• The 20th Anniversary of Abdullah Ocalan’s Expulsion from Syria



    Abdullah Ocalan, founder of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), has led the struggle for Kurdish rights for many years. 9th October marks the twentieth anniversary of his expulsion of Abdullah Ocalan from Syria, where he had lived in exile for nearly 20 years. The Kurds view the expulsion as part of an ‘international conspiracy’ against Ocalan and themselves. Abdullah Ocalan was subsequently abducted from Kenya on 15 February 1999 and taken to Turkey, where he was subjected to a show trial and has been imprisoned ever since, kept on Imrali Island, Turkey’s equivalent of Robben Island. For more than 10 years he was isolated as the only prisoner on the island. Continue reading

  • 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

  • 2nd International Conference in Turkey 7-8-9 September 2018 – ISTANBUL

    This article comprises the speeches of Professor Bill Bowring, Peace in Kurdistan patron and of Thomas Schmidt, Secretary General of the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and World Human Rights (ELDH), at the Conference.

    9 September 2018


    The crisis of the European Court of Human Rights in the face of authoritarian and populist regimes

    Professor Bill Bowring
    University of London
    Barrister of England and Wales
    President, European Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights

    This conference has already heard a great deal about the situation of the State of Emergency in Turkey since in failed coup d’état in 2016. My colleague Kerem Altiparmak will speak about Turkey at greater length.

    I am going to speak about the shocking deference of the Council of Europe (CoE) in the face of three states which have perpetrated gross violations of human rights in the context of internal armed conflict: Turkey, Russia, and the United Kingdom.

    First, a few words about Kerem, and about my own experience taking cases against Turkey.


    Continue reading



    NEWS BRIEFING September 2018

    This edition includes a focus on the history and current situation of the Saturday Mothers Protest in Istanbul


    1. TURKEY: Listen to the Saturday Mothers
    2. Turkey: Mothers of Disappeared: Take Action
    3. Turkey: Authorities must ensure relatives of people forcibly disappeared can continue with their peaceful weekly vigil
    4. Istanbul riot police break up Saturday Mothers’ vigil
    5. Saturday Mothers
    6. Defiant 82-year-old co-founder of Saturday Mothers Emine Ocak vows to continue peaceful protest after arrest
    7. Turkish Probe Reignites the ‘Saturday Mothers’
    8. Saturday Mothers of Turkey
    9. Turkey: Clashes erupt as Saturday Mothers protest for missing
    10. Turkish families protest disappearances (“Saturday Mothers”), 1995-1999
    11. The Women of the Revolution: Inside the Kurdish Rojava Revolution
    12. Yezidis: A minority of genocides
    13. Murder in Shengal against Yazidis: Turkey, the KDP and the United States.
    14. Justice after genocide: The Ezidis
    15. Islamophobia is preventing the empowerment of Muslim women repressed by political agendas

    Continue reading

  • A Conference marking 25 years of PKK ban, 20 October, Berlin.

    It is time for analyses and discussions to fight for an end to the ban.

    This November marks the 25th anniversary of the ban of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)  initiated in 1993 by Chancellor Dr. Manfred Kanther. Since then thousands of criminal procedures have been taken against Kurdish activists and supportive left activists, who publicly displayed the allegedly forbidden PKK symbols. Due to the Vereinigungsdelikte (Association Offences) of the criminal law paragraph 129, 129a and 129b (membership in a criminal/terrorist organisation), we have seen hundreds of indictments, arrests and sentences of people who did nothing more than engage in a political struggle for the Kurdish Freedom Movement. Continue reading

  • The Saturday Mothers

    Following a recent visit to Istanbul, Ali Has writes:

    The Saturday Mothers (Cumartesi Anneleri) is a group who gathers 12pm every Saturday for half an hour at Galatasaray (district), Istanbul (Turkey), holding photographs of their “lost” loved ones. Mainly composed of mothers of victims, and renowned as a model of civil disobedience, they combine silent sit-in with communal vigil as their method of protest against the forced disappearances and political murders in Turkey during the military coup-era of 1980s and the state of emergency rule of the 1990s. In September 2018, they held their 700th sit-in protest, which was violently disrupted and has not been allowed since. But decide to disrupt and ban this peaceful protest now? It would appear that with the addition of former Turkish prime minister Tansu Ciller during the 1993-1996 and the then chief of police for Turkey Mehmet Agir in the current political arena alongside the ruling government that the banning of this protest is a gesture of good will or a “wink of the eye” aimed at appeasing them. Indeed, it is largely believed that it was at the direct orders of the two said actors or on their watch that most of the disappearances were ordered and occurred.  Continue reading