KURDISH WEEKLY NEWS BRIEFING, 1 – 9 JANUARY 2018

NEWS
1. People continue protesting in Iran and Rojhilat
2. Kurdish-led administration in Syria calls Iran protests ‘uprising against tyranny’
3. HDP Co-chair Kemalbay to AKP: Try and do your worst!
4. Thousands rally for Sakine, Fidan and Leyla in Paris
5. Five years on, Kurds march in Paris to demand justice for slain activists
6. MIT administrators arrested by the PKK
7. Turkish President Erdogan’s Paris visit slammed as ‘insult to Kurds’
8. Demirtaş’ message on the occasion of the 3rd Ordinary Congress of the HDP
9. A political purge by the judiciary
10. Pro-Kurdish footballer Deniz Naki shot at on German motorway
11. UK ‘inadvertently helped neuter’ Middle East ally the Iraqi Kurds

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. Bayık: Erdoğan ordered the massacre, Hakan Fidan executed
2. Terrorism-Accused Kurdish Actor Aims for Fresh Break in France
3. Kemalbay: For AKP, Pandora’s box has been opened and everything is pouring out; the Zarrab case is illustrating this
4. Struggle with Sochi guest list reflects animosities over Syria
5. Syrian Kurds turn to Arab women to cement hold on power
6. Will Gul face Erdogan in 2019 presidential elections?
7. France: Daesh foreign fighters can be tried by Kurds in Syria
8. US to Give Diplomatic Recognition to Kurdish-controlled Area in Syria
9. Reviving Kurdish language in northern Syria
10. A red flag over Raqqa
11. From fighting ‘Islamic State’ to rotting in Iraqi jail
12. Iran’s ethnic minorities are playing a vital role in protests. Don’t overlook the power in the province
13. Geopolitical Shift in the Middle East: The War on ISIS Has Increased the Influence of Iran
14. Iran and the Left: a Dissenting View
15. The accepted genocide of Kurds in Turkey
16. The United Nations and the Kurds

BOOKS
1. My poetry depicts you: An anthology of contemporary Kurdish Poetry
2. Rethinking the UN Security Council: A Book Launch

CAMPAIGNS, ACTION
1. #SOSTurkey campaign :
2. Conference on Saturday, 13 January: Visions of a Future Kurdistan(s): Gender, Politics, and Society
3. SPOT Conference: Turkey under the state of emergency – campaigning to win change

—————————————
NEWS
1. People continue protesting in Iran and Rojhilat
06 Jan/ANF
In Iran and Rojhilat the government and the Pasdaran claim to have “suppressed” the demonstrations, the public is not leaving the streets. The public turns every area into a  scene of action.
https://anfenglish.com/news/people-continue-protesting-in-iran-and-rojhilat-24053

2. Kurdish-led administration in Syria calls Iran protests ‘uprising against tyranny’
06 Jan/Kurdistan 24
The Kurdish-led administration in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava) has described the anti-government protests in Iran as “an uprising against tyranny,” warning against the start of a civil war similar to Syria if violent crackdowns continue. The Kurdish-led administration joins the Syrian Kurdish National Council who expressed support for demonstrations in Iran earlier this week. “What is happening in Iran today represents the uprising of an oppressed people exploited of freedom and democracy,” the self-ruling administration in Rojava said in a statement. “It is the moral and political right of Iranian people to demonstrate in a just cause against corruption, domination, and exploitation,” the statement added.
http://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/9fc8b62d-c098-4e18-9058-dec88ac508ca

3. HDP Co-chair Kemalbay to AKP: Try and do your worst!
07 Jan/ANF
The Peoples’ Democratic Party’s Regional Conference was held in Amed (Diyarbakir) prior to the Ordinary Congress which is set to be held in February. HDP Co-Chair Serpil Kemalbay, HDP Central Executive Board and Party Council members as well as representatives of the HDP Diyarbakir Provincial Organization were present in the conference held in Vedat Aydın Conference Hall of Diyarbakir Provincial Building. Co-Chair Kemalbay said “Human history is the one of struggle. Our party is trying to fulfill this equality, freedom, justice struggle by taking on its role in history. Today, all our rights, freedoms and achievements are gifted to us by those who raised freedom flags against heavy attacks by paying the price throughout history. I commemorate all comrades who have struggled in this cause.”
https://anfenglish.com/news/hdp-co-chair-kemalbay-to-akp-try-and-do-your-worst-24067

4. Thousands rally for Sakine, Fidan and Leyla in Paris
06 Jan/ANF
Thousands from France, German, Belgium, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland and other European countries have gathered in Paris today to commemorate the three revolutionary Kurdish women, PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) founding member Sakine Cansız (Sara), KNK (Kurdistan National Congress) member Fidan Doğan (Rojbîn) and Kurdish Youth Organization member Leyla Şaylemez (Ronahî) who were murdered in the heart of French capital city Paris with three bullets to their heads on January 9, 2013.
https://anfenglish.com/news/thousands-rally-for-sakine-fidan-and-leyla-in-paris-24062

5. Five years on, Kurds march in Paris to demand justice for slain activists
08 January/FRANCE 24
Thousands of Kurds protested in Paris on Saturday over the failure of the French authorities to convict anyone over the 2013 murders of three female Kurdish rebels in the French capital.
http://www.france24.com/en/20180106-france-kurds-turkey-five-years-march-paris-demand-justice-2013-slain-activists


  1. MIT administrators arrested by the PKK
    06 January/ANF
    The Turkish MiT (National Intelligence Organization) administrators who had been captured in a counter-intelligence operation by HPG Special Forces as they were on their way to assassinate PKK administrators, spoke in front of the cameras. As the Turkish state and media continued their silence on the MİT administrators held by the PKK for the last 5 months, KCK issued a written statement on January 3 and shared the photographs and identity information of the captured MİT administrators.
    https://anfenglish.com/news/mit-administrators-arrested-by-the-pkk-speak-24056

    7. Turkish President Erdogan’s Paris visit slammed as ‘insult to Kurds’
    03 January/RFI
    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is to visit Paris Friday, a move that has been slammed as an “outrageous provocation” by the French Communist Party because it comes the day before a commemoration of the murder of three Kurdish activists in Paris five years ago. “The French judicial system was very clear in pointing to evidence that Turkish secret services were involved in this crime,” a Communist Party statement said on Tuesday.
    http://en.rfi.fr/france/20180103-turkish-presidents-visit-france-slammed-communist-party-insult-kurds

  2. Demirtaş’ message on the occasion of the 3rd Ordinary Congress of the HDP
    04 January/HDP
    The message of Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş shared with the public by Co-Chair Serpil Kemalbay today in Diyarbakır : “…I would first like to send each and every single one of you my greetings, my love and yearning from Edirne Prison. For over a year now, I have been unlawfully held as a political hostage, along with thousands of my friends. I have not once faced a judge in the more than 30 court cases against me, and the motive for this treatment against me can only be described as thuggery, and political revenge.
    http://www.hdp.org.tr/en/news/news-from-hdp/demirtas-message-on-the-occasion-of-the-3rd-ordinary-congress-of-the-hdp/11482

    9. A political purge by the judiciary
    05 January/HDP
    During the first days of 2018, new steps were taken in the political genocide against the HDP. Over the last 2 days, the dependent and partial judiciary of the ruling power has shelled out a series of new sentences. Law has once again been appropriated for political interests. Members of the judiciary have once again been used as mere tools in political set-ups.
    http://www.hdp.org.tr/en/english/statements/a-political-purge-by-the-judiciary/11485

    10. Pro-Kurdish footballer Deniz Naki shot at on German motorway
    08 January/The Guardian
    German prosecutors have opened an attempted murder investigation after a German-Turkish football player known for his pro-Kurdish views, and who was sentenced last year by Turkish court for terrorist propaganda, was fired at on a motorway.
    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jan/08/shots-fired-at-pro-kurdish-footballer-deniz-naki-on-motorway

  3. UK ‘inadvertently helped neuter’ Middle East ally the Iraqi Kurds
    08 January/The Guardian
    Foreign Office ministers inadvertently helped neutralise the Iraqi Kurds, one of Britain’s most effective allies in efforts to limit Iranian influence in the Middle East, a former UK and Nato official has claimed. The claims, which refer to the weeks in September and October 2017 when the Iraqi government moved against Kurdish militia after an independence referendum, are expected to be raised with the Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt at a parliamentary hearing on Tuesday in which the UK government will be asked to justify its assertion that Baghdad has recaptured disputed Kurd-held territory with “limited clashes and loss of life”.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/08/uk-inadvertently-helped-neuter-middle-east-ally-iraqi-kurds-iran-baghdad-shia-militia-claims

    OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
    1. Bayık: Erdoğan ordered the massacre, Hakan Fidan executed
    05 January/ANF
    KCK Executive Council Co-chair Cemil Bayık stated that the Paris massacre had been ordered by Erdoğan and executed by Fidan. “The Paris massacre was ordered by Erdoğan personally, and Hakan Fidan carried out this order with the MİT” Cemil Bayık, one of the founders of the PKK, said.
    https://anfenglish.com/news/bayik-erdogan-ordered-the-massacre-hakan-fidan-executed-24042

    2. Terrorism-Accused Kurdish Actor Aims for Fresh Break in France
    5 January/NRT (AFP)
    Kurdish documentary maker Aram Ikram Tastekin, one of thousands of Turkish citizens who fled to Europe to escape purges in his country, remembers a brief moment when Kurds were free to speak their minds.
    http://www.nrttv.com/en/Details.aspx?Jimare=18118

  4. Kemalbay: For AKP, Pandora’s box has been opened and everything is pouring out; the Zarrab case is illustrating this
    14 December/HDP
    Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chair Serpil Kemalbay told Ahval the arrest of her party’s leaders and members of parliament was an attempt to silence the country’s Kurds and said the sanctions trial underway in New York exposed the corruption at the heart of government. Here is a transcript of the interview.
    http://www.hdp.org.tr/en/news/press-coverage/kemalbay-for-akp-pandoras-box-has-been-opened-and-everything-is-pouring-out-the-zarrab-case-is-illustrating-this/11350

    4. Struggle with Sochi guest list reflects animosities over Syria
    29 December 2017/AL-MONITOR
    As Russia seeks to overcome Turkey’s objections to Kurdish participation in the planned Sochi conference Moscow welcomed Kurdish commanders to assure them Kurds are not being excluded.
    https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/12/turkey-syria-russia-pyd-will-not-be-in-sochi.html

 

  1. Syrian Kurds turn to Arab women to cement hold on power
    08 January/Financial Times (Reddit)

    For years, the PKK has tried with mixed success to spread Mr Ocalan’s ideology of stateless governance, which he calls “the democratic nation”, among Kurdish communities across the Middle East. But it is its sister organisation, the SDF, that has the first chance to try implementing the ideology beyond guerrilla mountain strongholds. Backed by US air support, the SDF has battled Isis and capitalised on the chaos of Syria’s six-year war to control a quarter of the country. For the SDF, promoting these concepts is not just about principles — it is also a pragmatic move as the group looks to consolidate its control now that Isis has been driven from its main strongholds.
    https://www.ft.com/content/1d309a50-f084-11e7-b220-857e26d1aca4 https://www.reddit.com/r/syriancivilwar/comments/7owvv8/syrian_kurds_turn_to_arab_women_to_cement_hold_on/dsd4g51/

    6. Will Gul face Erdogan in 2019 presidential elections?
    03 January/AL-MONITOR
    In a recent tweet, former Turkish President Abdullah Gul, using guarded language, criticized the Justice and Development Party, setting off a debate about the 2019 presidential elections and a possible face-off with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
    https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/01/turkey-abdullah-gul-erdogan-presidential-elections-hdp.html

    7. France: Daesh foreign fighters can be tried by Kurds in Syria
    08 January/MEMO
    French nationals who travelled to Syria to join Daesh could be tried by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), France’s Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet said last week, signalling a de facto recognition of the autonomous Kurdish region, according to Kurdistan24 news agency.
    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180108-france-daesh-foreign-fighters-can-be-tried-by-kurds-in-syria/

 

  1. US to Give Diplomatic Recognition to Kurdish-controlled Area in Syria
    08 January/Middle East Confidential
    The US is planning “concrete steps” to diplomatically recognize the independence of the area, east of the Euphrates river, controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces, a majority Kurdish area, Acharq Al Awsat reported.
    https://me-confidential.com/18225-us-to-give-diplomatic-recognition-to-kurdish-controlled-area-in-syria.html

    9. Reviving Kurdish language in northern Syria
    27 December/AL-MONITOR
    The self-administration in northern Syria is teaching the Kurdish language in a bid to revive it among the local population after decades of marginalization.
    https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/12/syria-kurdish-language-official-self-administration.html <https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/12/syria-kurdish-language-official-self-administration.html>

    10. A red flag over Raqqa
    03 January/Morning Star
    To mark the victory over Isis in its de facto capital Raqqa, members of the International Freedom Battalion (IFB), an alliance of left-wing groups fighting alongside the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), recreated the famous 1945 photo of the Red Army on the Reichstag. GARY OAK presents a photograph of International Freedom Battalion members recreating the famous 1945 photo Raising a Flag over the Reichstag
    https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/article/red-flag-over-raqqa

    11. From fighting ‘Islamic State’ to rotting in Iraqi jail
    29 December/DW
    Foreign fighters against “Islamic State” have been subjected to heavy mistreatment in Iraqi Kurdish prisons. Karlos Zurutuza and Ferran Barber spoke with western volunteers, and recounted months spent in jail.
    http://www.dw.com/en/from-fighting-islamic-state-to-rotting-in-iraqi-jail/a-41958743

    12. Iran’s ethnic minorities are playing a vital role in protests. Don’t overlook the power in the province
    06 January/Fox News
    Iranian government representatives and many Western journalists based in the capital of Tehran are reporting that the wave of anti-government protest demonstrations that began on December 28 has died down. But protests continued Friday and all this week in Iran’s outer provinces, in both cities and rural areas among ethnic minorities. They could have enormous significance for the future of Iran.
    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/01/06/iran-s-ethnic-minorities-are-playing-vital-role-in-protests-don-t-overlook-power-in-provinces.html

    13. Geopolitical Shift in the Middle East: The War on ISIS Has Increased the Influence of Iran
    29 December/Global Research
    Iran was not in a state to encroach the Middle East before 2003 when the US incursion into Iraq toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein. The invasion involuntarily rolled out new expectations for Iran as Saddam Hussein was a barrier to Iran’s extension of power into the Middle East. Iran fought an eight-year-long war with Iraq that cost it more than a million casualties in the 1980s. The rise of the ISIS also presented Iran a great deal of opportunities to stretch its military hand into Iraq and Syria under the anti-ISIS operations. It delivered Iran strength to reshape its ties with regional powers such as Turkey and Russia. Moreover, the US’s invasion of Afghanistan to the east of Iran unlocked another door for Tehran by overthrowing the Taliban regime that viewed Iran as a blood-enemy.
    https://www.globalresearch.ca/geopolitical-shift-in-the-middle-east-the-war-on-isis-has-increased-the-influence-of-iran/5624089

  2. 14. Iran and the Left: a Dissenting View
    05 January/Counterpunch
    Regardless of how long these protests last and what the outcomes may be, these protests have proven once again that the Iranian regime is fundamentally incapable of addressing people’s most basic social and economic needs, and that is why for forty years it has depended on brute force to control the population. But, rule by brute force alone cannot last forever.
    https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/01/05/ira-and-the-left-a-dissenting-view/

    15. The accepted genocide of Kurds in Turkey
    26 October/Kurdish Aspect
    Since the Armenian genocide, Turkey has done very well to hide and disguise its dark history from the international community. But a shady past rarely dawns a bright future. The Turkish constitution does not recognise Kurds in Turkey, and so often labels them as terrorists, providing a convenient scapegoat for military uprisings and other political issues. The oppression of Kurdish people within Turkey can be defined as genocide in various ways; cultural, linguistic and physical all play a part in the cleansing of Kurdish ethnicity from Turkey itself, and are still embraced by the Turkish constitution.
    http://www.kurdishaspect.com/doc1026105.html

 

  1. The United Nations and the Kurds
    28 December/UKH Journal of Social Sciences
    The letter provides a brief overview of the evolution of the United Nations’ treatment of the Kurdish question.  It traces the issue from Rizgari Kurd’s formal appeal to the UN General Assembly in 1946 for Kurdish self-determination to the UN disapproval of Iraqi Kurdistan’s referendum of independence. The paper points one more time to the fundamental inconsistency between the UN principles of self-determination and territorial integrity.
    https://journals.ukh.edu.krd/index.php/ukhjss/article/view/22

 

BOOKS
1. My poetry depicts you: An anthology of contemporary Kurdish Poetry
This is an anthology of Kurdish contemporary poetry, which is rare in the sense that there have not been many similar attempts before.
It is a general introduction to the contemporary Kurdish poetry and its unique features, which may not be familiar to English readers. The anthology is comprised of both poems and Robayyat (quatrains, i.e. poems consisting of four lines of verse), all from the Kurdistan region of Iraq. The majority were written after the turn of the twentieth century, after the establishment of what is known as Goran’s school of poetry. Poets of the mid-last century, including Goran, simplified the vocabulary to unify it with that spoken by the masses, and instead based their rhythms on Kurdish folk songs that were already familiar to everyone.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/poetry-depicts-you-anthology-contemporary-ebook/dp/B01N9NRNQ5

2. Of Foxes and Chickens: Oligarchy and Global Power in the UN Security Council
Global Policy Forum
The UN Security Council remains a mysterious body, hid­den most of the time behind a strict security perimeter and many closed door meetings. The book “Of Foxes and Chickens: Oligarchy and Global Power in the UN Security Council” by James A. Paul is based on the author’s unique access to the Council over many years. Providing a new and critical reading of the institution, it considers the Council’s history, its mode of operation, and its many sanctions regimes, military operations, and other initiatives, as well as its role as a “theater” in which great power rivalries are regularly on display.
https://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/200-reform/53039-rethinking-the-un-security-council-a-book-launch.html

CAMPAIGNS, EVENTS
1. #SOSTurkey campaign :
We, the signatories, want to express our concern about the repression in Turkey. After the failed coup attempt of the 15th of July 2016 the clampdown on (real or perceived) critics of the Turkish regime quickly spread to all parts of society. More than a hundred thousand people have been fired, an equal number has been prosecuted and/or imprisoned, while a great many of these have seen their properties confiscated. Meanwhile the constitutional changes that will turn Turkey into a presidential system will give ever increasing powers to one single person, the Turkish president.
http://www.sosturkey.org

  1. Conference on Saturday, 13 January: Visions of a Future Kurdistan(s): Gender, Politics, and Society
    Join us for a day of presentations and discussion with activists, politicians and academics from different parts of the Kurdistan region and the UK. The day will end with a film screening of ‘Syria: the jail of ISIS’ (arte documentary) and a Q&A with the filmmakers Mehdi Medded and Stéphane Kenech, who recently returned from Northern Syria.
    Reserve a place: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/visions-of-a-future-kurdistans-gender-politics-and-society-tickets-41462450305?utm

    3. SPOT Conference: Turkey under the state of emergency – campaigning to win change
    We are pleased to invite you to the SPOT conference “Turkey under the state of emergency” on 20 January 2018 at 10:00 – 16:00. Our conference is supported by the National Union of Teachers, who will be hosting us at the NUT Headquarters, Hamilton House, Mabledon Pl,
    Kings Cross, London WC1H 9BD
    https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/turkey-under-the-state-of-emergency-campaining-to-win-change-tickets-41226776398?ref=eios&aff=eios

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, Aonghas MacNeacail, Scottish Gaelic poet, 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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