HDP releases information file on latest wave of attacks

The HDP has released an information file on the violence in Turkey since late July. This is an important dossier which contains detailed information on how the AKP government is attempting to break the HDP’s political power and undermine the peace process. The introduction to the file is below, and you can download the full pdf here.

PEOPLES’ DEMOCRATIC PARTY: FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMISSION

INFORMATION FILE ON VIOLENCE IN TURKEY

INTRODUCTION

After the General Elections on June 7th 2015, Peoples’ Democratic Party (Halkların Demokratik Partisi or HDP) became one of the most significant political actors in Turkey. In particular, Kurds, socialists, Alawites, Non-Muslim groups, democratic conservatives, social democrats, ecologists and other historically marginalized or oppressed identities in Turkey have supported the HDP in the search for expanded collective rights in Turkey’s political and judiciary system. Continue reading

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Shilan Ozcelik trial begins at the Old Bailey*) in first PKK trial in over a decade

PRESS RELEASE

7 September 2015

 

The trial against Kurdish woman Shilan Ozcelik, who was arrested in January for allegedly attempting to join the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), will appear in court on Monday 7 September, 2pm, for the first day of her trial.

The 18 year old was charged with ‘engaging in conduct in preparation to for giving an effect to an intention to commit acts of terrorism’ under section 5 (10) (a) of the Terrorism Act 2006 and has been held on remand in Holloway prison since early March.

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Report from the latest hearing of the trial of Ocalan’s lawyers

Tony Fisher, member of the Law Society’s Human Rights Committee, has written a report after observing the most recent hearing in the case of Abdullah Ocalan’s lawyers, who were arrested in November 2011 following simultaneous police raids across several Turkish cities. The arrest of these 45 lawyers, all of them members of Ocalan’s legal team, formed part of the so-called ‘KCK operations’, in which over 8,000 people have been arrested for alleged membership to the Kurdistan Communities Union, the KCK. 

Read a statement from Peace in Kurdistan Campaign and all the lawyers who observed the trial

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North London Greens pledge support for Kurdish autonomy

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE NORTH LONDON GREEN PARTIES

Green Party General Election candidates from six North London constituencies have called for the British Government to lift the ban on the Kurdistan Workers Party (the PKK) and for the PKK to be removed from the list of banned ‘terrorist’ organisations. Speaking at a meeting of North London’s Kurdish community with London Green MEP Jean Lambert, candidates agreed that the PKK poses no threat to the people of Britain. The PKK has never been designated as a terrorist organisation by the United Nations and most European Union governments have not listed it as a terrorist group. The British government has taken a particularly harsh stance, which is closer to that of the US.

From left to right; Michelle, David, Jean, Charlotte, Gordon, Dee, Heather. Photo: Esra Turk

From left to right; Michelle, David, Jean, Charlotte, Gordon, Dee, Heather.
Photo: Esra Turk

‘Kurdish peoples across four Middle Eastern countries have been striving for self-determination and democracy for many years,’ said Dee Searle (candidate for Tottenham), who came into direct contact with Kurdish human rights activists during her years working for Amnesty International. ‘Their bravery and determination left a lasting impression.’ David Flint (candidate for Enfield North), who visited Kurdish areas in Turkey last year, spoke of his positive experiences of Kurdish society. Continue reading

CAMPACC reports on the first of their innovative workshops series on self-determination

CAMPACC has initiated a research and outreach project which aims to critically examine the contradictions between national struggles for self-determination and the global ‘counter -terror’ regime, which has begun with a series of workshops focusing on key case studies – the Kurdish question; the Tamil struggle and the Somali struggle. Below is the report from their first workshop, which includes videos of each of the presentations.

On the 21st February 2015 CAMPACC, in association with SOAS Kurdish Society, hosted the first workshop in a series on Self-determination against the global ‘counter-terror’ regime. This was on the Kurdish liberation struggle. Continue reading

CAMPACC initiates public outreach project on global self-determination struggles

There has been growing conflict between struggles for national self-determination (SD) versus the global ‘counter-terror” regime’ and its effects on diasporic communities.  ‘Anti-terror’ legislation has been used to advance the imperialist agendas of governments and a wider military-industrial-securitisation complex. Their agenda has attacked political organisations (as well as others such as lawyers, investigative journalists, publishers) that are perceived to be linked with SD struggles.

CAMPACC is initiating a research and public outreach project critically examining those issues, especially in relation to UK migrant communities.  An initial outcome will be briefing papers drawing upon discussions at workshops that we will organise.  These will involve active engagement from various diaspora community groups, researchers, lawyers and academics involved in these issues.  The first three workshops will focus on specific migrant communities (Kurds, Tamils and Somalis) with additional participation of representatives from other migrant communities.

A key aim will be to facilitate cross-community learning to develop strategies for self-determination in the current global context.

The first workshop will take place on 21st February,  focusing on learnings from the Kurdish liberation struggle.

You can find out more about the project on the CAMPACC website

International legal conference condemns PKK ban

Peace and stability in Turkey, Kurdistan, the Middle East and the wider world, by David Morgan

Peace and stability in Turkey, Kurdistan, the Middle East and the wider world: a personal perspective on the events of the year just gone and prospects for the future.

By David Morgan, Peace in Kurdistan Campaign, 1 January 2015

Peace and stability in Turkey, in Kurdistan, in the Middle East and in the wider world might seem extremely precarious and elusive prospects in the light of the descent into chaos in Syria and Iraq witnessed in 2014, but there is never an option to entirely give up hope if you believe in life and it is a natural instinct for all living creatures to desire to continue to live in a state of comfort where basic wants for food, sustenance and love are satisfied. Thousands of years of human progress, enlightenment, ingenuity, creativity and inventiveness cannot simply be wiped out by the wars, wanton destruction and genocide endured in the recent period. It may seem that the world has entered a new dark age but the darkest forces that have emerged on the scene are being strenuously resisted and thus confidently we can predict that they can be eliminated by the forces of light and hope who are ultimately far stronger than their assailants for the simple reason that they offer greater prospects of a better life for more people. It is surely the shared values of socialism, cooperation, respect, tolerance, solidarity, that will continue to inspire and drive humanity forward creating a better world for men and women in equal measure. Harmony can assuredly triumph over discord through our combined human efforts. The alternative is simply too bleak to even imagine.
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New government funding initiative to tackle ‘terrorist’ abuse in the UK charity sector

But why do UK government and intelligence agencies and special forces remain publicly unaccountable for their promotion of ‘extremist-terrorist activities?’

by Desmond Fernandes

The government, with much fanfare, has just announced new funding for the Charity Commission to “tackle abuse, including extremist activity, in the charity sector”. The Charity Commission is to receive £8 million of funding over the next three years to boost it’s ability “to tackle abuse, including the use of funds for extremist and terrorist activity”, the government press release reports (‘New funding and powers to tackle abuse in the charity sector’, UK government press release). The announcement is timed to coincide with Prime Minister David Cameron’s chairing of a meeting of the Extremism Task Force “to discuss progress on delivering the government’s counter extremism strategy” […]

 

Read the article in full at Kurdish Question

Abuse of process by Turkish government in extradition case ‘a serious indictment of the Turkish state’, says barrister

1 May 2014

eu turkey
Deniz Akgul, a British citizen originally from North Kurdistan, recently had an extradition request dismissed after the Westminster Magistrates Court found that the government of Turkey had deliberately misled British courts and abused the extradition process.

In a remarkable ruling, the district judge Shenagh Bayne dismissed Turkey’s request to extradite Mr Akgul, who was accused of providing ‘material support’ to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the form of food, books and cameras under Article 220/7 of the Turkish Penal Code. In her final judgement, the judge not only concluded that the Turkish government abused the extradition process, but she also accepted evidence that Mr Akgul had been previously tortured by Turkish authorities and would face a real risk of further ill-treatment were he to be returned to Turkey.

His barrister, Ben Cooper, has defended some of the most complex extradition cases and won numerous successes on human rights grounds. He has defended ETA suspects and IRA suspects, as well Babar Ahmed and others accused of terrorism by the US. Peace in Kurdistan Campaign spoke with him to find out more about the case and why the ruling is so important.

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