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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 The Ilisu Dam: a critical juncture Open Letter to the Foreign Secretary.

Rt. Hon. Dominic Raab MP
Foreign Secretary
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
Whitehall
London SW1A 2AH

7 August 2019

Dear Foreign Secretary,

 The Ilisu Dam: a critical juncture

Over the past two decades, we have written to your predecessors on numerous occasions (most recently on 10 June 2019) to express our grave concerns over the adverse environmental, social and geopolitical impacts of the Ilisu Dam on the River Tigris in Turkey, which is now nearing completion.
Continue reading

Statement of the Democratic Autonomous Administration (DAA) Concerning Turkey’s Threats

The Turkish state has permanently and continuously launched its threats of aggression on the DAA areas of north and east of Syria, and these threats have increased recently by the mobilization of Turkish military forces on the northern border of Syria in the east of the Euphrates, aiming to foil the democratic project and destabilize the state of security and coexistence among the components of the Syrian people.

What happened in Afrin more than a year ago, when the Turkish regime and the terrorist militias implementing the Turkish agenda launched aggression on the city is the best witness to the hypocrisy and lies of this regime through displacement and looting. Continue reading

Defend Maxmur Camp from Turkish Aggression

We call on the UN, its member states and all its institutions and agencies to fulfil their duties and take action to enforce the law by holding Turkey to account for its actions.

PEACE IN KURDISTAN

Statement, 23 July 2019
Last Friday, it was reported that Turkey had launched air strikes on the Maxmur refugee camp, located in the Kurdish region of Iraq, over which the UN flag flies. This brutal military action targeted civilians but was met with total silence and utter inaction from the international community. This is an outrage as is the fact that the liberal media turned a collective blind eye. The lack of response from Iraq and the Kurdish regional authorities is equally an outrage. Continue reading

The Ilisu Dam: a critical juncture: Open Letter to Jeremy Hunt MP

Rt. Hon. Jeremy Hunt MP
Foreign Secretary
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
Whitehall
London SW1A 2AH

10 June 2019
Dear Foreign Secretary,

 The Ilisu Dam: a critical juncture

Over the past two decades, we have written to your predecessors on numerous occasions to express our grave concerns over the adverse environmental, social and geopolitical impacts of the Ilisu Dam on the River Tigris in Turkey, which is now nearing completion. The Turkish Government has now announced its intention to start filling the reservoir on or after 10 June 2019.

You will recall that in 2001 the UK construction company Balfour Beatty, which had been seeking UK  export credit support for the project, withdrew from the project after parliamentarians, experts and non-governmental organisations had expressed their opposition.  Since then, other EU companies have also withdrawn due to environmental, human rights, cultural heritage and other concerns.

The dam was planned without consultation with downstream states, in contravention with international customary law.  Even today, decades after construction began, there is no agreement between Turkey, Syria and Iraq on downstream flows; this despite expert reports suggesting that operation of the dam, in conjunction with a further planned project at Cizre, could reduce the flow of the Tigris during dry years to a trickle. There is a very real fear that the project could seriously jeopardizing the water supply of major Iraqi towns, and put agriculture downstream at risk. The UNESCO site of Mesopotamian Marshes in southern Iraq would be threatened with drying out due to reduced downstream flows. The potential for the dam to exacerbate existing regional conflicts, not least over water, is thus severe, a threat recognised by the FCO under previous administrations.

The dam is opposed internationally. Indeed, the announcement of the proposed filling of the reservoir caused protests in Turkey, Iraq, continental Europe and the UK. A particular focus of concern is the loss of the ancient city of Hasankeyf, a site of international historical and cultural importance whose flooding (should the reservoir be filled) would be a loss not just to the region but to humanity as a whole. The threat posed by the Ilisu Dam project prompted the World Monuments Fund to list the city on its 2008 Watch List of the 100 Most Endangered Sites in the world. Continue reading

Julie Ward MEP Sends an Open Letter to Turkish Prime Minister about the Ilisu Dam

The following letter was sent to the Turkish Prime Minister by UK Member of the European Parliament Julie Ward:

“President Erdoğan,

I am writing to express my utmost concern regarding the announcement of the filling of the Ilisu Dam on June 10th, 2019.

As you know, filling this dam will have disastrous consequences for the downstream areas of the Tigris river, and in particular for Hasankeyf. The cultural heritage of this city is unmatched, spanning nine civilisations. For 12,000 years, it has been a site of uninterrupted human settlement. Dozens of cultures have left their mark on Hasankeyf.

Continue reading

KURDISH NEWS BRIEFING, 7 MAY 2019 – 27 MAY 2019

NEWS

1.We Salute the Resistance
2.Jailed Kurdish artist Zehra Doğan recalls war at Tate Modern
3.Hunger strikes called off after Ocalan sees lawyers – ‘resistance has prevailed’
4.Turkey to attain peace with efforts of PKK leader Ocalan, says pro-Kurdish HDP, 26 May 2019
5.Hunger strikers end action in Turkey after call from jailed Kurdish leader Ocalan
6.Öcalan: I expect the hunger strikes to come to an end
7.Sajid Javid condemned for ‘criminalising’ fighters against Isis
8.Saturday Mothers awarded Human Rights, Peace and Democracy award
9.AKP official blames Istanbul loss on party’s alienation of Kurdish voters
10.CPT Visits İmralı Island Prison
11.France reopens inquiry into 2013 murder of Kurdish militants
12.Today a NATO country sentenced this woman to nearly two years in jail for journalism
13.Prisoners’ mothers tortured with strip searches
14.Blocked from humanitarian aid, Afrin Kurds experience hardships in Serdem Camp
15.Turkey held talks with PKK leader Ocalan in bid to resolve Syria issues

Continue reading

What next for Turkey and the Kurdish resistance after the local elections?

 A public forum called by Peace in Kurdistan, Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC), London Kurdish Solidarity (LKS) and Democratic Kurdish Peoples Assembly UK.

Date: Monday, 29 April 6pm

Venue: Unite House, 128 Theobald Road, Holborn, London WC1X 8TN

Erdoğan suffered a massive defeat during Turkey’s recent local elections, losing both his strongholds in Ankara and Istanbul as well as suffering defeats across the Kurdish regions with people rejecting the kayuums – ‘trustees’ that he’d imposed there. These defeats took place against a backdrop of massive repression including the detention of hundreds of politicians and journalists who are in prison and a tamed mainstream media that is almost entirely pro-Erdoğan. Continue reading

Leyla Guven : Letter to President of the European Parliament

28th January 2019

Mr Antonio Tajani

President of the European Parliament

Rue Wiertz 60
1047 Brussels
Belgium

Dear MrTajani,

 We are currently facing serious tremendous on the path towards democratization and normalization in Turkey, as was also made known in sessions held at the European Parliament. The most critical of these obstacles is the persistence of total isolation imposed on Mr Abdullah Öcalan held in Imrali Prison since April 5, 2015. Mr Öcalan has played a key role in the pursuit of a peaceful solution to the conflict, especially by all his efforts during the peace process that took place between 2013 and 2015. He continues to be the person best placed to continue playing this historic role.I believe that the clear positions taken byall the institutions that collectively constitute the European Unionare going to be crucial for the restarting of the process of conflict resolution. The consistent demand for this stance in turn will enable a normalization to take place in Turkey, in my firmly held view. Continue reading

Turkey’s Latest Invasion Plans Must be Stopped – Rojava Must Survive

PEACE IN KURDISTAN

Statement, 17 December 2018

President Erdogan of Turkey has once again set his sights on an invasion of Rojava to eradicate the Kurdish administration there which Turkish leaders describe as a “nest of terrorists”.

In a speech on 12 December, Erdogan threatened to launch a major military operation “east of the Euphrates” within “a few days” to cleanse the territory of Kurdish forces.  There are now real fears that the invasion is imminent. Continue reading