The World Today’s Tariq Ali speaks with Giran Ozcan, of the Kurdistan National Congress, about the current situation in Turkey. They discuss how the failure of Erdogan’s AK party to secure a majority at the last elections has led so some of the worst violence inflicted upon its own people for a long time.
“Is the era of the Kurds approaching?”
Here, Nilüfer Koç, Co-chair of the KNK is interviewed for the latest issue of the Kurdistan Report, a bimonthly publication produced in Germany, about the 15th General Assembly Meeting of the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK). This is a translation of the German original.
You held your general assembly meeting at a period favourable for the Kurds in the Middle East. How did this affect your meeting?
The political and social developments of the last year once more have been reflected on our 15th General Assembly Meeting. The countless successes against the Islamic State (IS) in Rojava [kurd.: Western; Western Kurdistan/North Syria] and Başur [kurd.: Southern; Southern Kurdistan/North Iraq], Abdullah Öcalan’s three years long political struggle of negotiations with the Turkish AKP (Justice and Development Party) government, the consolidation of the democratic autonomy in Rojava and the increasing international political interest in Kurdistan were the significant common denominators of the debates. Despite their political differences the 52 speakers of various Kurdish political parties were in agreement on many issues: that it was now indeed the era of the Kurds.
The Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) held an event in parliament on 17 March, to celebrate Newroz, the Kurdish New Year. The event was hosted by MP Mike Gapes. The speakers were Vasiliki Scurfield, the mother of Konstandinos Erik Scurfield, Michelle Allison, KNK UK women’s representative, Dr Alan Semo, PYD UK representative, and Dr Mohamed Kanyany, former KRG MP.
by Sofia Beatty
Addressing a packed meeting in the House of Commons, Aysegul Erdogan, chairing, welcomed the speakers, with a special thanks to Vasiliki Scurfield, the mother of Konstandinos Scurfield, the ex-Royal Marine who died fighting with the YPG for the liberation of the Kurdish people. This year, said Aysegul, Newroz “takes on added significance, as this is the first Newroz since the victory of the Kurdish forces, the YPG and YPJ in Kobani, Rojava. This year, the fire of Newroz burns brighter than before. Newroz, for us Kurdish people, has a different meaning. To us, it means light over darkness, freedom over oppression, peace over war.” She praised the Kurdish spirit of resistance in the face genocidal acts against the Kurdish people, such as at Halabja. Continue reading
Hosted by Mike Gapes MP
With contributions from Akin Birdal, former MP and honorary president of the Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD); Akif Wan, KNK UK representative; Xusrew Zeki, KNK member; Ciwan Afrin, PYD UK representative; Dr Mohamed Kanyany, former MP, KRG; representative from UCFL, tbc*
An event celebrating Newroz and the spirit of resistance
Date/time: Tuesday 17 March, 6-8pm
Venue: Committee Room 9, Portcullis House, Westminster, SW1A 0AA Continue reading
29 January 2015
For immediate use
Kurdish activists in Scotland and their supporters gather in Glasgow on Saturday to celebrate the success of the Kurdish defence of Kobane where ISIS forces have been pushed out.
The gathering in the UNISON offices in Glasgow brings together Kurds living in Scotland along with political and trade union activists supportive of the struggle against ISIS and the struggle for Kurdish rights.
They will be joined by the Rebar Hajo, UK representative of the main Kurdish party in Syria, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and Michelle Allison and Akif Wan of the Kurdish National Congress (KNK). Continue reading
31 October 2014
Thousands are expected to gather in London’s Trafalgar Square this Saturday following a global call for action by signed hundreds of internationally renowned academics, writers, lawyers politicians and activists. The final list of signatories is attached.
The rally, which will take place from 2pm until 5pm, has been organised in solidarity with the defence of Kobane, a city in the democratic autonomous region of Western Kurdistan in Syria (Rojava) which has been the scene of a fierce battle with ISIS militants in recent weeks. Continue reading
The appeal below has been issued by the newly established Joint Diplomatic Committee consisting of several Kurdish political parties and organsiations:
An Urgent Appeal to the International Community
Protecting the Kurdish people and preventing the forced displacement of our nation in our land can only be achieved through a mutual stance on this matter.
Following a series of brutal ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Levant) attacks on Kurdistan, on 10/08/2014 the Foreign Relations Commission of the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) sent an urgent request to the foreign offices of all the Kurdish parties across the diaspora to initiate joint lobbying and diplomatic relations. Continue reading
The Kurdistan National Congress has today issued this appeal for Kobane:
Updated 23 October 2014
THE KURDISH PEOPLE ARE FACING A MASSACRE IN KOBANE!
SUPPORT THE KURDISH PEOPLE’S STRUGGLE FOR SELF-DEFENCE AND SELF-DETERMINATION IN ROJAVA!
The UK government must recognise that the Kurdish forces on the ground, the YPG and YPJ, are the most effective fighting force against ISIS.
They have resisted ISIS advances on Kobane for over a year, were instrumental in evacuating thousands of Yezidi refugees who fled ISIS in Mount Sinjar. Continue reading
The Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) has issued this appeal from the Joint Diplomatic Committee of Kurdistan Organisations, formed after a meeting on 17 August 2014 with representatives from all Kurdish parties and organisations which called for unified diplomatic action on the current crisis. The appeal calls for humanitarian aid to be sent to Rojava as well as South Kurdistan, and for the international community to recognise the Sinjar crisis as genocide.
An Urgent Appeal to the International Community
(By the Joint Diplomatic Committee of Kurdistan Organisations)
Due to the brutal ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Levant) attacks on Kurdistan, the Foreign Relations Commission of the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) sent an urgent request to the foreign offices of all the Kurdish Parties and organisations to organise joint lobbying and carry out diplomatic relations in unison.
The meeting which took place on 17/08/2014 at the Kurdistan National Congress office in Brussels hosted the representatives from foreign offices of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Koma Civaken Democratic – Europe (KCD), the Leftist Party of Kurdistan (Hizbi Shuhy Kurdistan), Kurdistan Islamic Union, Kurdistan Islamic Group, The Federation of Yezidi Kurds, The Union of Assyrians in Europe, Democratic Union Party (PYD), The Party of Free Life of Kurdistan, (PJAK), the representatives of the Democratic Nations Party in Europe (HDP) and the Kurdish Institute in Brussels. However, due to the short notice and emergencies a number of invited political parties could not attend the meeting, and a request was made to organise another meeting in the near future.
This useful information pack begins by situating Rojava in its recent political context, with short sections on the ‘Kurdish question’, Syria, the Ba’ath regime, Assad, etc. It also explains how these factors have led to the continuing repression of Kurds in Syria. Taking into account recent developments and the various interests and ideologies responsible for them, the KNK assess the recent accomplishments of the Kurds in their struggles toward self-determination, and lays a blueprint for installing ‘democratic autonomy’ as an alternative political system. The proposals are thorough, thoughtful, and grounded on statistics which are provided inside the document. Click here to access – Canton Based Democratic Autonomy of Rojava: A Transformation Process from Dictatorship to Democracy