KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 25 AUGUST – 1 SEPTEMBER 2017

1. Lawyers appealed against isolation of Abdullah Ocalan
2. 400 
teachers from Raqqa and Ayn Îsa complete training cycle
3. Step by step towards the liberation of Raqqa
4. Syria Kurds preparing first vote in ‘federal region’
5. Edinburgh Kurdish families raided by “anti-terror” police
6. Erdogan critic urges Spain to block his extradition to Turkey
7. Will Interpol close for Erdoğan?
8. PUK Spokesperson: When MİT’s PKK operation failed, they blamed us
9. Germany: Our definition of terror is different from Turkey’s
10. Revolutionary Forces Commander: Turkey is trying to seize Idlib
11. Repression without borders 2: Second writer with Turkish roots arrested in Spain
12. Body of British volunteer, 22, killed fighting ISIS in terror group’s Syrian stronghold is returned home to a hero’s welcome
13. Iraq’s contested Kirkuk province to vote in Kurdistan independence referendum

 OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. Exclusive: U.S.-backed Raqqa battle should end in two months, says senior SDF commander
2. The Syrian Crisis Enters a New & Dangerous Phase
3. Turkish silence speaks volumes as PKK points to spy ring
4. Second indictment for Erdogan guards over DC beatdown in May
5. Ankara silent on Turkish agents allegedly caught in Iraq assassination plot
6. Reality disrupts Turkey’s dream-team triad
7. Turkish military upheaval continues at top
8. Mattis pledges Erdogan US support against PKK
9. Kirkuk to Join Kurdistan Independence Referendum
10. Back To Back U.S. Drones Crashes in Turkey as Tensions Simmer Between the Two
11. Turkish dam project would wipe out ancient town

 CAMPAIGN, ACTION
1. A Week of Action to Stop the Arms Fair – 4th-11th September, 2017
2. Call for 2nd Hasankeyf Global Action Day


NEWS
1. Lawyers appealed against isolation of Abdullah Ocalan
31 August/ANF News
Ocalan’s lawyer Cengiz Yurekli appealed against the continuing isolation of their client and said that the practice itself is a crime according to Turkish law.
https://anfenglish.com/news/lawyers-appealed-against-isolation-of-abdullah-ocalan-21845

2. 400 teachers from Raqqa and Ayn Îsa complete training cycle
31 August/ANF News
The Democratic Society Education Committee (KPC-D) has completed the first training cycle for 400 teachers from Raqqa and Ayn Îsa.
https://anfenglish.com/news/400-teachers-from-raqqa-and-ayn-Isa-complete-training-cycle-21837

3. Step by step towards the liberation of Raqqa
27 August/ANF News
Raqqa’s old neighbourhood, the clock tower, the 23rd street, the wheat silo, the football field and the regime’s military areas, that constitute all strategic locations in Raqqa, have been surrounded by the SDF.
https://anfenglish.com/news/step-by-step-towards-the-liberation-of-raqqa-21761

4. Syria Kurds preparing first vote in ‘federal region’
27 August/The Nation
QAMISHLI – Syrian Kurdish authorities on Saturday began laying the groundwork for the first local elections in the federal system they are establishing in the country’s north, an official told AFP.
http://nation.com.pk/international/27-Aug-2017/syria-kurds-preparing-first-vote-in-federal-region

5. Edinburgh Kurdish families raided by “anti-terror” police
1 September/Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
In the early hours of Wednesday 30th August 2017, the police carried out raids at the homes of members of the Kurdish community living in Edinburgh. Families were woken from bed by six plain clothes police officers citing terrorism laws and waving a document that accuses a member of the family of participating in a terrorism activity on 26 March 2017. This so called terrorist activity was in fact a celebration of Newroz (the Kurdish New Year). Later, a forced entry was used to raid the Kurdish community centre in Wester Hailes, Edinburgh, despite the police being told that the key holder would be there “in twenty minutes.”
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2017/09/01/response-to-racist-raids-of-kurdish-family-homes-in-edinburgh/

6. Erdogan critic urges Spain to block his extradition to Turkey
31 August/Geo TV
MADRID: A Turkish-born German writer facing extradition from Spain to Turkey, which accuses him of “terrorism”, on Wednesday urged Madrid not to send him to a country that is “slipping towards fascism”.
https://www.geo.tv/latest/155995-erdogan-critic-urges-spain-to-block-his-extradition-to-turkey

7. Will Interpol close for Erdoğan?
26 August/ANF News
Due to the Erdoğan regime’s policies abusing the Interpol, Europe is discussing closing off the international police institution for Turkey.
https://anfenglish.com/news/will-interpol-close-for-erdogan-21750

8. PUK Spokesperson: When MİT’s PKK operation failed, they blamed us
26 August/ANF News
PUK Spokesperson Sedi Ehmed Pirê said their Ankara representative Bahroz Galalî has been deported because of an “operation the Turkish MİT wanted to conduct against the PKK in Sulaymaniyah but failed”.
https://anfenglish.com/news/puk-spokesperson-when-mIt-s-pkk-operation-failed-they-blamed-us-21741

9. Germany: Our definition of terror is different from Turkey’s
26 August/ANF News
German Interior Minister said their cooperation with Turkey in matters of security has worsened, adding: “Our definition of terror is different from Turkey’s, as a general idea, a Kurdish opposition member may not be a terrorist for us.”
https://anfenglish.com/news/germany-our-definition-of-terror-is-different-from-turkey-s-21752

10. Revolutionary Forces Commander: Turkey is trying to seize Idlib
26 August/ANF News
Revolutionary Forces General Commander Haci Ehmed stated that the Turkish state wants to employ in Idlib the scenario they developed in Shehba and added: “Because they know very well that if Idlib stays like this, there can be an intervention in the future from Efrîn by the SDF and the Revolutionary Forces. Like in Shehba, they want to cut off that possibility in Idlib.”
https://anfenglish.com/news/revolutionary-forces-commander-turkey-is-trying-to-seize-idlib-21738

11. Repression without borders 2: Second writer with Turkish roots arrested in Spain
21 August/Press and Media Freedom
The Spanish authorities have again arrested a writer with Turkish roots living in exile in Europe, on the basis of a so-called Red Notice issued to Interpol. After Hamza Yalçin, a journalist with both Swedish and Turkish passports, was arrested at the airport in Barcelona last week, on Saturday heavily-armed policemen detained author Doğan Akhanli at his holiday hotel in Granada. Turkey demands the extradition of the two men, who they call “terrorist supporters”.
https://ecpmf.eu/news/threats/repression-without-borders-2-dogan-akhanli-arrested-in-spain

12. Body of British volunteer, 22, killed fighting ISIS in terror group’s Syrian stronghold is returned home to a hero’s welcome
1 September/Mail Online
The body of a British man killed fighting ISISreturned home to a hero’s welcome after Kurdish commanders praised his part battling the ‘fascist organisation’.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4841590/Luke-Rutter-s-body-returned-died-fighting-ISIS.html#ixzz4rQm9tArb

13. Iraq’s contested Kirkuk province to vote in Kurdistan independence referendum
29 August/DW News
Iraq’s ethnically mixed province of Kirkuk has voted to participate in a Kurdish independence referendum slated for next month. The oil-rich province is a potential powder keg in the region.
http://www.dw.com/en/iraqs-contested-kirkuk-province-to-vote-in-kurdistan-independence-referendum/a-40291173

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. Exclusive: U.S.-backed Raqqa battle should end in two months, says senior SDF commander
27 August/The Nation
QAMISHLI – Syrian Kurdish authorities on Saturday began laying the groundwork for the first local elections in the federal system they are establishing in the country’s north, an official told AFP.
http://nation.com.pk/international/27-Aug-2017/syria-kurds-preparing-first-vote-in-federal-region

2. The Syrian Crisis Enters a New & Dangerous Phase
23 August/Middle East Institute
The Syrian Crisis has now definitively entered a new phase, in which the shifting priorities of external states are driving the creation of an interim set of pre-settlement conditions. 
https://www.mei.edu/content/article/syrian-crisis-enters-new-dangerous-phase?print=

3. Turkish silence speaks volumes as PKK points to spy ring
30 August/Al Monitor
While Turkey remains silent over claims that two Turkish nationals working for the national spy agency MIT are being held by Kurdish rebels, a news agency with access to the group known as the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) has published fresh allegations about the affair.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/08/krg-mit-spies-assassination.html#ixzz4rQnkfn5H

4. Second indictment for Erdogan guards over DC beatdown in May
31 August/Al Monitor
Turkey’s fraught relations with the United States are heading for further turbulence after a grand jury in Washington indicted 15 Turkish security officials accused of attacking pro-Kurdish protestersin the US capital on May 16 during a visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. They include Muhsin Kose, the head of Erdogan’s security detail. In all, 19 people who engaged in acts of violence against the demonstrators outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence on Sheridan Circle were indicted.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/08/us-indicts-turkish-security-may-beat-down-dc.html#ixzz4rQp9PI4r

5. Ankara silent on Turkish agents allegedly caught in Iraq assassination plot
28 August/Al Monitor
A Kurdish militant group claimed today that it has captured Turkish intelligence officers. Diyar Xerib, a Kurdish leader linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), said the PKK had “arrested” two Turkish nationals working for Turkey’s national spy agency MIT, but had refrained from publicizing the incident so as not to create problems for the local government.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/08/pkk-claims-arrest-turkish-intelligence-officers.html#ixzz4r5GWh0mr

6. Reality disrupts Turkey’s dream-team triad
25 August/Al Monitor
Since Turkey concluded Operation Euphrates Shield — its military campaign against the Islamic State (IS) in northern Syria — Ankara has been building expectations that it will make major military moves in Iraq and Syria. Its hoped-for allies, however, do not seem to share those plans, despite the media’s enthusiasm.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/08/turkey-iraq-iran-triangle-nothing-concrete.html#ixzz4r4b9AZ5Z

7. Turkish military upheaval continues at top
24 August/Al Monitor
The Turkish Defense Ministry stated Aug. 22 that seven generals and admirals of the Turkish military have resigned. The ministry said the resignations were personal initiatives that had nothing to do with a recent round of surprising appointments — and in fact had been received before the Aug. 2 appointments were made — but the popular belief is that these were protests of the growing strength of Gen. Hulusi Akar in the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/08/turkey-what-is-behind-tremors-among-army-ranks.html?utm_source=Boomtrain&utm_medium=manual&utm_campaign=20170825&bt_ee=HzW6I8FnxHl2cJ3uMQ3iW1qjB7DSNIDQmwAuR/iZ71/Q6ORn6KdQxT4xYYEzdjoR&bt_ts=1503689789323 levels

8. Mattis pledges Erdogan US support against PKK
23 August/Al Monitor
US Secretary of Defense James Mattis pledged support to Turkey in its ongoing fight against rebels of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) during talks with the country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish and US officials said today.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/08/mattis-pledges-support-erdogan-pkk-turkey.html?utm_source=Boomtrain&utm_medium=manual&utm_campaign=20170824&bt_ee=SjGRFtivX82Yy/3FDakQwV38Twr1bovMrmPoJMBKSkXK2q2yKrPvb1Ftb9z6zd8o&bt_ts=1503590639846

9. Kirkuk to Join Kurdistan Independence Referendum
31 August/The American Interest
Despite warnings to postpone or cancel from the United Statesthe federal Iraqi government in BaghdadTurkey, and others, the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), is barreling ahead with its independence referendum scheduled for September 25th. One of the key questions for the long-awaited vote is whether it would include disputed territories under Kurdish Peshmerga control that are not formally within the boundaries of the official Kurdistan region. 
https://www.the-american-interest.com/2017/08/31/kirkuk-to-join-kurdistan-independence-referendum/

10. Back To Back U.S. Drones Crashes in Turkey as Tensions Simmer Between the Two
21 August/War Zone12121 August/The Warzone
Two MQ-1B Predator drones flying from Incirlik Air Base in Turkey have crashed in three days, possibly cutting the total number of operational drones the U.S. Air Force has situated at the base in half. Combined with the pending retirement of the Predator across the service and tensions between the two countries over support for Kurdish groups in Syria, the accidents might have an immediate impact on operations, as well as feed into increasingly strained U.S.-Turkish relations.
http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/13671/back-to-back-u-s-drones-crashes-in-turkey-as-tensions-simmer-between-the-two-countries

11. Turkish dam project would wipe out ancient town
24 August/Al Monitor
The images recently coming out of the ancient town of Hasankeyf have simply been shocking. In scenes and sounds suggestive of the Islamic State’s destruction of Palmyra and the Taliban blowing up the Bamiyan Buddhas, rocks rained down in some areas following the sound of explosions, shaking the 12,000-year-old settlement on the banks of the Tigris in Turkey, in some cases destroying history. In other instances, historical structures were photographed being carted away. 
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/08/turkey-anger-simmers-over-destruction-in-ancient-town.html#ixzz4qnYrXTvU

CAMPAIGN, ACTION
1. 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

2. Call for 2nd Hasankeyf Global Action Day
1 September/Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
We call activists, social movements, NGO’s and all others in the world to join the second global action day for the defense of Hasankeyf and the Tigris River on 23rd September 2017! It is under threat by the Ilisu Project; lets protest this one of most controversial dams in the world!
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2017/09/01/call-for-2nd-hasankeyf-global-action-day/

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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