Those who seek justice in Turkey must not be left alone. We demand that all those who support democracy in Britain, all those in this country who work for justice, and all who enjoy the right to freedom of expression, use whatever means you have to call on the government and other authorities in Turkey to end the repression of Grup Yorum. Helin Bolek’s death was a sacrifice and tragedy. The tragedy unfolding must be ended – now.
Peace in Kurdistan
On 3 April 2020 Helin Bolek died on the 288th of a hunger strike turned death fast. Helin Bolek was a member of the popular Turkish folk band Grup Yorum. She protested the repression of her group and its supporters in Turkey and abroad by the Turkish government, led by President Erdogan. Grup Yorum demanded the right to sing freely, an end to the arrest, imprisonment and torture of Grup Yorum members and supporters, and an end to the ban on Grup Yorum concerts, which have been prohibited for nearly three years. Police attacked mourners at Helin Bolek’s funeral and prevented her from having a proper burial. We are responding to an appeal from parliamentarians and lawyers in Turkey for intervention from abroad to stop further deaths of Grup Yorum members and supporters and to back calls for the authorities in Turkey to stop criminalising dissenting musicians and artists in that country. Continue reading “STATEMENT ON GRUP YORUM AND THE DEATH OF HELIN BOLEK”
Rt. Hon. Dominic Raab MP
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London SW1A 2AH
Dear Foreign Secretary
Ref. Justice for the Turkish music group “Grup Yorum”
We write to express our concerns at the threat to the lives of the members of the popular Turkish folk band, Grup Yorum, who have been on hunger strike in protest at Turkey’s persecution of the band including a ban on its performances first imposed in 2016.
The musicians allege that they are being unfairly singled out because of their outspoken political stand against social injustices in their country.
The Turkish government claims that Grup Yorum is linked to the banned Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C), which has been designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union. Continue reading “OPEN LETTER TO DOMINIC RAAB – DEATH FAST OF GRUP YORUM”
The KNK’s founding congress was held in Amsterdam on 24th May 1999 as a result of four years of discussions and planning within the Kurdish movement. The event marks a major breakthrough in the political organization of the Kurds, bringing together representatives from all parts of the divided Kurdistan with the common aim to solve the disunion between Kurdish political parties. The Kurdistan National Congress was created to embody the moral unity of the Kurdish nation and to elaborate a concerted strategy for democratic solution to the Kurdish question within the existing states. The KNK Charter, adopted on 26 May 1999, outlines its aims and objectives:
The Congress resides temporarily in Brussels until the return to Kurdistan. It is expanding its activities worldwide and now has offices in many major cities. Its work consists of:
The political lobbying of governments, the EU, the European Parliament, Council of Europe, the UN and other international institutions;
Kongra Netewiya Kurdistan
Disseminating regular information about the changing situation in Kurdistan to the media and public, organizing meetings, seminars, conferences and events promoting Kurdish history and culture;
KNK Head Office
The Congress works for the revival and progress of the Kurdish language and culture.
• The national struggle of Eastern part of Kurdistan has to develop further, and we are ready for a new process to achieve our goals through peaceful means. We have to be ready for these changes and the national unity of our people.
Rue Jean Stas 41
1060 Brussels, Belgium Tel: 0032 2 647 3084 http://www.kongrakurdistan.net
6-9 Manor Gardens London N7 6LA
Tel: 0207 272 7890 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Congress tries to achieve peace in the Middle East and the world, as well as working against all forms of discrimination and extremism.”
• Our meeting clearly declares that there are other ethnic groups living among our national geography, and these nations and ethnic minorities are to be protected, respected on their religion, creed, beliefs etc., and we are to establish a secular democratic system, which will respect every other people in the region
“For the sake of strengthening cooperation and the common struggle among the parts of Kurdistan, the Congress works on the basis of national unity and the main interests of the people of Kurdistan.
women’s groups, trade unions and others to raise awareness about political issues and human rights violations in all parts of Kurdistan.
The Congress tries to solve the problems among the people of Kurdistan and the neighboring countries peacefully and in a friendly manner.
Main points decided at the 13th General Meeting of KNK, held in Brussels on 25-26 May 2013.
The Congress rejects all forms of violence, but supports defensive measures.
• Democratisation of Middle East can be achieved through the recognition of Kurdish identity and Kurdistan as a nation. Therefore those countries that are either directly or indirectly involved have to recognise this problem, change their position on this important and sensitive issue, and listen to the Kurdish people’s wishes. On these grounds Kirkuk and other parts of the Kurdish region that were taken have to be included again in the map of Kurdistan, and these countries have to show their respect for the map of Kurdistan and its territory.
The Congress recognizes the social reality of Kurds and Kurdistan, and supports and implements the principle of positive discrimination towards women’s participation in all its activities, projects and organizations.
The Congress supports the national liberation struggle of Kurdistan in all parts (Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria) and regards the provision of any kind of necessary support for the sake of achieving political organization as its duty.
• On this very important gathering the Kurds have paid particular attention to the developments in South Western Kurdistan, (within Syrian state territory). We fully support our Kurdish brothers and sisters who are right now fighting for their freedom.
The Congress, as a representative establishment of the people of Kurdistan, works on an international level for the sake of obtaining and maintaining its interests and for this aim cooperates with the political organizations of Kurdistan.
• In the Northern part of Kurdistan, there is a peace process initiated by Kurdish leader Mr. Ocalan. We are calling on the Turkish government and other countries that may have interest in this process to listen very carefully to the wishes for a democratic solution for the Kurdish nation. Therefore the peace solution or road map, proposed by the Kurdish leader, has to be taken into account, in order to achieve a permanent peace in the country. Therefore we are calling on Turkey to release Mr. Ocalan and all other Kurdish political prisoners.
The Congress supports the preservation of freedom and liberation for all the religions, sects and beliefs in Kurdistan.
Publishing materials, including an official KNK bulletin;
Working alongside politicians, NGOs, human rights group,
• Kurdistan as a nation has the right to live and create their own destiny as a Kurdish nation in their own land.
Peace in Kurdistan stands in solidarity on International Women’s Day, 8 March 2020, alongside all Kurdish women, across Kurdistan, in the diaspora, and all who are engaged in the struggle for liberation and for their just democratic rights. We stand with all women fighting for justice and freedom from state violence, who are so often at the forefront of global liberation movements.
In these tragic times with the Kurdish-Turkish conflict well and truly ignited in Syria the struggle of the Kurdish people for their genuine liberation remains as urgent as ever. In the face of systematic violence and state oppression, Kurdish women’s voices and activism are among the loudest and most fearless of the mass popular movement that has emerged over recent decades.
They so often pay the highest price. Women politicians have been deliberately targeted during the conflict, for example, Hervin Khalaf, the secretary general of the Future Syria party, a greatly respected politician and diplomat, who was assassinated by Turkish backed mercenaries in Syria in October 2019. Continue reading “INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2020 SOLIDARITY”
The 2020 International Peace Delegation visited Turkey between 11th and 16th February 2020, having previously written to Abdulhamit Gül, the Minister of Justice for the Republic of Turkey, requesting to meet with him personally and also requesting his co-operation in arranging a visit to Imrali Prison to meet with Abdullah Öcalan. There was no response from the office of Abdulhamit Gül. Continue reading “2020 International Peace Delegation to Imrali”
10 December 2019 Ankara
Türkiye İnsan Hakları Vakfı / Human Rights Foundation of Turkey Mithatpaşa Caddesi No: 49/11 6. Kat Kızılay – ANKARA Phone: +90 312 310 66 36
Fax: +90 312 310 64 63
email@example.com │ ww.tihv.org.tr
I. II. III. IV.
V. VI. VII. VIII.
IX. X. XI. XII. XIII.
Introduction 5 Permanent State of Emergency 7 The Right to Life 9
Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment 11
The Kurdish Issue 19
Freedom of Expression and the Press 23
Freedom of Association and Persecution of Human Rights Organizations and Defenders 27
Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Demonstration 29 The Right to Political Participation 31 Violence against Women 33 Refugees / Asylum-Seekers / Immigrants 35 Economic and Social Rights 39
Based on this the conference calls upon the EU member states, the European institutions and the United Nations to:
– Treat Turkey’s occupation of North Syria / Rojava as a clear violation of international law, condemn its policy of ethnic cleansing in the occupied territory, and call for an immediate withdrawal of Turkish troops.
– Recognise the North-East Syria’s Autonomous Administration as an important step towards a political solution to the Syrian conflict and to integrate their representatives in the commission for the establishment of a new constitution for Syria. The best way for a solution is to include all ethnic and religious entities in a democratic process leading to a decentralized self-administration with equal rights for women and men. Continue reading “EUTCC Conference 2020 Final Resolution”
PEACE IN KURDISTAN
Peace in Kurdistan is dismayed by the UN decision to cut humanitarian aid to Northern Syria, which exposes 4 million people who are already facing a dire situation, to the prospect of no daily aid, including food and basic medicines. We call for this short-sighted decision to be urgently reversed. Continue reading “UN must reverse its aid cuts in Syria”
Painting by Lukman Ahmad, Kurdish artist, born in Rojava
“You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.”
Thank you for your support in 2019! We look forward to working with you in the New Year!
Love and Solidarity
Peace in Kurdistan
Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question
Contacts Estella Schmid 020 7586 5892 & Melanie Gingell – Tel: 020 7272 7890
Patrons: John Austin, Baroness Blower of Starch Green, former GS NUT, Prof Bill Bowring, Julie Christie, Noam Chomsky, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Prof Mary Davis, Lord Dholakia, Simon Dubbins, UNITE International Director, Jill Evans MEP, Desmond Fernandes, Lindsey German, Convenor STWC, Melanie Gingell, Christopher Gingell, Rahila Gupta, Nick Hildyard, Dafydd Iwan, Former President Plaid Cymru, James Kelman, Bruce Kent, Jean Lambert, Elfyn Llwyd, Aonghas MacNeacail, Scottish Gaelic poet, Mike Mansfield QC, Doug Nicholls, General Secretary, GFTU, Dr. Jessica Ayesha Northey, Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy, Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley, Kate Osamor MP, Margaret Owen OBE, Ali Gul Ozbek, Former Councillor and Mayor of Haringey; Gareth Peirce, Dr Felix Padel, Maxine Peake, actor, Trevor Rayne, writer, Lord Rea, Joe Ryan, Tony Simpson, Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, Stephen Smellie, Jonathan Steele, Steve Sweeney, Gianni Tognoni, General Secretary Permanent People’s Tribunal, Dr Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, Dr Tom Wakeford, Dr Derek Wall, Julie Ward MEP, Hywel Williams MP.