Dear Prime Minister… Letter to Theresa May from Peace in Kurdistan.

The Rt Honourable Theresa May MP

10 Downing Street
27th April 2017

Dear Theresa May,

We are writing to you to express our deep concern and indignation about the nature of the current relationship between the UK and Turkey. We will touch on four matters namely the Referendum of 16th April, the Turkish State’s War against the Kurds and the plight of political prisoners in Turkey, a large proportion of whom are Kurdish and finally arms sales to Turkey.

Referendum

Having won by the slimmest of majorities and without any criticism from your government, President Erdogan now has his mandate to derail Turkish democracy and set in stone the repressive measures he had imposed by virtue of a series of emergency decrees. The OSCE official election observers, as you will know, have reported that the Referendum of 16th April 2017 did not meet Council of Europe standards, was not a genuinely democratic process and that the mass arrests of journalists and the closure of media outlets denied the Turkish people a real choice. Continue reading

Stop the War Coalition Conference Motion passed April 2017

This Conference notes that

  1. Since June 2015 when President Erdogan lost his parliamentary majority, the conflict in the Kurdish majority South-East of Turkey has been re-ignited, with the loss of 2000 lives and the displacement of up to 500,000 people, including numerous cases of excessive use of force; killings; enforced disappearances; torture; destruction of housing and cultural heritage; incitement to hatred; prevention of access to emergency medical care, food, water and livelihoods; violence against women.
  2. During 2015 and 2016 Turkish security forces shelled densely populated Kurdish areas with heavy artillery and tanks , including an incident when up to 189 men, women and children who were trapped in basements of buildings were subjected to shelling by security forces and burnt to death.
  3. Since 2015 the UK has sold Turkey £330 million worth of arms, including £26m-worth of ML13 licences, which relate to exports of armoured plate, body armour and helmets. In addition, the UK has sold Turkey £8.5m-worth of ML10 licences, for aircraft, helicopters and drones, and almost £4m-worth of ML4 licences, for missiles, bombs and “counter-measures” and is a priority market for British arms exports.
  4. The OSCE election observers reported that the Turkish Referendum of 16th April 2017 did not meet Council of Europe standards, was not a genuinely democratic process and that the mass arrests of journalists and the closure of media outlets denied the Turkish people a real choice.

Continue reading

Urgent Appeal To the World’s Public Opinion and Humanitarian Organisations

The failure of the Syrian peace negotiations has led to an unprecedented escalation of violence. In addition, following the start of the 4th phase of the Wrath of the Euphrates Campaign to liberate Raqqa and its countryside, tens of thousands of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) have moved to the Rojava and north Syria regions, which are relatively secure and safe areas thanks to the sacrifices and heroic bravery of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ). Continue reading

Updated Information on the Situation in Syria: 1.Human Rights Council report on Syria, and 2.“Meet the Parties” – Presentation to Members of the UN Security Council by Saleh Muslim Mohammed, from the Rojava Democratic Self-Administration, 15 December 2016

A/HRC/34/CRP.3
  Distr.: Restricted

10 March 2017

 

English only

Human Rights Council

Thirty-fourth session

27 February-24 March 2017

Agenda item 4

Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention

Human rights abuses and international humanitarian law violations in the Syrian Arab Republic, 21 July 2016- 28 February 2017*

Conference room paper of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic

Summary
     After almost six years of conflict, civilians continue to bear the brunt of the brutal violence waged by warring parties in the Syrian Arab Republic. Government and pro-Government forces continue to attack civilian objects including hospitals, schools and water stations. A Syrian Air Force attack on a complex of schools in Haas (Idlib), amounting to war crimes, is a painful reminder that instead of serving as sanctuaries for children, schools are ruthlessly bombed and children’s lives senselessly robbed from them. Government and pro-Government forces continue to use prohibited weapons including cluster munitions, incendiary weapons and weaponised chlorine canisters on civilian-inhabited areas, further illustrating their complete disregard for civilian life and international law.

The terrorist group Jabhat Fatah al-Sham persists in carrying out summary executions including of women, and recruiting children in Idlib governorate. Coordinated attacks undertaken by the terrorist group alongside armed groups launched by indirect artillery fire resulted in dozens of civilian casualties, including many children. Life under the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) rule continues to be marked by executions and severe corporal punishments of civilians accused of violating the group’s ideology, and the destruction of cultural heritage sites including the Tetrapylon in Palmyra (Homs).

Armed groups launched numerous indiscriminate attacks with indirect fire artillery systems, including with unguided, locally manufactured weapons, killing and maiming civilians in Aleppo, Idlib and Dara’a governorates. Armed groups based in Idlib further exacted justice through the use of “shari’a courts” which lacked fair trial standards, while other groups carried out arbitrary arrests, detentions, enforced disappearances and committed torture countrywide.

Across northern Syria, Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) or Syrian Democratic (SDF) forces have displaced communities in order to clear areas mined by ISIL. In some cases, YPG or SDF forces did not provide adequate humanitarian aid to displaced communities. YPG forces persist in forcibly conscripting men and boys for military service.

Over the period under review, the number of Member States carrying out airstrikes or deploying ground forces on the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic increased, raising concerns regarding the escalation of the conflict and the potential to exacerbate civilian harm.

Continue reading

Turkey and the Kurds: A Chance for Peace?

Jonathan Steele

A Kurdish militant aligned with the PKK under a banner honoring a fallen comrade in the Sur district of Diyarbakır, Turkey, November 2015

In the months following last July’s failed coup against him, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has mounted the biggest purge of public officials in a century. As has been widely reported, over 100,000 civil servants, teachers, prosecutors, judges, journalists, army officers, and police have been suspended or dismissed. Some four thousand are now in prison. Most of these are accused of links with the movement of Fethullah Gülen, the self-exiled Islamist who used to be Erdoğan’s ally in curbing the political power of the military in Turkey’s secular “deep state” but broke with him in 2013 and is accused of masterminding the coup.

 

Continue reading

On the Attack on “No” Campaigners in Brussels

 

  1. 03.2017
    The aggressive political climate of conflict and polarization that President Erdoğan has engineered in Turkey to win in the upcoming referendum is now targeting “No” campaigners in European capitals. On March 30, a group of “No” campaigners who went to the Turkish consulate in Brussels to vote were attacked by a group of Turkish racist ne-cons who reportedly affiliate themselves with the “Ottoman Hearts,” an organization that has repeatedly pledged allegiance to President Erdoğan. According to HDP Europe office three supporters of HDP were stabbed in the attack and hospitalized. One of the victims is in bad condition, Ms Sultan Ogras, is and elderly member of Peace Mothers, a well-known initiative to end the violent Kurdish conflict in Turkey via peaceful means. We vehemently condemn this attack.

Continue reading

Imprisoned Co-Mayors from Kurdish Region, Turkey

Imprisoned Co-Mayors from Kurdish Region, Turkey

Data Compiled by Union of Southeastern Anatolia Region Municipalities (GABB)

as of 17/03/2017

Name Title Date of Arrest Prison

1 Mr. Harun Erkuş Co-Mayor of Lice, Diyarbakır 08/05/2015 Diyarbakır D Type Prison, Diyarbakır

2 Ms. Dilek Hatipoğlu Co-Mayor of Hakkari 08/25/2015 Sincan Women’s Prison, Ankara

3 Mr. Nurullah Çiftçi Co-Mayor of Hakkari 08/25/2015 Kırıkkale F Type, Kırıkkale

4 Ms. Handan Bağcı Co-Mayor of Özalp, Van 10/11/2015 Bayburt M Type Prison, Bayburt Continue reading

Newroz 2017: No to Dictatorship – Yes to Peoples’ Democracy and Freedom

PEACE IN KURDISTAN CAMPAIGN

Statement, 20 March 2017

It is at a most inauspicious time that the Kurdish people everywhere are now celebrating Newroz. Embattled in Turkey and Syria in particular, the Kurds once again renew their determination during the celebrations to mark this unique occasion when they give collective public expression to their heritage and culture.

Peace in Kurdistan salutes the Kurds and their historic struggle; we offer special greetings to the Kurdish men and women engaged in the fight against Islamic State (ISIS) and those Kurds who are facing the wrath of Erdogan’s increasing dictatorial rule in Turkey, especially those languishing unjustly in Turkey’s jails. Continue reading

WOMEN’S ALLIANCE FOR KURDISTAN, IRAQ AND SYRIA


https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/activities/womens-alliance-for-kurdistan-iraq-and-syria/

NEWS BRIEFING FEBRUARY/MARCH 2017

NEWS
1. Êzidî mothers: Barzani sold Shengal out to Erdoğan
2. PYD Co-chair Abdullah: International powers should support the Kurds
3. YJA-Star: We will reunite with our Leader
4. Blackburn activist becomes first British woman to join fight against Isis in Syria
5. IS Leader, In Charge of Yezidi Abductees, Killed Near Tel Affar
6. Pro-Kurdish HDP leader kicked out of Turkish parliament
7. YBŞ/YJŞ vows to respond to every attack on Shengal soil
8. Paris killings: Families file charges for the investigation to be reopened
9. Turkey’s Kurds Demonstrate for their Rights On Women’s Day

Continue reading

KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 7 – 13 MARCH 2017 NEWS

1. Decisions and demands from the International Êzidî Women’s Conference
2. Possible election fraud: Ballot boxes in Kurdish towns relocated
3. Dutch Kurds call on Netherlands to ally against Erdogan
4. Manbij Democratic Civilian Administration Council takes office
5. Former peshmergas: Attack on Shengal serves the enemy
6. Êzidîs in Europe organise a sit-in and long march against KDP’s betrayal
7. Saleh Muslim” International Socialist adopted the federation”
8. MPs Slam Jet Sales To Erdogan Regime
9. Damning UN report slams Turkey, revealing the extent of its anti-Kurdish war
10. UN report on the destruction and rights violations in North Kurdistan
11. Turkey-PKK conflict: UN report tells of ‘2,000 dead’ since truce collapse
12. Michael Flynn Was Paid to Represent Turkey’s Interests During Trump Campaign
13. All or nothing Continue reading