Monday, November 15, 2010

The whole Kurdistan is in fire

Saturday, 13 November 2010

EAST KURDISTAN, -- According to the statistic there have been more 608 items of forest burning in Eastern Kurdistan – Iran- which resulted in burning of thousands of hectares of the Kurdish forests.

According to the local reports the jungles of Meriwan were blazed in fire on Friday 12th November. “The areas of the villages of Deri, Dezle, Dereweran, Buriye and Niyawe burned in fire,” report said.

The evidences indicate that the Iranian militaries set fire on the forest of the Kurdistan to fight against the Kurdish guerrillas of the Free Life Party of Kurdistan (PJAK). But none of the Kurdish guerrillas have lost their life as the result of the fire.

The Iranian act of devastating Kurdistan nature is condemned by the environments groups as totally unacceptable and outrageous.


Iran: 2 Kurdish prisoners executed

Sunday, 14 November 2010

TORBETJAM, Iran, -- Despite the international denunciation of the medieval way of punishment of execution and death penalty, the Iranian regime is consistently executing its political opponents.

Two Kurdish prisoners from Urmiye, were executed in the prison of Torbetjam, report said on Sunday.

Abdul Xaleq Behmer and Abdullah Behmer from Urmiye city were executed in Torbetjam Prison on Saturday.

The report also mentioned about the execution of 98 people that would be carried out before Qurban Fest.


Family members arrested to force conscript to report for duty

November 13, 2010 by sks  

Syrian Committee for Human Rights – MAD has been informed by sources close to Mohammed Hanif, a lawyer, that his father and brother were arrested on 10 November 2010 following a raid on the house in Aleppo.  The arrests were made in connection with the non-attendance of another brother for conscripted military service.  The detained father and brother were released once the conscript turned himself in.
10 November 2010

Mustafa Shekho has been re-arrested in Syria

November 13, 2010 by sks has published a report that a security patrol raided the house of Mustafa Mohammed Shekho on 9 November 2010 in the night, and arrested him and his brother. They brutally attacked the father of these men, Mohammed Waheed Shekhu, who is 65 years old and who remains in a critical condition in an Afrin hospital, as a result.
Mustafa Shekho was arrested with Ahmed Mohamed Ali Qalij on 27 July 2010 by a state security patrol in Aleppo and they were later released by decision of the military judge in Aleppo. They were sentenced on 27 October 2010 to three months imprisonment but have one month to appeal the sentence.
10  November 2010
Previous reports:

Non-political Kurds at risk on return to Syria

November 13, 2010 by sks which is a well-known Kurdish website was informed by sources close to the family of Faiz Adnan Osman that he was arrested with his wife, Adla Osman upon return from Cyprus in early August 2010. He was working in Cyprus, and decided to return voluntarily to Syria where he and his wife were arrested upon arrival. Adla Osman was released after a brief period of detention, but Faiz Osman remains imprisoned.
The intelligence services accused them of taking part in demonstrations and sit-ins held in Cyprus. They have both denied this.
Relatives of Faiz Osman have been trying to effect his release since his detention, but their attempts have failed, and at the time of writing his family have not yet been allowed to visit him. There has been no recent news but a source of this information has expressed concern for Faiz Osman’s life as there is information that he was subjected to physical torture, and the underside of his feet have open wounds inflicted in the early days of his arrest.
Faiz Osman was born in the village of Talki, and is a father of two children. He traveled with his wife to Cyprus for work purposes, and is known within the Kurdish community in Cyprus as a worker and family man, not as a political activist.
Human Rights organisations are urged to work for Faiz Osman’s immediate release.

Muslim Hussein Abbas sentenced for holding a political opinion

November 13, 2010 by sks

Kurdish Organization for Defending Human Rights and Public Freedoms in Syria – DAD reports that the individual military judge in Qamishli sentenced Muslim Hussein Abbas on Tuesday 9 November 2010 in case no.5642 of 2010. He was sentenced to:
imprisonment for a period of six months under the provisions of Article 307 of the Syrian Penal Code;
imprisoned for three months misdemeanor for joining a secret association, and a fine of 100 Syrian pounds in accordance with the provisions of Article 288 of the Syrian Penal Code;
these sentences of imprisonment are consolidated to a period of six months in accordance with provisions of Article 204 of the Syrian Penal Code; and was reduced again to a period of four months under to the provisions of Article 244 of the Syrian Penal Code.
His detention began on 12 September 2010 and this time will be taken into account. He has the right of appeal.
Kurdish Organization for Defending Human Rights and Public Freedoms in Syria – DAD condemns the sentences imposed on these people, and consider the arrest and sentencing as unfair and in clear violation of the Declaration on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders,
10 November 2010
Previous reports:

Prison sentence for protesting against Decree 49

November 13, 2010 by sks

According to Kurdish Organization for Defending Human Rights and Public Freedoms in Syria – DAD, the individual military judge on Qamishli sentenced four people on Tuesday, 9 November 2010 in case number 5641 of 2010. They are:
Luqman Hussein Ibrahim.
Salah Saeed Sheikhmous.
Abdul Ghafoor Hussein Hussein.
Saad Furman al-Hassan
They were each sentenced to one month imprisonment under the provisions of Article 336 of the Syrian Penal Code. They were previously detained between 15 September 2010 until 23 October 2010, and so their time had been served already, and judge was clear that the sentence can be appealed.
Kurdish Organization for Defending Human Rights and Public Freedoms in Syria – DAD condemns the sentences imposed on these people. They consider the arrest and sentencing unfair and a clear violation of the Declaration on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly resolution Public No. 52/144 on 12 September 1998, specifically in articles 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
Kurdish Organization for Defending Human Rights and Public Freedoms in Syria – DAD said that this demonstrates the determination of the Syrian authorities to move forward in the continuing violation of the simplest of public freedoms, and the prosecution of writers, political activists and human rights activists, civil society and those interested in public affairs in Syria. These actions however clash with Syria’s international commitments on human rights through the ratification of relevant international conventions.
Kurdish Organization for Defending Human Rights and Public Freedoms in Syria – DAD calls upon the Syrian government to close the files on the trial and drop all charges against these citizens; to demand an end to the trial of Syrian citizens in front of special courts, including military courts, because it constitutes a violation of their right to a fair trial, They call for the commitment of the Syrian government to all international agreements on human rights that have been signed and ratified. In particular they call for the commitment of the Syrian government to recommendations of the Commission on Human Rights its 84th session of July 2005, and in particular the sixth paragraph on non-compliance with the provisions of the International Covenant regarding a State of Emergency – article 4, and to ensure these rights, including articles 9, 14, 19 and 22; and para.12 of these recommendations which require the State Party – Syria, to immediately release all persons detained because of their activities in the field of human rights, and to put an end to all practices of harassment and intimidation against human rights defenders. Dad calls for urgent measures to be put in place for the revision of all legislation that restricts the activities of human rights organizations, and private legislation on the State of Emergency that must not be used as a pretext for the suppression of activities designed to promote and protect human rights.
10 November 2010
Previous reports:

EU Heads of Mission urge Syria to respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

November 13, 2010 by sks  

EU Heads of Mission to Syria on the Martin Ennals Award presented to Mr. Muhannad al-Hassani in Geneva
The EU Heads of Mission welcome the decision of the Jury of the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders to present the 2010 Award to Mr. Muhannad al-Hassani, for his dedication to fundamental rights and freedoms. Mr. Muhannad al-Hassani, a prominent Syrian lawyer has been detained since July 2009 and was convicted to a three-year term imprisonment in June 2010 on charges that are in breach of his fundamental rights and freedoms.
The EU Heads of Mission honour Mr. Muhannad al-Hassani for his exceptional courage for defending the rule of law and the right to establish a human rights organisation in Syria. We extend our support to the family, friends and activists, who are close to Mr. al-Hassani.
The EU Heads of Mission urge Syria to respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and honour its international commitments, in particular under the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights, which Syria signed.
The EU Heads of Mission reiterate the EU commitment to the protection and support to Human Rights Defenders, according to the EU guidelines on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the European Council in June 2004.
The EU Heads of Mission recall the statement by High Representative Catherine Ashton on behalf of the EU issued on 27 July 2010 strongly condemning the sentencing of Mr. al- Hassani and calling, inter alia, for his immediate release.

UK Foreign Office Minister expresses concern over human rights in Syria

November 13, 2010 by sks  

5 November 2010
Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt raised concerns during a telephone conversation with the Syrian Ambassador to the UK.
Following the conversation, the Minister said:
“I am deeply dismayed to hear reports of the severe physical assault by a fellow prisoner on Muhannad al-Hassani, a prominent Syrian lawyer and Human Rights Defender, in Adra Prison last week. I am concerned that the Syrian authorities have failed to protect him. In addition any suggestion that the attack may have been ordered by the Syrian security services and that he remains at risk are disturbing.
By condoning such abusive actions, Syria is doing nothing to repair its human rights record. It still detains both the oldest and youngest prisoners of conscience in the Arab world: Haitham al-Maleh is 79. Tal al-Mallouhi, who has been held without charge for over 10 months, is just 19. We recognise and respect Syria’s importance in the region and desire to play a more prominent role, and these issues influence world opinion.
Accordingly I call on the Syrian Government to meet its international responsibilities by ending its practice of arbitrary arrests and detention and to immediately release Muhannad al-Hassani, Haitham al-Maleh and Tal al-Mallouhi, and all who have been imprisoned solely for seeking to exercise their right to peaceful freedom of expression and freedom of association.”

Kurdish show trial shames Turkey

November 12, 2010 by sks

The trial of 151 Kurdish politicians, lawyers, mayors and leaders of Kurdish civil society is an affront to human rights
Margaret Owen
Wednesday 10 November 2010
A trial that would shame any democracy is now in its fourth week in Diyarbakir, Turkey. Named the KCK trial, its processes have been widely condemned by the several hundred independent observers who attended during its first few days.
Charged with “violating the unity of the state” and “abetting terrorism” are 151 Kurdish politicians, lawyers, mayors and leaders of Kurdish civil society. Of these, 103 have already been in detention for the past 18 months, but details of the charges were not disclosed until 12 weeks ago.
This Friday is “crunch day” when the judge will decide whether to accept the defence team’s argument that there is no case to answer and release those detained, or to let the trial continue with the “suspects” remaining in prison or released on bail.
The manner of gathering evidence and procedures in the courtroom breach all international and European standards on human rights and fair trials. I was a member of the independent UK delegation that attended the first week of this trial. It could last for months, even years. It is vital that those in prison are released on bail, and that the prosecutions are dropped for this is a “political trial”, not a legal one.
The pro-Kurdish political parties, and recently the PKK, have made repeated attempts to obtain a resolution of the 30-year-old conflict through democratic dialogue and negotiations rather than violence. The PKK has called for “ceasefires” on several occasions, and has just now declared that the present ceasefire, due to expire at the end of the month, will continue until the elections taking place next June.
But time and again the authorities have closed down pro-Kurdish political parties, imprisoned Kurdish political leaders and declared Kurdish civil society and human rights organisations illegal. Peaceful protests and demonstrations calling for an end to armed conflict and respect for human rights are subject to brutal harassment by the police.
The Democratic Society party (DTP) was the last of several parties to be closed in 2009. Today, legal-democratic Kurdish politics continues under the roof of the newly named BDP (Peace and Democracy party). Not only have many of its members been arrested and imprisoned, but its distinguished chair, Ahmed Turk, has been banned from all political activities for the next five years, and the brilliant and charismatic mayor of Diyarbakir, Osman Baydemir, faces not only prosecution but also assassination threats as he continues to speak out on behalf of the Kurdish population whose lives are wracked by persecution, extrajudicial killings, torture, displacement and extreme poverty.
Some 5,000 Kurds are in prison on charges of supporting terrorism, but this trial will reveal Turkey’s true status in the context of democracy, justice and the rule of law.
This trial of the 151 “suspects” is the most repressive action yet to shut down the lawful and democratic activities of Kurdish organisations and eliminate all political activity. The manner by which the evidence in the trial was gathered gives cause for extreme concern.
It is clear from the 7,500-page indictment and so-called supporting evidence that there are no grounds for suspecting any actual crimes have been committed, such as references to weapons, acts of violence, or conspiracy for terrorism. Most of the evidence is based on (unlawful) wiretapping and bugging to draw conclusions from private daily conversations, or on routine political propaganda and secret statements by anonymous prosecution witnesses.
Innocent conversations, for example, referring to the purchasing of “tomatoes” or “bread”, are construed as codes for bombs and grenades and have found their way into the indictment, along with intimate and personal conversations between family members and friends.
To prepare for this event, and accommodate not only the 151 defendants, but their 250 lawyers, the press, the many relatives of the accused, the members of foreign observer delegations, and more than 60 armed prison police, the Turkish government built a vast new courthouse in the yard between existing courts.
The joke went round that everyone should be grateful to the Kurds for this new courtroom, and will probably need to thank them again for a new prison. Security has been intense. There were more than 1,500 armed police on duty around the building and armed snipers on the surrounding rooftops. It took ages to get into the court, going through body searches and scanning. My purse containing some Turkish lira in coins was confiscated because I might “use them as missiles to throw at the judge”.
Many of the accused are lawyers. One is Muharrem Erbey, head of the IHD (Human Rights Commission), who has continually spoken out on the need for diplomacy and dialogue to end the conflict.
The trial began with the judge, Menderes Yilmaz, dismissing the defence lawyers’ submissions – firstly, that the defendants should be able to defend themselves in their Kurdish mother tongue.
On these opening days the accused lawyers argued ferociously and passionately that these proceedings were in fact a show trial, a political trial, that there were no victims of the alleged crimes, that the evidence was based on hearsay, and that the trial should be abandoned.
There is still time for Turkey’s AKP government to acknowledge that this trial has no basis in law, and order its closure and the immediate release of those detained.

Syria: Transfer Women Out of Male Prison

November 12, 2010

Female Prisoners Get Less Time Out of Cells; Family Visits Restricted
(New York, November 12, 2010) – Syria’s prison authorities should immediately transfer women detained in the predominantly male `Adra prison to a facility for women, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities are holding at least 12 women among an estimated 7,000 men.
Syrian rights activists in touch with families of some of the detained women told Human Rights Watch that the women are held in a section of the prison under the control of Political Security, one of Syria’s multiple security agencies. They are only allowed out of their cell twice a week and family visits are subject to the approval of Political Security. Two female guards reportedly supervise the women directly, but male guards for the other prisoners have verbally harassed the women, the activists said. Male prisoners are allowed out of their cells for at least two hours twice a day and can receive weekly visits without Political Security review, male former prisoners told Human Rights Watch.
“We don’t know why Syria is keeping these women in `Adra prison, but we do know that their situation is precarious and they are being treated worse than their male counterparts,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.
The United Nations-issued Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners say that, “Men and women shall so far as possible be detained in separate institutions,” and, “No male member of the staff shall enter the part of the institution set aside for women unless accompanied by a woman officer.” Syria has prisons for women, including a main facility in Douma, located in the suburbs of Damascus. Human Rights Watch has not been able to determine why some women are in `Adra prison.
Among the women in `Adra is Tuhama Ma`ruf, 46, a dentist detained there since February 10, 2010, to serve the remaining part of a sentence issued by the Supreme State Security Court (SSSC) in 1995 for membership in the unlicensed Party for Communist Action (PCA). Syria’s security services detained Ma`ruf in 1992 as part of a crackdown against the PCA, which no longer exists. Authorities released her on bail in 1993, but the SSSC sentenced her in 1995 to six years for “membership in an illegal organization.” At the time, Human Rights Watch criticized the trials against PCA members for due process violations and for criminalizing peaceful political activity.
Ma`ruf did not turn herself in after the sentence was issued in 1995 and lived clandestinely for the next 15 years. Security forces arrested her on February 6 and placed her in `Adra to serve the remaining five years of the sentence. Ma`ruf’s lawyers petitioned for her freedom, arguing that her sentence should be commuted because of the passage of time, but the SSSC prosecutor’s office rejected her request.
“Ma`ruf was sentenced to prison solely for her peaceful political activism, which is protected under international human rights treaties that Syria has ratified,” Whitson said. “The authorities should release her.”
The Syrian activists said that other female detainees in `Adra whose identities they know include Yusra al-Hassan, detained since January without any formal accusation or judicial referral. Her husband is being held by the United States in Guantanamo. Other female detainees in `Adra reportedly include members of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) as well as women convicted on drug or prostitution-related charges.
For more Human Rights Watch reporting on Syria, please visit:

Arrested and disappeared in Syria

November 11, 2010 by sks  

According to Human Rights Organization in Syria – MAF a patrol of the Political Security branch in Damascus raided the house of Farhan Haji Sello on 3 November 2010. Sources close to the family report that some personal items, papers and computer equipment were confiscated.
Farhan Haji Sello, born in 1977 and father of three children from Deyrick was taken to an unknown location, and his fate is not known. No information has been given to date as to why he was arrested., Farhan Haji Sello lives in the Mazza al-Jabbal province of Damascus.
Human Rights Organization in Syria – MAF calls for the ending to the arbitrary arrest of citizens, and the seizure of their liberty which is in violation of the most basic rights of human beings. It is contrary to the covenants and international conventions and the law and the Syrian Constitution, which does not allow arrests of a person without a warrant, but this is done against the framework of the State of Emergency that has been in force for several decades. MAF calls on relevant authorities to clarify the fate of Farhan Haji Sello, and to submit him to trial quickly if he has committed an offence. MAF calls for the abolition of the State of Emergency.
10 November 2010

Two more murderers of Banaz Mahmod face justice

IKWRO - Press Release

The Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation welcomes the news that the remaining two suspects in the Banaz Mahmod murder trial, Mohammed Ali and Omar Hussain, have been found guilty at the Old Bailey today. Ali was sentenced to a minimum of 22 years and Hussain to 21 years.

Initially the Iraqi and Kurdistan Regional Governments were reluctant to hand Ali and Hussain over to the UK authorities, but they became the first suspects ever extradited to Britain from Iraq after sustained campaigning to bring them to justice by the London based Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO).

Diana Nammi, Director of IKWRO today said:

“Today marks a major step forward in the campaign for Justice for Banaz. We would especially like to thank Detective Chief Inspector Caroline Goode and all of her team for their hard work in bringing Mohammed Ali and Omar Hussain to justice. We would also like to thank all of the individuals and organisations in the UK and in Kurdistan whose enormous support enabled this to happen.”

“The extradition and conviction of Ali and Hussain sends out a strong message that there can be no safe havens for those who kill in the name of ‘honour’. We call on all countries to protect women from this brutal practice and to ensure that all those who commit ‘honour’ killing face justice, where ever they are in the world.”

In January 2006 Banaz Mahmod was tortured and strangled, and her body stuffed into a suitcase which was found buried under a Birmingham patio three months later. Before her death Banaz had told police several times that her family were planning to kill her because she had fallen in love with Rahmat Suleimani, a man of whom they did not approve, but police failed to protect her.

“IKWRO was unable to make a complaint to the Independent Police Complaints Commissioner because the rules only permit victims’ families to do so. IKWRO has called for a change in the rules so that in honour killing cases, where the family is responsible for the murder, organisations like IKWRO will be able to make complaints in the public interest” said Diana Nammi today.

“While strongly welcoming the successful prosecution of Ali and Hussain today, it is also important to learn from the failings in this case.”

For further information and comment please contact:

Diana Nammi, 07862 733511
Tel: 0207 920 6460
Fax: 0207 920 6495

Firmesk Abdullahi
Finance & Administration
Iranian & Kurdish Women's Rights Organisation

Diaspora, work, employment and community: A report on Kurdish workers in London

Working Lives Research Institute


The report presents key findings of our research on the social and economic lives of Kurdish migrants in London (mainly Hackney, Haringey) and it looks at where Kurdish workers turned for help, support and representation when they had problems at work. It explores the linkages between Kurdish minority ethnic workers and workplace community (managers, colleagues, trade unions), local community (e.g. CABx, law centres), ethnic communities (family, friends) and community organisations (e.g. cultural, political, social and faith). We interviewed a total of 61 workers – 29 individually and 32 in 5 focus groups and 21 interviews with ‘key respondents’ who were officials from trade unions, advice agencies and community groups.

This report offers high-quality and rich empirical data and provides detailed insight into the relationship between Kurdish ethnic minority workers and different advice agencies.

Kurdish Employees Face Advice Crisis

Workers from Kurdish community in the UK face an advice crisis that can ruin their lives, a study by the Working Lives Research Institute shows.

Researchers found that people facing bullying, racism, withholding of pay and even violence and sexual harassment, were unable to get practical help and advice in particular the lack of English language skill amongst first-generation Kurdish workers cause ‘exploitive community solidarity’ in the ‘ethnic economy’ where the long work hours (up to 72 hours), lack of holiday entitlements, low payment without any proper contract, overtime, sick pay or holiday pay become normalised. Outside the ‘ethnic economy, Kurdish workers are at a greater disadvantage in the labour market as a result of prejudice, racism, xenophobia, ethnic penalties.

Finding useful employment advice from sources other than trade unions was very difficult – very few workers interviewed know about or used government or voluntary sector advice available online or by phone.

When advice was available – from the Citizens Advice Bureau or law centres – there were problems with access, restricted opening hours and ineligibility for legal aid. While workers talked about the using Kurdish community advice services for issues of immigration, housing and language, this was not really the case for employment problems due to lack of specialist employment advisors in advice surgeries and other issues

Workers who approached ‘no-win-no-fee’ solicitors could be asked for £2,000 up front or were pressed to settle their case so that the solicitors’ fees would be paid. Researchers found that people experiencing problems at work want to talk through the details of their problem and to have someone represent them in dealings with managers.

Dr Jane Holgate, who coordinated the research, said: “The research showed how the problems that people face at work can have a serious impact on their personal lives in terms of ill-health, unemployment and poverty.

“The consequences for companies in terms of increased costs and for wider society in terms of picking up the pieces is much greater than most people perhaps realise. “The lack of support for employment problems is a serious issue. Current advice agencies are seriously underfunded and this is likely to get worse because of forthcoming cuts. “If the Big Society is to be meaningful, resources need to be directed at community level to provide the advice and support that is needed. Trade unions and voluntary sector organisations are best situated to protect the interests of workers. “Some of our interviews revealed bullying, racism, withholding of pay and even violence. Yet many of these workers had no place to turn when they desperately needed help and advice. “A number had developed mental health problems and others had lost their jobs.

For some, trade unions were able to provide the help they needed, but many interviewees did not have unions at their workplace and voluntary sector organisations like Law Centres and Citizens Advice were unable to provide employment advice. Trade union membership is very low amongst the Kurdish workers interviewed and only nine interviewees held union cards.

If the Big Society is to be meaningful, then resources need to be directed at community level to provide the advice and support that is needed. Trade unions and voluntary sector organisations are best situated to protect the interests of workers as they are positioned where local people can reach them

Notes for editors:

The research focused on ethnic groups in three London boroughs: Kurds in Hackney, South Asians in Ealing and Black Caribbeans in Lambeth.

Researchers conducted in-depth interviews with 185 people – 100 individually and 88 in16 focus groups. They represented a fair cross-section in terms of age, sex and type of work.

One aspect of the research was the use of photography to express the sense of collective identity in the groups surveyed. Some images are available at:

Diaspora, work, employment and community: A report on Kurdish workers in London

All reports are available for download:

Diaspora, work, employment and community: A report on Kurdish workers in London

For more information contact

Dr Jane Holgate

Work and Employment Relations Division, Leeds University Business School, Maurice Keyworth, Building University of Leeds, LS2 9J, email:

US consul visited Maxmur refugee camp

15 November 2010

The consul of the United States in Arbil visited Maxmur refugee camp today.

The consul Christfer Henzil met with camp's mayor Ahmad Shenbaz and representative Pola Chele and exchange information about the camp and its status.

Speaking after the meeting Chele said that the meeting was positive.

Chele and Shenbaz told the consul about the circumstances in which more than 10 thousand Kurds left their homeland in North Kurdistan and took refugee in Maxmur.

After the meeting Henzil visited the school and social institutions.

Henzil said he was very impressed by the developments in Maxmur and thanked the refugees for their hospitality.

Maxmur refugee camp is situated about 60 kilometers north of Arbil, where just over 10000 of the refugees (75 percent of them women and children) have been living since 1998.



Turkish army continues cross-border bombardment

15 November 2010

Turkish artillery is bombarding Iraqi territories continuously for the last three days, armed wing of Kurdistan Workers Party said.

"Turkish army is continuously bombarding Zap area for the last three days" People's Defense Forces (HPG) said in a statement.

According to HPG Howitzers are mortar rockets hit Kokere and Bircela villages and Ciyaye Resh (Black Mountain) area. A forest fire broke out in result of the bombing.

HPG reported no causalities.

HPG also reported that Xakurke's Sehid Beritan, Sehit Kurtay and Karker areas were also hit by the artillery fire yesterday.



UN: Access to health services 'severely hindered' for Kurds in Syria

15 November 2010

United Nations special rapporteur Annand Grover said Kurds in Syria has limited access to the health services.

Special rapporteur appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council Groves announced the results of his nine day visit to Syria yesterday. He praised the accomplishments of the Syrian governments health services in non-Kurd parts of the country and added that access to health services in Kurdish region is "severely hindered".

"The situation of one of the vulnerable groups in Syria, currently some 300,000 persons of Kurdish origin, is of particular concern to me," Grover said in a statement issued at a news conference in Damascus.

"Originally, over 100,000 persons of Kurdish origin were rendered stateless by decree in 1962, and as a result they have been deprived of the enjoyment of many rights, including the right to health," he said.

Grover said that "access to health care for these vulnerable individuals is seriously hindered."

He noted that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad "has committed to resolve the issue."

"I urge the government to follow up on that resolve, as it otherwise casts a shadow over the many remarkable accomplishments in the context of the enjoyment of the right to health," Grover said.

He refused to make detailed public comments, saying his findings would be presented to the Human Rights Council in June 2011, as part of a detailed report on the human-rights situation in Syria.

In 2007 Assad said that concrete measures would be taken to grant Kurds Syrian nationality. Nearly 2 million Kurds live in Syria, mainly in the north bordering Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan region. They comprise ten percent of the population and have long sought official recognition of the Kurdish language and their culture.

Kurds in Syria also suffer severe discrimination because of their ethnicity. Many of them are denied Syrian nationality and therefore do not receive the full provision of education, employment, health care and other rights enjoyed by Syrian nationals.



Republican People's Party's 'Kurdish opening'

15 November 2010

Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu will visit Diyarbakir next week.

Kilicdaroglu's visit will be the first to the Kurdish region after he was elected leader of the main opposition party in Turkish parliament.

Kilicdaroglu will meet with Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) officials in Ankara on the second day of Aid Al-Atha. He will fly to Diyarbakir on 20th November.

He is expected to carry messages to Kurdish voters about CHP's policy change about Kurdish Question.

BDP officials said that they will welcome the leader of CHP in Diyarbakir. Kurdish mayıs Baydemir will also meet with him at the municipality office.

BPD boycotted Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Diyabakir last September.



Syria: Kurdish attorney sentences to two and a half years imprisonment

14 November 2010

A Kurdish attorney was sentenced to two and a half years of imprisonment for his published articles.

Mustafa Ismail, a Kurdish attorney and writer stand against a military court on November 7. The court sentenced him to seven years imprisonment but reduced it to two and a half years due to mitigating circumstances.

He was convicted of Article 267 in Penal Code which says: Any Syrian who acts, speaks, writes texts or undertakes or tries to undertake similar actions with the purpose of partitioning off a portion of Syrian territory in order to annex it to a foreign state or to provide a foreign state with rights to which the Syrian state alone is entitled, will be punished with a sentence of no less than five years in prison. 



Iran detains three women lawyers

14 November 2010

Iranian authorities have arrested three women lawyers at an airport in Tehran after they arrived on a flight from Turkey, media reported on Sunday.

The three detained at Imam Khomeini airport Saturday were identified as Sara Sabaghian, Maryam Kianersi and Maryam Karbasi, reformist newspapers Arman and Shargh said, without providing further details.

Sabaghian reportedly represented a detained opposition blogger and Kianersi was on the defence team of Kobra Najjar, a woman sentenced to death by stoning who was acquitted and freed about two years ago.

Several human rights lawyers have been targeted in Iran's ongoing crackdown on dissent, which saw scores of activists, journalists and government critics jailed since the disputed 2009 presidential election and the ensuing unrest.



Ocalan called for creation of a Truth Commission

14 November 2010

Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan called for creation of a "Truth Commission" to end the 30 year old armed conflict between Turkey and the PKK.

He said the guerilla forces may withdraw to South Kurdistan only if the "Truth Commission" become functional and a reconciliation is reached between Turks and Kurds.

During his weekly meeting with his lawyers Ocalan said he wants to end the armed conflict in principle. But the creation and work of a "Truth and Reconcialition Commission" is vital to move the peace process forward he insisted.

He said the creation of such a commission is possible only if the Turkish parliament takes initiative.

He pointed the experience in South Africa where the "Truth and Reconcialition Commission" led by prominent cleric Desmond Tutu played a key role in peace building process.

Ocalan mentioned the commission can be on the agenda of the negotiations which are held by Turkish officials with him in Imralı High Security Prison. Ocalan said if the negotiations processes he might help to withdraw Kurdish guerillas to South Kurdistan.

"Everybody has to acknowledge that the decision to withdraw guerilla forces is a critical decision. Nobody can take responsibilty for this decision except me" Ocalan added.

Ocalan there is no agreement between him and Turkish officials about withdrawing Kurdish guerillas.

He said Kurdistan Workers Party's (PKK) and Peace and Democracy Party's (BDP) public messages carry a significant importance in the peace process.

He called the Kurdish politicians who are standing trial in so-called KCK case "political hostages" and said Turkish state is trying to degenerate Kurdish legal movement.

He also gave support to the Kurdish politicians who insist to speak Kurdish at the courtroom.

152 prominent Kurdish politicians are standing trial in Diyarbakir for being a member of an illegal organization. They demand to make their defense speeches in Kurdish which Turkish judges repeatedly denied.

Ocalan also called for creation of a democratic autonomy constitution and said that Kurds need to organize themselves in every aspect to govern themselves.

Ocalan said "democratic autonomy" is a self-governing model for Kurdish people.



BDP officials sentenced to prison for propaganda

13 November 2010

Head of the Van provincial office of Democratic Society Party (DTP) Muhittin Aksin who transferred BDP after DTP was banned by the constitutional court and Member of BDP Party Assembly M. Zahir Sarıtaş have been given 10 month-imprisonment on account of disseminating propaganda for an outlawed organisation.

Aksin and Sarıtaş both spoke at the opening ceremony of the BDP office in Van during which the DTP mayor also transferred to BDP. Following the ceremony they were both prosecuted. Van Heavy Criminal Court Nr. 4 sentenced each defendant to 10-month imprisonment. Muhittin Aksin reacted against the judgment and said he spoke Kurdish at the ceremony and his speech was translated wrong by the police. Although he said this before the court his objection was rejected by the court panel. He further said that the judiciary in Turkey is political rather than legal and he will appeal the judgement.



Germany wants to deport a Kurdish girl for a slogan

13 November 2010

A 18 year-old Kurdish girl, who joined a demonstration when she was 13 and chanted slogan “Biji Serok Apo - Long live our leader Apo”, is seen as “dangerous” for Germany. The young girl, who was the subject of a investigation at a police office, is now facing the danger of being deported.

Leyla (her name was changed as she is minor) has been living in Nürnberg city of Germany with her family for many years. She was declared as “unwanted refugee” by the Immigration and Refugee Office. Leyla is considered as guilty for chanting “Biji Serok Apo” slogan at a demonstration when she was 13.

Leyla’s residence permit wasn’t extended when she was filed by police and now she is aimed to be deported by German authorities. Regardless of Leyla’s good German knowledge and her occupational training, Immigration and Refugee Office acted with regard to the “dangerous” list of police.


Pointing out that the Immigration and Refugee Office gave an arbitrary decision, Leyla’s lawyer Hubert Heinhold said; “It was ignored that Leyla joined a demonstration at an under age. Furthermore, Leyla’s being declared as “unwanted refugee” results from her mother’s being a political refugee”.

Civil society organizations and human rights institutions have started various campaigns since Leyla’s situation was reflected to German media. The campaign “Let Leyla be given her residence permit” is already drawing intense interest.

The spokesman of the campaign Markus Schuler, expressed the attitude of authorities as “irratioanality”. Remarking that it is unacceptable to deport Leyla to Turkey alone, Schuler said; “Our acts will continue until Leyla is given residence permit”.

Demonstrators came together today in front of the Immigration and Refugee Office for Leyla and called the authorities not to deport the young girl.

It was reported Leyla’s mother moved to Germany in 2002 with her daughter and applied for taking refuge when she received a sentence in Turkey.



ECHR in defence of 1980 coup

13 November 2010

The European Court of Human Rights found the application against the impunity for the junta regime in Turkey inadmissible that came to power following the military coup of 12 September 1980.

Reacting against the inadmissibility of the Court Lawyer Kazım Genç said: “Since the negotiations between Turkey and EU started on 14 January 2005 Turkey and EU got closer which also affected the Court decision. ECHR is standing by the Turkish state against the victim citizens. This decision also means that the Court stands by Turkey against the victims of the coup.”

The Federation of the 1978 Generation held a press conference concerning their application against the putschers of military coup of 12 September 1980 which was found inadmissible by the European Court of Human Rights. Speaking at the conference the president of the federation Hüseyin Esentürk said after the decision from the Turkish Court of Appeals which stated that putschers cannot be held responsible legally of financially and therefore no investigation can be launched against them, the federation exhausted the domestic remedies and took the case before the ECHR on 5 September 2007. “The Court pronounced its decision 3 years later on 7 October 2010. The decision is based on Article 35/3 of the Convention.” added Esentürk.

Esentürk futher stated that with the recent referendum on constitution the interim article 15 of the constitution which was the obstacle before bringing the putschers before a court has been lifted. He also wanted the parliament and the government fulfil their responsibilities. “Prosecutor of the Court of Appeals should take this constitutional amendment into consideration and re-launch the investigation against putschers.” added Esentürk.

Speaking at the conference Lawyer Kazım Genç said the Court rejected the decision on account of the fact that trying putchers is not a right protected by the Convention. “This state has not been tried for the 30 years and we are victims. However, the negotiations started with the EU have also affected the approach of the Court. Such a decision means supporting Turkey against the victims of the military coup.”



A Scot gone missing in Mount Ararat

13 November 2010

A Scot who was on a solo expedition to find the reported site of Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat gone missing since 20 September.

A friend called Musa who lives in a village at the foot of Mount Ararat raised the alarm after Mr Mackenzie failed to return as expected. Mr Mackenzie normally travels to the mountain every year to pursue his quest.

The mountain is one of the most difficult climbs in Turkey, at a height of 5882 meters and its slopes have claimed many lives

There are reports in Scottish press that PKK guerillas might kidnapped Donald Mackenzie but there is no such statement from the PKK.

In the past PKK guerillas held some tourists but made statements almost immidiately and released all shortly.

Mount Ararat, near Turkey's eastern borders with Iran and Armenia, is believed by some to be the final resting place of Noah's Ark. Mr Mackenzie has dedicated much of his life to uncovering the secrets of the legendary ark.



Music is an emergency brake for me’

13 November 2010

Ruşen Alkar, who makes music with Street Orchestra, says 'music is an emergency brake for me' She wants to convey her music to her audience without being a part of the music industry. She also wants to form a globetrotting orchestra and sing in all world languages…

Ruşen Alkar doesn’t prefer to be “visible” in music market although she has been making music for years now. She now makes music with Street Orchestra. She appears in festivals and sings at protest actions with her new music friends. We talked with Alkar about her music, her plans and why she is not visible.

Having started her music life in Diyarbakır Fine Arts High School, Alkar received musical training in Dokuz Eylül University and now doing her doctorate at Fine Arts Faculty.


Alkar says “The thing that started in primary school and will never end” about music. She underlines that she makes music with an amateur soul and doesn’t describe herself as professional. “I want to make music with an amateur soul to not turn it into something senseless when I earn money from it. I am trying not to earn money from music”.

Ruşen Alkar is a music teacher and earns her living by teaching.

With her description “emergency brake”, Alkar in fact summarizes her relation with music; “Music is something like an emergency brake for me. The reaction of what I take into my inner world from outside. Something that results from my deficiency in expressing my feelings, something that arises completely out of my control. I have never planned to make a song of my feelings and compose them. It is a feeling that erupts itself, something like reflex”.


Besides playing guitar and singing on the stage, Ruşen Alkar also composes songs, one of which is Girl Without Mother in Kurdish; “Why are you waiting for me mum/ I don’t know how to live/ how to learn/ I am in an useless worry/ no time here/ no piece here/ as you always said/a girl without mother is like a mountain without paths”.

Alkar tells the story of her composition as follows; “It was a song about personal loneliness. A girl without mother is like a mountain without paths, was a Kurdish expression my mum would use often. I wanted to make these words permanent as they are quite important for me. I wrote it in one of my bad days in Diyarbakır”.


Ruşen Alkar is not planning to make an album in future. She tells the reasons as follows; “I don’t have any dream about being discovered or making an album. I have been making music for a long time now. I met many production companies and saw what a degenerate surrounding they have. There exists a music sector where music and musicians are used as consumable items and I don’t want to be a product of that. For myself, I can’t think of a life style where I stroll about to help production companies earn. In addition, it is not necessary to make an album in a period where music spreads so fast via internet”.


Well, what are her plans? Alkar answers this question by telling her dream; To form an orchestra like the Street Orchestra I am making music now. In all corners of the world, to make the music that reflects the culture of world people. To found an orchestra that I will be able to take enjoy with while making music”.

Translation: Berna Özgencil



Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Five executions in Iran

Tuesday, 09 November 2010

GONBED KAWUS, Iran, -- According to ISNA News Agency the Iranian officials executed five prisoners in Gonbed Kawus Detention.

Over the course of last month, mass executions of the Iranian people have taken a sharp increase.

According to statistic, over 30 prisoners have been executed in the last month. These statistics however do not include the covert executions carried out in the Iranian prisons.

256 people have been executed since the beginning of this year.


Iranian militaries killed a Kurdish worker

Monday, 08 November 2010

SERDESHT, Eastern Kurdistan, -- The Iranian Revolutionary Guards shot down another Kurdish worker who was working on the pseudo-borders of Kurdistan. (Iran- Iraqi borders)

Reof Ibrahim Hesen from the village Mela Shex in Serdeshit District was shot dead by the Iranian Militaries while he was making his way between the villages of Dele and Bewran, report said on Monday.

On the one hand the Iranian Regime forces Kurdish people into unemployment and the consequent poverty, on the other hand it will offer them jobs as collaborates and in mercenary positions. Those who refuse to undertake these jobs are deemed to suffer poverty or forced to work as what the Iranian Regime calls as “smugglers” on the borders.

“I refused to work in Military Corps, I refused to work as a collaborator or in mercenary positions, I could not stand up taking up arms against my people, I could not stand up committing treason against my people, and thus I forcefully decided working on the borders to make the livings since I have 4 children. But the Iranian Military Forces label us as smugglers and they shoot us as soon as they spot us on the borders. I’d rather to be killed than to commit treason and take up arms against my people, Ako a Kurdish worker said”

Mustafa Ismail sentenced in the Criminal Military Court in Aleppo

November 8, 2010 by sks

Syrian Committee for Human Rights – MAD, Kurdish Organization for Defending Human Rights and Public Freedoms in Syria – DAD, Human Rights Organization in Syria – MAF and Kurdish Committee for Human Rights in Syria – al-Rased report that Mustafa Ismail was sentenced at the Criminal Military Court in Aleppo, on Sunday 7 November 2011, in case no. 790 of 2010. The lawyer and writer was sentenced to seven years imprisonment under Articles 267 and 278 of the Syrian Penal Code. His sentence was reduced to two and a half years.
International Support Kurds in Syria Association – SKS joins with the Syrian Committee for Human Rights – MAD, Kurdish Organization for Defending Human Rights and Public Freedoms in Syria – DAD, Human Rights Organization in Syria – MAF, and Kurdish Committee for Human Rights in Syria – al-Rased organizations to very strongly condemn this unjust sentence issued against the writer and lawyer, Mustafa Ismail. They consider the arrest and sentencing to be an arbitrary denial of his right to express his views, and to be a clear violation of the Declaration on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, adopted and proclaimed by the General Assembly Resolution 52/144 on 12 September 1998, specifically in articles 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. This procedure is an expression of the insistence of the Syrian authorities that they will move forward to continue their violation of the simplest of public freedoms. The prosecution of writers and political activists and human rights activists, civil society and those interested in public affairs in Syria conflicts with Syria’s international commitments on human rights through the ratification of relevant international conventions.
These organisations call upon the Syrian government to close the file on the trial and drop all charges against the writer and lawyer, Mustafa Ismail. They call for the trial of Syrian citizens in front of special courts to be stopped, including military trials, because this violates a person’s right to a fair trial; and they call for the commitment of the Syrian government to all international agreements on human rights that have been signed and ratified.
They call for the commitment of the Syrian government to recommendations of the Commission on Human Rights in its 84th session, July 2005, and in particular the sixth paragraph on non-compliance with the provisions of the International Covenant in relation to civil and political rights during a state of emergency – Article 4. They ask that these rights are respected, including Articles 9, 14, 19 and 22, and paragraph 12 of these recommendations, which require the State Party (Syria) to immediately release all persons detained due to activities in the field of human rights, and to put an end to all practices of harassment and intimidation against the defenders of rights.
They call for the Syrian Government to take urgent measures to revise all legislation that restricts the activities of human rights organizations, and legislation in relation to the State of Emergency, which must not be used as a pretext for the suppression of activities designed to promote and protect human rights.
7 November 2010
Previous reports:

A Syrian asylum seeker is to be forcibly deported to Syria tomorrow - By Hassan Shahanov

The Danish authorities continue to forcibly return rejected asylum seekers, as the Danish police plans to forcibly deport Abed Mohamad Atto to Syria tomorrow at 6:00 am. Atto is presently locked in the closed section of Sandholm camp and has been there for more than 2 weeks,

The 28 year-old Abed Mohamad Atto was one of the Thirty Kurds from Syria, who went on hunger strike for eighteen days at Christiansborg Castle Square (Danish parliament) last month to stop deportations to Syria.

Abed came to Denmark in August 2009 and sought asylum and was finally rejected in May 2010. He sympathized with the banned Kurdish party PYD and this is confirmed by PYD party in Denmark.

Abed Mohamad Atto `s identity and political point of view is known and have been exposed with photos in Facebook, YouTube, websites, Roj TV, Lorry TV, and many different Danish news papers.

In Syria, the ruling regime threatened the hunger strikers' families among others Abed Atto Muhammad `s family. In case of expulsion of Abed to Syria, we foresee an immediate arrest on arrival for direct incarceration included torture, then he will very likely be convicted by a military tribunal according to paragraphs § 267, § 278, §287 and §288 of the Syrian penal code The 28 year-old Syrian Kurd Abed can thus run the risk of life imprisonment with prosecutors as a member of an illegal organization and to disseminate false and exaggerating information about Syria.

The 20 year-old Syrian Kurd Adnan, who were forcibly deported from Denmark in late September, was led away in handcuffs directly from the airport in Syria, still sits in an undisclosed prison. This fate most likely awaits Abed Atto Mohamad as well.

"We therefore urge the Danish authorities to stop the planned forced deportation of Abed Mohamad Atto, as our experience tells us that especially PYD members and sympathizers face heavy prison sentences for their political work," Says Said Parvin who daily helps asylum seekers and continues "political active Kurds are a very vulnerable group with daily arrests, imprisonment with torture and disappearances in Syria."

With this background, the requirement for the Danish Government is to explain the contents of the agreement on force deportation, signed with the Syrian authorities, to the Danish public and what guarantees the Syrian authorities have given in order not to use torture with this deported refugees?
The Danish authorities have previously (in good faith) expelled rejected asylum seekers, who then in their home once again became victims of a prolonged and cruel torture. So the Danish authorities have made fatal misjudgments and should preferably not come to more of that kind.

Urgent Request concerning; Abed Atto's case is sent to the Ministry of Integration, Refugee Board and the Immigration Service to stop the planned deportation and thereby spare his life.

The forgotten People: Kurds in Syria


You are kindly invitedto our forthcoming KSSO and Kurdish Society at SOAS (KSSOAS)

The state of statelessness, rightlessness and systematic marginalization of the Kurds in today's Syria


Ms. Sheila Mosley, Co-chair of SKS International support of Kurds in Syria
Mr. Alan Semo, Independent Researcher

Date/time: 19th November 2010 @19:00

Venue: School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (SOAS), room B 104, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG

Organised by Kurdish Studies and Students Organization and Kurdish Society at SOAS

Seminar Abstract

This seminar will focus on marginalization of Kurds in Syrian since its establishment in 1946. The Kurds in Syria have been subjected to discriminatory practices for decades. The exclusive ethno-centric Arab nation-building project also officially called the Arab republic of Syria has denied other ethnic and cultural groups equal and law full existence. The Census in 1962 deprived 100,000 thousands of Kurds to become citizens and they are now de-jure stateless. This means they are not allowed to own property, or to work within the state institutions, they have been denied education in their own culture, they do not qualify for state aid, and they cannot travel as they have no documents.

Furthermore about the marginalization policies of Syrian state against the Kurds their land rights have been abused and the Kurdish areas have been raised, through the state giving strips of land to Arabs in order to break up the Kurdish geographical and cultural cohesion. The latest discriminatory law - Decree 49 - implemented on 10/09/2008 makes it a condition that in the Kurdish areas, a license must be obtained for building, renting, selling, and buying property but licenses are not given to Kurds. This is affectively destroying one of the key sources of income for Kurdish families, that is to say, the construction industry. This policy is forcing Kurds to move out of their area into the cities through poverty.

Moreover about Syrian state fight against the Kurdish culture and heritage a systematic cultural attack practiced daily attempting to undermine the use of Kurdish language, for example, Kurdish shopkeepers are threatened with closure if they use the Kurdish language on the shop frontage, Kurdish children are not allowed to have Kurdish names – and these names would not be registered. Cultural rights are being abused: Newroz is the Kurdish celebration of New Year, and takes place on 20/21 March. It is recorded that in 2008 and 2010, people were killed in the street whilst celebrating Newroz,

The economic and welfare rights of the Kurds have been abused: the Kurdish area are being affected by drought due to climate change, and the natural water that would have flowed to the area from Turkey is being rerouted into Turkey which has resulted in the agricultural industry being decimated as the land is becoming barren. People are suffering, and although international aid is being given to the Syrian Government, there is as yet no evidence that this aid is reaching Kurdish families. The UN Rapporteur for food rights recently raised this issue with the Syrian authorities. People without citizenship are not entitled to food aid.

Political rights are being abused: There are no legal Kurdish political parties in Syria. They are all banned. There has been a state of emergency since 1963, ostensibly to counter a threat from Israel; however, it is used to make arbitrary arrests and to imprison political activists indefinitely without trial. Sentences given to political activists by the courts are disproportionate and this system is designed to create fear in those who wish to challenge the Government. The UN Committee on Torture in May was highly critical of the Syrian Government for its use of torture on prisoners, and in particular on political prisoners.

Relevant reports abut the abuse of human rights in Syria are available from Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, UN, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the Home Office, Kurdish Human Rights Project.


The UK Kurdish Studies & Student Organisation is a non-political body that strives to promote greater awareness of the Kurds, their political and cultural situation in the Middle East and as a significant minority community in the UK.


Kurdish Culture-Art and Literature Conference

Kurdish Academy of Language

‘National Unity for Developing a Democratic National Culture’

The first Kurdish culture, art and literature conference will be held on 11-12 December in Amed. For the first time in the history of our people, Kurdish intellectuals, writers and artists are going to discuss the historical resources, current situation and future perspective of the Kurdish culture. This conference will be not only a historical step for the Kurdish people but also a conscientious, moral and political responsibility for the Middle East Peoples and Humanity. No doubt, such a conference will also be a great contribution in the struggle to achieve freedom and human values for our people.

The main goal of this conference will be protecting, improving and carying to the future the material and moral values created with a great effort by our people in the historical progress. Cultural values mean existence, life and freedom for every person and people.Based on its rich cultural values, our people have been in the resistance in the territory of Kurdistan for thousands years, and they have protected their existence and never accepted slavery by insisting on freedom. Kurds, as one of the people improved neolitic agriculture and village revolution, have contributed to the sacred cultural values of humanity such as freedom culture and democracy. They have created the core values of socialization in Mesopotamia defined as the cradle of humanity. The language revolution one of the basic characteristics of socialization developed here and Kurdish language is one of the history’s most ancient languages. Kurdish people created a live culture by building villages, the first area of social life, and developing a culture of agriculture. All of these features have created a powerful lifestyle and identity. The Kurdish People has been a carrier of democratic communal culture with its language,identity, lifestyle, belief system and historical geography. And today, they also claim to be the dynamic power of the democratic civilization.

Throughout history, the sovereign powers that ignored the Kurdish community’s great contribution to humanity have been in continous assault against Kurdish cultural values. Kurdistan has witnessed continous wars as a fundemental area of civilization and life. The Kurds have been in continous resistance against them and in search of protecting their existence. At this point, The Kurdish people are faced with two major danger. The first is cultural decimation applications carried out by the hegemonic powers of the globalized world against local and ethnic communities and the second is destruction and denial policies of the solid-nation systems.The Kurdish culture has been greatly affected by these two danger and still affected by them.

In spite of all these attacks,the first Kurdish culture-art and literature conference will strengthen the democratic national unity through national cultural debates and reinforce the solidarity and sharing between Kurds. Based on the historical heritage of the Kurds and Kurdistan reality, it will only be provided with cultural, historical and spiritual unity. The Kurds have to ensure this national spirit and unity.For Kurds there are suitable conditions of this now and the historical, social flow and development support it.Kurdish intellectuals, writers and artists within the boundaries of four countries and compelled to live in different parts of the world will come together in the spirit and awareness of a democratic nation.And this will be the main effort to develop national unity in addition to providing great morale to our people.

Discussions and evaluation on the Kurdish art and literature are needed as well as the debates on culture, history, community. It is necessary to make discussions of art and literature with the questions such as ‘What are the resources of our art and literature? What are their problems today? What is our level of artistic and literary production in spite of a very strong cultural, historical resources? Is it at the point of meeting social needs?’

The Kurdish intellectuals, writers, artists such as Ehmedé Xani, Baba Tahiré Uryan, Melayé Ciziri, Hémin, Fatma Isa, Apé Musa, Cegerxwin, Osman Sebri, Eyşe Şan, İbrahim Ehmed, Héjar, Qanaté Kurdo who are the roots and source of the Kurdish culture, art and literary history contributed great values to our social existence. As a result, the heirs and follwers of these respectable Kurdish intellectuals, writers, and artists have to protect and develop their memories and values. We beleive that this conference will take an important place in the history of our people.

Our conference will be hosted by the co-presidents of the Congress of Democratic Society (DTK), Mr. Ahmet Türk and Mrs. Aysel Tuğluk and on behalf of the Mesopotamian Cultural Centers, Mr. Genim İldan and Mrs. Rojda Şenses. Our conference is also supported by the co-presidents of Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), Mr. Selahattin Demirtaş, Mrs. Gülten Kışanak and the mayor of Diyarbakır Metropolitan, Mr. Osman Baydemir

Our conference’s being successfull and playing its historical role will be possible with the powerful participation of Kurdish intellectuals, artists, and writers. The everything will be said, every evaluation will be made will take a great place in the history of our people. With this aim, we invite all Kurdish intellectuals and artists to the national Kurdish culture art and literature conference which will be held on the 11-12 of December in Diyarbakir.

Tel: 0507 785 45 16
Fax: 0412 251 93 91

Discussions Topics:

A. History of Kurdish Culture, social realities / resource

-As a second nature improvement and acculturation of society, orginality of Kurdistan geography
-In the Kurdish nation history neolithic era (the role of woman); language and culture revolution
-Moral and material values which created Kurdish identity
B.Kurdish Culture, language and literature’s development processes and current situation / The problems they have /Solution perspective
-Industrialization of culture/ cultural values which are commodfied
-Ruler nation state’s cultural slaughter policies / Assimilation and Alienation
-Democratic Kurds Nationalization and importance of Kurdish language
- Contemporary Kurdish Literature / the problems they have and basement of solution
C. Current situation of Kurdish Art/improvement of social art and social enlightenment
-In the progressing national cultural values art branches freedom and aesthetic criterias
-Culture, art and media relations
D. Ethic, Politic- Intellectual Responsibilities of Artist and Intellectual
-Importance of national unity; mission of Kurdish intellectuals and artists

BDP's Yildiz spoke Kurdish at the Turkish parliament

10 November 2010

Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputy parliamentary group chairmand Bengi Yıldız spoke Kurdish during his party's group meeting at the Turkish parliament.

Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputy parliamentary group chairmand Bengi Yıldız spoke Kurdish during his party's group meeting at the Turkish parliament.

In his speech Yildiz criticized the treatment of Kurdish as an unknown language by the Diyarbakır 6th High Criminal Court in the ongoing trial of 152 prominent Kurdish politicians.

The judges turned off the microphones of the defendants who spoke Kurdish and said “the defendant spoke in an unknown language” for the record.

Yildiz said that all BDP MP's will speak Kurdish everywhere necessary until its understood that the language they speak is Kurdish.

Yıldız also directed criticisms to the Kurdish deputies in the ranks of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) for remaining silent over the treatment of Kurdish as an “unknown language” at the Diyarbakır court.

“On every occasion, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recalls that there are 75 Kurdish deputies in the AK Party. I criticized the failure of any of the 75 Kurdish deputies in the AK Party to oppose to the Diyarbakır’s court naming Kurdish as an ‘unknown language.’ This is sufficient cause to be ashamed of those AK Party deputies.” he said.

When asked whether BDP deputies will also speak in Kurdish in the Parliament’s general assembly, Yıldız said, “We will speak in Kurdish wherever it is necessary.”

The public use of Kurdish was prohibited in Turkey following a 1980 military coup and the ban was in place until 1991.



NGO's called government to ease restrictions on Ocalan

09 November 2010

639 NGO's called the Turkish government to ease restrictions on Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan

693 non-governmental organizations released a statement after a meeting in Diyarbakır and called Turkish governmen to ease restrictions on Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan.

The NGO's from Kurdish cities said Ocalan's role is important in peace building in Turkey and Turkish government should let him participate in the peace process.

NGO representatives also gave support to Kurdish politicians who are standing on trial and called for establishment of a Truth and Reconcialition Commission to investiga unlawful killings during Turkey-PKK conflict.

The statement also called for a bilateral ceasefire and said that the military operations against the Kurdish guerillas should stop.

The NGO's set eight conditions in their statement:

* The Turkish goverment should recognise the rights of Kurdish politicians who are standing trial in Diyarbakır, to defend themselves in their mother language during trial. For a peaceful solution to the Kurdish Question the restrictions on Kurdish languages should be lefted immidiately.

* The military operation should stop. The Anti-Terror Law should be lifted and all the anti-democratic laws should be reformed

* The negotiations with Abdullah Ocalan, who -we believe that- can play a positive role for finding a solution to the Kurdish Question, and other political powers should continue and the government must pave their way for their participation to the peace process.

* The 10 percent election threshold must be lowered

* A Truth and Reconcialition Commission should be formed in order to investigate unlawful killings in the past.

* The preparations for a new democratic constitution should start immidiately

* We believe that all political powers should see how important PKK's ceasefire is.

* The historical chance for finding a solution to the Kurdish Question must not be wasted. These demands are all just demands and satisfies the hopes of Kurdish people living in the region.

The NGO's statement came after PKK's extension of ceasefire on 1 November 2010.

PKK declared an unilateral ceasefire on 13 August after a call from Abdullah Ocalan and the NGO's. It extended the ceasefire period for two times.



Suspicious deaths of soldiers on the rise in Turkish army

09 November 2010

There is an increase in suspicious death of soldiers during military service in Turkish army.

There is a serious increase in the number of soldier deaths which are expressed as “accidental shoot”, “suicide” or “fell out of the berth” by Turkish army.

While the suspicious soldier deaths have not been demystified yet, the latest death news is about 2 months soldier Uğur Koç, who is said to have lost his life with a bullet hitting his body during training.

Koç family, who sent their son from İstanbul to his military service 2 months ago, received the death news of their son yesterday. The family was told that their son lost his life during training with a bullet of an unidentified gun. The family, who was shocked with the news, was told that their son was taken to Süleyman Demirel University Medicine Faculty Hospital but he couldn’t be saved.

It was stated that an investigation has been opened to find out whose gun the bullet belongs to. It is not so hard to guess the result of the investigation about garment industry worker Koç’s murder because none of the investigations opened about previous soldier deaths, was carried out seriously.

While Koç’s body is expected to İstanbul today, his family expressed that the death of their son is suspicious.

TRANSLATION: Berna Ozgencil



Anti-terror law victims quitting school

09 November 2010

Kurdish children who have been imprisoned with terror crimes face police pressure at school which makes them leave the school.

Although the Kurdish children who have been imprisoned and charged with terror crimes merely on account of stoning the police in demonstration have been released, they face police pressure at school which makes them leave the school.

A Kurdish student M.E who was in Diyarbakir E Type Prison for 9 months went back to school upon his release. However, he is facing threats by the police which made him stop going to school. The father Ihsan Ekdi stated that they are worried about the situation.

The Father Ekdi said that his son who is at 9th year, have been stopped by the police on his way to the school and threatened. “In the last month plain cloth police officers have several times stopped my son in this way to the school and said that they are watching him. This happened to him at least 3 times. We are worried that the police will do something to our son” added the anxious father.

The father further stated that police is intimidating on purpose so that they can control them. He also stated that the harassment from the police has depressed their son who does not want to go to school anymore. “Our son is not going to school for 20 days. We are worried about what they are trying to do. Will have jail him again?” said the father.

Another victim of anti-terror law F.Y who was in prison for 8 months was again detained last week after their house was raided. The father Mehmet Yakar stated that their house was raided at 5 a.m and his son was kept in custody for 48 hours. He also stated that the police arrested him because he was “wiggling” too much.

Father Yakar further stated that since then his son has been depressed and is not going to school. “He has already lost a year because he was in prison and we don’t wan him lose another year. We are thinking of sending him to Antalya where his brother is living. The situation is depressing all of the family” added father Yakar.



BDP focuses more on mother tongue

09 November 2010

Pro- Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) announced that they will make the right to mother tongue their main policy and will use more Kurdish in their activities in order to make it more visible.

BDP organised a 2-day meeting on Democratic Autonomy and mother tongue in which members of caucus, head of province offices and mayors took part. Co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Gültan Kışanak joined the second day of the meting, upon their return from Kurdistan Federal Region in Iraq where they visited the Regional President Mesud Barzani.

In the course meeting it is decided that the party members will use a mutual jargon regarding the Democratic Autonomy project. It is also stated that DTK will organise a 2-day workshop on the project and how the autonomy composed of 26 provinces can be implemented. The Kurds out of BDP and the democratic Turkish groups will also be consulted about the project in order to establish a mutual front.

It is also decided that mother tongue should be in the centre of BDP’s policy and there BDP will use Kurdish for their political activities. Another workshop on mother tongue will also be held by DTK.

It is reported that BDP will speed up drafting an alternative constitution in conjunction with NGO and other political groups. The draft is expected to be completed in two months.

Talking in the meeting Aysel Tuğluk informed the participants about her visit to Imrali prison where she met imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan, said “the Turkish state has a programme however, it was obstructed by the AKP government.” BDP will intensify its opposition against the AKP.



Karayilan: We are not withdrawing from North Kurdistan

09 November 2010

Kurdistan Workers Party's acting leader Murat Karayilan says its impossible for the guerilla forces withdraw from North Kurdistan.

Kurdistan Workers Party's acting leader Murat Karayilan says its impossible for the guerilla forces withdraw from North Kurdistan.

Turkish press is speculating that PKK accepted Turkey's demand to withdraw its guerilla forces to South Kurdistan (Iraq territories) for some time.

PKK guerillas were withdrawn from North Kurdistan in 1999 after Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan called for a permanent ceasefire. Turkish army continued its operations against the withdrawing guerilla forces.

More than 200 guerillas were killed between 1 August 1999 and 1 August 2000 in Turkish military operations.

Karayilan ruled out any possibilities that will lead to a guerilla withdrawal from North Kurdistan.

“If there is a possibilitly for peace then our guerillas in Dersim will join this process. But they will stay where they are” he said.

Karayilan rejected the calls from Turkish side and said no military withdrawal will help solution of the Kurdish Question.

Karayilan also rejected claims that Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) has connections with the PKK or KCK. He said that TAK is a seperate organization which was formed about 7 years ago and noone can show PKK or KCK responsible for TAK's actions.

A TAK member carried out a bomb attack against a bus full of Turkish police in Istabul's famous Taksim Square. Thirty-two were killed in the attack while the attacker was killed by the explosion.



Turkish court decided to remove Kurdish names from road signs

09 November 2010

Turkish State Council decided to remove Kurdish names of the villages in Diyarbakır from the road signs.

Kurdish names of the villages and towns were added to road signs with the decision of Diyarbakir Cıty Council last year.

But the Diyarbakir directorate objected the decision and appealed the State Council.

Turkish State Council yesterday decided to remove all the road signs which includes Kurdish names of the villages and towns.

The Council's statement said that the road signs with the Kurdish names would cause problems for services like post and transport.

In Kurdish region names of all towns and cities were changed after creation of the Turkish Republic in 1923.

Kurdish mayors from Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) started an initiative and added Kurdish names of towns and villages to road signs.

Last year Turkish president called Guroymak district of Bitlis in its name in Kurdish, Norsin. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan used the name “Dersim” in a speech at the Turkish Parliament referring traditional name of Tunceli.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Increase of arbitrary arrest and torture in Iranian prisons

Saturday, 06 November 2010 20:21

AHWAZ, Iran, -- Strings of arbitrary arrest and inhuman tortures of political and civil activists are notably increasing, local reports said.

According to HRANA News Agency Jahangir Mahmudi, first class lawyer was summoned to Ahwaz High Court.

Iranian High courted had previously charged Mr. Mahmudi with fabrication and false publication to corrupt public opinions and to jeopardise social security, report said.

Isa Khan Hatemi another civil activist was summoned to the Revolutionary Court.

Ali Qolizade, a human right activist was arrested in his house by the Iranian Intelligent Agents.

Mine explosion injured a Kurdish worker

Sunday, 07 November 2010

MERIWAN, Eastern Kurdistan, -- The mines implanted by the Iranian Islamic Regime has taken lives of thousands of innocent people in Eastern Kurdistan.

Muslih from the village of Bilche Sur of Meriwan District lost his leg as the result of mine implanted by the Revolutionary Guards, report said on Saturday.

Not only the Iranian Regime is not taking any step to clear off the regions from the mines implanted during the Iran-Iraq war, but they have implanted thousands of mines to fight the Kurdish resistance movement.

The mines implanted by the Islamic Regime of Iran are taking lives of innocent people in Eastern Kurdistan.

Kurdish Rebels: The Qandil Mountains

By Jonathan Spyer

It is in these mountains that the guerrillas of the Parti Karkeren Kurdistan (PKK) live and wage their 26-year-old war against Turkey. They offer ideal terrain for guerrilla fighters. Accessible only through a network of narrow, near impenetrable passes, the mountains serve as a launching ground for the PKK and the allied Iranian Kurdish PEJAK into their respective areas of operation.

The PKK is waging a struggle in these mountains for autonomy and recognition for the Turkish Kurds. The Qandil area has become a little known but crucial window into the complex strategic arrangements that dominate today’s Middle East.

Founded in 1978, the PKK began its armed campaign against the Turkish authorities in 1984. The Turkish military responded with ferocity. In the 1984-99 period, around 30,000 people lost their lives in the conflict. The Turks destroyed more than 3,000 Kurdish villages. The capture of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan in 1999 led to a sharp downturn in the movement’s fortunes.

Turkish governments failed to address Kurdish grievances following the capture of Ocalan. So from its base in Qandil, the PKK slowly rebuilt itself.

Relations between the Erbil-based Kurdish regional government and the PKK are complex.
The KRG has created the most stable and peaceful part of Iraq. The Kurdish regional capital has the feel of a boomtown, with new malls, hotels and office blocks springing up all over the city.

The cautious, pragmatic Iraqi Kurdish leadership has little in common with the ideologues of the PKK. At the same time, the Erbil leadership is unwilling to undertake any drastic measures that would be necessary to remove the movement from its mountain fastness in Qandil.

As a result, the government uneasily tolerates both the presence of the PKK, and the Turkish and Iranian bombings, which this presence brings about.

The Fighters

The fighters are all very young, none of them much over 20. Nearly all of them from the villages of southeast Turkey.

They had signed up with the PKK for the duration, no longer able to reenter Turkey, living all year round in the mountains, constantly in motion to avoid the probing Turkish drones.
The PKK fighters looked young and fresh-faced, but there is every reason to believe that they would put up a fierce and capable resistance to any Turkish attempt to move in force against them. They are familiar with the terrain, well skilled in guerrilla tactics, and fiercely devoted to the organization and its overall leader, the jailed Abdullah Ocalan.

The PKK elected to unilaterally continue its cease-fire for a further month after September 20. The organization may well be hoping to benefit from the widespread disillusionment felt by the Kurds of Turkey with Erdogan’s perceived failure to deliver on early promises. Such a path requires patience and political organization, not militancy alone.

The Road Ahead

The PKK has abandoned its dreams of a large Kurdish state and today says it seeks only autonomy and language rights for Kurds in Turkey. It has no interest in provoking the Turkish government to a point where a large-scale incursion into the Qandil mountains would become inevitable.

From the Turkish point of view, too, such an incursion would ultimately solve little. And for as long as the basic issue of the Turkish Kurds and their status remains unresolved, the PKK would be likely to organize and rise again.

So for the moment, at least, the stark Qandil Mountains are likely to continue to play host to the isolated but formidable insurgent movement that currently dominates them. The PKK’s cease-fires may continue to come and go. The growing Turkish-Iranian alliance will do its best to make life as unpleasant as possible for the movement’s militants in their mobile bases on the peaks. The Kurdish regional government will go on developing further south, and looking nervously at its uninvited Kurdish compatriots in the mountains.

There seems to be no end in sight. The beautiful, blighted border zone of Qandil will be ringing to the sound of gunfire, the shouts of insurgents and the periodic thunder of Turkish aircraft and Iranian cannons, largely out of earshot of a largely indifferent world, for a long time to come.

Revised version of article by Jonathan Spyer, Senior fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center. October 22, 2010.

Gorran Party’s withdrawal from Kurdistani Coalition: Victory or defeat?

By Mufid Abdulla


In March 2010 when the Gorran Party won 8 seats in the Iraqi Parliament; this was their main hopes and their ideas had accomplished a considerable boost by crossing the border of Kurdistan to Baghdad; Gorran’s voice could now be heard. It wasn’t too long before the Gorran Party decided to participate in the Kurdistani Coalition consisting of all other Kurdish parties and MP’s in Baghdad. Gorran and their mass of people hoped for better handling of the KDP and PUK, so that they could deliver the message which they had promised their people in the election.

Gorran has established the blue print for political and economic reform in the south of Kurdistan. This project of reform was submitted to the KRG and their President of Kurdistan in the middle of August 2010. However, the project as I have seen it was in a local newspaper consisting of only 13 points on an A4 page. Considering the Gorran Movement spent months deploring the injustice of the PUK and KDP, it a real surprise that they could not issue a book or pamphlet on their projects! I was anticipated much better than this brief and quick statement on these issues, which were the reasons why people had voted for Gorran to be elected. My first impression is that Gorran has had a short birth and does not possess a good stomach to fight. Continuously, the good signs of Gorran have been spotted by local papers and they have analysed their differences with the two ruling parties on all issues, such as, (a) transparency about the income of oil in Kurdistan, (b) new rules and regulations for the budget of political parties and © transparency about the committee of combating corruption, while our town and cities are bleeding from it.

With regards to more and more other issues, Gorran have found it difficult to accept the reality of the politics in Kurdistan. Eventually Gorran will find themselves stuck in the middle. Michael Porter, a management guru, warned that “firms that use a mix of strategies to appeal to all customers might end up appealing to none”. Porter’s claim can be applied to the current organisation of Gorran. Therefore, Gorran has a significant reason to worry about itself. Gorran’s priorities are to the people and the striving towards the stability of a democratic society. However, Gorran is shirking its responsibilities.

At the beginning of this month, November 2010, Gorran issued a statement informing that they would be withdrawing from the Kurdish bloc in Baghdad stating that “the KDP and PUK have not made any improvements to the ruling system but they also possess the rules of the whole government for their own purposes and advantages”.

I would like to ask the Gorran Party the following question: what is the meaning of democracy and can democracy and the rule of the people be achieved within a few months in Kurdistan? I would like to remind these Gorran MPs in Baghdad that the former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher fought almost thirty years in order to get her seat in the Houses of Parliament. By withdrawing from the Kurdistani bloc, they are not only weakening the Kurdistani bloc, there is also the danger of isolating Gorran from their own people. At the same time, if you are calling for change how it could be possible to deliver change on your own? What we fight for in Kurdistan is to change the landscape of Kurdish politics in the south of Kurdistan; this is not a one-day surgery attendance as the Gorran Party thought; this is a long fight which requires a long-standing commitment to the democracy movement.

The Gorran Party also encapsulates the dilemma of how centre-left politicians can challenge entrenched centres of power in the long term. In that way the Gorran Party cannot turn political weakness into strength. However, the decision to withdraw the Gorran Party from the Kurdistani bloc is overshadowed by personal anger and hatred towards the KDP and PUK. In fighting for democracy it is not hatred towards your enemy which is the key; you have to be close to your friends but keep your enemies closer. Gorran must break with past and should not think small. This situation might hurt them in local council elections. This will not be easy.

Surely, this is not a victory for Gorran. Not everyone believes that Gorran has got it right. Gorran needs to join the crowds and not stay in isolation. The Gorran Party should adjust themselves to the realities of Kurdistan today. The Gorran Party should not act as a tribal group, but as the leader of urban people. Gorran has promised hope and changes to their people but have delivered neither. The Gorran Party is lacking in self-belief. Gorran needs to become a pragmatist.

Finally, the trouble is that voters have never doubted that Gorran’s heart is in the right place. Gorran’s problem is competence. This time, Gorran’s credibility strategy would have to look different. Gorran should be a seed planter, not a bean counter.

The author can be contacted:

Karayilan: Ceasefire extended after a letter from Ocalan

08 November 2010

PKK's acting leader Murat Karayilan said they extended the unilateral ceasefire against Turkey after receiving a letter from Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan.

PKK's acting leader Murat Karayilan said they extended the unilateral ceasefire against Turkey after receiving a letter from Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan.

Karayilan said it was only possible to extend the ceasefire if Ocalan's power was brought into the process. And as soon as the leadership of the Kurdistan Worker's Party received the 5 page letter they decided to declare a ceasefire until the general elections in June 2011.

"Our leader Ocalan saw the positive attitude of the state or the negotiating team for a solution (for the Kurdish Question) (...) and sent us a letter which calls for extension of unilateral ceasefire" Karayılan said.

He also said that the five conditions should be met by the Turkish state for a peaceful solution to the Kurdish Question.

PKK demanded demanded to stop military and political operations and to release Kurdish politicians who are unjustly detained. The organization also requested to enable imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan's active participation in the process.

According to the PKK, the dialogues should go beyond negotiation. In order to advance the process, the organization suggested establishing an investigative commission into the constitution and to remove the second-to-none election threshold of 10 percent.

Karayilan said that these demands are just and could be met by the Turkish government in the current political climate.

The PKK's acting leader said they also have alternative plans if Turkish government fail to satisfy Kurds and met Kurdish demands.

He said firstly Turkey has to accept the unjust policies which are implemented against Kurdish minority since the creation of Turkish Republic.

"They have to tell Turkish people the reality. They have to tell about the atrocities against the Kurdish people" he said.

"They are calling our leader 'head of the seperatists'. Is this real? Do we want to be seperated from Turkey? No! Since 18 years we are struggling for cultural and identity rights of Kurdish people. (...) We want to solve the Kurdish Question by dialogue."

He called the Turkish government to seize the opportunity for peace and not underestimate the power of the PKK and Kurdish people. Karayilan said they have information about the level of negotiations with Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan and they will have a meeting to discuss about the negotiation points in two months with fellow PKK commanders.

He also added that Turkey did not respond the previous ceasefires declared by the PKK.

Karayilan also accused Turkish media for providing false information about the PKK and Kurdish Question.



Higher court to decide defense in Kurdish

08 November 2010

Diyarbakir 6th High Criminal Court adjourned until a higher court will decide about defendants appeals to make their defense speeches in Kurdish.

Diyarbakir 6th High Criminal Court adjourned until a higher court will decide about defendants appeals to make their defense speeches in Kurdish.

The trial of 152 prominent Kurdish politicians continued today in Diyarbakir. The defendants including a dozen Kurdish mayors are standing trial for accusations of being a member of an illegal organization.

In todays session a Kurdish politician Selma Irmak started to read her 30-page defense in Kurdish. Her microphone was turned off immediately by Turkish judge.

As Kurdish politicians are insisting to make their defense in Kurdish the judge decided to send the appeal to a higher court. The court is adjourned until the 4th High Criminal Court's decision on the right to speak Kurdish in Turkish courts.

The 6th High Criminal court rejected the Kurdish politician's appeals for several times claiming that the defendants can speak Turkish.

The Kurdish politicians are saying that it's their natural right to speak in their mother language at the court.



Kurdish man shot dead in by unknown assailants

08 November 2010

A 23 year old Kurdish man was shot dead Saturday by unknown assailants in Diwandere, East Kurdistan.

Senar Esxeri was returning to his home at Tazed village when he was attacked by a number of assailants with guns. He was shot several times and killed on the scene.

This is the second attack in a week against Kurds.

Another Kurd Abdulrahman Azerbar was also shot dead by unknown assailants in Gweckeder village near Mahabad.

Kurds who are not cooperating with Iranian regime are often targeted by state-sponsored militia groups.



A man went missing after detained by Turkish police

08 November 2010

A 30 year old Kurdish man went missing in Istanbul after detained by three civil policemen 4 days ago.

A 30 year old Kurdish man went missing in Istanbul after detained by three civil policemen 4 days ago.

Necat Shahbudak, was detained by the Turkish police four days ago as he was leaving Yenibeyda Zeliha Hatun Mosque in Bagcilar, Istanbul. Shahbudak called his wife as the policemen were checking his ID with his cellphone and said that he is being detained by the Turkish police and advised him to inform a lawyer about the incident.

The eye-witnesses said Shahbudak shouted "My name is Necat Shahbudak. The policemen are taking me away. Inform my family" as policemen pushed him to the car.

Istanbul Security Directorate confirmed that Necat Shahbudak is in custody when his wife Gullu and his cousin Sami asked about the fate of Necat. The policemen told Gullu that her husband will be standing trial.

But the same policemen denied that Necat was detained and said that they have no information of his whereabouts.

"I am concerned about his life" Gullu said.

Gullu appealed to Human Rights Association (IHD) immediately after. But the Turkish police gave the same answer to IHD's lawyers.

Necat Shahbudak was detained in 2001 and he was left near a lake in Kucukcekmece, Istanbul after being severely tortured for days. He was found by a Kurdish man who took him to his home.

He was also briefly detained in 2006 in Umraniye Police Station.

Shahbudak's village in Tatvan, a district of Bitlis province, was demolished and set on fire by Turkish army in 1992. His family moved to Istanbul where they have been living ever since.

Shahbudak was 12 at that time and he worked as a paper-boy for pro-Kurdish Gundem daily newspaper. He was detained several times by Turkish police and received threats for selling Gundem daily.

He was also attending theatre courses in Mesopotamian Culture Center.

His brother Kerem said Necat was frequently threatened by the police although he was only working for his family in a textile atelier.

IHD lawyers said that they are investigating the incident and will release a report about it later this week.