KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 13TH- 19th February 2016

NEWS
1. Kurds carve out new reality in Syria
2. EU, US call on Turkey to stop hitting PYD
3. For Syrian Kurds, new curriculum in once-banned language
4. Erdogan files complaint over slogans during protest at labor union congress
5. Islamic State Group Used Mustard Gas Against Kurds in Iraq
6. Clashes erupted in southeastern Turkey after rally to mark 17 years since the arrest of Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan
7. CHP: Such long curfews in SE not imposed even during Sept. 12 coup era
8. PYD rejects Turkish demands, warns against intervention
9. Erdogan uses ISIS to suppress the Kurds, West stays silent – Turkish MP
10. Syria’s Kurds ‘won’t retreat’ despite Turkish shelling
11. Syria Calls for U.N. Action over Turkey’s Shelling of Kurds
12.  Biden urges Turkey to cease artillery strikes in Syria
13.  Syria conflict takes Kurds towards autonomy
14. Advances by Kurdish militants tests Syrian alliances
15. The more Turkey tries, the more it seems to fail
16. Russia blasts Turkey’s ‘provocative’ shelling of PYD
17. U.N. Security Council concerned by Turkey’s actions in Syria, says Venezuela
18. Hezbollah chief says Turkey, Saudi Arabia prefer war over political agreement in Syria
19. PYD leader and HDP co-chair attend ‘Ocalan conference’ in Athens
20. Turkey’s bloodiest massacre and displacement of the Kurds since the 1990s is happening now
21. Naples Municipality awards Ocalan with ‘honorary citizenship’

COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
1. Free Abdullah Ocalan!
2. Dreams and Nightmares: Turkey’s Unspoken Drift towards Civil War
3. RADIO: Syria Takes Turkey ‘Violations’ to UN
4. RADIO: Syria: Kurds Under Fire from Turkey
5. The Case for Delisting the PKK as a Foreign Terrorist Organization
6. Conference Report: The Hidden War in Turkey
7. Ocalan’s Detention in Europe’s Guantanamo
8. VIDEO: Turkey seeks to abolish Kurds’ existence: Expert
9. Erdogan’s War Against Kurds in Southeast Turkey is ‘Part of Business Plan’
10. Playing with Fire: Turkey ‘Wants to Annex’ Part of Syria
11. Turkey wages war on its Kurdish population
12. VIDEO: Syria: Battle for Aleppo, Erdogan’s War on Kurds, Syria’s Endgame; Bernie, Hillary, and Public Opinion
13. Turkey Is Murdering Its Own Kurdish Civilians. Will America Speak Out?

STATEMENTS
1. YPG Statement on Ankara

EVENTS
1. Stop Turkey’s War on Kurds: Discussion Panel

————————————————————————————————————

NEWS
1. Kurds carve out new reality in Syria
Monday 15th February /The Guardian
Over the weekend, the YPG moved towards two Syrian towns between the Turkish border and the almost besieged Aleppo, after earlier seizing an airbase that had been held by the opposition. Throughout the war, the YPG had been viewed warily by the opposition, and given a wide berth by the regime.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/15/kurds-carve-out-new-reality-in-northern-syria

  1. EU, US call on Turkey to stop hitting PYD
    Monday 15th February /Today’s Zaman
    As Turkey continued to shell Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) forces near the Syrian town of Azez for a third day on Monday, the European Union and the US have called on Turkey to stop hitting Syria and refrain from further complicating the efforts of world powers to halt the hostilities within a week.
    http://www.todayszaman.com/diplomacy_eu-us-call-on-turkey-to-stop-hitting-pyd_412333.html
  2. For Syrian Kurds, new curriculum in once-banned language
    Monday 15th February / your middle east
    The Kurdish language was once banned by the government in Damascus, but now the local semi-autonomous government has rolled out an entire curriculum for primary school students in Kurdish parts of the territory under its control.
    http://www.yourmiddleeast.com/culture/for-syrian-kurds-new-curriculum-in-oncebanned-language_38913
  3. Erdogan files complaint over slogans during protest at labor union congress
    Tuesday 16th February / Today’s Zaman
    Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has filed a complaint against protestors at a labor union congress, claiming that they had insulted him with their slogans, Turkish media reported on Monday.
    http://www.todayszaman.com/national_erdogan-files-complaint-over-slogans-during-protest-at-labor-union-congress_412437.html
  4. Islamic State Group Used Mustard Gas Against Kurds in Iraq
    Monday 15th February / telesur tv
    A chemical weapons investigator confirmed earlier reports that the extremist group used the banned chemical weapon.
    The Islamic State group used chemical weapons against Kurdish militants last year, Reuters reported Monday. The August 2015 attack occurred near Erbil, the capital of autonomous Kurdish Iraq.
    http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Islamic-State-Group-Used-Mustard-Gas-Against-Kurds-in-Iraq-20160215-0008.html
  5. Clashes erupted in southeast Turkey after a rally to mark 17 years since the arrest of Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan
    Monday 15th February / us news
    About 300 demonstrators assembled in the mainly Kurdish district of Diyarbakir chanting: “We will win by resisting” and “long live Apo,” in reference to Ocalan. Police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse the rally.
    http://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2016-02-15/clashes-in-turkey-on-anniversary-of-kurdish-leaders-arrest
  6. CHP: Such long curfews in SE not imposed even during Sept. 12 coup era
    Sunday 14th February / Today’s Zaman
    A delegation from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has gone on a fact-finding mission in Tukey’s Southeast, which has recently been the scene of weeks-long curfews and clashes between security forces and the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), saying that such long curfews were not even imposed during the Sept. 12 1980 military coup period.
    http://www.todayszaman.com/national_chp-such-long-curfews-in-se-not-imposed-even-during-sept-12-coup-era_412315.html
  7. PYD rejects Turkish demands, warns against intervention
    Sunday 14th February / Today’s Zaman
    The Syrian Kurdish PYD party on Sunday rejected Turkish demands that allied militia withdraw from positions near the border that are being shelled by Turkish army , and warned that Syrians would resist any Turkish intervention in the country.
    http://www.todayszaman.com/diplomacy_pyd-rejects-turkish-demands-warns-against-intervention_412276.html
  8. Erdogan uses ISIS to suppress Kurds, West stays silent – Turkish MP
    Monday 15th February / RT
    President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been using ISIS to advance his Middle East policy and suppress the Kurds, and Ankara’s elite maintains vibrant economic ties with the terror group and harbors its militants, a Turkish MP has told Russian media. https://www.rt.com/news/332529-erdogan-uses-isis-kurds/
  9. Syria’s Kurds ‘won’t retreat’ despite Turkish shelling
    Sunday 14th February / al jazeera
    Kurdish-backed fighters in Syria say they will not withdraw from the areas they have recently captured in the country’s north, after Turkey shelled their positions in Aleppo province for a second day.
    Turkey has demanded that the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the armed wing of Syria’s Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), give up the territories it has gained in the past few days from Turkish-backed Syrian armed groups.
    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/02/syria-kurds-won-retreat-turkish-shelling-160214141157968.html
  10. Syria Calls for U.N. Action over Turkey’s Shelling of Kurds
    Monday 15th February / Newsweek
    Syria called on the United Nations on Sunday to act against Turkey, condemning the military’s shelling of Kurdish fighters in northern Syria as a violation of international law.
    Turkey’s military shelled Kurdish YPG fighters in Syria across the weekend as they continued to gain ground in Aleppo province, capturing the Mannagh airbase on Friday. Turkey fears Kurdish territorial intentions on its southern border.
    http://europe.newsweek.com/syria-regime-goes-un-over-turkeys-shelling-kurds-426581?rm=eu
  11. Biden urges Turkey to cease artillery strikes in Syria
    Sunday 14th February / Today’s Zaman
    US Vice President Joe Biden has urged Turkey to stop shelling Kurdish militia positions in northern Syria during a phone conversation on Saturday with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, according to a statement released by the White House on Sunday.
    http://www.todayszaman.com/diplomacy_biden-urges-turkey-to-cease-artillery-strikes-in-syria_412312.html
  12. Syria conflict takes Kurds towards autonomy
    Wednesday 17th February / Daily Mail Online
    Syria ‘s Kurds, long held in disdain by Damascus, are edging towards autonomy in their heartland along Turkey’s border as they capitalise on the tactical goals of both Washington and Moscow.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-3450513/Syria-conflict-takes-Kurds-autonomy.html
  13. Advances by Kurdish militants tests Syrian alliances
    Wednesday 17th February / Financial Times
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/a433f2c2-d59c-11e5-829b-8564e7528e54,Authorised=false.html?ftcamp=traffic/email/guestpass/gp_email/guestpass/auddev&utm_source=gp_email&utm_medium=email&utm_term=guestpass&utm_campaign=guestpass&_i_location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ft.com%2Fcms%2Fs%2F0%2Fa433f2c2-d59c-11e5-829b-8564e7528e54.html%3Fftcamp%3Dtraffic%2Femail%2Fguestpass%2Fgp_email%2Fguestpass%2Fauddev%26utm_source%3Dgp_email%26utm_medium%3Demail%26utm_term%3Dguestpass%26utm_campaign%3Dguestpass&_i_referer=&classification=conditional_standard&iab=barrier-app#axzz40W16pOZ8
  14. The more Turkey tries, the more it seems to fail
    Thursday 18th February / Hurriyet Daily News
    Foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu finally put to rest speculation about a possible invasion of Syria by Turkey. It was his remarks which fuelled this debate in the first place.
    He said last week that if things were based on a result-oriented strategy, then Turkey could mount a land operation against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) together with Saudi Arabia.
    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/the-more-turkey-tries-the-more-it-seems-to-fail.aspx?PageID=238&NID=95336&NewsCatID=416
  15. Russia blasts Turkey’s ‘provocative’ shelling of PYD
    Monday 15th February / Hurriyet Daily News
    Russia said on Feb. 15 that Turkey’s shelling of Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and Syrian regime positions in the north of the country was a “provocative” action.
    “Starting from February 13, Turkish artillery concentrated in border areas is carrying out massive strikes on Syrian towns recently freed from terrorists by regime forces and Kurdish militia,” a statement by the Russian foreign ministry said.
    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/russia-blasts-turkeys-provocative-shelling-of-pyd.aspx?PageID=238&NID=95206&NewsCatID=352
  16. UN Security Council concerned by Turkey’s actions in Syria, says Venezuela
    Tuesday 16th February / Today’s Zaman
    The United Nations Security Council expressed concern during a closed-door meeting on Tuesday over Turkish shelling of Kurdish YPG militia targets in Syria and called on Turkey to abide by international law, the council president Venezuela has said.
    http://www.todayszaman.com/diplomacy_un-security-council-concerned-by-turkeys-actions-in-syria-says-venezuela_412520.html
  17. Hezbollah chief says Turkey, Saudi Arabia prefer war over political agreement in Syria
    Tuesday 16th February / Today’s Zaman
    The leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah group said on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia and Turkey favored a prolonged war in Syria rather than agreeing to a settlement which would lead to Bashar al-Assad staying in power.
    http://www.todayszaman.com/diplomacy_hezbollah-chief-says-turkey-saudi-arabia-prefer-war-over-political-agreement-in-syria_412516.html
  18. PYD leader and HDP co-chair attend ‘Ocalan conference’ in Athens
    Tuesday 16th February / Today’s Zaman
    Syria’s Democratic Union Party (PYD) leader Salih Muslim and Turkey’s pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) Co-chair Selahattin Demirtas attended a conference in Athens on Monday to mark the 17th anniversary of the capture of Abdullah Ocalan, the leader of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
    http://www.todayszaman.com/diplomacy_pyd-leader-and-hdp-co-chair-attend-ocalan-conference-in-athens_412512.html
  19. Turkey’s bloodiest massacre and displacement of the Kurds since the 1990s is happening now
    Tuesday 16th February / Today’s Zaman
    Baran described to Corporate Watch the massacres that are taking place right now in Kurdish cities within Turkey’s borders. Baran is from Amed (Diyarbakir in Turkish). Once a political activist in Kurdistan, he now lives in exile in the UK. Right now, Amed is being besieged by military and police as Turkey carries out the greatest massacres and mass displacement of its Kurdish population since the 1990s. Meanwhile, the city of Cizir (Cizre) has been left in ruins after two months of operations by state forces.
    https://corporatewatch.org/news/2016/feb/16/turkeys-bloodiest-massacre-and-displacement-kurds-1990s-happening-now
  20. Naples Municipality awards Ocalan with ‘honorary citizenship’
    Wednesday 17th February / ANF News
    Naples Municipality awarded Öcalan with ‘honorary citizenship’ during an official ceremony and press release in front of the municipality building. Mayor Luigi de Magistris, municipal board members, solidarity committee members, Öcalan’s lawyer Carmine Malinconico, HDP Parliamentarian Dilek Öcalan and Kurdistan Information Bureau representatives attended the ceremony that drew media attention. Officials announced that they awarded Öcalan as a response to the February 15 1999 conspiracy, which enters its 18th year in 2016. Participants of the ceremony also saluted the struggles of Öcalan and Kurdish people.
    http://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/naples-municipality-awards-ocalan-with-honorary-citizenship

COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS

1. Free Abdullah Ocalan!
Sunday 14th February / Dilar Dirik
Wounded people trapped in basements, civilians burned alive, children shot on the streets, dead women’s bodies stripped naked for display, the Turkish state and army is engaged in a mass-murderous war, not on the PKK militants, but on the civilian Kurdish population in front of the eyes of the international community, which does not even dare to condemn the atrocities.
http://dilar91.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/free-abdullah-ocalan.html


  1. Dreams and Nightmares: Turkey’s Unspoken Drift towards Civil War
    Wednesday 10th February / ISN
    The sustained clashes in urban areas that have wracked southeast Turkey in recent months marks a new stage in the decades-old insurgency of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and threaten to escalate into a full-blown civil war. Although it is still not too late to pull the country back from the brink, neither the Turkish government nor its Western allies appear aware of the extent of the danger that it is facing.
    http://www.isn.ethz.ch/Digital-Library/Articles/Detail/?id=195904

  2. RADIO: Syria Takes Turkey ‘Violations’ to UN
    Monday 15 February / BBC
    For a second day in a row, Turkey has continued shelling Kurdish fighters in northern Syria. The action has been condemned by Syria as a violation of its sovereignty. How might Turkey’s involvement influence an already complicated situation in the Middle East?
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03hwrhj

  3. RADIO: Syria: Kurds Under Fire from Turkey
    Monday 15th February / BBC
    Turkey continues to shell Kurdish fighters in northern Syria for a second day, despite calls from France to end the assault. How does this change the already complicated situation in the Middle East?
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03hwrhf

  4. The Case for Delisting the PKK as a Foreign Terrorist Organization
    Thursday 11th February / Lawfare
    Removing the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) from the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) would create conditions for greater security cooperation between the United States and the PKK in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). In exchange for delisting, the PKK could be required to reiterate its rejection of ISIS, pledge to further support the campaign to degrade and destroy the terror group, and officially renounce violence aimed at achieving political objectives. Delisting could also catalyze political negotiations between the Turkish government and the PKK, resulting in an arrangement enhancing Turkey’s security while enshrining greater political and cultural rights for Kurds.
    https://www.lawfareblog.com/case-delisting-pkk-foreign-terrorist-organization
  5. Conference Report: The Hidden War in Turkey
    Friday 12th February / Washington Kurdish Institute
    On February 10, 2016, the Washington Kurdish Institute hosted Mr. Osman Baydemir, the Parliamentarian of People’s Democratic Party (HDP) in Turkey for a media round-table. Mr. Baydemir is the former mayor of Diyarbakir (Amed) province in southeastern Turkey.
    In the presence of a number of journalists, Mr Baydemir discussed the current political, security, and economic situation in Turkey in general, and in the southeast of the country (Bakur or Northern Kurdistan) in particular.
    http://dckurd.org/2016/02/12/the-hidden-war-in-turkey/
  6. Ocalan’s Detention in Europe’s Guantanamo
    Wednesday 17th February / International Criminal Law Bureau
    On 15th February in Athens, in the offices of the Greek Journalists Union, I joined some 400 people, Greeks, Kurds living in Greece and some who had come from Turkey to listen to an array of speakers including lawyers, writers, and the two Kurdish political leaders, Saleh Muslim, co-chair of the Syrian Kurdish Party, PYD, and Selahattin Demirtas, co-chair of the pro-Kurdish party HPD.
    http://www.internationallawbureau.com/index.php/ocalans-detention-in-europes-guantanamo/
  7. VIDEO: Turkey seeks to abolish Kurds’ existence: Expert
    Wednesday 17th February / Press TV
    Press TV has interviewed James Petras, a Middle East expert in New York, about Turkey imposing a curfew in a region in the southeastern province of Sirnak as Ankara goes on with its operation against militants of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
    http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/02/17/450850/Turkey-Syria-PKK-Erdogan-Daesh-NATO-Merkel
  8. Erdogan’s War Against Kurds in Southeast Turkey is ‘Part of Business Plan’
    Wednesday 17th February / Sputnik News
    Ankara has unleashed a devastating war against Kurds in the southeast Turkey to “urgently nationalize” the affected structures and implement the AKP-led project of Urban Change in Diyarbakir, Istanbul-based independent scholar Dr. Can Erimtan writes, dubbing the process as “disaster capitalism a la Turca.”
    http://sputniknews.com/politics/20160217/1034913193/erdogan-war-against-turkish-kurds-part-of-business-plan.html
  9. Playing with Fire: Turkey ‘Want to Annex’ Part of Syria
    Tuesday 16th February / Sputnik News
    Rumors have long circulated that Turkey is planning to send ground troops to Syria. Although Ankara has repeatedly denied these claims, the ruling AKP party in fact wants to annex northern parts of the war-torn Arab country, Professor Michel Chossudovsky told Radio Sputnik.
    http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20160216/1034829914/turkey-saudi-arabia-syria.html
  10. Turkey wages war on its Kurdish population
    Tuesday 16th February / red pepper
    ‘The police and military are using every kind of violence against the Kurds. They are using tanks and heavy armoured vehicles. They have flattened houses, historical places, mosques. They use helicopters and technological weapons, night vision binoculars and drones. They don’t let families get to the bodies of youths who were killed. Corpses remain on the street for weeks.’
    http://www.redpepper.org.uk/turkey-wages-war-on-its-kurdish-population/
  11. VIDEO: Syria: Battle for Aleppo, Erdogan’s War on Kurds, Syria Endgame; Bernie, Hillary, and Public Opinion
    Sunday 14th February / stop imperialism
    Eric Draitser of StopImperialism.org appears on CPR Sunday with security analyst Mark Sleboda, and broadcaster Don DeBar to discuss the latest global developments. The conversation opens with discussion of the ongoing battlefield developments in Syria, including the assault on Aleppo and the cutting of terrorist supply lines. They touch on Turkey’s brutal campaign against the Kurds and the potential of a Turkish invasion of Syria. Eric, Mark, and Don round out the discussion with some analysis of the US presidential election and public opinion in the US.
    http://stopimperialism.org/syria-battle-aleppo-erodgans-war-kurds-syria-endgame-bernie-hillary-public-opinion/
  12. Turkey Is Murdering Its Own Kurdish Civilians. Will America Speak Out?
    Friday 19th February / Haaretz
    For months Turkey’s government has laid siege to and massacred its Kurdish civilians. Americans are overlooking mass atrocities taking place at the hands of its own NATO ally.
    http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.704107


STATEMENTS

1. YPG Statement on Ankara
Wednesday 17th February / YPG
The General Command of YPG (People’s Defence Units) has released a statement in response to Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu who blamed the YPG for yesterday’s attack in the heart of Turkish capital Ankara which left 28 people dead and 64 others wounded.
YPG General Command said they have no links to the attack, remarking that Davutoglu put forward this accusation to pave the way for an offensive on Rojava and Syria. The General Command stressed that YPG hasn’t engaged in any kind of military activity against the Turkish state so far in spite of all its attacks and privications.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2016/02/18/ypg-statement-on-ankara-17th-february-2016/

EVENTS

  1. Stop Turkey’s War on Kurds: Discussion Panel
    Tuesday 23 February, 19:00-21:00

 

Khalili Lecture Theatre, SOAS (University of London)
WC1H0 London, United Kingdom

For more information see:

https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/1-stop-turkeys-war-on-kurds-discussion-panel/

https://www.facebook.com/events/187378454951625/

 

   !!     2. National Demonstration – 6th March 2016  !!

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153314716586128&set=gm.1682373948671225&type=3

 

 

Peace in Kurdistan
Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question
Email: estella24@tiscali.co.uk <mailto: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: Lord Avebury, Lord Rea, Lord Dholakia, Baroness Sarah Ludford, Jill Evans MEP, Jean Lambert MEP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Hywel Williams MP, Kate Osamor MP, Elfyn Llwyd, Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy, John Austin, Bruce Kent, Gareth Peirce, Julie Christie, Noam Chomsky, John Berger, Edward Albee, Margaret Owen OBE, Prof Mary Davis, Mark Thomas, Nick Hildyard, Stephen Smellie, Derek Wall, Melanie Gingell