HDP calls for mass participation in march for Suruc victims

21 July 2015

CALL TO INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY FOR ISTANBUL RALLY ON 26 JULY 2015

Islamic State brutally attacked the internationalist youth group who met in Suruç on July 20. They had gone there to support the struggle for great humanity being waged in Kobani, and help rebuild the city.

As a result of this attack, 32 people were killed and over 100 people were injured. Although Islamic State has been held responsible for this attack, Turkey’s AKP Government, by resisting the taking of effective measures to prevent Islamic State and other reactionary forces, bears the real responsibility for these massacres of civilians. Continue reading

Initial Observations from Election Monitors

PRESS RELEASE 31 March 2014

 

We have observed the elections in Istanbul and would like to put on record our concerns about reports of numerous abuses and irregularities that were reported to us on election day at various polling stations.

 

How the HDP did in the elections

 

In Istanbul where we were observing the election, the BDP was standing as part of the HDP, an alliance of progressive social movements and individuals who had united to form the new party in October last year. The candidates for the Beyoglu district of Istanbul were an architect who had been leading opposition to urban redevelopment and the sister of a victim of the Roboski massacre.

 

We demonstrated solidarity with the HDP by joining a team of party members distributing leaflets in the street in the busy shopping district near Taksim.

 

Continue reading

Europe’s Kurds march in their thousands in Paris

These photos are courtesy of David Brunetti, many thanks to him for sending them on to us.

Support continues to grow for the hunger strike from across the world

Urgent appeal:

November 10, 2012

 

To the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR),

To the Parliament of the European Union,

To the Parliament of the United Kingdom,

To Amnesty International,

To Human Rights Watch,

To international media outlets, and

To all political parties, trade unions and freedom lovers across the world:

 

The lives of hundreds of Kurdish political prisoners in Turkey must be saved.

We are writing to you regarding the recent wave of mass protests and hunger strikes in Turkey by Kurdish people. 63 Kurdish political prisoners have been on hunger strike for political solution to the Kurdish Question in Turkey since Sept 12th 2012. The hunger strike has been spreading day by day. While by the end of October the number of prisoners on hunger strike reached about 700 in more than 50 prisons, on November 5th spokesperson of the political prisoners declared that from now on 10,000 political prisoners are on hunger strike. Continue reading

Behind the Kurdish Hunger Strike in Turkey

Journalist Jake Hess has written this article for the Middle East Research and Information Project on the on going hunger strikes and their political context:

To hear Mazlum Tekdağ’s story is enough to understand why 700 Kurdish political prisoners have gone on hunger strike in Turkey. His father was murdered by the state in front of his Diyarbakır pastry shop in 1993, when Mazlum was just nine years old. His uncle Ali was kidnapped by an army-backed death squad known as JİTEM (the acronym for the Turkish phrase translating, roughly, as Gendarmerie Intelligence and Anti-Terror Unit) two years later. Mazlum never saw his uncle again, but a former JİTEM agent later claimed they tortured him for six months before killing him and burning his body by the side of a road in the Silvan district of Diyarbakır.

Such experiences have moved thousands of Kurds in Turkey to join the armed rebellion of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party or PKK, which has been outlawed since its inception. But Mazlum, along with thousands of others, chose to fight for his people’s rights through the non-violent means of pro-Kurdish political parties, a succession of which have been allowed to operate by the Turkish state before then being shut down. He was first arrested in 2001, when he was 17. Now 28, Mazlum has been in jail for three and a half years, though he has not been convicted of a crime. His trial is deadlocked because Turkish courts refuse to let him or his fellow political prisoners offer their legal defenses in their native Kurdish language. All of them speak fluent Turkish; they are making a political point. Continue reading

2,000 march in support of Kurdish hunger strikers

By Paul Burnham

On Sunday, 11th November, more than 2,000 Kurds marched five miles across North London in solidarity with the Kurdish hunger strikes in Turkish prisons, which have reached their 61st day. The hunger strikes are reaching a critical stage, and some hunger strikers may be near death.

The 680 hunger strikers include elected representatives who have been jailed under the repressive policies of Turkish Prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. They are demanding Kurdish language rights, and the end of the isolation in jail of Abdullah Öcalan, leader of the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), to help to negotiate a political settlement to the Kurdish Question. Other Kurds have joined the strike by refusing food in solidarity, including MPs belonging to the pro-Kurdish BDP (peace and democracy) party. Continue reading

MPs, academics and many more sign PiK open letter to Erdogan

A list of prominent members of parliament, members of European parliament, academic, trade unionists, political commentators and friends and supporters of the Peace in Kurdistan campaign have signed an open letter to PM Erdogan, in support of demands being made by the political prisoners on hunger strike:

Peace in Kurdistan  Campaign

OPEN LETTER TO TURKISH PRIME MINISTER TAYYIP ERDOGAN

PM Erdogan Must Respond to the Demands of the Kurdish Hunger Strikers

Hundreds of Kurdish prisoners are now taking part in a hunger strike which they have declared is to be indefinite.

This hunger strike began on 12 September, a not insignificant date in Turkey’s political history, with 63 people, including 13 women, in seven prisons. The numbers have grown rapidly with hundreds more Kurdish political prisoners joining the action and it is reported that 600 prisoners are currently on indefinite hunger strike. Continue reading

Protest in London to mark anniverary of Ocalan’s kidnapping

PRESS RELEASE ON ANNIVERSARY OF OCALAN’S KIDNAPPING!
8th Oct 2012 Kurdish Federation UK
Contact: Fedbir@gmail.com

Kurdish Federation UK Protest

the venue: Ministry of Foreign Affairs
date and time: 9th October 2012 at 12 o’clock

Abdullah Ocalan lived amongst the Kurds in Syria for many years having made the political decision to direct the struggle for Kurdish rights from outside of Turkey!

His presence there left a lasting legacy amongst the Kurds in Rojava Kurdistan that is evident for all to see as, today, the Kurds in Rojava liberate themselves from many years of brutal Baathist rule!
Continue reading

Father Joe Ryan joins Freedom for Ocalan campaign

Father Joe Ryan joined the Freedom for Ocalan Initiative Committee on their first rally, on the week of the launch of the international campaign to demand freedom for the imprisoned Kurdish leader and all political prisoners in Turkey. The international campaign will be launched in Brussels with a press conference this Thursday, 6 September. Already over 1000 prominent people – politicians, political commentators, writers, Nobel Prize winners, and many more – have signed a petition to express their solidarity with the new campaign. Father Joe Ryan’s message to the campaign is below:

1st September 2012

FREEDOM FOR ABDULLAH OCALAN – PEACE IN KURDISTAN

Abdullah Ocalan, the imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party has been in prison since 1999.

He is still the significant leader of the Kurdish campaign for peace, justice and a key player in bringing about an end to the on-going conflict between Turkey and Kurdistan. Continue reading

Clashes in Amed, 14 July

Eleven police forces equipped with gas grenades, water cannons, truncheons and tanks descended onto Amed last Saturday and clashed with Kurdish protesters calling for the release of Abdullah Ocalan.

As Firat News reports:

Police severely attacked the people joining the “Freedom for Öcalan” rally in Diyarbakır on 14 July.

TOMA type vehicles, gas bombs and pressure water was used against the mass in the meeting area. Many people, including dozens of children, three Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputies and Mayor Osman Baydemir were reported injured in attacks.

Thousands of people who had gathered at five separate points broke the police barricade around the meeting area where clashes were reported to last for long hours. Continue reading