Archiv für Dezember 2015

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Turkish Genocide Against Kurds

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Let us be clear. Under President Erdogan and his AKP (Justice and Development party), Turkey is committing crime after crime against its Kurdish citizens, and against the Kurds of Syria. But, to our shame, our (UK) government is silent.

Ever since his party failed to gain the super majority he needed, in the June election, (so he could rewrite the constitution and get himself appointed as life president), the violence against the Kurds of Turkey has escalated to such a degree that it echoes the worst years of the 1980s conflict. Maybe far worse, for now it is an urban war, no longer a rural one. It is the towns and cities that are targeted, and it is human rights lawyers, politicians, journalists, and trade unionists who are being arrested, tortured, and detained.

Erdogan is waging a genocide against the Kurdish people. His links with Daesh/ISIS/ISIL are well evidenced. He has used his NATO membership to get support to attack so-called ‘terrorists’, but for him the terrorists are the Kurds, and not the barbaric Daesh. Some commentators believe that, increasingly Islamic, authoritarian, anti-women, and conservative, Erdogan’s strategy is to get Daesh to do its own dirty work against the Kurds, and ultimately it is President Erdogan who aims to be the next Caliph.

The UK government refuses to condemn Turkey for its human rights violations against unarmed Kurdish civilians. It continues to describe Turkey as its friend, and makes no attempt to get the ‘terror tag’ lifted from the PKK which has, ever since 2013, been calling for cease-fires and the return to the peace process.

Nor will it recognise Rojava, where the Syrian Kurds, victims of both the Assad Regime and Daesh, have declared a selfadministration, embracing pluralism, freedom of belief, gender equality as the foundation blocks of a real democracy for all of Syria. Yet it is the Syrian Kurds, with the support of the PKK who defended Kobane from Daesh, and rescued the Yezidis from Mount Sinjar. Erdogan is determined to crush this unique liberation movement, yet both Syrian and Turkish Kurds have made clear they are not ‘separatist’. They have no wish to ‘change borders’. Their ideology is based on freedom and equality for all people irrespective of ethnicity, religion or gender. This is exactly what Erdogan fears.

In September, the AKP imposed a curfew on Cizire, home to 100,000 Kurds that lasted 12 days. Electricity, water, mobile phone communication were cut off, and 21 people were killed, including women and children. No doctors could enter the town that was surrounded by 5,000 police. In the heat bodies were decomposing, and some mothers kept the bodies of their murdered children in freezers, in an attempt to preserve them. Several women suffered miscarriages. The suffering was terrible, as police snipers shot at anyone who moved outside the front doors.

I was in Cizre and Sur shortly after the curfews were lifted and saw the appalling destruction: homes, shops, whole streets under rubble and spoke with the survivors of the massacres that had taken place. A few weeks later I was again in Diyarbakir as a member of the UK delegation to observe the snap election of November 2nd. This took place in such an atmosphere of fear and tension that it could hardly be called ‘fair and transparent’. There could be no pro Kurdish peace rallies, many Kurdish mayors were dismissed from their posts, huge numbers of Kurds were arrested, and pro Kurdish media outlets were raided and closed down. The AKP had the monopoly of the press, radio and TV. Besides, in the weeks following the atrocity perpetrated in Ankara, in which so many Kurdish peace activists lost their lives, the Kurds were mourning their dead and organising and attending funerals.

We met Muharrem Erbey, the lawyer and former head of the Human Rights Commission, who had only the year before been released, after nearly five years in prison, with all charges of supporting terrorism dropped. He told of us the arrest in October of Tahir Elci, Chair of the Diyarbakir Bar Association, charged under the Turkish Terror Act because he had said, in a TV interview, that the “PKK was not a terrorist organisation”. Horrifically, on Saturday November 28th, Tahir, a greatly respected human rights lawyer and peace promoter, was killed, shot in the head, as he was talking to a press conference in Sur, nearby the beautiful C16th Kursunlu mosque that was blitzed with sniper fire during the September curfew.

Erdogan has scrapped the peace process entirely and is driving to war. Since that AKP victory in November Kurdish towns and cities in the south east have again been put under curfew and military siege. Moreover, Turkish jets daily bomb Kurds in Iraq and its armies shell the Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG and YPJ) in Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan).

The 24th November shooting down of the Russian bomber was planned at the highest level of the Turkish State. Scores of Kurds have been arrested, imprisoned and killed across the country. Curfews continue to be imposed, even yesterday on December 11th.

Will Jeremy Corbyn*, such a great friend of the Kurds, whom I have been with on missions to Turkey in the past, speak up for them in parliament when it reassembles after the New Year?

*Margaret Owen is a barrister and human rights activist

*This article appears in the January/February 2016 edition of ‘CHARTIST’ magazine

*Leader of the UK Labour Party

29th December 2015
by Margaret Owen*, originally published at The Pasewan

Kurdish Question

Interview with women fighters from the International Freedom Battalion

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“We are not women waiting to be rescued”

Interview with women fighters from the International Freedom Battalion following the victorious Operation Hol. The International Freedom Battalion was founded in Rojava in June 2015 in order to fight DAESH and to defend the revolutionary process in Rojava. It brings together fighters from several revolutionary organizations in Turkey and from around the world (Spain, Greece, Germany, Japan etc).

Information Center: In the operation against a major supply route for DAESH fascists in Hol, women fighters from the International Freedom Battalion took the lead. Sefagül Aslan, Polen Cebo and Ezgi Arin, 3 commanding female combatants who participated in the successful assault spoke to the news agency Etha:

Sefagül Aslan: “It was a blow to the enemies of women”

Sefagül Aslan, Internationalist combatant and commander of TIKKO, recalled that the city and region of Hol was an important strategic center taken from DAESH and said: “This was an operation in which success was mandatory and that helped provide valuable experience. The presence of the women in this operation was a step forward that stengthened the battalion.”

Stressing the importance of women’s role in the war against DAESH, Sefagül stated: “The participation of women in this operation was a huge blow against the enemies of women. There is a photo that has now become well known of a women fighter destroying a sign at the entrance of Hol that showed women how they should dress. This photo perfectly explains our role in this war.”

“In this war against these fascists who spread fear among women throughout the world, it was our duty to kill this supposedly invincible force. Because in all the stories women are always in the position of waiting to be saved. Our name has always been dragged through the mud. Now we want to ensure the name of women is synonymous with victory. This is how we will take our place in this story! We are not women waiting to be rescued!”

Polen Cebo: “I took part in this battle to avenge the two massacres.”

Polen Cebo explained how important it was for her to participate in this operation to avenge the massacres of Suruç and Ankara. Stressing that war is a very male dominated field, Cebo stated: “You find yourself forced to fight twice as hard to prove yourself. For this reason, war is more difficult for women. But once this obstacle has been passed, having won confidence, women feel more comfortable in the war zones. Now we see that compared to men women are calmer, more decisive and better at performing their duties in tasks like keeping guard during freezing mornings, carrying heavier bags during operations or when cutting wood. Women are persevering on all fronts. I saw one of our commanders who had taken a bullet in the leg continue fighting without even taking the time to make a dressing. Seeing the commitment of women in combat motivated us too.”

Polen stated that occasionally they faced macho attitudes and explained that critical mechanisms were put in place to address them: “We have experienced some difficulties in the field of war and of everyday live with our male comrades. However as we had put in place mechanisms to fight against these problems, they were not difficult to undo. And criticisms that we made were addressed.”

“This was a victory for gender equality.”

The internationalist combatant Ezgi Arin drew attention to the fact that the struggle against DAESH is a part of women’s struggle: “Even if I had not had a political identity in this war, I still would have participated as a women anyway. Every woman with knowledge of their strengths and identity must be a part of this fight. This was a victory for gender equality.”

Ezgi stated that women are participating in all areas of combat and have now mastered all responsibilities from handling heavy weapons to command positions.

“Every place where it was said ‘women can’t do it’ we found that women were present. This saying was broken by the resistance in Shengal and Kobani and now with the operation in Hol we have hammered another nail into it.”

(via Özgür Gündem, translated by Insurrection News)

Insurrection News

Police kill 5-year-old kid in Cizre

In Cizre district of Şırnak where a curfew remains in effect since 14 December, intensified attacks by state forces claim more civilian lives every passing day.

In Cizre district of Şırnak where a curfew remains in effect since 14 December, intensified attacks by state forces claim more civilian lives every passing day.

A 5-year-old kid by the name of Hüseyin Selçuk was killed by police early Monday evening. According to reports, the boy was playing in the garden outside his house in Cudi neighborhood when a bullet fired by police hit him in the head, which left him dead.

ANF

Turkey must end the Inhumanity

Attacks by state forces cause death of two unborn babies in Cizre

In Cizre district of Şırnak where a state of siege continues in its 13th day, police and military forces of the state continue targeting and killing civilians upon a continued failure to break the popular resistance on streets.

In Cizre district of Şırnak where a state of siege continues in its 13th day, police and military forces of the state continue targeting and killing civilians upon a continued failure to break the popular resistance on streets.

On the other hand, artillery strikes by tanks are also going on in an effort to force the people to leave home.

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Miray İnce

After yesterday’s murder by police of 3-month-old Miray İnce, who was firstly reported as 6 months old Meral İnce but was later identified, seven months pregnant Zekiye Eren and eight months pregnant Asya Sezgin (37) gave premature birth under the strain of intensified bombardments late yesterday evening. Both mothers lost their lives due to belated access to hospital.

It is reported that bodies of two babies will be held at Cizre State Hospital’s morgue and laid to rest alongside other slain civilians once the curfew is ended.

Mothers are reported to be in good state of health.

ANF

CIZRE

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CIZRE

Ferdi Kalkan / CIZRE Dec.2015 from ANTIFA KURDISTAN on Vimeo.

The mother of 20 years old Ferdi Kalkan says goodby to her killed son. Ferdi Kalkan was shot in front of his home by turkish police forces in Cizre, district Cudi. He was taken away with a white flag on the vehicle, to signal the turkish snipers not to shoot.

Die Mutter vom 20 jährigen Ferdi Kalkan verabschiedet sich von ihrem getöteten Sohn. Ferdi Kalkan wurde vor seiner Haustür in Cizre-dem Stadtteil Cudi, seitens türkischer Polizisten erschossen. Er wurde mit einer weißen Fahne am Fahrzeug weggeschafft, dies soll den türkischen Scharfschützen signalisieren nicht zu schiessen.

CIZRE / Dec.2015 from ANTIFA KURDISTAN on Vimeo.

Silopi

Türkischer Panzer feuert im bewohnten Gebiet von Silopi.

Turkish tank fires in residential area of Silopi.

VIDEO

Tank attacks on Cizre’s Cudi neighborhood intensify

Turkish troops have intensified the artillery attacks on Cudi neighborhood of Şırnak’s Cizre district where an onslaught and curfew continues for the eight day.

Earlier today, police made announcements from armored vehicles, urging residents to “leave with white flags” after troops failed to enter the neighborhoods where people continue to resist.

Ongoing tank strikes have demolished a number of houses in the neighborhood.

ANF

VIDEO

11-year-old killed in tank strikes in Silopi

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Mehmet Mete ( 11 )

Ongoing aggression by state forces has claimed yet another life in Silopi district of Şırnak.

11-year-old Mehmet Mete got heavily wounded as his house in Karşıyaka neighborhood was hit by tank fire Monday afternoon. Mete lost his life after as no ambulance came to the scene for intervention despite repeated calls by the people.

In the meantime, tanks deployed in Barbaros neighborhood are conducting strikes on Karşıyaka neighborhood, which has reportedly left many wounded.

ANF




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