KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 25 NOVEMBER – 1 DECEMBER 2017

NEWS
1. Longest curfew in the world turns 2
2. Constitutional Court to assess Demirtaş’s appeal on December 6
3. Turkish police detain 75 in Cukurova region
4. Elections in Northern Syria in 5 questions
5. Balance sheet of attacks by the Turkish army against Rojava
6. Kurdish Party Favors Syrian Kurds’ Inclusion in Peace Talks
7. PKK celebrates its 40th anniversary in Medya Defense Zones
8. Left Party’s Schimke: Isolation on Öcalan is unacceptable
9. TEV-DEM: Our people will resist attacks and protect their gains
10. “The Rojava Revolution is a women’s revolution”
11. YPJ calls on all women to turn every day into a day of struggle
12. Trump tells Turkey’s leader: US to stop arming Syrian Kurds
13. Syrian Kurds ‘Determined to Retaliate Against Turkish Invasion of Afrin’
14. Efrîn Foreign Affairs Council’s statement on Turkish attacks


OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. The case of Kisanak and Tuncel: Resistance and the theatrics of repression
2. Syrian opposition can win, as long as it agrees to lose
3. Sochi summit leaves Turkey facing unsavoury possibilities
4. ‘US Withdrawal From Syria Won’t Happen Any Time Soon’
5. Mehmet Aksoy obituary
6. Syria War, Sochi Peace
7. How Turkey, Iran, Russia and India are playing the New Silk Road
8. Trump tells Turkey’s leader: US to stop arming Syrian Kurds
9. Turkey’s creative schemes aim to discredit Zarrab case in US
10. Letter from Co-Chair of Turkey’s HDP on the Violent Treatment of Women
11. Has ISIS Seized the Sinai?

CAMPAIGN, ACTION
1.  Open Letter to David Miliband
2. PETITION to UN Special Envoy for Syria: No Exclusion of Democratic Federation of Northern Syria from Geneva Peace talks Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
3. March for the Freedom of Ocalan 10 December

————————————————–
NEWS
1. Longest curfew in the world turns 2
1 December/ANF News
The curfew in 6 neighborhods of the Sur district has continued for two years. In this time, the historic district was torn to the ground, residents were forced to move, and the remaining population was taken under a “security” blockade.
https://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/longest-curfew-in-the-world-turns-2-23427

2. Constitutional Court to assess Demirtaş’s appeal on December 6
30 November/ANF News
The Constitutional Court announced that they will be assessing HDP Co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş’s appeal on December 6 and issue a verdict.
https://anfenglish.com/news/constitutional-court-to-assess-demirtas-s-appeal-on-december-6-23420

3. Turkish police detain 75 in Cukurova region
29 Novemebr/ANF News
Turkish police detained 75 people, mostly university students, in Adana, Mersin, Hatay and Antalya in the past week.
https://anfenglish.com/news/turkish-police-detain-75-in-cukurova-region-23410

4. Elections in Northern Syria in 5 questions
30 November/ANF News
Tomorrow is election day in the Northern Syrian Federation. Voters will elect town, district and canton council members. Here are the questions about the election, gathered in 5 topics.
https://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/elections-in-northern-syria-in-5-questions-23426

5. Balance sheet of attacks by the Turkish army against Rojava
30 November/ANF News
The invading Turkish army and its affiliated gangs continued their attacks and violations against Rojava and Northern Syria in the last 13 days.
https://anfenglish.com/rojava/balance-sheet-of-attacks-by-the-turkish-army-against-rojava-23434

6. Kurdish Party Favors Syrian Kurds’ Inclusion in Peace Talks
28 November/Sputnik News
In an interview with Sputnik, the deputy chair of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in charge of foreign affairs expressed his hope that the Syrian peace talks would only go ahead after the Syrian Kurds had been included in the process.
https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201711281059498663-turkey-russia-syria-kurds/

7. PKK celebrates its 40th anniversary in Medya Defense Zones
21 November/ANF News
The PKK has celebrated its 40th anniversary with a grandiose ceremony attended by PKK Executive Committee Member Duran Kalkan, PAJK Coordination Member Jiyan Lawa and hundreds of guerrillas.
https://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/pkk-celebrates-its-40th-anniversary-in-medya-defense-zones-23279

8. Left Party’s Schimke: Isolation on Öcalan is unacceptable
24 November/Anf News
German Left Party Ludwigsburg Chairperson Peter Schimke demanded an end to the isolation of Kurdish People’s Leader and Germany’s ban on Kurdish symbols.
https://anfenglish.com/news/left-party-s-schimke-isolation-on-Oecalan-is-unacceptable-23335

9. TEV-DEM: Our people will resist attacks and protect their gains
25 November/ANF News
TEV-DEM said, “Being against Efrîn is being against all of Syria,” and called for all international powers to show awareness of the issue.
https://anfenglish.com/news/tev-dem-our-people-will-resist-attacks-and-protect-their-gains-23343

10. “The Rojava Revolution is a women’s revolution”
25 November/ANF News
Northern Syrian Federation Executive Council Co-Presidency stressed that: “We will work with all that we have to let the principles of freedom and equality take root in the territories of the Northern Syrian Federation.”
https://anfenglish.com/women/the-rojava-revolution-is-a-women-s-revolution-23342

11. YPJ calls on all women to turn every day into a day of struggle
25 November
YPJ General Command said: “We respectfully salute in the person of the Mirabel sisters all fighting women who have fallen martyr in the women’s freedom struggle, and we repeat our promise to fight for the struggle of women and the whole of humanity.”
https://anfenglish.com/women/ypj-calls-on-all-women-to-turn-every-day-into-a-day-of-struggle-23341

12. Trump tells Turkey’s leader: US to stop arming Syrian Kurds
24 November/Associated Press
In a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Trump said he’d “given clear instructions” that the Kurds will receive no more weapons — “and that this nonsense should have ended a long time ago,” said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. The White House confirmed the move in a cryptic statement about the phone call that said Trump had informed the Turk of “pending adjustments to the military support provided to our partners on the ground in Syria.”
https://apnews.com/673a686095de46a4b5d9e23f3a1174fc/Turkey:-US-to-stop-arming-Syrian-Kurdish-fighters?utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=AP

13. Syrian Kurds ‘Determined to Retaliate Against Turkish Invasion of Afrin’
24 November/Sputnik News
Amid the military buildup on the Syrian-Turkish border near Kurdish-controlled Afrin, Foza Yusuf, executive council co-chair of the self-proclaimed Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (DFNS) and Nuri Mahmud of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) signaled that the Kurds will defend the city against “the Turkish invasion.”
https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201711241059405090-syria-kurds-afrin-turkey/

14. Efrîn Foreign Affairs Council’s statement on Turkish attacks
20 November/ANF News
The Foreign Affairs Council of Efrîn Canton released a statement about the ongoing attacks and threats of the Turkish state on Efrîn soil.
https://anfenglish.com/rojava/efrin-foreign-affairs-council-s-statement-on-turkish-attacks-23278

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. The case of Kisanak and Tuncel: Resistance and the theatrics of repression
30 November/The Region
The two defendants greeted us with broad smiles as we squeezed into the small courtroom in Malatya, where the police had already occupied half the seats, forcing most of our crowd of supporters to stay outside. Gultan Kisanak, the co-mayor of Diyarbakir and Sebahat Tuncel, co-leader of a party affiliated to the Peace and Democracy Party (HDP), exchanged snatched greetings with their friends and loved ones as the trial got underway. But they weren’t really in court with us. We could only see them on a video screen connected to a room in Kandira maximum security prison, 1000 kilometres away, where they’ve been held for a year on charges for which the state demands sentences totalling more than three hundred years.
http://theregion.org/article/12091-the-case-of-kisanak-and-tuncel-resistance-and-the-theatrics-of-repression

2. Syrian opposition can win, as long as it agrees to lose
29 November/Al Monitor
Syrian government representatives arrived in Geneva on Nov. 29 — a day late — for the latest round of negotiations aimed at resolving the country’s civil war. The meeting began Nov. 28, but representatives of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad delayed their arrival reportedly until they were assured there would be no discussion of removing Assad from power. The rebels, however, still insist any settlement must include Assad’s departure.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/11/syria-opposition-meeting-geneva-assad-russia.html#ixzz4zwv0kiKM <http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/11/syria-opposition-meeting-geneva-assad-russia.html#ixzz4zwv0kiKM>

3. Sochi summit leaves Turkey facing unsavoury possibilities
28 November/Al Monitor
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan returned from the Russian resort city of Sochi last week pleased with his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani <https://al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/11/iran-russia-sochi-summit-putin-rouhani-erdogan-syria-talks.html> . Erdogan said that important decisions had been made regarding the future of Syria at the trilateral summit <https://al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/11/turkey-iran-russia-trilateral-distrust-in-syria.html> . Flying back from Sochi, Erdogan told reporters on his plane that the leaders had agreed that the territorial integrity and political unity <http://www.haberturk.com/cumhurbaskani-erdogan-dan-soci-zirvesi-donusu-onemli-aciklamalar-1726728>  of Syria should be preserved.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/11/turkey-russia-how-far-moscow-will-appease-ankara.html#ixzz4zrpq6Ym8

4. ‘US Withdrawal From Syria Won’t Happen Any Time Soon’
28 November/Sputnik News
The Pentagon’s latest decision not to halt weapons supplies to the Syrian Kurds could have been aimed at ‘cooling down’ Turkey which is considering an attack on Syria’s Afrin, Wladimir van Wilgenburg, political analyst and specialist on Kurdish affairs has told Radio Sputnik, adding that US troops are unlikely to withdraw from Syria any time soon.
https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201711281059514311-us-syria-kurds/

5. Mehmet Aksoy obituary
28 November/The Guardian
My friend Mehmet Aksoy, who has died aged 32, was a film-maker, journalist and prominent figure in the Kurdish community in the UK. He was killed in an Isis ambush  while documenting the fight between Kurdish forces and Isis in Raqqa in northern Syria.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/28/mehmet-aksoy-obituary

6. Syria War, Sochi Peace
24 November/Asia Times
The main take away of the trilateral, two hour-long Russia-Iran-Turkey summit in Sochi on the future of Syria was expressed by Russian President Vladimir Putin: “The presidents of Iran and Turkey supported the initiative to convene an All-Syrian Congress for national dialogue in Syria. We agreed to hold this important event at the proper level and ensure the participation of representatives of different sectors of Syrian society.”
http://www.atimes.com/article/syria-war-sochi-peace
7. How Turkey, Iran, Russia and India are playing the New Silk Road
21 November/Asia Times
Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Hassan Rouhani will hold a summit this Wednesday in Sochi to discuss Syria. Russia, Turkey and Iran are the three power players at the Astana negotiations – where multiple cease-fires, as hard to implement as they are, at least evolve, slowly but surely, towards the ultimate target – a political settlement.
http://www.atimes.com/article/turkey-iran-russia-india-playing-new-silk-roads/

8. Trump tells Turkey’s leader: US to stop arming Syrian Kurds
21 November/The Washington Post
ANKARA, Turkey — The United States will cut off its supply of arms to Kurdish fighters in Syria, President Donald Trump told the Turkish president on Friday, in a move sure to please Turkey but further alienate Syrian Kurds who bore much of the fight against the Islamic State group.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/turkey-us-to-stop-arming-syrian-kurdish-fighters/2017/11/24/20e928cc-d137-11e7-a87b-47f14b73162a_story.html?utm_term=.dbe6090be213

9. Turkey’s creative schemes aim to discredit Zarrab case in US
28 November/Al Monitor
As the world waited to see whether the US trial of Iranian-Turkish gold trader Reza Zarrab would actually get underway today in New York after numerous postponements, speculation was growing that Zarrab might be cooperating with prosecutors. The news surely panicked any senior Turkish officials who fear they could be implicated in accepting bribes to facilitate an alleged money-laundering operation. Zarrab is accused of laundering hundreds of millions of dollars through US financial institutions in a scheme designed to help Iran evade US economic sanctions in 2010-15. He was arrested in March 2016 while traveling in Florida. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has personally asked the US government to release Zarrab, which is raising questions about Erdogan’s possible involvement in the scheme. As jury selection began today, the judge announced that Zarrab would not be going on trial this week, and that the only defendant would be a Turkish bank official.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/11/turkey-united-states-akp-tries-discredit-zarrab.html#ixzz4zl7LEyfw

10. Letter from Co-Chair of Turkey’s HDP on the Violent Treatment of Women
28 November/Internatioanl Criminal Law Bureau
Figen Yüksekdağ, co-chair of the pro Kurdish HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) in Turkey has written a letter about violence committed against women. She wrote it in order to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women which took place on Saturday 25th November.
Ms Yüksekdağ, along with fellow co-chair Mr. Selahattin Demirtaş, is currently awaiting trial and is set to attend a legal hearing in December.
http://www.internationallawbureau.com/index.php/letter-from-co-chair-of-turkeys-hdp-on-the-violent-treatment-of-women/

11. Has ISIS Seized the Sinai?
November 27/Counter Punch
The Sinai mosque massacre proves what many have suspected for months in Egypt: that Isis – even without a direct claim yet –  is taking over the peninsula, targeting more and more of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s officers and police.  Thus proving that tactical defeat in Iraq and Syria means for Isis merely a change of location.
https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/11/27/has-isis-taken-seized-the-sinai/

CAMPAIGN, ACTION
1.  Open Letter to David Miliband
1 December/Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
Dear David Miliband
We are writing to urge you as head of the IRC to use your influence to persuade the UNHCR, the Red Cross, and other internationally recognised humanitarian organisations including your own, to deliver aid and humanitarian assistance to Rojava in Northern Syria. Rojava as you know is an area of relative peace and stability in the North of Syria. It is an autonomous self- governing region under the rule of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria. Its political model is based on direct democracy with gender equality at its heart. All political positions in the administration are held jointly by a man and a woman. It is also inclusive in terms of ethnicity and religion with Kurds, Arabs and all other groups being represented in the administration and the military protection units. These democratic, inclusive principles make this area unique in a region that is better known for gender inequality and sectarianism.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2017/12/01/open-letter-to-david-miliband-help-us-get-humanitarian-aid-to-rojava/

2. PETITION to UN Special Envoy for Syria: No Exclusion of Democratic Federation of Northern Syria from Geneva Peace talks Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
Sign the petition here: http://chn.ge/2zbAlxt

3. March for the Freedom of Ocalan 10 December
Abdullah Öcalan led the struggle for Kurdish liberation for more than 20 years until his capture in 1999. Despite his imprisonment, in solitary confinement on Imrali Island in Turkey for the last 19 years, through his revolutionary ideas for the resolution of the Kurdish question and the crisis in the Middle East Öcalan has inspired a new political movement, with millions of followers.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2017/11/20/on-international-human-rights-day-join-us-in-the-march-for-the-freedom-of-ocalan/

Peace in Kurdistan
Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question
44 Ainger Road, London NW3 3AT
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.

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