Kurdistan

Kurdish footballer Deniz Naki has been indicted by a Turkish court on “terrorist propaganda” charges for sharing posts on Facebook and Twitter about Turkey’s destruction of Kurdish cities and killing of civilians and militants.

Naki, who plays as a striker and playmaker for Kurdish team Amedspor, in Turkey’s Second League, will face up to five years in prison if found guilty. Amedspor are based in Diyarbakır, the unofficial capital of Turkish Kurdistan.

Aleppo. Another round of international talks on Syria, and a ceasefire, have come and gone. The five-and-a-half-year-old civil war continues unabated, as do the competing military interventions — all ostensibly targeting ISIS — by various regional and global powers.

A large minority in Turkey, at about 20% of the population, the Kurdish people have long faced systemic discrimination by the Turkish state. This has included massacres and violent repression of their culture, with even the Kurdish language banned until recently.

Such oppression led to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) launching an armed struggle for national liberation in 1984. In recent years, the PKK — whose leader Abdullah Öcalan remains in solitary confinement in a Turkish jail — has declared its commitment to a peaceful solution to the conflict.

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn told a meeting in London on September 15 that the Kurdish people’s right to self-determination needed to be recognised, said the next day. The meeting was organised by the British Kurdish People’s Assembly.

A video showing Turkish soldiers and state-sponsored Kurdish village guards torturing and abusing Saime Avşin (Avaşin Gabar), a female Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) guerrilla fighter, has surfaced on social media, said on September 20.


Hunger strikers begin their fast for Öcalan in Diyarbakır on September 5.

A hunger strike was launched in Turkey’s Kurdish capital Diyarbakır on September 5 by politicians and activists demanding a meeting with jailed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan.


Protest against Turkish invasion and massacre of civilians. Girkê Legê, Rojava, August 28.

The statement below was released on September 1 and signed by a range of politicians, academics and activists from around the world. To sign, please send your name, organisation and country to mc@kurdishinstitute.be.

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The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) says 4475 people were killed in the nation's horrific civil war during July. Of these, 1289 were civilians, including 263 children. Almost three quarters of these civilian casualties were killed in airstrikes by the government or its ally, Russia, and other attacks by the pro-government side, SOHR said. Since the Syrian Civil War began in 2011, more than 400,000 people have been killed, between 4-to-5 million people have left Syria as refugees and about 8 million have been internally displaced.
Jeremy Corbyn speaks at a rally supporting besieged Kobanê. London, October 19, 2014. Britain’s socialist Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is campaigning for re-election as party leader in the face of sustained hostility from the right wing of Labour and the corporate media.
On the surface, it seems the war against ISIS in Syria is going well. On August 12, the town of Manbij was taken by forces of the Manbij Military Council (MMC) and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Then on August 24, the nearby border town of Jarablus was occupied by Turkish tanks and troops. Turkish forces were joined by Syrian fighters claiming allegiance to Islamist and other groups affiliated with the Free Syrian Army (FSA). In both instances, the US provided air cover. However, there the similarities end.
In largely Kurdish Rojava in Syria's north, a profoundly democratic and revolutionary experiment is underway. A multi-ethnic, feminist and socialist-oriented society is being built from the ground up, organised around communes and other bodies of participatory democracy.
Hawzhin Azeez is member of Kobane Reconstruction Board in the largely Kurdish area of northern Syria and a former politics lecturer at Newcastle university. In Rojava, a profoundly democratic and revolutionary experiment is underway. A multi-ethnic, feminist and socialist-oriented society is being built from the ground up, organised around communes and other bodies of participatory democracy.
Kurdish fighter in Aleppo's Sheikh Maqsoud neighbourhood. Kurdish forces of the People's Protection Units (YPG) responded in an official statement to the Syrian rebels' Aleppo Operations Chamber that said they will attack the Kurds after breaking a regime siege on Aleppo city.
Sırrı Süreyya Önder and Selahattin Demirtaş. Photo: Kurdishinfo.com. Left-wing opposition Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş and HDP Ankara MP and Imralı Delegation Spokesperson Sırrı Süreyya Önder have both been indicted and threatened with five years imprisonment after the removal of their parliamentary immunity.
Qamişlo, July 27. On the morning of July 27, a bomb-laden truck exploded in a crowded area of Qamişlo in Rojava (northern Syria). This terrorist massacre, claimed by ISIS, killed at least 44 people and left about 150 injured. Many surrounding buildings were destroyed, and among the dead were a number of women and children.
[The following opinion piece was written by Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) Executive Committee member and founder Duran Kalkan on July 17. It can be read as the official stance of the PKK regarding the failed coup attempt in Turkey.]

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