KURDISH NEWS BRIEFING, 5 JANUARY – 20 JANUARY 2019

NEWS

  1. Kurdish roadmap to Damascus proposes continued autonomy, SDF to become border guards
  2. Leyla Guven’s letter: Whatever the price may be, we will prevail!
  3. Thousands rallied in Amed: End isolation
  4. Muslim: We don’t accept a ‘safe zone’ that Turkey will be in
  5. Merkel government issues statement on Ocalan
  6. KCK’s Bayık warns against Turkey’s psychological war
  7. Reception for freedom for Ocalan in London City Hall
  8. Jailed Kurdish opposition leader remains defiant ahead of trial
  9. Palestinian revolutionary Leila Khaled writes in support of Kurdish hunger striker Leyla Guven
  10. Hunger strike in Wales reached day 30
  11. EXCLUSIVE: Unions and progressives refuse to be intimidated by Turkish state
  12. Conference at the European Parliament: Isolation must be lifted
  13. Vigil in Dublin for Leyla Güven
  14. MEPs and lawyers from Europe denied meeting with Leyla Güven
  15. HDP Honorary Chair Kürkçü Faces Up To 20 Years in Prison
  16. 7 Kurdish Parties Form Alliance for Local Elections
  17. Prison Sentence of Selahattin Demirtaş Taken to Constitutional Court

 

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS

  1. While all eyes were on the Brexit vote, an important Kurdish solidarity event was held in City Hall
  2. Angela Davis: Turkey, Free Leyla Guven, Hunger Striker
  3. Rosa Luxenburg’s Living Legacy
  4. Dying Kurdish parliamentarian’s last wish       
  5. (VIDEO) Documentary: Rojava in Syria, between compromise and utopia
  6. The Life of Sakine Cansiz – “Realizing Utopias Here and Now”
  7. Turkish journalist Sentenced to Prison Over Paradise
  8. Trump Admin. Backtracks on Promise to Withdraw Troops from Syria

 

STATEMENTS

  1. No-fly zone Over North East Syria
  2. Emergency Committee for Rojava: A Call to Defend Rojava

 

EVENTS

  1. Symbiotic Horizon
  2. Kurdish youth call for action on 19 and 20 January
  3. (VIDEO) The Cry of Afrin: Genocide and Demographic Change
  4. (VIDEO) Afrin

——————————————————————–

NEWS

  1. Kurdish roadmap to Damascus proposes continued autonomy, SDF to become border guards

19 January 2019| Kurdistan 24

A roadmap the Kurdish-backed Democratic Autonomous Administration (DAA) for northeast Syria is expected to present to Damascus was released on Saturday. According to the roadmap, which the Hawar News Agency (ANHA) published, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) will become part of the Syrian army and will protect the country’s border, and the DAA will remain autonomous. It also proposes that Syria become a democratic republic.

http://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/009a5e57-cf5e-4ccc-9b04-dc26ec3a9474

 

  1. Leyla Guven’s letter: Whatever the price may be, we will prevail!

19 January 2019| ANF English

DTK Co-chair and HDP MP Leyla Guven, who has been on a hunger strike for the last 73 days demanding an end to the isolation of Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan, wrote a letter to thousands who took to the streets. Leyla Guven’s letter was read in the rally by HDP Amed MP Dersim Dag is as follows: “My esteemed people, dear women comrades, Greetings to the bright faces of Amed, Serhad and Botan. I salute each one of you, and repeat my faith that we will prevail together in this tough but historic process…

https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/leyla-guven-s-letter-whatever-the-price-may-be-we-will-prevail-32251

 

  1. Thousands rallied in Amed: End isolation

19 January 2019| ANF English

A rally took place in Amed, 5 June Democracy (Station) Square to support the hunger strike and demand the end of isolation against Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan. “We have fought for years a battle for brotherhood, justice and equality. Our Hakkari MP, Leyla Güven, is on hunger strike for 73 days. Her demand is our demand. That’s why we say we will win.’’

https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/thousands-rallied-in-amed-end-isolation-32256

 

  1. Muslim: We don’t accept a ‘safe zone’ that Turkey will be in

19 January 2019| ANF English

Foreign Relations Official Salih Muslim spoke to Yeni Ozgur Politika newspaper and said: “The concept of a safe zone was brought up in a tweet by Trump, but Turkey says the safe zone will be under their tutelage, they will set it up, they will do this or that. Of course these are all lies. Nobody accepts such an initiative by Turkey. It is also clear what Turkey wants to do in the Syrian issue from the start. … They will settle the people they want in the areas they invade.

https://anfenglishmobile.com/features/muslim-we-don-t-accept-a-safe-zone-that-turkey-will-be-in-32239

 

  1. Merkel government issues statement on Ocalan

18 January 2018| ANF English

The Federal German Government called for an end to the aggravated isolation imposed upon Ocalan. Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth called on Ankara for Ocalan to meet with his lawyers and his family. Roth said, “The Turkish government should not further provoke conflict with the democratic and legitimate opposition.”

https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/merkel-government-issues-statement-on-ocalan-32230

 

  1. KCK’s Bayık warns against Turkey’s psychological war

18 January 2018| ANF English

KCK Executive Council co-chair, Cemil Bayık, discussed the psychological warfare attacks carried out by the Turkish state in an attempt to break the hunger strike actions. Referring to the short visit to Imralı granted to Abdullah Öcalan’s brother Mehmet Öcalan last week, Bayık added that the Turkish state, by granting Mehmet Öcalan permission to visit Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan, was trying to break the resistance. The message they tried to send was ‘you can stop the resistance now’.

https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/kck-s-bayik-warns-against-turkey-s-psychological-war-32213

 

  1. Reception for freedom for Ocalan in London City Hall

16 January 2019| ANF News

As hunger strikes and protests in support continue in Kurdistan and throughout the world against the isolation imposed upon Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Ocalan, the demand for freedom was at the forefront in the reception held as part of the Freedom for Ocalan Campaign in London. The campaign that continues to grow among labor circles in the United Kingdom is officially conducted by the unions UNITE, GMB, FBU, ASLEF, TSSA, RMT, USDAW, PROSPECT, GFTU, PCS, EIS, TUC, THOMPSONS SOLICITORS, CWU and NEU.

https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/reception-for-freedom-for-ocalan-in-london-city-hall-32172

 

  1. Jailed Kurdish opposition leader remains defiant ahead of trial

16 January 2019| Morning Star

Former co-chair of Turkey’s HDP Figen Yuksekdag is expected to appear in court tomorrow on trumped-up terrorism charges. The former co-chair of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) has been held as a political prisoner since her arrest in November 2016 as part of a series of night raids on opposition politicians. She faces charges of managing a terrorist organisation and spreading terrorist propaganda for her role as a founder-member of the HDP and speeches she made at the funeral of a Kurdish activist.

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/w/jailed-turkish-opposition-leader-remains-defiant-ahead-of-court-hearing

 

  1. Palestinian revolutionary Leila Khaled writes in support of Kurdish hunger striker Leyla Guven

16 January 2019| Morning Star

Prominent Palestinian revolutionary Leila Khaled has sent a letter to jailed Kurdish MP Leyla Guven in support of her hunger strike, which entered its 70th day today. Ms Khaled, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, highlights Ms Guven’s courage and determination, affirming: “The harder the hunger strike, the more honourable the struggle.” Ms Guven, People’s Democratic Party MP for Hakkari, has been on hunger strike to demand the end to the isolated imprisonment of Kurdistan Workers’ Party leader Abdullah Ocalan.

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/w/palestinian-revolutionary-khaled-writes-in-support-of-kurdish-hunger-striker-leyla-guven

 

  1. Hunger strike in Wales reached day 30

15 January 2019| ANF English

Sis, who could not join the hunger strike action in Strasbourg, due to bureaucratic problems, has been on hunger strike in Wales for 30 days. Welsh politician Leanne Wood posted a tweet expressing her solidarity with Imam Sis. Wood also expressed her solidarity with HDP Hakkari deputy, Leyla Güven who is on hunger strike in Amed prison demanding the end of the isolation imposed on Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Ocalan. Plaid Cymru youth organization also visited Imam Sis to reiterate its solidarity with his hunger strike.

https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/hunger-strike-in-wales-reached-day-30-32131

 

  1. EXCLUSIVE: Unions and progressives refuse to be intimidated by Turkish state

15 January 2019| Morning Star

General secretaries of 14 unions remain defiant after Turkey’s ambassador demands they pull out of the Freedom for Ocalan campaign. London Assembly member for City and East and chair of the Justice for Kurdistan campaign Unmesh Desai told the Star of pressure from the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s office to cancel tonight’s solidarity meeting in City Hall after complaints from the Turkish embassy.

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/b/unions-and-progressives-refuse-to-be-intimidated-by-turkish-state

 

  1. Conference at the European Parliament: Isolation must be lifted

15 January 2019| ANF English

A press conference was held at the European Parliament on Tuesday about the hunger strikes going on in Turkey, Kurdistan and Europe. Dilek Öcalan read a statement on behalf of the activists on hunger strike in Strasbourg. She reiterated that “the isolation imposed on Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan is unacceptable.”

https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/conference-at-the-european-parliament-isolation-must-be-lifted-32154

 

  1. Vigil in Dublin for Leyla Güven

14 January 2019| ANF English

Sinn Fein promoted a Vigil in Dublin for HDP Hakkari MP Leyla Güven, who has reached day 67 of her hunger strike. The Hakkari MP has gone on hunger strike on 8 November in Amed prison where she is held a hostage to demand the end of the isolation regime imposed on Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Ocalan. As Martina Anderson, one of the party’s MEPs, has said, “We know all too well what hunger strike mean

https://anfenglish.com/news/vigil-in-dublin-for-leyla-gueven-32114

 

  1. MEPs and lawyers from Europe denied meeting with Leyla Güven

14 January 2019| ANF English

DTK co-chair and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Hakkari MP Leyla Güven is on hunger strike for 68 days in Amed prison to demand the end of the isolation imposed on Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan. Sinn Fein and Labour party MEPs Martina Anderson and Julia Ward are part of the delegation which includes also human rights defender Wendy Lyon of Ireland, UK human rights lawyer Margaret Owen and Italian lawyer Simonetta Rosella Benedetti. The delegation held a press conference at the Amed Bar Association on Sunday.

https://anfenglish.com/news/meps-and-lawyers-from-europe-denied-meeting-with-leyla-gueven-32109

 

  1. HDP Honorary Chair Kürkçü Faces Up To 20 Years in Prison

8 January 2019| Bianet English

Two summaries of proceedings issued against HDP Honorary Chair Kürkçü while he was an MP have become subject to two different investigations. Issuing a single indictment, the Prosecutor’s Office has brought three different charges against Kürkçü

http://m.bianet.org/english/politics/204258-hdp-honorary-chair-ertugrul-kurkcu-faces-up-to-20-years-in-prison-on-3-charges

 

  1. 7 Kurdish Parties Form Alliance for Local Elections

7 January 2019| Bianet English

Releasing a joint declaration ahead of local elections on March 31, seven Kurdish political parties, movements and associations, including Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), have announced that they have formed an alliance. These parties will enter the local elections under the umbrella of HDP.

http://bianet.org/english/politics/204214-7-kurdish-parties-form-alliance-for-local-elections

 

  1. Prison Sentence of Selahattin Demirtaş Taken to Constitutional Court

2 January 2019| Bianet English

After the court of appeal upheld the prison sentence of 4 years, 8 months given to HDP former Co-Chair Demirtaş, his attorneys have appealed to the Constitutional Court, stating that his right to a free election and freedom of expression have been violated. The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled that “all necessary measures shall be adopted to end the pre-trial detention of Demirtaş.” However, the court did not put the verdict into effect.

http://bianet.org/english/politics/204073-prison-sentence-of-selahattin-demirtas-taken-to-constitutional-court

 

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS

  1. While all eyes were on the Brexit vote, an important Kurdish solidarity event was held in City Hall

20 January 2019|The Canary

While all eyes were on the Brexit vote in Parliament on 15 January, City Hall held a little discussed solidarity event. The Canary attended the gathering. Activists, politicians, union representatives, and members of the wider Kurdish population all attended a ‘Freedom for Öcalan’ meeting. The Turkish state has kept Kurdish political leader Abdullah Öcalan imprisoned incommunicado, on the Imrali Island prison, for 20 years.

https://www.thecanary.co/exclusive/2019/01/20/while-all-eyes-were-on-the-brexit-vote-an-important-solidarity-event-was-held-in-city-hall/

 

  1. Angela Davis: Turkey, Free Leyla Guven, Hunger Striker

16 January 2019| New York Times

Angela Davies writes that “Leyla Guven, a member of Parliament from the Peoples’ Democratic Party in Turkey, has been on an indefinite hunger strike for the last two months. Having dedicated her political efforts over the years to the struggle against the Turkish state’s illegal military invasions and occupations of Kurdish regions and against Turkey’s continuing human rights abuses, she now offers her life in protest of the isolation of Abdullah Ocalan, leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, and other Kurdish political prisoners.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/16/opinion/letters/angela-davis-turkey-leyla-guven.html

 

  1. Rosa Luxenburg’s Living Legacy

15 January 2019| Komun Academy for Democratic Modernity

On the 100th anniversary of Rosa Luxemburg’s murder, it is worth emphasising the ways in which her legacy remains very much alive.  In this – an apocalyptic – age, when we are forced to confront an ongoing, Orwellian war on terror, which has done much to provoke a resurgence of the far-right around the globe, when “national” and “transnational” governing institutions have been thoroughly co-opted by a plutocratic clique determined to plunder the globe, when the spectre of climate catastrophe begins to unfold, Luxemburg’s thought and her praxis, her principled articulation and embodiment of a distinctly anti-dogmatic, libertarian and thoroughgoing, internationalist version of Marxism.

https://komun-academy.com/2019/01/15/the-enduring-relevance-of-rosa-luxemburg/

 

  1. Dying Kurdish parliamentarian’s last wish       

11 January 2019| Rudaw

Somewhere in the bowels of a miserable Turkish prison, a duly elected Kurdish member of the Turkish parliament lies dying. She has been on a hunger strike for more than two months now in Amed, Kurdistan, Turkey. Leyla Guven may be the next Kurdish martyr joining the ranks of Kemal Pir, Mehmet Hayri Durmuş, Akif Yılmaz and Ali Çiçek who undertook their own death fasts in the same city on Bastille Day in 1982.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/opinion/11012019

 

  1. (VIDEO) Documentary: Rojava in Syria, between compromise and utopia

10 January 2019| The Region

When Trump has decided to withdraw his troops from Syria and with Turkey threatening to invade Manbij and beyond, 19-minute video by Chris Den Hond and Mireille Court gives some background to the current crisis in the North of Syria. It tells the story of the political project of the Syrian Democratic Forces who controls 30% of the Syrian territory and defeated the Islamic State. “We want a decentralised Syria with a large autonomy for the regions,” says Ilham Ahmed, head of the delegation that went to Damascus for negotiations.

https://theregion.org/article/13334-documentary-rojava-syria-between-compromise-utopia

 

  1. The Life of Sakine Cansiz – “Realizing Utopias Here and Now”

9 January 2019| Komun Academy for Democratic Modernity

“Our approach to socialism was never very utopian. For us, it has never been something that is very far away. Instead, we tried to see how we can concretely realize socialism, freedom and equality. How could we at least start with ourselves to realize these principles in our own lives? We always had hopes and utopias, which we did not want to project on future generations. Instead, we started to realize our utopias and hopes, here and now.” – PKK co-founder Sakine Cansiz

https://komun-academy.com/2019/01/09/the-life-of-sakine-cansiz-realizing-utopias-here-and-now/

 

  1. Turkish journalist Sentenced to Prison Over Paradise

8 January 2019|International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

Turkish journalist Pelin Ünker has been sentenced to jail over the Paradise Papers investigation after being found to have defamed her nation’s former prime minister and two of his sons. An Istanbul court sentenced the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ member to imprisonment for 13 months for “defamation and insult.” Her legal team said the complaint against the now freelance reporter was doubly unfair because it also encompassed pieces not written by her.

https://www.icij.org/investigations/paradise-papers/turkish-journalist-sentenced-to-prison-over-paradise-papers-investigation/

 

  1. Trump Admin. Backtracks on Promise to Withdraw Troops from Syria

7 January 2019|The Real News Network

While Trump claimed US troops will leave Syria in 30 days, his neoconservative national security adviser John Bolton suggested otherwise, imposing conditions for withdrawal. Journalist Patrick Cockburn says mainstream corporate media reporting has been misleading and “childish.”

https://therealnews.com/stories/trump-admin-backtracks-on-promise-to-withdraw-troops-from-syria

 

STATEMENTS

  1. No-fly zone Over North East Syria

3 January 2019| European Syriac Union

We appeal to world leaders and to Christians throughout the world to support us, as Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian Christians living in Syria’s North East region: as indigenous people of the Middle East. We urgently need protection from Turkey’s threats to invade and “cleanse” our territory from Christianity, religious freedom, and democracy. US President Donald Trump’s sudden decision to withdraw US troops, leaves us powerless and open to be destroyed by either Turkey, or other regimes scrambling to see our demise in the vacuum this will create.

https://www.european-syriac-union.org/news-reader/no-fly-zone-over-north-east-syria-154.html

 

  1. Emergency Committee for Rojava: A Call to Defend Rojava

23 April 2018| Defend Rojava

When Raqqa fell in 2017, after a long siege by the US-backed, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), it was generally thought that ISIS was defeated, save for some mopping up. But in January of this year, Turkey invaded Afrin—one of three cantons in Rojava, also called the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria. After extensive air strikes, the city of Afrin fell on March 18—confronting the already troubled region with yet another humanitarian crisis, as thousands fled to escape the Turkish army and its Free Syrian Army allies (which include jihadist rebel groups and some fighters who are either openly aligned with al-Qaeda or even recent members of ISIS).

https://www.defendrojava.org/open-letter

 

EVENTS

  1. Symbiotic Horizon

19 January 2019|Facebook

The Norwich based social ecology collective Symbiotic Horizoni is currently in a joint effort with the Internationalist Commune in conducting numerous actions in solidarity with Rojava

https://www.facebook.com/248611549135773/posts/288040791859515/

Symbiotic Horizon in the UK stands in solidarity with the women’s revolution in Rojava!

https://www.facebook.com/248611549135773/posts/287784875218440/

 

  1. Kurdish youth call for action on 19 and 20 January

18 January 2019|ANF English

Kurdish youth organisations called on young people in all four parts of Kurdistan and elsewhere to take part in the actions to be promoted on 19 and 20 January with the slogan ‘We are rebelling against isolation!’”

https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/kurdish-youth-call-for-action-on-19-and-20-january-32223

 

  1. (VIDEO) The Cry of Afrin: Genocide and Demographic Change

3 December 2018| Rojava Center for Strategic Studies

The film was screened today at the end of the second day of the International Forum on “Ethnic Cleansing and Demographic Change in Afrin” held in Amouda. The film includes live testimonies of civilians subjected to various forms of oppression and injustice by the Turkish occupation and mercenary gangs, as well as human rights testimonies in this field. Rojava Center for Strategic Studies has prepared a documentary about Turkish violations, ethnic cleansing and demographic change in Afrin.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1cnFE5FsR_seWPS8cKtgWpH-oTiLMrUeT

 

  1. (VIDEO) Afrin

Rojava Center for Strategic Studies

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1MmZTiyHPwMvfZvrW5RgeDMfg-wcQiVO

 

Peace in Kurdistan

Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question

Email: estella24@tiscali.co.uk

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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