Kurdistan Report interviews Nilufer Koc, Co-Chair of the KNK

“Is the era of the Kurds approaching?”

nilufer-kocHere, Nilüfer Koç, Co-chair of the KNK is interviewed for the latest issue of the Kurdistan Report, a bimonthly publication produced in Germany, about the 15th General Assembly Meeting of the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK). This is a translation of the German original.

 

You held your general assembly meeting at a period favourable for the Kurds in the Middle East. How did this affect your meeting?

 The political and social developments of the last year once more have been reflected on our 15th General Assembly Meeting. The countless successes against the Islamic State (IS) in Rojava [kurd.: Western; Western Kurdistan/North Syria] and Başur [kurd.: Southern; Southern Kurdistan/North Iraq], Abdullah Öcalan’s three years long political struggle of negotiations with the Turkish AKP (Justice and Development Party) government, the consolidation of the democratic autonomy in Rojava and the increasing international political interest in Kurdistan were the significant common denominators of the debates. Despite their political differences the 52 speakers of various Kurdish political parties were in agreement on many issues: that it was now indeed the era of the Kurds.

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Global Rally for the freedom and reconstruction of Kobane

many_rally_in_rome_in_solidarity_with_kurdish_city_of_kobane_crop1446327675978.jpg_1718483346Thank you to everyone who took part in the Global Rally for Kobane on 1st November – now World Kobane Day. It is the second year in a row that thousands of people in dozens of countries have raised their voices for Kobane, which still suffers the consequences of a brutal 6 month ISIS siege which caught the conscience of many across the world. This time, over 400 separate actions took place in over 25 countries as far apart as India and Brazil, Denmark and Australia, Venezuela and Afghanistan, all calling for people and governments to support the reconstruction of Kobane and the lifting of the blockade. Demonstrations also took place in Rojava. Once again, it was a remarkable demonstration of solidarity and the spirit of internationalism. We send our thanks and solidarity to all those who took part and hope that collective efforts will lead to freedom and a new future for Kobane – and Rojava.

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Congratulations from friends in Peace in Kurdistan campaign

jeremy newrozJeremy Corbyn MP
Leader of the Labour Party

Dear Jeremy,

Peace in Kurdistan would like to send its warm congratulations to you on the gre
at news of your victory in the Labour leadership contest.

Your election will be greeted with enthusiasm as excellent news by all who believe in a better world. The Kurdish people, who are proud to count you as a friend, certainly share in the celebrations of your election victory.

This successful result is a real tribute to your tireless campaigning for social justice and the rights of peoples at home and abroad.

We take the opportunity to pay tribute to you for your staunch and consistent support in Parliament and your solidarity with the Kurdish community in London.

We wish to thank you for all your support over the years for our campaigns on behalf of the Kurds and in particular for the peace process in Turkey which seeks to resolve the conflict in that country.

We would like to wish you well in your new role as you lead your party onto electoral success in coming months and years.

Peace in Kurdistan  looks forward to working with you in the future as Labour’s new leader.

In solidarity

Peace in Kurdistan

Shilan Ozcelik trial begins at the Old Bailey*) in first PKK trial in over a decade

PRESS RELEASE

7 September 2015

 

The trial against Kurdish woman Shilan Ozcelik, who was arrested in January for allegedly attempting to join the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), will appear in court on Monday 7 September, 2pm, for the first day of her trial.

The 18 year old was charged with ‘engaging in conduct in preparation to for giving an effect to an intention to commit acts of terrorism’ under section 5 (10) (a) of the Terrorism Act 2006 and has been held on remand in Holloway prison since early March.

Continue reading “Shilan Ozcelik trial begins at the Old Bailey*) in first PKK trial in over a decade”

Call for an International Convoy for Kobane

The Kobane Reconstruction Platform has issued a call for a huge international mobilsation for Kobane. With humanitarian aid still urgently need and very little getting through Turkeys’s blockade on Rojava, this action calls on solidarity activists across the world to travel to Suruc, just across the border, to participate in demanding that a humanitarian corridor be opened into Kobane. 15th September will be the anniversary of ISIS’ first attack on Kobane, which led to a four month siege. We join their call and will be working to ensure activists from the UK can join this effort in Suruc.

Call for Participation in an International Convoy for the Opening of Humanitarian Corridor from Turkey to Kobane

via Help Kobane

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On 15the of September 2014, the Islamic State (ISIS) launched the first large scale attack against the canton of Kobanê in Syria. The Kurdish people living there, led by the People’s Protection Units of (YPG and YPJ) organized a historical war of resistance to defend themselves against the attack. The resistance of the men and women in Kobanê was, and remains, a fight for democracy, human rights, a common future, and equality of women in society.

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University of Strathclyde Students’ Association grants Honorary Life Membership to Kurdish Leader Abdullah Ocalan

June 19th 2015

Ocalan flagAbdullah Ocalan, imprisoned Kurdish leader, will be granted honorary life membership of the USSA at a ceremony on Saturday 20 June at the University of Strathclyde Students Association in Vertigo at 5pm.

Joining the students at the ceremony will be award winning prominent Scottish writer and cultural and political campaigner James Kelman and Reimer Heider, spokesperson of the International Initiative “Freedom for Ocalan-Peace in Kurdistan”.

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PiK sends congratulations message to the SNP

Peace in Kurdistan Campaign today sent this message to the SNP congratulating them on their landslide victory in Scotland in last week’s election:

Nicola Sturgeon MSP
Leader of the Scottish National Party
First Minister of Scotland

10 May 2015

Dear Nicola Sturgeon,

We send our congratulations to your party and the Scottish people on the news of your historic victory in the British general election.
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Message of support to Plaid Cymru

On Election Day today, Peace in Kurdistan Campaign wishes Plaid Cymru, the Party of Wales, great success. Over the last few weeks, Plaid has put the country and people of Wales centre stage in British politics, demonstrating that only they have the belief and determination to bring the concerns of the Welsh people to the heart of British politics.

Plaid presents an excellent alternative to the failed policies of austerity that have only served to entrench inequality across the country. They have taken a principled stand on key issues of the day, for example confronting the power of corporations and opposing the TTIP agreement, while also standing firm on key issues affecting the Kurdish people, such as calling for freedom for Abdullah Ocalan and the delisting of the PKK. Continue reading “Message of support to Plaid Cymru”

Press Release:  Windsor General Election candidate endorsed by Syrian Political Party

Dr Derek Wall, Green Party parliamentary candidate for Windsor has been endorsed by Dr Alan Semo, UK representative of the Democratic Union Party (PYD).

This follows ongoing contact with the Green Party, of which Dr Wall is International Coordinator, and the PYD.

The PYD is the largest political party in Rojava, the autonomous region of Northern Syria.  The PYD is a mainly Kurdish political party which shares a number of key ideological stances with the Green Party.   Continue reading “Press Release:  Windsor General Election candidate endorsed by Syrian Political Party”

North London Greens pledge support for Kurdish autonomy

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE NORTH LONDON GREEN PARTIES

Green Party General Election candidates from six North London constituencies have called for the British Government to lift the ban on the Kurdistan Workers Party (the PKK) and for the PKK to be removed from the list of banned ‘terrorist’ organisations. Speaking at a meeting of North London’s Kurdish community with London Green MEP Jean Lambert, candidates agreed that the PKK poses no threat to the people of Britain. The PKK has never been designated as a terrorist organisation by the United Nations and most European Union governments have not listed it as a terrorist group. The British government has taken a particularly harsh stance, which is closer to that of the US.

From left to right; Michelle, David, Jean, Charlotte, Gordon, Dee, Heather. Photo: Esra Turk
From left to right; Michelle, David, Jean, Charlotte, Gordon, Dee, Heather.
Photo: Esra Turk

‘Kurdish peoples across four Middle Eastern countries have been striving for self-determination and democracy for many years,’ said Dee Searle (candidate for Tottenham), who came into direct contact with Kurdish human rights activists during her years working for Amnesty International. ‘Their bravery and determination left a lasting impression.’ David Flint (candidate for Enfield North), who visited Kurdish areas in Turkey last year, spoke of his positive experiences of Kurdish society. Continue reading “North London Greens pledge support for Kurdish autonomy”