KURDISH NEWS BRIEFING, 22 DECEMBER 2019 – 12 JANUARY 2020

For all of the latest Kurdish news, see these sources:

ANF English: https://anfenglishmobile.com/

Hawar News: https://www.hawarnews.com/en/

Rojava Information Center: https://rojavainformationcenter.com

https://twitter.com/RojavaIC

Women Defend Rojava: http://womendefendrojava.net/en/

Rojhelat: http://rojhelat.info/en/

Rojava Centre for Strategic Studies

http://nrlsrojava.com/en/

 

NEWS

  1. Women’s movement in Rojava grows stronger despite occupation
  2. Turkish operation “Claw” frustrated by the guerrilla resistance
  3. PJAK’s Herekol: Sara is the pioneer of the women’s revolution
  4. Erdogan’s Libya adventure about shoring up his legacy
  5. HDP councilors replaced by trustees in Bağlar municipality
  6. Over 20,000 work-related death since the AKP came to power
  7. Calls for international solidarity to stop impending Turkish destruction of ancient town
  8. ‘Wikiferhang’: British expat fluent in Kurdish creates largest online Kurdish dictionary
  9. Freedom for Öcalan Vigil enters its 394th week
  10. Trial against Selahattin Demirtaş resumed
  11. Jailed former leader of pro-Kurdish HDP fined for insulting Erdoğan
  12. Turkey’s intelligence agency to expand covert operations around the World: President Erdogan
  13. KCK: The Democratic Modernity is the only way out
  14. Sedat Şenoğlu and Idil Uğurlu are the new HDK co-spokespersons
  15. Three years after Turkey’s failed coup attempt, purge still in full gear: 70 air force cadets sentenced to life in prison
  16. 32 elected kurdish mayors removed from office throughout 2019
  17. 2019 Censorship Report by Susma Platform: Almost 300 Cases
  18. HDP and DTK: Gains will grow in 2020
  19. Two foreign female academics held in Iran go on hunger strike

 

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS

  1. Meet the CEOs Cashing In on Trump’s Aggression Against Iran
  2. Iraq’s Kurds weigh opportunities, risks in wake of Soleimani killing
  3. Russia Presents Roadmap to Mediate Between Damascus, Kurdish Administration
  4. The ‘Great Game’ is Afoot: Killing Soleimani Reflects US Desperation in the Middle East
  5. Four People Arrested in Iran for Insulting Qassem Soleimani
  6. Will Kurds find a ray of hope in 2020?
  7. Turkish court defies ECtHR, but good news for Wikipedia
  8. Iran Sentences Kurd Political Prisoner Houshmand Alipour to Death
  9. Fighting with pens in Rojava’s “war of education”
  10. The Kurdish Crisis in Turkey from Ataturk to Sultan Erdogan
  11. Special Report – Iran’s leader ordered crackdown on unrest: ‘Do whatever it takes to end it’.
  12. Turkey’s brazen crimes against the Kurds and Rojava
  13. A New Inhumanity: For All.

 SPECIAL REPORTS

  1. International Forum’s on ISIS’s Final Statement

STATEMENTS

  1. In memory of Sakine, Fidan and Leyla

NEW BLOG

1.Woman, life, freedom! Reflections on the assassination of Sakine Cansiz

Pluto Books

BOOKS

  1. New Book: James Kelman’s ‘The Freedom to Think Kurdistan”
  2. Buy One Get One Free: My Whole Life Was a Struggle/Prison Memoir of a Kurdish Revolutionary

————————————————————————————

 

NEWS

  1. Women’s movement in Rojava grows stronger despite occupation

11 January 2020|ANF English

Hîva Erebo from the Kurdish women’s umbrella organisation Kongreya Star comments in an ANF interview on the development of women’s organisation in North and East Syria and points out that the women’s movement has become stronger despite invasion.

https://anfenglish.com/women/women-s-movement-in-rojava-grows-stronger-despite-occupation-40774

 

  1. Turkish operation “Claw” frustrated by the guerrilla resistance

11 January 2020|ANF English

Guerrilla fighters of the YJA Star and HPG spoke to ANF about the fight against Turkish invasion troops in the Medya Defense Zones in Southern Kurdistan. The Turkish Army aimed at encircling and destroying the guerrillas with Operation ‘Claw’ but instead found itself being been caught by the guerrillas’ claws, said Rojevin Viyan.

https://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/turkish-operation-claw-frustrated-by-the-guerrilla-resistance-40775

 

  1. PJAK’s Herekol: Sara is the pioneer of the women’s revolution

10 January 2020|ANF English

“The level that the Kurdish women’s movement has reached today is the result of Sara’s resistance. She is the pioneer of the women’s revolution”, Avesta Herekol of PJAK said on the seventh anniversary of the murder of Sakine Cansız.

https://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/pjak-s-herekol-sara-is-the-pioneer-of-the-women-s-revolution-40754

 

  1. Erdogan’s Libya adventure about shoring up his legacy

10 January 2020| Asia Times

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced this week that Turkish troops would gradually be deployed to Libya to support the increasingly beleaguered internationally recognized government in Tripoli, also known as the Government of National Accord. This announcement, sanctioned by the Turkish parliament, where Erdogan’s party has a commanding majority, follows an agreement signed in December that divided the Mediterranean waters between Turkey and Libya in a way that completely ignores Greece’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

https://www.asiatimes.com/2020/01/opinion/erdogans-libya-adventure-about-shoring-up-his-legacy/

 

  1. HDP councilors replaced by trustees in Bağlar municipality

10 January 2020|ANF English

Several HDP councilors in Bağlar municipality were replaced by trustees and dismissed from their charge by the Turkish government as part of an ongoing assault on democratically elected political representatives of Kurdish dominated regions of Turkey.

https://anfenglish.com/news/hdp-councilors-replaced-by-trustees-in-baglar-municipaliti-40737

 

  1. Over 20,000 work-related death since the AKP came to power

10 January 2020|ANF English

The highest number of death in the work place or work-related in Turkey and Kurdistan has taken place during the AKP government. More than 20,000 people lost their lives in 17 years. In Şırnak, 14 workers lost their lives in the mines in the last 2 years.

https://anfenglish.com/news/over-20-000-work-related-death-since-the-akp-came-to-power-40767

 

  1. Calls for international solidarity to stop impending Turkish destruction of ancient town

9 January 2020|The Canary

Turkey’s controversial Ilısu Dam project is nearing completion. And waters from the dam’s reservoir are threatening to displace at least 78,000 people.The waters have now reached the ancient town of Hasankeyf in Turkey’s majority-Kurdish southeast.

https://www.thecanary.co/global/world-analysis/2020/01/09/calls-for-international-solidarity-to-stop-impending-turkish-destruction-of-ancient-town/

 

  1. ‘Wikiferhang’: British expat fluent in Kurdish creates largest online Kurdish dictionary

9 January 2020|Kurdistan 24

A British expatriate in the Kurdistan Region has embarked on a project to create the largest and most comprehensive online Kurdish dictionary.

https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/eebaab17-1f83-4c7b-8907-9026bf9d81e7

 

  1. Freedom for Öcalan Vigil enters its 394th week

7 January 2020|ANF English

The Freedom for Öcalan Vigil held in front of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg has reached week 394. The group of activists from Evry ve Grigny who took over the Vigil last week was replaced by 4 Kurdish activists from the Normandy region.

https://anfenglish.com/news/freedom-for-Oecalan-vigil-enters-its-394th-week-40644

 

  1. Trial against Selahattin Demirtaş resumed

7 January 2020|ANF English

In Ankara, the trial of former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş has been resumed. The Kurdish politician accused the Turkish President Erdoğan of destroying the constitutional order.

https://anfenglish.com/news/trial-against-selahattin-demirtas-resumed-40666

 

  1. Jailed former leader of pro-Kurdish HDP fined for insulting Erdoğan

7 January 2020|Ahval News

A Turkish court has ruled the jailed former co-chair of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Figen Yüksekdağ must pay 1740 TL liras ($ 291) for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The HDP former co-chair has been jailed since 2016 on terror related charges

https://ahvalnews.com/figen-yuksekdag/jailed-former-leader-pro-kurdish-hdp-fined-insulting-erdogan

 

  1. Turkey’s intelligence agency to expand covert operations around the World: President Erdogan

7 January 2020|Turkey Purge

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Monday that Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) will gradually increase its capacity to carry out covert intelligence operations around the World.

https://turkeypurge.com/turkeys-intelligence-agency-to-expand-covert-operations-around-the-world-president-erdogan

 

  1. KCK: The Democratic Modernity is the only way out

7 January 2020|ANF English

The KCK said in a statement about the murder of Qassem Soleimani that the Middle East-based Third World War deepened and expanded and added that Leader Öcalan’s solution of democratic modernity is the only way out.

https://anfenglish.com/news/kck-the-democratic-modernity-is-the-only-way-out-40621

 

  1. Sedat Şenoğlu and Idil Uğurlu are the new HDK co-spokespersons

5 January 2020|ANF English

The 10th General Assembly of the Peoples’ Democratic Congress (HDK) ended in Ankara today. Idil Uğurlu and Sedat Şenoğlu were elected as co-spokespersons of the organisation. The general assembly of the HDK has been reduced from 121 people to 101, after changing the constitution of the organisation.

https://anfenglish.com/news/sedat-Senoglu-and-idil-ugurlu-are-the-new-hdk-co-spokespersons-40614

 

  1. Three years after Turkey’s failed coup attempt, purge still in full gear: 70 air force cadets sentenced to life in prison

4 January 2020|Turkey Purge

An İstanbul court has handed down life sentences to 70 air force academy cadets on charges of attempting to destroy the constitutional order by means of a coup attempt. The cadets claimed they were just following orders and did not know they were part of a coup attempt. Since 15 July 2016 355 military cadets have been given life sentences on coup charges

https://turkeypurge.com/three-years-after-turkeys-failed-coup-attempt-purge-still-in-full-gear-70-air-force-cadets-sentenced-to-life-in-prison

 

  1. 32 elected kurdish mayors removed from office throughout 2019

2 January 2020|Turkey Purge

The Turkish government has dismissed a total of 32 elected Kurdish mayors in 2019, the Mezopotamya news agency reported on Wednesday. The report also said that a total of 4,567 party members were detained throughout the year and that 797 of them were put in pre-trial detention.

https://turkeypurge.com/32-elected-kurdish-mayors-removed-from-office-throughout-2019-report

 

  1. 2019 Censorship Report by Susma Platform: Almost 300 Cases

31 December 2019|Bianet

Susma Platform has issued its “Censorship and Self-Censorship in Turkey: January 2019 – November 2019” report, which includes cases of censorship in media, social media, publishing industry, cinema, theater, music and visual arts. Listing the cases of censorship that took place in the fields of arts and media in Turkey in the first 11 months of 2019, the report is prepared “in an effort to build collective memory on violations of freedom of expression.”

http://bianet.org/english/media/217932-2019-censorship-report-by-susma-platform-almost-300-cases

 

  1. HDP and DTK: Gains will grow in 2020

31 December 2019|ANF English

HDP co-chairs Pervin Buldan and Sezai Temelli issued a new years message saying that thousands of party members were still held hostage. The message said: “This cruel and irresponsible government is no longer functioning. This corruption, lawlessness, injustice and persecution will be replaced by good days”.

https://anfenglish.com/news/hdp-and-dtk-gains-will-grow-in-2020-40475

 

  1. Two foreign female academics held in Iran go on hunger strike

26 December 2019|ANF English

Two female academics held in Tehran’s Evin Prison called for international solidarity as they announced that they would be denying food and water indefinitely as of Christmas Eve.

https://anfenglishmobile.com/human-rights/two-foreign-female-academics-held-in-iran-go-on-hunger-strike-40369

 

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS

  1. Meet the CEOs Cashing In on Trump’s Aggression Against Iran

9 January 2020|Counterpunch

CEOs of major U.S. military contractors stand to reap huge windfalls from the escalation of conflict with Iran. This was evident in the immediate aftermath of the U.S. assassination of a top Iranian military official last week. As soon as the news reached financial markets, these companies’ share prices spiked, inflating the value of their executives’ stock-based pay.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/09/meet-the-ceos-cashing-in-on-trumps-aggression-against-iran/

 

  1. Iraq’s Kurds weigh opportunities, risks in wake of Soleimani killing

7 January 2020|Al-Monitor

As the tremors unleashed by the assassination of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani continue to reverberate across the region, Iraq’s Kurds are quietly weighing the opportunities and risks posed by the demise of Iran’s most influential soldier and strategist ahead of a potential trip to Washington by Iraqi Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani at the invitation of US President Donald Trump.

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/01/iraq-kurds-opportunity-risk-soleimani-killing-iraq-tensions.html#ixzz6AZWQfv65

 

  1. Russia Presents Roadmap to Mediate Between Damascus, Kurdish Administration

7 January 2020|Asharq Al-Awsat

A Russian military delegation held extensive meetings with Kurdish leaderships and leading figures in Qamishli, east Syria, at the end of 2019 to discuss the fate of ongoing negotiations between the Kurdish self-administration and Damascus.

https://m.aawsat.com/english/home/article/2070306/russia-presents-roadmap-mediate-between-damascus-kurdish-administration/

 

  1. The ‘Great Game’ is Afoot: Killing Soleimani Reflects US Desperation in the Middle East

6 January 2020|Telesur

Both U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were on the lookout for a major disruption – that would situate them in a positive light within their countries’ respective media – and they found it.

https://www.telesurenglish.net/opinion/Killing-Soleimani-Reflects-US-Desperation-in-the-Middle-East-20200106-0012.html?utm_source=planisys&utm_medium=NewsletterIngles&utm_campaign=NewsletterIngles&utm_content=32

 

  1. Four People Arrested in Iran for Insulting Qassem Soleimani

6 January 2020| Iran Human Rights Monitor

Four Iranian citizens have been arrested in Shahreza, Isfahan province, on charges of “insulting Qassem Soleimani”on social media platforms, a local news agency reported on Monday.

https://iran-hrm.com/index.php/2020/01/06/four-people-arrested-in-iran-for-insulting-qassem-soleimani/

              

  1. Will Kurds find a ray of hope in 2020?

2 January 2020|Al-Monitor

Amid a staggering rise in the US dollar exchange rate and Turkey’s control of Serekaniye and Kari Sapi, Kurds find it hard to feel the joy of this year’s Christmas and New Year’s festivities.

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/12/syria-qamishli-war-new-year-2020-economy-dollar-christmas.html#ixzz6AZg0pRuM

 

  1. Turkish court defies ECtHR, but good news for Wikipedia

2 January 2020| IFEX

In December, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled that civil society leader Osman Kavala had been arbitrarily detained since November 2017.

https://ifex.org/progress-in-the-fight-against-impunity-journalists-freed-defamation-decriminalised/  

 

  1. Iran Sentences Kurd Political Prisoner Houshmand Alipour to Death

2 January 2020|Iran Human Rights Monitor

An Iranian court on Sunday sentenced a Kurd political prisoner to death. Houshmand Alipour was sentenced to death by the Revolutionary Court of Sanandaj, capital of the Kurdistan Province in western Iran. Houshmand Alipour and Mohammad Ostadghader, both from Iran’s Kurdish minority, were arrested on August 3, 2018, on suspicion of taking part in an armed attack against a security base in that city.

https://iran-hrm.com/index.php/2020/01/02/iran-sentences-kurd-political-prisoner-houshmand-alipour-to-death/

 

  1. Fighting with pens in Rojava’s “war of education”

30 December 2019|ROAR Magazine

Rojava’s revolutionary education system is built around a homegrown curriculum promoting gender equality, ecology and social and cultural inclusivity. While it was not without its faults, we found that it was the basis of hope many young people felt about their futures — one they saw as being tolerant and inclusive of all ethnicities, religions and genders.

https://roarmag.org/essays/fighting-with-pens-in-rojavas-war-of-education/

 

  1. The Kurdish Crisis in Turkey from Ataturk to Sultan Erdogan

24 December 2019|Massis Post

After the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in WWI , a Kurdish region was mapped by US president Woodrow Wilson according to Treaty of Sèvres in 1920 with Kurdish territories mainly in Turkey, South of historical Armenia which was decided to be part of post war Armenia, but it never happened as Treaty of Lausanne was signed in 1923 and nullified Sèvres. Consequently, Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, subjected all Kurdish territories in Turkey to his authority. The Kurds fought for their identity and national recognition

https://massispost.com/2019/12/the-kurdish-crisis-in-turkey-from-ataturk-to-sultan-erdogan/

 

  1. Special Report – Iran’s leader ordered crackdown on unrest: ‘Do whatever it takes to end it’.

23 December 2019|Reuters

After days of protests across Iran last month, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appeared impatient. Gathering his top security and government officials together, he issued an order: Do whatever it takes to stop them.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-iran-protests-specialreport/special-report-irans-leader-ordered-crackdown-on-unrest-do-whatever-it-takes-to-end-it-idUKKBN1YR0QN?fbclid=IwAR2-4onsEH-seacSjiDfaVJyRR_2dvnJ-qS99e1Sc9Smp9ZvK_DpmVomH3M

 

  1. Turkey’s brazen crimes against the Kurds and Rojava

13 December 2019|Revolutionary Communist

On 9 October Turkish armed forces and their mercenary auxiliaries invaded Rojava/northeast Syria. They used fighter jets, tanks and heavy artillery. President Trump had given the green light for the onslaught by withdrawing US troops from border positions. Within two weeks over 180,000 people, including around 80,000 children, had been driven from their homes. By 20 November nearly 300,000 people had been expelled and over 700 killed.

https://www.revolutionarycommunist.org/middle-east/turkey/5754-turkey-s-brazen-crimes-against-the-kurds-and-rojava

 

  1. A New Inhumanity: For All.

8 November 2019|UCL

Alex Pillen questions our disregard for crimes against entire communities in North Syria besides the lessons from European history. As new forms of wars make the crimes “untraceable”, she reflects on how Europe ought to live with itself when even death can be erased.

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/european-institute/news/2019/nov/new-inhumanity-all

 

SPECIAL REPORTS

  1. International Forum’s on ISIS’s Final Statement

8 July 2019 |Rojava Centre for Strategic Studies

At the invitation of Rojava Center for Strategic Studies (NRLS), the International Forum on ISIS: Dimensions, Challenges and Confrontation Strategies was held in the city of Amude in North and East Syria. The forum was attended by more than 200 individuals, including politicians, researchers and representatives of civil society institutions from multiple countries.

http://nrlsrojava.com/en/international-forum-on-isis/final-statement/

 

  1. Rojava Centre for Strategic Studies

http://nrlsrojava.com/en/

 

STATEMENTS

  1. In memory of Sakine, Fidan and Leyla

9 January 2020|Peace in Kurdistan

Today, 9 January 2020, we mark the seventh anniversary of the brutal assassinations of Sakine Cansiz and her colleagues Fidan Dogan and Leyla Saylemez in their office at the Kurdish Information Centre in Paris on 9th January 2013. We remember them in love, respect and gratitude and pay tribute to their remarkable achievements and fortitude.

https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2020/01/09/in-memory-of-sakine-fidan-and-leyla/

 

NEW BLOG

1.Woman, life, freedom! Reflections on the assassination of Sakine Cansiz

Pluto Books

Janet Biehl author, translator, and collaborator with the late Murray Bookchin, has

published a new blog Janet on PLUTO Books’ website.

https://www.plutobooks.com/blog/woman-life-freedom/

 

BOOKS

  1. New Book: James Kelman’s ‘The Freedom to Think Kurdistan”

January 2020|Peace in Kurdistan

The Kurdish struggle is part of radical history as any struggle for liberation is but how can this particular history remain such a secret? Must it remain a secret? The Kurds refuse to be buried. Those of us who are not Kurds should not look away. If we wish to delve further there is much to learn, much to discover.

Watch the book launch in Glasgow at The Admiral Bar 5 December 2019: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BtO3uA5NYQ

Copies of the book available from PIK for £5

Contact: estella24@tiscali.co.uk

James Kelman’s website: http://jameskelman.net/work/the-freedom-to-think-kurdistan/

 

  1. Buy One Get One Free

My Whole Life Was a Struggle/Prison Memoir of a Kurdish Revolutionary

January 2020 |Pluto Books

Pluto are offering a ‘buy one, get one free’ offer for Volume 1 and Volume 2 of Sakine Cansiz’s autobiography which has been translated into English by author Janet Biehl. Cansiz was a PKK fighter and co-founder use discount code SARA241 on their website. Please pass this on to your contacts.

Volume I: Sara: My Whole Life Was a Struggle

https://www.plutobooks.com/9780745338019/sara/

Volume II: Sara: Prison Memoir of a Kurdish Revolutionary

https://www.plutobooks.com/9780745339832/sara/

 

Peace in Kurdistan

Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question

Email: estella24@tiscali.co.uk

http://www.peaceinkurdistancampaign.com

Contacts Estella Schmid 020 7586 5892 & Melanie Gingell – Tel: 020 7272 7890

Fax: 020 7263 0596

Patrons: John Austin, Christine Blower, NUT International Secretary, Prof Bill Bowring, Julie Christie, Noam Chomsky, Jeremy Corbyn MP,  Prof Mary Davis, Lord Dholakia, Simon Dubbins, UNITE International Director,  Jill Evans MEP, Lindsey German, Convenor STWC, Melanie Gingell, Rahila Gupta, Nick Hildyard, Dafydd Iwan, Former President Plaid Cymru, James Kelman, Bruce Kent, Jean Lambert MEP, Elfyn Llwyd, Aonghas MacNeacail, Scottish Gaelic poet, Mike Mansfield QC, Doug Nicholls, General Secretary, GFTU, Dr. Jessica Ayesha Northey, International Coordinator, Green Party of England and Wales; Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy, Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley, Kate Osamor MP, Margaret Owen OBE, Gareth Peirce, Maxine Peake, Lord Rea, Joe Ryan, Stephen Smellie, Steve Sweeney, Dr Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, Dr Tom Wakeford, Dr Derek Wall, Julie Ward MEP, Hywel Williams MP.

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