The hunger strike is over and a new chapter in Kurdish struggle can begin

27 May 2019|Peace in Kurdistan

After 200 days, HDP MP Leyla Guven,  along with other Kurdish MPs and thousands of Kurdish prisoners in Turkey, have ended their hunger strikes in response to the breaking of Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan’s isolation.

In ending her hunger strike, Leyla Guven, whose action in November 2018 started a mass movement, said the strike had achieve its immediate demands. She went on to declare that the struggle would continue by other means.

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Lawyers for Abdullah Öcalan publicly read his letter, following their historic meeting with the Kurdish leader.

Lawyers for Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan held a press conference at the Taksim Hill Hotel in Istanbul regarding the meeting they were allowed with their client. The conference was attended by lawyers Faik Özgür Erol, Newroz Uysal and Rezan Sarıca from Asrın Law Office.

The meeting between Öcalan and his lawyers on May 2nd lasted one hour. The meeting was the first one held since 27 July 2011 when the Kurdish leader was last allowed to meet with his lawyers. Since then, lawyers for Öcalan submitted a total of 810 appeals to visit him on Imralı Island Prison.

Full text of the statement read by lawyer Newroz Uysal on Monday, with the signature of Abdullah Öcalan and three other prisoners on Imralı, is 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.

We can solve the problems in Turkey, and even in the region, starting with the war, with soft power – with intelligence and political and cultural strength instead of tools of physical violence.

We believe that through the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), all should aim to solve the issues in Syria by refraining from conflict culture and within the perspective of local democracy guaranteed by the Constitution in the framework of Syria’s unity. As such, Turkey’s sensibilities should be minded.

With all due respect for the resistance of friends in and outside of prisons, we would like to stress that they should not take it to the level to threaten their health or result in deaths. For us, their mental, physical and spiritual health is above all. We also believe that the most meaningful approach is connected to developing a mental and spiritual stance.Our stance in Imrali is to deepen and clarify the method of expression we declared with the Newroz 2013 statement and to continue on this path.For us, a dignified peace and democratic political solution are paramount.

We commend all who were concerned and all who took a stand with respect due to our stance in Imrali, and we would like to offer our immense gratitude.

A. ÖCALAN     H. YILDIRIM    Ö. H. KONAR    V. AKTAŞ”

Petition for Representation at Geneva Peace Talks.

We call for the representation of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (previously Rojava) on the Geneva Peace talks

The seventh round of the Geneva Peace talks on Syria concluded in July 2017 without a resolution. This is partly due to the obduracy of Assad’s envoys who are reluctant to discuss a transitional political process and partly the inefficacy of the UN. Nonetheless this remains the only non-military option on the table and must be seriously pursued. Continue reading

The important reports reveal destruction, damage and detentions in southeast

Today we received three important new reports about the physical destruction and humanitarian situation in North Kurdistan, the Southeast of the Republic of Turkey.

First, a new and important report of the Union of Southeastern Anatolia Region (GABB) on the damage in the cities which were faced with a curfew by the Turkish Government in the last half year. This report has been prepared by a large number of people in
different provinces.
Download the GABB Regional Damage Assessment Report

There is secondly an overview about the arrested, detained, dismissed and warrented co-mayors of the Democratic Regions Party (DBP), the main member party of the HDP.
Download the GABB list of mayors dismissed, imprisoned and prosecuted since July 2015

Finally you can find a short information about the situation of the displaced people of the old city of Amed (Diyarbakir).
Download the DPP Diyarbakir Metropolitan Municipality

Urgent call to feminists and women’s organisations for solidarity

The call below was issued by the Free Women’s Assembly. They also put together a factsheet about the blockades, which you will find below:

To Women’s Organizations;

Urgent Call for Action

Women’s Freedom Assembly (KÖM) is calling on your solidarity against the war and massacres that we have been living through for the past eight months. The AKP government and President Tayyip Erdoğan are repressing, through violence, all opposition forces who have been resisting the authoritarian regime that they have been trying to establish in Turkey and destroying all channels of political struggle. They have brought the Parliament to disfunction and suspended the rule of law by taking the judiciary system under their control. Continue reading

Free Women’s Congress releases report on the war

The Free Women’s Congress (KJA) has released the report below about the impact of the current war against Kurds on the peace process. Also available here are two documents, one giving the names and details of some of the children who have been killed since July last year, and another that gives evidence of the deliberate targeting of Kurdish graveyards by security forces.

REPORT ON THE CONFLICT PROCESS, POLITICAL SITUATION,  AND WOMEN IN KURDISTAN

FREE WOMEN’S CONGRESS / KJA

10 January 2016

Peace Negotiations Launched

The dialog and negotiations process for the resolution of the Kurdish Issue, launched at İmralı Island on January 2013, entered a new phase on February 28, 2015 following its announcement in the Dolmabahçe Palace before the press by a mixed delegation of HDP and AKP deputies. The Dolmabahçe Agreement, which pronounced a 10-article roadmap for the negotiations process, has enhanced the hope and commitment for peace among the peoples of Turkey, and Kurds in particular. Continue reading

Law Society questions investigations into Elci’s death

The President of the Law Society, Jonathan Smithers, has written an official letter to the Justice Minister of Turkey, Kenan Ipek, with his concerns about the investigation into Tahir Elci’s assassination in November 2015.

The well-known human rights lawyer was shot dead in broad daylight, soon after having made a statement calling for an end to the curfews and state sanctioned violence in Kurdish cities at a press conference. The Law Society president raises concerns about lost evidence, witness  statements and possible interferences in the investigations.

To read the letter download it here

European Lawyers Delegation visits Diyarbakir

Press release

A delegation of European lawyers will visit Diyarbakir from 21st to 24th January 2016. The 13 participants come from Belgium, Germany, Italy, and Austria. Two European lawyers’ organisations are supporting this initiative, the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights (ELDH) and the European Democratic Lawyers (EDL) and also the “Unione delle Camere Penali Italiane”

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