NEWS BRIEFING FEBRUARY 2018

WOMEN’S ALLIANCE
FOR KURDISTAN, IRAQ AND SYRIA
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/activities/womens-alliance-for-kurdistan-iraq-and-syria/

NEWS
1. Kurdish women’s organisations on their way to Afrin
2. Turkish army kills 17 women and wounds 44 in Afrin
3. Tens of thousands of women march against the invasion in Afrin
4. Kurdish women occupy Tory HQ as UK-armed ally slaughters more children [TWEETS]
5. Erdogan Tells a Weeping Girl, 6, She’d Receive Honors if Martyred
OPINION
1. The world’s most progressive democracy is being born. Don’t let it get strangled
2. Why are world leaders backing this brutal attack against Kurdish Afrin?
3. Kurdish Women Fighters: A Path Out of Patriarchy?
4. ROJAVA: ROAD TO KURDISH MOTHERLAND
5. What are the Kurdish Women’s Units fighting for in Syria?
DOCUMENTS
1. THE ATTACKS ON AFRIN TARGET WOMEN’S LIBERATION AND DEMOCRATIC ALTERNATIVES

—————————————-
NEWS
1. Kurdish women’s organisations on their way to Afrin
24 February/ANF English
Representatives of 18 women’s organisations from Bashur (southern), Bakur (northern) and Rojhilat (eastern) Kurdistan have set out for Afrin from Southern Kurdistan for solidarity with the Resistance of the Age against the invasion attacks targeting the canton for 36 days. The women who arrived at Semelka border crossing at 03:00 last night are expected to cross into Rojava in a few hours.
https://anfenglish.com/women/kurdish-women-s-organisations-on-their-way-to-afrin-25109

2. Turkish army kills 17 women and wounds 44 in Afrin
21 February/ANF English
According to a report by Heyva Sor, Turkish bombing of Afrin resulted in the death of 17 women in 32 days. A further 44 women, some of them seriously, were wounded.
https://anfenglish.com/women/turkish-army-kills-17-women-and-wounds-44-25046 <https://anfenglish.com/women/turkish-army-kills-17-women-and-wounds-44-25046>

3. Tens of thousands of women march against the invasion in Afrin
13 February/ANF English
The women gathered in the Newroz Square and will be marching to the Dersim Hospital.
Women are protesting Turkish invasion and are chanting “Jin, Jiyan, Azadi”, “Biji Serok Apo” and “Biji Berxwedana Efrin”
Women in the protest carry YPJ flags and photographs of Avesta Xabur who carried out a sacrifice action against invasion forces.
https://anfenglish.com/women/tens-of-thousands-of-women-march-against-the-invasion-in-afrin-24901 <https://anfenglish.com/women/tens-of-thousands-of-women-march-against-the-invasion-in-afrin-24901>

4. Kurdish women occupy Tory HQ as UK-armed ally slaughters more children [TWEETS]
17 February/The Canary
A group of Kurdish women occupied Conservative Party headquarters in London to protest against the British government’s supply of arms to NATO-member  Turkey. Since 19 January Ankara has aerial bombed  the mainly Kurdish populated province of Afrin (northern Syria) with many civilans, including children  , killed or injured in the onslaught.
https://www.thecanary.co/global/2018/01/30/kurdish-women-occupy-tory-hq-uk-armed-ally-slaughters-children-tweets/

5. Erdogan Tells a Weeping Girl, 6, She’d Receive Honors if Martyred
26 February/New York Times
Turkey’s president has exhorted Turks to support their soldiers in Syria. But the scene showing a traumatized 6-year-old cadet girl, who wept as he kissed her and proclaimed she would be honored if killed in combat, is not coming off well.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/26/world/europe/turkey-erdogan-girl-martyr.html?ribbon-ad-idx=3&rref=world/middleeast&module=Ribbon&version=context&region=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Middle%20East&pgtype=article

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. The world’s most progressive democracy is being born. Don’t let it get strangled
12 February/CNN
We are only three weeks into the invasion of Afrin in Northern Syria by Turkey and their quislings in the Free Syrian Army, a dangerous turn for the Syrian civil war, and yet it no longer features on our front pages and television news.
http://edition.cnn.com/2018/02/12/opinions/worlds-most-progressive-democracy-born-dont-let-turkey-strange-it-opinion-gupta/index.html

2. Why are world leaders backing this brutal attack against Kurdish Afrin?
The Guardian/23 February
Three years ago the world watched a ragtag band of men and women fighters in the Syrian town of Kobane, most armed only with Kalashnikovs, hold off a vast army of Islamist militants with tanks, artillery and overwhelming logistical superiority. The defenders insisted they were acting in the name of revolutionary feminist democracy. The Islamist fighters vowed to exterminate them for that very reason. When Kobane’s defenders won, it was widely hailed as the closest one can come, in the contemporary world, to a clear confrontation of good against evil.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/23/world-leaders-brutal-attack-kurdish-afrin-turkish-army

3. Kurdish Women Fighters: A Path Out of Patriarchy?
12 February/LSE Middle East Centre
Over the last three decades, tens of thousands of women have joined the ranks of the PKK and its affiliated organisations. What factors explain their violent mobilisation despite life-threatening risks? Building on a unique dataset of more than 9,000 militant bios and in-depth interviews with the families of militants, Güneş Murat Tezcür argues that gender inequality directly influences women’s decisions to take up arms, believing that doing so provides them with a path out of patriarchal gender relations. Recorded on 7 February 2018.

4. ROJAVA: ROAD TO KURDISH MOTHERLAND
17 February/The Pioneer
The long struggle of over 14.5 million Kurds for an independent homeland has reached a turning point as the ISIS <http://www.dailypioneer.com/world/remove-kurdish-fighters-from–anti-isis-force-turkey-to-us.html> ’ diabolical empire is on the verge of extinction in West Asia and “Rojava” or “the land where the sun sets”, an autonomous region in the Northern Turkey, is emerging as Kurds’ future country.
http://www.dailypioneer.com/columnists/oped/rojava-road-to-kurdish-motherland.html

What are the Kurdish Women’s Units fighting for in Syria?
23 December/The Washington Post
Syria’s Kurds now control a contiguous swath of territory linking the border region of northern Syria all the way to Iraqi Kurdistan. Kurdish forces seized the city of Kobani near the Turkish border in January, and in June took Tel Abyad to the east. the self-governing cantons of Afrin, Kobani and Cizire have set up administrative structures that operate with near complete autonomy from Damascus. Now that the Kurds have effective control of this territory, what they will they do with it? Will they attempt to break away from Syria, and establish an independent Kurdish state? Or will they remain within Syria as an autonomous region?
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2015/12/23/what-are-the-kurdish-womens-units-fighting-for-in-syria/?utm_term=.23422e2537fd

DOCUMENTS
1. THE ATTACKS ON AFRIN TARGET WOMEN’S LIBERATION AND DEMOCRATIC ALTERNATIVES
12 February/Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
On the night before January 20, 2018, the Turkish military and its jihadist allies jointly attacked the Afrin canton. The Turkish army calls this war of aggression “Operation Olive Branch” and claims to defend itself from attacks. International lawyers disagree and in fact, the opposite is the case. In 2017 alone [see attachment 2: chronology of Turkish attacks on Afrin 2017], the Turkish military attacked the area around the northwestern corner of Syria at least dozen times with artillery in order to provoke a war. In this sense, the beginning of the attacks on January 20 was not unexpected but rather planned long ahead of time.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2018/02/12/the-attacks-on-afrin-target-womens-liberation-and-democratic-alternatives/

Peace in Kurdistan
Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question
Email: estella24@tiscali.co.uk <estella24@tiscali.co.uk> <mailto:estella24@tiscali.co.uk <mailto: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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