Kurdistan

Besieged since September 15, the northern Syrian Kurdish-majority city of Kobane (whose Arabic name is Ayn al-Arab) has mounted a heroic, all-out resistance to the murderous Islamic State gangs.

As of September 25, despite the superior heavy weaponry deployed by the IS, it appears that fierce resistance and determined counter-attacks have halted or slowed the assault. Nonetheless, the IS has pushed closer to the city centre than ever before and the situation remains perilous.

With the US and allied nations, including Arab countries, carrying out air strikes in Syria, the Turkish government is trying to convince the West it does not support the Islamic State (IS) forces the US is targetting.

Newly elected President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (the former prime minster) linked the adjective “terrorist” with “IS” for the very first time on September 23 during a US TV interview while attending the United Nations climate summit.

“Turkey will do whatever needs to be done to stop this terrorist organisation, militarily, and politically,” he said.

Kurds search for unity amid fight to defeat Islamic State

Across northern Syria and Iraq, Kurdish forces are locked in fierce battles with the murderous Islamic State (IS) armed force, writes Dave Holmes. Whether directly or indirectly, the whole Kurdish people is being drawn into this struggle.

Ireland: Gerry Adams reflects on 20th anniversary of IRA cessation

The Kurdish people are facing an unprecedented challenge. Across a vast swathe of northern Syria and Iraq, the region’s Kurds are locked in a desperate and heroic struggle with the genocidal forces of the so-called Islamic State (IS).

Fighting is raging across a huge front hundreds of kilometres wide, from Aleppo and Kobane in Syria to Mosul and Kirkuk in Iraq — and all points in between.

Salih Muslim is co-president of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a Syria-based Kurdish party fighting for self-determination. The PYD is a sister party of the left-wing Turkish-based Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The party is the ruling force in the Kurdish areas of Syria and took over three enclaves with Kurdish majorities in 2012.

During the early days of the Gezi protests, researchers from the University of Istanbul surveyed 3000 activists in the heart of the struggle around Taksim Square.

Seventy-one percent of respondents described themselves as “pro-freedom” with no affiliation to any organisation, most of them first-time activists. Only 7.1 % said they were a member or supporter of any group.

Barricades on the streets are nothing new to Turkish people. Barricades have been put up against the authorities many times.

The statement was released the Kurdish Association of Australia on January 11 condemning the assassination of three Kurdish activists in Paris. The Kurdish people have long struggled for self-determination in Turkey, and other states that claim parts of historic Kurdistan. Turkey has responded to the Kurdish struggle with brutal repression and moves to wipe out the Kurdish identity.

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On the 9th of January, 2013 three Kurdish women activists ― including a co-founder of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) ― were shot dead in the Kurdish Institute of Paris.

At dawn on August 20, the offices of Kurdish groups in Sydney, Perth and Melbourne were raided by Australian Federal Police and state police. Police alleged the groups were linked to the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), which struggles for self-determination for the oppressed Kurdish minority in Turkey.

The PKK was listed as a “terrorist organisation” by the Australian government in 2005. Kurdish leaders in Melbourne, along with the association’s lawyer Chris Ryan, questioned the timing of the raid, coming as it did the day before the federal election.

Victorian Socialist Alliance Federal election candidates strongly condemn the Australian Federal Police raids on the Kurdish Association of Victoria and community members as a cynical pre-election maneuver and yet another attempt to sow fear and suspicion into the boarder community.

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