Kurdistan

Flag of PKK with image of Abdullah Ocalan. Millions of Kurds view Abdullah Öcalan as their political representative. His freedom is directly linked to a democratic and peaceful solution to the war in Turkey.
Freedom of speech in Turkey is deteriorating at a rate of knots. This week, a British academic was deported from the country with no trial and three academics were arrested, all accused of disseminating terrorist material. Earlier this month, Zaman — a widely-read newspaper critical of the regime — was seized and placed under control of a board of trustees by an Istanbul court.
On March 17, after a two-day meeting held in the town of Girkê Legê (Al-Muabbada) in Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan), a Constituent Assembly established a “Rojava-Northern Syria Democratic Federal System”. The Constituent Assembly was attended by 31 parties and 200 delegates representing Rojava's Kobanê, Efrîn and Cizîrê cantons and the Kurdish, Arab, Assyrian, Syriac, Armenian, Turkmen and Chechen peoples of Girê Spî (Tal Abyad), Shaddadi, Aleppo and Shehba regions.
Chris Stephenson in the Istanbul court house shortly before his arrest on March 15. Update: Supporters in Istanbul reported that Chris Stephenson was deported on March 16. There are unconfirmed reports that he will be charged in absentia to prevent his return. British academic Chris Stephenson, of Istanbul's Bilgi University, is in detention awaiting deportation after being arrested on March 15 when he went to an Istanbul court to support three other detained academics.
Parliamentarians from the Kurdish-led left-wing Peoples Democratic Party (HDP), Osman Baydemir, Ali Atalan and Faik Yağızay, used a press conference in the European Parliament hosted by the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) to draw attention to the Turkish state’s war against the Kurdish population.
Turkish military bombardment of Sur, Diyarbakır. The Turkish government has a post-war plan to offer Kurds high-end housing in exchange for civil obedience. Sur is a district in Turkey's southeast, part of the Kurdish capital Diyarbakır, that has been exposed to a round-the-clock curfew since December 2.
The European Left Parties Solidarity With Kurdish People conference was held in the Kurdish city of Amed in south-eastern Turkey on February 20. It was organised by the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), Democratic Society Congress (DTK), the Party of Democratic Regions (DBP) and the Free Women’s Congress (KJA). The conference released a declaration, published below. It is reprinted from ANF News. * * *
A “cessation of hostilities” in Syria, sponsored by the United States and Russia, came into force on February 27. Only some of the internal and foreign participants in Syria's multi-sided conflicts signed on. The air wars that the US and Russia are waging in Syria are both officially directed against ISIS. But in reality, Russia is keen to protect its ally, the dictator Bashar al-Assad, while the US and its regional allies, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, have given money, weapons and logistical and diplomatic support to his opponents since the civil war began in 2011.
Cizre, March 2. Photo: Hatice Kamer/BBC. The following report for BBC Turkish by Hatice Kamer in Cizre was translated for Green Left Weekly by I Zekeriya Ayman.

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Protestors knock down police barricade in Amed, March 2. Photo: Kurdish Question. Thousands of people marched to the Sur district of Kurdish city of Amed (Diyarbakir in Turkish) in Turkey's south-east Sur district from all corners of the city on March 2 to break the three-month siege and curfew by Turkish state forces.
Kurşunlu mosque in Amed. Damage is from bombardment by the Turkish military. The following statement was released by Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) co-chairs Figen Yüksekdağ and Selahattin Demirtaş on March 1.

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Across 58 separate curfews imposed in several neighbourhoods of the 21 districts of 7 Kurdish provinces, 290 citizens have so far lost their lives.
Since the Mu'l'livaaykkaal killings of 2009, the Tamil diaspora has mostly focused political efforts towards demanding justice for the inhuman crimes committed against Tamil civilians. While such efforts have elevated international awareness of the gross human rights violations committed by the Sri Lankan military during the war, the approach has not yielded results on prosecuting the perpetrators of the international crimes.
Kurdish women staged a sit-in in Strasbourg against the silence of European institutions over Turkey's crime A coalition of pro-Kurdish European groups held a five day sit-in in front of European institutions in Strasbourg in eastern France, starting on February 23, to protest Europe's silence on the Turkish government's ongoing massacre of Kurds. The action targeted the European Court of Human Rights.
İlham Ehmed is Co-President of the Syrian Democratic Council, the political body with which the Syrian Democratic Forces (QSD) are affiliated, and a leading representative of the Kurdish-led Rojava Revolution in Northern Syria. She spoke to Firat News Agency on February 22 about the QSD's recent gains and Turkey's bombardment, and threatened invasion, of Rojava.

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What is your evaluation of Turkey's recent escalated attacks on Rojava?
Destruction caused by Turkish military in Diyarbakır (Amed), Turkish Kurdistan (Bakur), February 20. Australians for Kurdistan (AfK) is circulating an open letter urging Australian academics to support their colleagues in Turkey, who are facing massive repression by the government for denouncing the war on the Kurds.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev said in an interview with German newspaper Handelsblatt on February 11 that a threatened ground invasion of Syria by Western allies Turkey and possibly Saudi Arabia would lead to a “new world war”. On February 18, Hawar News Agency reported that “dozens” of Turkish armoured vehicles had advanced 200 metres across the Syrian border.

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