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

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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

HDP information on military siege on Kurdish cities

HDP INFORMATION DESK (05.01.2016)

 

Civilian deaths in sieges imposed by the security forces

The first of these sieges, described as “curfews,” was imposed in Varto, starting on 16 August. There are sieges still in course in Cizre, Silopi and Sur districts. “Curfews” have been declared 56 times in 20 districts of 7 cities and so far these “curfews” have totaled 274 days.  In some districts where curfews have been officially lifted, there is still a de facto siege. The most recent situation in 3 districts is as follows: Continue reading

The State Doesn’t Talk—It Only Shoots

Since last summer the Turkish state has acted brutally against all opposition in southeastern Turkey.

A Diyarbakir resident reports.

by Ercan Ayboga

WOCHENZEITUNG (WOZ), January 7, 2016

Translated by Janet Biehl.

It’s freezing cold in Amed, as the city of Diyarbakir is known to its residents. Over ten centimeters of snow blankets the ground, something that happens only every three or four years. And at exactly this moment, fighting is escalating in Amed’s old neighborhood of Sur and in the cities of Cizre and Silopi, in Sirnak province. I’m here in the press office of the municipal administration, along with three journalists and a researcher. These days the office serves as a de facto base for journalists and researchers from western Turkey and abroad. We talk about what has been going on in the region for the past few months.

Continue reading

Bristol hosts event on Rojava Revolution

On 14 December, the Rojava Solidarity group in Bristol hosted an event at the Malcolm X Centre on the origins and politics of the Rojava Revolution:

“Caught between the expansionist ISIS and escalating oppression by the Turkish state is one of the largest and most interesting revolutionary struggles of our times. Rojava, comprising three regions of northern Syria, is home to 2 million people while across the border in South-Eastern Turkey an increasing number of villages and neighbourhoods are declaring themselves autonomous and committed to self defence. Within these areas is a social experiment that incorporates feminism, ecology, has survived four years of military assaults. For much of this time they have been the only successful opposition to ISIS.”

Watch the meeting below:

Government responds with same pre-scripted answer to questions on Turkey

Peace in Kurdistan Campaign patron Kate Osamor MP asked a series of questions of the the UK government last week, in an attempt to gauge whether Turkey’s obvious duplicity – bombing PKK targets and Kurdish civilians in recent months apparently in the name of fighting ISIS while covertly supporting ISIS and affiliated groups – is at all an issue for the UK’s relationship with it NATO ally.

The written responses she received were, frankly, quite incredible, for two reasons. First, they reveal the UK appears to have no intention of questioning Turkey, even as documented evidence mounts of their support for ISIS on the one hand and of major human rights abuses in military operations against the Kurds on the other. Secondly, they represent a callous disregard for the concerns being raised by issuing a stock answer, identical word-for-word, for each question asked. In fact, it is the exact same answer given by FCO representative Baroness Anelay when questioned about the Turkish military hitting more PKK targets than ISIS positions and arresting more Kurdish activists that ISIS members. The answer was simply this:

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) continues to kill Turkish police and security forces. The PKK must cease its violence and the peace process needs to be resumed. We support Turkey’s right to defend itself against all forms of terrorism.

The Government continues to monitor closely Turkey’s democratic reforms, including as part of the EU accession process, focusing particularly on freedom of expression, respect for the rule of law and minority rights.

We welcome Turkey’s invaluable contribution to the international campaign against Daesh, particularly its agreement for the use of its airspace and airbases, as a member of the Global Coalition committed to defeating it. Turkey has been carrying out strikes against Daesh since July 2015, and have detained over 2,500 Daesh suspects since 2013, of whom one third are foreigners. Turkey recognises the role that Syrian Kurds have to play in the fight against Daesh, and accepts that Syrian Kurds receive Coalition support.

It was David Lidington MP, Minster for Europe, who answered each of Kate Osamor’s questions – 4 in total –  with the same answer above. We can only speculate as to how and why this stock answer has been issued by the Government.

They were also asked about whether concerns had been raised about the use of curfews in Silva, CIzre and elsewhere, which has led to the deaths of nearly 100 civilians. Once again, the answer shows disregard for the severity of the violence or the lives of the civilians on the receiving end of it. And once again, the same answer was given twice:

 

We welcome the visit on 15-16 October of Turkey’s national human rights body to Cizre and Sirnak to conduct analysis and research on the recent events there.

We continue to monitor the human rights situation in Turkey closely and raise concerns regularly with the Turkish authorities.

 

 

 

Kurdistan Report interviews Nilufer Koc, Co-Chair of the KNK

“Is the era of the Kurds approaching?”

nilufer-kocHere, Nilüfer Koç, Co-chair of the KNK is interviewed for the latest issue of the Kurdistan Report, a bimonthly publication produced in Germany, about the 15th General Assembly Meeting of the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK). This is a translation of the German original.

 

You held your general assembly meeting at a period favourable for the Kurds in the Middle East. How did this affect your meeting?

 The political and social developments of the last year once more have been reflected on our 15th General Assembly Meeting. The countless successes against the Islamic State (IS) in Rojava [kurd.: Western; Western Kurdistan/North Syria] and Başur [kurd.: Southern; Southern Kurdistan/North Iraq], Abdullah Öcalan’s three years long political struggle of negotiations with the Turkish AKP (Justice and Development Party) government, the consolidation of the democratic autonomy in Rojava and the increasing international political interest in Kurdistan were the significant common denominators of the debates. Despite their political differences the 52 speakers of various Kurdish political parties were in agreement on many issues: that it was now indeed the era of the Kurds.

Continue reading

Observations monitoring the election in Diyarbakir

Margaret Owen, who took part in a delegation to southeast Turkey to monitor the recent snap elections, has produced this report based on her observations. Alongside Margaret were several others, including barrister Melanie Gingell, John Hunt, journalist; and Kawa Besarani, human rights advocate and political analyst; and academic David Graeber, among others.

Margaret Owen with voters in Sur, Diyarbakir

Margaret Owen with voters in Sur, Diyarbakir

The results, that came in on Sunday night took many of us, the international observers of the election,  by surprise. Last night we wept, as the first fireworks, music and song,  of what everyone thought would introduce a night of celebration,  turned into dark hours of grief and anger, which ended when the armed police arrived with their tear gas and water cannon, stone throwing from the youth, arrests and more violence.

How will the peace process with the Kurds be resurrected after this result? When Erdogan himself has stated that it is in tatters.  But perhaps all is not lost for ever. The AKP got a majority but not a “super” majority in numbers. He will still need support from the other parties to rewrite the Constitution in the way he wants, that is, to give himself a life presidency and in reality,  a dictatorship, far removed from Ataturk’s creation of a secular republic.   At least the HDP kept its 10% threshold. Although they lost many votes they still have representation in parliament. It could have been worse.

Continue reading