Congratulations Jeremy!

Your re-election as leader of the Labour Party by a figure of 62 to 38% is a cause for celebration and clearly demonstrates that you have the support of the vast number of party members.

The overwhelming majority of party members have cast their vote in your favour for a second time within a year and on this occasion with an even more convincing majority.

This give you a clear mandate to implement the progressive policies to improve the lives of people at home and abroad. It also provides a strong basis for you to lead the party to a historic victory at the next general election.
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2015 Turkey Progress Report finally published by the EU

After much controversy during the last several weeks in which the EU, and British Prime Minister David Cameron, were accused of delaying the publication of their annual Progress Report for Turkey’s EU accession process so that deals could be made over the refugee crisis, the report has finally been made public.

The report makes sharp criticisms of Turkey for ‘backsliding’ in respect to fundamental rights and the rule of law, in particular freedom of press, expression and assembly. It also calls for an immediate resumption of the peace process following a serious deterioration of its security situation.

You can download the report in full here (pdf): Turkey Progress Report 2015

Hunger Strike for the Freedom of Öcalan

We received this statement yesterday from the Freedom for Ocalan Committee, which has initiated a 5 day hunger strike for Abdullah Ocalan and to call once again for his release from prison in Imrali island. The campaign for freedom for the recognised leader of the Kurdish movement continues.

Hunger Strike for the Freedom of Öcalan

Ocalan flagWe, the members of Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan Committee and representatives of Kurdish institutions in Europe have started a five-day hunger strike (28 September -2 October 2015) to demand the freedom for Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan.

The hunger strike action is a symbolic appeal as part of the “Freedom for Öcalan” campaign, and calls on the Kurdish people living in Europe, their political friends, allies from Turkey and all those waging a common struggle against fascism under the democracy and freedom bloc to stand by the participants of the action for Öcalan’s freedom.
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International legal conference condemns PKK ban

‘Terrorism’, self-determination and the PKK ban on programme at Bonn Conference

Next weekend an international conference will tackle anti-terrorism legislation, international law and the impact of this framing on the Kurdish struggle. Taking place in Bonn, Germany, the conference will bring together lawyers, barristers and academics around a series of discussion that will include such topics as the right to self-determination; concepts of ‘terrorism’; legal challenges to the PKK ban and the impact of the ban on the Kurdish people; as well as quests for a legal and political solution.

The conference has been organised by MAF-DAD and Azadi Freiheit, which are both on the forefront of leading appeals agains the prohibition of the PKK, in association with European Association of Democratic Lawyers (ELDH), Internationale Liga fur Menschrechte and VDJ.

You can download a full programme here. We will bring you papers and the final resolution of the conference once we receive hem.

IPRI releases comprehensive report into status of peace process

The International Peace and Reconciliation Initiative (IPRI) has released a report from its fact-finding mission into the peace process in Turkey. You can read the executive summary below. The full report is also available for download.

A press conference with the authors, Judge Essa Moosa, Francis Wurtz and Osman Kavala, was also held in the European Parliament for the release of this report. You can watch the press conference here.

REPORT OF THE FACT – FINDING MISSION OF THE INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND RECONCILIATION INITIATIVE (IPRI) ON THE PEACE PROCESS RELATING TO THE KURDISH QUESTION IN TURKEY

Executive summary

The primary motivation for the formation of the International Peace and R econciliation Initiative (IPRI) has been to advance the peace process in Turkey as a corollary to the scope of a broader peace in the whole of the Middle East. IPRI was launched in December 2012 in response to an international call made by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu for the resumption of talks between the Turkish government and the imprisoned leader of the PKK, Abdullah Ocalan, for the peaceful resolution of the Kurdish Question in Turkey. Continue reading

EUTCC announces next conference, 10 – 11 December

Press Release: For immediate release

4 December, 2014

11th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON EU, TURKEY MIDDLE EAST AND THE KURDS

“CHAOS AND CRISIS IN THE MIDDLE EAST: NEW REGIONAL ORDER AND THE KURDS”

To be held at the European Parliament, Brussels, 10 -11 December 2014. The full programme can be downloaded here.

Please note that all Conference’s sessions will be webstreamed in internet, these are the links which you can use to follow the Conference: 

(Wednesday 10th December 2014, 15.00-18.30)
http://eventstream.streamovations.be/european-union-turkey-middle-east-kurds-10-dec.php
(Languages available: Turkish, English, French and German)

(Thursday 11th December 2014, 09.30-13.00 and 15.00-18.30)
http://eventstream.streamovations.be/european-union-turkey-middle-east-kurds-11-dec.php
(Languages available: Turkish, English, French and German)

 

Since 2004 the EUTCC has held an annual conference in the European Parliament. One of its most important tasks is to monitor Turkish compliance with the EU accession criteria. EUTCC wishes to contribute to the progress of Turkish membership of the EU by spreading accurate, objective information both in Turkey and Europe about the progress made by Turkey, but also about any shortcomings which may still persist. Continue reading

ECtHR rejects Ocalan’s case against Turkey

The International Initiative has released a statement regarding the European Court of Human Rights’ recent judgement on Ocalan vs. Turkey case. Read it here:

 

Öcalan vs. Turkey decision: A bad day for human rights in Europe

Statement of International Initiative on the ECtHR decision in Öcalan vs. Turkey (No. 2)

 

The European Court of Human Rights today published its chamber decision in a set of applications by Abdullah Öcalan against Turkey.

The complaints referred, among others, to the isolation conditions on Imrali Island, the aggravated life sentence with no possibility of parole, the overhearing of all consultations with his lawyers and then threat to his life posed by the poisonous substances found in his hair. In the view of Öcalan and his lawyers, these and other violations constitute violations of articles 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 13 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

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EP publishes resolution on the 2013 EU-Turkey Progress Report

The European Parliament has published a resolution in response to the European Commission’s 2013 Progress Report for Turkey’s Europe accession process.

The resolution expresses ‘concern’ about corruption scandals in the Turkish government and judiciary, the excessive use of police fore against anti-government protesters last June, and about poor levels of freedom of expression and media pluralism that do not reach ‘European standards’.

On the Kurdish conflict, the resolution supports what it calls the “government’s initiative of striving for a settlement with the PKK, with the aim of putting a definitive end to the PKK’s terrorist activities”. It “welcomes the fact that education in Kurdish is now allowed in private schools and encourages the government to put in place the necessary reforms aimed at promoting the social, cultural, and economic rights of the Kurdish community”. It goes on to briefly acknowledge there are still “several” Kurdish politicians, mayors, local councillors, unionists, lawyers and human rights defenders who have been arrested as part of the KCK trials, but does not acknowledge they are political prisoners  and makes no recommendation that they should be released.

You can download the resolution here.

Thousands mark 15th anniversary of Ocalan arrest in Strasbourg

Forty thousand people rallied in Strasbourg this weekend to demand the release of Abdullah Ocalan on the fifteenth anniversary of his capture, reports ANF. Below are some pictures of the demonstration, in which people joined from all over Europe.

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