KURDISH NEWS BRIEFING, 17 SEPTEMBER – 7 OCTOBER 2018

NEWS
1. 73 women’s communes founded in Til Hemis in a month
2. Nomadic life, guerrillas and the choice of dignity
3. Women from around the world attend the international conference
4. Erdogan costs Germany 8.7 million Euros
5. Iran said it launched ballistic missiles towards Syria
6. YRK announced its fourth martyr in clashes with the IRGC
7. Mesopotamian Water Forum to be held in Sulaymaniyah

8. Buldan: The cause of Turkey’s crisis is the isolation of Ocalan
9. HDP Youth Conference in Amed: We will resist and win
10. KCK condemns ECHR verdict and German government
11. ECHR admissibility decision on Ocalan torture claim
12. Dutch government backed groups involved in ethnic cleansing in Afrin: Experts
13. EU lawmakers agree to cancel pre-accession funds for Turkey
14. German-Kurdish singer Hozan Cane, jailed in Turkey, asks Merkel for help
15. Jailed Kurdish opposition leader strike defiant tone in court
16. Zeynab Jalalian’s health suffers amid ongoing denial of medical treatment
17. VIDEO: Kurdish militiamen raid sleeper cells affiliated with ISIS, Turkey in Syria’s Kobani

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. I was an Isis sex slave. I tell my story because it is the best weapon I have | Nadia Murad
2. Leaked US documents reveal a warped vision of regime change in Syria
3. US military document reveals how the West opposed a democratic Syria
24 September 2018/ Le Monde diplomatique
4. Ahval-CEFTUS Debate: How Turkey’s systemic decline affects the  region and the rose
5. Fate of jailed Kurdish leader questioned as Turkey shuns peace
6. Aldar Khalil: Security strip for dividing Syria, consummating Erdogan’s project
7. Kurdish geography is burning and Turkish environmentalists stand watching
8. Kodar and PJAK’s Project to Democratize Iran
9. Rojhelat Rises: Reflections on the General Strike in Iranian Kurdistan
10. Academics, intellectuals demand forces in Rojhelat to unite against aggression of the Iranian state
11. Academics release open letter calling on Iran to release Kurdish political prisoner Panahi
12. PJAK: ASSESSMENT OF LATEST SITUATION ON POST-ELECTION IRAN

EVENTS, CAMPAIGNS, ACTION
1. 1st Mesopatamian water forum

DOCUMENTS
1. Social Contract of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria

STATEMENTS
1. Peace in Kurdistan, Women’s Alliance: Solidarity Message to International Women Weaving the Future Conference 2018.
2. The 20th Anniversary of Abdullah Ocalan’s Expulsion from Syria
FREEDOM FOR ABDULLAH OCALAN NOW!
3. Turkey: Charges against publisher Ragıp Zarakolu must be dropped
————————————————————————————

NEWS
1. 73 women’s communes founded in Til Hemis in a month
7 October 2018/ANF English
Kongreya Star has established 73 women’s communes during the month of September in Til Hemis town of Heseke governorate in Cizire Region of Northern Syria. KSTH member Ferdos Setam said: “Starting from September, we initiated our efforts for women’s communes. In addition, we held seminars on child marriages, violence against women, polygamy and consanguineous marriages.”
https://anfenglishmobile.com/women/73-women-s-communes-founded-in-til-hemis-in-a-month-30036

2. Nomadic life, guerrillas and the choice of dignity
7 October 2018/ANF English
Mother Hediye tried to live the nomadic culture in the middle of the city. What made Hediye so attractive was her attachment to her country and her culture. Hediye was born into a nomad family in Botan. She led a nomadic life. In the 1990s, the Turkish state occupied and sought to erase Cizre from the map, forcing people to act as informers and village guards. Hediye left her house, her animals and her whole life behind and settled in a city unknown to her.
https://anfenglishmobile.com/women/nomadic-life-guerrillas-and-the-choice-of-dignity-30034

3. Women from around the world attend the international conference
6 October 2018/ANF English
Over 500 women from all over the world are sharing their experiences and trying to create solidarity networks at the International Women Conference in Frankfurt.  The first panel was dedicated to the Crisis of Patriarchy and its Systemic War on Women. Miriam Miranda, of OFRANEH Honduras, argued that together with the nation-state, capitalism constitute the most institutionalised expression of patriarchy.
https://anfenglishmobile.com/women/women-from-around-the-world-attend-the-international-conference-30029

4. Erdogan costs Germany 8.7 million Euros
1 October 2018/ANF English
Erdogan’s recent 3-day trip to Germany cost at least 8.7 million Euros. Erdogan called people who fled his regime “terrorists”, demanded the return of journalists and politicians who have been granted political asylum in Germany, and smiled at the journalist who was removed from the press conference for wearing a t-shirt that said “freedom for journalists”.
https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/erdogan-costs-germany-8-7-million-euros-29936

5. Iran said it launched ballistic missiles towards Syria
1 October 2018/ANF English
The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) said that “in another flagrant violation of international law, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps fired several surface to surface missiles from outside the Kurdish city of Kermanshah towards Syria. Iranian state news agency, IRNA cited an IRGC report claiming the strikes “killed and injured” militants in Syria without offering further details. The IRGC claims to have targeted militants it blames for the recent attack on a military parade in Ahvaz.
https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/iran-said-it-launched-ballistic-missiles-towards-syria-29935

6. YRK announced its fourth martyr in clashes with the IRGC
01 October/Rojhelat
The News Agency of Eastern Kurdistan published the details of another martyr in the conflict with the terrorist elements of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). In the wake of the massive military against our forces on 16th September 2018, we outlined the details of following three martyrs with the public: Comrades Karzan, Sana and Delovan Fadai, with the fate of another comrade was unknown.
http://rojhelat.info/en/?p=9939

7. Mesopotamian Water Forum to be held in Sulaymaniyah
30 September/ANG English
The Mesopotamian Water Forum will be held between March 29-31, 2019 in Silemani (Sulaymaniyah) in South (Iraqi) Kurdistan and organized by civil society actors from the states of Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria. Among them particularly the Save the Tigris and Iraqi Marshes Campaign need to be mentioned. The forum will be an open space for all who are interested in social and ecological alternatives on the management of the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers and their tributories.
https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/mesopotamian-water-forum-to-be-held-in-sulaymaniyah-29920

8. Buldan: The cause of Turkey’s crisis is the isolation of Ocalan
30 September 2018/ANF English
HDP Co-Chair said the cause of the crisis in Turkey, lies on the isolation imposed on Ocalan. Buldan said “We are faced with a deepening and social crisis and we’d like to remind of the promises made before the 24 June elections. The situation is one of a society being dragged into a situation it did not want, a situation of war and conflict, beginning with the policies on Syria and a war policy”.
https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/buldan-the-cause-of-turkey-s-crisis-is-the-isolation-of-ocalan-29917

9. HDP Youth Conference in Amed: We will resist and win
30 September 2018/ANF English
Diyabakir HDP deputies spoke at the party’s Youth Council Conference in Diyarbakir. HDP Diyabakir deputy, Dersim Dağ, said: “The isolation has deepened the war. The isolation imposed on Abdullah Öcalan is directed at the Kurdish people and youth”. She added, “young people have always resisted. In fact, the freedom movement has come to this day thanks to the resistance of young people”.
https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/hdp-youth-conference-in-amed-we-will-resist-and-win-29918

10. KCK condemns ECHR verdict and German government
29 September 2018/ANF English
KCK Executive Council Co-Presidency said the ECHR rejecting Öcalan’s appeal is “Europe openly stating that they believe the oppression policies in Imrali are legitimate.” The KCK also referred to Erdogan’s visit to Germany saying, “Those who greet Erdogan on the red carpet will be burned by humanity’s values of conscience, rights and justice. Those who shake hands with a political leader who is the most fascistic, most immoral and the biggest enemy to Kurds will live this in history.”
https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/kck-condemns-echr-verdict-and-german-government-29904

11. ECHR admissibility decision on Ocalan torture claim
27 September 2018/ECHR
In its decision in the case of Öcalan v. Turkey (application no. 12261/10) the European Court of Human Rights has unanimously declared the application inadmissible, finding it to be manifestly ill founded. The case mainly concerns allegations by Abdullah Öcalan that he was subjected to ill-treatment in 2008 during a search of his cell. The Court found that there was no arguable claim that Abdullah Öcalan had been subjected to treatment in breach of Article 3 of the Convention by prison warders on 7 October 2008. The decision is final.
Available in PDF Format only: http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng-press?i=003-6203776-8052954

12. Dutch government backed groups involved in ethnic cleansing in Afrin: Experts
28 September 2018/Kurdistan24
The Dutch government was unable to rule out that non-lethal assistance it and other countries provided was used by Turkish-backed Islamist groups to attack Afrin in March, the Dutch government said on Thursday. Dutch experts say these groups were involved in ethnic cleansing in Afrin. Moreover, the Dutch government supported 22 armed groups in Syria between May 2015 and March 2018, despite knowledge of grave human rights violations by these groups.
http://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/d57e9663-f8e4-40d6-a287-301831d4fd04

13. EU lawmakers agree to cancel pre-accession funds for Turkey
26 September 2018/Hurriyet Daily News
Members of the European Parliament’s Budget Committee agreed to cancel 70 million euros in pre-accession funds earmarked for Turkey, on the grounds that Turkey has not met the conditions to improve the rule of law. The committee said the money would be spent on migration programs.
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/eu-lawmakers-agree-to-cancel-pre-accession-funds-for-turkey-137239

14. German-Kurdish singer Hozan Cane, jailed in Turkey, asks Merkel for help
25 September 2018/Stockholm Centre for Freedom
German-Kurdish singer Saide İnaç, currently in pretrial detention in a Turkish jail, has written a letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel asking for help in securing her freedom as Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan heads to Germany for a state visit later this week, according to a report by Kurdistan 24 on Tuesday.
https://stockholmcf.org/german-kurdish-singer-hozan-cane-jailed-in-turkey-asks-merkel-for-help/

15. Jailed Kurdish opposition leader strike defiant tone in court
24 September 2018/Morning Star
RKISH political opposition leader Figen Yuksekdag struck a defiant tone today in her seventh court hearing at an Ankara prison complex, where she faces an aggravated life sentence on trumped-up terrorism charges. She opened by paying tribute to the family of former People’s Democratic Party (HDP) MP Ibrahim Ayhan, who died unexpectedly earlier this week.
https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/article/jailed-turkish-opposition-leader-strikes-defiant-tone-in-court

16. Zeynab Jalalian’s health suffers amid ongoing denial of medical treatment
17 September 2018/Rojhelat
After nearly a decade behind bars, Iranian prisoner of conscience Zeynab Jalalian (Zeyneb Celaliyan) has developed intestinal problems. Yet the authorities continue to deny her specialist treatment, her father says. The Kurdish political activist has been held in Xoy Prison since 2008, serving a life sentence for her alleged membership in the Free Life of Kurdistan Party (PJAK).
http://rojhelat.info/en/?p=9817

17. VIDEO: Kurdish militiamen raid sleeper cells affiliated with ISIS, Turkey in Syria’s Kobani
23 September 2018/Al Masdar News
The Kurdish forces arrested members with ties to the Islamic State and the Turkish secret services which were planning attacks across the Kurdish-held territories in north and northeastern Syria. The crackdown was carried out in a joint operation launched by YPG forces and the Internal Security Forces (Asayish) in the town of Sheikhlar, southwest of Kobani.
https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/video-kurdish-militiamen-raid-sleeper-cells-affiliated-with-isis-turkey-in-syrias-kobani/

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. I was an Isis sex slave. I tell my story because it is the best weapon I have | Nadia Murad
06 October 2018/The Guardian
Nobel peace prize winner Nadia Murad describes her extraordinary journey from suffering at the hands of Islamic State to human rights campaigner. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/oct/06/nadia-murad-isis-sex-slave-nobel-peace-prize

2. Leaked US documents reveal a warped vision of regime change in Syria
28 September 2018/The Canary
Leaked US documents have revealed Washington’s vision of regime change in Syria. And it’s not pretty. Planners never thought democratic opponents to Syria’s Bashar al-Assad stood a chance, according to a 2011 US military intelligence assessment. The US Marine Corps’ (USMC) Intelligence Department and private intelligence firm Stratfor jointly produced this August 2011 assessment.
https://www.thecanary.co/global/world-analysis/2018/09/28/leaked-us-documents-reveal-a-warped-vision-of-regime-change-in-syria/

3. US military document reveals how the West opposed a democratic Syria
24 September 2018/ Le Monde diplomatique
US military documents from 2011 and 2016 reveal that although officials wanted a Syrian regime change in theory, they thought it was highly unlikely to actually happen — and hoped that if President Bashar al-Assad was overthrown, he would not be replaced by an opposition-led Syrian democracy but, rather, the same Alawite-Baathist ruling structure would continue. The end result was to be the decimation of the democratic opposition, the consolidation of Islamist forces and regime preservation.
https://mondediplo.com/outside-in/syria-democracy-documents

4. Ahval-CEFTUS Debate: How Turkey’s systemic decline affects the  region and the rose of global populism
25 September 2018/Ahval News
Ayşe Zarakol, the distinguished academic from Cambridge University, joined a panel of experts on Turkey, at the Labour Party Conference. It was entitled “The End of Democracy? The ‘New Turkey’ and a Region in Flux”.  The event, co-organised by Ahval News Online and the Centre for Turkey Studies, a London-based think tank, was timely, and attracted the keen attention of those attending the conference.
https://ahvalnews.com/turkey/ahval-ceftus-debate-how-turkeys-systemic-decline-affects-region-and-rise-global-populism

5. Fate of jailed Kurdish leader questioned as Turkey shuns peace
20 September 2018/ Al Monitor
As a showdown looms in Idlib between Syrian government forces and Turkish-backed opposition rebels Ankara faces the prospect of further turmoil, while long-stalled Turkish-Kurdish talks seem unlikely to be revived nearly 20 years after Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan was jailed.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/09/fate-kurdish-leader-ocalan-turkey-peace.html#ixzz5SLny4gVN

6. Aldar Khalil: Security strip for dividing Syria, consummating Erdogan’s project
20 September 2018/Hawar News
Co-chari of the Executive Committee of the Democratic Society Movement Aldar Khalil says that the formation of the security strip around Idlib, which resulted from the bilateral agreement between Russia and Turkey may be the new border between Syria and Turkey, stressing that Idlib became a part of Turkey, and this is a move to complete the project of Erdogan in Syria.
http://www.hawarnews.com/en/haber/aldar-khalil-security-strip-for-dividing-syria-consummating-erdogans-project-h3868.html

7. Kurdish geography is burning and Turkish environmentalists stand watching
19 September 2018/Ahval News
Devastating forest fires, sparked by military operations, have raged for two months in Dersim, a Kurdish province in eastern Turkey. Officially named Tunceli, Dersim  is populated by Alevi Kurds and was the scene of a brutal massacre carried out by security forces in 1938 in which tens of thousands were killed and displaced. The city of Dersim is surrounded by towering mountains and thick forests.
https://ahvalnews.com/dersim/kurdish-geography-burning-and-turkish-environmentalists-stand-watching

8. Kodar and PJAK’s Project to Democratize Iran
16 September 2018/Rojhelat
The world’s powers are using the Kurdish card to inflict damage on nations such as Kurdistan, Iran, Syria, Turkey, Iraq and other nations in the region. Therefore, the Iranian regime (all parties, including the reformers, fundamentalists and moderates) fight a two front war against both Global Capitalism from one side and the Kurdish nations inside and outside of Iran.
http://rojhelat.info/en/?p=9923

9. Rojhelat Rises: Reflections on the General Strike in Iranian Kurdistan
12 September 2018/The Region
Following a wave of executions of Kurdish political prisoners and missile attacks on Kurdish opposition parties’ bases deep inside Southern/Iraqi Kurdistan, a politically and ideologically diverse group of Kurdish and leftist political forces called for a general strike on September 12. So far, reports indicate that the majority of Rojhelati Kurds have responded positively and the strike has been highly successful.
https://theregion.org/article/13107-rojhelat-rises-reflections-on-general-strike-iranian-kurdistan

10. Academics, intellectuals demand forces in Rojhelat to unite against aggression of the Iranian state
11 September 2018/The Region
Following the execution of 4 Kurdish political prisoners in Iranian Kurdistan (East Kurdistan/Rojhelat) and Iran’s missile attack on Kurdish opposition groups in Bashur, a group of Rojhelati academics and intellectuals have signed a statement  asking essentially for immediate talks among all political forces in Rojhelat— which include PJAK-KODAR— to enter into talks around a minimalist programme of unity against heightened aggression by the Iranian state.
https://theregion.org/article/13104-academics-intellectuals-demand-forces-rojhelat-to-unite-against-aggression-of-iranian-state

11. Academics release open letter calling on Iran to release Kurdish political prisoner Panahi
7 September 2018/The Region
A coalition of academics issued an open letter calling on Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif and Chief Justice Sadegh Larijani to release Iranian Kurdish political prisoner Ramin Hossein Panahi. Panahi has been on death row for several months, charged with being a member of an armed organization. Recently, his lawyers announced that they did not know if he was alive or dead.
https://theregion.org/article/13089-in-turkey-039-s-kurdish-heartland-anger-over-syria-war-finds-a-stage

12. PJAK: ASSESSMENT OF LATEST SITUATION ON POST-ELECTION IRAN
22 June 2018/Rojhelat
The Free Life Party of Kurdistan (PJAK) published a statement evaluating the situation of Iran after the presidential elections held on 19 May 2017. The full text of statement “Iran is heading intervention or interaction” follows in full.
http://rojhelat.info/en/?p=9696

EVENTS, CAMPAIGNS, ACTION
1. 1st Mesopatamian water forum
30 September 2018| Save The Tirgris.ORG
An alternative civil society forum on water resources in Iraq, Turkey, Syria, and Iran is due to be held on 29 – 31 March 2019. Save the Tigris and Iraqi Marshes Campaign seeks to link groups and movements concerned with the adverse impacts of megaprojects on the Tigris and Euphrates. We advocate for policies that secure the sustainable and equitable use of water for all who live in the region.
https://www.savethetigris.org/
http://www.savethetigris.org/international-mesopotamian-water-forum/
Contact: Ercan Ayboga at e.ayboga@gmx.net

STATEMENTS
1. Peace in Kurdistan, Women’s Alliance: Solidarity Message to International Women Weaving the Future Conference 2018.
9 Oct 2018/Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
Since the onset of conflict in Syria, the Kurdish people in the north of the country have been involved in a fierce resistance to jihadist groups, including Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS. While the world turned away, the latter were encouraged to take part in the overthrow of the Assad government and were given training, funding, logistical support and arms from various regional and international powers with vested interests in the region, including the US, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/activities/womens-alliance-for-kurdistan-iraq-and-syria/

2. The 20th Anniversary of Abdullah Ocalan’s Expulsion from Syria
FREEDOM FOR ABDULLAH OCALAN NOW!
5 October 2018/Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
Abdullah Öcalan, founder of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), has led the struggle for Kurdish rights for many years. 9th October marks the twentieth anniversary of his expulsion of Öcalan from Syria, where he had lived in exile for nearly 20 years. The Kurds view the expulsion as part of an ‘international conspiracy’ against Öcalan and themselves. Öcalan was subsequently abducted from Kenya on 15 February 1999 and taken to Turkey, where he was subjected to a show trial and has been imprisoned ever since, kept on Imrali Island, Turkey’s equivalent of Robben Island.
peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2018/10/05/the-20th-anniversary-of-abdullah-ocalans-expulsion-from-syria/ <https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2018/10/05/the-20th-anniversary-of-abdullah-ocalans-expulsion-from-syria/>

3. Turkey: Charges against publisher Ragıp Zarakolu must be dropped
24 September 2018/IFEX The Global Network Promoting & Defending Free Expression
The Turkish authorities should drop all charges against publisher and human rights activist Ragıp Zarakolu, PEN International said today, as sham criminal proceedings are set to resume on 28 September in Istanbul. Ragıp Zarakolu is an internationally renowned activist who has been fighting for freedom of expression in Turkey for over 30 years, publishing books on issues such as minority and human rights. He was arrested on 29 October 2011.
https://www.ifex.org/turkey/2018/09/24/ragip-zarakolu-trial/?utm_source=whatcounts&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=itw_27sep18

DOCUMENTS
1. Social Contract of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria
Due to popular demand, find an English translation of the Social Contract of the Democratic Confederation of Northern Syria, published on the Vladimir Van Wildenburg blog <https://vvanwilgenburg.blogspot.fr/2017/03/social-contract-of-democratic.html> . You can also download the French <http://internationalistcommune.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Contrat-Social-2016-Francais.pdf>  translation, the German <http://internationalistcommune.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Social-Contract-2016-Deutsch.pdf>  translation, and the Spanish <http://internationalistcommune.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Contrato-social-de-la-Federación-democratica-del-norte-de-Siria.pdf>  translation.

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 <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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