KURDISH NEWS BRIEFING, 29 JULY 2019 – 20 AUGUST 2019

NEWS

  1. We will not be silenced, we will not be stopped
  2. Öcalan calls for sacrifice for unity among Kurds
  3. HDP deputies Günay and Paylan meet Mothers of Plaza de Mayo
  4. Germany sells 216 million euros of military equipment to Turkey
  5. 15th August 1984 – more than a military offensive
  6. German state’s war crimes in Kurdistan
  7. “South Kurdistan parties must not fall into Turkey’s trap”
  8. Turkey accused of extensive links to former Isis fighters

 OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS

  1. PKK’s Karayılan: We base on Öcalan’s orders and instructions
  2. Syrian Kurdish commander sets conditions for safe zone talks with Turkey
  3. A Syria Safe Zone Will Create More Problems Than It Solves
  4. Salih Muslim: The path to solution passes through Imralı
  5. Behind the Lines: Shane Bauer Travels to Syria to Uncover America’s Role in the Syrian War
  6. Remembering the Treaty of Lausanne
  7. Öcalan’s Strategic Success on Imralı
  8. Rojava Revolution – seven years on
  9. Can Syrian Kurds’ offer unlock door to compromise with Turkey?
  10. Turkey’s Kurdish problem—predicting Ankara’s next steps
  11. Various Players Maneuver For An Uncertain Future In Syria
  12. Might US-Turkish relations become like Israeli-Turkish ones?
  13. Turkish journalists facing unprecedented surge of physical assaults
  14. Sarah Glynn: Hope Vs fascism in Syria and Iraq

STATEMENTS

  1. Peace in Kurdistan: Celebrating 15 August 1984
  2. Statement from Abdullah Öcalan
  3. A forest for internationalist martyrs of the Rojava Revolution
  4. Letter to UK Foreign Secretary on Hasankeyf and the Ilisu Dam
  5. Trade unionists’ letter to the Home Secretary: Don’t Criminalise International Solidarity – Border Security Act 2019

ACTIONS, CAMPAIGNS

  1. Weʼre raising £1,000 to UK Freedom for Ocalan Trade Union Campaign

BOOKS

  1. Sakine Cansiz
  2. The Kurds of Northern Syria: Governance, Diversity and Conflicts
  3. (UPCOMING) Building Free Life: Dialogues with Abdullah Öcalan will be published in English in September 2019

CULTURE/ARTS/EVENTS

  1. “Don’t Criminalise Solidarity – CAMPACC Event on Vimeo

 

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NEWS

1. We will not be silenced, we will not be stopped

19 August 2019 | Peoples’ Democratic Party, Central Executive Board

“Our Municipal Co-chairs, who were elected with 63% of the vote in Diyarbakır, 56% of the vote in Mardin and 53% of the vote in Van, have been removed from duty with an Interior Ministry order based on lies and unlawful grounds. A severe operation of detentions targeting our municipal council members and employees continues at this moment.”

https://www.hdp.org.tr/en/english/statements/we-will-not-be-silenced-we-will-not-be-stopped/13404

2. Öcalan calls for sacrifice for unity among Kurds

16 August 2019|ANF

Kurdish People’s leader Abdullah Öcalan called for sacrifices to be made for unity among Kurds.Abdullah Öcalan’s brother Mehmet Öcalan went to the Imrali Island on August 12 for an Eid visit and spoke to the Mesopotamia Agency (MA) afterwards. Mehmet Öcalan said he was able to visit Imrali 3 times since 2016 and that the recent Eid visit lasted an hour.

https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/Oecalan-calls-for-sacrifice-for-unity-among-kurds-36944

3. HDP deputies Günay and Paylan meet Mothers of Plaza de Mayo

16 August 2019|ANF

HDP Mardin MP Ebru Günay and Amed MP Garo Paylan are on a tour in Latin America.

HDP deputies Ebru Günay and Garo Paylan met with the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo in Argentina. During the march that takes place every Thursday in Plaza de Mayo, Günay and Paylan greeted the members of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, and then walked with Nora Cortiñas, of Mothers of Plaza de Mayo – Founding Line.

https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/hdp-deputies-guenay-and-paylan-met-mothers-of-plaza-de-mayo-36937

 4. Germany sells 216 million euros of military equipment to Turkey

16 August 2019|ANF

Turkey is Germany’s third best non-EU customer, coming in after China and Russia.

The German government announced that the country sold 216 million euros worth of military equipment to Turkey last year.Germany sells military equipment for both civilian and military use, in what they call “dual use”.

https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/germany-sells-216-million-euros-of-military-equipment-to-turkey-36942

5. 15th August 1984 – more than a military offensive

15 August 2019|ANF

“The dynamic and well-organized liberation struggle under the leadership of the PKK is now present and alive in all parts of the world. Wherever there are Kurds, there is also the spirit of the PKK.”

https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/15th-august-1984-more-than-a-military-offensive-36926

6. German state’s war crimes in Kurdistan

14 August 2019|ANF

German-made poison gases and chemical weapons have been used in wars in Kurdistan throughout the last century, not just in the Dersim massacre in 1938. The involvement was proven time and time again, but the German state always remained silent.

https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/german-state-s-war-crimes-in-kurdistan-36900

7. “South Kurdistan parties must not fall into Turkey’s trap”

11 August 2019|ANF

In addition to military attacks, one of the central strategies of the Turkish state is to foment conflicts within the Kurds and to prevent Kurdish unity. HDP politician Zeyyat Ceylan warns the parties in southern Kurdistan of this trap.

https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/south-kurdistan-parties-must-not-fall-into-turkey-s-trap-36853

8. Turkey accused of extensive links to former Isis fighters

8 August 2019|Morning Star

An explosive new report has revealed extensive links between senior members of the Isis death cult and Nato member Turkey, including claims that intelligence services helped jihadists cross into Syria to commit alleged war crimes against Kurds. The database, published today by the Rojava Information Centre (RIC), draws on information gathered from jihadist Telegram messaging groups and local intelligence sources provided by the foreign ministry of North Eastern Syria.

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/w/turkey-accused-of-extensive-links-to-former-isis-fighters

 OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS

1.  Karayılan: We base on Öcalan’s orders and instructions

17 August 2019|ANF

“Our people should rest assured that the guerrilla will defeat AKP’s intelligence and technology and will win,” said Murat Karayılan of the PKK. Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Executive Committee Member and People’s Defense Central Headquarters (HSM) Commander Murat Karayılan spoke to Stêrk TV about Abdullah Öcalan’s recent remarks and the situation in the guerrilla war. Highlights from the interview with the top guerrilla commander are as follows.

https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/pkk-s-karayilan-we-base-on-Oecalan-s-orders-and-instructions-36962

2. Syrian Kurdish commander sets conditions for safe zone talks with Turkey

15  August 2019|Al Monitor

The Commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces stated in an interview that a proposed safe zone between Turkey and Kurdish-controlled northeastern Syria must cover the full length of the border between them. A senior SDF official speaking on condition of anonymity because of the delicate nature of the topic told Al-Monitor, “The reason the agreement needs to encompass the whole border is because otherwise Turkey will continue to threaten unilateral action against the territories that fall outside it”.

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/08/syrian-kurdish-commander-conditions-us-turkey-safe-zone.html#ixzz5wsiSvNet

3. A Syria Safe Zone Will Create More Problems Than It Solves

12 August 2019|The National Interest

After months of stalemate, Turkey and the United States have agreed to establish a joint operations center to coordinate efforts to carve out a safe zone stretching more than 250 miles along Syria’s northeastern border with Turkey. Down the road, however, disagreements will flare up. For any deal in northeastern Syria to work, it has to provide a sustainable solution to U.S. and Turkish security interests and address Kurdish concerns. The current agreement fails on all counts.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/middle-east-watch/syria-safe-zone-will-create-more-problems-it-solves-72961

4. Salih Muslim: The path to solution passes through Imralı

11 August 2019|ANF

PYD politician Salih Muslim commented on the latest statements by PKK founder Abdullah Öcalan and called for the Turkish state to address the proposed solutions of the Kurdish thought leader. Muslim considers the visits by the Kurdish leader’s lawyers on Imrali Prison Island to be very important and positive, stating that; “The Kurdish people are demanding that Öcalan’s views are paid attention to”.

https://anfenglishmobile.com/features/salih-muslim-the-path-to-solution-passes-through-imrali-36841

5. Behind the Lines: Shane Bauer Travels to Syria to Uncover America’s Role in the Syrian War

8 August 2019|Democracy Now

In May of 2018, award-winning reporter Shane Bauer set out to Syria to find answers. The result is his groundbreaking, 30,000-word investigation published in the June issue of Mother Jones, where Bauer is a senior reporter. He recently visited our New York studio to discuss his work.

https://www.democracynow.org/2019/8/8/behind_the_lines_shane_bauer_travels?utm_source=Democracy+Now%21&utm_campaign=2ab76601fa-Daily_Digest_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_fa2346a853-2ab76601fa-190239665

6. Remembering the Treaty of Lausanne

6 August 2019|Washington Kurdish Institute

With their ancestral homeland split between four modern states – Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey – the Kurdish people have been subject to a century of subjugation and suffering due to treaties signed by the old colonial powers. These treaties transferred power to a new set of oppressors, a group of colonizers with their own history in the region.

https://dckurd.org/2019/08/06/remembering-the-treaty-of-lausanne/

7. Öcalan’s Strategic Success on Imralı

5 August 2019|ANF

On May 2, 2019, Abdullah Öcalan’s lawyers had contact with their client for the first time since almost eight years. Mahmut Şakar talked to Civaka Azad about his experience of being the attorney for the Kurdish People’s Leader.

https://anfenglishmobile.com/features/Oecalan-s-strategic-success-on-imrali-36721

8. Rojava Revolution – seven years on

1 August 2019|Green Left

July 19 marked the seventh anniversary of northern Syria’s Rojava Revolution. On that day in 2012 the nascent People’s Protection Units (YPG) took control of the Kurdish-majority city of Kobanê. The outnumbered forces of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad surrendered and were allowed to depart (without their weapons). Other Kurdish cities and towns in the north were soon liberated as well.

https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/seventh-anniversary-rojava-revolution

9. Can Syrian Kurds’ offer unlock door to compromise with Turkey?

31 July 2019|Al Monitor

The Syrian Kurds have offered Turkey a 5-kilometer-deep buffer zone that would see the pullut of Kurdish forces and heavy weaponry, without seeking the withdrawal of Turkish troops from Afrin, but only that of aligned militia.

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/07/turkey-syria-united-states-kurds-have-offer-for-safe-zone.html#ixzz5vlEGwarI

 

10. Turkey’s Kurdish problem—predicting Ankara’s next steps

31 Jul 2019|Australian Strategic Policy Institute

Since the renewal of hostilities between the Turkish government and Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) forces in mid-2015, following a two-year ceasefire, the conflict has claimed around 4,500 lives, adding to approximately 40,000 casualties since the 1980s. Although the PKK bears responsibility for breaking the ceasefire, Turkey has since pursued an escalating campaign of offensive military operations against Kurdish groups in Turkey and neighbouring Iraq and Syria. Ankara has also re-instituted oppressive security controls targeting Kurds and renewed repression of Kurdish language, culture and identity.

https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/turkeys-kurdish-problem-predicting-ankaras-next-steps/

11. Various Players Maneuver For An Uncertain Future In Syria

31 July 2019|Lobe Log

Washington continues to support, at least on paper, the problematic Geneva talks of 2012 aimed at bringing about a political solution between the regime and the opposition, but this failed process has been overtaken by the Astana talks (supported by Russia, Iran, and Turkey) that are focused on changes to the Syrian constitution, which would presumably pave the way for a political settlement. Without a more active US diplomatic role, it is hard to see how Washington will be a major player in Syria’s future—though non-involvement may well be Trump’s true intention.

https://lobelog.com/various-players-maneuver-for-an-uncertain-future-in-syria/

12. Might US-Turkish relations become like Israeli-Turkish ones?

31 July 2019|Rudaw

Addressing senior Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials in Ankara on Saturday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated “Whoever is on the side of Israel, let everyone know that we are against them.” The United States most definitely appears to be on the side of Israel, so does this mean that Turkey stands against America? The government’s anti-Americanism reflects public opinion in Turkey, which was not very favorable to the U.S. even before the AKP came to power. Turkish nationalist opposition parties, including the new IYI (Good) Party, appear no different on this matter. Turkish leftist parties likewise have no love for America or Israel.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/analysis/30072019

13. Turkish journalists facing unprecedented surge of physical assaults

25 July 2019|Index on Censorship

Turkey’s freedom of the press was curbed after the attempted military coup in July 2016, when over 150 media outlets were shut down. Many journalists working in Kurdish territory were subject to physical violence and threats, and Rohat Aktaş, a journalist who covered the Kurdish-Turkish conflict in the town of Cizre, was killed. While physical attacks on media workers have become rare in recent years, eight assaults have been documented in May and June 2019. This surge has raised concerns about the continuing pressure on media professionals in the country.

https://www.indexoncensorship.org/2019/07/turkey-physical-violence-report/

14. Sarah Glynn: Hope Vs fascism in Syria and Iraq

24 July 2019|Commonspace

Last Friday [19 July] was the seventh anniversary of the Rojava revolution, when the Kurds established autonomous control in northern Syria. For almost the entire time that they have been building an alternative society, based on a feminist, multicultural, grassroots democracy, they have also had to fight for survival against external attacks. Now, again, their Democratic Federation of North East Syria faces existential danger.

https://www.commonspace.scot/articles/14523/sarah-glynn-hope-vs-fascism-syria-and-iraq

STATEMENTS

1.Peace in Kurdistan: Celebrating 15 August 1984

15 August 2019|Peace in Kurdistan

For Kurdish people the 15 August is celebrated as the Day of Resurgence and Resistance. On 15 August 1984, Liberation Units of Kurdistan, led by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), with its guerrilla commander Mahsum Korkmaz, launched the armed struggle for freedom.  This was six years after the founding of the PKK.

https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2019/08/19/9991/

 2. Statement from Abdullah Öcalan

9 August 2019|International Inititative

On 7 August 2019, lawyers from Asrın Law Office traveled to İmralı Island Prison to meet with their client Abdullah Öcalan. Following this consulation, Asrın Law Office released a statement detailing the discussion they had with Öcalan.

http://www.freeocalan.org/news/english/ocalan-statement-august-2019

3. A forest for internationalist martyrs of the Rojava Revolution

8 August 2019|ANF

“With this forest we want to create a living monument that will flourish and take root like the ideals of the martyrs of the Rojava revolution.”

https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/a-forest-for-internationalist-martyrs-of-the-rojava-revolution-36785

4. Letter to UK Foreign Secretary on Hasankeyf and the Ilisu Dam

8 August 2019|ANF

“Dozens of associations, groups, academics, journalists from the UK wrote to Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP to express their concer about the future of Hasankeyf. The 12,000-years site is going to be flooded when the Ilisu Dam will become operational.

Peace in Kurdistan Campaign is among the promoters of the initiative.

https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/letter-to-foreign-secretary-the-ilisu-dam-a-critical-juncture-36801

5. Trade unionists’ letter to the Home Secretary: Don’t Criminalise International Solidarity – Border Security Act 2019

26 July 2019|Freedom for Ocalan

In a joint letter to the Home Secretary, Priti Patel MP, senior trade union officials oppose any Home Office decision to make Kurdish-run North-East Syria a “designated area” under the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019. Under such a designation, anyone visiting the region could face up to 10 years imprisonment, a fine or both. They urge the Homes Secretary “Don’t criminalise international solidarity.”

https://freedomforocalan.org/border-security-act-2019/

ACTIONS, CAMPAIGNS

1. Weʼre raising £1,000 to UK Freedom for Ocalan Trade Union Campaign

17 August 2019|Freedom for Ocalan

As part of this the campaign team is running 10km on 21st of September 2019 to raise funds to support the UK based Freedom for Öcalan Campaign – ‘The Time has Come!”

Please give generously! Please share widely!

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/freedom-for-ocalan-10k-september?utm_id=60&utm_term=K4x3KMGPg

BOOKS

1. Sakine Cansiz

Thursday, 29 August 2019 19:00|Pluto Press|

The Mosaic Rooms, Tower House, 226 Cromwell Road, London, SW5 0SW

The Mosaic Rooms and Pluto Press are delighted to host the launch for Sara: Prison Memoir of a Kurdish Revolutionary the second instalment in the gripping memoir by Sakine Cansiz, which chronicles the Kurdish revolutionary’s harrowing years in a Turkish prison, following her arrest in 1979 at the age of 21.

https://www.plutobooks.com/events/sakine-cansiz/

2. The Kurds of Northern Syria: Governance, Diversity and Conflicts

11 July 2019|Bloomsbury

Based on unprecedented access to Kurdish-governed areas of Syria, including exclusive interviews with administration officials and civilian surveys, this book – by Harriet Allsopp and Wladimir van Wilgenburg – sheds light on the socio-political landscape of this minority group and the various political factions vying to speak for them.

https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/the-kurds-of-northern-syria-9781838604455/

3. (UPCOMING) Building Free Life: Dialogues with Abdullah Öcalan will be published in English in September 2019

September 2019| International Initiative

Book Published about the Thought of Abdullah Öcalan

A new book entitled Building Free Life: Dialogues with Abdullah Öcalan will be published in English in September 2019 by PM Press. The book features a collection of essays from thinkers, activists, and academics from around the world discussing the thought of Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan and the Kurdish freedom movement.

http://www.freeocalan.org/news/english/book-published-about-the-thought-of-abdullah-ocalan

CULTURE, ARTS/EVENTS

1. “Don’t Criminalise Solidarity – CAMPACC Event on Vimeo

In the wake of the panic caused by British citizens travelling to northeast Syria to join ISIS, and the terrorist threat they may pose upon their return, the British government rushed through the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019. Panellists discussed the new offence of entering or remaining in a “designated area” overseas. The crime would apply to UK nationals and residents, with a maximum penalty of ten years imprisonment, a fine or both. The Act imposes a presumption of guilt upon defendants, who have the onus to provide a reasonable excuse for their presence.

https://vimeo.com/354511401?ref=em-share

 

 Peace in Kurdistan

Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question

Email: estella24@tiscali.co.uk

http://www.peaceinkurdistancampaign.com

Contacts Estella Schmid 020 7586 5892 & Melanie Gingell – Tel: 020 7272 7890

Fax: 020 7263 0596

Patrons: John Austin, Christine Blower, NUT International Secretary, Prof Bill Bowring, Julie Christie, Noam Chomsky, Jeremy Corbyn MP,  Prof Mary Davis, Lord Dholakia, Simon Dubbins, UNITE International Director,  Jill Evans MEP, Lindsey German, Convenor STWC, Melanie Gingell, Rahila Gupta, Nick Hildyard, Dafydd Iwan, Former President Plaid Cymru, James Kelman, Bruce Kent, Jean Lambert MEP, Elfyn Llwyd, Aonghas MacNeacail, Scottish Gaelic poet, Mike Mansfield QC, Doug Nicholls, General Secretary, GFTU, Dr. Jessica Ayesha Northey, International Coordinator, Green Party of England and Wales; Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy, Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley, Kate Osamor MP, Margaret Owen OBE, Gareth Peirce, Maxine Peake, Lord Rea, Joe Ryan, Stephen Smellie, Steve Sweeney, Dr Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, Dr Tom Wakeford, Dr Derek Wall, Julie Ward MEP, Hywel Williams MP.

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Your Freedom and Mine: Abdullah Öcalan and the Kurdish Question in Erdoğan’s Turkey.

Watch the video of the event here

BOOK LAUNCH, special event marking the release of Your Freedom and Mine: Abdullah Öcalan and the Kurdish Question in Erdoğan’s Turkey. Edited by Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley and Dr Federico Venturini.

Speakers include: Dimitrios Roussopoulos political activist, ecologist, and publisher; Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley lecturer of political sociology at the University of Cambridge; Dr Radha D’Souza Reader in law at Westminster University; Julie Ward MEP (TBC); Jonathan Steele veteran journalist and author; Simon Dubbins UNITE international director; Joe Ryan Chair, Westminster Justice and Peace Commission. In addition,Adem Uzun, member of the Executive Council of the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK), will send a video-message. Continue reading

Public Forum | Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal on Turkey and Kurds: The Verdict Turkey Found Guilty of ‘War Crimes’: Where do we go from here?

Watch the video of the event here

“At the conclusion of the peace negotiations, an amnesty must follow for all crimes committed by both parties, both in Turkey and abroad. Only in this case Turkey could be exonerated from the obligation to ensure the punishment of those responsible for war crimes and against humanity determined by the PPT”
Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal, Judgement, 24 May 2018

Join Peace in Kurdistan, Kurdish People’s Assembly in Britain, Roj Women Assembly, Freedom for Ocalan Campaign, UK, Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC) – for a special discussion hosted by Lord Hylton following release of the verdict dated 24 May 2018. Continue reading