KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 9 – 16 OCTOBER 2017

NEWS
1. Bayık: Kurds should unite against alliances of the enemies
2. KNK Congress calls for support for Southern Kurdistan
3. Final resolution of Kurdish workshop in Den Haag released
4. KCK warns Ankara over security of Ocalan
5. Desperate IS mounts last stand in Raqqa
6. Syria war: Turkish forces set up positions in Idlib
7. The ‘era of heroes’ is not over yet: Raqqa
8. Deir ez-Zor Civilian Council’s call to the world
9. Massacre near Deir ez-Zor: 9 civilians killed, 43 others wounded
10. Suicide attacks kill Deir Az Zor refugees and Kurds
11. Sit-in in front of the CoE to conclude today with a rally
12. Panel discussion by Rojava officials in the Council of Europe
13. Sit-in in Strasbourg continues with new participants
14. PACE urges Ankara to release arrested MPs immediately
15. Books on Kurds banned in Turkey
16. Wall Street Journal says reporter convicted in Turkey

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. Democracy Is Possible in Syria. My Friend Knew How.
2. Syria: Russian ‘Transparent Interests’ vs Murky US Claims – Kurdish Politician
3. Syrian town struggles to cope alone after key victory over Islamic State
4. It’s not independence, but Syria’s Kurds entrench self-rule
5. Erdogan’s Escalating Feud With U.S. Hammers Turkish Markets
6. Kurds pay price for Erdogan’s deal with nationalists
7. Turkey’s TF-X fighter throws a lifeline to UK military aerospace
8. Raqqa: a journey into the destroyed heart of the Islamic State capital
9. Syria’s Kurdish Contradiction

PRESS RELEASES AND STATEMENTS
1. Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) Urgent Call: The Well Being of Mr Ocalan
2. Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) Statement: We call on all democratic forces to condemn alleged state executions by the Turkish state.

 EVENTS, CAMPAIGNS
1. RENOWNED KURDISH LITERATURE FESTIVAL GRACES LONDON FOR THE FIRST TIME, IN MEMORY OF BRITISH-KURDISH FILMMAKER MEHMET AKSOY.
2. Public Forum DEMOCRATIC CONFEDERALISM: THE ALTERNATIVE TO TYRANNY AND CHAOS IN THE MIDDLE EAST
3. No Exclusion of Democratic Federation of Northern Syria from Geneva Peace talks Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
4. ECPMF Conference “Defending journalists under threat – solidarity, support and safe houses”
————————————————

NEWS
1. Bayık: Kurds should unite against alliances of the enemies
15 October/ANF News
The Kurds should achieve national unity at a time when enemies of Kurdish people form alliances, KCK’s Executive Council Co-president Cemil Bayık said.
https://anfenglish.com/news/bayik-kurds-should-unite-against-alliances-of-the-enemies-22700

2. KNK Congress calls for support for Southern Kurdistan
15 October/ANF News
Kurdistan National Congress called for support for Southern Kurdistan against attacks by Iraq, Turkey and Iran.
https://anfenglish.com/news/knk-congress-calls-for-support-for-southern-kurdistan-22699

3. Final resolution of Kurdish workshop in Den Haag released
15 October/ANF News
Kurdish workshop on national unity released its final resolution and called on all Kurdish political groups to unite against the attacks by Iran, Turkey and Iraq.
https://anfenglish.com/news/final-resolution-of-kurdish-workshop-in-den-haag-released-22706

4. KCK warns Ankara over security of Ocalan
15 October/ANF News
Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) warned Ankara over the security of Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan who is imprisoned in Imrali High Security Prison in Turkey.
https://anfenglish.com/news/kck-warned-ankara-over-security-of-ocalan-22709

5. Desperate IS mounts last stand in Raqqa
15 October/AU News
US-backed militias have launched their final assault on Syria’s Raqqa after a convoy of Islamic State fighters left the city, leaving only a hardcore of jihadists to mount a last stand.
https://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/37470317/is-faces-imminent-raqqa-defeat-kurds-say/

6. Syria war: Turkish forces set up positions in Idlib
13 October/BBC News
Turkish soldiers and armoured vehicles have crossed into Syria as part of an operation Ankara says is aimed at stopping fighting in Idlib province.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-41607822

7. The ‘era of heroes’ is not over yet: Raqqa
14 October/ANF News
“In Raqqa blood of many innocent people was shed and is drenched with the blood of heroes for 4 months now. We have left behind a piece of our heart in every inch of this country, and a bond has been forged between us and this land with blood.”
https://anfenglish.com/news/the-era-of-heroes-is-not-over-yet-raqqa-22683

8. Deir ez-Zor Civilian Council’s call to the world
14 October/ANF News
Deir ez-Zor Civilian Council condemned the terrorist ISIS attack on a group of civilians in the Abu Fas region that caused dozens of deaths and injuries.
https://anfenglish.com/news/deir-ez-zor-civilian-council-s-call-to-the-world-22692

9. Massacre near Deir ez-Zor: 9 civilians killed, 43 others wounded
13 October/ANF News
9 civilians lost their lives and 43 others got wounded, including reporters for ANHA, in the massacre perpetrated by ISIS near Deir ez-Zor on Thursday.
https://anfenglish.com/news/massacre-near-deir-ez-zor-9-civilians-killed-43-others-wounded-22676

10. Suicide attacks kill Deir Az Zor refugees and Kurds
13 October/Al Jazeera
ISIL suicide attackers have killed dozens of people, including Syrian refugees and Kurdish security personnel, with car bombs in northeastern Syria, according to multiple sources.
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/10/suicide-attacks-refugees-deir-az-zor-refugees-171012223403045.html

11. Sit-in in front of the CoE to conclude today with a rally
13 October/ANF News
The sit-in held in front of the Council of Europe (CoE) building with the demand for Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan’s freedom has left behind four days. The sit-in will conclude today with a rally at 13.00.
https://anfenglish.com/news/sit-in-in-front-of-the-coe-to-conclude-today-with-a-rally-22668

12. Panel discussion by Rojava officials in the Council of Europe
13 October/ANF News
A delegation including Cizire Canton Foreign Minister Abdulkerim Omer held a panel discussion in the CoE about the developments in Rojava and Northern Syria where efforts for an autonomous administration have gathered speed.
https://anfenglish.com/news/panel-discussion-by-rojava-officials-in-the-council-of-europe-22662

13. Sit-in in Strasbourg continues with new participants
12 October/ANF News
The sit-in in front of the CoE demanding Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan’s freedom continued on its third day with new participants from various countries.
https://anfenglish.com/news/sit-in-in-strasbourg-continues-with-new-participants-22657

14. PACE urges Ankara to release arrested MPs immediately
13 October/ANF News
24 Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) member MPs issued a written statement in the Council of Europe and demanded the immediate release of arrested HDP MPs.
https://anfenglish.com/news/pace-urges-ankara-to-release-arrested-mps-immediately-22669

15. Books on Kurds banned in Turkey
12 October/Kurdistan 24
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – A Turkish court in the Kurdish province of Adiyaman recently decided to ban and confiscate three books, among them one on Syrian Kurds, claiming they constituted a threat to Turkey’s territorial and national integrity.
http://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/c9d39282-d7f5-43e3-b665-67afc7c66391

16. Wall Street Journal says reporter convicted in Turkey
11 October/Middle East Online
Albayrak sentenced to two years in prison for publishing ‘terror propaganda’ for piece on fighting between Turkish army, Kurds but Journal insists article is balanced.
http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=85336

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. Democracy Is Possible in Syria. My Friend Knew How.
16 October/The New York Times
“The Kurds have no friends but the mountains” — that’s what Mehmet Aksoy used to say. But Mehmet, who was killed Sept. 26 during an attack by the Islamic State in northern Syria, was my friend, and a tireless advocate of the Kurdish freedom movement.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/16/opinion/syria-isis-kurds.html?partner=IFTTT&_r=0

2. Syria: Russian ‘Transparent Interests’ vs Murky US Claims – Kurdish Politician
15 October/Sputnik News
The political settlement of the Syrian conflict is hardly possible without taking into account the Kurdish problem and for their part Syrian Kurds wants to further develop relations with Russia as a country that has clear goals in the crisis, Kurdish politician Salih Müslim, ex-chairman of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), said.
https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201710151058249881-russia-us-syria-kurds/

3. Syrian town struggles to cope alone after key victory over Islamic State
15 October/Reuters

Almost three years after Kurdish fighters defeated Islamic State in the Syrian town of Kobani, residents still mourn the dead and feel abandoned by their foreign allies as they struggle to rebuild.
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-kurds/syrian-town-struggles-to-cope-alone-after-key-victory-over-islamic-state-idUSKBN1CK0AQ?il=0

4. It’s not independence, but Syria’s Kurds entrench self-rule
9 October/The Washington Post
Two years ago, Islamic State militants nearly wiped out his hometown, Kobani, along Syria’s border with Turkey and killed 10 members of his family. Now with the militants driven out and going down in defeat, a new university is opening in the town, and Hassan will be its professor for Kurdish language and literature.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/its-not-independence-but-syrias-kurds-entrench-self-rule/2017/10/09/1972c284-acec-11e7-9b93-b97043e57a22_story.html?utm_term=.b6963c99021e

5. Erdogan’s Escalating Feud With U.S. Hammers Turkish Markets
9 October/Bloomberg News
Markets in Istanbul tumbled after the U.S. and Turkey stopped issuing visas for each other’s citizens in a spat related to last year’s failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, deepening divisions between NATO members already at odds over the war in Syria
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-08/u-s-suspends-non-immigrant-visa-services-in-turkey-after-arrest

6. Kurds pay price for Erdogan’s deal with nationalists
9 October/The Times
There was a time when Abdul Salam Tanrikulu supported President Erdogan — but no more. Sitting on the step of one of the last houses standing in his neighbourhood, the tired-looking 47-year-old cursed his leader.
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/kurds-pay-price-for-erdogan-s-deal-with-nationalists-s2hkgl925

7. Turkey’s TF-X fighter throws a lifeline to UK military aerospace
7 February/aerosociety
The UK Prime Minister’s visit to Turkey announcing BAE Systems’ collaboration on an indigenous stealth fighter for the Turkish Air Force represents a vital win for the UK military aerospace sector. TIM ROBINSON assesses the ramifications of this deal.
https://www.aerosociety.com/news/turkey-s-tf-x-fighter-throws-a-lifeline-to-uk-military-aerospace/

8. Raqqa: a journey into the destroyed heart of the Islamic State capital
10 October/The Guardian
After months of brutal fighting, the battle to retake Raqqa, the self-declared capital of the Islamic State caliphate, is almost over. Scroll down to follow photographer Achilleas Zavallis and reporter Martin Chulov as they journey from the Iraqi border to the wasteland of the frontline of the ancient Syrian city where the few remaining Isis fighters are making their last stand.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/10/raqqa-a-journey-into-the-destroyed-heart-of-the-islamic-state-capital

9. Syria’s Kurdish Contradiction
8 October/LA Review of Books
A KURDISH RADICAL LEFT movement influenced by anarchism is, improbably, now receiving Pentagon support in the war for northern Syria. This movement, in fact, is now the United States’s closest partner among the indigenous forces fighting to take the Islamic State’s capital at Raqqa. 
https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/syrias-kurdish-contradiction/#!

PRESS RELEASES AND STATEMENTS
1. Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) Urgent Call: The Well Being of Mr Ocalan
16 October/Peace in Kurdistan Campaign

There is  worrying news surrounding the health of the Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Ocalan. For two days, news has been spreading on social media that Mr Ocalan has died in prison. We as the Kurdish people are deeply concerned about Mr Ocalan’s life.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2017/10/16/concern-over-the-well-being-of-mr-abdullah-ocalan/

2. Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) Statement: We call on all democratic forces to condemn alleged state executions by the Turkish state.
9 October/Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
We call on all democratic forces to condemn alleged state executions by the Turkish state. The actions of Turkey must not be tolerated any longer and the United Nations, European Union, Council of Europe and all those who stand for democracy must condemn the actions of Turkey in the strongest terms
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2017/10/09/knk-statement-on-suspected-extra-judicial-killings-in-turkey/

EVENTS, CAMPAIGNS
1. RENOWNED KURDISH LITERATURE FESTIVAL GRACES LONDON FOR THE FIRST TIME, IN MEMORY OF BRITISH-KURDISH FILMMAKER MEHMET AKSOY.
Saturday 21 October , Gracepoint, 161 Essex Road, N12SN
https://www.facebook.com/HuseyinCelebiFestival/

2. Public Forum DEMOCRATIC CONFEDERALISM: THE ALTERNATIVE TO TYRANNY AND CHAOS IN THE MIDDLE EAST
13 October/Peace in Kurdistan
Join us for a discussion of the “democratic confederal” model in construction in the Democratic Federation of North Syria (Rojava), protagonised by the Kurdish Freedom Movement, and inspired by the ideas of imprisoned Kurdish leader, Abdullah Ocalan.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2017/10/13/democratic-confederalism-the-alternative-to-tyranny-and-chaos-in-the-middle-east/

3. No Exclusion of Democratic Federation of Northern Syria from Geneva Peace talks Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
The process of a Syria-wide peace resolution requires at the very minimum a Syria-wide representation of all the communities whose future depends on the outcome. The Democratic Federation must be included in decisions about the future of Syria.
http://chn.ge/2yiopK9

4. ECPMF Conference “Defending journalists under threat – solidarity, support and safe houses”
Thursday, October 5th, 2017, 9am-6pm, Leipzig School of Media, Poetenweg 28, Leipzig, Germany
https://www.ecpmf.eu/2017/

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, Rahila Gupta, 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, Dr. Jessica Ayesha Northey, International Coordinator, Green Party of England and Wales;; 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.
Peace in Kurdistan

Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question

Email: estella24@tiscali.co.uk

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, Rahila Gupta, 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, Dr. Jessica Ayesha Northey, International Coordinator, Green Party of England and Wales;; 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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