitors.
http://www.hdp.org.tr/en/english/news/news-from-hdp/the-formal-end-of-war-in-colombia-that-cost-more-than-260000-lives-has-increased-the-hopes-of-peoples-of-the-world-for-peace/10783

9. What happens the day after the Kurdish referendum?
14 August/AEIdeas
On September 25, Iraqi Kurds will head to the polls not only in Iraqi Kurdistan, but also in territories disputed between Erbil and Baghdad to vote in a referendum on whether Iraqi Kurdistan should become independent. Masoud Barzani, the region’s de facto president (his term expired two years ago but he refused to step down), has written that the referendum will be binding.
http://www.aei.org/publication/what-happens-the-day-after-the-kurdish-referendum/

10. The true account of a storyteller’s quest to save the folkloric tales of the Kurds of Turkey.
17 August/The LIST
Named after the Kurdish saying ‘There is one world, a thousand doorways’, this solo piece details American storyteller Diane Edgecombe’s quest to rescue the traditions of a dying culture by gathering tales from the mountains. It is a very sincere performance, in which Edgecombe shows the depth of her research and travel. However, it lacks natural rhythm, which results in the 90-minute runtime feeling excessive rather than well earned.
https://edinburghfestival.list.co.uk/article/94452-a-thousand-doorways/

11. Conflict Period and following Demolition of the Old city (SURİÇİ) of DIYARBAKIR
Nevin Soyukaya Archaeologist Former head of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “DIYARBAKIR FORTRESS AND HEVSEL GARDENS CULTURAL LANDSCAPE” 1 Damage Assessment Report on Old City (Suriçi) of Diyarbakir Introduction The Fortress of Diyarbakir and the Hevsel Gardens Cultural Landscape have maintained their importance for thousands of years because of its strategic location between the East and the West. The multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-layered character of the walled city, called Suriçi and today part of the Sur District, has woven many different cultures into its fabric.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2017/08/21/damage-assessment-report-on-old-city-surici-of-diyarbakir/


CAMPAIGN, ACTION
A Week of Action to Stop the Arms Fair – 4th-11th September, 2017
Want to stop the arms fair? Get involved!
https://www.stopthearmsfair.org.uk

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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