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Kurds

Interview with YPS Commander In Şirnex, North Kurdistan

January 19, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Rojava Report -- In a new interview for Özgür Gündem, reporter Ersin Çaksu speaks with Roni Botan, a commander with the Civilian Defense Units (Yekîneyên Parastina Sivîl / YPS) in the Kurdish town of Şirnex (Turkish: Şırnak). YPS units have been declared across North Kurdistan in recent months in response to attempts by Turkish security forces to crush local movements for autonomy. The interview has been translated into English

 

-Does any living-being have a chance to survive without defending oneself?

 

Today is a day for taking responsibility for the projects of self-government and for raising one’s voice.

 

-If there had been barricades in Wan (Van), Sêrt (Sirt) and Qoser (Kızıltepe) would there have been as many extrajudicial executions?

 

Now a weekend protest makes no contribution to the revolution. However there is no in front of or behind the barricade. There is Kurdistan. There is self-government. Either we will become a new Vietnam or we will experience what happened to the Tamils of Sri Lanka. I am speaking to the youth: There is leadership. There is a party. There is a movement. What are you waiting for?

 

YPG statement in reaction to Amnesty report

 Read more about the Kurdish struggle

 

18th Oct 2015

 

Amnesty International Report, published on 12 October 2015 and titled, "We Had Nowhere Else to Go – Forced Displacement and Demolitions in Northern Syria" is contradictory and puts the credibility of the organisation at stake.

 

Preface

1. The Basic Argument to Respond

1.1. The content of the report contradicts its title, and this is enough to prove its invalidity and to call for the prosecution of its authors.

1.2. The accusations in the report contradict Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

2. Supporting Arguments

2.1. Hurling unsubstantiated accusations without sufficient evidence.

Selahattin Demirtaş: 'How Turkish government endangers peace process with Kurds'

Selahattin Demirtaş (pictured) interviewed by Ezgi Başaran

July 28, 2015 -- Hurriyet Daily News, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The government of Turkey’s refusal to provide legal guarantees for the Kurdistan Workers Party'(PKK), coupled with the construction of military fortresses, effectively ended the ceasefire in Turkey, Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş (pictured) explained.

Turkey wages war on Kurds under 'cover' of fighting ISIS

July 29, 2015 -- Democracy Now!, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Turkish jets have reportedly launched their heaviest assault on Kurdish militants in northern Iraq since airstrikes began last week, effectively ending a two-year truce. Over the past week, the Turkish military has launched combat operations on two fronts: one against the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Syria (also called Daesh and ISIS or ISIL), another against Kurds inside Turkey and in northern Iraq, where Kurdish groups have been fighting against the Islamic State. This means Turkey is now essentially bombing both sides of the same war.

Turkey: Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) condemns Suruç massacre; calls for international solidarity

By Nazmi Gur

July 20, 2015 -- Peoples Democratic Party, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal and Green Left Weekly -- At least 30 people were killed and more than 100 injured on July 20, when a suicide bomber from the self-styled Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) group attacked a cultural centre in the Kurdish town of Suruç, on the Turkish side of the border from Kobane.

The victims were members of the Federation of Socialist Youth Associations (SGDF) who were travelling to help with the reconstruction of Kobane that has been in the front line against ISIS. The following call for international solidarity was released on July 20 by Nazmi Gur, vice co-chair of the Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) in charge of foreign affairs. 

* * *

I’m writing this urgent letter to inform you regarding to the ISIL’s bombing attack that caused death of 28 young people and nearly 100 injures in Suruç in Turkey, the closest town to Kobane. All the victims were members of the Federation of Socialist Youth Associations, which known as the youth organisation of ESP (Ezilenlerin Sosyalist Partisi or Socialist Party of the Oppressed).

The revolutionaries of Bethnahrin: cooperation between Christians and Kurds

 

Dawronoye's television team visits the guerrillas. Beside Jacob Mirza (front row, third from left) sits Sargon Adam, holding a machine gun. (Photo courtesy Sargon Adam, August 1999).

By Carl Drott

May 25, 2015 -- Warscapes, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- This article is primarily based on interviews conducted in Syria and Sweden between August 2013 and January 2015. For the sake of simplicity, the term "Syriac" is here employed to denote also those individuals or communities identifying as Assyrians, Chaldeans, Arameans, Christian Kurds or Christian Arabs.

* * *

In northeastern Syria, “Christian militias” (as they are often termed) are now battling the Islamic State [also known as ISIS] alongside Kurdish forces. However, these groups did not simply emerge spontaneously as a response to a security threat: they are the latest incarnations of the Dawronoye movement, which first appeared on the European and Middle Eastern political scenes 20 years ago.

Syria: Arabs and Kurds fighting to rebuild a democratic and inclusive revolution

July 8, 2015 -- Rojava Report, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The following interview with Burkan al-Firat Command Center spokesperson Şervan Dervîş was conducted by Ersin Çaksu for Özgür Gündem.

In the interview Dervîş speaks about the recent victories won against ISIS [also known as Islamic State] in Rojava, the current fighting in Aleppo and the larger trajectory of the Syrian civil war, as well as the role of Burkan al-Firat in rebuilding a democratic and inclusive revolution. It has been translated into English below.

* * *

What is the Burkan al-Firat? Why was such an organisation created?

Burkan al-Firat is the creation of some groups within the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the YPG/YPJ [Peoples Protection Units/Women's Protection Units]. Its formation was announced on September 10, 2014, five days before the beginning of the ISIS assault on Kobanê.

Turkey: As Erdogan manoeuvres to retain power, country faces uncertain future

Supporters of the left-wing People’s Democratic Party.

By Dave Holmes

July 7, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- One month after Turkey’s June 7 parliamentary elections, the country still does not have a government. Ahmet Davutoglu of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) remains caretaker prime minister. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan remains the dominant figure in the AKP and is actively manoeuvring to retain his party’s leading position. The president is supposed to be an impartial figure above party politics but Erdogan pays scant regard to such constitutional niceties.

The elections were marked by two significant and related developments.

Turkey's left party leader Selahattin Demirtaş' call for 'new way of life': radical democracy

June 8, 2015 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal  -- The June 7, 2015, general election in Turkey saw the radical left People's Democratic Party (HDP) win almost 13% of the vote and around 80 parliamentary seats.

It passed the 10% threshold for parliamentary representation for the first time, with a total of almost 6 million votes. The HDP won all the seats in the following Kurdish cities: Batman four, Agri four, Dersim two, Hakari three, Sirnak four, Igdir two. The party won 1 million votes and 11 seats in Istanbul -– a city with a huge Kurdish population although the party also won significant non-Kurdish support there. Thirty-one of the HDP’s 80 new MPs are women, the highest proportion of any party. HDP candidates included Armenians, Yezidis and Assyrians alongside Kurds. The HDP had the only openly gay candidate.

On the other hand, the ruling AKP has lost its parliamentary majority and recieved 3 million fewer votes than in 2010. The AKP lost many votes to the HDP in areas where it has had a big Kurdish following. Turkey's parliament consists of 550 seats; 276 seats are required for a single-party majority government. The ruling AKP has only secured 258 with which to try and form a coalition.

The HDP’s historic gains make the success of the peace process with the Kurds within Turkey more likely, and will restrict Turkey’s dubious relations with ISIS.

The speech below from HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş' 2014 presidential bid outlines the HDP's vision for a new Turkey.

Turkey: Kurds, the working class and the new left -- interview with Erdem Yörük

June 6, 2015 -- LeftEast, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- With Turkey’s June 7 parliamentary elections fast approaching, all eyes are on the Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP) contesting its first ever election as a party, rather than a coalition of nominally independent candidates: a momentous decision on the part of the party leadership, which stands to gain clout in parliament and solidify its position as the electoral standard-bearer of the radical Left—or fall below the constitutionally mandated 10% barrier and be excluded from parliament entirely.

Turkey: People’s Democratic Party (HDP) takes centre stage with bold campaign

By Dave Holmes

May 25, 2015 -- Green Left Weekly, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The June 7 elections to Turkey’s Grand National Assembly are shaping up to be the most important in a long time. The bold decision of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) to run as a party and strive to exceed the grossly undemocratic 10% threshold needed to win representation in parliament has put the group at the political centre stage.

Although its key support base lies in the oppressed Kurdish community, the HDP is reaching out to all those oppressed, exploited and discriminated against across the country. This includes women, workers, the Alevi religious community, Armenians, Assyrians and LGBTI people.

Support for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has clearly slipped since the 2011 elections. The AKP will almost certainly gain the most seats, but the HDP's rise will deny it any chance of the super-majority needed to unilaterally amend the constitution through parliament.

AKP leader Recip Tayyip Erdogan, the country’s supposedly impartial president, wants to establish a dictatorial executive presidency. This ambition appears to be doomed.

Poll shows AKP woes

Syria: Rojava offers a way forward

Kurdish fighters in Rojava.

By Tony Iltis

May 9, 2015 -- Green Left Weekly, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- War planes from the US and its allies bombed the village of Birmehli in northern Syria on the night of April‭ ‬30.‭ ‬US Central Command spokesperson Major Curtis Kellogg claimed that at least‭ ‬50‭ ‬fighters from the self-styled Islamic State‭ (‬IS‭) ‬group were killed and there was‭ “‬no indication that any civilians were killed‭”‬.

Kurdish liberation movement committed to ‘democratic socialism for the 21st century’

Meral Cicek interviewed by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation’s Florian Wilde during the World Social Forum in Tunis, translated by Leandros Fischer

April 9, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Meral Cicek (above) is from Cologne and is the chair of Kürt Kadın İlişkiler Merkezi, the Kurdish Centre for Women´s Affairs in Erbil.

* * *

Kurdistan: Political and cultural revolution unfolds in Rojava

Front line in Kobane, December 2014. Demotix/Jonathan Raa. All rights reserved.

By Evangelos Aretaios

March 15, 2015, 2015 -- Open Democracy, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- News of the fight of the Syrian Kurds has reached many in Europe and the US over the last year as TV channels around the world have covered the resistance of the Kurds against Daesh (self-proclaimed “Islamic State”) in Kobane. The fighting was indeed a great human endeavour, often portrayed in heroic, almost mythological terms. Behind the men and women fighters of this heroic resistance lies a large but still unknown political and cultural revolution that is in full effervescence in Rojava, Syrian Kurdistan.

Join the campaign to remove PKK from list of ‘terrorist’ groups



By Dave Holmes

March 24, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Melbourne-based Australians for Kurdistan committee has launched a campaign calling for the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) to be removed from the Australian government’s list of terrorist organisations.

Kurdistan: Why Kobanî did not fall

[For more on the struggle of the Kurdish people, click HERE.]

By Dilar Dirik

January 27, 2015 -- Kurdish Question, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- One year ago, today, Kobanî declared itself as an autonomous canton.

Today, after 135 days of fearless resistance, the people of Kobanî have liberated the city from the so-called Islamic State (ISIS). Since September 2014, the YPG and YPJ (People's and Women's Defence Units) have been leading – there are no other words to describe it -- an epic and unbelievable resistance against the latest wave of attacks by ISIS.

The women and men, who lead the most glorious resistance of our time, hoisted their flags on the last hills that were occupied by ISIS and immediately began their line dances, accompanied by old Kurdish revolutionary songs and slogans. Ever since, people around the world rushed to the streets to celebrate. After the countless tragedies, massacres and traumas that this region has had to suffer recently, the pains that have preceded this moment make victory even sweeter. One eye sheds tears for the dead, while the other cries out of much deserved joy.

Unfolding revolution in Rojava: Interview with Özgür Amed, journalist and researcher

"We can say that Kurdish women led the Rojava revolution. Women have a part in every decision taken in Rojava. The colour of the Rojava revolution is the colour of women."

[For more on the struggle of the Kurdish people, click HERE.]

Özgür Amed interviewed by Dylan Murphy

January 17, 2015 – Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The following interview was conducted in partnership between the Rojava Report. Özgür Amed is a journalist, columnist, teacher and activist from Diyarbakir, where he gives courses on cinema and works with local civil society organisations as a project coordinator.

He writes regular editorials for the newspapers Ozgur Gundem and Ozgur Politika, contributes to various journals, assists foreign journalists working in Kurdistan and provides analysis of the region to foreign media outlets. He also conducts research on the Kurdish movement and its author of a book of humour, Works of Kurdology (Kürdocul İşler). He can be reached at ozguramed@live.com

Rojava: Syria's secret revolution (BBC Our World)

[For more on the struggle of the Kurdish people, click HERE.]

November 14, 2014 -- BBC -- Is the Middle East’s newest country a territory called “Rojava”? Out of the chaos of Syria’s civil war, mainly Kurdish leftists have forged an egalitarian, multi-ethnic mini-state run on communal lines.

But with ISIS jihadists attacking them at every opportunity — especially around the beleaguered city of Kobane, how long can this idealistic social experiment last? From the frontlines to the refugee camps, Mehran Bozorgnia filmed in Rojava for the BBC's Our World and has gained exclusive access and a revealing snapshot of Syria’s secret revolution.

COPYRIGHT: Mehran Bozorgnia / Bozorgnia Films / 2014

The Rojava revolution's radical democracy

November 10, 2014 -- Tenk, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Saleh Muslim Mohamed (pictured), co-president of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) representing the independent communities of Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan) and its armed wings, the People’s Defence Units (YPG) and Women’s Defence Units (YPJ), visited the Netherlands. Muslim spoke about the fight of Rojava against the Islamic State (ISIS) and the development of democratic autonomy during the Rojava revolution. Jonas Staal interviewed him afterwards.

Germany: Lift the ban on the PKK!

Kurds protest in Dusseldorf.

By Florian Wilde, Die Linke member

November 3, 2014 -- International Viewpoint, submitted to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by the author -- The West has suddenly begun supporting various Kurdish organisations in its fight against the Islamic State.

So why is the largest Kurdish organisation of all, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), still outlawed? This article discusses current developments in Kurdistan and gives a brief overview of the history of the Kurdish liberation movement and the PKK’s illegal status in Germany. It argues for a radical left strategy focused on defeating the ban on the PKK.

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