KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 26 SEPTEMBER – 2 OCTOBER 2017

NEWS
1. ‘It’s time that we shut our doors against foreign intervention’
2. SDF leader says “Law is clear”, they will never handover any land to the Syrian regime
3. ‘Kurds’ most powerful weapon against threats is national unity’
4. Barzan region is under the guerrillas’ protection
5. First YPG regiment declared in Aleppo
6. SDF seizes ISIS’ administration building in Raqqa
7. KCDK-E: Aksoy has always been in the forefront of the struggle
8. Damascus says Syrian Kurdish autonomy negotiable: report
9. “Communal elections the first step towards Free Syria”
10. Kurdish guerrilla captured alive and executed by Turkish soldiers
11. TURKISH OPPOSITION JOURNALIST, NEWSPAPER POSSIBLE CONTENDERS FOR NOBEL
12. The Kurdish Independence referendum does not undermine the fight against ISIS
13. Turkey, Iran, Iraq in shaky alignment against Iraqi Kurdistan

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. PEACE IN KURDISTAN: WE SALUTE OUR FRIEND MEHMET AKSOY
2. “In the midst of death, I am very close to life”, Mehmet Aksoy – A tribute
3. The Honourable Child of His Country: Martyr Firaz Dag
4. Syrian Kurdish commander: We’re ‘ready to engage’ with Damascus
5. Will Iraq force Kurds to cancel referendum results?
6. Putin boxed in by Iran, Turkey on Iraqi Kurdish referendum
7. Catalans and Kurds Discover the Hard Truth About Secession
8. The Kurds desperately want freedom – why won’t the free world support them?
9. Three Years After Genocide, Yazidis Face Ongoing Persecution (1/2)
10. New report on the Ilisu Project
11. Maxine Peace Joins Peace in Kurdistan Campaign

EVENTS
1. Commemoration of Mehmet Aksoy, Sunday, 1 October 2017
2. Reorienting the PKK: Rojava and the Political Thought of Abdullah Öcalan
———————————————

NEWS
1. ‘It’s time that we shut our doors against foreign intervention’
1 October/ANF News
Speaking at KNK-Rojava workshop in Rimelan Kurdistan National Congress co-chair said its time for Kurdish people to shut their doors against foreign intervention.
https://anfenglish.com/news/it-s-time-that-we-shut-our-doors-against-foreign-intervention-22459

2. SDF leader says “Law is clear”, they will never handover any land to the Syrian regime
1 October/The Region
KOBANI – A leading commander in the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Omid Kabar during a funeral for fighters that were killed in the Raqqa campaign said they will not handover Tabqa to the Syrian regime, the local news agency Hawar News (ANHA) reported.
http://theregion.org/article/11663-sdf-leader-says-law-is-clear-they-will-nevergime-handover-any-land-to-syrian-regime%20o%20Syrian%20regime

3. ‘Kurds’ most powerful weapon against threats is national unity’
2 October/ANF News
“National unity is the Kurdish people’s most powerful weapon against the threats by neighbouring countries” Hewre Penam, a prominent Kurdish intellectual in South Kurdistan said.
https://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/kurds-most-powerful-weapon-against-threats-is-national-unity-22461

4. Barzan region is under the guerrillas’ protection
1 October/ANF News
The first response of Turkey against the independence referendum in South Kurdistan was to attack the Botî area of the Barzan district. It was once again the guerrillas of Kurdistan who stood against the attack.  
https://anfenglish.com/rojava/barzan-region-is-under-the-guerrillas-protection-22451

5. First YPG regiment declared in Aleppo
30 September/ANF News
The Martyr Abu Shiyar training cycle launched 45 days ago for the establishment of a brigade under YPG has been completed.
https://anfenglish.com/rojava/first-ypg-regiment-declared-in-aleppo-22437

6. SDF seizes ISIS’ administration building in Raqqa
29 September/ANF News
SDF fighters have liberated the ISIS’ administration building called ‘State of Raqqa’ in Nahda neighbourhood west of Raqqa.
https://anfenglish.com/news/sdf-seizes-isis-administration-building-in-raqqa-22422

7. KCDK-E: Aksoy has always been in the forefront of the struggle
29 September/ANF English
The KCDK-E commemorated Mehmet Aksoy (Fîraz Dağ) from the YPG Press Office, who was martyred in Raqqa on September 26, and said, “We will continue unhesitatingly until we crown his freedom march with victory.”
https://anfenglish.com/news/kcdk-e-aksoy-has-always-been-in-the-forefront-of-the-struggle-22419

8. Damascus says Syrian Kurdish autonomy negotiable: report
26 September/Reuters
The Syrian government is open to negotiations with Kurds over their demand for autonomy within Syria’s borders, the foreign minister has said, striking a conciliatory tone as military tensions worsen between the sides in eastern Syria.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-kurds/damascus-says-syrian-kurdish-autonomy-negotiable-report-idUSKCN1C10TJ

9. “Communal elections the first step towards Free Syria”
26 September/ANF News
Democratic Northern Syria Federation Executive Council described the communal elections as the first step towards Free Syria, and said they are now preparing for the second stage which is the election of municipality, district and canton assemblies.
https://anfenglish.com/rojava/communal-elections-the-first-step-towards-free-syria-22366

10. Kurdish guerrilla captured alive and executed by Turkish soldiers
30 September/ANF News
A 33-second video obtained by ANF shows a Kurdish guerrilla captured alive by Turkish soldiers. The guerrilla on the video, Cuma Imen, was executed moments after.
https://anfenglish.com/rojava/kurdish-guerrilla-captured-alive-and-executed-by-turkish-soldiers-22423

11. TURKISH OPPOSITION JOURNALIST, NEWSPAPER POSSIBLE CONTENDERS FOR NOBEL
30 September/NRT
Leading Turkish opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper and its former editor-in-chief Can Dundar, who have faced trial in Turkey which President Tayyip Erdogan’s critics condemn as an attack on free speech, are tipped as possible contenders of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.
http://www.nrttv.com/EN/Details.aspx?Jimare=16789

12. The Kurdish Independence referendum does not undermine the fight against ISIS
24 September/The Region
The Iraqi Kurds are planning to hold an independence referendum on the 25th of September. The United States government has opposed the referendum and suggested that the “referendum is distracting from efforts to defeat ISIS and stabilize the liberated areas.” Even more contentious for the United states is that the referendum will also take place in disputed areas, a move the White House insists is “provocative and destabilizing.”
http://theregion.org/article/11624-the-kurdish-independence-referendum-does-not-undermine-the-fight-against-isis

13. Turkey, Iran, Iraq in shaky alignment against Iraqi Kurdistan
29 September/Al Monitor
Whether Iraqi Kurdistan’s independence vote leads to statehood remains to be seen, but the referendum has led to other impressive things. Ankara today stands together with Tehran and Baghdad — the same neighbors it was slamming for “Persian expansionism” and sectarian policies yesterday. The trilateral front, driven by a shared fear of partition, is hailed as a new Saadabad Pact by some in the Turkish media — a reference to the 1937 nonaggression treaty between the three neighbors plus Afghanistan
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/09/turkey-iran-iraq-alignment-against-iraqi-kurdistan.html#ixzz4uBxEHSQL

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. PEACE IN KURDISTAN: WE SALUTE OUR FRIEND MEHMET AKSOY
28 September/Peace in Kurdistan Camapign
A dynamic Kurdish activist and talented young film maker, Mehmet died while working in Raqqa where he had journeyed in order to record the experiences of the Kurdish fighters in their resistance to ISIS.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2017/09/28/we-salute-our-friend-mehmet-aksoy/

2. “In the midst of death, I am very close to life”, Mehmet Aksoy – A tribute
28 September/The Region
When in Raqqa Mehmet once said that the night had “fallen on Raqqa.” In the early hours of September 26th it had fallen on our hearts and souls. A journalist faces many difficulties but none can be greater than to write the story of a colleague that has lost his life in search for truth.
http://theregion.org/article/11645-in-the-midst-of-death-i-am-very-close-to-life-mehmet-aksoy-a-tribute

3. The Honourable Child of His Country: Martyr Firaz Dag
27 September/YPG Press Office
Şehîd mizginiya şînbûna gulekî li baxekî şewitî de ye, şehîd ewrekî ronî ye li welatekî tî û westiyayî, ta ku baran bibare û jiyan carekî din destpê bike. Erê, çîroka Kurdistan û şehîdên azadiya wê wiha ye. Ji bo gelekî ku ji xewa giran ya mirinê şiyar bûye û ji bo şerê azadiyê gav avêtiye, şehîd mezintirîn nîşaneya destpêkirina jiyanê ye.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBHGD0wNS0Q

4. Syrian Kurdish commander: We’re ‘ready to engage’ with Damascus
26 September/Al Monitor
RAQQA, Syria — Mazlum Kobane is the chief commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and, as such, the chief interlocutor of the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State (IS). The 45-year-old commander, widely known as Gen. Mazlum, is at the helm of the campaign to retake Raqqa, the self-styled capital of IS, which is in its final stages. Kobane, who displays an avid interest in politics beyond his military skills, has earned himself fame in Washington, where his name is frequently mentioned at various panels.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/09/turkey-kurdish-commander-says-us-should-stay-in-syria.html#ixzz4uBylWrDh

5. Will Iraq force Kurds to cancel referendum results?
29 September/Al Jazeera
The government of Iraq is suspending all international flights to and from Erbil in its northern autonomous Kurdish region. It’s a punitive measure after people in the area took part in a secession vote on Monday that Baghdad and other governments, including Turkey, have strongly opposed.
http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidestory/2017/09/iraq-force-kurds-cancel-referendum-results-170929190624035.html

6. Putin boxed in by Iran, Turkey on Iraqi Kurdish referendum
1 October/Al Monitor
Russian President Vladimir Putin had been banking on Iraqi Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani. Over the past year, Russia has invested over $4 billion in the Kurdistan Region’s energy sector, overtaking the United States as the largest investor. By making such a commitment to northern Iraq, Putin was likely counting on both an eventual energy windfall and another card to play as a regional broker at the expense of the United States. He could count on good, or at least working, relationships with Damascus, Tehran, Ankara, to some extent Baghdad and, with the massive oil and gas venture, Erbil.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/10/putin-boxed-in-iran-turkey-iraq-kurdistan-referendum.html#ixzz4uL9Y6nKA

7. Catalans and Kurds Discover the Hard Truth About Secession
29 September/The New York Times
When does an independence movement get to form its own nation? For decades, a set of unstated but well-known rules has supposedly decided that. But those rules include a number of contradictions. And as the Catalans in Spain and the Kurds in Iraq push for independence through referendum, those contradictions are becoming uncomfortably clear.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/29/world/europe/independence-movements-catalans-kurds.html?_r=0

8. The Kurds desperately want freedom – why won’t the free world support them?
29 September/The
Guardian
Despite the huge international pressure to postpone or cancel the independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan, it went ahead and 92% voted yes, with a 72% turnout. We Kurds are the largest “nationality” in the world without our own nation – and we were not going to be deterred from having our say.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/sep/29/kurdish-freedom-referendum-iraq

9. Three Years After Genocide, Yazidis Face Ongoing Persecution (1/2)
24 September/The Real News
Journalist Rania Khalek recently spent a week with the Yazidi militia in south Sinjar, and she reports on it in her new piece for AlterNet’s Grayzone Project. It’s called “In the Field with Yazidi Fighters, Tales of Genocide at ISIS’s Hands and More Conflict to Come.” Rania Khalek joins me now, independent journalist and co-host of the podcast “Unauthorized Disclosure.” Rania, welcome.
http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=20026

10. New report on the Ilisu Project
11 September/Hasankeyf’I Yasatma Girisimi
On September 11, 2017 the Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive has published a new report on the Ilisu Dam and Hydroelectric Project. It includes the general description and the current situation of the Ilisu Dam and Hydroelectric Powerplant Project.
http://www.hasankeyfgirisimi.net/?p=530

11. Maxine Peace Joins Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
2 October/Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
We are delighted to announce that Maxine Peake, the celebrated multi-award winning film, television and theatre actor has consented to become a patron of Peace in Kurdistan. Maxine has won numerous awards and accolades during a distinguished career on stage and screen. She is known for her compelling portrayals of strong women characters battling different kinds of injustices and prejudices.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2017/10/02/maxine-peake-joins-peace-in-kurdistan-campaign-and-demands-justice-for-the-kurdish-people/

EVENTS
1. Commemoration of Mehmet Aksoy, Sunday, 1 October 2017
https://www.facebook.com/events/2022187188001266/?acontext=%7B%22ref%22%3A%2222%22%2C%22feed_story_type%22%3A%2222%22%2C%22action_history%22%3A%22null%22%7D&pnref=story

2. Reorienting the PKK: Rojava and the Political Thought of Abdullah Öcalan
12 October/LSE Middle East Centre
In its 1978 manifesto, the PKK declared the establishment of an independent state to be the most important political goal of any national liberation movement. Twenty years on, the party’s leader Abdullah Öcalan changed this when he developed an ideological framework based on the idea of self-governing, stateless societies as the best way of addressing socioeconomic and sociocultural injustices. In this talk, Joost Jongerden explains this paradigm shift, which reoriented the PKK as well as other Kurdish movements in the Middle East.
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/reorienting-the-pkk-rojava-and-the-political-thought-of-abdullah-ocalan-tickets-36896992899#listing-organizer

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 John Austin, Christine Blower, NUT International Secretary, Prof Bill Bowring, Julie Christie, Noam Chomsky, Jeremy Corbyn MP,  Prof Mary Davis, Lord Dholakia, Simon Dubbins, UNITE International Director,  Jill Evans MEP, Lindsey German, Convenor STWC, Melanie Gingell, Nick Hildyard, Dafydd Iwan, Former President Plaid Cymru, James Kelman, Bruce Kent, Jean Lambert MEP, Elfyn Llwyd, Mike Mansfield QC, Doug Nicholls, General Secretary, GFTU, Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy, Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley, Kate Osamor MP, Margaret Owen OBE, Gareth Peirce, Maxine Peake, Lord Rea, Joe Ryan, Stephen Smellie, Dr Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, Dr Tom Wakeford, Dr Derek Wall, Julie Ward MEP, Hywel Williams MP.

 

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