Kurdish News Weekly Briefing, 12 – 17 April 2014

1. Autonomy project launched in pilot areas
2. New Communal Model Of Self-Government Takes Root In North Kurdistan
3. Syriacs, Arabs and Yezidis gathering signatures for freedom of Öcalan
4. Turkey’s jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan nominated fro Nobel Peace Prize

5. Objection raised for 43 Kurdish politicians
6. Turkish Soldiers Attack Rojava Residents Along Border
7. Representatives of Syrian Kurdish PYD party visits European Parliament
8. Leading UK role sought to resolve crisis in Syria
9. Calls Grow Louder for Kurdish Independence from Iraq
10. US senators file bill to remove Kurdish groups from terror list
11. Iraq Kurds press states to recognise genocide
12. Plane Passengers Refuse to Buckle up, Saving Iranian Kurd from Deportation
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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.



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


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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Kurdish News Weekly Briefing, 5 – 11 April 2014

1. MP Önder: Democratic Autonomy will be put into practice
2. British Members of Parliament call for freedom of Öcalan
3. Arch. Tutu calls for Turkish government to release Öcalan
4. Intellectuals Around the World Urge the Release of Ill-Inmates
5. Despite Clear Win in Agri, BDP Calls for Re-Election in Turkey’s Local Polls
6. Thousands Protest Turkish Military In Hakkari
7. Syrian Kurds appeal for help to prevent fall of Ain al-Arab
8. Muslim: Western governments should support democracy in Rojava
9. KNK: Syrian Kurdistan, Rojava, a national concern
10. Rojava Autonomous Administration offers to cooperate with UN
11. Judiciary, security institutions lay ground for Kurdish autonomy in Syria
12. Barzani’s KDP strengthens embargo on Syrian Kurdistan, opens fire on protesters
13. Rojava Solidarity rally in Brussels
14. Members of PACE support Freedom for Öcalan vigil

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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: Release all critically ill prisoners in Turkey

The KNK has sent an open letter to Prime Minister Erdogan and Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ calling for the release of hundreds of critically ill prisoners who are languishing in Turkish jails without proper medical attention. As the letter explains, despite recent changes to the law that would allow for seriously ill prisoners to be released, any prisoner charged under the anti-terror law who is suffering health problems has no chance of release under the current rules.

We know of at least 544 prisoners in Turkey are seriously ill who deserve to be released. We also know that 2300 people have died in Turkish prisons in the last 13 years.

The appeal has been signed by over 12o prominent public figures from across the world, including Selahattin Demirtaş, Co-chair of Peace and Democracy Party (BDP); writer and former political prisoner Ragip Zarakolu; Professor Noam Chomsky; several Members of the British, Irish and European Parliaments; and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, to name a few. The appeal was also published in Turkish daily Radikal.

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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.

Kurdish News Weekly Briefing, 29 March – 3 April 2014

1. Turkish police fire water cannon as thousands protest local election results (VIDEO)
2. Initial Observations from Election Monitors
3. Erdogan declares victory in Turkey election and turns on opposition
4. Kalkan: AKP succeded but did not win
5. Demirtaş: Results show polarized Turkey
6. Tensions High In Ceylanpınar After Elections
7. EU minister photographed during vote-counting: CHP official
8. Female Winners of Municipal Elections
9. Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party BDP won 3 metropolitan cities
10. Kışanak and Anlı thank the people of Amed
11. Electricity cut off in provinces where pro-gov’t firms supply power
12. Reports of violations and attacks coming through
13. Application from lawyers to meet Öcalan
14. ‘Journey to Sun’ begun
15. 250 trees planted and ‘Park of April the 4th’ for Öcalan’s birthday
16. Turkey Convicted of “Unexpected Death of Soldier”
17. Constitutional Court orders authorities to unblock Twitter
18. Documentary Seeks to Explain PKK Popularity among Diaspora Kurds in 1990s
19. Kurdish film director Kazım Öz protests against France
20. Denmark Law Change Likely to Save Kurdish Girl from Deportation
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KCK: “We salute and congratulate our people for their great success”

Latest statement from the KCK:

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:



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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