Kurdish journalist Aladdin Sinayic interviews human rights lawyer and patron of Peace in Kurdistan Margaret Owen regarding the Turkish invasion of North East Syria (Rojava).
On the eve of the release of the short film and documentary “Imrali” narrated by Maxine Peake, The Freedom for Ocalan campaign had the opportunity to speak with one of the filmmakers, Jon Spaull about his experiences making this important film.
Jon Spaull was invited to produce the film together with the writer and long-time international election observer John Hunt. Jon has been a filmmaker and photographer for 20 years his work has appeared in film, television, international film festivals and the web. He’s worked in 50 countries with NGO’s, Trade Unions and TV Channels in Ghana and South Africa as well as Community TV in the UK. His photography has also appeared in The Economist, The Guardian, The Observer, The Independent, The Daily and Sunday Telegraph and The Times. Continue reading “Imrali narrated by Maxine Peake”
Written by Margaret Owen, International Trial Observer and Barrister
Friday 7 September
I was informed that Selahattin Demirtas (pictured), the imprisoned former co-chair of the pro Kurdish Peoples Democratic Party (HDP), would at last be appearing in person for this final, 6th hearing. Selahattin Demirtas has been detained since November 2016 under anti-terror law. He faces various charges and is accused of making terrorist propaganda. Demirtas’ co-defendant is the HDP MP for Ankara, Siri Surreya Onder, who will also be present at the hearing.
I travelled to Istanbul to report on the trial as an International Observer from the UK. Outside the Silivri prison compound I expected to find crowds of Demirtas/HDP supporters. Upon my arrival at the prison however, it was eerily quiet, as apart from a sizeable police presence, I found only a few hundred supporters, and soon discovered that Demirtas himself would not be there in person after all; he would be delivering his defence to the terrorism charges via video link.”Look”, said one female supporter, pointing to the sky. “You see the drone. The police want to identify who is here outside the court so they can investigate us for supporting terrorism”. It was the first time I had seen a drone, like a black insect in the peaceful blue sky.
At the entrance to the court I was joined by a few other international observers, from the Canadian, Swiss and Dutch embassies. The nature of this trial would reflect the status of Turkey’s justice system since Erdogan won the 2018 Presidential election, in which Demirtas also stood as a candidate from his prison cell. It’s a significant event.
Report of the Third Imrali Peace Delegation, based on its Visit to Turkey, Feb. 13-19, 2017.
The events of the past year-and-a-half demonstrate very clearly that there can be no democracy in Turkey without a peaceful resolution of the Kurdish question. The political situation in the country has deteriorated dramatically over the past year-and-a-half, since the breakdown of the peace process in mid-June 2015, and especially since the failed coup in mid-July 2016.
Report on an emergency visit to HDP MPs in Diyarbakir, Turkey, 18th -20th November 2016 by Julie Ward MEP and Melanie Gingell, barrister
Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
MPs in South-East Turkey have expressed fears that the next step in the repressive, downward spiral in the mainly Kurdish district of South-East Turkey will be a genocide.
Julie Ward, Labour MEP for North West England, and Melanie Gingell, Barrister, visited Diyarbakir in South East Turkey between 18th and 20th November 2016 in response to an urgent call from the HDP in a mission facilitated by Peace in Kurdistan Campaign. Both women have made previous visits to the region, Ward as recently as mid-October 2016. Continue reading “Fear of genocide in South-east Turkey”
Dear President and Members of the Peace Committee of International PEN,
Dear President and Members of the PEN Turkey Centre and Kurdish PEN Centre,
As many of you know, the Turkish government is continuing their harsh repression of the civil rights and Freedom of Expression of their Kurdish citizens.
On the 3rdof October 2016, the Kurdish Channel Med-Nuçe was shut down by their satellite provider, on Turkey’s request. This channel reported news hourly and had 26 genuine programs focusing not only on the Kurdish issues but also on women, labor conditions, environment, and local and international political discussions. It was their window on the world. Continue reading “Message of solidarity from Pen International”
05/10/2016 For immediate release PARTÎYA HERÊMÊN DEMOKRATÎK
To the international press and public opinion
Call for solidarity with rule of law, human rights, democracy and freedoms
The Democratic Regions Party (DBP) is a Kurdish political party that works towards developing democracy, human rights, rule of law, freedom and the status of Kurds in Turkey. DBP follows the tradition of the struggle and line of the Kurdish political movement. The Kurdish political movement has been fighting against the status quo and its supporters since the beginning of 90’s. DBP and the Kurdish political movement have a strong tradition of struggle of progressive forces. Continue reading “Call for solidarity with rule of law, human rights, democracy and freedoms- Trial of Kamuran Yuksek.”
Call for Support to the Academics under Judicial Harassment
Please make a small video on your phone in support of the academics who are standing with Kurdish people under attack in South-East Turkey and who are losing their jobs and facing prosecution as a result. See below for details.
Turkish scholars have been subject to heavy pressures and constraints since the declaration of the petition “We’ll not be a party to this crime” launched by the Academics for Peace initiative in mid-January. In Mersin, a middle-sized city on the Mediterranean Coast, this climate of pressure has been experienced in an accentuated manner as the twenty-one petitioners of the city’s University have since then faced very serious threats and sanctions. Continue reading “Support Turkish Academics under Attack.”
22 October 2015
Last night, the Kurdish Community Centre in north London hosted an event with Frederike Geerdink, who is in London for a series of events promoting her new book on the Roboski massacre, The Boys Are Dead, which tells the story of her investigations into the atrocity on 28 December 2011 which killed 34 people.
Frederike gave a captivating account of her encounters with the Turkish authorities, which she said began the day she first visited Roboski in the weeks after the massacre took place.
She also described how state and private media in Turkey uncritically parroted the government narrative that the people killed were ‘terrorist helpers’ hiding PKK members among them as they crossed the border from Iraq, not civilians, and that the military was acting on sound intelligence. International media at the time insisted that the attack was an unfortunate accident and repeated that the government would carry out a full investigation.
Frederike was determined to uncover the truth behind the incident, however, and travelled to Roboski to hear from the villagers themselves and investigate the area. She discovered that neither the claims of sound intelligence (increased walkie talkie activity was the only evidence offered) nor that it was actually an accident on the part of the military were true. Continue reading “Frederike Geerdink: Reporting under siege in Turkey”