KURDISH NEWS BRIEFING, 11 APRIL 2019 – 7 MAY 2019

NEWS

  1. Lawyers for Abdullah Öcalan publicly read his letter, following their historic meeting with the Kurdish leader.
  2. Deir ez-Zor people protest Turkish attacks and wall construction
  3. Ocalan calls an end to hunger strikes and resumption of peace talks
  4. Abdullah Ocalan meets with lawyers for the first time since 2011
  5. Deir ez-Zor people protest Turkish attacks and wall construction
  6. Activists in twelve towns target TUI in campaign supporting kurdish hunger strike.
  7. Jailed journalists in Turkey begin hunger strike in protest over PKK leader’s isolation
  8. *BREAKING* Welsh Government Minister writes to Jeremy Hunt urging him to contact
  9. HDP writes letter to the international community on death fasts
  10. NAV-DEM: Support Kurdish and democratic candidates in Europe
  11. Lawyers: Prisoners’ demand should be accepted
  12. PFLP Secretary General visited MPs on hunger strike in Amed
  13. Turkey protests Kurdish language classes at Japanese University
  14. Turkish soldiers killed in clashes with Kurdish rebels
  15. Ken Loach backs 7000 Kurdish protesters on hunger strike
  16. Washington can help strike a deal between Turkey and Kurds in Syria – analysis
  17. Syria Kurds say deal made for 31,000 displaced Iraqis to go home

 

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS

  1. Remainder of 2019 to determine course of Turkey-EU relations – analyst
  2. UK activists begin five-day hunger strike
  3. New Turkish attacks in Syria are a stark warning of the threat to the Rojava revolution
  4. ‘We are Ashamed to Share Such a Dark Picture on the 26th Year of the Press Freedom Day’
  5. Campaign of the Week: New Journalists for Democracy in Turkey and Kurdistan is ‘a revolution’
  6. The UK government will have blood on its hands if Kurdish hunger strikers die
  7. Activists call for boycott of tourism to Turkey because it ‘funds the state’s war on the Kurdish people’
  8. Turkish-backed militia releases leader of pro-Barzani faction in Syria’s Afrin
  9. US envoy kicks off Syria safe zone talks in Ankara
  10. After Victory, Putin Steps Into Syrian Minefield
  11. A political prisoner’s letter to humanity: “Where is your voice?”
  12. Where ISIS Ruled in Syria, Fear and Uncertainty Reign
  13. “Revenge of the Kurds”: Erdogan’s Missteps Are Piling Up – FPIF
  14. Amnesty and ITV offices occupied to break the silence over jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan
  15. Hunger strikes can work. That’s why we need to get behind the hunger-striking Kurdish activists.
  16. These were the scenes in Turkey as Erdoğan’s wife got a ‘humanitarian’ award in London
  17. Ken Loach just sent a solidarity message that the whole world needs to read
  18. Syrian Kurdish official: Damascus talks going nowhere, Russia to blame
  19. Co-Chairperson of the KONGRA-Gel: “New Phase for the Kurdish Movement
  20. Football legend Neville Southall just gave a truly revolutionary movement access to his Twitter account

STATEMENTS

  1. KCK: Isolation hasn’t ended, demands haven’t been met
  2. Open letter to the UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt
  3. PR: First Mandela. Now Öcalan. Why is Amnesty afraid to campaign for those fighting for the liberation of their people?

 EVENTS

  1. The Great Betrayal: How America Abandoned the Kurds and Lost the Middle East,

20 May 2019

CAMPAIGNS, ACTION

  1. (VIDEO)Imrali”, narrated by Maxine Peake
  2. Report from the UK delegation to observe the municipal election in Turkey

 

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NEWS

  1. Lawyers for Abdullah Öcalan publicly read his letter, following their historic meeting with the Kurdish leader.
    7 May 2019|Peace in Kurdistan
    On 2 May Abdullah Ocalan’s lawyers met the Kurdish leader for the first time since 27 July 2011 Abdullah Öcalan and three other prisoners on Imralı, wrote a letter which was read out in full. It begins as follows, “TO THE PUBLIC There is a need for a deep social reconciliation in this historic process we are experiencing. There is an urgent need for a method of democratic negotiations, far removed from any and all polarization and culture of conflict for the solution of problems.”https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2019/05/07/lawyers-for-abdullah-
  2. ocalan-publicly-read-his-letter-following-their-historic-meeting-with-the-kurdish-leader/

 

  1. Deir ez-Zor people protest Turkish attacks and wall construction6 May 2019|ANF EnglishHundreds of people protested against Turkish occupation in northern Syria on Sunday in the village of al-Saur in the eastern Syrian region of Deir ez-Zor. The demonstration was directed in particular against Turkey’s construction of the wall in Canton of Afrin. The Turkish state has been erecting a wall there for several weeks aiming for the incorporation of the region to its own territory.https://anfenglishmobile.com/rojava-northern-syria/deir-ez-zor-people-protest-turkish-attacks-and-wall-construction-34775
  1. Ocalan calls an end to hunger strikes and resumption of peace talks
    6 May 2019|Morning Star
    Abdullah Ocalan called for an end to hunger strikes in protest at his isolation today after meeting with his lawyers for the first time in almost nine years. A letter seen by the Morning Star and signed by the Kurdish leader was read out by his legal team at an eagerly awaited press conference in Istanbul this afternoon. He wrote that he although he “respects the resistance of friends inside and outside prison” he asked them to not to carry hunger strikes to the stage where they will “endanger their health and will lead them to death.”
    https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/w/ocalan-calls-end-hunger-strikes-and-resumption-peace-talks

 

  1. Abdullah Ocalan meets with lawyers for the first time since 2011
    6 May 2019|Morning Star
    Abdullah Ocalan has met with his layers for the first time since 2011. Asrın Law Office made a written statement and announced that they had visited their client PKK Leader Ocalan in İmralı Type F Closed Prison on May 2. They will make a press statement in Taksim Hill Hotel at 3pm (1pm GMT)
    https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/breaking-news-abdullah-ocalan-meets-lawyers-first-time-2011

 

  1. Deir ez-Zor people protest Turkish attacks and wall construction
    6 May 2019|ANF English
    In a village of Deir ez-Zor, hundreds of people have protested against Turkish aggression in northern Syria. The Turkish state builds a wall in Afrin with the purpose of annexing the area.
    https://anfenglishmobile.com/rojava-northern-syria/deir-ez-zor-people-protest-turkish-attacks-and-wall-construction-34775

 

  1. Activists in twelve towns target TUI in campaign supporting kurdish hunger strike.
    4 May 2019|Kurdish Solidarity Campaign Cymru via Peace in Kurdistan
    On the 4th May activists in twelve towns and cities across Wales, Scotland, and England took part in a day of action in solidarity with Kurdish hunger strikers across the world. The campaign highlighted Turkish human rights abuses and discouraged people in the UK from holidaying in Turkey, arguing this indirectly supports human rights abuses in Turkey. The day of action focused on Tui (formerly Thomson Holidays). The list of places where actions took place are: Barry, Swansea, Newport, Cardiff City Centre, Bristol, Brighton, Hull, Exeter, Merthyr Tudful, Manchester, Roath (Cardiff), Dundee, London. Actions will be happening in Liverpool and Bangor early next week.
    https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2019/05/05/activists-in-twelve-towns-target-tui-in-campaign-supporting-kurdish-hunger-strike/

 

  1. Jailed journalists in Turkey begin hunger strike in protest over PKK leader’s isolation
    3 May 2019|Morning Star
    Jailed journalists from the Mesopotamia News Agency in Turkey are on a protest, it was announced on World Press Freedom Day yesterday. They are part of the growing campaign across Turkish prisons which has seen a reported 7,000 joining the hunger strike action in protest at the treatment of Mr Ocalan which they say amounts to torture. At a press conference in the largely Kurdish city of Diyarbakir yesterday the Mesopotamia Women Journalists Platform announced that 14 women journalists had been jailed with 13 of the agency’s workers on hunger strike.
    https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/w/jailed-journalists-in-turkey-begin-hunger-strike-day-in-protest-over-pkk-leaders-isolation

 

 

  1. *BREAKING* Welsh Government Minister writes to Jeremy Hunt urging him to contact the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture regarding solitary confinement of Abdullah Öcalan
    3 May 2019|Peace in Kurdistan
    Eluned Morgan AM (Labour), the Welsh Government Minister for International Relations & Welsh Language, has sent a letter to Jeremy Hunt (see letter via link below) urging him to contact the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) re: the isolation of Öcalan, in light of the deteriorating condition of Imam Sis (on day 138 of his hunger strike today).
    https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2019/05/03/breaking/

 

  1. HDP writes letter to the international community on death fasts
    2 May 2019|ANF News
    15 political prisoners turned their hunger strike into “death fast” on 30 April 2019 demanding the end of the isolation imposed on Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan. Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) vice co-chair Responsible for Foreign Affairs, Hişyar Özsoy, wrote a letter to the international community regarding the 15 political prisoners.
    https://anfenglish.com/news/hdp-writes-letter-to-the-international-community-on-death-fasts-34692

 

  1. NAV-DEM: Support Kurdish and democratic candidates in Europe
    1 May 2019 | ANF News
    The Democratic Kurdish Community Center of Germany (NAV-DEM) called on Kurdish voters to support candidates supporting liberties in the European Parliament elections. European Parliament elections will be held on 23 and 26 May and will elect 705 deputies for the next five years. Germany, which has the largest population of the EU with a population of 83 million, will send 96 parliamentarians to the European Parliament. According to the Federal Electoral Council, approximately 350,000 Kurdish citizens in Germany have the right to vote. According to NAV-DEM, Kurdish voters could have a significant impact on the European Parliament elections.
    https://anfenglishmobile.com/features/nav-dem-support-kurdish-and-democratic-candidates-in-europe-34664

 

  1. Lawyers: Prisoners’ demand should be accepted
    30 April 2019|ANF News
    Lawyers for Freedom Association (OHD) held a press statement by the Mersin Courthouse on the ongoing hunger strikes against the isolation imposed upon Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Ocalan. A large group of lawyers attended the statement read by Hosyar Sariyildiz.
    https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/lawyers-prisoners-demand-should-be-accepted-34650

 

  1. PFLP Secretary General visited MPs on hunger strike in Amed
    27 April 2019| ANF News
    Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) Secretary General Ahmed Saadet’s lawyer Mahmod Hassan visited the 3 Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) MPs who have been on a hunger strike since March 3, following his visit to Democratic Society Congress (DTK) Co-chair Leyla Guven who has been on a hunger strike for 171 days to break the isolation imposed upon Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Ocalan.
    https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/pflp-secretary-general-visited-mps-on-hunger-strike-in-amed-34580

 

  1. Turkey protests Kurdish language classes at Japanese University
    29 April 2019|Kurdistan 24
    The Turkish Foreign Ministry is against the start of Kurdish language classes at a university in Japan, a faculty member at the University of Tokyo said on Monday. Vakkak Çolak is currently teaching 40 Japanese students the Kurdish language at the University of Tokyo, a program which began on April 1. He told Kurdistan 24 on Monday that Turkey’s interference is counterproductive, adding that the university is free and independent to make its own decisions. “This is an academic issue, there is no reason for the Turkish Foreign Ministry or anyone else to interfere,” he stated. “There is academic freedom.”
    http://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/8e263f73-f1bf-4e0e-8659-dc2227919f04

 

  1. Turkish soldiers killed in clashes with Kurdish rebels
    20 April 2019|Kurdistan 24
    Kurdish rebels killed four Turkish soldiers and wounded six others on Friday at midnight near the Kurdistan Region border, Turkey’s Defense Ministry said in a press release. Clashes erupted during a Turkish army operation against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).There was no comment from the PKK regarding the clashes as of the time of publishing this report.
    http://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/11eee96d-7f2c-4291-b0f5-235ba50266b3

 

  1. Ken Loach backs 7000 Kurdish protesters on hunger strike
    14 April 2019| The National
    Film director Ken Loach, who has previously been outspoken in support of the London Kurdish Film Festival and the Kobane International Film Festival, has sent solidarity and support to the Kurdish hunger strikers. The message states: ‘‘We want to express solidarity with over 7000 Kurdish hunger strikers and their demand that the imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan be allowed his basic human right to visits by his family and his lawyers”.
    https://www.thenational.scot/news/17572124.ken-loach-backs-7000-kurdish-protesters-on-hunger-strike/

 

  1. Washington can help strike a deal between Turkey and Kurds in Syria – analysis
    12 April 2019| Ahval
    Washington can fold its NATO ally back into a U.S.-led regional bloc, said analysts Merve Tahiroğlu and Andrew Gabel in Foreign Affairs, the news magazine of the highly influential Council on Foreign Relations. The two analysts argue that the US would achieve this with a policy that will address Turkey’s security concerns in northern Syria and create economic incentives for cooperation between Ankara and Kurds.
    https://ahvalnews.com/us-turkey/washington-can-help-strike-deal-between-turkey-and-kurds-syria-analysis

 

  1. Syria Kurds say deal made for 31,000 displaced Iraqis to go home
    11 April 2019Z| AFP via The National
    Syria’s Kurds on Thursday announced a deal with Baghdad for 31,000 displaced Iraqis, mostly women and children, in camps in northeastern Syria to return home to Iraq. Tens of thousands of people live in the camps, which swelled enormously during the months-long battle that culminated in the defeat of the last vestige of ISIS’s “caliphate” by a Kurdish-led alliance. Baghdad is preparing for the return of tens of thousands of citizens.
    https://www.thenational.ae/world/mena/syria-kurds-say-deal-made-for-31-000-displaced-iraqis-to-go-home-1.847935

 

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS

  1. Remainder of 2019 to determine course of Turkey-EU relations – analyst
    5 May 2019|Ahval
    In a non-binding vote on March 13, 2019, the European Parliament called for the suspension of EU accession talks with Turkey, citing violations of human rights and the rule of law. Despite growing divergences between Turkey and its traditional Western allies, neither side can afford relations to deteriorate beyond a certain point, writes Mar Pierini a visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe wrote. He noted that this is particularly true of the EU-Turkey economic relationship, “where trade, foreign direct investment, and technology transfers play important roles both ways”.
    https://ahvalnews.com/turkey-eu/remainder-2019-determine-course-turkey-eu-relations-analyst

 

  1. UK activists begin five-day hunger strike
    5 May 2019|The Canary
    Three UK activists are on a five-day hunger strike. They are taking action in solidarity with thousands of Kurdish hunger strikers around the world, some of whom are nearing death. The Canary spoke to the activists. Charlie Qereçox, a 33-year-old from Bristol said: “We are on hunger strike, along with thousands of others, who are calling for an end to the isolation of [Kurdish leader] Abdullah Öcalan, so that the peace process in Turkey can be resumed.”
    https://www.thecanary.co/discovery/news-discovery/2019/05/05/uk-activists-begin-five-day-hunger-strike/

 

  1. New Turkish attacks in Syria are a stark warning of the threat to the Rojava revolution
    5 May 2019|The Canary
    The Turkish army and its allies have begun attacking the Kurdish majority region of Rojava (northeastern Syria). The Kurdish ANF News Agency reported that at least five civilians and five fighters have been wounded by “howitzers and tank fire” in the area of Til Rifat, Shera and Shehba. This follows a previous attack on Shehba by Turkish forces on 1 May.
    Til Rifat and Shehba lie next to Afrin. In January 2018, the Turkish army and its Islamist proxy forces invaded Afrin. They have occupied it ever since.
    https://www.thecanary.co/global/world-analysis/2019/05/05/new-turkish-attacks-in-syria-are-a-stark-waning-of-the-threat-to-the-rojava-revolution/

 

  1. ‘We are Ashamed to Share Such a Dark Picture on the 26th Year of the Press Freedom Day’
    3 May 2019|bianet ENGLISH
    The Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS) has released its “Turkey Press Freedom Report” on May 3 World Press Freedom Day. TGS Chair Gökhan Durmuş and attorney Ülkü Şahin have presented the report. Durmuş said “There is no press freedom in Turkey, we can also comfortably say that there is no democracy in Turkey. We don’t have any other option than striving together to change this picture.” Şahin, speaking after Durmuş, read the report they prepared. “In the last years, increasing pressure on journalists, the control of the media being taken by the government, arrest of the 142 journalists destroyed the press freedom in the country,” she said.
    http://bianet.org/english/media/208129-we-are-ashamed-to-share-such-a-dark-picture-on-the-26th-year-of-the-press-freedom-day

 

  1. Campaign of the Week: New Journalists for Democracy in Turkey and Kurdistan is ‘a revolution’
    3 May 2019|Morning Star
    Journalists, campaigners and Turkish and Kurdish organisations based in Britain came together in a new solidarity initiative announced on World Press Freedom Day yesterday. Internationally renowned journalist and artist Zehra Dogan said she was “very, very excited” to hear of the campaign launch as she agreed to become its first patron earlier this week. We met in London weeks after she received the Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Arts Award. Dogan spent two-and-a-half years in prison after she created a painting which depicted the devastation of the Kurdish town of Nusaybin caused after Turkish military operations.
    https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/journalists-democracy-turkey-and-kurdistan

 

  1. The UK government will have blood on its hands if Kurdish hunger strikers die
    3 May 2019|The Canary
    As Kurdish hunger strikers in Britain and around the world get closer to death, the UK government needs to urgently take some responsibility. Thousands of hunger strikers are ready to sacrifice their lives to protest the solitary confinement of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan.
    And many are now in a very critical condition. Yet Theresa May’s government continues to cosy up to the brutal Turkish regime responsible for his isolation.
    https://www.thecanary.co/opinion/2019/05/03/the-uk-government-will-have-blood-on-its-hands-if-kurdish-hunger-strikers-die/

 

  1. Activists call for boycott of tourism to Turkey because it ‘funds the state’s war on the Kurdish people’
    1 May 2019|The Canary
    Activists in cities across the UK are planning to picket travel agencies on 4 May. They want to persuade people to boycott holidays in Turkey. Kurdish activists have repeatedly called for holiday-makers to boycott Turkey in protest at the state’s crimes against Kurdish communities. It represses Kurdish people living within its borders, for example, and last year launched an invasion and occupation of Afrin in Rojava (northern Syria). In 2018, the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT) found Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Turkish state guilty of war crimes, as well as crimes against humanity, against the Kurdish people.
    https://www.thecanary.co/global/world-analysis/2019/05/01/activists-call-for-boycott-of-tourism-to-turkey-because-it-funds-the-states-war-on-the-kurdish-people/

 

  1. Turkish-backed militia releases leader of pro-Barzani faction in Syria’s Afrin
    1 May 2019|Kurdistan 24
    An armed group backed by Turkey in Syria’s northwestern city of Afrin released the head of the local Kurdish National Council (KNC) on Tuesday after detaining him for a month.
    Hussein Ibesh is also a member of the Central Committee of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Syria (KDP-S), the Syrian affiliate of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), headed by Masoud Barzani over the Iraqi border in Erbil.
    http://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/56ed7d40-4260-4011-9167-4eb94bc4e4d0

 

  1. US envoy kicks off Syria safe zone talks in Ankara
    1 May 2019|Al-Monitor
    According to Turkish reports, US Syria envoy Jim Jeffrey discussed the contentious safe zone as well as “operations east of the Euphrates” with officials in Ankara, but deep differences between Turkey and the Syrian Kurds make a deal look just as remote as ever.
    https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/05/jeffrey-kalin-turkey-talks-safe-zone-syria.html#ixzz5mtQh8iKD

 

  1. After Victory, Putin Steps Into Syrian Minefield
    1 May 2019|Haaretz
    Caught between a stalling U.S. pullout, Israeli ‘alliance’ and Idlib militias, Russian president finds his monopoly over Assad’s resurgence may require some flexibility. The diplomatic plan Russia drew up looks, on its face, to be orderly and logical. According to the plan, Russia was already meant to be withdrawing some of its forces from Syria. But things started to go wrong when, in December, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that he planned to withdraw his forces from Syria, and then didn’t implement that decision.
    https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/.premium-after-syria-victory-putin-steps-into-trump-israel-turkey-iran-minefield-1.7183888

 

  1. A political prisoner’s letter to humanity: “Where is your voice?”
    29 April 2019|ANF News
    Murat Türk, a former guerrilla fighter from Kurdistan, was arrested in 1995 and sentenced to life in prison by a Turkish court. For two months, he has been on hunger strike to protest the solitary confinement imposed upon Kurdish representative Abdullah Öcalan, by the Turkish state.
    https://anfenglishmobile.com/features/a-political-prisoner-s-letter-to-humanity-where-is-your-voice-34627

 

  1. Where ISIS Ruled in Syria, Fear and Uncertainty Reign
    29 April 2019|The New York Times
    The Islamic State lost control of eastern Syria, but a visit there found cities in shambles, an uncertain future and ISIS still carrying out deadly attacks. A Kurdish-led administration is struggling to govern North East Syria, also known as Rojava, which encompasses roughly the third of Syria east of the Euphrates River. But the United States, which led the military coalition to defeat the Islamic State, has not recognized the local administration and won’t help with reconstruction.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/29/world/middleeast/isis-syria-kurds-islamic-state.html

 

  1. “Revenge of the Kurds”: Erdogan’s Missteps Are Piling Up – FPIF
    25 April 2019|Foreign Policy in Focus
    After 18 years of unchallenged power, the Turkish president finds himself in the middle of several domestic and foreign crises of his own making. It’s unfamiliar ground for a master politician who’s moved nimbly from the margins of power to becoming the undisputed leader of the largest economy in the Middle East.
    https://fpif.org/revenge-of-the-kurds-erdogans-missteps-are-piling-up/

 

  1. Amnesty and ITV offices occupied to break the silence over jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan
    24 April 2019|The Canary
    The UK offices of both Amnesty International and ITV have been occupied to protest the organisations’ silence over the prison conditions of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan. Thousands of people, many of whom are political prisoners in Turkey, are on indefinite hunger strike demanding the end of the isolation imposed on Öcalan.
    The Kurdish leader is currently being held in solitary confinement on İmralı prison island, where he is not allowed access to lawyers or family visits. His writings have been central to the progressive Rojava Revolution in northern Syria, which has put ecology and women’s liberation at the forefront of its struggle for communal democracy.
    https://www.thecanary.co/trending/2019/04/24/amnesty-and-itv-offices-occupied-to-break-the-silence-over-jailed-kurdish-leader-abdullah-ocalan/

 

  1. Hunger strikes can work. That’s why we need to get behind the hunger-striking Kurdish activists.
    18 April 2019|The Canary
    Campaigners are calling on the public to spend Good Friday on hunger strike, in solidarity with thousands of Kurdish hunger strikers around the world. The hunger strikers’ demands are simple. They want Turkey to uphold its own law and end the solitary confinement of imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan.
    https://www.thecanary.co/global/world-analysis/2019/04/18/hunger-strikes-can-work-thats-why-we-need-to-get-behind-the-hunger-striking-kurdish-activists/

 

  1. These were the scenes in Turkey as Erdoğan’s wife got a ‘humanitarian’ award in London
    17 April 2019|The Canary
    On 17 April, the wife of Turkish president and alleged war criminal Recep Tayyip Erdoğan received a “changemaker” award at the World Humanitarian Forum (WHF) in London. Emine Erdoğan was given the award for her “key role in helping women and refugees, especially offering shelter to over 3.5 million who had to flee Syria”. And while her work must be seen separately from whatever her husband does, she apparently accepted the award: on behalf of the generous Turkish people, whose hearts ache with a crying child, who see strangers as guests from God.”
    https://www.thecanary.co/trending/2019/04/17/these-were-the-scenes-in-turkey-as-erdogans-wife-got-a-humanitarian-award-in-london/

 

  1. Ken Loach just sent a solidarity message that the whole world needs to read
    16 April 2019|The Canary
    Film director Ken Loach has sent a solidarity message to thousands of people on hunger strike. And it’s a message that the whole world should read. Thousands of prisoners across Turkey are on hunger strike. Kurdish MP Leyla Güven started the hunger strike while in prison. Now at home, Güven has not eaten for 160 days and is critically ill. Since starting her hunger strike, Güven has inspired thousands to join her. In the UK, these include Iman Sis, a Kurdish activist in Wales who is on day 121 of his hunger strike.
    https://www.thecanary.co/global/world-analysis/2019/04/16/ken-loach-just-sent-a-solidarity-message-that-the-whole-world-needs-to-read/

 

  1. Syrian Kurdish official: Damascus talks going nowhere, Russia to blame
    12 April 2019|Reuters
    The Kurdish-led authorities revived efforts to negotiate a deal with Damascus earlier this year in the wake of a U.S. decision to withdraw its forces from their areas, hoping Moscow would mediate an agreement that would preserve their autonomy. But A Syrian Kurdish official has said these mediations have gone nowhere. Unlike the insurgent groups that have fought Assad across much of Syria, the main Syrian Kurdish groups are not hostile to him and say their objective is to preserve autonomy within the state. But Damascus opposes the level of autonomy they seek. The Syrian defense minister last month said the state would take back the Kurdish led-region by force if its leaders did not submit to the return of state authority.
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-syria-kurds-russia/syrian-kurdish-official-damascus-talks-going-nowhere-russia-to-blame-idUSKCN1RO146

 

  1. Co-Chairperson of the KONGRA-Gel: “New Phase for the Kurdish Movement
    11 April 2019| Peace in Kurdistan, anfdeutsch
    Anfdeutsch talked to Remzi Kartal, Co-Chairperson of the KONGRA-GEL, about the court decisions in Belgium over the last three years and their meaning for the Kurdish movement. Kartal said: “The Kurdish question is an international question in which Europe has been playing a direct role right from the beginning, that is, World War I, until  this very day.” According to him, this is particularly true “for the support of the policy of rejection and denial on the part of the NATO member state Turkey, the corresponding listing of the PKK as a ‘terrorist organization’ and the policy of bans and repression used against Kurdish institutions in Europe.”
    https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2019/05/05/co-chairperson-of-the-kongra-gel-new-phase-for-the-kurdish-movement/

 

  1. Football legend Neville Southall just gave a truly revolutionary movement access to his Twitter account
    11 April 2019|The Canary
    A footballing legend turned his Twitter account over to what is arguably the most important current revolutionary movement in the world.
    On 10 April, Neville Southall gave London Kurdish Solidarity (LKS) access to his 147k followers. LKS used the opportunity to set out why the movement is so important and to highlight the thousands of Kurdish activists currently on hunger strike.
    https://www.thecanary.co/trending/2019/04/11/football-legend-neville-southall-just-gave-a-truly-revolutionary-movement-access-to-his-twitter-account/

 

STATEMENTS

  1. KCK: Isolation hasn’t ended, demands haven’t been met
    7 May 2019|ANF English
    KCK: “The isolation hasn’t ended, and the demands of the resistance haven’t been met. The lawyers’ visit to Imrali was planned only to ease the domestic and foreign pressure created by the resistance to break the isolation.”
    https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/kck-isolation-hasn-t-ended-demands-haven-t-been-met-34801

 

  1. Open letter to the UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt
    15 April 2019| Peace in Kurdistan
    “We write to express our deep concern over the UK government’s position in its relations with Turkey as the human rights situation inside the country continues to deteriorate rapidly. In particular, we seek to urgently draw your attention to the 7,000 Kurdish political prisoners on hunger strike in Turkish prisons and the solidarity hunger strikes now spreading across Europe, including in the UK.  Seven Kurdish political prisoners in Turkey have taken their own lives in the last three weeks.”
    https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2019/04/15/open-letter-to-the-uk-foreign-secretary-jeremy-hunt/

 

  1. PR: First Mandela. Now Öcalan. Why is Amnesty afraid to campaign for those fighting for the liberation of their people?
    26 April 2019 |Peace in Kurdistan
    Amnesty international is deliberately ignoring the demands of millions of Kurds in their continued refusal to stand up for human rights and international law over the continued isolation of Abdullah Ocalan. The rights organisation infamously refused to campaign for South African leader Nelson Mandela, leaving the anti-apartheid campaigner to rot in jail for 27 years. As Kurdish activists and Socialists we warn that history is repeating itself.
    https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2019/04/26/pr-first-mandela-now-ocalan-why-is-amnesty-afraid-to-campaign-for-those-fighting-for-the-liberation-of-their-people/

 

EVENTS

  1. The Great Betrayal: How America Abandoned the Kurds and Lost the Middle East
    20 May 2019|Peace in Kurdistan

A talk by David L. Phillips, Columbia University, Council on Foreign Relations

 DATE & TIME: Monday 20 May 2019, 6 – 7.30pm

LOCATION: Brunei Gallery B104, SOAS, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG

Chair: Isabel Käser
The event is organised by Peace in Kurdistan and SOAS Kurdish Society
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2019/05/02/the-great-betrayal-how-american-abandoned-the-kurds-and-lost-the-middle-east/

 

CAMPAIGNS, ACTION

  1. (VIDEO)Imrali”, narrated by Maxine Peake
    26 April | Freedom for Ocalan
    The film follows the International Peace Delegation which included Ögmundur Jónasson, Manuel Cortes, Beverly Keene, Paul Scholey, Maxine Peake, Tony Burke, Connor Hayes, John Hunt and Jon Spaull as they travelled through Turkey and Kurdistan with the intent of visiting Abdullah Öcalan to try to break his isolation. The documentary takes its name from Imrali prison island, where Mr Öcalan is imprisoned in extreme isolation, in conditions regarded as torture under the international standards set by the ‘Nelson Mandela Rules’ for the ethical treatment of prisoners.
    https://freedomforocalan.org/imrali-narrated-by-maxine-peake/

 

  1. Report from the UK delegation to observe the municipal election in Turkey
    30 April 2019|Peace in Kurdistan
    https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2019/04/30/report-from-the-uk-delegation-to-observe-the-municipal-election-in-turkey/

 

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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