Issue No 27 / 15 November 2022 ★ Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan…………………………………………………………………………………………….. 3
ELDH Secretary General and European lawyers speak out against the isolation of Öcalan…………….3
Buldan: Isolation in Imrali very heavy…………………………………………………………………………………..6
Prisons in Turkey……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 7
Prisoner who set his body on fire to protest isolation only treated in infirmary…………………………….7 Hunger strike in Ereğli High Security Prison continues……………………………………………………………7 Journalists in prison cannot receive visits from colleagues…………………………………………………………8 Prisoner who set his body on fire not taken to hospital…………………………………………………………….9 Jailed journalist: We were tortured and threatened with death…………………………………………………..9 Prisoners in Erzurum jails go on hunger strike against torture…………………………………………………11 Journalists in Sincan Women’s Prison expose rights violations…………………………………………………12 Guards attack prisoners on hunger strike for speaking Kurdish………………………………………………..12
Military aggression and occupation……………………………………………………………………………………. 13
Turkey has been attacking Shengal for 5 years………………………………………………………………………13 Turkey-affiliated mercenaries kidnap 20 people in Afrin in October…………………………………………16 Turkish army shells villages around Zirgan…………………………………………………………………………..17 MSD warns Sweden against concessions to Erdogan……………………………………………………………..17 Turkish army targets villages around Zirgan and Til Temir, wounds 65-year-old civilian……………..18 Sweden works hard to win Turkey’s support for NATO bid…………………………………………………….19 Burning, shooting, bombing, the atrocious methods used by the Turkish army………………………….20 Child malnutrition in North-East Syria increases over 150% amid worsening hunger crisis…………22 HPG reports ongoing guerrilla actions and Turkish attacks in South Kurdistan………………………….24 Explosion in Istanbul results in deaths and injuries………………………………………………………………..25 Drone attack in Amûdê amidst ongoing attacks on North-East Syria……………………………………….25 46 detained in connection with the Taksim explosion……………………………………………………………26 HSM denies involvement in Istanbul explosion, calls for its exposure……………………………………….27 SDF Commander-In-Chief: Our forces have nothing to do with the Istanbul attack…………………..27 Iraqi parliamentarian: Turkey advanced 185 km into Iraqi territory………………………………………….28 KCK: Istanbul attack shows that AKP-MHP are pursuing new malicious plans…………………………28
Chemical weapons………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 31
Belgium law firm takes Turkey’s use of chemical weapons to the UN………………………………………..31 Debate on Turkey’s use of chemical weapons in the British Parliament……………………………………..32 International legal organizations call for an OPCW investigation into Turkish use of chemicals……33 Civil disobedience action at WHO headquarters denounces Turkish use of chemical weapons……..35 Kurdish students protest Turkish chemical attacks at Goethe University……………………………………35 Kurdish women protest outside the Council of Europe against silence on Turkey’s war crimes……..36 Demo in front of French Parliament calls for action against Turkish use of chemical weapons………36
The İmralı Post #27
Kurdish artists sing in memory of 17 guerrillas killed by Turkish chemical weapons……………………37 Activists in Athens and Turin protest Turkish use of chemical weapons…………………………………….37 Hunergeha Welat releases new clip to condemn Turkish chemical weapons attacks……………………..38 Shops closed in southern France in protest at Turkish chemical attacks in Kurdistan…………………..38 Kobanê youth rally against isolation of Öcalan and use of chemical weapons…………………………….39 Tens of thousands in Düsseldorf demand an end to chemical weapons use in Kurdistan……………..40 Thousands attend demonstration in Qamishlo to protest Turkish use of chemical weapons………….41 Kurds protest in Stockholm against Turkish chemical attacks and Sweden’s deal with Erdogan……..42 Europe-wide demonstrations against Turkish chemical attacks in Kurdistan………………………………43 Huge rally in Qamishlo calls for action against Turkish use of chemical weapons……………………….43 KCK: The struggle against Turkish chemical attacks must be increased……………………………………..45
Eastern Kurdistan on solidarity strike for Balochistan…………………………………………………………….47 Iran Human Rights warns of possibility of hasty executions……………………………………………………48 At least 67 protesters killed, almost 800 detained in East Kurdistan…………………………………………49 Eastern Kurdistan Women’s Community proposes 10-point project for women’s revolution……….50 At least 326 people including 43 children killed in Iran protests………………………………………………52 Iranian regime attacks Komala and KDP-I positions in northern Iraq………………………………………53
Women said to have commited suicide are often victims of femicide, say women organizations……53
Euphrates at risk of drying up……………………………………………………………………………………………54
Human Rights Violations…………………………………………………………………………………………………. 55
22 people in Van sentenced to more than 137 years in prison…………………………………………………55 Former HDP deputy Önder sentenced to 5 months in prison…………………………………………………56 Survivor of Dersim Genocide dies aged 93…………………………………………………………………………..57 Şimşek family members kill two people in Suruç…………………………………………………………………..58 Death of 9 Syrians in Turkey: Not a fire but a social homicide caused by poverty……………………….58 ÇHD and HHB lawyers receive record prison sentences………………………………………………………..59
Guerrilla doctor Dersim: “Turkish army clearly uses choking agents, mainly chlorine gas”…………..61
Dr. Mansouran: Turkish state uses chemical weapons…………………………………………………………….63
Lawyer Demir: Council of Europe tolerates Turkey……………………………………………………………….66
Who Are We?…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 68 —★—
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Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan
ELDH Secretary General and European lawyers speak out against the isolation of Öcalan
ANF | Istanbul | 8 November 2022
775 lawyers registered with 29 bar associations applied to the Bursa Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on June 10, 2022 to visit Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan and his fellow prisoners Ömer Hayri Konar, Hamili Yıldırım and Veysi Aktaş in İmralı F Type High Security Prison.
On September 14, 350 lawyers from 22 countries and on September 19, 691 lawyers from North and East Syria and different regions of Syria submitted requests to the Turkish Ministry of Justice to visit Öcalan and other prisoners in the Imrali prison.
The Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD) held a press conference in its office in Beyoğlu, Istanbul today together with several other lawyers from various European countries. Signatory Fabio Marcelly from Italy, Deputy Secretary General of the European Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights (ELDH), Thomas Schmidt, lawyers of the Asrın Law Office and ÖHD (Libertarian Lawyers’ Association) Co-Chair İlknur Alcan, as well as many lawyers attended the press conference on Tuesday.
‘Absolute isolation in Imrali’
ÖHD Co-Chair İlknur Alcan said that there is absolute isolation in İmralı and, apart from exceptions, no family or lawyer visits have been allowed since 2011. “We no longer consider the isolation in the Imrali prison as a normal isolation, but as an aggravated isolation within isolation. The prisoners in Imrali are not allowed to enjoy any rights,” she stated.
Two thousand lawyers applied to the ministry of justice
According to Alcan, Asrın Law Office requested the ÖHD to undertake the legal initiative, but the Min – istry of Justice has not responded to their request. “The appeal to the Turkish ministry also attracted the attention of our colleagues in other countries. Nearly two thousand lawyers applied to the Ministry of Jus – tice. Many of them are here today,” Alcan said.
İbrahim Bilmez, one of the lawyers from the Asrın Law Office which represents Abdullah Öcalan and other Imrali prisoners, emphasized that they have been fighting the “unlawfulness” in Imrali for 23 years. “Imagine that there is a prison in Europe and lawyers have not been able to go there in any way since July 27, 2011. Only 5 lawyer visits were allowed in 2009. Currently, no lawyers can meet with Mr. Öcalan and other prisoners. Normally, prisoners within the European system and in many parts of the world are al- lowed to make phone calls, but the last phone call with Öcalan took place in March 2021. There has been
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no news from that prison since. It is not possible for such a prison to exist in London or Paris. But this prison exists in İmralı. Unfortunately, all European legal institutions turn a blind eye to this serious unlaw- fulness,” Bilmez said.
‘The lawlessness concerns the entire country’
Bilmez insisted that the lawlessness in Imrali concerned the whole country. “This issue does not only con- cern the Kurds and Mr. Öcalan’s family. The isolation has gradually spread all over the country. Aggravated life imprisonment was also introduced with Mr. Öcalan’s case. Turkey is supposed to make regulations on this issue and, unfortunately, European institutions keep ignoring this issue as well.”
Bilmez also addressed the Kurdish question and said, “The Kurdish question is one of the most structural problems. Those who rule the country have always prioritized security policies. Mr. Öcalan has always done his best for peace. The state knows this very well. Mr. Öcalan is very sincere about achieving a solu- tion and made repeated efforts which, however, did not yield results. He hasn’t been allowed to meet any- one since 2011. The Kurdish question has continued to exit since 2011, the PKK still exists, and Turkish soldiers are dying. The absolute isolation of Mr. Öcalan would not lead to a solution to the Kurdish ques – tion. 5-6 years ago, Mr. Öcalan’s statements were broadcast live by all media outlets in Turkey and there was a very positive atmosphere in the country. However, when we look at today’s Turkey, nobody is happy, the country has turned into an open prison, the economy is on the verge of collapse. Therefore, this isola – tion must be lifted. We want our foreign colleagues to get information on this matter. 350 colleagues from 22 different countries have applied to the Turkish authorities for a visit. A similar campaign was also con- ducted in the Middle East where 750 lawyers endorsed the initiative.To expose the unlawfulness in Imrali and to receive the solidarity of our colleagues is very important to us, and we want to expand this solidar- ity together.”
Open letter to the ministry of justice
ELDH Secretary General Thomas Schmidt then read the open letter European lawyers sent to the Turkish Ministry of Justice in mid-September, which reads as follows:
Abdullah Öcalan, Ömer Hayri Konar, Hamili Yıldırım and Veysi Aktaş, who are detained in the İmralı F- Type High Security Prison, are unlawfully prevented from seeing their lawyers. While Abdullah Öcalan has not been allowed to see his lawyer since August 7, 2019, Veysi Aktaş, Hamili Yıldırım and Ömer Hayri Konar have not been allowed to see their lawyers even once since 2015, when they were transferred to İmralı Island.
A special and discriminatory form of isolation has been applied in İmralı Prison since February 15, 1999. The ban on lawyer visits has been in effect continuously for 8 years, since July 27, 2011, until May 2, 2019. In 2019, 5 lawyer visits took place. After the last lawyer visit on August 7, 2019, the ban was re- sumed.
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It has to be stated that Öcalan has not been heard from since a last short phone call took place on March 25, 2021. This constitutes a worrying circumstance. As a lawyer closely following affairs in Turkey, I am well aware of the political and social impact of this situation.
In its report on its 2019 visit to the İmralı Prison, published on 5 August 2020, the CPT considered the total ban on Öcalan’s and the other three inmates’ contacts with the outside world as a type of incommu- nicado imprisonment. The CPT stated that such a state of affairs was unacceptable and contravened rele – vant international human rights instruments and standards.
The continuous interference with the right to defense and the state of isolation imposed on Öcalan and the other inmates have prompted statements by international law organizations such as ELDH, AED, and Lawyer for Lawyers and critical reactions by a wide network of lawyers on different occasions.
I would like to remind you that on June 10, 2022, 775 lawyers registered to 29 different Bar Associations applied to the Bursa Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office with the request to have lawyer visits with Mr. Ab – dullah Öcalan, Mr. Hamili Yıldırım, Mr. Ömer Hayri Konar and Mr. Veysi Aktaş by putting an end to the illegal ban on lawyer visits in İmralı Prison.
The ban on lawyer visits to İmralı Prison clearly violates the United Nations (UN) Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (Nelson Mandela Rules) updated in 2015, the recommendations of the CPT and Turkey’s Execution Law (Law No. 5275). States have an obligation to ensure that detainees and prisoners are able to exercise their rights regardless of their identity and the nature of their sentence.
It is also a violation of the rights and privileges of lawyers as set out in the United Nations Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, in particular Basic Principles 8 and 16.
Basic Principle 8 is very clear: “All arrested, detained or imprisoned persons shall be provided with ade- quate opportunities, time and facilities to be visited by and to communicate and consult with a lawyer, without delay, interception or censorship and in full confidentiality. Such consultations may be within sight, but not within the hearing, of law enforcement officials.” Similarly, Basic Principle 16 also states that Governments shall ensure that lawyers are able to perform all of their professional functions without in- timidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference and to travel and to consult with their clients freely both within their own country and abroad.
Pursuant to Article 25 of the Regulation on Visits of Convicted and Detained Persons, foreign lawyers – even without a power of attorney – have the right to see a convicted person in Turkey, provided that they comply with international conventions to which the Republic of Turkey is a party and the principle of rec – iprocity.
The enduring efforts of our colleagues in Turkey against the isolation and violation of the right to defense is essentially a struggle for the implementation of the rights protected in international conventions to which Turkey is a party, especially the European Convention on Human Rights. Therefore, I submit to you my application to see Abdullah Öcalan and the other prisoners held in İmralı, Veysi Aktaş, Hamili Yıldırım, and Ömer Hayri Konar, within the scope of Article 25 of the mentioned Regulation.”
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Schmidt then answered journalists’ questions and stated that European countries did nothing to lift the isolation imposed on Öcalan, while the peoples of Europe were aware of the issue and the paradigm of Ab- dullah Öcalan was known to all world’s peoples.
—★— Buldan: Isolation in Imrali very heavy
ANF | Ankara | 11 November 2022
There has been no news for 19 months from Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan, who continues to be held under heavy isolation conditions in Imralı Prison. His lawyers made 203 applications, while his family and guardian made 71 requiring a visit, but all the applications were left unanswered.
Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chairs Pervin Buldan and Mithat Sancar, Party Spokesperson Ebru Günay and HDP Urfa MP Ömer Öcalan also applied to the Ministry of Justice to visit Öcalan on 20 Oc – tober. However, the ministry has not yet responded to the application.
HDP co-chair Pervin Buldan told JinNews that there has been no positive or negative response to their application so far and added: “This is the same isolation policy that the AKP government has been pursu- ing for years. It is possible to perceive a delay, an ignorance, or even the absence of an answer to our appli – cation as an indication that the isolation is very deep and will deepen even further.”
A shame for Turkey
Buldan said: “Families are denied a visit, not just a delegation or lawyers. It is a shame for Turkey that this attitude continues to be held. It is a shame that no lawyer could visit his client for about 2 years, and it is an indication of how deep Turkey’s lawlessness has become.”
‘Isolation must end’
Emphasizing that in case of a negative response they will continue to make applications, Buldan said: “The isolation must end as soon as possible. The end of isolation is a human rights issue. It is unacceptable that no visits are allowed in Imrali Prison.”
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Prisons in Turkey
Prisoner who set his body on fire to protest isolation only treated in infirmary
ANF | Konya | 9 November 2022
Yakup Brukan was among the dozens of prisoners who went on hunger strike to protest unprecedented rights violations and severe isolation conditions. The 40 prisoners have been on an indefinite and non-al- ternating hunger strike since 4 October.
Yakup Brukan from Eastern Kurdistan, set his body on fire on 28 October.
Lawyers from the Mersin Branch of the Lawyers Association for Freedom (ÖHD), who met with Brukan in Ereğli Prison upon the application of his family, reported that 40 prisoners were kept in isolation cells.
Lawyers gave the following information about Brukan’s health: “He has second degree burns. The whole of his right arm and his waist were burned, the fingers of both his hands were burned. He cannot use his right arm. After he set himself on fire, he was brought back to prison and put in a cell. He is currently staying in the same cell with Osman Pinç. He is not taken to the hospital. Instead, he is treated in the in- firmary. Handcuffs are put on while he is being taken to treatment. There is a risk of infection. Brukan ap- plied to be taken to the hospital but his request was rejected. The prison doctor said there was no need to take him to the hospital.”
Lawyers said that Brukan was not allowed to meet with his family on the grounds of a disciplinary sanc- tion.
Hunger strike in Ereğli High Security Prison continues
ANF | Konya | 10 November 2022
40 prisoners in Konya Ereğli High Security Prison in Konya have been on an indefinite and non-alternat- ing hunger strike since 4 October to protest unprecedented rights violations.
As part of the protest, prisoner Yakup Brukanli from East Kurdistan set his body on fire on 28 October.
8 The İmralı Post #27 The demands of the prisoners have still not been met. On the contrary, it was reported two weeks ago that
the prisoners were put in single cells.
In an open visit with his family, prisoner Mehmet İşiktaş stated that they have been held in solitary cells since 11 August.
İkiştaş said: “Prison authorities are not responding to any of our requests, we will continue the indefinite alternating hunger strike against this and we will continue to resist until the end for our demands to be fulfilled. Ill detainees have also requested a meeting with the prison for two weeks, but they have not re- ceived any response. If they do not accept their demands for a meeting within the next week, we will turn the indefinite alternating hunger strike into an indefinite non-alternating hunger strike.”
Journalists in prison cannot receive visits from colleagues
ANF | Amed | 11 November 2022
Dicle Fırat Journalists Association (DFG) co-chair Serdar Altan, Xwebûn Newpaper Editor in Chief Mehmet Ali Ertaş, journalists Ömer Çelik, Zeynel Abidin Bulut and Mazlum Güler were not able to see their visitors this week. The names of their visitors were removed from the ‘list of visitors’. The reason put forward was that they are “objectionable.”
Mezopotamya Agency reported that a “security investigation” was put forward as the reason for preventing visitors collectively.
Diyarbakır High Security Prison No. 1 and 2 Administration and Monitoring Board has, as of this week, denied permission to visitors of arrested journalists whose names were included in the list of visitors be- fore, and who have been visiting them since they were arrested.
Resul Temur, the lawyer for the journalists, said the imposition was “a second punishment,” and drew at- tention to the fact that no indictment was yet prepared for the journalists for 145 days.
Temur said: “Journalists whose names were on the list to visit Ömer Çelik, Zeynel Abidin Bulut, Mehmet Ali Ertaş, Mazlum Güler and Serdar Altan, were not given permission to see their colleagues. And there is no explanation in the ‘security investigation’ made on why the person to visit the detainee is not being al- lowed. These are unlawful, arbitrary decisions.”
The sixteen journalists working for Kurdish media have been in Diyarbakır prison since 16 June.
9 The İmralı Post #27 Prisoner who set his body on fire not taken to hospital
ANF | Konya | 11 November 2022
The indefinite-alternating hunger strike launched by 40 prisoners in Konya Ereğli High Security Prison on October 4 to protest the increasingly ongoing rights violations and severe isolation conditions continues. One of the hunger strikes, Yakup Brukanli from Rojhilat (Iranian Kurdistan), set his body on fire on Oc- tober 28 to protest the severe detention conditions.
Mehmet İşiktaş, one of the inmates in the same prison, said during a contact visit from his family that theyhadbeenonahungerstrikeformorethantwomonthsandtheirdemandswereyettobemet. The prisoner said that they had been kept in solitary cells since August 23 and the prison administration turned a blind eye to their demands.
Isiktas said the following about Brukanli: “He has second degree burns and he can’t move his arms, hands and feet. Nevertheless, he is kept in a cell, and there is a risk of infection. Although he wants to be taken to hospital, he is not.”
“Prison administration does not answer any of our demands. We will continue the hunger strike and we will resist until our demands are met.”
Isiktas listed their demands as follows; Yakup Brukanli should be treated in hospital as soon as possible, the hunger strikers should not be held in the same wards with ordinary prisoners, free hours in prison yard should be increased, and ill-treatment should be stopped. Isiktas also called on human rights organizations to visit the prison.
Jailed journalist: We were tortured and threatened with death
ANF | 11 November 2022
On 25 October, Turkish police stormed the homes of Kurdish journalists and detained them on terror charges. Nine of the eleven detained journalists were remanded in custody in Ankara on 29 October as al- leged members of a terrorist organisation. Those imprisoned are the editor-in-chief of the Mezopotamya News Agency (MA), Diren Yurtsever, MA correspondents Deniz Nazlım, Selman Güzelyüz, Berivan Al- tan, Hakan Yalçın, Emrullah Acar and Ceylan Şahinli, and JinNews correspondents Habibe Eren and Öznur Değer. MA reporter Zemo Ağgöz, who was arrested in the same trial, is on maternity leave and was placed under house arrest. Reporting requirements were imposed on former MA trainee Mehmet Günhan, who was also released.
10 The İmralı Post #27 30 police officers with long guns for five journalists
Habibe Eren is one of the journalists jailed on 29 October. She was arrested together with her colleagues Selman Güzelyüz and Öznur Değer. Eren spoke to Mezopotamya news agency about her arrest and said: “We had to sit in a row | with gaps in between. They did not allow us any contact. 30 police officers guarded us on the transport towards Ankara. In addition to the police officers who were armed with long guns, five members of the gendarmerie (military police) accompanied us. When we arrived in Urfa, we saw that they had brought with them Mezopotamya reporters Ceylan Şahinli and Emrullah Acar. We were handcuffed for about 15 hours, accompanied by an army of policemen. During this time, we were not al- lowed to speak or contact each other. The handcuffs were not removed except during a meal break and when we went to the toilet. We arrived in Ankara around morning and after a hospital check we were taken to the terror department of the Ankara police department. There we saw that it had been a very ex- tensive arrest operation. (…) Many of our basic needs that we asked for were refused with the words, ‘Is this a hotel here?’. With their treatment, they made us really feel, for the first time, where the order to ar- rest us had come from.”
Torture and death threats
On the second day, the journalists were taken to another area to be fingerprinted. Eren stated that there, journalist Öznur Değer was kicked and abused by the police chief on the grounds that she was laughing: “When Öznur resisted, she was put face down on the floor, handcuffed behind her back and dragged down the stairs. When we protested with all our might and told them to their faces that they were tortur – ers, we were threatened. When we told them that one day, they would be sentenced for this, the head of the terror department replied: ‘I have seen many leftists, many governments, I have been here for 30 years, nothing will happen to me, I am the state’. When we demanded that the torture be recorded, we were told to ‘write it on the walls’. As we continued to insist on a medical report for Öznur in the police vehicle, they pressed the accelerator and sped off. In the meantime, Öznur told us that she had been threatened with death. When we were taken back to the terror department, it continued in the same way.”
Staging for the state press
Eren further reported that the authorities had prepared a staging for the state press such as the Anadolu news agency. At the prosecutor’s office, everyone was paraded before the press in a row with their hands tied.
“Prosecution wrote down things we had not said”
Eren stated that nine different prosecutors started questioning the journalists at the same time in the courthouse: “The prosecutor that I gave my statement to asked me inadmissible questions in order to get an opinion and had some things written down in the minutes that I had not said at all. When my lawyer objected to this situation, the prosecutor called the police and had him removed from the room. The po- lice put the handcuffs back on. In this way, I signed the report in handcuffs without reading it, and I had to stand for about one and three-quarters hours during the statement.”
11 The İmralı Post #27 Arrest sentences dictated by terror police
Eren remarked that nine people, with the exception of one journalist, were later brought before the magis- trate. At that time, it was already close to midnight. She said: “The last statement was made to the judge on duty at three in the morning. The judges pronounced the sentence after 10-15 minutes. Before the ver- dict was pronounced, three officers from the terror department went to the judge and instructed him. Af- ter the verdict, we were all led out of the courthouse in handcuffs. In the meantime, we were beaten, and our mouths were covered because we shouted the slogan ‘Free Press will not be silenced’. When we were taken to the vehicle that was to take us to Sincan Prison, another guard said, ‘Who made this victory sign?’ ‘ When we said ‘all of us’, he said, ‘Go and rot for 15 years’ and closed the door.”
The journalists arrived at Sincan Women’s Prison at around five o’clock. There they were strip-searched af- ter being admitted. When the women resisted, the repressive measure was stopped. Eren added: “For two days we had to wait in the ‘observation room’ to come to the ward. For one and a half days, we were not given water. Although we told them that a friend of ours had kidney disease, there was no water. Only af- ter a long struggle did we get 1.5 litres. When we were taken to the ward, we were told that the wing had been cleared two days before our arrest. For five days, we were held in an empty ward without any atten- tion to our needs. Only after five days were our basic needs met after our repeated pleas and dozens of re- quests. Only after long protests and requests were we given a chair and a table. However, the prisoners are still deprived of many of the most basic necessities of daily life.”
Prisoners in Erzurum jails go on hunger strike against torture
ANF | Erzurum | 12 November 2022
Prisoners in Dumlu High Security Prison No. 1 went on a 10-day alternating hunger strike against the closing of the windows of the single cells with thick wire and other torture practices. The action of the first group that went on hunger strike has entered its 4th day.
Ramazan Kaya, who was in Erzurum H Type Prison, went on an indefinite, irreversible hunger strike against the violations.
12 The İmralı Post #27 Journalists in Sincan Women’s Prison expose rights violations
ANF | Ankara | 14 November 2022
MA Editor-in-Chief Diren Yurtsever, reporters Berivan Altan and Ceylan Şahinli, and JINNEWS re- porters Habibe Eren and Öznur Değer, who were arrested as part of the Ankara-based investigation, talked about the rights violations imposed the prison administration.
JINNEWS reporter Habibe Eren, who met with her lawyer, stated that they could not use the television in the common area due to the fact that the sockets were not working, and added: “We are five journalists in F-2 ward, but the sockets of the common area do not work. Because of this, we had to leave the TV in a friend’s cell. We raised this problem, but no solution was found.”
Eren said that the prison administration tried to prevent the journalists from staying together and that “special” efforts were made to isolate them.
Guards attack prisoners on hunger strike for speaking Kurdish
ANF | 14 November 2022
The indefinite-alternating hunger strike launched by 40 prisoners on October 4 to protest the increasing rights violations and severe isolation conditions in Konya Ereğli High Security Prison continues. One of the hunger strikers, Yakup Brukanli from Rojhilat (Iranian Kurdistan), set his body on fire on October 28 to protest the severe isolation conditions.
Families of the hunger strikers gave the following information:
“Every day they bring a new prisoner from another prison and put them into cells. The prison was built in the form of single cells, and they call it a ‘single ward’. Prison officials told them ‘You will stay in a single cell, there is no other way’. Usually those cells are almost empty, prisoners buy everything with their own money. The prisoners said that the conditions were not good. Even their basic needs are not provided and there are prisoners who cannot afford them. The prisoners continue their indefinite alternating hunger strike, and the sick detainees state that they will also join the ongoing hunger strike.
When Yakup Brukanli, who set his body on fire to protest the isolation conditions, was taken to the infir- mary. Prisoners who asked about his condition were subjected to violence. One of the guards told the pris- oners: ‘We have put you in a single cell so that you don’t talk to each other’. Especially when the prisoners speak Kurdish, they face an even more violent attack. The Kurdish language is banned. Their aim is to completely cut off communication between the prisoners, and to break their will.”
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Families of the prisoners said that Brukanli remains in critical condition. “It is reported that Yakup cannot use his hands and arms. Accordingly, he has burns all over his body and his condition is very serious. He cannot even meet his basic needs. Yakup must be taken to a hospital. His condition could grow worse. There is a risk of infection in prison,” families said.
Military aggression and occupation Turkey has been attacking Shengal for 5 years
Firat Dicle | Shengal | 8 November 2022
The invading Turkish state has attacked Shengal dozens of times since 2017. Military and civilian leaders of the Yazidi community, as well as civilian citizens, have been martyred in the ongoing attacks.
The Turkish state is continuing its massacre attacks launched first with the help of ISIS on 3 August 2014. Supporting the Turkish attacks, the KDP drafted forces affiliated to the Kazimi government into the ongo- ing operations. On 3 March 2017, the KDP deployed forces called “Roj” Xanesor district of Shengal. As a result of the attacks, Naze Nayif, a member of the Yazidi Women’s Freedom Movement (TAJÊ), 7 fighters affiliated to the Shengal Resistance Units (YBŞ) and People’s Defence Forces (HPG) were killed. Moreover, journalist Nûjiyan Erhan, a representative of the Free Press tradition, who exposed the Shengal Massacre to the world, was seriously injured in the same attack and died on 22 March.
Turkish attacks after KDP attack
The first Turkish airstrike against Shengal, which is 170 km away from Turkey, was carried out on 25 April 2017. On the same day, the Turkish army attacked the YPG General Command headquarters on Qereçox Mountain in Rojava and killed 20 YPG and YPJ fighters. In an attack on Shengal, a civilian was killed and a YBŞ fighter was injured. Plus, the Çira Radio building completely collapsed, and the city’s park was seri – ously damaged because of the attacks.
Yazidi leaders targeted
In its second attack, the Turkish state targeted Yazidi Community Coordination Member Mam Zeki Şen- galî, who was returning from a commemoration ceremony for the Koço Massacre martyrs in the Şilo Val- ley region on 15 August 2018. Mam Zeki was martyred in the attack, while YBŞ fighter Mahir Serhed, who was seriously injured, died two weeks later.
14 The İmralı Post #27 Attacks became permanent
Thereafter, the attacks of the Turkish state became permanent. Three workers who came from Kobanê to dig a well in Shengal became the victims of a Turkish air strike on 13 December 2019. In November 2019, Turkish drones attacked the town of Xanesor, which left 6 YBŞ fighters dead.
Assasination of YBŞ top commander
Turkish drones targeted a top YBŞ Commander, Zerdeşt Şengalî in Digur village of Sinunê district of Shengal at 10.30am on 15 January2020. Şengalî and YBŞ fighters Şervan Cilo and Êzdîn Şengali were killed and one person was injured.
Turkish forces hit hospital
Along with the attacks on the Martyr Rustem Cûdî (Maxmûr) Refugee Camp and the Medya Defence Zones on 15 June 2020, a hospital in the Serdeşt village and some places around Shengal Mountain were bombed.
Attack on Serdesh camp
On 30 June the same year, the Yazidis in the Serdeşt Camp, who survived the Shengal Massacre, took refuge in the Shengal Mountain and took part in Shengal’s liberation campaign, were targeted.
Drone attack on villages of Xanesor
On 23-25 August 2020, several points in the Shengal Mountain were once again bombed simultaneously with the attacks on the Medya Defence Zones. The attacks continued on 26 August. A car was hit by Turkish drones in the village of Behrava in Xanesor, which killed two people. There were no casualties in the attack on the village of Barê. Barê was once again targeted by drones on 9 November. The attacks left a YBŞ fighter and a civilian martyred and two others injured.
Assasination of Seid Hesen
The Turkish state targeted the vehicle of YBŞ Commander Seîd Hesen Seîd in the old bazaar in Shengal downtown at noon on 16 August 2021. Seîd Hesen Seîd and his nephew, who was a YBŞ fighter, Îsa Xweda were killed, and three other people were injured.
Hospital in Sikiye hit
The next day, the Turkish state targeted a civilian hospital in the village of Sikiniyê. Turkish drones and fighter jets killed 8 people in the hospital. The hospital completely collapsed. Muxlis Sidar, who was killed during the attack, was one of the doctors without borders who came to Shengal from North Kurdistan (Turkey’s south-east) in 2014 to heal the Yazidis.
15 The İmralı Post #27 Assassination of Assembly co-chair
Turkish drones targeted the vehicle of Shengal Democratic Autonomous Administration Executive Coun- cil Co-Chair Merwan Bedel on 7 December 2021. Following the attack, Bedel was martyred and his two children in the vehicle were injured.
Four days after this attack, Turkish forces bombed the People’s Assembly headquarters in the Xanesor dis- trict of Shengal, causing material damage.
5 hour -long air strike
The Turkish state did not stop its attacks in 2022 either. Turkish drones hit a vehicle in Shengal’s Şilo Val- ley. Azad Êzdîn, a YBŞ Commander, and Enwer Tolhildan, a YBŞ fighter, were killed. Turkish fighter jets bombed Amûd and Çilmera regions, which are the strategic points of the Shengal Mountain, at 10pm on 1 February. However, there were no casualties in this air strike, which lasted about 5 hours.
12-years old teen killed
On 15 June, Turkish drones attacked the People’s Assembly headquarters in the Sinunê district of Shengal and its vicinity. 12-year-old Selah Naso was killed, and 8 citizens were injured.
Kazimi forces also attacked
In parallel with the new invasion attacks by the Turkish state in the Medya Defence Areas in April, Iraqi forces affiliated with the Kazimi government also attempted to enter Shengal. The Kazimi forces began to attack Yazidi Security Forces headquarters and the village of Digurê in Sinunê on 2 May. Yazidi Security Forces, especially the YBŞ and the YJŞ forces, resisted these attacks and were forced to retreat. During the battle, YBŞ fighter Şervan Êzîdxan and YJŞ fighter Feraşin Şengalî were killed.
Continous reconnaissance flights over Shengal
Turkish drones carried out attacks uninterruptedly against Shengal after 24 August 2022. On 29 August 2022, a vehicle that carried two YBŞ fighters was targeted between Xanesor sub-district and the village of Barê, and two fighters were injured.
Turkish drones targeted a vehicle of the YBŞ forces in the village of Behreva in Xanesor on 11 September; no casualties were reported.
The town of Til Ezer, known for its resistance against ISIS, was also attacked on 23 September, yet no ca – sualties were reported.
The Serdesht Camp was targeted once again on 6 October. No casualties were reported in the attack.
On 28 October, a civilian vehicle that parked around Shengal’s Cidale control centre was bombed. The next day, a house in the Xanesor district was bombed. No casualties were reported in these attacks.
16 The İmralı Post #27 Holy places also targeted
On the first day of November, Turkish forces targeted the Hesin Meman Dome, one of the holy places of the Yazidi people, located in Shengal downtown. No casualties were reported, but the dome was damaged.
One more civilian casualty in a recent attack
On 3 November, Turkish forces targeted a civilian vehicle on the move in the El Nasir District, one of the old neighbourhoods where the YBŞ and HPG guerrillas carried out the Shengal resistance for 11 months. A civilian named Mihsin Şemo was killed and the woman in the vehicle was injured.
Turkey-affiliated mercenaries kidnap 20 people in Afrin in
ANF | 8 November 2022
Syria-Afrin Human Rights Organization spokesperson, Îbrahim Şêxo, spoke to ANHA about the viola- tions of rights in Afrin in October. Stating that after Afrin was occupied in March 2018, paramilitary forces linked to Turkey committed all kinds of inhumane crimes against people, Şêxo said: “They kidnap, blackmail and murder people. They destroy nature and cut down trees. They implement policies to change the demographic structure in the region through structures under the name of charity.”
20 citizens kidnapped in October
Stating that 20 people, including 2 women, were kidnapped on unfounded accusations in October, Şêxo said: “The invading Turkish state’s intelligence and mercenaries kidnapped 20 more people in order to scare the people and take ransom from them.” Şêxo said that Turkish paramilitary forces withheld taxes from the olive harvest and confiscated olive crops in Raco and Bilbilê districts.
Şêxo drew attention to the spread of the Hayat Tehrîr Al-Sham mercenaries (Front al-Nusra) in Afrin and called it a farce that took place on the orders of Turkey. Şêxo drew attention to the crimes of the Hayat Tehrîr Al-Sham mercenaries and said: “They deduct taxes from the olive harvest under the name of zakat. They also take ransom and demolished religious tombs in the Canton.”
Stating that with the start of the olive harvest season, groups affiliated with Turkey applied a tax cut of 40 to 65 percent, he said: “In some villages of Shera district, citizens did not want to collect their olives, but the gangs forced them to collect them in order to get 65 percent tax from them. Olives collected in the vil – lage of Elî Caro in Bilbilê district were delivered to Siqûr El Şemal mercenaries.”
17 The İmralı Post #27
Stating that the tax rates and the seizure of lands have increased, Şêxo said: “The delegation of Tehrîr Al- Sham and the gangs affiliated with the invaders cancelled the procuration of the citizens who were forcibly displaced from Afrin.”
—★— Turkish army shells villages around Zirgan
ANF | 8 November 2022
The Turkish army has started shelling villages in the vicinity of the northern Syrian city of Zirgan. The towns of Tal al-Ward and Dada Abdal were targeted.
The city center of Zirgan was attacked by Turkish artillery on Monday as well. The Turkish state is plan- ning to incorporate the strategically important city into its already occupied area.
Zirgan is located about thirty kilometres east of the already fully occupied town of Serêkaniyê and lies on the edge of a link road between strategic routes 712 and M4.
Til Temir, about 25 kilometres from Zirgan, was also under fire on Monday evening. The villages of Um el-Xer and Gozeliyê were targeted.
MSD warns Sweden against concessions to Erdogan
ANF | 9 November 2022
The Swedish parliament is set to vote on 16 November on a constitutional amendment that could lead to a tightening of anti-terror legislation. The change would allow for the restriction of “freedom of associa- tion of groups involved in terrorism”. The announcement from the Swedish parliament comes a day after Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson visited Turkey. After talks with Turkish President Erdogan, Kristersson told a joint press conference on Tuesday that the constitutional amendments include combating terrorism and terrorist organisations such as the PKK in Sweden. “Sweden will fulfil all the commitments it has made to Turkey in the fight against the terrorist threat,” Kristersson said. He said his government’s mandate was to put law and order first, and that included “terrorist organisations like the PKK”.
In the run-up to the newly elected Prime Minister’s inaugural visit to Erdogan, Foreign Minister Tobias Billström had declared a distancing of the Swedish government from the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, explicitly naming the PYD (Democratic Union Party) and the YPG (People’s De- fense Units). Billström argued that their links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) were “too close to be
18 The İmralı Post #27 good for relations between us and Turkey.” His government’s main goal, he said, was Sweden’s NATO
The Syrian Democratic Council (MSD) is concerned about the Swedish genuflection to Erdogan. The Swedish government’s pronouncements shortly after World Kobanê Day were shocking and triggered anger, said the MSD, which has been campaigning for a political solution to the crisis in Syria since 2015.
“The resistance of Kobanê initiated the defeat of ISIS and led to the weakening of Islamist terrorist organi- sations. Ankara has supported ISIS from the beginning. We point out that the relations between Ankara and the terrorist organisations are not a secret for the Swedish government. We inform the Swedish people and their government that the north-east of Syria is an important part of the country and that the fight carried out here contributes to the security of the world. The Swedish government knows that this fight has resulted in 35,000 deaths and war casualties of the YPG, YPJ and SDF. Sweden is not such a weak country that it can be blackmailed by the Turkish state and must make concessions on democratic and le- gal standards to satisfy a dictator,” MSD stated.
The MSD called on the Swedish people, political parties and civil society organisations to resist this stance and warned that giving in to the Turkish state’s blackmail would also harm Sweden in the long run.
Turkish army targets villages around Zirgan and Til Temir,
wounds 65-year-old civilian
ANF | Heseke | 10 November 2022
Turkish artillery again targeted villages near Zirgan and Til Temir on Wednesday night. In Zirgan, the vil- lages of al-Bûbû, Rabiat and Şûr were particularly affected by the shelling. When artillery shelled the vil- lage of Sukar al-Ahmer near Til Temir, 65-year-old Muhammad Shibli was injured in the leg by shrapnel. He was brought to the Şehîd Lêgerîn Hospital in Til Temir. His condition is stable.
The areas around Zirgan and Til Temir border with the Turkish-occupied region around Serêkaniyê and Girê Spî. From there, Turkish artillery attacks and repeated ground attacks are carried out. The Turkish army is attempting to expel the population in this way and, in a further step, to expand its occupied areas to the strategically important east-west axis, the M4 motorway.
19 The İmralı Post #27 Sweden works hard to win Turkey’s support for NATO bid
ANF | 10 November 2022
The new Swedish government wants to extract an endorsement from the Turkish regime for its aspired NATO accession by making concessions on anti-Kurdish policies.
Foreign Minister Tobias Billström said on Thursday that he would shortly go to the Turkish capital Ankara this autumn “to continue discussions with my counterparts there”.
“Sweden will continue its dialogue with Turkey to overcome objections raised by Ankara over its applica- tion to join the NATO alliance,” Billstrom told reporters in Berlin after meeting his German counterpart on Thursday.
“I think the discussions are continuing in a very positive way,” he noted.
Billstrom said discussions would continue on all levels, while discussions between authorities in Sweden, Turkey and Finland would continue at the same time.
The Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson visited Ankara on 8 November and promised to answer Tur- key’s concerns, which are directly aimed at the Kurds.
The Swedish Parliament is expected to make a constitutional amendment next week to “toughen counter terrorism” in an attempt to meet Ankara’s anti-Kurdish demands.
Experts are of the opinion that this action will especially smooth the way for investigations against the Kurds.
Minister Billström said in a radio interview on Saturday about the Kurdish Democratic Unity Party (PYD) and the People’s Defence Units (YPG) active in Rojava (northern Syria) that their links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) were “too close to be good for relations between us and Turkey”. His government’s main goal, he said, was Sweden’s NATO membership. Billström thus signalled his willingness to add a new dimension to the criminalisation policy against the Kurdish people that has been in place in the Nordic country for decades.
Both Sweden and Finland are seeking to join NATO in view of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This re- quires ratification by all 30 member states of the defence alliance. While 28 members have already agreed to join, Turkey and Hungary have yet to approve.
Turkish regime leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has refused to allow Sweden and Finland to join NATO, cit- ing both countries’ alleged support for Kurdish organisations that Ankara considers “terrorist”. Then, at the end of June, the three countries signed a memorandum of understanding designed to overcome Turk- ish objections. Turkey’s demands also included the lifting of the Swedish arms embargo and the extradition of opposition members. However, a final agreement has not yet been reached.
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Sweden saw a change of government in the autumn. The country is governed by a centre-right coalition. The new Prime Minister, Ulf Kristersson of the conservative Moderate Party, has formed a minority coali- tion with Christian Democrats and Liberals, supported by the right-wing populist Sweden Democrats. Kristersson asked Erdoğan for a meeting regarding NATO accession at the end of October.
Burning, shooting, bombing, the atrocious methods used by the
ANF | 11 November 2022
It has recently been revealed that the Turkish army, which has resorted to all kinds of atrocious methods in its invasion attacks since 14 April 2021, against the Medya Defence Areas, headquarters of the Kurdistan Freedom Guerrillas, has also burned the dead bodies of its own soldiers.
The Turkish army, which used this brutal method against its own soldiers, has burned civilians alive, exe – cuted them by firing squads or bombed them in Kurdistan myriad times before. It punished the Kurdish civilians with these methods after it suffered heavy losses in armed clashes with the Kurdish freedom guer- rillas.
Below is a list of the main events that revealed dirty and brutal practices of the Turkish army in Kurdistan:
Turkish army threw Kurdish civilians into wells filled with acid
The wells filled with acid located between Silopi and Cizre exemplified the notorious practices of the Turk – ish army in Kurdistan. In the 1990s, the Turkish army’s counter-guerrilla organization JİTEM threw hun- dreds of civilians it abducted or detained in the Botan and Mardin regions into the wells of BOTAŞ (pub – lic petroleum pipeline corporation) along the Cizre-Silopi road. The exact number of civilian killings is still unknown. In 2009, following the statements of Tuncay Güney, a key figure in the Ergenekon investi- gations, and informant Abdülkadir Aygan some wells were examined in the Silopi district of Şırnak.
Dozens of human bones and burnt or bloody cloth pieces were found in the wells. Witnesses and former members of JİTEM revealed that civilian people were kidnapped and thrown into wells after they were burned with acid. Although a family which lost its 70 members and relatives in the region requested an in- vestigation and concomitant public backlash, the public prosecution against JİTEM members was sus- pended after a while.
Imam executed by firing squad
On June 13, 1993, ARGK guerrillas attacked a Turkish army post in the Görümlü (Bespîn) town of Şır – nak’s Silopi district. The Turkish soldiers, who suffered heavy losses during the armed conflict that lasted for hours, attacked residents of the town the following day in order to wreak their anger on the civilian
21 The İmralı Post #27
population. Turkish soldiers tortured the villagers following the orders of the Brigade Commander Mete Sayar, and executed 6 civilians, including the imam of the village, İbrahim Akın, by shooting and setting the village on fire. Before the executions, Turkish soldiers put a cross on Imam Akın’s neck and beat him until he passed out.
Mete Sayar, the ‘murderer general’ of the 1990s, who was also the Deputy Commander of the Turkish General Staff’s Special Operations Department and took part in the 1974 invasion of Cyprus, confessed the Bespîn massacre and the execution of the imam in an interview published by Hürriyet newspaper the same year. “About two months ago, an imam of a village was killed during a military operation. A cross necklace was found among his belongings, and he was uncircumcised. We realized that a man we know as an imam was an Armenian,” Mete Sayar said. The Turkish commander did not hesitate to insult both the Armenian people and the Muslims in his interview.
9 civilians burnt to death in Vartinis
On October 2, 1993, Turkish soldiers, who received the dead body of a non-commissioned officer who died in a conflict with ARGK guerrillas, opened fire in the air while passing through the Vartinis (Alti- nova) town of the Korkut district of Muş, saying that “Tonight, we will come and burn your village”.
Turkish soldiers set fire to the village at around 3 am on October 3, 1993. Nasır and Eşref Öğüt whose houses were set on fire, died in the fire together with their 7 children, the eldest of whom was 12 years old and the youngest 3 years old. Eşref Oran was pregnant during the massacre. Aysel Öğüt, the only survivor, later filed a criminal complaint concerning the incident.
Shortly after, the Muş Prosecutor’s Office sent the file to the Diyarbakır State Security Court, with a deci- sion of lack of jurisdiction claiming that “The PKK was responsible for the incident and it is a terrorist crime.” The State Security Court closed the file, agreeing that it was a “terrorist act” and “the perpetrators are not known”.
Years later, three high-ranking Turkish soldiers were acquitted in the lawsuit concerning the Vartinis Mas- sacre. The lawyers of the Öğüt family who objected to the decision of the Court of Cassation filed a new lawsuit. In the first hearing held at the Kırıkkale 1st High Criminal Court on September 21, 2021, an ar – rest warrant was issued for the then Gendarmerie Regional Commander Bülent Karaoğlu. However, Karaoğlu has not been brought to court since then.
Turkish soldiers executed 9 shepherds in south Kurdistan
In 1995, the Turkish army deployed 35 thousand soldiers in an invasion attack, which it named “Steel Operation”, in order to occupy South Kurdistan territories from four directions. However, the attack to which the Turkish rulers of the period attached great importance faced formidable resistance by the Kur- distan guerrillas. When repelled by the ARGK guerrillas, the invading army started to target Kurdish civil – ians.
During the invasion attack, 11 villages along the border line were bombed by the invading army, and nu- merous civilian vehicles were targeted. In the first days of April, the Turkish army carried out one of the most brutal massacres in its history. On April 2, 1995, Turkish soldiers executed 9 shepherds in an open
22 The İmralı Post #27
area between the villages of Bawerkê and Benata, located near the Dihok province. The names of 7 of the shepherds who were killed for allegedly helping the guerrilla forces are as follows: Abdülkadir İzzetxan, İs – mail Hasan Şerif, Serbest Ebdulkadir, Ebdillah Kerim Huseyin, Abdurrahman Muhammed, Şerif Guli Zikri and Ehmed Fettah.
They shot and burnt abducted civilians
In the run-up to the 24 December 1995 elections, Turkish state officials demanded a ceasefire from Kur- dish leader Abdullah Öcalan. After the intense war in Kurdistan, Öcalan declared a ceasefire in a statement to MED TV on December 15, 1995 to pave the way for a new peace process. In the first days of 1996, af- ter the elections in Turkey and North Kurdistan, Ankara responded to the ceasefire declaration with a new massacre.
On January 12, 1996, Turkish soldiers raided the villages of Çevrimli and Yatağan in the Güçlükonak dis- trict of Şırnak and detained a group of village guards and villagers. On January 15, 1996, some of the vil- lagers were shot shortly after they were put in a minibus which was set on fire by Turkish soldiers. The Turkish General Staff, which made a statement after the incident which killed 11 Kurdish civilians, tried to put the blame on the PKK. However, it was soon revealed that the Turkish state’s killing machine in Kurdistan, JİTEM, was the perpetrator.
9 civilians killed by explosives in Peyanis
On September 16, 2011, 4 days before the end of a ceasefire announced by the KCK, the Peace Democ- racy Party (BDP) was scheduled to have a meeting with the then Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in order to continue the ceasefire. However, an hour before the meeting, an explosion took place while a civilian minibus was passing near the village of Peyanis (Geçitli) in Hakkari. Explosives placed on the road by Turkish soldiers killed 9 civilians inside the minibus.
On the same day, in line with a peace plan presented by the KCK, a delegation from Ankara was meeting with Öcalan in the Imrali prison. The Peyanis massacre took place while the talks with the state delegation were continuing. In a meeting with his lawyers following the massacre, Öcalan said the following: “The meetings here were also bombed with this latest explosion.”
Child malnutrition in North-East Syria increases over 150%
amid worsening hunger crisis
ANF | 11 November 2022
The number of malnourished children in North-East Syria has surged by over 150% in the past six months with at least 10,000 more children now facing malnutrition than in the previous six months, ac- cording to new data.
23 The İmralı Post #27
Save the Children staff reported a fourfold increase – from 256 to over 1000 – in the number of malnour – ished children screened in its 19 nutrition centres in camps in North-East Syria and in community set- tings, confirming the same worsening trend.
Save the Children’s Nutrition specialist Sara Ali said:
‘’Every day we have to deal with more malnourished children than the day before. Malnutrition is life threatening to children. Poverty and the inability to afford food are the main reasons families are giving for this increase.”
Over the past three years, the combination of conflict, drought, the Lebanese financial crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic have caused a free-fall of the Syrian currency to historically low levels.
While the average family income has not increased, food prices skyrocketed by almost 800% between 2019 and 2021 and continue to rise in 2022. This massive price hike is forcing an ever-increasing number of people to go hungry.
Maha, 30, works as a waste scavenger and is struggling to make ends meet to feed her five children, in- cluding her youngest Ameen, who is malnourished.
“The war brought extreme hunger with it. Before, we never had to worry about food being available, de- spite being poor back then too.
“Sometimes we skip meals to save something to eat for the next day. I cannot remember the last time my children had meat or sweets. Sometimes they crave meat and ask me to get them some. I lie to them, say – ing that I will the next day. I never do. They will have nothing to eat if I do. Our breakfast is al- ways tea and bread only.”
Beat Rohr, Interim Syria Response Office Director, said:
“After almost 12 years of conflict in Syria, the worsening economic situation has become the main driver of needs, despite continued armed conflict in many parts of the country. At least 60% of the population is currently food insecure, and the situation is getting worse by the day.”
Save the Children is calling on donors to step up efforts to tackle the hunger crisis and alleviate its devas – tating impacts on children, saying, “While different organisations are working to provide food to the most vulnerable groups, the resources available are not sufficient to assure all children have access to balanced nutrition that is essential for their health and growth. The international community must urgently increase the availability of sufficient food to the most affected populations.”
Save the Children is also calling on leaders gathering in Egypt for the COP27 climate change summit to recognise the climate impacts already affecting communities and children across the world, like the drought in North East Syria, particularly those from low-income countries and those who are affected by inequality and discrimination.
24 The İmralı Post #27 HPG reports ongoing guerrilla actions and Turkish attacks in
ANF | Behdinan | 12 November 2022
The press centre of the People’s Defence Forces (HPG) has issued a statement on the guerrillas’ resistance against the Turkish invasion of southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq). According to the statement, two guer- rillas fell as martyrs in a battle in the Zap region of the guerrilla-held Medya Defense Zones.
“On 5 November, a battle erupted with occupiers who were moving in the resistance area of Şikefta Birîn- dara. The Turkish state’s special war media reported two army members dead and two wounded. They are distorting reality in order to hide the losses of the occupation forces. Our forces sacrificially attacked the occupying forces in this battle, leaving four of them punished and two others injured. Our companions Şoreş and Nûjiyan fought fearlessly until their last breath and joined the caravan of martyrs. Full details of their identities will be released at a later date”, said the HPG statement on Saturday.
Regarding the latest guerrilla actions in Southern Kurdistan, the HPG stated that a soldier was shot dead in Çemço in the Zap region on Friday. In the Sîda area, which is also located in Zap, the guerrillas de- stroyed Turkish army explosive devices that were meant to be used against the Şehîd Doğan tunnel.
At Girê Şehîd Axîn in Xakurke region and Girê Cûdî in Metîna region, the occupation forces were struck by mobile guerrilla teams with heavy weapons on Thursday and Friday.
Attacks by the Turkish army
According to HPG information, the Turkish army used banned bombs six times against guerrilla positions on 11 November. The areas affected were Şehîd Yunus on Girê Cûdî, Şehîd Sîpan on Girê Amêdî and Şe- hîd Serxwebûn in Çemço. The areas of Girê FM, Girê Cûdî ve Girê Amêdî were attacked 14 times by at- tack helicopters. Dozens of other attacks were carried out with howitzers, tanks and heavy weapons on Saca, Çemço, Girê FM, Girê Cûdî and Girê Amêdî.
In the resistance areas of Şehîd Adil and Şehîd Fedakar, the Turkish army continues military road con- struction.
25 The İmralı Post #27 Explosion in Istanbul results in deaths and injuries
ANF | Istanbul | 13 November 2022
6 people were killed and 53 others injured as a result of an explosion in the western Turkish metropolis of Istanbul. The latest toll was announced by President Tayyip Erdoğan during a press conference in the evening.
The reason for the explosion, which occurred at 16:20 local time on Sunday afternoon on the popular shopping boulevard Istiklal Avenue in the central district of Beyoğlu, was initially unclear.
Footage posted on digital networks showed ambulances, fire engines and police at the scene of the explo- sion. Shops were closed and the street blocked off, with images showing people lying on the ground.
Meanwhile, the Turkish broadcasting authority RTÜK has ordered a news blackout on the explosion. This applies to any kind of news, interview, and images from the scene.
Drone attack in Amûdê amidst ongoing attacks on North-East
ANF | 13 November 2022
A Turkish drone attacked a car in the village of Sinciq Sadûn, south of Amûdê. According to local sources, three people were injured as a result of the attack. It is not yet known whether they were civilians or mem – bers of combat units. An official statement by the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) or the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) is not yet available.
In the last known drone attack in the region, a Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighter was killed, and two civilians were injured in Qamishlo on 6 November. On 24 October, two people were killed in a Turk- ish drone strike in Qamishlo. Two weeks earlier, a member of the Syriac Sutoro security was killed by a Turkish drone near Dêrik. In early October, YPG commander Koçero Batman was murdered in Kobanê in the same way. At the end of September, the co-chairs of the Justice Office of Cizîrê, Zeyneb Mihemed and Yilmaz Şero, died in a drone strike in Girkê Legê. In June, a depot of the HPC (Social Defence Forces) in Qamishlo, which is in the immediate vicinity of today’s attack site, was bombed by a Turkish drone. The attack resulted in five casualties.
AANES has been calling for a no-fly zone against Turkey’s attacks for a long time. In world public opin- ion, the attacks of NATO member Turkey, which are contrary to international law, are ignored.
26 The İmralı Post #27
In the meantime, the Turkish army and allied jihadist militias continue their attacks on the autonomous areas of northern and eastern Syria. Civilian settlement areas in Til Temir, Zirgan (Abu Rasen) and Manbij are currently affected by the aggression.
In Til Temir, the shelling is concentrated on the village of Umm Harmala, north of the city. In Zirgan, the villages of Dada Abdal and Bobî are under artillery fire. Both villages are located in the north-west of the town, which borders the occupation zone around Serêkaniyê (Ras al-Ain).
On the other hand, the Manbij Military Council reports heavy bombardments against Awn al-Dadat. Ac- cording to the report, the attacks were carried out from a base of the Turkish-Jihadist occupation forces in Tokhar near Jarablus. Several artillery shells have landed in the village since midday. Sporadic attacks on Manbij today also targeted other areas along the line of contact between occupation forces and the Manbij Military Council, which is part of the Syrian Democratic Forces.
The town of Manbij is located 30 kilometres south of the Turkish border and occupies a key strategic posi- tion in Turkey’s plans to expand its illegal occupation zone in northern Syria. The region lies on the im- portant M4 motorway, which runs through northern Syria like a lifeline and was already a strategic supply route for ISIS. There are repeated attacks, which are mainly directed against civilian settlement areas with the aim of displacement.
46 detained in connection with the Taksim explosion
ANF | 14 November 2022
An explosion on Istiklal Avenue in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul left 6 people dead and 81 people in- jured on Sunday. Turkish police announced that 46 people were taken into custody in connection with the bomb attack. According to a statement by the Istanbul Police, Ahlam Albahsır, who allegedly left the bomb at the scene, was also detained.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca stated that 55 of the 81 injured people were discharged from hospital after receiving treatment. According to the minister, 26 of those injured are receiving treatment at hospitals while 5 remain in the intensive care unit. He added that the condition of 2 people is serious.
27 The İmralı Post #27 HSM denies involvement in Istanbul explosion, calls for its
ANF | 14 November 2022
The Headquarters Command of the People’s Defense Center (HSM) released a statement denying any in- volvement in the deadly explosion at Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue on Sunday.
While Turkish officials announced that 46 people, including the person who allegedly left the bomb at the scene, were detained in connection with the explosion, the HSM called for the exposure of the back- ground to the deadly attack.
The statement released by HSM Headquarters Command on Monday includes the following:
“First of all, we offer our condolences to the relatives of the victims and wish the injured a speedy recovery. We have nothing to do with this incident and it is well-known by the public that we would not target civilians directly or approve of actions directed at civilians. We are a movement waging a righteous and le- gitimate struggle for freedom. We act based on a perspective that seeks to create a common, democratic, free and equal future with the society of Turkey. From this standpoint, us targeting the civilian population in any way is definitely out of the question.
It is a bitter truth that the AKP-MHP regime is having difficulty in the face of our developing legitimate struggle. Especially with the exposure of their use of chemical weapons and images proving them setting the corpses of their own soldiers on fire, it is obvious that there is an attempt to put a dark plan into ac – tion to distort the current state altogether. Turkish officials pointing Kobanê as a target in connection with this incident reveals the aspect of their plan. When looked from this point of view, it is obvious that this is a dark incident, and although the perpetrator is claimed to be Kurdish or Syrian, this will not change the consequences. The incident points to the initiation of a dark plan. In this respect, it is of importance that the democratic circles and the public opinion of Turkey see the hoped-for dark period and fight for the ex – posure of this incident.”
SDF Commander-In-Chief: Our forces have nothing to do with
the Istanbul attack
ANF | 14 November 2022
The General Commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Mazlum Abdi announced on Monday that their forces had nothing to do with Sunday’s attack in Istanbul that claimed the lives of six people and injured dozens of others.
28 The İmralı Post #27
While Turkish officials were quick to blame the Kurdish freedom movement for the deadly attack, claim- ing that the attacker had come from northern Syria, the Headquarters Command of the People’s Defense Center (HSM) denied involvement in the incident, making it clear that they were against attacks directed at civilians.
In a Twitter post on Monday, the SDF Commander-In-Chief said, “We state that our forces have nothing to do with the Istanbul attack and deny the allegations that blame our forces.”
Abdi offered their condolences to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery to the injured.
Iraqi parliamentarian: Turkey advanced 185 km into Iraqi
ANF | 14 November 2022
The invading Turkish state continues its attacks against the territories of southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq). The silence of the governments of the Kurdistan Region and Iraq encourages the Turkish state to in- crease its attacks.
A member of the Iraqi Parliament and Security and Defence Commission, Wied Qedo, spoke to Iraqi lo- cal media about the attacks of the Turkish state and revealed that the Turkish army had advanced 185 kilo- metres into Iraqi territory.
Qedo also talked about Turkey’s military bases in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, saying, “The Turkish state has approximately 130 military bases on Iraqi territory. The areas it has occupied are within the bor- ders of the Kurdistan Region.”
KCK: Istanbul attack shows that AKP-MHP are pursuing new
ANF | Behdinan | 15 November 2022
The Co-Presidency of the KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) Executive Council released a statement about Sunday’s deadly bomb attack that killed 6 people and injured 81 others in Taksim, Istanbul.
29 The İmralı Post #27
While Turkish officials were quick to blame the Kurdish freedom movement for the deadly attack, claim- ing that the attacker had come from northern Syria, the Headquarters Command of the People’s Defense Center (HSM), the armed wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), denied involvement in the inci- dent, making it clear that they were against attacks directed at civilians.
The General Commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Mazlum Abdi said, “Our forces have nothing to do with the Istanbul attack and deny the allegations that blame our forces.”
The People’s Defense Units (YPG) also refuted the Turkish state’s allegations, saying, ““We strongly reject these groundless allegations. We have no connection to the terrorist Ehlam El-Beşîr who carried out the attack. The whole world knows that the principle of our forces is based on the protection of human rights and counter-terrorism. We condemn any form of attack directed at civilians. Our forces struggle within the context of democracy, human and women’s rights, and the fight against terror and dictatorship.”
The statement released by the KCK Executive Council Co-Presidency on Tuesday includes the following:
“On November 13, 2022, many people were killed and injured in an explosion on Istiklal Street in Istan- bul. We are deeply saddened by the loss of life and injuries as a result of this attack. As the Kurdish Free – dom Movement and on behalf of our people, we would like to express that we share their sorrow and ex- press our condolences. We extend our condolences to the people of Turkey and the families of those who lost their lives and wish a speedy recovery to those who were injured. We strongly condemn this attack, which was clearly organized under a dark guise and targeted the democratic future of the peoples of Tur- key. Although the HPG Central Command [Hêzen Parastina Gel – People ́s Defense Forces] announced that they have no relation with this attack and that it is out of the question for them to carry out attacks targeting civilians, the fascist AKP-MHP state and its supporters are persistently trying to blame this at- tack on our movement. We would therefore like to state once again that the Kurdish Freedom Movement has nothing to do with this attack. The fascist AKP-MHP state insistently wants to blame this attack on our movement in order to hide the truth and to create the necessary conditions for them to carry out their malicious plans. We therefore call on everyone, especially the democratic public and media, to make all efforts necessary to expose this attack. The statements and slanders of the fascist AKP-MHP state accusing our movement do absolutely not reflect the truth. To the contrary, they only serve to conceal the truth of the incident. Even based on a preliminary evaluation, it is not difficult to understand that this constitutes a plot by the AKP-MHP. That is why we strongly urge Turkey’s intellectuals, democrats, democratic press and political forces that seek the democratization of Turkey, to disregard the statements of the fascist AKP- MHP state aimed at concealing the truth and to make efforts to reveal the truth of this incident.
The fascist AKP-MHP alliance pursues a policy that is based on enmity towards the Kurdish people. It has vowed to realize Kurdish genocide and to destroy the Kurdish Freedom Movement, which struggles for the freedom of the oppressed, exploited and denied people of Kurdistan. The fascist AKP-MHP alliance spends all of Turkey’s wealth and all the values of society on the annihilation of the Kurds. No means have been left unused, all kinds of inhumane methods have been applied and massacres and occupations have been carried out. The AKP-MHP alliance, which knows no bounds in enmity towards the Kurds, has re- sorted to the most despicable and inhumane weapons of mass destruction when it could not achieve its goals despite having used all kinds of dirty and ugly war methods. The AKP-MHP has not only wasted the values of the people for the anti-Kurdish war, but has also committed crimes against humanity by using chemical weapons and has thus put the whole society of Turkey under suspicion. However, despite all in-
30 The İmralı Post #27
humane practices, including the use of chemical weapons, the fascist AKP-MHP alliance has not been able to achieve its malicious goals. On the contrary, due to the revelation of the use of chemical weapons, its true face has been revealed even more. This has caused it to experience serious problems and has made its plans fail. No matter what methods the fascist AKP-MHP alliance resorts to, it cannot succeed against the resistance of the guerrilla and the struggle of the peoples, women and democratic forces, especially the Kurdish people. Today, everybody knows that the AKP-MHP alliance aims to eliminate democracy by de- stroying the Kurdish Freedom Movement and the Kurds and to establish a religious, nationalist, authori- tarian and fascist order in Turkey. However, as a result of the resistance and struggle, the AKP-MHP has realized that they cannot not realize this goal. They now know that they have lost the support of society and that they will lose their power in the case of elections. The AKP-MHP alliance has not only failed to realize its fascist and genocidal plans, but has been exposed, blocked and ended up in a helpless situation due to its crimes against humanity.
It is obvious that the AKP-MHP alliance plans to resort to new and malicious methods in order to change this situation and to get out of its crisis. The attack in Istanbul constitutes the first step of this plan. Once again, we would like to stress that this is a new and malicious plan. We call on everyone to be vigilant in this regard and to make efforts to reveal the truth by not relying on the statements made by the AKP- MHP state. With this attack, the AKP-MHP alliance aims to create an environment that resembles the sit- uation after the massacre on October 10, 2015 [in front of Ankara’s main train station]. It is important for everybody to realize that this is a malicious and despicable plan targeting the future of Turkey and the ef- forts of the Kurdish and Turkish peoples to live together. Everyone in favor of democracy and coexistence must take the right and necessary attitude and thus defeat this malicious plan, just as the previous plans of the fascist AKP-MHP alliance have been defeated.
The fascist AKP-MHP state’s attempt to blame this attack on our movement and to claim that it was car- ried out from Rojava constitutes a highly deliberate manipulation. Everyone knows that one of the most important parts of the fascist AKP-MHP alliance’s Kurdish genocide is the occupation of Rojava. It is very obvious that the AKP-MHP aims to create the necessary environment for an invasion by targeting Rojava with this plot. The timing of this attack is also very telling. It was carried out at a time when it has been re- vealed that the AKP-MHP uses chemical weapons and burns soldiers’ bodies, when Turkish society is struggling with serious economic problems, when the war against the Kurds and the religious, gangster, mafia-oriented order are being questioned and demands for democracy are being voiced more and more loudly, and when the AKP-MHP is losing the support of society. It is clear that this is a diversion of the political agenda and that it aims to initiate malicious developments again. Whenever malicious develop- ments are wanted, massacres are organized and Kurds are blamed. The latest attack in Istanbul also has such a purpose. Everybody must therefore be sensitive and vigilant. This is a deliberate effort to portray the perpetrator of the attack as being from Rojava or Syria. By doing so, they want to create a certain envi- ronment. Regardless of who carried out the attack, Kurdish or not, this attack and the individuals men- tioned have nothing to do with our movement or the Rojava revolutionary forces. The Rojava forces have already declared that they have nothing to do with this attack. Everyone should be aware of this fact and should not become a tool for the AKP-MHP’s plan that involves malicious ambitions. Our movement can never be linked to attacks targeting civilians. We would never plan and carry out such attacks. We are a movement that resists the genocidal attacks of the fascist AKP-MHP alliance, seeks a democratic solution to the Kurdish question and struggles for the democratization of Turkey. Everyone in Turkey knows this. It is very clear that any attitude that is not based on such an approach will support the AKP-MHP alliance and serve their malicious plans.
31 The İmralı Post #27
The fascist AKP-MHP alliance has reached a stage of collapse as a result of the resistance and struggle of the Kurds, the peoples, women and all democratic forces. It now has difficulties carrying out its genocidal fascist plans and surviving. The use of chemical weapons has also been exposed, which has caused even more difficulties for the AKP-MHP. Turkey’s future, well-being and democratization depend on the de- struction of this fascist alliance that aims to darken the future by organizing malicious plans and that com- mit crimes against humanity. Due to this malicious plan, it is now necessary for everyone to see the reality of the AKP-MHP alliance and its horrible and malicious goals even better and to fight against it. The AKP-MHP alliance even burns soldiers’ corpses in order to hide what they are doing and to prevent any- one from knowing what is going on. This is the reality of the AKP-MHP. Everyone who claims not to be fascist, to care about Turkey, to not be an enemy of the Kurds, to be human, in short, to not be an AKP- MHP member, needs to acknowledge this reality, make an effort to make this reality known to the public and stand against the AKP-MHP’s plan to make the facts invisible by silencing the press with the help of the disinformation law. Being human, democratic, steadfast and moral requires this.
We would like to once again condemn this attack, which has deeply saddened our people and the people of Turkey. We share the sorrow for the loss of lives and the injured. As the Kurdish Freedom Movement, we reiterate our promise to our people and the peoples of Turkey to realize the goal of democracy and free- dom, and once again promise to continue the struggle for this. We state clearly once again that our move- ment has nothing to do with this attack. The attempt to blame this attack on our movement shows that the AKP-MHP are pursuing new malicious plans. Therefore, we call on everyone to be sensitive, careful, vigilant and make all necessary efforts to understand the truth.
Belgium law firm takes Turkey’s use of chemical weapons to the UN
ANF | Brussels | 8 November 2022
According to an article published by the Mezopotamya Agency by Meltem Oktay, Van Steenbrugge Advo- caten Law Firm in Belgium, which has prepared a case against Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan within the scope of “torture” and “crimes against humanity”, according to the International Criminal Court and the Magnitsky law, as well as for the use of chemical weapons made their move.
Professor of Ghent University and former President of Belgium, who is the head of the law office, Dr. Jo- han Vande Lanotte and lawyer Johan Heymans from the Law Firm applied to the UN Secretariat General on behalf of the Coalition Against the Use of Chemical Weapons in Kurdistan, based on images and re- ports on the use of chemical weapons. The letter was sent to the UN Secretary General via fax on 7 No- vember.
32 The İmralı Post #27
In their application, lawyers Johan Vande Lanotte and Johan Heymans, stated that the Coalition Against the Use of Chemical Weapons in Kurdistan violated the provisions of Turkey’s Chemical Weapons Con- vention and demanded an investigation to find out whether the Turkish state used chemical weapons in Northern Iraq.
Investigation important to clarify claims
The application also stated that “an investigation commission will be extremely important and urgent to clarify the allegations made by the Kurdish population living in that region, but which have not been the subject of an independent investigation so far.”
A reference was made to the report by the International Doctors for Prevention of Nuclear War, (IPPNW) which caused the concerns of the Coalition Against the Use of Chemical Weapons in Kurdistan. In addi- tion, it was emphasized that the IPPNW is an independent and reliable international medical group that was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985.
Debate on Turkey’s use of chemical weapons in the British
ANF | London | 9 November 2022
Two deputies of Britain’s Labour Party, Kim Johnson and Lloyd Russell-Moyle, raised the issue of Turkey’s use of chemical weapons in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) and the Turkish state’s repression of any – one critical of it in the House of Commons on Tuesday.
Liverpool Labour MP Kim Johnson asked Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign, Com- monwealth & Development Office, Leo Docherty, whether his department would ask the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to conduct an investigation into Turkey’s use of chem- ical weapons in northern Iraq.
Johnson also drew attention to the Turkish state’s repression of CHP deputy Sezgi Tanrikulu, against whom a case was brought for supporting terrorism after he called for an investigation into the Turkish army’s use of chemical weapons. Kim Johnson further made it clear that it was time to follow the Belgian Supreme Court and review the classification of the PKK as a terrorist organisation. If this did not happen, Britain would be covering up Turkey’s human rights violations against the Kurds inside and outside its borders, the MP stated.
Lloyd Russell-Moyle, another Labour MP, quoted CHP MP Sezgin Tanrikulu: “I have seen the footage of the alleged chemical weapons. Chemical weapons are crimes against humanity. Tomorrow I will submit an enquiry about the veracity of these allegations.” For this statement alone, Tanrikulu was charged with ter- rorism and supporting the PKK, even though Turkey’s defence minister confirmed that Turkey was using
33 The İmralı Post #27 gas. Russell-Moyle stressed that Sezgin Tanrikulu was a member of the CHP, Turkey’s founding party. The
classification of the PKK as terrorist is exaggerated and stifles democracy in Turkey, he said.
Leo Docherty, a Conservative MP, responded to the two Labour MPs’ questions by saying that, in his de- partment’s view, Turkey was exercising its right of self-defence against a terrorist organisation. “The gov- ernment is aware of allegations that Turkey is using white phosphorus in northern Iraq, but there is no evi- dence. Of course, the British government is obliged to take evidence seriously in order to enforce the ban on chemical weapons,” he said.
International legal organizations call for an OPCW
investigation into Turkish use of chemicals
ANF | 9 November 2022
International legal organizations released a joint statement calling for “no prosecution” of those demand- ing disclosure of alleged chemical weapons use by the Turkish state in northern Iraq.
The statement by ten international legal organizations reads as follows:
“We are concerned about reports that tear gas shells have been used in northern Iraq. Although tear gas is not included in the list of banned chemicals in the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) annexes, the view that tear gas shells used by the military are covered by the Chemical Weapons Convention finds sup – port in CWC Art II Nos. 1, 2, and 5.
However, it also depends on the circumstances whether the use of tear gas grenades by the military violates the Chemical Weapons Convention and can be classified as a war crime under Article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Since, according to press reports, the Turkish defense minister does not deny the use of tear gas by the Turkish military in northern Iraq, only an independent investiga- tion can clarify whether the use of tear gas violated international treaties that Turkey has ratified. Turkey is a state party to the CWC but not to the Rome Statute.
It is therefore not surprising that the demand for an independent investigation into the use of tear gas in northern Iraq has been raised by various organizations and personalities. What is surprising, on the other hand, is that in several cases the response has been the initiation of preliminary proceedings against those involved.
During the General Assembly of the Izmir Bar Association, the executive board member of the Lawyers for Freedom Association (ÖHD), lawyer Aryen Turan, was threatened through various media channels, in- cluding social media, for her speech for demanding an investigation into the use of chemicals, and it was reported in the same media channels that an investigation was initiated against her. She was taken into custody and later released with a ban on going abroad.
34 The İmralı Post #27
On the morning of October 25, 11 journalists were detained during raids on their homes and their work- places after reporting on various findings and allegations of the use of chemicals by Turkish official forces on the territory of the Kurdistan Regional Government. The Ankara Public Prosecutor’s Office released footage of journalists Berivan Altan and Deniz Nazlım being detained by way of rear handcuffing them.
Following these incidents, Prof. Dr. Şebnem Korur Fincancı, Chairwoman of the Turkish Medical Associa- tion, who demanded an investigation into the use of chemicals on a TV channel as a forensic medicine ex – pert in Turkey, was initially targeted by government bodies and then was subjected to numerous insults on social media, and finally her house was raided, and she was detained on the morning of October 26. Fol- lowing the pre-trial, she was arrested.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention. A first step should therefore be a formal investigation by the OPCW, and this requires a request by an OPCW member state.
We therefore urge the OPCW member states to;
• open the way for an independent investigation by the OPCW
• demand an investigation, using the UN Secretary-General’s special mechanism to investigate alleged uses of biological or chemical weapons
We call on the government of Turkey to;
• end its crackdown on civil society organizations, journalists and human rights defenders who demand such an investigation.
•release the journalists and Prof. Dr. Şebnem Korur Fincancı immediately.
- Asociación Americana de Juristas, (AAJ)
- Association for Democracy and International Law, (MAF‐DAD)
- Association of Lawyers for Freedom, (ÖHD)
- European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and World Human Rights, (ELDH)
- European Democratic Lawyers, (AED)
- Giuristi Democratici – National Association of Democratic Jurists. Italy, (GD)
- Lawyers Right Watch Canada, (LRWC) National Union of People’s Lawyers (NULP), the Philip-
- Progressive Lawyers’ Association, (ÇHD)
- The Center of Research and Elaboration on Democracy/ Legal International Intervention Group
35 The İmralı Post #27 Civil disobedience action at WHO headquarters denounces
Turkish use of chemical weapons
ANF | Geneva | 9 November 2022
Dozens of Kurdish and internationalist activists have started a civil disobedience action outside the head- quarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva protesting the international silence towards the Turkish chemical attacks against the guerrilla troops.
While more than 40 activists entered the building, the rest remained in front of the building to support them. The action continues.
Protests continue increasingly following the latest reports on the intensified use of chemical weapons by the Turkish army in Kurdistan. Kurds and their friends have been taking to the streets all around the world to denounce the invading Turkish state’s crimes against the guerrilla forces in southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq) in the wake of the images published by ANF on October 18, showing two PKK (Kurdis- tan Workers’ Party) members suffering from a chemical attack in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region.
The main demand of the worldwide protests is an independent investigation by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) in the face of the re- peatedly exposed but persistently ignored images and reports from the ground.
Kurdish students protest Turkish chemical attacks at Goethe
ANF | Frankfurt | 9 November 2022
Members of the Kurdistan Students Union (YXK) and Kurdistan Women Students (JXK) staged a civil disobedience action during a conference at Goethe University to denounce the war crimes committed by the Turkish state in South Kurdistan, the use of chemical weapons against the Kurdish guerrilla troops, and the ongoing government crackdown in Iran and East Kurdistan.
The students explained that the Turkish state committed serious war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Medya Defence Zones, Shengal, Maxmur and Rojava.
36 The İmralı Post #27
The activists condemned the silence of international forces and institutions, particularly the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the UN. They also called for solidarity against the complicity of states.
Other students gave applause in support of the YXK and JXK activists.
Kurdish women protest outside the Council of Europe against
silence on Turkey’s war crimes
ANF | Strasbourg | 9 November 2022
Activists from the Kurdish Women’s Movement in Europe (TJK-E) called for an investigation into Tur- key’s use of chemical weapons in Kurdistan before the Council of Europe headquarters in Strasbourg on Wednesday.
The Council of Europe was asked to send a delegation to the war zone in southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq) to investigate reports of the use of banned weapons by the Turkish army. The activists wanted to hand over an information dossier on the issue prepared by the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) but were turned back at the entrance of the building and asked to submit their request in writing. The women then declared that they would continue their action until the dossier was accepted.
Demo in front of French Parliament calls for action against
Turkish use of chemical weapons
ANF | Paris | 9 November 2022
In Paris, activists from the Kurdish Women’s Movement in France (TJK-F) gathered in front of the parlia – ment to protest against Turkish war crimes. The women called Turkish leader Erdogan the “biggest obsta- cle to peace in the Middle East” and called on the French government to distance itself from the “terror supporter”. The use of chemical weapons by the Turkish army has been sufficiently proven and France must take a stand, a spokeswoman said.
The action of the Kurdish activists was supported by LFI MP Danielle Simonet. The politician gave a short speech in which she assured the women of her solidarity. The use of chemical weapons is a crime against humanity and France must lobby the UN for an independent investigation into the accusations, Simonet said, adding that the PKK is not a terrorist organisation but a resistance organisation.
The İmralı Post #27
Kurdish artists sing in memory of 17 guerrillas killed by
Turkish chemical weapons
ANF | 10 November 2022
A group of Kurdish artists coming together under the leadership of Merdan Zirav, a founding member of Koma Amed, sang “in memory of 17 legends who were martyred by chemical weapons” in the guerrilla- held Medya Defense Zones in southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq).
The artists commemorate each of the 17 guerrillas by their names in the video, saying that they want to be the voice of the guerrillas.
The Kurdish artists said their video gives the message that neither the struggle nor the strans (Kurdish folk songs) will stop.
The video was broadcast by Med Muzîk TV and on YouTube.
Activists in Athens and Turin protest Turkish use of chemical
ANF | Athens/Turin | 11 November 2022
TCŞ members exposed the Turkish state’s war crimes and genocide with a march in Athens, Greece and Turin, Italy.
The protests of Kurdish youth in Greece against the invasion and genocidal attacks by the Turkish state against Medya Defense Areas continue uninterruptedly.
Young members of Tevgera Ciwanên Şoreşger (TCŞ), who came together in the capital Athens, walked from Syntagma square to Syntagma train station.
Young people shouting slogans such as “Bijî Serok Apo”, “Bijî Berxwedana PKK”, “Bijî Berxwedana Gerîla”, “Murderer Turkey”, “Murderer Erdogan” distributed leaflets in Greek and English exposing the war crimes by the Turkish state in front of the station.
38 The İmralı Post #27 The action ended with a rally and the promise to increase the struggle.
In Turin, Italy, the Kurds came together with their Italian friends in front of Rai TV and condemned the Turkish state, which attacked the guerrilla areas with chemical weapons, as well as the international public that remained silent in the face of the attacks.
They showed their support for the guerrillas with the slogan “Bijî berxwedana guerrilla” and the photo- graphs of 17 martyrs killed by chemical weapons.
At the end of the action, the file prepared on the war crimes committed by the Turkish state was handed over to Rai TV officials.
Hunergeha Welat releases new clip to condemn Turkish
chemical weapons attacks
ANF | Qamishlo | 12 November 2022
Working in Northern and Eastern Syria, Hunergeha Welat prepared a new clip to draw attention to the invading Turkish state’s use of chemical weapons against the guerrillas in Medya Defense Areas.
In the song titled ‘Serêkaniyê û Avaşîn’, the impact of the attacks carried out by Turkey in all four parts of Kurdistan is emphasized. The song underlined that chemical weapons were used by Turkey in the occupa- tion of Serêkaniyê in October 2019.
Shops closed in southern France in protest at Turkish chemical
attacks in Kurdistan
ANF | Marseille | 12 November 2022
The Democratic Kurdistan Community Congress in Europe (KCDK-E) declared 12 November a “na- tional strike day against chemical weapons use” to protest the silence of the Organisation for the Preven-
39 The İmralı Post #27 tion of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the European Union (EU), the United Nations, NATO and inter-
As part of the protests, a central rally is taking place in the German city of Düsseldorf today with the par – ticipation of thousands of people to denounce the employment of chemical weapons and displaying ban- ners with the images of 17 guerrillas who have been killed in the latest chemical attacks by the Turkish army in the guerilla areas in northern Iraq.
Following the call of the Kurdish Women’s Movement in France (TJK-F), the Democratic Kurdish Coun- cil in France (CDK-F) and Revolutionary Youth Movement (TCŞ), Kurdish tradespeople in southern France have taken down the shutters today and exposed Turkish war crimes in Kurdistan with banners hung on their workplaces.
While shops remained closed, Kurds and their friends rushed to Canebiere Square in Marseille to join a demonstration on the national strike day against chemical weapons use.
Kobanê youth rally against isolation of Öcalan and use of
ANF | Kobane | 12 November 2022
Hundreds of young people organised in the Council of Martyrs’ Families took to the streets in the north- ern Syrian canton of Kobanê on Saturday afternoon to protest against the Turkish state. The young peo- ple’s anger was directed against the use of chemical weapons by the Turkish army against the PKK guerril- las in Southern Kurdistan (Northern Iraq) and the isolation of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan. The 74- year-old has been held hostage on the Turkish prison island of Imrali since 1999, the last few years again under total isolation. Kurdish society sees his continued imprisonment as the greatest obstacle to the reso- lution of the Kurdistan question.
“Our anger is huge,” said an activist at the start of the demonstration. During the course of the march from Qereqozaq Bridge to Öcalan Park, the activists held a large banner with the Kurdish leader’s image. Other demonstrators carried signs with pictures of PKK guerrillas killed by Turkish chemical weapons. Slogans were chanted denouncing the “international tolerance of Turkish war crimes” in Southern Kurdis- tan.
The march was followed by a rally where Hecî Agasî from the Council of Martyrs’ Families spoke after a minute of silence, saying, “The use of chemical weapons in armed conflicts is internationally outlawed. Turkey, by signing the Chemical Weapons Convention, has committed itself to neither using nor main- taining these weapons in its stockpiles. The proven use of chemical weapons in Southern Kurdistan there- fore constitutes a war crime. It is a blatant contradiction if the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemi – cal Weapons [OPCW], established by the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, does not
40 The İmralı Post #27
fulfil its obligations to monitor compliance with and implementation of this international legal agreement. It is significant that the OPCW repeatedly remains inactive against serious accusations from Kurdish soci- ety. The Turkish regime is encouraged by this ignorance to carry out massacres against our people.”
Tens of thousands in Düsseldorf demand an end to chemical
weapons use in Kurdistan
ANF | Dusseldorf | 12 November 2022
More than 25,000 people gathered in Düsseldorf on Saturday to protest against the use of chemical weapons by the Turkish state in Kurdistan. The demonstration under the slogan “Stop Chemical Warfare in Kurdistan! #YourSilenceKills” was promoted by the Kurdish umbrella organisation KON-MED. People travelled from all over Germany to demand an end to war crimes in Kurdistan and to remind the interna – tional community of its duties.
From 10 a.m. onwards, the participants gathered at two different starting points of the demonstration. Af- ter about two hours, both marches set off from the DGB building and the Rhine meadows. Many protest- ers wore white protective suits as a symbol of the chemical attacks. At first, they were allowed to wear the gas masks they had brought with them. Later, they had to be pulled under the chin on the instructions of the police.
“An end to German support for Turkey”
During the peaceful demonstration, the participants repeatedly criticised the silence of the international community regarding war crimes and the use of chemical weapons by the Turkish state in Kurdistan. Many demonstrators carried pictures of Kurdish guerrilla fighters who were killed by Turkish chemical weapons. With creatively designed banners bearing slogans such as “The attack on Kurdistan is an attack on all of us and our values”, “Stop German support for Turkey” and “The Turkish state is murdering Kurds with chemical weapons – Your silence kills!”, as well as an installation with three monkeys that see nothing, hear nothing, say nothing, and the flags of the EU, NATO and the USA, they gave force to their mes- sages.
KON-MED: Germany is complicit
“Thousands of people from all over Germany came together in Düsseldorf today. The Kurdish population, but also very many people in solidarity, have expressed a clear position. They demand an immediate end to the use of chemical weapons in Kurdistan! This is a continuing war crime, and we will not remain silent about this crime,” said Engin Sever, co-chair of KON-MED.
The other co-chair, Zübeyde Zümrüt, drew attention to the co-responsibility of the German government in Turkish war crimes and criticised the inaction of Berlin: “The German government recently declared
41 The İmralı Post #27
that it sees no reason for an international investigation into the Turkish use of chemical weapons. This is scandalous from our point of view. Turkey is an important ally of Germany. The German government sup- ports the regime in Ankara politically, financially, but also militarily. If the German government remains inactive in the face of these crimes in Kurdistan, we believe it is partly responsible.”
Gisela Penteker condemns use of shemical weapons
At the closing rally, speeches were also held, interspersed with musical contributions and dances. Among others, the Turkish representative of the medical peace organisation IPPNW and general practitioner Gisela Penteker took the stage and spoke about the use of Turkish chemical weapons in Kurdistan. In Sep – tember, when reports of chemical weapons attacks were pouring in, IPPNW undertook a delegation trip to Southern Kurdistan to investigate the allegations, view visual material and take and assess samples. In October, a report was published which confirmed the accusations of Kurdish organisations in parts and considered an immediate independent international investigation to be necessary.
Penteker also addressed the criminalisation of Kurds in Germany, saying, “In your everyday life, you are valuable members of our society, nobody denies that. Many of you are now in the second and third gener – ation here. But if they express themselves as Kurds, then they immediately have their stamp and stigma again. And if we don’t manage to overcome that and fight together against fascism, against poison gas, against all the things that burden us, then we won’t achieve anything.” Penteker went on to express admi- ration for the new social order in Kurdistan, which she was also able to experience for herself in Turkey and Syria. “It is the struggle of all of us to make these ideas and justice a reality!”
Thousands attend demonstration in Qamishlo to protest
Turkish use of chemical weapons
ANF | Qamishlo | 13 November 2022
Tens of thousands of citizens from the Qamishlo and Hesekê cantons of the Jazira Region gathered in Siyahi, Ferman Hospital and Qasimo Mosque to join the march. Citizens will go to the March 12 Martyrs Stadium, where the rally will take place.
People have come to Qamishlo since the early hours of the morning from the districts of Derik, Rimêlan, Girkê Legê, Tirbespiyê, Çilaxa, Til Koçer, Til Birak, Til Hemîs, Amude, Qamishlo Sedade, Hol, Temir, Dirbesiyê, Zirgan and Heseklar to attend the rally.
Members of many civil and women’s organizations in Northern and Eastern Syria, the Syrian Revolution- ary Youth Movement, Young Women’s Union, political parties, representatives of the Jazira Region Demo- cratic Autonomous Administration and tribal opinion leaders also took their place in the demonstration.
42 The İmralı Post #27
The crowd frequently shouts slogans such as “Long live the guerrilla resistance”, “No to the chemical at- tacks by the Turkish state”, “Long live the resistance of Leader Öcalan” and “No to the Genocide”. Like – wise, banners reading “Do not be a party to our massacre and the occupation of our lands” were unfurled.
Speeches and a music program will take place at the stadium.
Kurds protest in Stockholm against Turkish chemical attacks
and Sweden’s deal with Erdogan
ANF | Stockholm | 13 November 2022
In Stockholm, Kurds protested against the Turkish army’s chemical weapons attacks on the guerrillas and the attitude of the Swedish government. The demonstrators marched through the city centre to Nor- rmalmstorg Square carrying PKK flags and pictures of guerrilla fighters killed by poison gas, shouting slo- gans such as “Murderer Erdogan” and “Long live the guerrillas”. Leaflets were handed out to passers-by in- forming them about the use of chemical weapons in Kurdistan.
Hemîd Amed of the Scandinavian Kurdish Association NCDK-S pointed out in a speech that Sweden and Finland have made the Kurds a bargaining chip with Turkey in order to push through their accession to NATO. Amed criticised this dirty deal and said it was a disgrace for Sweden and outside democratic stan- dards.
Nadya Salih, co-chair of the NCDK-S, addressed Turkish war crimes in Kurdistan in a speech and said: “We condemn the policy of the Swedish state, which classifies a bloodthirsty dictator like Erdogan as a good person and the Kurds as terrorists. Sacrificing the Kurds for Swedish interests is wrong. No one can ignore the Kurdish revolution and the revolution of Rojava, and no one has the right to use the Kurds for a deal with a dictator.”
Socialist People’s Party (Socialistisk Politik Efolket) politician Peter Widén condemned the machinations of the European states towards the PKK and stressed that the system built in Rojava is a model for the en – tire Middle East. He pointed out that thousands of YPG/YPJ fighters have died in Rojava in resistance against the so-called Islamic State (IS) and that the use of chemical weapons is banned. Today, the Kurds are being murdered with NATO support, Widén said.
43 The İmralı Post #27 Europe-wide demonstrations against Turkish chemical attacks
ANF | 13 November 2022
Demonstrations against the Turkish chemical weapons attacks on Kurdistan took place across Europe on Saturday. While the Kurdish European associations KCDK-E and TJK-E called for a day of action, dozens of organisations joined the call. The associations demand an end to the war crimes of the Turkish army and immediate action by the international community. The central concern is the investigation of the use of chemical weapons and other banned weapons by an independent international body such as the respon- sible OPCW, as demanded by the medical peace organisation IPPNW. The protests on Saturday were therefore also directed against international institutions such as the UN and the respective national gov- ernments, which ignore the war crimes of the NATO state Turkey. The largest demonstration took place in Düsseldorf. At the same time, Kurdish and solidarity activists also took to the streets in France, England, Greece, Sweden, Finland, Cyprus, Austria and Norway.
Huge rally in Qamishlo calls for action against Turkish use of
ANF | Qamishlo | 13 November 2022
In the northern Syrian city of Qamishlo, tens of thousands of people took to the streets on Sunday to protest against the use of chemical weapons by the Turkish army against guerrilla forces in Kurdistan.
Kurds, Arabs, Armenians, Syriacs and Assyrians from Dêrik, Rimêlan, Girkê Legê, Tirbespiyê, Çilaxa, Til Koçer, Til Birak, Til Hemîs, Amûdê from Cizire Region, and from Shaddadi, Hol, Til Temir, Dirbêsiyê, Zirgan and Hesekê in Hesekê Canton took part in the demonstration under the slogan “With the will of the people and the guerrillas, we will defeat chemical weapons, occupation and betrayal”.
The demonstration was organised as a massive march from three starting points to the March 12 Martyrs Stadium. The participants carried pictures of guerrilla fighters who died in chemical weapons attacks, as well as flags of the PKK and various organisations from the autonomous region of northern and eastern Syria.
Foza Yusif: People’s power greater than your chemical weapons
Speaking at the rally, Democratic Union Party (PYD) Presidency Board member Foza Yusif addressed the Turkish state, saying, “Your weapons will not succeed in breaking the will and resistance of the free people. The power of the people, women and the guerrillas is greater than your chemical weapons.”
44 The İmralı Post #27
Condemning the silence of international powers, Yusif stated, “Your attitude justifies the Turkish state’s at – tacks on our people who want to live freely on their own land. We defend our rights, our peoples and our lands. Your silence is not moral. In the name of peoples, we condemn your silence and ignorance of the crimes committed by the fascist Turkish state.”
Recalling that the gas masks sent to guerrillas were confiscated by South Kurdistan’s ruling party, KDP, Yusif made the following appeal to the KDP; “Listen to the people. Today, the Kurdish people are united around their martyrs and values in the four parts of Kurdistan. Join the march for honor. Your cooperation with the invaders weakens us and strengthens our enemy.”
Yusif stressed that, “The guerrillas, who defend the peoples’ honour against ISIS and all other mercenary groups, are not alone in their fight against the Turkish state.”
She continued, “Let the enemy know that they cannot stop the freedom march by using chemical weapons. The resistance for freedom will not stop. The people, women and youth all alike, vow to take re – venge against this barbarity. Against this dirty and immoral war, we defend our honour.”
Pointing to the guerrilla resistance in the mountains of Kurdistan, Foza Yusif added, “The people of North and East Syria will remain on the streets for freedom, honor and equality in a spirit of mobilization, and enhance the struggle alongside the guerrillas.”
El Ebid: We want peace
Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) Executive Council Deputy Co-Chair Hemdan El Ebid stressed that, “Guerrillas are the children of the free folk that defended Kobane, Shengal and entire humanity from terror.” He added, “Invasion must be confronted by resistance, and despotism by revolution.”
El Ebid continued, “We want peace. Erdoğan, a descendant of the Ottomans, on the other hand, seeks to inflict a deadly blow on people who fight for their lands and who have yielded thousands of martyrs to achieve freedom.”
El Ebid called on the United Nations Security Council and the International Coalition against ISIS to stop Turkey’s attacks on guerrilla forces. “All those seeking freedom should stand with us. We have pro- tected the world and those who want peace should raise their voices.”
Hena: Cutting edge technology used to destroy peace
Nura Hena, a member of the Syrian Future Party’s Qamishlo Council, stated, “We salute our forces that protect our people and lands. We are here today to make your voice heard by the free world against the use of chemical weapons against the Kurdish people. We call on the international community to put pressure on the Turkish state and bring an end to these policies.”
Referring to the restriction of liberties in Turkey, Hena denounced the ongoing policies of genocide against peoples and the employment of cutting edge technology to destroy peace and stability in North and East Syria.
45 The İmralı Post #27 Speeches were followed by the songs of Awazên Çiya depicting the struggle of the Kurdistan Freedom
KCK: The struggle against Turkish chemical attacks must be
ANF | Behdinan | 13 November 2022
The Co-Presidency of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) Executive Council released a statement calling for enhanced struggle against the Turkish state’s employment of chemical weapons and banned bombs in the guerrilla-held Medya Defense Zones in southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq).
The Turkish army has been conducting an invasion operation in Medya Defense Zones since mid-April, having since faced repeated defeats in the face of the resistance of guerrilla forces who are mainly operating in mobile units as part of the “new era warfare” concept against the campaign of intensive aerial strikes and employment of chemical weapons and banned bombs by the Turkish army.
The statement released by KCK Co-Presidency Executive Council on Sunday includes the following:
“After the latest statements and calls of the guerrilla command and our movement regarding the use of chemical weapons by the occupying Turkish army against the guerrilla forces, the patriotic people of Kur – distan, the international friends of the Kurds, the left, socialist, revolutionary and democratic people and all people of conscience have become more sensitive towards the issue and have taken a stance by organiz- ing various protests. Their sensitivity has increased, especially after the guerrilla command published sev- eral documents showing the use of chemical weapons by the occupying Turkish army. We consider these protests very meaningful and valuable. They are a clear expression of human dignity and conscience and a sign of support for the just struggle of the Kurdish people for existence and freedom and against genocide. We would therefore like to express our gratitude to all our patriotic people and international friends who participated in or supported these actions and congratulate them on their stance.
In Europe, especially in Düsseldorf, Stockholm and Marseille, tens of thousands of Kurds and their inter- national friends recently protested against the genocidal colonialist Turkish state and its occupying army’s use of chemical weapons against the guerrilla forces. They thus strongly expressed their protest. The silence of all European states, especially Germany, and of the USA against the crimes against humanity of AKP- MHP fascism and their complicity have caused great anger among the peoples, women, internationalists and the Kurdish people ́s friends in Europe. This anger, which recently turned into spectacular mass protests, has increased the morale of the guerrilla and the Kurdish people greatly. We would therefore like to salute and congratulate our people, international friends, women, internationalists and all those who participated in the protests in Europe for their meaningful attitude. The protests in Europe are very mean- ingful and valuable. They should be further increased and need to continue until action is taken against
46 The İmralı Post #27 the Turkish state, which uses chemical weapons against the guerrilla forces and commits crimes against hu-
manity before the eyes of the whole world.
Against the use of chemical weapons by the genocidal colonialist Turkish state, our people and their friends in Kurdistan and Turkey, especially in Silopi, have recently demonstrated their anger by organizing protests. The demonstrations in Silopi and Istanbul were very meaningful. In Rojava, Şengal [Sinjar], Maxmur and South Kurdistan, our people also recently demonstrated their anger and protested against the genocidal Turkish state. It is the most basic principle of being a patriot and a human being to stand by the guerrilla forces who sacrifice everything for the freedom of Kurdistan and the peoples. The patriotic people of Kurdistan have not refrained from standing by the struggle for freedom at the cost of paying a heavy price, and have preserved their existence by fighting against the racist, nationalist, genocidal, colonialist fascist enemy who wants to annihilate the Kurds. Today, too, they have taken their place in the struggle by showing strong support for the guerrilla. We would like to sincerely congratulate the patriotic people of Kurdistan for their attitude that insists on freedom under all circumstances. We call on them to participate much more strongly in this struggle for victory based on a spirit of strong mobilization.
The genocidal colonialist Turkish state has a history and tradition of massacres. In the past, it has resorted to all kinds of inhumane methods, especially the use of chemical weapons, against the Kurds and has com – mitted many crimes against humanity. The Turkish state and the occupying Turkish army commit these crimes every day. No one should remain silent about these crimes against humanity committed by the Turkish state, but should instead react and take action. Everyone should know that the Kurdish people consider those who remain silent against the genocidal colonialist Turkish state ́s crimes against humanity as complicit in the genocide of Kurds. No one should say that they are not complicit when they remain silent in the face of a crime against humanity. Because to remain silent means to approve and to be com – plicit. Especially Germany and other European states remain silent with regards to the fascist AKP-MHP government’s anti-Kurdish policies and crimes against humanity. They don ́t only approve by remaining silent, but also actively support the fascist AKP-MHP alliance. The genocidal colonialist Turkish state, re- lying on the US, NATO and European states, carries out the Kurdish genocide and commits crimes against humanity by using chemical weapons.
The administration of South Kurdistan has remained silent and has not shown any reaction against the Turkish state’s occupation, genocide and crimes against humanity. The KDP has thus become complicit in this dirty war. However, the Kurdistan parliament and the Kurdistan administration, which include many parties, have not taken a single stance so far. This situation cannot be accepted by the people of Kurdistan. How can those who do not take any stance against the genocidal Turkish state, which wants to destroy the Kurds and uses chemical weapons against the Freedom Guerrilla, have anything to do with being Kurdish? How can this administration call itself a Kurdish administration? South Kurdistan has witnessed Halabja in the past. When chemical weapons were used in Halabja, all patriotic forces from Kurdistan reacted strongly and clearly and showed their support for the government of South Kurdistan. But today, the ad- ministration of South Kurdistan does not take any stance, does not react at all, and treats the use of chem- ical weapons against the Kurdistan Freedom Guerrilla as if it wasn ́t happening. One cannot be a Kurd with such an attitude. The people of Kurdistan do not accept this kind of attitude. The KDP sides with the genocidal colonialist Turkish state in the war against the guerrilla forces and supports the Turkish army. This is very clear and our people see and know this. South Kurdish political forces have also not taken the necessary stance against the occupying Turkish state and its crimes against humanity. This ap- proach is incompatible with patriotism and with being Kurdish. All democrats and patriots, intellectuals,
47 The İmralı Post #27 artists and writers from South Kurdistan, especially the South Kurdish political forces, therefore need to
take a clearer stance.
The genocidal colonialist Turkish state is still using chemical weapons on a daily basis and is thus commit – ting crimes against humanity. The guerrilla command continues to inform the public about this by pub – lishing daily statements. Therefore, the patriotic people of Kurdistan, in the four parts of Kurdistan and wherever they are, must take an even clearer stance against the genocidal colonialist Turkish state, further increase their struggle and must not stop until the fascist AKP-MHP alliance is destroyed. The interna- tional friends of the Kurdish people should also increase their meaningful support and continue until the Kurds break out of the genocidal grip and ensure their freedom. Our people and international friends should know that the AKP-MHP alliance is a fascist structure that has taken anti-Kurdish hostility to a peak and that this alliance can only be destroyed through struggle. We would like to congratulate everyone on their recent protests against the Turkish state’s crimes against humanity. We call on everybody to take an even stronger stance from now on and to continue the protests until our struggle – an expression of hu- man dignity and conscience – succeeds.”
Eastern Kurdistan on solidarity strike for Balochistan
ANF | 10 November 2022
A solidarity strike for Balochistan took place in Eastern Kurdistan on Wednesday. The occasion was the 40th day after the “bloody Friday” in Zahedan in the province of Sistan, Balochistan. On 30 September, many people in the city in southern Iran had poured into the streets after Friday prayers to protest the rape of a 15-year-old girl by a policeman. Security forces responded with brutal force, and according to human rights organisations, 92 people were killed, most by gunfire. The riot in Zahedan had broken out two weeks after the murder of Kurdish woman Jina Mahsa Amini by the morality police in Tehran.
Tradesmen in many towns took part in the strike in Eastern Kurdistan. In Sine (Sanandaj), Mariwan, Bane, Seqîz (Saqqez), Mahabad and Bokan, most shops remained closed. Street protests took place from noon to evening.
People also took to the streets in solidarity with Zahedan in many other cities in Iran, such as Tabriz, Tehran, Mashhad, Isfahan, and other places. People lit candles in memory of the dead, built fires in the streets and chanted slogans such as “Death to the Dictator” and “Jin, Jiyan, Azadî” (Woman, Life, Free- dom).
In addition, more and more artists, activists, intellectuals, athletes and academics are showing solidarity with the ongoing protests. The actress Taraneh Alidoosti has expressed her solidarity with the protests in
48 The İmralı Post #27
the country on Instagram. In a post on Wednesday, the 38-year-old published a photo without a head- scarf, holding a poster with the Kurdish slogan “Jin, Jiyan, Azadî” into the camera. The 38-year-old is con- sidered one of Iran’s most famous actresses.
“Jina was a strong and freedom-loving woman”
Jina Amini’s cousin spoke to RojNews about the state’s attempts to cover up the murder with various sce- narios. Irfan Murtezayi, who lives in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, said the uprising is an expression of 43 years of pent-up anger against the Islamic Republic of Iran: “As relatives of Jina, we are proud that she has become the symbol of this uprising.”
Since her murder, Jina Amini’s family has been subjected to extreme pressure and her house in Saqez has been under round-the-clock surveillance, Murtezayi said: “The Iranian regime is trying to portray Jina as a political figure and associate her with political parties in Eastern Kurdistan. However, Jina had no contact with any political party at all. However, she was a strong and freedom-loving woman, an open and deter- mined personality.”
Hundreds killed since protests began
Since the beginning of the protests in Iran, hundreds of people have been killed. The figures given by hu- man rights organisations and opposition activists vary between 200 and 550 dead. It is assumed that tens of thousands of people have been arrested or detained. Some sources even speak of up to 30,000 arrests. Since the means of communication in Iran are still restricted and independent media are not allowed, the actual numbers can hardly be ascertained.
15 women journalists arrested
Dozens of journalists are among those arrested. According to Reporters Without Borders, the number of arrests of women journalists has risen sharply. According to the report, 42 journalists have been arrested since 16 September. Eight have been released, while the others, including 15 women, remain in custody.
Iran Human Rights warns of possibility of hasty executions
ANF | 11 November 2022
Iran Human Rights warns of the possibility of hasty executions without any prewarning. The organisation calls on the international community to prevent such crimes with timely action.
In the almost two months since the nationwide protests began in Iran, Islamic Republic authorities have once again bloodily crushed protests by killing protesters on the streets, made mass arrests and subjected detainees to torture and ill-treatment, forced false confessions and held show trials.
49 The İmralı Post #27
Defendants were deprived of the right to a lawyer of their choice and due process in the show trials at the Revolutionary Courts where they face security-related charges of moharebeh (enmity against god) and ef- sad-fil-arz (corruption on earth) that carry the death penalty. In many cases, their forced confessions were aired prior to the commencement of any legal proceedings, violating the right to be assumed innocent un – til proven guilty.
Iran Human Rights once again reiterates that the political cost of issuing the death penalty for protesters should be raised so high by the international community that the Islamic Republic authorities cannot use the inhuman punishment.
There are 9 protesters that have been officially reported by the Islamic Republic. But the number of pro- testers charged with capital punishment crimes is believed to be higher.
At least 67 protesters killed, almost 800 detained in East
ANF | 11 November 2022
Uprisings have been sweeping Iran since the murder of 22-year-old Jina Mahsa Amini under the custody of the so-called morality police in Tehran on September 16.
Despite the deadly attacks, pressure and threats from state forces, the protests have been going on for about two months without interruption.
The Kurdistan Human Rights Organization (KMMK) has released its 55-day report on human rights vio- lations by the Iranian state against demonstrators in East Kurdistan.
The report reveals that Iran is violating the human rights of its citizens on a daily and systematic basis.
The report said that at least 775 people, 130 of whom were women, were detained during the 55-day protests, especially in East Kurdistan. However, real numbers are estimated to be much higher.
“The systematic crackdown of the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran that kills protesters contin- ues. Following the death of Amini, the government crackdown and femicides have spread to all cities of Iran, including Seqiz and Diwandere in East Kurdistan. Citizens were directly targeted by Iranian state forces, especially in all cities of East Kurdistan. According to the information available, 67 protesters were killed and more than 37 injured,” the report noted.
According to human rights organizations and opposition sources, between 300 and 550 people were killed, tens of thousands were detained, and thousands were arrested across Iran. There are reports that some of the activists received death sentences in show trials.
50 The İmralı Post #27 Images circulated on the social media show that protests are continuing in dozens of Iranian cities.
Eastern Kurdistan Women’s Community proposes 10-point
project for women’s revolution
ANF | 14 November 2022
KJAR Coordination has proposed a 10-point project after the unprecedented popular movement that has been going on in Iran and Eastern Kurdistan since September 16.
KJAR said: “As we prepare to welcome another 25 November, we greet the day of combating violence against women with the universalizing of the JIN-JIYAN-AZADI philosophy. All women of the world come together around this slogan and get closer to each other. This is very exciting and hopeful. It is the password of resistance, the talisman of life and the identity of freedom, especially for women and peoples in Rojhilat Kurdistan and Iran.
We are living in the time of Freedom in Rojhilat Kurdistan, led by women. In the 21st century, we will build a free life through the women’s revolution. Here, Rojhilat and all Iranian women are now imposing a democratic Iran. This time, it should be us women and the peoples, not the hegemonic powers, that will determine how the new life will be.
As our solution approaches, we state that it is time to develop the construction of this philosophy in every village, every neighbourhood, university, site, district and city for a democratic nation, women’s organiza- tion. The theorist of this slogan is Leader Apo. The organization of this idea has spread as he sees the sub- limity of this magnificent paradigm in the formula of Jin, Jiyan Azadi for women all over the world. To- day, women are standing against the dominant system in Iran as never before and in history. This demand is the most basic right to organize.
Building and developing democratic self-government is the guarantee of social revolution. On this basis, as KJAR, we present our project in 10 points to women, youth and the whole society in order to self-manage and protect the women’s revolution. We consider ourselves responsible for the practical application of these dimensions.
1 – Political women prisoners and all political prisoners, starting with Zeynep Celaliyan, should be freed immediately.
2- All nations and peoples should form committees under the leadership of women against a murder- ous system that develops enmity between peoples. They should develop democratic relations and alliances and establish a democratic administration.
51 The İmralı Post #27 3- With the awareness that self-defense is a fundamental right, women, our people and young people can
only make the stance of serhildan permanent by organizing themselves with the awareness of self-defense.
Self-defense is an indispensable right of society and women, because of special war policies developed against women and society. No neighbourhood should be without committees or units. Our people should be able to give the necessary punishment to the murderers, agents, rapists, torturers and officials in Iran and Rojhilat Kurdistan.
4- Under the name of a judiciary committee, leaders of religion and belief, lawyers, who give confidence in society with the active participation of women, should develop their own judicial system and reject the judicial system of the Iranian regime. A democratic judicial system in accordance with social morals and values should be developed.
5- All artists, athletes, teachers, workers, doctors and environmental activists who have been fighting for democracy and freedom for years should form their own committees in this revolutionary process. In par- ticular, women who lead in these fields should form their own committees in parallel, as they take part in the general committees for the protection of revolution, freedom and democracy.
6- The demands of universities, which lead the rise of freedom every day and everywhere, are democratic questions. Teachers, students, intellectuals and academics should form education committees for the devel – opment of a free and democratic education. An alternative education system should be developed. It is necessary to organize all houses, streets and neighbourhoods in the form of an academy.
7- All Rojhilat and Iranian women will be able to establish their communes, units, and shura units every- where and organize their own future and ensure their freedom.
8- The family plays a leading role in protecting and developing the revolution. In this process, each family has an important role in strengthening the committees. In order to develop a free and new human being, it is necessary to strengthen the struggle with the democratic family principle.
9- The state uses religion, belief and culture as a tool to divide peoples. The Iranian people should form re- ligious, belief and culture committees against this and should respect each other’s sensitivities.
10- Revolutionary community support committee. Due to the invading dominant system, and also due to the uprising and protest process in the squares, many revolutionaries, many families and societies are expe- riencing great economic difficulties. Organizing ourselves is crucial to providing vital needs with the help of original economic institutions and companies, led by all those who encourage the revolution, women and youth.
52 The İmralı Post #27 At least 326 people including 43 children killed in Iran protests
ANF | 14 November 2022
According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, at least 326 people including 43 children have been killed by security forces in the nationwide protests so far.
Of the 43 children, nine were girls and three were Afghan-nationals. The 43 children were all under 18 years of age, but have not all been verified through document evidence. Iran Human Rights is working to obtain confirmation of their ages.
Death toll by province
Protesters have been killed in 22 provinces, with the most reported in Sistan and Baluchistan, Tehran, Mazandaran, Kurdistan and Gilan respectively.
Deaths have been recorded in 22 provinces: Sistan and Baluchistan: 123 people; Tehran: 33 peo- ple; Mazandaran: 33 people; Kurdistan: 27 people; Gilan: 22 people; Western Azerbaijan: 22 people; Ker- manshah: 13 people; Alborz: 12 people; Khuzestan: 5 people; Khorasan-Razavi: 4 people; Isfahan: 4 peo- ple; Zanjan: 4 people; Lorestan: 3 people; Markazi: 3 people; Qazvin: 2 people; Kohgiluyeh and Boyer Ahmad: 2 people; East Azerbaijan: 2 people; Ardabil: 2 people; Ilam: 2 people; Hamedan: 2 peo- ple; Bushehr: 1 person; Semnan: 1 person.
The highest number of deaths were recorded on 21, 22 and 30 September (Baluchistan’s “Bloody Friday”. November 4 was the bloodiest day this month with 16 recorded deaths.
Detainees at risk of heavy sentences
According to official reports, dozens of protesters have been charged with the security-related charges of moharebeh (enmity against god) and efsad-fil-arz (corruption on earth), which carry the death penalty. The Islamic Republic’s history and current evidence indicate that they intend to use the death penalty as a tool of political repression to intimidate their opposition. At least nine protesters have so far been tried for security-related charges and are at risk of hasty executions.
The numbers of deaths published are an absolute minimum. Reports of protester killings in the last few days are still being investigated. Iran Human Rights has received a high volume of reports of deaths which it continues to investigate with internet disruptions. The actual number of people killed, therefore, is cer- tainly higher.
53 The İmralı Post #27 Iranian regime attacks Komala and KDP-I positions in
ANF | 14 November 2022
At least five Iranian missiles hit a building belonging to the Kurdistan Democratic Party-Iran (KDP-I) in the governorate of Hewlêr (Erbil) in southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq) on Monday. According to the re – gional government’s health ministry, one person was killed and eight injured in the attack.
In another attack near the village of Zirguwêz near Sulaymaniyah, the East Kurdish resistance movement Komala was attacked. At least six combat drones are said to have been used in the attack. So far, nothing is known here about the consequences of this attack.
Also on Monday, pastures in the Bradost region were attacked by the Iranian army. It was not immediately clear whether people were harmed.
Women said to have commited suicide are often victims of femicide, say women organizations
ANF | 10 November 2022
Many deaths of women recorded as “suicide” or “accident”, are actually “murders” as a new investigation by women’s organizations reveals.
According to the data compiled by JINNEWS, at least 36 women from the cities of Kurdistan and Turkey were killed by men in October. 21 women died under suspicious circumstances. According to the data of the We Will Stop Femicide Platform (KCDP), 34 women were murdered and 26 women died in suspi- cious circumstances.
The killing of thousands of women is still covered up as “suicide” due to the lack of an effective investiga- tion, Rojbin Bor, Director of Star Women’s Association, which operates in Van, said, adding that the women’s policies implemented by the government helps the lack of investigation and the quick classifica- tion as “suicide” of suspicious deaths.
54 The İmralı Post #27
Bor spoke to the Mesopotamya Agency (MA) about the suspicious death of 4 women in 7 days in Van and drew attention to the systematic violence experienced by women. Bor stated that they do not accept the rhetoric of the “suicide” theory, and added: “Turkey has now become a huge women’s graveyard.”
Stating that the perpetrators attack taking strength from the women’s policies of the power, Bor said: “The perpetrators can say to women with great confidence, ‘I will kill you’ because they know that they won’t be punished. They see that they are not punished for their crimes. For this reason, there is an increase in femicides. We know that behind every suspicious woman’s death there is a man, we know that there is an instigator.”
Stating that the government approaches the women’s struggle in Turkey and Kurdistan differently, Bor said: “When women take to the streets in the West, they are tried for ‘demonstration and protest against the law’, but in Kurdistan, women are on trial for ‘membership in a terrorist organization’. She said that although the government makes a distinction between “east” and “west”, women face the same problems all over the world.
Euphrates at risk of drying up
ANF | 8 November 2022
The Turkish state not only uses bombs and grenades against Rojava, but above all, it uses its dam system, with which it controls the water supply to the region. Due to the blockage of the inflow of the Euphrates and Tigris, serious diseases such as cholera are spreading in the region and irrigation and electricity are at risk. The water level of the Euphrates reservoir has dropped dramatically. Huge agricultural areas are in danger of drying out.
Imad Ubey, a member of the Euphrates Dam Administration Board, spoke to ANHA about the develop- ments. He said that Turkey has massively reduced the flow of the Euphrates. In a 1987 agreement, 500 m3 per second was agreed, but at the moment only 250 m3 per second flows to Rojava and Syria. Ubeyd said that “this amount is not enough to support the level of the Euphrates reservoir, which is used for drinking water supply, irrigation and power generation,” and added: “Normally, the water level in the Euphrates reservoir should be 304 meters, but now it has dropped to 298 meters, i.e. six meters below normal. The reason for this is that the water supply has been systematically interrupted by the Turkish state for 22 months.”
Ubeyd said that the drop in the water level is having a negative impact on the region: “Many drinking wa – ter pumps had to be shut down, the electricity failed due to the lack of production, and there was pollu- tion in some parts of the river.”
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Ubeyd added that the Belîx Canal at the Euphrates Dam irrigates around 100,000 hectares of agricultural land in the Tabqa and Raqqa regions and covers the drinking water needs of hundreds of villages: “The volume of water released for the Belîx Canal is eight cubic meters per second. This water is made available to farmers to irrigate their fields during dry periods. However, due to the sinking water level, no more wa – ter can be made available.”
Ubeyd warned that the Euphrates dam will fail completely if the Turkish state continues to cut off the wa – ter.
Human Rights Violations
22 people in Van sentenced to more than 137 years in prison
ANF | 8 November 2022
The final hearing of the lawsuit against 24 people accused of “being a member of a terrorist organization” was held at 5th High Criminal Court in Van province on Tuesday.
The court sentenced 22 people to 6 years and 3 months in prison each, while two people were acquitted.
Those who received jail time are as follows: Hakan Demir, Abdulsettar Güneş, Ahmet Kaya, Ayfer Geli- bolu, Baha Soyyiğit, Bazi Aslan, Beritan Tayan, Cemil Duman, Çetin Uyar, Medine Tufan, Mehmet Ali Sönmez, Ramazan Duman, Songül Taş , Elif Yiğit Akkuş, Fevzi Çelenk, Gülay Yılmaz, Gürsel Yamaç, Hakan Demir, Hamdi Bayhan, Hatice Toklu İçten, İbrahim Irmak and Kaniye Şeker.
Background of the DTK
The Democratic Society Congress (ku. Kongreya Civaka Demokratîk – tr. Demokratik Toplum Kongresi – DTK) functions as an umbrella organisation of political parties, civil society organisations, religious com- munities as well as women’s and youth organisations. It sees itself as a social counter-draft to state struc- tures, which – based on councils and grassroots democracy – develops concepts for the self-organisation of the population and alternatives for local self-administration. The DTK consisted of about 1000 delegates, 60 per cent of whom were directly elected by the population and 40 per cent of whom were nominated by civil society organisations and is divided into commissions. Both within the umbrella organisation and in the district councils and city councils, there is no quota of women, but a gender quota. This means that the proportion of women or men may not fall below 40 per cent.
56 The İmralı Post #27 Proposed by Öcalan for democratic organisation of society
Proposed by Abdullah Öcalan as early as 2005 as a project for the democratic organisation of society, large discussion meetings were initially held until the first general assembly was organised the following year. On 14 July 2011, a congress took place in Amed with over 800 participants from all ethnic, political and religious structures in Kurdistan. Following the joint declaration of the assembly, Democratic Autonomy was proclaimed. The published draft model lists eight dimensions: the political, the legal, the self-defence, the cultural, the social, the economic, the ecological and the diplomatic. The statute does not follow the laws of Turkey, but takes the democratic participation of the population as its basis.
Government cooperation with the DTK
Although the DTK, as the highest body of the Democratic Autonomy, was criminalised and subjected to investigation proceedings immediately after its founding congress, the Turkish government worked inten- sively with the umbrella organisation between 2005 and 2014 to jointly negotiate the then possible peace process. The DTK was even asked by the AKP to work on a new constitution for Turkey. The then co- chair Hatip Dicle, who now lives in exile in Europe, was also part of the so-called “Imrali delegation”, which had taken on a mediating role between Abdullah Öcalan and the Turkish government as part of the solution process. Even after the then prime minister and current head of state Recep Tayyip Erdoğan uni- laterally broke off the peace negotiations in summer 2015, the DTK was not banned. In the meantime, countless criminal proceedings are underway against the delegates.
DTK membership prosecuted under terror paragraphs
The Turkish government’s action against the DTK is symptomatic of the climate of legal uncertainty in Turkey. The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), in its ruling of 22 De- cember 2020 on Selahattin Demirtaş, not only ordered the release of the former HDP leader, but also stated that the DTK is a legal organisation and that activity on its behalf could not be evidence of mem- bership of a terrorist organisation. The Turkish state systematically ignores ECtHR rulings and thus al- leged and real delegates of the DTK are arbitrarily criminalised as PKK members and sentenced to long prison terms. Yet the DTK remains legal even in Turkey. No ban proceedings have been initiated, nor is there a presidential decree.
Former HDP deputy Önder sentenced to 5 months in prison
ANF | Amed | 9 November 2022
The final hearing of the case against Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Imralı Delegation member and for- mer deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder was held at the Diyarbakır 4th Criminal Court of First Instance on Wednesday. Önder is accused of “publicly insulting the Turkish nation, the Turkish Republic state, the
57 The İmralı Post #27 Grand National Assembly of Turkey” and the state’s judicial organs” over his remarks at an HDP rally in
Bağlar district of Diyarbakir (Amed).
The former MP had previously stood trial for saying that Turkish President “Erdoğan has a shady past” in his statement at the prosecutor’s Office and had been sentenced for “insulting the President”. His state- ment about Erdoğan’s past was also included in the new lawsuit filed against him.
While Önder’s lawyer, Serdar Çelebi, was present at the hearing, the court ruled dismissal of action over his comment on Erdoğan, stating that it would be a repeated charge.
The court sentenced the former deputy to 5 months in prison over his remarks at the HDP rally in Bağlar on November 5, 2022, and delayed the pronouncement of the judgement.
—★— Survivor of Dersim Genocide dies aged 93
ANF | Dersim | 10 November 2022
Bego (Bedri) Polat, who was a witness and one of the victims of the 1938 Dersim Genocide in Dersim, died on Wednesday evening. Polat had been in intensive care for two days.
HDP Dersim Provincial Organization published a condolence message on its virtual media account. The message said: “Dersim 38 witness Bego Polat marched to Hakka. As the Provincial Organization, we are saddened by the loss of Uncle Bego, one of the many beautiful people who were witnesses of the massacre, exiles and death. Condolences to his family and the people of Dersim in particular.”
About Bego Polat
Bego Polat wrote about the massacre that took place in Dersim between 1937-38, based on his experi- ences. Polat, whose mother and 3 siblings were killed in front of his eyes when he was only 9 years old, and whose bodies were thrown into the water, survived with injuries. Polat’s experiences in those years were written down and made into a book by his daughter Rose Polat Agum. Having taken note of her fa- ther’s stories since her childhood, Agum published a book titled “Dersim 1938 and After” in order to record these testimonies.
Bego Polat, who was born to a family of 6 children in the village of Körkez in the center of Dersim, wit- nessed the biggest massacre in the city center. According to the narrations in the book about those years, before the massacre took place, his father, Hasan Polat, was taken to the police station by the soldiers one morning.
However, days passed and he was never heard from again. Thereupon, Polat’s two older brothers, Ali and Hüseyin, decide to join the insurgents. The soldiers killed most of the family in front of Bego Polat’s eyes, his mother Humar and his sisters Elif, Bira (4) and Hatice (6) and throw them into the water along with
58 The İmralı Post #27
Polat, who they thought was also dead. However, Polat, survived. He realized that 2 fingers of his right hand are broken. He reached a nearby village and asked for help. He was then transported to his brothers who were in the mountains and lived with them in the mountains until the Amnesty Law was passed, thus avoiding the massacre.
Şimşek family members kill two people in Suruç
ANF | Urfa | 10 November 2022
On 8 November, a fight broke out between the Şimşek and Altay families in the Suruç district of Urfa over “parking”. Members of the Şimşek Family then attacked the Altay family’s house in the neighbourhood of Şevra with guns. Cousins Cihan and Mehmet Kayhan and Ibrahim Altay, who were injured in the attack, were taken to Suruç State Hospital by ambulances sent to the region. Cihan and Mehmet Kayhan lost their lives. Altay’s treatment continues.
It was learned that the guns used in the attack belonged to the village guards. Some people were taken into custody.
The Şimşek family, which carried out the attack on the Altay family, was among those who organized the attack on the Şenyaşar family together with the relatives and bodyguards of AKP Deputy Ibrahim Halil Yıldız on 14 June 2018.
Death of 9 Syrians in Turkey: Not a fire but a social homicide
caused by poverty
Roni Aram | Istanbul | 10 November 2022
Nine Syrians, 8 children and a mother, were killed by a fire in their house in the Yıldırım district of Bursa province the night before. As the living conditions of refugees in Turkey are getting worse day by day, sim – ilar incidents are reported more often than before. The father, Hüseyin El Cesim, who lost all members of his family, is a textile worker and also collects paper waste. Two of the children who were killed by the fire were workers in a textile workshop.
Hilmi Miynat from the Labour Party (EMEP) Migration and Refugees Bureau spoke to ANF about the death of 9 Syrian refugees from the same family in Bursa and the precarious living conditions of the refugees in Turkey.
59 The İmralı Post #27 Those who say refugees live for free should take a look at this family
Miynat said that the death of the refugees by the house fire in Bursa was a social homicide caused by im- poverishment. “It is no coincidence that the poor always die in house fires, factory fires, earthquakes, and floods. There is a social reality and a social homicide here. Every death caused by poverty is a social mur- der.”
“The family fled the civil war in Syria and came to Turkey in 2017. The father is a textile worker. He also collects wastepaper to make a living. Two of the children who died were working in a textile workshop. They were under protection on paper, but their living conditions and this fire showed that this is not the case. Those who say, “refugees live in Turkey for free,” should have a look at the fate of this family. They should take a look at the workplace homicide report of the ISIG Assembly that revealed the number of refugee workers who lost their lives in workplace homicides.
They have no solution other than having photos taken
Miynat emphasized that the ruling AKP has no solution to offer to refugees other than having photos taken with families at funerals, nor to the poverty experienced by the Turkish people. “Representatives of the ruling party, who showed up at the funeral, are also those who imprison refugees in the provinces, and in the neighbourhoods. Millions face a residence crisis as they live under heavy exploitation conditions. Millions continue to worry about criminal record checks and forced deportations. What will be done for the survivors? What solution will be offered?”
Miynat added, “With the winter before us, it will become even more difficult for families to warm their children. Shelter, heating and a decent life are the common problems of not only Syrians but also all Turk- ish workers. Precarious conditions could kill all of us. If steps are not taken, we will face similar deaths. We call for a common struggle against poverty and social homicide caused by poverty.”
ÇHD and HHB lawyers receive record prison sentences
ANF | Istanbul | 11 November 2022
Twenty two lawyers from the Progressive Lawyers Association (ÇHD) and the People’s Law Bureau (HHB) have received various prison sentences on charges related to “terrorism.”
The Istanbul 18th Heavy Penal Court ruled for the continuation of the arrest of Barkın Timtik, Selçuk Kozağaçlı and Oya Aslan at the final hearing today at the Silivri Prison Complex in Istanbul.
The court ruled that its decision could be appealed not at the Regional Court of Justice but at the Court of Cassation, the country’s top appeals court.
60 The İmralı Post #27
According to Bianet’s report, the lawyers received the following sentences:
Selçuk Kozağaçlı: 12 years in prison for “being a member of a terrorist organization” and 1 year for “mak – ing propaganda for a terrorist organization”; Barkın Timtik: 12 years in prison for “being a member of a terrorist organization” and 9 years and 8 months for “making propaganda for a terrorist organization”; Oya Aslan: 10 years in prison for “being a member of a terrorist organization” and 6 years for “making propaganda for a terrorist organization”
Taylan Tanay, Betül Vangölü Kozağaçlı, Güçlü Sevimli, Gülvin Aydın: 6 years and 3 months in prison for “being a member of a terrorist organization.” The announcement of the verdict for “propagandizing for a terrorist organization” was deferred.
Güray Dağ, Efkan Bolaç, Serkan Arıkanoğlu, Mümin Özgür Gider, Metin Narin, Sevgi Sönmez, Alper Tunga Saral, Rahim Yılmaz, Selda Yılmaz: 6 years and 3 months in prison for “being a member of a ter- rorist organization”
Özgür Yılmaz: 1 year in prison for “making propaganda for a terrorist organization” (Because he had a fi- nalized sentence for “being a member of a terrorist organization,” this charge was dropped in this case.); Şükriye Erden: Announcement of the verdict for “making propaganda for a terrorist organization” was de- ferred. (Because she had a finalized sentence for “being a member of a terrorist organization,” this charge was dropped in this case.); Naciye Demir: The announcement of the verdict for “making propaganda for a terrorist organization” was deferred.
The files of the defendants, Zeki Rüzgar and Günay Dağ, were separated.
The case against Ebru Timtik, who lost her life while on a death fast demanding a fair trial, was dropped.
The ÇHD case consists of two separate cases that were merged. After the first case at the Istanbul 37th Heavy Penal Court, the Court of Cassation overturned the verdicts for four lawyers.
The verdicts for the other lawyers that were upheld by the Court of Cassation:
Özgür Yılmaz: 13 years and 6 months in prison; Behiç Aşçı: 12 years in prison; Şükriye Erden: 12 years in prison; Engin Gökoğlu: 10 years and 6 months in prison; Aytaç Ünsal: 10 years and 6 months in prison; Süleyman Gökten: 10 years and 6 months in prison; Aycan Çiçek: 9 years in prison; Naciye Demir: 9 years in prison; The local court had sentenced Ezgi Çakır, a lawyer of the defendants, to 8 years in prison. The Court of Cassation ruled that Çakır should have been sentenced on the charge of “know- ingly and willingly aiding the organization.”
61 The İmralı Post #27
Guerrilla doctor Dersim: “Turkish army clearly uses choking agents, mainly chlorine gas”
Egid Sirvan/Agir Tufan | Behdinan | 11 November 2022
According to the People’s Defence Forces (HPG), the Turkish army has used poison gas and unconven- tional bombs against the guerrillas in the Medya Defence Zones in southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq) well over 2,000 times this year alone. Footage of guerrilla fighters presumably dying from nerve gas has gone around the world. There are also repeated reports of the use of yellowish-green gas and images of yel- lowish-green residue have been published by the guerrillas. This also points to the use of the highly toxic gas chlorine. In an interview with ANF, Dr Serbilind Dersim, one of the guerrilla doctors, gave his impres- sions of the use of chemical weapons by the Turkish army.
Why has the Turkish army been using chemical warfare agents so intensively for two years?
I would like to begin my remarks by remembering our friends who have lost their lives in the current phase of the war. I would like to respectfully commemorate all those who died, especially Baz Mordem and Helbest Koçerîn, as a result of the chemical weapons recently used by the Turkish army. At the same time, I respectfully salute the friends who, filled with Apoist sacrifice, are resisting the cruel attacks of the Turkish army in the tunnels of war.
As is known, we have been in an intense war with the Turkish army for 40 years. Especially in the last seven years, there has been a very intense, uninterrupted war. Especially in the last two years of this war, the defence against the chemical weapons used by the Turkish army against us has been central. We can say that the Turkish army is stuck in this war at all levels. It is experiencing defeat against the guerrillas and, therefore, it is resorting to chemical weapons. It is doing so because it has nothing else left.
The Turkish army does not hesitate to use these chemical weapons against our forces, against our friends. In doing so, they disregard international agreements and all humanistic values. In the last few years, they have been flying their much-vaunted armed drones over our forces around the clock, they have been firing missiles and bombs at us from their fighter jets and helicopters. At the same time, every day, at every hour, they are shelling the region with their tanks, artillery pieces and howitzers. As if that were not enough, they are also attacking our forces with ground troops and even with their “Bordeaux Berets” (special forces) and using mercenaries recruited from al-Nusra and ISIS in Syria. But none of this is of any use to them against our friends who are sacrificially resisting, not only resisting, but striking blow after blow at the enemy in mobile units with highly modern and professional guerrilla tactics. That is why they are re – sorting to chemical weapons.
62 The İmralı Post #27
Despite countless recordings, the Turkish state claims not to use chemical weapons. What do you say to this?
Unfortunately, 17 of our friends have been killed by the use of chemical weapons. When this became an issue, the Turkish state and media panicked and rushed to deny the use. They even tried to deny it on their own TV channels by some so-called experts. Discourses such as “The honourable Turkish army does not use chemical weapons” were pushed. To put it bluntly, for us it is not the point to talk about anyone’s “honour”, but there is neither an army nor an honour in this war. It is probably also not considered right that an army, which burns the bodies of its soldiers or throws them off cliffs so that they do not fall into the hands of the guerrillas, and even blows these bodies to pieces with its own planes so that there are no traces or evidence about the soldiers killed, should even mouth such words.
At the same time, statements such as “if the Turkish army used chemical weapons, they would wear pro – tective suits” are spread. It must be clear that even soldiers carrying explosives, be it a grenade, an artillery shell or a mortar shell, do not have to be dressed like bomb disposal officers today. Why? This explosive has been encased and made into ammunition. It will only explode if activated by a detonator or trigger mechanism. Similarly, the Turkish army has packaged chemical weapons, made them into mortar shells, prepared them in the form of cylinders for use or processed them into ammunition. As long as these are not detonated with a detonator, the wearers do not need to wear protective clothing. This is already clear from the published images. They fill the war tunnels with poison gas by remotely detonating the muni- tions at the entrances to our tunnels.
In your experience, which chemical weapons are being used? What has been your experience with the guer- rilla fighters you have treated?
According to the information we have received from the fighting areas and according to the treatment we have carried out on the friends who came from there, the Turkish army is clearly using choking agents. The most important of these is chlorine gas. The Turkish army itself produces chlorine gas on the battle – field. Chlorine gas is simply made from hydrochloric acid, which is used as a cleaning agent in many households. Bleach contains sodium hypochlorite (chlorine bleach). When these two substances come to- gether, chlorine gas, which is asphyxiating, irritant, harmful to eyes and respiratory system, is released, causing suffocation and death even in small doses.
There are thousands of cases of poisoning in Turkey because people have used chlorine bleach and hy- drochloric acid to clean their homes. Everyone knows this very well. Why? These are materials used in daily life. The Turkish army says that there are no chemical weapons in its ammunition, in its inventory. But it produces chlorine gas itself in the war zone with the help of these chemicals. It even lays pipes to the mouth of the tunnels and pumps the chemicals into the tunnels. These are things that can be seen clearly on videos and are very clearly documented.
Obviously, the gas to which Şehîd Baz Mordem was exposed is such a gas. The irritation of our friend’s lungs shows that he was exposed to this kind of suffocating gas. Due to the severe oedema in the lungs caused by the ruptures in the capillaries, a red, pink and brown liquid came out of our friend’s mouth. This is clearly visible. It has been confirmed that this fluid did not come from the stomach but from the lungs. We can say that clearly.
63 The İmralı Post #27
At the same time, I would like to share with you some information about the gas that was used against Şe – hîd Helbest Koçerîn. The gas used there belongs to the narcotic gases from the class of capacity-reducing gases. There is a gas called “Buzz 15” with the code BZ. At the same time, it is about the drug LSD. (…) However, the conversion of LSD into a gas has very deadly consequences. This is one of the gases used against us. Of course, there are different types of anaesthetic gas, such as fentanyl derivatives. I don’t want to go into too much technical detail, but what do these gases do? They render the person unconscious and unable to fight. In the case of our friend Helbest, it could be seen that she had been exposed to such a chemical. The friend seems to have fainted and hallucinated under the influence of the chemical. She re- acts in a completely unusual way and experiences emotional disturbances such as extreme joy or extreme sadness. This is clear evidence that our friend was exposed to this type of anaesthetic gas.
What measures can be taken against the use of chemical weapons?
As already said, the Turkish army is trying to counter the guerrillas’ determination with chemical weapons. It believes that it can only achieve results with chemical weapons. Of course, our friends have very limited means against this. We had problems with the arrangements in a few places. Unfortunately, this situation led to some casualties. However, despite the chemical weapons attacks, our friends continue their struggle by resisting the Turkish army and even pushing actions to break the attacks and inflict heavy losses on the enemy. The Turkish army is facing its final defeat. Of course, the Turkish army does not produce these chemical weapons on its own. It sources some of these chemicals from NATO countries. For example, it uses tear gas. In fact, this tear gas is a gas manufactured in Britain with the code CS. The gas is supplied to Turkey from there. The Turkish army, of course, has the full support of NATO. That is why the Turkish state can attack us so intensively.
What demands do you have on international organisations dealing with the use of chemical weapons?
Finally, I would like to note that in some publications or in the statements of some people who speak out against the use of chemical weapons by the Turkish army, words like “if ” or “I wonder” are used. There is no “if ” and no uncertainty; the situation is clear. The use of chemical weapons by the Turkish army is clear and concretely proven by evidence. For this reason alone, we are inviting independent institutions and in- ternational organisations to our areas to conduct on-site inspections and prepare reports. HPG will pro- vide all necessary support and facilities. That is why we are inviting them again. Let them come; let them conduct investigations in the battlefields, war tunnels and combat zones and make their findings available to the entire public.
Dr. Mansouran: Turkish state uses chemical weapons
ANF | London | 12 November 2022
Global reactions against war crimes committed by the Turkish state with chemical weapons are continu- ing. Intellectuals, politicians, writers and academics from all over Europe and the world are reacting to the Turkish chemical attacks on guerrilla-controlled areas.
64 The İmralı Post #27
Dr. Abbas Mansouran who lives in Switzerland underlined that the Turkish state uses Tabun, Chlorine and Mustard gases intensively. Dr. Mansouran emphasized that the families and lawyers of those killed by chemical weapons may put pressure on the OPCW to investigate chemicals on the spot, through lawsuits and the UN.
A video was released revealing that the Turkish state used chemical and banned weapons against the guer- rillas in Zap, Metîna and Avaşîn regions. The video released by the PKK shows that two guerrillas were subjected to chemical weapons. Have you watched this video? What is your initial assessment? Which chemical could have been used?
First, I would like to praise this historical and brave resistance of the Kurdish people and freedom fighters in every part of Kurdistan. I reviewed the videos, photos and documents. It is obvious that the Turkish au – thorities and the Turkish army are using banned chemical weapons and a war crime against humanity is being committed. Turkey is not doing this for the first time, they have long been committing war crimes. Turkey has been continuing to commit war crimes with these banned chemicals since 1992 and 1995 and in Serêkaniyê since 2019 and in the mountains of Kurdistan since 2019.
What is your initial assessment of these images? What chemical could have been used?
Based on my experience, it is very likely that Turkey used sarin bombs, which was previously used by Syria. Perhaps Tabun gas was also used. It is very likely that chlorofine, i.e., chlorine gas sulphur SM, or as I said, sarin gas GB, or Mustard gas AD were used. These weapons and gases are prohibited. They cause the muscular system to collapse and directly affect the nervous system. These are very dangerous gases. Small-scale research is enough to prove that they are used, there is no need for high technologies. Tests can be done by investigating those who have been exposed to these gases, through soil samples, or the rem- nants of bombs. We know that Turkey produces these bombs and even sells them.
During the war that lasted for 6 months, the PKK released images, photographs, etc., and called on the au- thorities to take action in repeated statements. But international institutions remain silent. How do you evaluate this situation?
Unfortunately, organizations and the UN Council and other institutions do not actually work for the peo- ple. They work for states, the United Nations works for states. For example, Turkey is a NATO member, NATO member countries are the most important countries in the UN. These countries support each other. That’s why they are silent. When I was in Serêkaniyê in 2019, I asked them to send a delegation to the UN and conduct an investigation into the use of chemicals. Even at that time, they did not agree to test people in Hewler who were exposed to these chemical weapons. The states have never helped us to deal with it. They support Turkey’s crimes and, in fact, they are partners in these crimes.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has recently said in a statement that “we cannot take action without the appeal of a state”. Which state should make an appeal concerning the recent attacks which were carried out in partnership between the AKP-MHP government and the KDP? What path should be followed?
This is a very tragic situation. This is tantamount to asking criminals to investigate their own crimes. It is also a funny situation; it is funny to invite the perpetrators of this crime to court and have them witness
65 The İmralı Post #27
their crimes. It is also very sad. The OPCW is not a member of the UN. But it is a parallel institution and supposed to investigate war crimes in UN countries as well. The OPCW is actually the right place for these tests to be done, but they do not, they do not fulfil their duties. OPCW’s silence encourages those who commit these crimes to continue to do so.
If a war crime is committed and proven with evidence, what needs to be done for the relevant interna- tional institutions to act? What would you like to say about them?
I’m not optimistic, especially not about the UN, but I’m optimistic about people’s opinions. Currently, millions of people want freedom. I think an international tribunal should be established, like the one es- tablished during the Vietnam War. It was done in the past. Independent judges and lawyers had to make appeals to Den Haag or The Hague. An international tribunal should be established. International inde- pendent lawyers and judges and prosecutors need to make this call. In this way, international institutions can also be mobilized. This is a war crime and a crime against humanity as well. If the families of people killed by chemical weapons open a case against Turkey in a court, this may be more effective, the OPCW will have to conduct an investigation after a possible case. This file will have to prove whether people were killed by chemicals. Instead of asking it from the UN or other institutions, the families should immedi- ately open a file and appeal to international courts through tribunals.
If families appeal to the OPCW or put pressure on relevant institutions, can these chemical attacks be in- vestigated?
Yes, we must push for it. Not only the OPCW but also the UN should be urged, many lawyers and hu- man rights defenders around the world would want to work on this issue. This will pave the way for peo- ple to formally put pressure on the OPCW and related institutions to carry out these investigations.
The KDP, which offered all kinds of intelligence and logistics support to Turkey in the attacks against Zap and Avaşîn, also confiscated the gas masks that were delivered to guerrillas against chemical weapons and bombs. They also released a video of their confiscation. How do you evaluate this situation?
Hopefully, the KDP will change its approach. History will write what they did, how the KDP cooperation affected the whole Kurdistan. They should be ashamed, they are defaming themselves by helping Turkey and causing people to be killed. In the future, of course, the families of the people who died in these at- tacks will bring the KDP to account. I hope that the KDP will immediately change this approach and stop helping Turkey to kill people because they are complicit in this crime and cause the people of Kurdistan to die.
You had previously conducted an on-site investigation into the chemical attacks by the Turkish state in Ro – java and reported the use of white phosphorus… What were your findings in the report at that time?
After Turkey’s attacks, I went there to help the injured in Serêkaniyê and Qamîşlo. In a Hesekê hospital, I saw more than 100 people who were killed as a result of chemical attacks. The samples I sent to Switzer – land and the examinations made in the laboratories here proved that white phosphorus bombs were used. I prepared an 18-page report with the support of other doctors, including photos, videos and samples from the bodies of those who lost their lives. All these files were submitted to the UN. Unfortunately, the
66 The İmralı Post #27 corona pandemic erupted and the court was delayed. Currently, the international human rights court rec-
ommends that these files be reviewed again and these cases are still going on.
We know that your report has been submitted to the OPCW. Have you received any results?
Thanks for saying this. I had requested a meeting with the OPCW on this matter and wanted to visit their office. They had accepted it from the very beginning. But when I was trying to get there via Paris, they in- formed me that we didn’t need to meet face to face. They said they could examine the samples with a group of physicists and chemists and they didn’t talk to me afterwards. I later submitted the documents and the evidence from the laboratory to them. It is obvious that white phosphorus was used, but the OPCW only replied that it was forbidden to use it, yet they did not help us at that time either.
Are you going to appeal to any institution or are you going to carry out an examination in the region?
Yes, I will continue my research. Any human being should bear responsibility over the issue. In fact, a del – egation of doctors and physicists should be sent to the region. Solidarity with the victims should be shown internationally and the UN and other institutions should introduce serious files against these crimes by Turkey. Yes, I would like to go to the region and do research and share it with the public in a transparent way.
Lawyer Demir: Council of Europe tolerates Turkey
Roni Aram | 10 November 2022
Lawyer Ramazan Demir stated that the latest decision of the ECHR concerning the HDP deputies ex- posed and frustrated the Turkish government’s conspiracy against the HDP lawmakers carried out on 4 November 2016.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has released its decision over the application concerning former Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chair Figen Yüksekdağ and 13 deputies. The court ruled that the arrest of Yüksekdağ and the other deputies on 4 November 2016 violated their freedom of expres- sion and the right to elect and be elected.
As in its ruling over the case of Selahattin Demirtaş, the court ruled that these arrests were also politically motivated, which violated Article 18 of the ECHR. The court also asked Turkey to pay 184,600 euros in compensation. The ECHR ruling concerned the following politicians: Figen Yüksekdağ, İdris Baluken, Besime Konca, Abdullah Zeydan, Nihat Akdoğan, Selma Irmak, Ferhat Encü, Gülser Yıldırım, Nursel Ay- doğan, Çağlar Demirel, Burcu Çelik, Leyla Birlik and Ayhan Bilgen who left the HDP after his arrest.
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Ramazan Demir, one of the lawyers in the case, told ANF that ECHR rulings are binding for Turkey. “Ac- cording to Article 90 of the Constitution, Turkey already approved in 1988-89 that it would comply with the decisions of the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights. There is no discussion about it.”
Lawyer Demir stated that it is very important that the ECtHR decision cited the political motivation be- hind the arrests. “This is a decision that both reveals and frustrates the 4 November 2016 operation. The ECHR had already revealed its principles when it ruled over Selahattin Demirtaş’s case. It has now de- fended the same principles in its recent ruling concerning the HDP deputies.”
Ruling is binding but Turkey does not implement
Demir reminded that Turkey has not implemented three ECHR decisions due to political reasons: “There are three decisions that Turkey has not implemented so far. One relates to the Xenides-Arestis decision concerning the Greek Cypriots. Others concern Selahattin Demirtaş and Osman Kavala. All three cases are political cases. Turkey takes advantage of the toleration of the Council of Europe to keep these people in prison. More precisely, it somehow takes advantage of the slow functioning of the Council. However, Turkey will eventually implement those decisions. If there is a violation ruling, state authorities are sup- posed to ensure the conditions before the violation. Turkey must do it in accordance with article 46 of the ECHR. There is no discussion about whether it is binding or not. The main debate revolves around whether Turkey would implement it or not. Turkey claims that it has already implemented the decisions concerning Demirtaş or Kavala and released them after the first files against them. As in the Demirtaş de – cision, the ECHR said that that wasn’t the case as Turkey arrested them a second time with the same evi- dence.
Council of Europe tolerates Turkey
Demir pointed out that Turkey keeps repeating the same arguments and the Council of Europe tolerates that. “The government keeps saying the same thing. Turkey may lose both its status and rights within the Council. The ECHR is a judicial body of the Council. Turkey says that it does not want to comply with its decisions. If this is the case, then Turkey has no place within the Council. But unfortunately, the Coun- cil of Europe is very weak in this regard. The Council should show its strength, because it’s a political structure after all.”
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Who Are We?
The International Initiative “Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan — Peace in Kurdistan” was founded in March 1999, a month after Öcalan’s abduction from Kenya and his imprisonment by Turkey. Since its initial foundation, the International Initiative struggled for Abdullah Öcalan’s re- lease from prison so that he can play his rightful role in the establishment of a just peace between the Turkish state and Kurdistan’s Workers Party (PKK). The International Initia- tive also aimed at contributing to the repairing of the ties between the Kurdish and Turkish peoples, as well as all other peoples of the Middle Eastern regions.
In order to achieve its aims, the International Initiative followed several related paths. Influencing international and national audiences through international campaigns to in- terfere with Turkish state’s policies towards Abdullah Öcalan has been one of these paths. A second area of work the In- ternational Initiative committed itself is the dissemination of Öcalan’s views through art, publications and conferences. Finally, the International Initiative has also been active in raising awareness for Öcalan’s conditions and the human rights violations he faces through reports, fact-finding dele- gations and lobbying.
The International Initiative organizes signature campaigns to influence the policies towards Öcalan. One such cam- paign which was launched in 2012 by one thousand prelim- inary signatories including Gerry Adams, Prof. Antonio Ne- gri, Prof. Immanuel Wallerstein, Prof. Achin Vanaik, and other intellectuals, politicians, MPs, and NGOs from South America, Europe, Asia, Russia, and the Middle East. The campaign reached 10,328,623 signatures and may be the biggest signature campaign for the freedom of a political prisoner that the world has ever seen. It significantly chal- lenged the isolation that was enforced on Öcalan and possi- bly paved the ways for the peace talks that the Turkish state and Öcalan led between 2013 and 2015.
The International Initiative also organizes video cam- paigns that educate the public on Öcalan’s life-story, his prison conditions and the demands for his freedom.
The International Initiative translates, edits and publishes books written by Öcalan in different languages including in English, German, French, Spanish and Arabic.
It compiles brochures from his works on specific topics, such as democratic confederalism or women’s freedom.
It edits books on Öcalan that discuss his main ideas.
The International Initiative also publishes regular reports on Öcalan’s prison conditions and his isolation.
The International Initiative organizes biannual conferences and invites scholars, activists, students and politicians to discuss Öcalan’s ideas in order to initiate a conversation be- tween different Movements around the world.
Every year on February 15 , which is the date of the abduc-
tion of Abdullah Öcalan, the International Initiative orga- nizes a group of internationally acclaimed people to take a trip to Turkey for a fact finding mission and publicizes their findings.
The International Initiative lobbies in the European Coun- cil, CPT and other international organizations against the human rights violations against Abdullah Öcalan and his total isolation in İmralı prison.
Art for Öcalan
This campaign aims to express the relationship between Ab- dullah Öcalan, Kurdish people, freedom and women’s free- dom and to educate the wider public on the past and present of the Kurdish people. The International Initiative has already collected art from Brazil, South Africa, USA, South America, Italy, Germany as well as Kurds from differ- ent parts of Kurdistan. These works have been printed in postcards, t-shirts and canvas and made available for solidar- ity sale.
Contact e-mail: email@example.com
Websites: freeocalan.org | ocalanbooks.com ‖ Videos: vimeo.com/freeocalan