PYD 8th Congress held in Brussels

The Partiya Yekitîya Demokrat- Democratic Union Party (PYD) Europe Organization held its 8th Congress in Brussels on September 24-25.It was attended by a total of 700 delegates, 135 of whom were women, who came from across Europe, Scandinavian countries, Greece and Bulgaria. Attendees included PYD co-chairs Asya Abdullah and Saleh Moslem, Greek Party Syriza’s Antonios Markopoulos, HDP’s Kemal Aktaş,  and Sinn Fein’s Emma Clancy.

The following message of solidarity was delivered on behalf of Peace in Kurdistan:

Solidarity Message to Conference of PYD on 24-25 September 2016

On the occasion of its 8th Conference in Europe, Peace in Kurdistan extends its solidarity and support to the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Kurdish people. Continue reading

Rojava Weekly News Briefing 12-18th June.

News

1. Erdogan fears the mercenaries defeat north Syria.

2. Refugees’ suffering continue in Robar camp.

3. Turkish border guards shoot civilians on border with Syria, two killed.

4. Arab-Kurd forces cut main IS Syria-Turkey supply route.

5. Hundreds of refugees head for the liberated areas.

6. Russia shows support to Kurdish-led SDF north Syria.

7. The Exterior Body consoles the American people.

8. ISIS jihadis abduct dozens of Kurdish civilians in Syria’s Aleppo.

9. 38 mercenaries are killed, arms and ammunitions seized.

10. Muslim: residents of freed areas will decide their form of rule.

11. Syrian Kurds erect monument in memory of foreign fighters fallen in war against ISIS. Continue reading

Rojava administration responds to exclusion from Riyadh talks

We received this statement from the Coordinating body of the Democratic Self-Administration of Rojava about this week’s talks in Riyadh which convened the ‘Syrian opposition’ – but excluded Kurdish representation of the PYD, TEV-DEM or the coalition of Syrian Democratic Forces:

Public Statement Regarding the Riyadh Conference

After nearly five years of suffering, hundred thousands of victims and rivers of blood in Syria, a Syrian opposition conference is held in Riyadh between 8th and 10th of December, 2015. Countries participants in the Vienna conference wanted to take the initiative and reunite the dispersed Syrian opposition in a balanced delegation to negotiate directly with the Syrian regime to put an end to this bloody war and to reach a peaceful solution to the Syrian dilemma. It was supposed that there will be interference in neither the work of the Preparatory Committee nor the host country and that the various opposition blocs invited are free to choose their delegations after the number of participants has been identified. Continue reading

Executive Board of Kobane Canton calls for international solidarity on 1 November

The Kobane Canton Executive Board has released this statement calling for all people to take part in this Sunday’s Global Rally for Freedom and Reconstruction of Kobane: 

A Call for an International Solidarity Day with Kobani

1 November 2015

Kobani and Rojava have faced numerous military campaigns and attacks since the birth of freedom and justice on their soils on 19 July 2012. Ever since, militant extremists have laid siege to this geographic area that aspires to build a new life and new approach that is open to socio-cultural, religious and ethnic diversity.

However, the will of the people in Rojava and the power of their desire for a new era and new administration were invincible, defeating extremists’ campaigns, which culminated in the Kobani’s humane resistance. This resistance marked the beginning of the end of ISIL’s myth of its ability to control any town or city, and proved to the world that the union between the will of the people and local institutions in a geographic area is sufficient to defeat terrorism, and thus safeguarding humanity and peace. Continue reading

Chatham House releases new report on Syrian conflict’s impact on Kurdish politics

Chatham House, the prominent and influential think-tank, has released a report written by Robert Lowe and Cengiz Gunes about the impact of the Syrian war on Kurdish politics across the region.

The report is available to view online and download from the Chatham House website.

The Impact of the Syrian War on Kurdish Politics Across the Middle East 

Summary

  • The demise of state authority in Syria is creating an unprecedented opportunity for Syrian Kurds, who have acted with speed to organize themselves politically and militarily. Across the region, Kurds seem to sense that their moment has arrived.
  • In 2014–15, the battle for Kobane created a new Kurdish nationalist myth of heroism and liberation. Kobane will endure as a famous victory – regardless of the devastation caused – of huge symbolic value for Kurdish sentiment across the region.
  • However, Syrian Kurds do not on their own have the political or military power to determine the outcome of the conflict or their own future trajectory. Both will hinge on their relations with other sections of the Syrian opposition, as well as on the actions of regional powers. Continue reading

Rojava, Kurdish autonomy and peace-building efforts in Syria: Report from a roundtable discussion

Peace in Kurdistan Campaign and the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) organised a wide ranging discussion of Rojava, Kurdish autonomy and the attempts to build peace in Syria on 30 June 2015. Held in the Houses of Parliament, the event was hosted by the independent cross-bench peer Lord Hylton. Lord Hylton has recently returned from Rojava and is the first member of the UK parliament to visit the self-declared autonomous Kurdish region of northern Syria. The meeting was well attended and included people from the region and surrounding countries, along with British people and others with varying levels of familiarity with the Kurds and some who had little background knowledge but had been inspired by the resistance of Kobane.   Continue reading

Kurdish autonomous region of Rojava and peace-building efforts in Syria: A panel discussion held at the House of Commons

by YASEMIN KAZAN/LONDON

On 30 June, a round table discussion was held at the House of Commons focused on prospects for Kurdish autonomous region of Rojava and peace-building efforts in Syria.

The event was jointly organised by Peace in Kurdistan Campaign and Kurdistan National Congress and hosted by Lord Hylton. The debate was held to highlight what was happening in Kurdish autonomous region of Rojava and Syria and to present recent developments in the region and some of the key issues involved.

Dr Alan Semo, Lord Hylton and Margaret Owen

Dr Alan Semo, Lord Hylton and Margaret Owen

With ISIS capturing strategic towns in Iraq and the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) winning 80 seats in the Turkish National Assembly for the first time, the discussion held at a particularly prescient time included; Lord Hylton, the first member of UK Parliament, Margaret Owen, patron of Peace in Kurdistan Campaign, Human Rights Barrister and Director of the International NGO, Dr. Alan Semo PYD UK, John Hunt, journalist, writer and editor, Michelle Allison, Kurdistan National Congress and some other attendees of journalists, independent diplomats, and human rights campaigners. Continue reading

PYD releases a public statement on military threat from Turkey

The Democratic Union Party  (PYD) release this statement yesterday responding to threats from the Turkish government about intervening militarily in Syria:

Public Statement

Dear Sir or Madam,

In the last few days, some officials of the Turkish government issued threatening statements, which resulted in the mobilisation of Turkish troops near the Syrian border. We, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), would like to clarify to our people and the international community our stance on this matter. Continue reading

PYD condemns deadly ISIS massacre in Kobane

The Executive Committee of the PYD has released this statement on the massacre in Kobane last week, the worst single atrocity committed by ISIS in Syria since the conflict began.

Statement of the Executive Committee of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) to the Syrian and International Public Opinion: Kobane massacre, a moral test for all humanitarian organisations.

The despicable and cowardly massacre in Kobane against unarmed civilians committed by ISIS, is a blatant crime against humanity and challenges the conscience of the world and all relevant human rights organizations. The world needs to stand on the side of the people’s protection units, YPG, and the women’s protection units, YPG, together with fighters from Burkan al Firat, who have bravely fought the barbaric ISIS gangs and their masters in Ankara.

Continue reading

Iraq, Syria, ISIS and Kurds: Geostrategic concerns for the U.S and Turkey – Gunter

Michael M. Gunter, professor of political science at Tennessee Technological University, has published a new article in the Middle East Policy Journal which analyses the geostrategic concerns of Turkey and the U.S in the Middle East. It is available via Middle East Policy Journal,

The rise of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq as well as the ongoing insurgency of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and now peace negotiations with the Turkish government have empowered the Kurds and challenged the existing political map of the Middle East. On July 19, 2012, the previously quiescent Syrian Kurds —largely under the leadership of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), closely associated with the PKK — also suddenly emerged as a potential game changer in the Syrian civil war and what its aftermath might hold for the future of the Middle East. In an attempt to consolidate an increasingly desperate position, government troops were abruptly pulled out of the major Kurdish areas. The Kurds in Syria had suddenly become autonomous, a situation that also affected neighboring Turkey and the virtually independent KRG in Iraq. Indeed, the precipitous rise of the Kurds in Syria could become a factor in changing the artificial borders of the Middle East established after World War I by the notorious Sykes-Picot Agreement.

Read the article in full.