Fifth Demirtas Hearing Takes Place Two Weeks Before Election

Written by Margaret Owen (pictured), International Trial Observer and Barrister

Margaret 2018
Friday 8th June

I have returned to Istanbul in order to observe the fifth hearing of the trial of former HDP co-chair: Selahattin Demirtas. Given that Turkey’s presidential election is only two weeks away, we the international observers, anticipate a final verdict.Selahattin Demirtas has been detained since November 2016 in Edirne prison under anti-terror law. He faces numerous charges and is accused of making terrorist propaganda.
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Thursday, 24th of May 2018, 12.30-14.30

Altiero Spinelli Room: A3G-2

Interpretation: English, French, Turkish and Kurdish




  • Renée LE MIGNOT, Co-president of the Movement Against Racism and Peoples’ Friendship (MRAP), France
  • MEP Marie-Christine VERGIAT, GUE/NGL Group, France


Theresa May gives backing to President Erdogan and Turkey’s war on the Kurds

Contact Details: 11 Portland Gardens, Fairfax Hall, Londond, N4 1HU. Phone: 0208 8880 1804

Contact Details: 11 Portland Gardens Fairfax Hall, Londond, N4 1HU 0208 8880 1804


During Turkish President Erdogan’s visit to Britain, the British Prime Minister Theresa May expressed her support for Turkey and said that Erdogan was seeking to defend his country from ‘the extraordinary pressures of a failed coup and Kurdish terrorism’. This designation of ‘Kurdish terrorism’ is exactly the formulation that Erdogan uses to legitimise the Turkish states’ war on the Kurds in Turkey, Syria and Iraq. This is a designation that we utterly and categorically condemn. The Kurds far from being terrorists have been Britain’s staunch allies against the scourge of the terrorism of ISIS, providing the boots on the ground in the Middle East and paying a heavy personal price for the freedom of us all . The Metropolitan Police has however brought Turkey’s war to the streets of London, using police dogs and horses to threaten people and arrest some 16 or so people in Whitehall, who were protesting at Erdogan’s visit to Downing Street. Kurds, and their supporters, in Britain are being criminalised as they are in Turkey. Continue reading


Mesopotamian Ecology Movement, Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive, The Corner House and Peace in Kurdistan Campaign

Rt Hon. Theresa May MP
Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
London, SW1A 2AA

April 28, 2018

Dear Prime Minister,

The Ilisu Dam and Turkey’s use of water as a weapon of war

We write as civil society organizations to draw your attention to the imminent impoundment by Turkey of the Ilisu Dam on River Tigris in contravention of international customary law relating to shared waterways, which requires negotiation and agreement on downstream flows. The announced impoundment of Ilisu comes at a time when Turkey is recklessly and illegally using water as a weapon of war against Northern Syria, denying those affected of their right to water, threatening to exacerbate the existing conflicts in the region and causing severe suffering to those who have already suffered seven years of brutal civil war. We would urge you to protest Turkey’s intended impoundment of Ilisu and to use all available diplomatic means to mediate a peaceful and fair settlement between Turkey, Syria and Iraq on the use of their shared rivers. Continue reading

KNK Statement on South Kurdistan

Turkey continues its genocidal and colonial policies in Kurdistan in defiance of its
international responsibilities

The Turkish state, in its guise as the inheritor of the Ottoman Empire, is not pulling out of Kurdistan and is intensifying its military operations there. On the one hand it is bombarding Kurdish civilian areas with heavy artillery and fighter jets, and on the other hand, it is spreading its occupation to the rest of Kurdistan in Syria and Iraq. The Turkish state has just widened its occupation by entering Western Kurdistan (Northern-Syria). First, it entered Jarablus, El-Bab and most recently it entered Efrin with all its military power and is now committing ethnic cleansing in the city. Continue reading

International campaign in defense of Afrin/Global call for action

 Stop Turkey’s war against the Kurdish People in Afrin!

Defend Afrin!

Supporting the resistance is an historical imperative!

Join us for the first Global Action Day for Afrin on 24 March 2018!

The criminal assault on Afrin constitutes a new phase in the Turkish state’s war on the Kurdish people. This invasion and genocidal attack has been carried out in front of the eyes of humanity. This assault would not be possible without the complicity of the major powers. The heroic resistance of the Kurds in the struggle for Kobane triggered the breakdown of the peace process and a spill-over of the war in Syria into the Kurdish region of Turkey. The past two years have witnessed human rights atrocities in the Kurdish region of Turkey, with thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands displaced. Continue reading


The Turkish state is now intensifying the massacres to which it is subjecting civilians in Afrin. The Turkish State has sped up the ethnic cleansing in Kurdish city of Afrin by exploiting the opportunity that has arisen from the withdrawal of SDF, YPJ and YPG, who had intended to prevent harm to the civilians and even bigger massacres.
The real aim of the Turkish State is to eliminate the Kurdish people altogether and to prevent any political status for them. It is obvious from their practice in the invasion of Afrin that the Turkish State will continue its policy of ethnic cleansing with all the jihadist murderous gangs with which it is in alliance.
The state terror being perpetrated by the Turkish State and the barbarism of the jihadist with whom it is aligned is taking place before the eyes of the whole world. All international forces and primarily the USA, Russia, the EU and the UN are responsible for this invasion and the ethnic cleansing. Continue reading

The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal on Turkey and the Kurds

For immediate release:

The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal on Turkey and the Kurds is underway in Paris. The session is examining alleged violations of International Law and International Humanitarian Law by the Turkish Republic and its officials in their relations with the Kurdish People and their organisations.

The Tribunal comes a year after the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights published a report detailing allegations of massive destruction, killings and numerous other serious human rights violations committed between July 2015 and December 2016 in southeast Turkey, during Government security operations that affected more than 30 towns and neighbourhoods and displaced between 355,000 and half a million people, mostly of Kurdish origin. Continue reading

The file of Religions and nationalities in Afrin

Body of Foreign Affairs – Afrin Region 2

A Glimpse of Afrin Region:

Afrin is 63 kilometers from Aleppo. It located in the mountainous area of north-west of Syria. It is bordered on the western side by the “Deep Plain” near the Iskandron and the Black River. It is bordered on the north by the railway line that passes from Midan Akbis to Kilis. In the eastern side is Izaz Plain, and the mountain of Samaan from the south.

In the region of Afrin the mijority are Kurds with a population density of about half a million people, according to statistics in 2010. Continue reading