New research paper: Security, development, and the Greater Anatolia Project

Here we republish a paper by Arda Bilgen for Research Turkey on the relationship between security and development in the context of Turkey’s Greater Anatolia Project, one of the largest river basin development projects in the world and the largest single development project carried out by Turkey. It includes plans to build 22 dams and 19 hydroelectric power plants, all on lands with 90% Kurdish population.

 

THE GREATER ANATOLIA PROJECT (GAP)

A Static Nexus or a Dynamic Network? Rethinking the Security-Development Relationship within the Context of Southeastern Anatolia Project

Abstract

The concepts of security and development have been central to the theory and practice of international affairs. Even though there is little sense of common agreement within both arenas, there is a seeming consensus among international organizations, key think-tanks, and university-based research that security and development are interconnected. Arguably, the political and bureaucratic elite of Turkey has also long assumed that fusing security and development was desirable and would produce positive outcomes. The Southeastern Anatolia Project (Guneydogu Anadolu Projesi, or GAP in its Turkish acronym), the large-scale, multi-sectoral regional development project initiated in early 1980s in Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey, sets a good example as to how the elite has conceived development–GAP in particular–as a complementary means to deal with Turkey’s Kurdish question and to maintain peace and security. This study examines this “nexus” between security and development and discusses the common and contrasting functions of these concepts with specific focus on how they were conceived within GAP framework. The study emphasizes that although it has become fashionable to talk about such a “nexus”, the relationship between security and development is far from being simple, static, and one-dimensional, and linking these concepts do not always lead to positive results. Therefore, the study puts forward an alternative approach and emphasizes that conceiving security-development relationship as a dynamic network of interconnections is a more flexible, inclusive, and fruitful approach.

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Appeal: Support a Democratic Experiment

An appeal by medico international in cooperation with Civaka Azad – Kurdish Centre for Public Relations e.V.

So far, medico alone has provided 100,000  in drug aid for the Kurdish regions, most recently on March 3 in the Syrian-Kurdish border town Kobane. On their website you will find information on this recent activity as well as on their aid projects in other parts of Syria, including the besieged Palestinian district Yarmouk in Damascus or a school project in the city of Erbin in the south of the Syrian capital. Visit the website to find out how you can help.


 

Appeal: Support a Democratic Experiment

The Kurdish region Rojava in Syria needs help!

The events in Syria are an embarrassing human disaster. For four years, we have witnessed the attempts to brutally crush the liberation movement that had erupted so unexpectedly. Consequently, the social upheavals for rights and justice became an armed rebellion which culminated not only into a full-scale civil war in Syria but also into a proxy war between important regional and international powers. But although the promise of democracy has not been fulfilled yet the hegemony of the old Republic of Fear, omnipresent until recently, is broken. And thus, despite everything, unexpected spaces have opened for all those who dared to resist in the name of freedom for themselves and for everyone. Perhaps nowhere is this more apparent than in the Kurdish region in the north of Syria.

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KNK publishes new dossier on Rojava

The Kurdistan National Congress (KNK has published a new information dossier this week on developments in Rojava, Western Kurdistan, and the quest for democratic autonomy in Syria, called A people’s quest for freedom and democratic autonomy. It provides useful background on the historical repression of Syria’ Kurds by the Ba’athist regime, as well as the Kurdish position in the current conflict and threats to Kurdish security from Al-Qaeda affiliated groups. It also details how the Kurdish ‘Third Way’ for Syria, based on principles of democratic autonomy, federalism, ethnic and religious pluralism and gender equality, should be seen as a model for a peaceful and democratic Syria as a whole.

The dossier is available for download from our KNK resources page.

KCK: “We salute and congratulate our people for their great success”

Latest statement from the KCK:
TO OUR PEOPLES AND THE PUBLIC OPINION

Despite all the inequitable and unbalanced conditions, the people of Kurdistan achieved a very important success in the local elections. Due to the newly-ratified metropolitan law they had already lost 22 towns won in the 2009 elections; but they secured a big increase in the number of municipalities by gaining 27 towns more in recent elections. We salute and congratulate our people for their great success in the elections, their recalcitrant resistance in the face of all the repressions and conspiracies of the AKP administration, and for their defense of their will and honor.

 
The BDP ran its elections campaign under the slogan of “WITH SELF-RULE, TOWARDS FREE INDENTITY”. Leader APO attributed the importance of a referendum to this election and our movement has regarded the BDP’s success in the election as the people’s attaining their right to self-rule. We interpret the results as the ratification of democratic self-rule by our people. So, the great thrill and enthusiasm of the people of Kurdistan for their election success is quite understandable.
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Nations without States: “We condemn attacks on Rojava”

London-based organisation Nations without States, which recently publicly supported the establishment of self-rule in Rojava, have released another statement condemning the recent attacks on Rojava and calling on the international community again to recognise the region as a legitimate autonomous state:

 

 

02/04/14
NwS Statement Re: Rojava (autonomous Kurdish enclave) and Islamist terrorism
The Kurdish communities of Syria created at the end of last year an autonomous enclave in the North of Syria to protect the civilian population from the attacks of Government forces and Islamist rebels.

Unfortunately, the rebels of the Al-Qaeda breakaway group ISIS are determined to annex Kurdish territory for their own and impose their religious edits against a largely secular population.

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Initial Observations from Election Monitors

PRESS RELEASE 31 March 2014

 

We have observed the elections in Istanbul and would like to put on record our concerns about reports of numerous abuses and irregularities that were reported to us on election day at various polling stations.

 

How the HDP did in the elections

 

In Istanbul where we were observing the election, the BDP was standing as part of the HDP, an alliance of progressive social movements and individuals who had united to form the new party in October last year. The candidates for the Beyoglu district of Istanbul were an architect who had been leading opposition to urban redevelopment and the sister of a victim of the Roboski massacre.

 

We demonstrated solidarity with the HDP by joining a team of party members distributing leaflets in the street in the busy shopping district near Taksim.

 

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PYD: Attacks on Kobane are part of a policy of ethnic cleansing

Democratic Union Party (PYD) -West Kurdistan
Media & Public Affairs Office –Europe

 

Statement about the Brutal Attacks on the Canton of Kobani

For the past two weeks, the Canton of Kobani has been exposed to brutal assaults by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). In preparation for their barbaric campaign, the ISIS terrorists initially killed and murdered dozens of our Arab brethren in nearby villages because of their alleged co-operation with the Kurds and the Free Syrian Army. The ISIS-led campaign has destroyed hundreds of houses belong to innocent villagers. So far, hundreds of ISIS terrorists have been killed and dozens of fighters of People’s Protection Units (YPG) have been martyred.

The aim of this brutal military campaign on Kobani is (1) to divide the Cantons in Western Kurdistan (Rojava), since Kobani enjoys a geo-strategic location in the region, and (2) to undermine this unique pattern of democracy (cantons) that could be followed in Syria and the entire Middle East. These three Cantons (Jazeera, Kobani and Efrin) have been established as a ‘social contract’ between the Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians, Syriacs, Turkmens and other ethnic and religious minorities. The ‘contract’ acknowledges the religious diversity in the region and guarantees those groups (Muslims, Christian and Yezidis) the right to practice their religion. In addition, the ‘contract’ protects women’s rights and encourages their participation in the various institutions established in these cantons, including Women’s Protection Units (YPJ). This is the reality in Rojava that many local and regional forces are not comfortable with.

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David Morgan – The Kurds

Peace in Kurdistan’s David Morgan has been featured in the latest edition of Live Encounters with a piece on the history, politics and recent development of the Kurdish struggle:

 

The Kurds – A resilient people with a tragic yet inspiring history – David Morgan      

The Kurds are an ancient people with distinctive heritage, traditions and language. They have lived on their historic lands for centuries alongside the other peoples of the Middle East as is reflected on old maps of the region where Kurdistan generally features. Their recent tragic history of dispossession, oppression and struggle for very survival as a people can be traced to the settlement imposed on the region in the aftermath of the First World War which saw the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the redrawing of the borders of modern states. That settlement drawn up by the victorious imperial powers denied the Kurds the right to national self-determination.[...]

Read the piece in full at Live Encounters, where it is also available for download.

“Living Freedom”: New report by the Berhof Foundation written by Adem Uzun

Adem Uzun, member of the Kurdistan National Congress who Peace in Kurdistan campaigned for last year after his provocative arrest in Paris in October 2012, has written this report for the Berghof Foundation’s Transitions Series. The contents of the report includes a short history of the Kurds; the PKK’s military and political struggle with the Turkish state; the international conspiracy against Öcalan; the PKK’s transformation and the new paradigm; the Oslo meetings between the Turkish State, the PKK and Ocalan; and the Imrali Process in 2013.

You can read the report in full here.

 

 

Latest KCK statement on the anniversary of Halabja

 

TO OUR PEOPLES AND THE PUBLIC OPINION

 

26 years ago, on the 16th of March, thousands of Kurds were killed in Halabja, a city in South Kurdistan. Hereby, we vehemently condemn this inhumane massacre against the Kurdish people.

What the fascist Saddam regime tried on Halabja was just another instance of Hitler’s fascism and the Nagasaki atomic bombardment. The mustard and Sarin chemical gases were thrown on the Kurds. Thousands of children, women, young and elderly people were brutally killed. Neither the forces proclaiming themselves to represent socialism nor the ones representing capitalist modernity and backing the fascist Saddam regime showed any reaction against the merciless killing of the Kurds; thereby they registered their complicity in the barbarity deemed proper for the Kurds. After the massacre which was a full instance of genocide, thousands of Kurds, hungry and destitute, were forced to flee and take refuge in Iran and Turkey in what already meant another Halabja for them.

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