Report: The Kurdish Perspective on the Conflict and How to End It

REPORT

8 July 2014

 

A report of a political briefing hosted by Green Party peer, Baroness Jenny Jones, held in Westminster on 2 July and organised by Peace in Kurdistan Campaign.

The keynote speakers were a senior delegation of leading representatives from Rojava, Syria: namely, Saleh Muslim, co-president of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Deputy General Coordinator of the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change in Syria (NCB); Basam Ishaq, chairman of Syriac Council (representing the Christian community); and Abdul Karim Omar, the spokesperson of Jazira Canton Foreign Affairs Department.

The delegation, visiting the UK to urge support for the people of Rojava, explained their independent perspective on the Syrian conflict before a specially invited gathering of parliamentarians, policy advisors and researchers. The majority population of Rojava are Kurds but the self-administration that has been established in the past few months had brought together all the region’s communities. This highly positive development needed to be more widely understood.

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KNK: “A widely planned massacre against the people in Kobane is feared imminent”

The Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) has issued a statement denouncing ISIS attacks against Kobane, Rojava, as an attack on Kurdistan by hegemonic powers who are using the group as tools.

06.07.2014

Urgent Call to the UN, USA, the EU and all international organisations

Stop the ISIS crimes against humanity

Since the beginning of March, there have been waves of attacks of ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) in the Kobanê Canton.  On July 2nd, ISIS launched a new major attack in Kobane Canton and widespread clashes are continuing. ISIS is attacking and brutally targeting all civilians regardless of age.

It is claimed that heavy weapons and artillery used by ISIS have been transported from Iraq after the invasion of Mosul in June.  It is publicly known that ISIS has transferred their heavy artillery and have shifted from Iraq to Rojava, Syria, after getting military supplies from Mosul.

Furthermore, the gangs have taken two out of three of the border crossings of Iraq and Rojava, Syria, under their control. On the other hand, the ISIS gangs are able to manoeuvre freely through the Turkish border to areas of Rojava. During the past year ISIS has been using Turkey’s borders without any serious obstacles, since the Turkish army and authorities have been turning a blind eye; ISIS has even been able to have their wounded members receive medical treatment in Turkish hospitals.

Along with the Turkish state, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and some Western powers have plans and are intent on using ISIS to achieve hegemony in the Middle East region. It needs to be stressed that ISIS has become a tool in the hands of those who are seeking hegemony in the Middle East. The power sharing conflict is now focused in the Kurdish areas in Syria and Iraq, but it will spread to other areas, if ISIS is able to defeat Kobane.

The Kurdish political authorities in Rojava have consistently urged the international community to take measures against those states, which support ISIS. Instead of diplomatic and political sanctions against states using ISIS to achieve their power interests, it was preferred to turn a blind eye. This political stance has only encouraged the gangs to continue to carry out crimes against humanity in Rojava, Syria and Iraq.

Now a widely planned massacre against the people in Kobane is feared imminent.

We therefore appeal again to the international community to stop immediately the attacks against Kurdistan in Kobane particular and in Rojava generally by taking concrete diplomatic, political, economic and legal measures in line with international law.

Kongreya Neteweyî ya Kurdistanê
Kurdistan National Congress
Congrès National du Kurdistan

 

 

 

 

Public Meeting: UK launch of the paper by Adem Uzun and published by Berghof Foundation

 

PUBLIC MEETING

“Living Freedom”: The Evolution of the Kurdish Conflict in Turkey and the Efforts to Resolve It

 

Friday 20 June, 2014, 6.30pm

Venue: Room B102, Brunei Gallery, SOAS, University of London, Thornhaugh St, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG

 

Luxshi Vimalarajah, Programme Director of Dialogue, Mediation and Peace Support Structures at the Berghof Foundation
Adem Uzun, Executive Member of Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) on video
Selma Benkhelifa, Lawyer, Progress Lawyers Network, Belgium
Jean Lambert MEP
Desmond Fernandes,
Peace in Kurdistan Campaign & CAMPACC

Chaired by Margaret Owen OBE, International Human Rights Lawyer & Patron of Peace in Kurdistan Campaign

 

Political violence is a tool of both state and non-state actors, and replacing it by political methods of conflict management is essential to making sustainable peace. Adem Uzun’s case study about the Kurdish conflict is part of a series produced by the Berghof Foundation to bring to wider attention and appreciation those important voices – including those deliberately silenced as ‘’terrorists’’ – which are usually excluded or devalued in the analysis of conflict.

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KNK: Release all critically ill prisoners in Turkey


The KNK has sent an open letter to Prime Minister Erdogan and Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ calling for the release of hundreds of critically ill prisoners who are languishing in Turkish jails without proper medical attention. As the letter explains, despite recent changes to the law that would allow for seriously ill prisoners to be released, any prisoner charged under the anti-terror law who is suffering health problems has no chance of release under the current rules.

We know of at least 544 prisoners in Turkey are seriously ill who deserve to be released. We also know that 2300 people have died in Turkish prisons in the last 13 years.

The appeal has been signed by over 12o prominent public figures from across the world, including Selahattin Demirtaş, Co-chair of Peace and Democracy Party (BDP); writer and former political prisoner Ragip Zarakolu; Professor Noam Chomsky; several Members of the British, Irish and European Parliaments; and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, to name a few. The appeal was also published in Turkish daily Radikal.

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KNK publishes new dossier on Rojava

The Kurdistan National Congress (KNK has published a new information dossier this week on developments in Rojava, Western Kurdistan, and the quest for democratic autonomy in Syria, called A people’s quest for freedom and democratic autonomy. It provides useful background on the historical repression of Syria’ Kurds by the Ba’athist regime, as well as the Kurdish position in the current conflict and threats to Kurdish security from Al-Qaeda affiliated groups. It also details how the Kurdish ‘Third Way’ for Syria, based on principles of democratic autonomy, federalism, ethnic and religious pluralism and gender equality, should be seen as a model for a peaceful and democratic Syria as a whole.

The dossier is available for download from our KNK resources page.

“Living Freedom”: New report by the Berhof Foundation written by Adem Uzun

Adem Uzun, member of the Kurdistan National Congress who Peace in Kurdistan campaigned for last year after his provocative arrest in Paris in October 2012, has written this report for the Berghof Foundation’s Transitions Series. The contents of the report includes a short history of the Kurds; the PKK’s military and political struggle with the Turkish state; the international conspiracy against Öcalan; the PKK’s transformation and the new paradigm; the Oslo meetings between the Turkish State, the PKK and Ocalan; and the Imrali Process in 2013.

You can read the report in full here.

 

 

KNK International Appeal for the Geneva II conference

The Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) has put together an international appeal to demand the inclusion of the Kurdish Supreme Council in the Geneva II Peace conference, which is scheduled to take place tomorrow. Hundreds of people, including Nobel Prize winners, members of Parliament from dozens of countries, academics and lawyers have all signed the appeal, calling for the Kurds of Rojava to have a voice in the peace process and a say in the future of Syria.

Kurdistan National Congress (KNK)

International Appeal

 

We support the peace efforts initiated towards ending the war in Syria. This war has been going on for almost three years, resulting in the deaths of thousands of people, the displacement of millions more and the destruction of the country. To achieve an end to this conflict, we hope that the Geneva II Conference to be held on 22 January 2014 will result in a peaceful and permanent solution.

The Kurds in Syria have always declared their support for all such international efforts. The Kurdish people are struggling for the right to live freely with their own identity in a democratic Syria. The Kurds in Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan) have neither succumbed to the persecutions and massacres by the regime or by those groups linked to Al-Qaeda. The Kurds want to live autonomously within a democratic, equal and just Syria alongside all its peoples and religious minorities of the country; Syria represents a multi-cultural, multi-faith and multi-ethnic reality.

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A people without a voice: Syrian Kurds and The future of the Middle East

September 30, 2013 

American University, School of International Service, Center of Peacebuilding and Development

                                                                                                                                         

Panel discussion presentation:

By Saif Badrakhan, Kurdistan National Congress- KNK, USA Representative

 

The future of the Kurds, Western Kurdistan and the war in Syria

The 50 million Kurds live on their ancestral land Kurdistan for more than 5000 years. The Kurdish nation has been occupied and divided between four countries  by the victories allies after the World War I. This criminal unjust action created
a historical tragedy for the Kurdish people. The countries of Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq cooperated and used forced cultural assimilation, forced emigration,
massacres and genocide in the last 90 years to assimilate and eliminate the Kurdish nation, but failed to accomplish their colonial aims.

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The Peace and Democracy Conference to meet in Brussels

Further information at InfoTurk

Declaration to the press and public:

During the historic process that we are going through, an opportunity for a lasting peace has been created that lays the foundation for a free and democratic future for all our peoples. This period marks a turning point for the future for everyone.

We believe that the achievement of an enduring democracy is a common demand of everyone. In this context, we believe that all people, regardless of their ethnic origins, religion, language, culture, history and class positions, will carry out their historic responsibilities.

The peoples living in Europe who can trace their origins to Turkey and Kurdistan are a fundamental part of this process.

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Join the Friends of Adem Uzun!

A new initiative by Peace in Kurdistan Campaign and Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC) UK unites members of parliament, lawyers, journalists, political commentators and activists in a common cause, to demonstrate support for detained Kurdish politician Adem Uzun and demand his release from prison.

We have already collected dozens of signatures but we need more! To add your name to the growing list, please email ‘I would like to join the Friends of Adem Uzun’ to estella24@tiscali.co.uk with your name, profession and organisation as appropriate and we will add you.

 

FREE ADEM UZUN

The Kurdish politician Adem Uzun was arrested in France on 6 October 2012. Having been denied bail, Adem remains in detention awaiting a trial which could be months away.

Adem Uzun is a prominent activist working to achieve peace through the resumption of negotiations between Turkey and the Kurds. A leading politician with the Kurdistan National Congress, KNK, Adem is well-known to anyone involved in the Kurdish issue, especially in the European Parliament, and has been one of the main Kurdish negotiators in the so-called “Oslo Process” with high-level Turkish Government’s representatives. Continue reading