KURDISH NEWS BRIEFING, 04 – 19 APRIL 2018

NEWS
1. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan: a dictator in all but name seeks complete control
2. KCK: Occupation and war policy will meet resistance
3. Asrın Law Office: “CPT should visit Imrali as well”
4. TEV-DEM co-chair: A new phase has begun in Syria
5. An organizer of September 11 attacks captured by YPG
6. Turkey’s anti-war protesters detained: ‘Everything is a crime’
7. HDP’s Buldan: Kurdish unity is a historic responsibility
8. PKK case heard in CJEU
9. EU warns of curtailing rights under Turkey’s state of emergency
10. Turkey wants to depopulate Kurdistan
12. Ferhat Tunç Prosecuted for ‘Commemorating Musa Anter’
13. Turkish attacks on southern Kurdistan continue
14. Families of Arrested Boğaziçi University Students: Stop Unlawfulness
15. I visited Kobanî and saw how UK-armed Turkey is trying to destroy our ally against Islamic State | Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle for Evolve Politics

16. British officials visit Syrian Kurdistan, vow solidarity with Kurdish authorities
17. British delegation calls Rojava ‘beacon of light’ on Syria visit
18. President of Iraq: ‘We are Fearful of an Afrin Operation Being Repeated in Shingal’
19. British delegation arrives in Rojava

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. The search for truth in the rubble of Douma – and one doctor’s doubts over the chemical attack,Exclusive: Robert Fisk visits the Syria clinic at the centre of a global crisis
2.
RCG statement on the 14 April 2018 attack on Syria
3. Will Ankara’s support for Syria strikes impact Turkish-Russian ties?
4. Iranian sculptor’s desire for artistic freedom takes him across region
5. The Complex History and Relations of the Kurdish YPG, Syria, and US
6. Should the US be part of solution in Syria or leave?
7. Bombing Syria would be both dangerous and illegal
8. Ecology in Democratic Confederalism
9. Internationalist Commune newsletter
10. KCK’s Bayık: Syria must accept Kurds’ self-government and freedom
11. Gaza and Afrin: in struggle against colonialism and occupation
12. It’s time to boycott Turkey: an interview with Dilar Dirik
13. Survivors of the Syrian Wars

14. Why, US, France reportedly dispatch their troops to Manbiij

15. US establishing two military bases in Manbij, northern Syria
16. Hawzhin Azeez – Episode 99

17. Revolution in Rojava: Democratic Autonomy and Women’s Liberation in Syrian Kurdistan
18. 05 February 2018/Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan/Stratchlyde Student’s Union, Glasgow, Scotland

STATEMENTS
1. 69th Birthday Greetings to Abdullah Ocalan
2. Birthday Greetings to jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan

DOCUMENTS
1. Birthday Card for Abdullah Ocalan
2. BOYCOTT TOURISM IN TURKEY

EVENTS, CAMPAIGNS, ACTION
1. The Continual Trials of Selahattin Demirtas
2. Standing With Afrin

————————————————————————————
NEWS

1. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan: a dictator in all but name seeks complete control
19 April 2018/The Guardian
Turkey’s president is unlikely to lose an election that will make him more powerful than Atatürk
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/19/recep-tayyip-erdogan-turkey-president-election-dictator-seeks-total-control

2. KCK: Occupation and war policy will meet resistance
19 April 2018/ANF News
“The purpose of the bombardment of Bashur Kurdistan is to make it easier to invade Kurdistan by provoking an exodus”, said KCK Executive Council.
https://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/kck-occupation-and-war-policy-will-meet-resistance-26185

3. Asrın Law Office: “CPT should visit Imrali as well”
18 April 2018/ANF News
European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (the CPT) visited Turkey. The CPT had issued a statement on their ad hoc visit to Turkey yesterday, and said that they didn’t visit Imrali but they spoke with Turkish officials about the situation there. Asrın Law Office issued a written statement on the matter and demanded that the CPT committee also visit Imrali.
https://anfenglish.com/human-rights/asrin-law-office-cpt-should-visit-imrali-as-well-26169

4. TEV-DEM co-chair: A new phase has begun in Syria
18 April 2018/ANF English
Aldar Xelîl, Co-Chairman of the Rojava Democratic Society Movement (TEV-DEM) Executive Council “When we talk about chemical weapons, we as Kurds are opposed to their use, no matter who uses them, because we have experienced and lived more than once what it means to be attacked with chemical weapons.”
https://anfenglish.com/news/tev-dem-co-chair-a-new-phase-has-begun-in-syria-26167

5. An organizer of September 11 attacks captured by YPG
18 April 2018/ANF English
One of the surviving members of the group that organized the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 German citizen Muhammad Zammar has been captured by the YPG.
https://anfenglish.com/features/an-organizer-of-september-11-attacks-captured-by-ypg-26174

6. Turkey’s anti-war protesters detained: ‘Everything is a crime’
18 April 2018/BBC News
“As soon as I opened the door, they yelled ‘Lie down!’ They had huge guns and they were wearing balaclavas.” In total 31 students have been detained. While 10 have been freed, eight have been released pending trial and another 13 students are still being held in pre-trial detention. The arrests began after a demonstration on campus that opposed other students handing out Turkish delight to hail the army’s capture of the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in northern Syria.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43731563

7. HDP’s Buldan: Kurdish unity is a historic responsibility
18 April 2018/ ANF English
Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chairwoman Pervin Buldan spoke at the weekly party group meeting. Referring to the elections that should be held in 2019, Buldan said: “Everyone should be prepared. It is time to defeat the AKP in this country and to overthrow the AKP from power”. In her speech, Buldan talked about the HDP delegation that visited the South Kurdistan region and said: “I would like to state that this visit was very important in a period when the Kurdish people is under attack from those who want to eliminate it and dismiss it from politics.

https://anfenglish.com/news/hdp-s-buldan-kurdish-unity-is-a-historical-responsibility-26164

8. PKK case heard in CJEU
17 April 2018/ANF News
The case to remove the PKK from the European Union terror list was heard on Monday in the Court of Justice of the European Union. The verdict is expected to be announced in 6 to 9 months.
https://anfenglish.com/news/pkk-case-heard-in-cjeu-26158

9. EU warns of curtailing rights under Turkey’s state of emergency
17 April 2018/Aljazeera
The measures undertaken by Turkey under an almost two-year-old state of emergency have curtailed civil and political rights, according to a critical European Union report, which prompted Turkish officials to accuse the bloc of “bias” against Ankara.
https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/eu-warns-curtailing-rights-turkey-state-emergency-180417170554386.html

10. Turkey wants to depopulate Kurdistan
16 April 2018/ANF News
“The Turkish State, which attacks our people and values ​​at every opportunity, is also engaged in many occupation operations. The latest being the attempt to invade South Kurdistan and target the Bradost area.”
https://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/turkey-wants-to-depopulate-kurdistan-26131

11. European Court of Justice to rule on delisting the PKK
14 April 2018/ANF News
The lawsuit filed to the European Court of Justice, demanding the lifting of the PKK from the EU’s list of terrorist organizations, opens on Monday 16 April, writes Yeni Özgür Politika.
https://anfenglish.com/news/european-court-of-justice-to-rule-on-delisting-the-pkk-26093

12. Ferhat Tunç Prosecuted for ‘Commemorating Musa Anter’
12 April 2018/Bianet English
An investigation has been launched against artist Ferhat Tunç due to his speech he delivered for commemorating Musa Anter. In his deposition, Tunç has said, “I stand by all my words written in the investigation text”.
http://bianet.org/english/law/196075-ferhat-tunc-prosecuted-for-commemorating-musa-anter

13. Turkish attacks on southern Kurdistan continue
11 April 2018/ANF News
Turkish army’s attacks against Bradost region of southern Kurdistan continue, targeting villages where thousands of civilians live.
https://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/turkish-attacks-on-southern-kurdistan-continue-26044

14. Families of Arrested Boğaziçi University Students: Stop Unlawfulness
10 April 2018/Bianet English
The families of the arrested Boğaziçi University students have made a statement for press at İstanbul Medical Chamber, which has been attended by a large number of politicians, academics and students.
http://bianet.org/english/human-rights/195995-families-of-arrested-bogazici-university-students-stop-unlawfulness

15. I visited Kobanî and saw how UK-armed Turkey is trying to destroy our ally against Islamic State | Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle for Evolve Politics

09 April 2018/Evolve Politics
Last month Turkey shelled its way into Afrin, a fertile mixed Arab and Kurdish enclave previously untouched by the Syrian Civil War, and deployed Islamist groups on its payroll to kick out Kurdish civilians who had lived there for generations. Many of the Islamists who captured the town believe that the Kurds are not Muslims and threatened them with decapitation unless they repent and convert.
https://evolvepolitics.com/i-visited-kobani-and-saw-how-uk-armed-turkey-is-trying-to-destroy-our-ally-against-islamic-state-labour-mp-lloyd-russell-moyle-for-evolve-politics/

16. British officials visit Syrian Kurdistan, vow solidarity with Kurdish authorities
04 April 2018/Kurdistan 24
“We’re here for a long-term relationship with you, where we can support you against all the people who are trying to destroy your liberty,” Maurice Glasman, a Labour peer in the House of Lords, told reporters
http://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/ba3da545-5467-46c1-a1f5-ab006d70b398

17. British delegation calls Rojava ‘beacon of light’ on Syria visit
04 April 2018/Rudaw
A British delegation of Labour politicians and trade unionists met with officials of the Kurdish-led authority in Rojava, northern Syria, on Tuesday night to pledge their solidarity with its democratic project in the face of Turkish threats.
http://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/040420182 <http://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/040420182>

18. President of Iraq: ‘We are Fearful of an Afrin Operation Being Repeated in Shingal’
04 April 2018/Bianet English
The President of Iraq Fuad Masum has stated that “his country is fearful of an Afrin operation being repeated in Shingal.” Masum has added, “After the withdrawal of PKK, foreign forces cannot come and invade a part of Iraq.”
http://bianet.org/english/world/195824-president-of-iraq-we-are-fearful-of-an-afrin-operation-being-repeated-in-shingal

19. British delegation arrives in Rojava
03 April 2018/Rudaw
A British delegation arrived in Rojava on Tuesday evening to meet with local officials as the self-autonomous Kurdish region faces military threats from Turkey.
http://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/syria/030420181 

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. The search for truth in the rubble of Douma – and one doctor’s doubts over the chemical attack
Exclusive: Robert Fisk visits the Syria clinic at the centre of a global crisis
17 April 2018/The Independent
[T]he story of Douma is thus not just a story of gas – or no gas, as the case may be. It’s about thousands of people who did not opt for evacuation from Douma on buses that left last week, alongside the gunmen with whom they had to live like troglodytes for months in order to survive. I walked across this town quite freely yesterday without soldier, policeman or minder to haunt my footsteps” writes Robert Fisk
https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-chemical-attack-gas-douma-robert-fisk-ghouta-damascus-a8307726.html?amp
2. RCG statement on the 14 April 2018 attack on Syria
17 April 2018/Revolutionary Communist Group
The Revolutionary Communist Group condemns the 14 April 2018 British, US and French missile attack on Syria. “[W]e said: ‘It is not the job of anti-imperialists to decide who launched this chemical attack, but to oppose its use as the pretext for a new imperialist war in the Middle East.’ ”
http://www.revolutionarycommunist.org/middle-east/syria/5174-rso-170418/

3. Will Ankara’s support for Syria strikes impact Turkish-Russian ties?
17 April 2018/Al-Monitor
Turkey’s enthusiastic support for US-led strikes targeting Assad’s military assets prompts questions about Ankara’s erratic approach to the Syrian crisis.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/04/turkey-russia-syria-eyes-turn-ankara-moscow-ties.html#ixzz5CyPDKLd2

4. Iranian sculptor’s desire for artistic freedom takes him across region
16 April 2018/Al-Monitor
Iranian Kurdish sculpture Seywan Saeedin’s life takes him across borders in a conflict-torn region, where artistic independence often comes at a steep price.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/04/iranian-sculptor-in-diyarbakir.html#ixzz5CyPxfeUv


5. The Complex History and Relations of the Kurdish YPG, Syria, and US
16 April 2018/The Real News Network
Turkish-Kurdish journalist Ali Ornek discusses the history of the PKK, Turkey’s brutally violent repression of the Kurds, and the complex relations between the YPG, Syria, and US.
http://therealnews.com/t2/story:21539:The-Complex-History-and-Relations-of-the-Kurdish-YPG%2C-Syria%2C-and-US

6. Should the US be part of solution in Syria or leave?
12 April 2018/MSNBC
Jeffrey Sachs explains the crucial role the United States played in destabilising Syria, via covert CIA initiatives approved by Obama
https://www.msnbc.com/morning-joe/watch/should-the-us-be-part-of-solution-in-syria-or-leave-1209166915804?playlist=associated

7. Bombing Syria would be both dangerous and illegal
12 April 2018/Open Democracy
Britain and its ‘Allies’ have helped arm warring Syrian factions, fuelled conflict, spurned refugees. Now they want to punish Assad’s alleged war crimes by committing war crimes of their own.
https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/mohamed-elmaazi/bombing-syria-would-be-both-dangerous-and-illegal

8. Ecology in Democratic Confederalism
11 April 2018 (September 2017)/Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
Ecology is one of the three pillars of the paradigm of Democratic Confederalism, the political-theoretical concept of the Kurdish Freedom Movement. Besides democracy and gender liberation, ecology has been mentioned explicitly as a dimension in this concept since 2005. However to date, ecology is less discussed and practiced than the two other pillars.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2018/04/11/ecology-in-democratic-confederalism/

9. Internationalist Commune newsletter
09 April 2018/ Internationalist Commune
March has passed by, with more feelings of sadness and anger about the situation in Afrin. Several friends have fallen şehid fighting against the brutal invasion conducted by the Turkish army, and some of them were internationalist fighters. Thousands of families have been expelled from their houses escaping from the brutality of the invaders, who are conquering the land of Afrin spreading terror among the population with murder, rape, torture and looting among other brutalities. http://internationalistcommune.com/newsletter-05/

10. KCK’s Bayık: Syria must accept Kurds’ self-government and freedom
08 April 2018/ANF English
Recalling that the Turkish state run by the AKP-MHP fascist administration wanted to protect the status quo of the 20th century, he warned; “The struggle will be severe and violent, the attacks will be heavy and intense, and there will be difficulties, hardships and heavy attacks in the future.”
https://anfenglish.com/news/tev-dem-co-chair-a-new-phase-has-begun-in-syria-26167

11. Gaza and Afrin: in struggle against colonialism and occupation
07 April 2018/The Region
As resistance to the occupation of the Turkish state in Syria’s Afrin turns to guerrilla warfare on behalf of the Kurdish-led People’s and Women’s Protection Units (YPG/J), the Palestinian people of Gaza are putting their bodies on the line to defy their confinement in what has been described as the world’s largest open-air concentration camp.
http://theregion.org/article/13216-gaza-and-afrin-in-struggle-against-colonialism-and-occupation

12. It’s time to boycott Turkey: an interview with Dilar Dirik
07 April 2018/The Region
As resistance to the occupation of the Turkish state in Syria’s Afrin turns to guerrilla warfare on behalf of the Kurdish-led People’s and Women’s Protection Units (YPG/J), the Palestinian people of Gaza are putting their bodies on the line to defy their confinement in what has been described as the world’s largest open-air concentration camp.
http://theregion.org/article/13216-gaza-and-afrin-in-struggle-against-colonialism-and-occupation

13. Survivors of the Syrian Wars
05 April 2018/London Review of Books
https://www.lrb.co.uk/v40/n07/patrick-cockburn/survivors-of-the-syrian-wars
When I first visited Kurdish-held territory in northern Syria, early in 2015, it was rapidly expanding. With the help of massive US air-power, the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) had just retaken the city of Kobani from Islamic State. YPG fighters were linking together the Kurdish population centres south of the Syrian-Turkish frontier to create a de facto Kurdish state – they called it Rojava.

14. Why, US, France reportedly dispatch their troops to Manbiij
05 April 2018/Seven News
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLLK9_LpsIo

15. US establishing two military bases in Manbij, northern Syria
04 April 2018/Kurdistan24
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dcEXTRwYUY

16. Hawzhin Azeez – Episode 99 
21 March 2018/Counterpunch Radio
This week Eric welcomes back to the show Kobani-based political scientist and activist Hawzhin Azeez to discuss the Turkish invasion of Afrin, the general attack on Kurdish autonomy and sovereignty, the role of jihadis in this strategy, and so much more.
https://store.counterpunch.org/hawzhin-azeez-episode-99/

17. Revolution in Rojava: Democratic Autonomy and Women’s Liberation in Syrian Kurdistan
18. 05 February 2018/Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan/Stratchlyde Student’s Union, Glasgow, Scotland
A Talk on the Revolution in Rojava by Ercan Ayboga
https://vimeo.com/259077893

STATEMENTS
1. 69th Birthday Greetings to Abdullah Ocalan
10 April 2018/ Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
Solidarity Message
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2018/04/10/solidarity-greetings-to-abdullh-ocalan/

2. Birthday Greetings to jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan
10 April 2018/ Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
The trade union based Freedom for Öcalan Campaign has asked the British Ambassador to Turkey to help them deliver birthday greetings to jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2018/04/10/freedom-for-ocalan/ <https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2018/04/10/freedom-for-ocalan/>

DOCUMENTS
1. Birthday Card for Abdulla Ocalan
10 April 2018/ Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
69th Birthday Greetings to Abdullah Ocalan, Kurdish political leader imprisoned for life, and in isolation on Imrali Island (‘Europe’s Guantanamo’)
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2018/04/10/abdullah-ocalan-69th-birthday/

2. BOYCOTT TOURISM IN TURKEY
10 April 2018/ Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
Turkey has become increasingly autocratic, with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan solidifying his grasp on power following a referendum of questionable legitimacy on presidential powers in 2017.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2018/04/10/boycott-tourism-in-turkey/ 

EVENTS, CAMPAIGNS, ACTION
1. The Continual Trials of Selahattin Demirtas
16 April 2018/9 Bedford Row (International)
There are many trials going on against Demirtas, all dealing with propaganda, speeches. All these appear to be part of a conspiracy to silence Demirtas as an Opposition leader. The pro-Kurdish party, the HDP, see this scattering of cases to many different Turkish cities as a means of spanning out the hearings so as to keep their former leader in prison for the longest possible time.
http://9bri.com/author/gillian-higgins/

2. Standing With Afrin
17 April 2018/ SSK Blog – Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan
Turkey was already shelling across the border when, on 19th January, President Erdoğan announced the launch of the spitefully named ‘Operation Olive Branch’. This was to be a full invasion of the isolated canton of Afrin, part of the autonomous Democratic Federation of Northern Syria
http://www.sskonline.org.uk/ssk-blog/

Peace in Kurdistan
Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question
Email: 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, Steve Sweeney, Dr Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, Dr Tom Wakeford, Dr Derek Wall, Julie Ward MEP, Hywel Williams MP.

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