Bristol hosts event on Rojava Revolution

On 14 December, the Rojava Solidarity group in Bristol hosted an event at the Malcolm X Centre on the origins and politics of the Rojava Revolution:

“Caught between the expansionist ISIS and escalating oppression by the Turkish state is one of the largest and most interesting revolutionary struggles of our times. Rojava, comprising three regions of northern Syria, is home to 2 million people while across the border in South-Eastern Turkey an increasing number of villages and neighbourhoods are declaring themselves autonomous and committed to self defence. Within these areas is a social experiment that incorporates feminism, ecology, has survived four years of military assaults. For much of this time they have been the only successful opposition to ISIS.”

Watch the meeting below:

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Government responds with same pre-scripted answer to questions on Turkey

Peace in Kurdistan Campaign patron Kate Osamor MP asked a series of questions of the the UK government last week, in an attempt to gauge whether Turkey’s obvious duplicity – bombing PKK targets and Kurdish civilians in recent months apparently in the name of fighting ISIS while covertly supporting ISIS and affiliated groups – is at all an issue for the UK’s relationship with it NATO ally.

The written responses she received were, frankly, quite incredible, for two reasons. First, they reveal the UK appears to have no intention of questioning Turkey, even as documented evidence mounts of their support for ISIS on the one hand and of major human rights abuses in military operations against the Kurds on the other. Secondly, they represent a callous disregard for the concerns being raised by issuing a stock answer, identical word-for-word, for each question asked. In fact, it is the exact same answer given by FCO representative Baroness Anelay when questioned about the Turkish military hitting more PKK targets than ISIS positions and arresting more Kurdish activists that ISIS members. The answer was simply this:

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) continues to kill Turkish police and security forces. The PKK must cease its violence and the peace process needs to be resumed. We support Turkey’s right to defend itself against all forms of terrorism.

The Government continues to monitor closely Turkey’s democratic reforms, including as part of the EU accession process, focusing particularly on freedom of expression, respect for the rule of law and minority rights.

We welcome Turkey’s invaluable contribution to the international campaign against Daesh, particularly its agreement for the use of its airspace and airbases, as a member of the Global Coalition committed to defeating it. Turkey has been carrying out strikes against Daesh since July 2015, and have detained over 2,500 Daesh suspects since 2013, of whom one third are foreigners. Turkey recognises the role that Syrian Kurds have to play in the fight against Daesh, and accepts that Syrian Kurds receive Coalition support.

It was David Lidington MP, Minster for Europe, who answered each of Kate Osamor’s questions – 4 in total –  with the same answer above. We can only speculate as to how and why this stock answer has been issued by the Government.

They were also asked about whether concerns had been raised about the use of curfews in Silva, CIzre and elsewhere, which has led to the deaths of nearly 100 civilians. Once again, the answer shows disregard for the severity of the violence or the lives of the civilians on the receiving end of it. And once again, the same answer was given twice:

 

We welcome the visit on 15-16 October of Turkey’s national human rights body to Cizre and Sirnak to conduct analysis and research on the recent events there.

We continue to monitor the human rights situation in Turkey closely and raise concerns regularly with the Turkish authorities.

 

 

 

PiK sends open letter to Cameron: “End your silence on Erdogan’s abuse of power”

Yesterday, Peace in Kurdistan Campaign sent this letter to Prime Minister David Cameron. It was drafted in response to the Ankara bombing and the UK government’s continued support for President Erdogan, despite all evidence of his divisive and dangerous politics that has threatened the very stability of Turkey – and Syria. We call on him to urge Turkey to heed the PKK’s ceasefire and return to the peace process immediately.

In just a few days, the letter was signed by 95 of our campaign’s long-time supporters, as well as friends of the Kurdish movement from across the world. We have published the letter and signatories below in full.

Rt Hon David Cameron MP
Prime Minister

21 October 2015

 

Open letter to David Cameron on UK policy towards Turkey

  Continue reading

UNISON delegation visits Diyarbakir amidst ongoing violence and intimidation

PRESS RELEASE BY THE UNISON SCOTLAND DELEGATION WHO VISITED THE KURDISH REGION IN TURKEY

29 September 2015

A delegation of four trade unionists from Scotland: Stephen Smellie, deputy convenor of Unison Scotland; Viv Thomson, Chaiperson of UNISON’s national women’s commitee; Sarah Collins, UNISON East Ayrshire branch; and Paul Smellie, young member of Unite the Union, along with”Glasgow girl” Roza Salih*)  visited Diyarbakir in southern Turkey last week following news reports of military curfews in the predominantly Kurdish region. Continue reading

Women warn UK government of dangers to Kurds

On Wednesday 23rd September at 4pm, a delegation of women delivered an open letter signed by a coalition of prominent women’s rights activists to 10 Downing Street. The letter urgently calls on David Cameron to use his influence with the Turkish government to stop the violence being perpetrated against Kurdish civilians in the south east of the country.

The delegation includes Michelle Allison (Kurdistan National Congress), Evrim Yilmaz (Roj Women Assembly) and human rights barrister Melanie Gingell, who has just returned from a fact-finding mission to Cizre, south east Turkey, which has been under curfew for several days and which has been a flashpoint of violence between Turkish security forces and Kurdish civilians in recent weeks.

Cameron has long insisted that Turkey, a NATO partner, is a strong friend to the UK. On his last official visit to Ankara, Cameron stated that Britain and Turkey would work “hand-in-glove” to combat ISIS. And yet he has turned away as the Turkish government used their apparent entry into the anti-ISIS coalition as a veil to break the ceasefire with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and attack Kurdish towns and villages. Continue reading

CALL FOR ACTION: CHALLENGE CAMERON’S SILENCE ON TURKEY!

 

Wednesday 23rd September, 4pm

Join us for a demonstration outside 10 Downing Street!

 

“Help build peace with the Kurds, rather than extend the war.”

 

Kurdish women shout slogans during the f...Kurdish women shout slogans during the funeral of a  YPG (People's Protection Units) fighter in the town of Suruc, Sanliurfa province, on October 14, 2014. Attacking Islamic State jihadists met firm Kurdish resistance in the Syrian battleground town of Kobane on Sunday, as neighbouring Turkey heeded pressure to intervene and handed the US access to its air bases. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINISARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images

Kurdish women shout slogans during the funeral of a YPG (People’s Protection Units) fighter in the town of Suruc, Sanliurfa province, on October 14, 2014. 
AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINISARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images

On Wednesday 23rd September at 4pm, a delegation of women will deliver an open letter signed by a coalition of prominent women’s rights activists to 10 Downing Street. The letter urgently calls on David Cameron to use his influence with the Turkish government to stop the violence being perpetrated against Kurdish civilians in the south east of the country.

Continue reading

Congratulations from friends in Peace in Kurdistan campaign

jeremy newrozJeremy Corbyn MP
Leader of the Labour Party

Dear Jeremy,

Peace in Kurdistan would like to send its warm congratulations to you on the gre
at news of your victory in the Labour leadership contest.

Your election will be greeted with enthusiasm as excellent news by all who believe in a better world. The Kurdish people, who are proud to count you as a friend, certainly share in the celebrations of your election victory.

This successful result is a real tribute to your tireless campaigning for social justice and the rights of peoples at home and abroad.

We take the opportunity to pay tribute to you for your staunch and consistent support in Parliament and your solidarity with the Kurdish community in London.

We wish to thank you for all your support over the years for our campaigns on behalf of the Kurds and in particular for the peace process in Turkey which seeks to resolve the conflict in that country.

We would like to wish you well in your new role as you lead your party onto electoral success in coming months and years.

Peace in Kurdistan  looks forward to working with you in the future as Labour’s new leader.

In solidarity

Peace in Kurdistan

KURDS TO DEMONSTRATE AT THE DSEI ARMS FAIR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

London, 14th September 2015

Kurds are being massacred by the Turkish State and the world is watching…

The ‘International Partner’ of the Arms Fair is the Turkish government’s Defence and Aerospace Industry Exporter’s Association.

Right now London is hosting one of the biggest arms fairs in the world, with tanks, guns, drones and missiles being showcased at the DSEI Arms Fair in the EXCEL Centre. Since Monday, protesters have been successfully blocking the vehicles that are transporting the weapons, and even gate-crashing the set-up inside the EXCEL building.

Continue reading

Shilan Ozcelik trial begins at the Old Bailey*) in first PKK trial in over a decade

PRESS RELEASE

7 September 2015

 

The trial against Kurdish woman Shilan Ozcelik, who was arrested in January for allegedly attempting to join the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), will appear in court on Monday 7 September, 2pm, for the first day of her trial.

The 18 year old was charged with ‘engaging in conduct in preparation to for giving an effect to an intention to commit acts of terrorism’ under section 5 (10) (a) of the Terrorism Act 2006 and has been held on remand in Holloway prison since early March.

Continue reading

Nafeez Ahmed exposes British ties with ISIS oils sales

This article originally appeared in Insurge Intelligence.

Britain’s secret ties to governments, firms behind ISIS oil sales

31 July 2015 

Key allies in the US and UK led war on Islamic State (ISIS) are covertly financing the terrorist movement according to senior political sources in the region. US and British oil companies are heavily invested in the murky geopolitical triangle sustaining ISIS’ black market oil sales.

The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq and Turkish military intelligence have both supported secret ISIS oil smuggling operations and even supplied arms to the terror group, according to Kurdish, Iraqi and Turkish officials.

One British oil company in particular, Genel Energy, is contracted by the KRG to supply oil for a major Kurdish firm accused of facilitating ISIS oil sales to Turkey. The Kurdish firm has close ties to the Iraqi Kurdish government.

Genel operates in the KRG with the backing of the British government, and is also linked to a British parliamentary group with longstanding connections to both the British and KRG oil industries.

The relationship between British and Kurdish energy companies, and senior British politicians, raises questions about conflicts of interest — especially in the context of a ‘war on terror’ that is supposed to be targeting, not financing, the ‘Islamic State.’ […]

Read the article in full.