FAC publishes UK-Turkey relations report

The Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) has just published its twelfth report into UK-Turkey Relations and Turkey’s Regional Role. The full report is available to order in print from the Parliamentary website or you can read the report online. Continue reading

EU publishes draft 2011 Progress Report on Turkey

The European Parliament has published a draft of the 2011 Progress report on Turkey, prepared by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the E.P. The report will be discussed in a plenary on 28 March, and then finally adopted on Thursday 29 March, but we have made the draft available for download for you to look at.

The EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC) has already responded to the report in a short statement:

EUTCC NOTES WITH APPROVAL NEW EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DRAFT REPORT ON TURKEY

10 March 2012

The EUTCC notes with approval the EU Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee Resolution on the 2011 Progress Report on Turkey and hopes that it will contribute to Turkey solving its internal problems in a democratic and peaceful manner. Continue reading

Syrian Kurdish opposition groups hold public meeting in parliament

PEACE IN KURDISTAN PRESS RELEASE

16 February 2012

Members of Syrian Kurdish opposition groups involved in the struggle against the regime of President Bashar Al-Assad gathered on Wednesday at the House of Lords for a public meeting, to discuss the current political and humanitarian crisis in the country, and the role of Kurdish groups in both the ongoing struggle and in a post-Assad future. Continue reading

Kurds: The Muslim World’s “Unworthy” Victims

by Ayesha Kazmi

Ayesha Kazmi is a specialist in UK anti-terrorism policy at London-based Cageprisoners. She has written for The Guardian and for the American Civil Liberties Union Privacy Matters site. She blogs at AmericanPaki. Follow her on Twitter @AyeshaKazmi.

2011 marked the shift manyMiddle Eastobservers had been anticipating. Since their formation, nations stretching between the Maghreb and beyond theLevanthave endured decades of authoritarian rule. Mohamed Bouazizi’s self immolation within the last year in Tunisia was the ground breaking spark producing an unprecedented defiance to the status quo and has since made revolutionary language requisite to discourse all over the Muslim world – a much needed air of refreshing change. Continue reading

Noam Chomsky Discusses Turkey with David Barsamian

The Armenian Weekly has posted the transcript of a recent interview with Noam Chomsky, in which he discusses current human rights issues in Turkey, Turkey’s international role and Turkish-Israeli relations with founder of Alternative Radio and author David Barsamian:

Chomsky is the internationally renowned Institute Professor Emeritus at MIT. In addition to his pioneering work in linguistics, he has been a leading voice for peace and social justice for many decades. “The New Statesman” calls him “the conscience of the American people.” Howard Zinn described him as “the nation’s most distinguished intellectual rebel.” He’s the author of scores of books including Failed States, What We Say Goes, and Hopes and Prospects. Continue reading

PJAK calls upon Obama to reassess policy toward the Kurds

Originally published in Roj Helat:

In a letter to Barak Obama, the General Assembly of Kurdistan’s Free Life Party (PJAK) calls upon the United States to reassess their policies in the Middle East particularly in relation to the Kurdish people. The letter reads as follow:

Your Excellency the President of the United States of America

Dear Barak Hussein Obama

On 28 December 2011, in Qilaban region of Sirnak province in Northern Kurdistan (Turkey), 35 civilian Kurds were massacred by Turkish aircrafts in a heinous way. Continue reading

FAC to hold last evidence session on UK-Turkey

The Foreign Affairs Select Committee will be holding the last of four evidence sessions as part of its inquiry into UK-Turkey relations and Turkey’s regional role. PiK has already submitted evidence to the inquiry, along with a wide variety of other organisations, to ensure the rights of the Kurdish people of Turkey are being considered in the discussions.

The evidence session will be held on 13 December 2011, at 10am, in the Thatcher Room, Portcullis House, London SW1A 2LW.

David Lidington MP, Minister of State for Europe, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), is the witness.

Foreign Affairs Select Committee Inquiry

Neo-Ottoman Erdogan and the plight of the Kurds

Andrew Penny, a London-based activist and translator who has been involved with the Kurdish human rights movement for many years, writes about Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan’s growing presence in the Middle East and the evident hypocrisy is his support for Palestinian statehood in ABC Online, 30 September 2011:

Should the Palestinians gain statehood recognition at the UN in the coming weeks, Mahmoud Abbas will not be the only Middle Eastern leader smiling about it.

The event will also mark a triumph for Turkish PM Recep Erdogan in consolidating his regional influence. Not since Suleyman the Magnificent has a Turkish leader been so willing to project power abroad.

Having timed the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador and his visit to Egypt, Tunisia and Libya to coincide with the Palestinians push for recognition, Erdogan is having great success furthering his ambition to see Turkey once again, as in Ottoman times, the most powerful state in the region. On September 13, the Turkish PM addressed the Arab League in Cairo, saying: “It’s time to raise the Palestinian flag at the UN.” While warmly received by the Egyptian people, in particular the Muslim Brotherhood which sees Mr Erdogan’s moderate Islamist AKP (Justice and Development Party) as a model, the Egyptian generals appeared to be uncomfortable at this reminder of the power of the Ottoman empire, an empire that only collapsed after WW1. Continue reading