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

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.

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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.