In order to find a peaceful solution to the Kurdish question, the Kurdish Freedom Movement in Turkey has developed an alternative social model: Democratic Autonomy.
In the fall of 2011, a group of TATORT activists journeyed into the Kurdish regions of Turkey to learn how the theory of Democratic Autonomy was being put into practice. They discovered a remarkable experiment in face-to-face democracy—all the more notable for being carried out in wartime.
Since 2005, under the most difficult of conditions, the movement in North Kurdistan has created structures for a democratic, ecological and gender-liberated society. At its core is a system of councils in villages, cities, and neighborhoods. These structures do not yet offer a way of life that is fully independent of the nation-state and the market economy, but they nonetheless reveal a potent civil counter-power.
The European Parliament Foreign Affairs committee (AFET) has produced a draft report on the European Commission’s 2013 (EU Enlargement) Progress Report on Turkey, published in October this year.
The AFET is the first body within the European Parliament to assess the EC’s yearly progress reports and this draft is the first indication of the European Parliament’s official position on the report. AFET Report will be adopted most probably in January 2014 (the deadline for amendments is foreseen for next 8th of January, an AFET meeting is scheduled for the end of January), and then, after its adoption in AFET, it will be sent to the E.P. Plenary for final adoption in STRASBOURG. Before the final adoption of the report in March, there is an opportunity for interested parties to suggest amendments to the report. Peace in Kurdistan campaign made its own submissions last year, and will do so again this year.
You can download a copy of the AFET draft report here.
September 30, 2013
American University, School of International Service, Center of Peacebuilding and Development
Panel discussion presentation:
By Saif Badrakhan, Kurdistan National Congress- KNK, USA Representative
The future of the Kurds, Western Kurdistan and the war in Syria
The 50 million Kurds live on their ancestral land Kurdistan for more than 5000 years. The Kurdish nation has been occupied and divided between four countries by the victories allies after the World War I. This criminal unjust action created
a historical tragedy for the Kurdish people. The countries of Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq cooperated and used forced cultural assimilation, forced emigration,
massacres and genocide in the last 90 years to assimilate and eliminate the Kurdish nation, but failed to accomplish their colonial aims.
The introduction to this years report reads:
“I NEVER IMAGINED THAT…TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT WHAT WAS HAPPENING COULD MEAN WALKING THE LINE BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH… MANY TIMES I’VE FELT AS THOUGH FEAR HAS SOAKED THROUGH TO MY BONES, BUT THE FEELING OF RESPONSIBILITY IS STRONGER”
The European Parliament held a plenary debate yesterday to discuss a resolution on the 2012 Turkey Progress Report, published last autumn. Peace in Kurdistan has followed the process closely and provided a submission to the draft resolution, which you can read below.
The final resolution was adopted yesterday, and can be downloaded here.
PEACE IN KURDISTAN CAMPAIGN APRIL 2013
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: Motion for a resolution on the 2012 Progress Report on Turkey
Presentation by Peace in Kurdistan campaign for discussion of the draft motion on the 2012 Progress Report on Turkey, to be discussed in the plenary of the European Parliament on 17 April 2013.
Transcript of an interview with Nuçe TV.
NEWS CENTER 28/03/2013
KCK Executive Council President Murat Karayilan and member of the Executive Council Presidency Ronahi Serhat, have made important statements about withdrawing from the Turkish territory. Karayilan, pointing out the important responsibility on the Turkish Assembly, said “To ensure continuity of this process, it needs to be developed mutually. We are preparing for withdrawal, but the other side also needs to start preparations. To facilitate this process, our leader’s conditions of imprisonment need to be improved.” Ronahi Serhat stated that the channels for dialogue with the architect of the peace process need to be opened.
KCK Executive Council President Murat Karayilan and member of the Executive Council Presidency Ronahi Serhat, answered the questions directed by the journalists Koray Düzgören, Erdal Er and Khaled Hermit from Nuçe TV.
SPOKESMAN BOOKS INFORMATION
Spokesman 119: The Kurdish Question in Turkey
Edited by Tony Simpson
To order contact Central Books: email@example.com
ISBN: 978 0 85124 821 9
Size: 210mm (H) x 148mm
Publication Date: February 2013
Genre: Politics, Current Affairs, Human Rights
Readership: General & Academic
Rights: Contact publishers
Ayse Berktay has been locked up in a Turkish prison since October 2011. She and some 200 others are, periodically, before Turkey’s Tribunal with Special Powers as part of the ‘KCK trials’. KCK stands for Kurdish Communities Union, which the Turkish government has labelled a ‘terrorist’ organisation, although the actual basis for this draconian claim is not at all clear.
While the talks with the Kurdish Leader Abdullah Öcalan in Imrali are being debated, member of the KCK Executive Council, Cemil Bayık, evaluated the subject in his column published at the Yeni Özgür Politika and Azadiya Welat newspapers.
Bayık, in his article written in Kurdish, entitled ‘the last chance for AKP’, stated that as a result of the resistance of Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan against one and a half year of threats and blackmailing, the AKP had to restart the talks. Stating “resistance of the Guerrilla and the People also forced the AKP to talk with the Kurdish People’s Leader”, Bayık’s article is as follows:
As part of Peace in Kurdistan’s continuing monitoring of the ongoing KCK Trials in Turkey, solicitor Tony Fisher and barrister Melanie Gingell have returned from Istanbul where they observed the latest hearing of a mass trial of 46 Kurdish lawyers. Tony Fisher, a member of the Law Society’s Human Rights Committee, has written the following report about the hearing on 3 January, which includes a summary of the proceedings and a commentary on the highly politicised nature of the trial. The report is also available for download.
KCK TRIAL OF KURDISH LAWYERS – ISTANBUL 3rd January 2013
This is a further report on the trial of 46 Kurdish lawyers and other professionals on alleged terrorist offences arising out of their position as representatives of the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan. The trial was adjourned from November 2012 to 3rd January 2013 and resumed on the morning of 3rd January at Silivri court. This report should be read in conjunction with my earlier report dated 8th November 2012.
Several conference papers from last week’s EUTCC Conference, entitled The Kurdish Question in Turkey: Time to Renew the Dialogue and Resume Direct Negotiations, have been made available in English. The final resolution of the conference is also available, and you can download the opening speech by Kurdish MP Leyla Zana(pdf) and Dutch academic Joost Jongeden’s paper, Rethinking Politics and Democracy in the Middle East(pdf).
Dr Sabine Freizer, Europe Program Director for the International Crisis Group
“Negotiating peace: Requirements for a political resolution and the Road Maps to Peace in Turkey”
Thank you very much chair for inviting me to speak to you today and to present the recommendations that the International Crisis Group has developed to alleviate the Kurdish problem and help the Kurdish movement and the Turkish government reach a political settlement.
Just a few words on Crisis Group. We were created in 1995 during the wars in the Western Balkans when several international policy makers felt that an organization that could give practical recommendations, based on field research, to alleviate and solve deadly conflict was needed. The head of our organization is Justice Louise Arbour, former UN High Commission on HR and Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda. We work in about 65 conflicts around the work with some 150 staff. Our main advantage over other organizations is our field presence with about 30 offices around the world. Personally I cover the Europe program (the Balkans, Turkey and the Caucasus, North and South) and am based out of Istanbul, where I work with two other colleagues, Hugh Pope and Didem Akyel. Our only product is our reports – we don’t do any of our own activities, like organizing conferences or providing aid.