REPAK women’s organisation questions Turkish attacks after PKK announce ceasefire

This statement was published by REPAK Kurdish Women’s Relation Office:

14 October 2015

The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) announced a unilateral ceasefire on Saturday, 10 October 2015, underlining that with this announcement they react to the calls of a number of civil society organizations, international organizations and forces. The Turkish government immediately rejected the ceasefire.

Turkey is going to hold re-elections on 1 November 2015. The AKP government tried to misuse the clashes between Kurdish guerilla forces and the Turkish army for the prevention of democratic elections in Kurdish towns. The PKK declared that with this unilateral ceasefire it aims to give the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) the necessary support for elections. Continue reading

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UNISON sends letter of solidarity to KESK and DISK unions

Dave Prentis, general secretary of the public service union UNISON, has written a letter of condolence to the organising unions of last Saturday’s peace rally, in which over 100 people died following two bomb blasts. Addressed to Ismail Hakki Tombul, general secretary of the Confederation of Public Workers’ Unions (KESK) , and Kani Beko, Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DISK), the letter reads:

Monday, 12 October, 2015

Dear Comrades,

On behalf of UNISON I send our deepest condolences on the tragic loss of so many of your members’ lives at the Labour, Peace and Democracy Rally in Ankara on Saturday. We send our heartfelt sympathy to the families and friends of the victims, and our hopes for a full recovery for all those injured in the attack.

UNISON condemns this brutal attack on trade unionists who were campaigning in support of peace, democracy and workers’ rights, and against the increasing violence and repression that the people of Turkey are suffering. We support the call for a full, transparent and independent investigation into the circumstances of the attack and its aftermath. Continue reading

Carol Mann: Premeditated slaughter in Ankara

Source

On October 5, President Erdogan held an election rally, not on home ground in Turkey, but Strasbourg, France. After prayers led by an imam, the president of what theoretically is the only secular state in the Middle East, launched into belligerent diatribe designed to rouse the 12 000 Turks who had come in from neighbouring countries. Complete with sound and light effects, the crowd, cordoned off with males on one side and bescarfed females on the other, egged him on to cries of “Allah u Akbar”. Had the enemy he was thundering against been ISIS, Turkish presence as a member of NATO in a fellow NATO country could have had some form of legitimacy. But here the target of his wrath was no less that one third of his own population, namely the Kurds and members of the HDP opposition party, in fact those he described in his speech as being All those who wish to separate from us‘. Then he uttered an ominous threat: we will make sure they live regret it. Continue reading

HDP: Extend your condolences to the people, not to the Turkish state

HDP-Logo

12 October 2015

CALL TO THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY BY HDP

On October 10th, a Peace Rally that brought together many civil society organizations, revolutionary unions, and progressive and democratic parties, among them HDP, was the target of a horrendous attack. Unfortunately, at least 128 of our fellow citizens were murdered in this attack, and hundreds wounded. We are concerned that the death toll may rise, as 48 among the wounded are in critical condition. This attack will go down as one of the bloodiest in the history of our republic. Continue reading

Civaka Azad statement: Bomb blasts hit peace rally in Ankara: some 97 dead

civaka azad

Source: Civaka Azad, 10 October 2015

A peace rally outside the main train station in Ankara was hit by large bomb explosions this morning killing some 97 people. Eyewitnesses talk about hundreds of injured. Medical staff and civilians who rushed to help were allegedly attacked by the police with gas grenades.

The peace rally had been called by the trade unions DISK (Confederation of Revolutionary Workers), KESK (Confederation Workers of Public Trade Unions) as well as by association such as TMMOB (Engineers and Architects Chamber of Turkey) and TTB (Doctors Chambers of Turkey). The call was also supported by the HDP (People’s Democratic Party) and several left and democratic parties and civil society organisations.   The gathering was to deliver a message of peace, democracy and solidarity in Turkey. According to the HDP MP Sirri Surreyya Onder there were three bomb explosions at the rally mainly targeting the HDP block and the Kurds at the rally. Continue reading

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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Delegation Report: Women’s delegation condemns the arbitrary killing of 21 civilians in Cizre

Peace in Kurdistan Campaign: DELEGATION REPORT                                                September 2015

 

Women’s delegation condemns the arbitrary killing of 21 civilians, collective punishment of communities and severe restrictions on the right to freedom of movement in Cizre.


“The siege exacted a heavy toll on women: one woman was shot dead as she ventured out to search for food, several women miscarried due to the stress of the bombardment, two women, a young mother carrying her baby, and the baby’s grandmother were killed as they tried to reach a neighbour’s house. The baby was injured as the mother fell, but survived.”

 

A three-woman delegation visited Cizre in South East Turkey between 17th and 20th September and reported about the conditions for the 100,000 residents following a 9-day round-the-clock curfew enforced by a shoot to kill policy. The delegation, consisting of two human rights lawyers, Margaret Owen and Melanie Gingell, and public health specialist, Dr Shatha Besarani, was invited by the Kurdish Women’s Council of Diyarbakir to consider how the siege impacted on women and children in the city. The council assisted the delegation in their visits to Cizre and Sur and ensured that the delegation was free to take testimony from the people they met there.

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ELDH sends lawyer to Cizre following Diyarbakir Bar Association call for action

We welcome this action by ELDH European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and World Human Rights, in response to a call from the Diyarbakir Bar Association regarding the urgent situation in Cizre, where a curfew has been in place since 4th September.

Italian-based lawyer Ms Barbara Spinelli, will go to Turkey support the democratic forces in Turkey by attending a peaceful march to Cizre. She will monitor the situation there in order to produce a report addressed to European institutions and civil society, as well as to the organs of United Nations, especially those competent for protection of women’s rights. She will arrive tonight. She has been working for months on the situation of women in Rojava where she led a fact finding mission in March this year. Her report has been presented to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Here are the statements:

Continue reading

Freedom for Ocalan Committee renews call for his release

The Committee for the Freedom of Ocalan has published a new information file detailing the importance of Abdullah Ocalan for the Kurdish freedom movement and for the resolution of the conflict in the Middle East. It is available to download here (pdf). A full statement from the Committee is below:

The Kurdish question in Turkey entered a new phase with the publication of Abdullah Öcalan’s Newroz letter on March 21, 2013, 2014 and 2015, calling for negotiations for peace and democracy. Following these statements an almost three-year negotiation process took place. Continue reading