CELEBRATING 15 AUGUST 1984

PEACE IN KURDISTAN

Statement, 15 August 2019

For Kurdish people the 15 August is celebrated as the Day of Resurgence and Resistance. On 15 August 1984, Liberation Units of Kurdistan, led by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), with its guerrilla commander Mahsum Korkmaz, launched the armed struggle for freedom.  This was six years after the founding of the PKK.

In the circumstances there was no option for the PKK but to resort to armed struggle if any manifestation of the Kurdish desire for identity and recognition was to be maintained and fulfilled. On 12 September 1980, the Turkish armed forces, led by General Kenan Evren, seized power in Turkey in a military coup. One of the chief aims of the coup was to crush the Kurdish movement. The constitution was suspended, parliament was abolished, all political parties and trade unions were banned and martial law was imposed throughout Turkey. Hundreds of thousands of people were tortured, thousands disappeared, up to 650,000 people were arrested, films were banned, journalists imprisoned and killed and newspapers prevented from publishing. Many death sentences were passed; the PKK had 122 death sentences passed against its members. The PKK withdrew some of its members from Turkey to Lebanon and Syria and began political and military preparations, which culminated in the 15 August actions. Kurdish resistance has gathered and spread since. Continue reading

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Public Forum   Time to De-list the PKK: Respect International Law!

Public Forum: Time to De-list the PKK: Respect International Law!

 The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) is not a terrorist organisation, according to the March 2019 decision by Belgium’s Court of Appeal, applying principles of international law.  How can we use this decision to strengthen the legal and political means of the international campaign to de-list the PKK?

 The event is hosted by Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC), Peace in Kurdistan, London Kurdish Solidarity (LKS), Democratic Kurdish Peoples Assembly UK

Thursday, 20 June 2019, 6 – 8pm at Diskus Room, UNITE Head office, 128 Theobald Road, WC1X 8TN (5 min from Holborn station) Please arrive on time as the building closes at 8pm!! Continue reading

Judgement in the Belgian Court of Appeal. Status of the PKK.

Unofficial translation of a judgement given by the Court of Appeal of Brussels on 8 March 2019 deciding that the PKK was a party in a non-international armed conflict with the Turkish State and that therefor international humanitarian law applied and not the terrorism provisions of the Belgian Criminal Code

Disclaimer:
1. This Judgement was translated by the Defendants in the case to the best of their abilities and is therefore not an official translation of the Dutch text of the judgment. The full original Dutch text can be obtained on simple request by contacting jan.fermon@progresslaw.net.
2. The judgment is not final on 7 April 2019 as the Federal Prosecutor has appealed the decision before the Court of Cassation.

For more information:

jan.fermon@progresslaw.net Continue reading

Decisions of the Court of Appeal (Indictment Chambers) of Brussels (Belgium) 14 September 2017 and 8 March 2019 in the case against alleged PKK leaders and members.

Please see here a summary of the decision. It is followed by a rough translation of the full Judgement.

On 8 March 2019, the Indictment Chambers of the Court of Appeal of Brussels Belgium took a decision dismissing the case and ending all further prosecution against 40 persons and 2 companies for being agents of PKK, the Kurdistan Workers Party.

The decision comes to the same conclusion as the earlier decision of the same court pronounced on 14 September 2017, subsequently quashed on some deficiencies in the statement of reasons by the Court of Cassation on 13 February 2018, namely that the conflict between PKK and the Turkish state is an non-international armed conflict as defined by international law and ruled by the laws of war (international humanitarian law), not by anti-terrorism laws. [1] Continue reading

International Initiative expresses concern over Ocalan’s wellbeing

PRESS STATEMENT

8 January 2016

Concerns about Abdullah Öcalan’s life: What is happening in Imrali Island Prison?

While Öcalan’s and Imrali Island’s total isolation continues since April 2015, now two inmates have been removed from the island and isolated elsewhere. This gives rise to the question: What is happening in Imrali? Is Öcalan’s life in danger?

The Imrali island prison is the Guantanamo of Europe. Over the 17 years of Öcalan’s imprisonment it has had an arbitrary and continuous aggravated isolation regime in place[1]. Bringing in a few other prisoners in 2009 has not removed this regime–on the contrary: the number of persons subjected to an aggravated isolation regime has increased. This regime has only relaxed slightly while a political process was in place; when there is no process the isolation regime turns into total isolation with no news from prisoners, no lawyer-client consultations, family visits, letters or telephone calls for any prisoner in Imrali (Öcalan is denied the right to phone anyway). Continue reading

The State Doesn’t Talk—It Only Shoots

Since last summer the Turkish state has acted brutally against all opposition in southeastern Turkey.

A Diyarbakir resident reports.

by Ercan Ayboga

WOCHENZEITUNG (WOZ), January 7, 2016

Translated by Janet Biehl.

It’s freezing cold in Amed, as the city of Diyarbakir is known to its residents. Over ten centimeters of snow blankets the ground, something that happens only every three or four years. And at exactly this moment, fighting is escalating in Amed’s old neighborhood of Sur and in the cities of Cizre and Silopi, in Sirnak province. I’m here in the press office of the municipal administration, along with three journalists and a researcher. These days the office serves as a de facto base for journalists and researchers from western Turkey and abroad. We talk about what has been going on in the region for the past few months.

Continue reading

Free Women’s Congress condemns killing of activists in Silopi

 

WOMENA CALL TO ALL WOMEN

Turkish State carries out a brutal massacre since July 2015 in cities/towns where the People’s Assemblies declared self-governance. Women are targeted by the state specifically no matter where they are −in front of their house, inside home on a breakfast table, in all forms of resistance standing against war or in massive demonstrations. AKP government, the representative of patriarchal mentality, is directly responsible for 89 women massacred in recent period.

Kurdistan is going through a great ferocity; civilian houses and neighborhoods are under attack, even health service personnel are targeted and prevented from reaching wounded people. Dead bodies can’t be buried since neighborhoods are under curfew, while relatives of victims try to protect dead bodies in refrigerators inside their homes. In addition to this, pictures and footage of dead bodies tortured and dragged behind the military vehicles by Turkish security forces are released which shows that all values in reference to ethics and justice are violated. Continue reading

Government responds with same pre-scripted answer to questions on Turkey

Peace in Kurdistan Campaign patron Kate Osamor MP asked a series of questions of the the UK government last week, in an attempt to gauge whether Turkey’s obvious duplicity – bombing PKK targets and Kurdish civilians in recent months apparently in the name of fighting ISIS while covertly supporting ISIS and affiliated groups – is at all an issue for the UK’s relationship with it NATO ally.

The written responses she received were, frankly, quite incredible, for two reasons. First, they reveal the UK appears to have no intention of questioning Turkey, even as documented evidence mounts of their support for ISIS on the one hand and of major human rights abuses in military operations against the Kurds on the other. Secondly, they represent a callous disregard for the concerns being raised by issuing a stock answer, identical word-for-word, for each question asked. In fact, it is the exact same answer given by FCO representative Baroness Anelay when questioned about the Turkish military hitting more PKK targets than ISIS positions and arresting more Kurdish activists that ISIS members. The answer was simply this:

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) continues to kill Turkish police and security forces. The PKK must cease its violence and the peace process needs to be resumed. We support Turkey’s right to defend itself against all forms of terrorism.

The Government continues to monitor closely Turkey’s democratic reforms, including as part of the EU accession process, focusing particularly on freedom of expression, respect for the rule of law and minority rights.

We welcome Turkey’s invaluable contribution to the international campaign against Daesh, particularly its agreement for the use of its airspace and airbases, as a member of the Global Coalition committed to defeating it. Turkey has been carrying out strikes against Daesh since July 2015, and have detained over 2,500 Daesh suspects since 2013, of whom one third are foreigners. Turkey recognises the role that Syrian Kurds have to play in the fight against Daesh, and accepts that Syrian Kurds receive Coalition support.

It was David Lidington MP, Minster for Europe, who answered each of Kate Osamor’s questions – 4 in total –  with the same answer above. We can only speculate as to how and why this stock answer has been issued by the Government.

They were also asked about whether concerns had been raised about the use of curfews in Silva, CIzre and elsewhere, which has led to the deaths of nearly 100 civilians. Once again, the answer shows disregard for the severity of the violence or the lives of the civilians on the receiving end of it. And once again, the same answer was given twice:

 

We welcome the visit on 15-16 October of Turkey’s national human rights body to Cizre and Sirnak to conduct analysis and research on the recent events there.

We continue to monitor the human rights situation in Turkey closely and raise concerns regularly with the Turkish authorities.

 

 

 

Kurdistan Report interviews Nilufer Koc, Co-Chair of the KNK

“Is the era of the Kurds approaching?”

nilufer-kocHere, 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.

Continue reading