KURDISH NEWS BRIEFING, 28 JANUARY – 26 FEBRUARY 2019

 

NEWS

1. Hunger strikers in Strasbourg speak up – Deniz Sürgüt

2. Swiss Court: Fighting ISIS is honourable  

3. Kurdish parties signed alliance protocol for local elections

4. Hunger strike solidarity Platform formed in Europe

5. MSD Co-chair Ehmed speaks in the UK Parliament

6. Strasbourg hunger strikers’ call to European public opinion

7. Irish MEP visits Leyla Güven on day 104 of fast

8. Anderson meets Kurdish hunger striker Leyla Guven

9. Conference on Abdullah Öcalan in London

10. British trade unions and Peake wrote to Turkish government

11. Tens of thousands gather in Strasbourg to rally for Öcalan

12. Protest for Ocalan outside Turkish embassy in Bolivia

13. HDP, DTK, HDK and DBP call for an end to the isolation of Öcala

 

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS

1. Rojava Is Under Existential Threat

2. WRAPUP 2-Syria Kurds evacuate civilians from IS redoubt, hail Trump troop reversal

3. An inside account of how ‘direct participatory democracy’ works in northern Syria

4. Saleh Muslim: Not recognizing DAA is core problem in solving case ISIS detainees

5. Harrowing stories from Turkey and Kurdistan

6. The caliphate crumbles: the last days of Islamic State

7. Sinn Fein MEP demands international community act to save hunger-striking Kurdish MP Leyla Guven

8. Between Erdogan and the Ayatollahs, These Women Lead the Kurdish Battle for Freedom

9. Syrian Kurdish leader: border force needed to protect us from Turkey

10. Erdogan sheds crocodile tears for European Union

18 February 2019| Rudaw

11. Alliance between SDF and Syrian regime is “very far away,” senior Kurdish official

12. SDF commander meets senior U.S. generals, calls for coalition troops to stay in Syria

13. Denied Iraqi citizenship, graduates from Rojava miss out on jobs

14. UK co-ops come together in show of solidarity for Northern Syria – Co-operative News

15 February 2019|Coop News

15. 67 lawyers, academics and union leaders blast Council of Europe’s ‘abject failure’ to hold Turkey to account

16. Trade unions warn Turkey over Kurdish leader’s isolation

17. Time for peace in Turkey’s Kurdish conflict, 20 years after Ocalan’s capture

18. A Kurdish hunger striker in Wales says: ‘We are ready to die for our freedom because what we have now, this is not life.’

19. A revolutionary reveals how problems are solved in the fight against Daesh

20. An anti-fascist speaks out about defeating Daesh in its Syrian capital

21. Rojava and Turkey: A classic case in colonialism

22. Activists march to Wales in support of hunger strikers

23. Kurdish activists risk their lives in ‘irreversible’ and ‘indefinite’ hunger strikes

24. Erdogan: ‘Nothing will stop us’ if Syrian Kurds do not leave Manbij

25. Imam Sis speaks to the Star on his hunger strike for Kurdish freedom

26. Kurdish activists risk their lives in ‘irreversible’ and ‘indefinite’ hunger strikes

27. America’s Kurdish allies risk being wiped out – by Nato

28. America’s Kurdish allies risk being wiped out – by Nato

29. Skengdo and AM: the drill rappers sentenced for playing their song

30. Global days of action held in solidarity with progressive Rojava revolution in northern Syria

 

STATEMENTS

1. Letter by Yuksel Koc, Co-Chair, European Kurdish Democratic Society Congress(KCD-E)

2. Open Letter to Thorbjorn Jaglan, Secretary General of The Council of Europe

3. The Road Unforeseen

4. An urgent appeal to the government of Turkey and the International Community

5. Isolation of Öcalan must end – Hazzard 

6. Brazilian Left Front in solidarity with Leyla Güven

 

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NEWS

1. Hunger strikers in Strasbourg speak up – Deniz Sürgüt

23 February 2019|ANF English

14 Kurdish activists on hunger strike in Strasbourg to demand the end of the isolation of Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan, have entered their 69 day of fast. The activists underlined the importance of the support of the people to achieve the end of isolation and force the institutions that could help this goal to be reached, like the Committee for the Prevention of Torture, to take action.

https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/hunger-strikers-in-strasbourg-speak-up-deniz-suerguet-33136

 

2. Swiss Court: Fighting ISIS is honourable  

23 February 2019|ANF English

Syriac Swiss citizen Johan Cosar had fought with the Syriac Military Council to defend the people from ISIS attacks in Syria where he had travelled to in search of his lost father. Cosar was charged tried in a swiss military court that concluded that it was not a crime to fight against ISIS. The court described Cosar’s fight against ISIS as “honourable”. But he was fined 500 francs for violating Switzerland’s neutrality and security by joining the military organization of a foreign country while his service within the Swiss army still continued.

https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/swiss-court-fighting-isis-is-honourable-33142

 

3. Kurdish parties signed alliance protocol for local elections

22 February 2019|ANF English

HDP co-chairs Pervin Buldan and Sezai Temelli signed an electoral alliance protocol with representatives of the Kurdish parties at the KDP-T in Amed. Pervin Buldan said after the signing ceremony: “Many parties joined this alliance to contest united the 31 March local elections. We have achieved a significant unity as a result of our previous negotiations and we will implement this alliance in the local elections.

https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/kurdish-parties-signed-alliance-protocol-for-local-elections-33109

 

4. Hunger strike solidarity Platform formed in Europe

22 February 2019|ANF English

A number of political institutions, civil society organizations, intellectuals, politicians, academics and lawyers gathered in Dortmund and established a platform in solidarity with hunger strikers demanding the end of the isolation of Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan. The “Life Against Isolation Platform” will be carrying out diplomatic work in both Turkey and Europe to facilitate an answer to the demands of the hunger strikers who are at a critical stage.

https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/hunger-strike-solidarity-platform-formed-in-europe-33129

 

 

5. MSD Co-chair Ehmed speaks in the UK Parliament

21 February 2019| ANF English

Syrian Democratic Council (MSD) Co-chair Ilham Ehmed continued her diplomatic rounds and spoke in the UK’s Parliament yesterday. In her speech in the Parliament, Ehmed spoke about the Turkish State threats of attack, the fight against ISIS and many other issues. MP Sandy Martin, journalists and politicians, as well as many members of the public attended the meeting hosted by Labour Party MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle. Ilham Ehmed said that the 800 ISIS prisoners in their custody are citizens of 47 countries, and these countries should find a solution regarding their own citizens.

https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/msd-co-chair-ehmed-speaks-in-the-uk-parliament-33103

 

6. Strasbourg hunger strikers’ call to European public opinion

20 February 2019|ANF English

KCDK-E co-chair Yüksel Koç, who has been on hunger strike for 66 days together with 13 of his friends demanding the end of isolation against Abdullah Öcalan, has issued a call on the European public on behalf of hunger strikers. In his letter, Koç said that he is 55 years old and father of two. “I’m living in Germany for 30 years and I am the co-chair of the biggest Kurdish civil society organisation, the KCDK-E (European Kurdish Democratic Society Congress), which brings together some 457 associations, groups and organisations.”

https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/strasbourg-hunger-strikers-call-to-european-public-opinion-33073

 

7. Irish MEP visits Leyla Güven on day 104 of fast

19 February 2019|ANF English

Irish MEP, Martina Anderson, a former political prisoner of 13 years, visited Leyla Güven at her home. Democratic Society Congress (DTK) Co-chair and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) MP Leyla Güven is on day 104 of an indefinite hunger strike demanding an end to the aggravated isolation regime imposed upon Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan. Released from prison on the 79th day of her fast, Güven continues her hunger strike at her home in Amed (Diyarbakır).

https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/irish-mep-visits-leyla-gueven-on-day-104-of-fast-33045

 

8. Anderson meets Kurdish hunger striker Leyla Guven

19 February 2019|Sinn Fein

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson met today with Kurdish MP and hunger striker Leyla Guven. Speaking from Kurdistan, Martina Anderson said: “I met today with Kurdish hunger striker Leyla Guven who has been on hunger strike since November. “She has been released from prison as a result of international pressure but only under tight conditions and her health is continuing to deteriorate…”

http://www.sinnfein.ie/contents/52478

 

9. Conference on Abdullah Öcalan in London

18 February 2019|ANF English

The House of Lords, the upper wing of the UK parliament, hosted a one-day conference on the ideas of Öcalan. Lord Maurice Glassman opened the conference by saying: “It is very honorable for me to host such an important conference in the House of Lords. It is the first time we organize an all day long activity about Abdullah Öcalan and hopefully this conference will lead to more.”

https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/conference-on-abdullah-Oecalan-in-london-33020

 

10. British trade unions and Peake wrote to Turkish government

17 February 2019| ANF English

British trade union leaders and actress Maxine Peake have written to the Turkish government demanding an immediate end to the “inhumane” isolation of jailed Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan. Among signatories are Transport union TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes and Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burker.

https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/british-trade-unions-and-peake-wrote-to-turkish-government-33014

 

11. Tens of thousands gather in Strasbourg to rally for Öcalan

16 February 2019|ANF English

Kurds and their friends flock to the French city of Strasbourg where a huge rally will be held today to protest the February 15 international conspiracy against Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan and support the hunger strike campaign led by Democratic Society Congress (DTK) Co-chair and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) MP Leyla Güven demanding an end to the isolation imposed on the Kurdish leader.

https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/tens-of-thousands-gather-in-strasbourg-to-rally-for-Oecalan-32981

 

12. Protest for Ocalan outside Turkish embassy in Bolivia

16 February 2019| ANF English

In La Paz city of Bolivia, women held a protest in front of the Turkish embassy on the occasion of the anniversary of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan’s capture and handing over to Turkey, twenty years ago. The women put up banners and chanted “Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan”. The women from Bolivia also expressed their solidarity with the Kurdish politician Leyla Güven. The HDP MP has been on a hunger strike for over a hundred days against the isolation of Abdullah Öcalan on Imrali Prison Island.

https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/protest-for-ocalan-outside-turkish-embassy-in-bolivia-32976

 

13. HDP, DTK, HDK and DBP call for an end to the isolation of Öcalan

15 February 2019|ANF English

A press conference was held at Taksim Hill Hotel to mark both the 20th anniversary of the 15 February international conspiracy and the 100th day of the hunger strike of Leyla Güven. The meeting was attended by HDP co-chairs Pervin Buldan and Sezai Temelli, HDK co-spokespersons, DTK presidency members, DBP executives, representatives of different HDP constituents, civil society organisations, HDP Istanbul deputies.

https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/hdp-dtk-hdk-and-dbp-call-for-an-end-to-the-isolation-of-Oecalan-32960

 

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS

1. Rojava Is Under Existential Threat

22 February 2019|Jacobin

Donald Trump’s announced withdrawal from Syria would actually entrench US imperialism in the region — and open up the Kurds’ revolution in Rojava to extermination and colonization. “A strategic alliance with the US can only be possible if we wipe out terrorists from the north of Syria,” Erdoğan declared in December. “We have done so in Afrin and in Shengal. We have buried them in the trenches they had dug and we will continue to do so. If they don’t leave…”

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2019/02/rojava-united-states-withdrawal-syria-erdogan

2. WRAPUP 2-Syria Kurds evacuate civilians from IS redoubt, hail Trump troop reversal

22 February 2019| Reuters

Kurdish-led forces in Syria said they would complete the evacuation of thousands of civilians from Islamic State’s last redoubt in the area on Friday, and welcomed a White House reversal of President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out all U.S. troops.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/mideast-crisis-syria/wrapup-2-syria-kurds-evacuate-civilians-from-is-redoubt-hail-trump-troop-reversal-idUKL5N20H65O

 

3. An inside account of how ‘direct participatory democracy’ works in northern Syria

21 February 2019|The Canary|

An anti-fascist fighter has given The Canary an inside account of the “direct participatory democracy” currently flourishing in northern Syria. The Canary recently spoke to Argeş – and over the coming weeks we’ll be releasing his account in several parts. Argeş, an internationalist from the US, had volunteered to join the battle against Daesh. And after the group’s defeat in Raqqa, he decided to join Rojava’s social revolution.

https://www.thecanary.co/feature/2019/02/21/an-inside-account-of-how-direct-participatory-democracy-works-in-northern-syria/

 

4. Saleh Muslim: Not recognizing DAA is core problem in solving case ISIS detainees

21 February 2019|Hawarness

Saleh Muslim pointed out that after eradicating IS there must be international recognition of the Kurds and their cause and said “As a result of not accepting the legitimacy of Autonomous Administration in north and east of Syria internationally, so far, they cannot agree on any solution on the file of IS detainees. in order not to be able to resume its activity and intensify their movements again, must accept the legitimacy of Autonomous Administration in recognition of the Kurdish case”.

http://www.hawarnews.com/en/haber/saleh-muslim-not-recognizing-daa-is-core-problem-in-solving-case-isis-detainees-h7074.html

 

5. Harrowing stories from Turkey and Kurdistan

20 February 2019|Morning Star Online

TSSA leader MANUEL CORTES reports on his visit to meet trade unionists and key activists struggling for Kurdish liberation. There were so many first-hand harrowing stories of human and workers’ rights abuses while representing the General Federation of Trade Unions on a recent delegation to Kurdistan. We were united in asking the Turkish government to stop its systematic abuse of human and workers’ rights.

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/f/harrowing-stories-turkey-and-kurdistan

 

6. The caliphate crumbles: the last days of Islamic State

20 February 2019|New Satesman

IS has been reduced to a small encampment in Baghouz – a tent city where hundreds of fighters and 2,000 civilians, surrounded on all sides, wait for the inevitable end. In Syria’s Deir Ezzor province, in the village of Soussa, I held the end of the Islamic State’s empire in the palm of my hand. It was in Hajin, on the road to Baghouz, as the last scrap of a caliphate prepared to submit finally to the ceaseless bombardment against it, that I was given a handful of IS coins.

https://www.newstatesman.com/world/middle-east/2019/02/caliphate-crumbles-last-days-islamic-state

 

7. Sinn Fein MEP demands international community act to save hunger-striking Kurdish MP Leyla Guven

19 February 2019|Morning Star

SINN FEIN MEP Martina Anderson expressed solidarity from the people of Ireland as she demanded action from the international community to save Kurdish hunger-striking Kurdish MP Leyla Guven. In the south-east of Turkey yesterday Ms Anderson visited the Diyarbakir home of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) parliamentarian. Ms Guven was on the 103th day of her hunger strike in protest at the continued isolation of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan.

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/w/sinn-fein-mep-demands-international-community-act-to-save-hunger-striking-kurdish-mp-leyla-guven

 

8. Between Erdogan and the Ayatollahs, These Women Lead the Kurdish Battle for Freedom

19 February 2019|Haaretz

On the 40th anniversary of the Islamic revolution, leaders of the insurgency outline vision of ‘radical decentralization’. Two women in their mid-30s invite us to sit down around a table inside one of the huts. Zilan Vejin and Zilan Tanya introduce themselves as co-leaders of the PJAK and the Democratic and Free Society of Eastern Kurdistan — known as KODAR, ­the umbrella organization for the Iranian Kurdish movement — respectively.

https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/MAGAZINE-the-kurdish-women-leading-the-battle-for-independence-1.6953903

 

9. Syrian Kurdish leader: border force needed to protect us from Turkey

19 February 2019|The Guardian

The leader of the Syrian Kurds has called for a small international observer force to be stationed on the Turkey-Syria border to protect Kurds from what she says is the threat of crimes against humanity committed by Turkish forces. Ilham Ahmed is co-chair of the Syrian Democratic Council – the political arm of the US-backed and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which have been responsible for liberating much of north-eastern Syria from Islamic State.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/feb/19/syrian-kurdish-leader-ilham-ahmed-international-force-kurds-turkey-border?CMP=share_btn_link

 

10. Erdogan sheds crocodile tears for European Union

18 February 2019| Rudaw

Last week Turkish president Erdogan told Turkish media “I am now revealing the reason why they [the EU] are not taking Turkey in. I am saying it openly, there is only one reason: We are Muslim, they won’t take us because we are Muslim.” The idea of more Muslim migrants in a short period of time has become quite unpopular for an increasing number of European countries.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/opinion/18022019

 

11. Alliance between SDF and Syrian regime is “very far away,” senior Kurdish official Salih Muslim says

18 February 2019| The Defense Post

Muslim was responding to Coalition commander Lt. Gen. Paul LaCamera, who said the US would be obliged to sever its military support for the SDF if it partners with the Syrian regime

https://thedefensepost.com/2019/02/18/syria-sdf-assad-alliance-very-far-away-salih-muslim-lacamera/

 

12. SDF commander meets senior U.S. generals, calls for coalition troops to stay in Syria

18 February 2019|Ahval News

The commander of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Syria on Monday called for approximately 1,500 international forces to remain in Syria to help the Islamic State (ISIS) while expressing hope for a halt to Washington’s total withdrawal from the region, Lebanese Daily Star newspaper reported.

https://ahvalnews.com/sdf-united-states/sdf-commander-meets-senior-us-generals-calls-coalition-troops-stay-syria

 

13. Denied Iraqi citizenship, graduates from Rojava miss out on jobs

17 February 2019|Rudaw

Kurds from Syria completing their studies in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq are missing out on job opportunities because they have been denied Iraqi citizenship. Thousands of Kurds from northern Syria – also known as western Kurdistan or Rojava – fled to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq to escape civil war, conscription, or feared Turkish attack. Although the Kurdistan Regional Government has allowed them to enroll their children in schools and universities, many Rojava Kurds are denied the right to work in their chosen field because Baghdad has not granted them Iraqi citizenship.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/170220192

 

14. UK co-ops come together in show of solidarity for Northern Syria – Co-operative News

15 February 2019|Coop News

A group of UK co-ops have joined forces to show their support for Rojava – a de facto autonomous region of Northeastern Syria which is developing a co-operative economy.

Calverts, Radical Routes, Birmingham Bike Foundry, The Woodcraft Folk and Cornerstone Housing Co-operative are among those joining “co-op bloc” as part of a demonstration in London in support of the Rojava Revolution and the Kurdish population of northern Syria.

https://www.thenews.coop/136404/topic/politics/uk-co-ops-come-together-show-solidarity-northern-syria/

 

15. 67 lawyers, academics and union leaders blast Council of Europe’s ‘abject failure’ to hold Turkey to account

15 February 2019|The Canary|

67 lawyers, academics, MPs, and trade union officials have signed an open letter blasting the Council of Europe for failing to hold Turkey to account. The letter slammed its “abject failure to condemn Turkey’s treatment of prisoners [which] cannot be excused and now threatens to undermine the credibility of the core values of the European Convention on Human Rights”.

https://www.thecanary.co/uk/analysis/2019/02/15/78-lawyers-academics-and-union-leaders-blast-council-of-europes-abject-failure-to-hold-turkey-to-account/

 

16. Trade unions warn Turkey over Kurdish leader’s isolation

15 February 2019|The Morning Star

Trade union leaders and the actress Maxine Peake have written to the Turkish government demanding an immediate end to the “inhumane” isolation of jailed Kurdish icon Abdullah Ocalan. Their letter comes on the 20th anniversary of Mr Ocalan’s arrest and as hundreds of his Kurdish supporters are staging lengthy hunger strikes to highlight his plight.

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/b/trade-unions-warn-turkey-over-kurdish-leaders-isolation

 

17. Time for peace in Turkey’s Kurdish conflict, 20 years after Ocalan’s capture

15 February 2019 | Ahval

Twenty years ago today, Turkey announced Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Öcalan had been captured in Kenya and brought back to Turkey. The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the organisation he led, had been fighting the Turkish government for 15 years, seeking national liberation for Turkey’s Kurdish minority. When the PKK was established, it was illegal in Turkey to give a child a Kurdish name, to celebrate Kurdish holidays, or to speak Kurdish in public. https://ahvalnews.com/turkey-kurds/time-peace-turkeys-kurdish-conflict-20-years-after-ocalans-capture-0

 

18. A Kurdish hunger striker in Wales says: ‘We are ready to die for our freedom because what we have now, this is not life.’

15 February 2019|The Canary

15 February is known to Kurdish people as ‘Roja Reş’, or Black Day. It marks the 20th anniversary of Turkey’s CIA-backed abduction and imprisonment of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan. Demonstrations and marches are being held around the world. Öcalan is a key figure in the Kurdish people’s struggle against their oppressor, Turkey. In the late 1970s, he co-founded the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which began an armed struggle against the Turkish state. After his capture, Turkey initially sentenced Öcalan to the death penalty. But this was later dropped when Turkey wanted to join the EU.

https://www.thecanary.co/feature/2019/02/15/a-kurdish-hunger-striker-in-wales-says-we-are-ready-to-die-for-our-freedom-because-what-we-have-now-this-is-not-life/

 

19. A revolutionary reveals how problems are solved in the fight against Daesh

14 February 2019|The Canary

An anti-fascist fighter has spoken to The Canary about how he and his comrades-in-arms solve their problems while fighting against Daesh (Isis/Isil). In 2012, a revolution began in the majority-Kurdish region of Rojava in northern Syria. People organised themselves into communes, declared autonomy, and began practising stateless direct democracy. And hundreds of women and men from around the world volunteered to help defend the revolution.

https://www.thecanary.co/feature/2019/02/14/a-revolutionary-reveals-how-problems-are-solved-in-the-fight-against-daesh/

 

20. An anti-fascist speaks out about defeating Daesh in its Syrian capital

14 February 2019|The Canary

Argeş: “I had been following the Syrian civil war since the beginning. That’s how I learned about the Kurdish movement and the whole idea of the Rojava revolution… then [I heard] about this group called the YPG, who were fighting Daesh, and doing a great job of it… and [I learnt] about their ideology of democratic confederalism [the practice of governing society from the bottom up, through autonomous communes cooperating together]”.

https://www.thecanary.co/feature/2019/02/14/an-anti-fascist-speaks-out-about-defeating-daesh-in-its-syrian-capital/

 

21. Rojava and Turkey: A classic case in colonialism

13 February 2019|Rudaw

Kurdish-dominated areas of northern Syria are at the forefront of Ankara’s neo-Ottoman, imperialist designs for the Near East. To prevent another disastrous war in the region, the international community must support the Kurds’ right to self-defense and self-determination.

As the United States prepares to withdraw militarily from Syria, one of the biggest questions is that of the Kurdish presence in the north — known as Rojava.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/opinion/13022019

 

22. Activists march to Wales in support of hunger strikers

12 February 2019|The Canary

In a bid to break the silence over the critical condition of Kurdish hunger strikers, solidarity activists in the UK are currently marching from London to Wales. They will arrive in Newport on 15 February, where they will meet Ilhan Sis (also known as Imam), who is approaching his 60th day of hunger strike. He is one of hundreds of Kurdish hunger strikers around the world calling for an end to the solitary confinement of their leader, Abdullah Öcalan.

https://www.thecanary.co/trending/2019/02/12/activists-march-to-wales-in-support-of-hunger-strikers/

 

23. Kurdish activists risk their lives in ‘irreversible’ and ‘indefinite’ hunger strikes

4 February 2019|The Canary

Kurdish politicians, political prisoners and activists around the world are carrying out indefinite hunger strikes, with a number of people in critical condition. They are demanding the end of the Turkish-imposed isolation of Kurdish leader Abdullah ‘Apo’ Öcalan.

https://www.thecanary.co/feature/2019/02/04/kurdish-activists-risk-their-lives-in-irreversible-and-indefinite-hunger-strikes/

 

24. Erdogan: ‘Nothing will stop us’ if Syrian Kurds do not leave Manbij

10 February 2019| Week in Review[PAYWALL]

“If the terrorists in Manbij are not removed in the next few weeks, our waiting will end,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned last week. He added, “We will go our own way and nothing will stop us from implementing our plans, including a sanctions list,” Jasper Mortimer reports. “Turkey reached an agreement with the United States for the withdrawal of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) from Manbij last year,” writes Mortimer. “But despite [US President Donald] Trump’s announcement in December that US forces would pull out of Syria, the town continues to be controlled by US troops and the all

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/02/erdogan-turkey-syria-kurds-manbij-threat-hamas-tunisia.html#ixzz5fvM3MBVg

 

25. Imam Sis speaks to the Star on his hunger strike for Kurdish freedom

6 February 2019| The Morning Star

Imam has been on hunger strike for 52 days in solidarity with Kurdish MP Leyla Guven as part of a global movement demanding an end to the isolation of jailed Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan. He spoke to journalist Steve Sweeney and former international fighter with the YPG Mark Campbell.

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/f/imam-sis-speaks-star-his-hunger-strike-kurdish-freedom

 

26. Kurdish activists risk their lives in ‘irreversible’ and ‘indefinite’ hunger strikes

4 February 2019|The Canary|Eliza Egret

Kurdish politicians, political prisoners and activists around the world are carrying out indefinite hunger strikes, with a number of people in critical condition. They are demanding the end of the Turkish-imposed isolation of Kurdish leader Abdullah ‘Apo’ Öcalan.

https://www.thecanary.co/feature/2019/02/04/kurdish-activists-risk-their-lives-in-irreversible-and-indefinite-hunger-strikes/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

 

27. America’s Kurdish allies risk being wiped out – by Nato

1 February 2019|The Guardian

Turkey is seen as the Kurds’ mortal enemy but it uses German tanks and British helicopters: this is an international outrage. Remember those plucky Kurdish forces who so heroically defended the Syrian city of Kobane from Isis? They risk being wiped out by Nato. The autonomous Kurdish region of Rojava in Northeast Syria, which includes Kobane, faces invasion. A Nato army is amassing on the border, marshaling all the overwhelming firepower and high-tech equipment that only the most advanced military forces can deploy.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/feb/01/americas-kurdish-allies-syria-turkey-nato

 

28. America’s Kurdish allies risk being wiped out – by Nato

1 February 2019 | The Guardian

Turkey is seen as the Kurds’ mortal enemy but it uses German tanks and British helicopters: this is an international outrage. Remember those plucky Kurdish forces who so heroically defended the Syrian city of Kobane from Isis? They risk being wiped out by Nato. The autonomous Kurdish region of Rojava in Northeast Syria, which includes Kobane, faces invasion. A Nato army is amassing on the border, marshaling all the overwhelming firepower and high-tech equipment that only the most advanced military forces can deploy. The commander in chief of those forces says he wants to return Rojava to its “rightful owners” who, he believes, are Arabs, not Kurds.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/feb/01/americas-kurdish-allies-syria-turkey-nato

 

29. Skengdo and AM: the drill rappers sentenced for playing their song

31 January 2019| The Guardian

Already banned from one postcode, the duo received a prison sentence for performing Attempted 1.0 – making legal history. ‘We’re being criminalised for making music’, they say

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/jan/31/skengdo-and-am-the-drill-rappers-sentenced-for-playing-their-song

 

30. Global days of action held in solidarity with progressive Rojava revolution in northern Syria

28 January 2019| The Canary

As part of an organised push for solidarity on 27 and 28 January, people around the world came out to support the progressive revolution of Rojava in northern Syria. This was especially important because NATO ally Turkey is currently threatening to invade these communities.

https://www.thecanary.co/global/world-analysis/2019/01/28/global-days-of-action-held-in-solidarity-with-progressive-rojava-revolution-in-northern-syria/

 

STATEMENTS

1. Letter by Yuksel Koc, Co-Chair, European Kurdish Democratic Society Congress(KCD-E)

20 February 2019|Peace in Kurdistan Campaign

To the European Public Opinion: “Dear Friends:…Since 17 December 2018, my 12 comrades and I, as part of the Freedom for Öcalan Initiative, have been on an indefinite hunger strike in Strasbourg.  We are on the 64th day of this action, and our health is deteriorating”.

https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2019/02/20/9526/

 

2. Open Letter to Thorbjorn Jaglan, Secretary General of The Council of Europe

14 February 2019| Peace in Kurdistan

The Council of Europe’s abject failure to condemn Turkey’s treatment of prisoners cannot be excused and now threatens to undermine the credibility of the core values of the European Convention on Human Rights.

https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2019/02/14/open-letter-to-thorbjorn-jagland-secretary-general-of-the-council-of-europe/

 

3. The Road Unforeseen

14 February 2019| International Initiative

20 Years of Struggle in an Island Prison: The Emergence of an Alternative for the Oppressed

http://www.freeocalan.org/news/english/the-road-unforeseen

 

4. An urgent appeal to the government of Turkey and the International Community

16 February 2019| International Initiative

Today, 15 February 2019, marks both the 20th anniversary of Öcalan’s abduction and the 100th day of HDP MP Leyla Güven´s hunger strike. The situation now for Ms. Güven and the more than 330 others on hunger strike around the world is beyond critical. The international community must be regarded as complicit in serious human rights abuses committed by the Turkish government.

http://www.freeocalan.org/news/english/delegation-statement

 

5. Isolation of Öcalan must end – Hazzard 

16 February 2019| Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard 

Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard has called for the immediate release of Kurdish political leader Abdullah Ocalan on the 20th anniversary of his detention. Speaking at a Kurdish solidarity event at Westminster on Friday, the South Down MP said: “As we gather in London to mark the 20th anniversary of Abdullah Öcalan’s abduction by Turkish forces in Nairobi in 1999, it’s worth remembering that he has now been held in prison longer than Nelson Mandela spent on Robben Island.

http://www.sinnfein.ie/contents/52463

 

6. Brazilian Left Front in solidarity with Leyla Güven

15 February 2019|ANF English                                                  

Brazilian Left Front released a statement of solidarity with DTK Co-chair and HDP MP Leyla Güven who is on the 100th day of her hunger strike against the isolation regime imposed on Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan. The statement reads as follows; “Today is the 100th day of Leyla Güven’s hunger strike. On November 7, 2018, the HDP (People’s Democratic Party) MP announced an indefinite hunger strike in protest against the solitary confinement of Kurdish political prisoners and the leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Abdullah Öcalan, who has been sentenced to life in prison and has been jailed since 1999…”

https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/brazilian-left-front-in-solidarity-with-leyla-gueven-32973

 

 

 

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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