Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan…………………………………………………………………………………………….. 3
Women take over Freedom from Abdullah Öcalan Vigil in Strasbourg……………………………………….3
Turkey denies “right to hope” for Abdullah Öcalan…………………………………………………………………4
Prisons in Turkey……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 5
Justice Vigil by relatives of ill prisoners in Izmir and Denizli leaves 100 days behind…………………….5 Tekirdağ City Hospital Health Board says hunger striker Gökhan Yıldırım should return in prison. .6 Seriously ill prisoner Bazo Yılmaz dies in Urfa T-type prison…………………………………………………….6 IHD: Deaths in prison are preventable. Failure to prevent them is a crime against humanity…………7 Political prisoners held in same cell wing with ISIS jihadists in Adana………………………………………..8 There is no age for a Kurdish person in this system, you can be sent to jail at 7 or at 70………………..9 Guards torture prisoner in Sincan jail for moving his bunk bed……………………………………………….10 Hunger strikes in Van and Beşikdüzü prisons continues…………………………………………………………10 Many detainees test positive for Covid-19 in Van’s two prisons but are not treated……………………..11 Police detain prisoners’ relatives in Istanbul………………………………………………………………………….12 No news from prisoner tortured by guards in Rize Kalkandere L Type Closed Prison………………….13 Seriously ill prisoner dies 8 months after being released………………………………………………………….13 Mother of prisoner threatened with death in Amed prison starts Justice Vigil…………………………….14 Prisoner died suspiciously in Elazig Prison……………………………………………………………………………15
Military aggression and occupation……………………………………………………………………………………. 15
Turkish authorities hide the number of dead soldiers……………………………………………………………..15 HPG: The Turkish army cannot record any progress in Medya Defense Zones…………………………..16 Clashes in Muş, preparations for military operation in Hakkari……………………………………………….17 Teachers’ union of North and East Syria: Turkey is destroying educational infrastructure…………….17 KDP builds road through guerrilla area for the Turkish army………………………………………………….19 Kongra Star trains women in weapons and first aid……………………………………………………………….19 Turkish drone strikes Maxmur Camp………………………………………………………………………………….20 Turkey mobilizes racist paramilitaries in Kirkuk……………………………………………………………………21 SDF announces the outcome of Turkish crimes against North-East Syria in August……………………22
IHD says women were victims of 202 rights violations in Aegean region…………………………………..25 18-year-old murdered in Şırnak………………………………………………………………………………………….27 Man kills wife and their 3 daughters in Idil………………………………………………………………………….28 Woman dies under suspicious circumstances in Amed……………………………………………………………28 Two more femicides in Adana and Aydın…………………………………………………………………………….29
Soldiers set fire to forest area in Hakkari………………………………………………………………………………29 Hakkari Municipality trustee responsible for pollution of environment…………………………………….30
The İmralı Post #18
Lake Van suffers from serious pollution as many other lakes in the city dry up…………………………..31 Trees planted in memory of Digor massacre victims uprooted…………………………………………………32 Trees cut down and road paved with asphalt for military construction in Şırnak………………………..32 Forest fire in Hakkari raging for 11 days………………………………………………………………………………33 Euphrates River is drying up……………………………………………………………………………………………..33 Turkish state speeds up cutting of trees in Şırnak…………………………………………………………………..34
Human Rights Violations…………………………………………………………………………………………………. 34
Leading ESP activists detained in police raid in Istanbul………………………………………………………..34 Six detained in Ankara over social media posts critical of war………………………………………………….35 Mersin Governorship bans concert organised by Human Rights Association on World Peace Day. .36 Children are working in the textile sector in Mersin………………………………………………………………36 Pop singer Gülşen jailed……………………………………………………………………………………………………37 Two Syrian citizens found near Turkish military base had been shot…………………………………………37 Ceyhan Municipality bans Ilkay Akkaya concert…………………………………………………………………..38 13 detained as police attack Saturday Mothers in a cemetery in Istanbul…………………………………..39 Rojava woman sent to prison in Turkey with her 2-month-old baby………………………………………..40 The corpse in the bag……………………………………………………………………………………………………….41 Police take three Peace Mothers into custody in Istanbul………………………………………………………..43 Two journalists face prison for doing their job………………………………………………………………………44 Court releases man arrested for attacking HDP office in Bahçelievler……………………………………….44 Diyarbakir Bar Association: Faith in judiciary has decreased……………………………………………………45 Emine Şenyaşar: They have been persecuting us for 543 days………………………………………………….46 HDP Women’s Council on the detention of MP Semra Güzel: “We will not bow to this dirty politics” …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….46
Peace in Kurdistan………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 47
468 organizations in Amed call for lasting peace…………………………………………………………………..47
Foza Yûsif: The war has entered a new phase…………………………………………………………………………48
Duran Kalkan: We are entering the final phase of the Time for Freedom Campaign……………………53
Who Are We?…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 60 —★—
3 The İmralı Post #18
Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan
Women take over Freedom from Abdullah Öcalan Vigil in Strasbourg
ANF | Strasbourg | 24 August 2022
For more than ten years, activists have been protesting day after day in the square in front of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg demanding freedom for Abdullah Öcalan.
The 532nd week of the vigil was taken over by the women’s movement TJK-E. Xezal Yalçın, Aynur Kılıç, Xece Aslan, Selma Koç and Emine Demir are part of the TJK-E delegation.
Xezal Yalçın said on behalf of the group: “As you know, we have been holding a vigil here for more than 10 years. We stand here in Strasbourg before the Council of Europe demanding freedom for Abdullah Öcalan. For so many years he has not been able to see his family or his lawyers. We receive no information about his health and condition. He is the representative of 40 million Kurds. The representatives of all other people are free to stand up for the basic human rights, language, culture and identity of their peo – ples, but unfortunately the representative of 40 million Kurds has been held hostage on Imralı Island for 23 years.”
Yalçın underlined the general concerns about Öcalan’s safety and health and stressed that without his free- dom, no solution to the Kurdish question would be possible.
“Öcalan’s philosophy is the philosophy of women’s liberation”
Yalçın pointed to the special motivation as a women’s movement to fight for Öcalan’s freedom: “We will take over the vigil here for a week. We women have seen that Öcalan’s philosophy means women’s free- dom. For this reason, we make a special appeal to the women of the world, especially to the Council of Europe. We stand here next to the CPT and in front of the Council of Europe building and we ask: ‘Where is the justice?’ The French state has not even provided space for the vigil for justice. This is a dis – grace to democracy and a disgrace to humanity. Actually, the mayors, the lawyers from the European countries should be here, human rights activists and everyone who stands up for humanity and democracy should have visited us every day.”
“Why is Europe silent on Turkey’s use of chemical weapons?”
The women also address the Turkish use of chemical weapons in South Kurdistan: “Chemical weapons such as sarin gas are thrown at our people every day. Rojava is bombed day and night. Gare is bombed day and night. Poison gas is used in the Medya Defense Zones. But the states that call themselves democracies
4 The İmralı Post #18 and supposedly defend humanity and even animal rights are turning a blind eye to the situation of the
“As long as we live, we will stand by Rêber Apo”
Yalçın said: “Our call is on all democratic personalities. We appeal in particular to international organiza- tions and states: it must be ensured that the lawyers meet with our leader as soon as possible. The right of family members to meet with prisoners is a legitimate right. This right is also denied. Why are these states silent? We condemn this silence. We will stand by Rêber Apo [Abdullah Öcalan] for as long as we live.”
Turkey denies “right to hope” for Abdullah Öcalan
ANF | 1 September 2022
In the case of Abdullah Öcalan, the “right to hope” is suspended. This was stated by the lawyers of the Re- public of Turkey in a submission to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on 26 August.
On 18 March 2014, the ECtHR ruled that Turkey had violated the prohibition of inhuman and degrad- ing treatment and thus Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) by imposing a non-reducible life sentence on Abdullah Öcalan. Öcalan, who founded the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in 1978, was sentenced to death for “high treason” in June 1999, only four months after his depor – tation from Kenya to Turkey in violation of international law. Since Turkey abolished the death penalty in 2002, Öcalan must now serve an “aggravated life sentence” without any prospect of early release. Accord- ing to the ECtHR, however, life sentenced prisoners must at least have the prospect of early release. The sentence must be reducible and subject to review. However, this is not the case with Öcalan and three other political prisoners (Hayati Kaytan, Emin Gurban and Civan Boltan) who successfully appealed to the ECtHR. It is true that the Turkish president can order a prisoner’s early release in the event of old age or illness. The Turkish parliament also passes amnesties from time to time. However, this is not sufficient for “lifers” to have a concrete prospect of early release, the ECtHR found.
The 2014 decision paved the way for the submission of five applications to the ECtHR asking Turkey to relax Öcalan’s prison conditions, including one against the “aggravated life sentence”, which excludes any possibility of release. The so-called enhanced life sentence replaced the death penalty in Turkish law as part of the country’s efforts to meet the Copenhagen criteria for accession to the European Union, and coin- cided with Öcalan’s arrest in 1999 and subsequent trial.
After the ECtHR requested an opinion on these applications, Turkey’s representatives submitted a docu- ment stating that while conditional release is “normally” possible for convicts sentenced to a severe life sen- tence, certain offences are excluded from this possibility.
Abdullah Öcalan has been isolated in Imrali island prison since 1999. His legal team has had no contact with Öcalan or his three fellow prisoners for over three years. Between 2011 and 2019, lawyers from the
5 The İmralı Post #18 Asrin Law Office have not been able to visit the prison island. The last sign of life from Abdullah Öcalan
was a brief phone call with his brother on 25 March 2021.
Prisons in Turkey
Justice Vigil by relatives of ill prisoners in Izmir and Denizli leaves 100 days behind
ANF | Izmir/Denizli | 18 August 2022
The Justice Vigil was launched by the relatives of the prisoners in İzmir to demand freedom for ill prison- ers and an end to delay in the release of those who comply with release criteria. The vigil is held in front of Buca Kırıkları Prison and has been going on for 100 days. Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Karabağlar and Buca District Organization supported the action. During the Justice Vigil, the relatives of the prison- ers.
Speaking at the Justice Vigil, HDP member Cahit Gunay said that they support the actions of the families and reminded that 1,600 ill prisoners, including 600 seriously, are kept in prison. Gunay said: “Two days ago, 10 days before his release, Zülküf Yıldırım died. Why does the government put so much pressure on the people? We call for justice and human rights to be respected. Why are laws not being enforced?”
Pointing out that 43 prisoners lost their lives in the last year, Gunay underlined the case of Kurdish politi- cian and lawyer Aysel Tuğluk who was not released “because she is a Kurdish woman.”
The protest of Songül Ilker, who started a sit-in for her seriously ill son Ekim Polat, held in Denizli T Type Closed Prison is on its 6th day. Ilker said: “My son went on hunger strike reclaiming the right to be treated. He has been on hunger strike for 18 days. This is causing my son’s health to deteriorate further. There are rumours that the first director of the prison will send my son to another prison for treatment. This is a policy that is purely aimed at prolonging my son’s agony. I and my son will continue our struggle until my son’s treatment is provided. I want everyone to raise their voice against these dirty policies against sick prisoners.”
6 The İmralı Post #18 Tekirdağ City Hospital Health Board says hunger striker
Gökhan Yıldırım should return in prison
ANF | Istanbul | 19 August 2022
The People’s Law Office made a statement in front of Tekirdağ Hospital regarding the latest situation of Gökhan Yıldırım, who has been on death fast for 237 days in Tekirdağ Prison No. 1, demanding a fair trial. As a result of the application made to the Forensic Medicine Institute (ATK), the decision to post- pone the execution for 3 months was issued for Yıldırım, who was admitted to the Tekirdağ City Hospital. Yıldırım was taken to Tekirdağ City Hospital following a report saying that “he cannot stay in prison”. Tekirdağ City Hospital Health Board issued a new report on Thursday and said he could be taken to prison.
Seda Şaraldı, one of the lawyers of the People’s Law Office, said that Yıldırım has been on death fast for 237 days and objected to the decision to send him back to prison. Şaraldı said: “The same delegation, who previously suggested delaying our client’s sentence and said that he could not stay in prison, convened again and said that Gökhan should be taken to R Type Prison this time. This is not a scientific opinion, but a clear confession of fear,” he said.
‘A decision to send Gökhan to death’
Noting that the R-Type Prisons in Turkey have turned into torture places for ill prisoners, Şaraldı said: “This decision is an excuse to not release Gökhan. Sending Gökhan to prison means sending him to death. Gökhan should be released as soon as possible.”
Seriously ill prisoner Bazo Yılmaz dies in Urfa T-type prison
ANF | Urfa | 19 August 2022
Another political prisoner has died in custody in Turkey. Seriously ill political prisoner Bazo Yılmaz died due to a lack of health care and the prison conditions in Urfa no. 2 T-type prison. His family was in – formed of the death of the 67-year-old by telephone from the prison administration on Thursday. His body is currently in the mortuary of the Urfa coroner’s office.
Yılmaz had already been taken to the coroner’s office on 8 February 2021 due to his health problems. De – spite severe COPD and the need for constant artificial oxygen supply, the doctor examining him, found him fit to stay in prison. A complaint before the Constitutional Court against the decision was also dis- missed. Yılmaz was permanently hooked up to an oxygen machine and was practically unable to look after himself alone.
7 The İmralı Post #18 Who was Bazo Yılmaz?
Bazo Yılmaz was the former mayor of Yukarı Göklü (Gogan) in Urfa Province and a member of the Halfeti City Council. He was arrested and imprisoned on 11 December 2016 for membership of the grassroots Democratic Society Congress (DTK). In 2018, he was sentenced to nine years in prison for “membership of a terrorist organization”, and “propaganda for a terrorist organization”.
IHD: Deaths in prison are preventable. Failure to prevent them
is a crime against humanity
Roni Aram | Istanbul | 21 August 2022
According to the findings of the Human Rights Association (IHD), there are 1,517 ill prisoners, 651 of whom are seriously ill. Many ill prisoners get reports saying that they are “fit to stay in prison” from the ATK (Forensic Medicine Institute), but deaths continue to come one after another.
According to the data of the IHD, 47 detainees lost their lives in prisons in the first 8 months of 2022, as a result of the fact that ill detainees continue not to be released. In the past week, while three prisoners, Ibrahim Yıldırım, Mehmet Candemir and Bazo Yılmaz, lost their lives, another prisoner, whose name is unknown, died in prison, according to the information given to ANF by Nuray Çevirmen, an executive with the the IHD.
The treatment rights of prisoners are denied. Prisoners held in Maraş Türkoğlu No. 1 L Type Closed Prison said in a phone call with their families that they were beaten and put in a cell because they did not accept to be handcuffed during medical examination.
651 seriously ill prisoners
Emphasizing the urgent need to release critically ill patients, Nuray Çevirmen said: “As the Human Rights Association, we already have a prison-based work activity. We published a report in April on the rights vio – lations in prisons. According to this report, the number of ill prisoners was 1,517. Of these, 651 are seri- ously ill. We demand the release of seriously ill prisoners and their uninterrupted treatment. We demand the elimination of some special applications. For example, the inability to transfer the prisoners to the hos – pital by prison vehicles, plus the elimination of the imposition of handcuffed examinations, rapid referrals, not delaying the examinations, and ensuring humane living conditions.”
Since the beginning of the year, 47 prisoners have died
Nuray Çevirmen said that many ill prisoners have lost their lives since the beginning of the year, and un- derlined that ATK makes decisions based on political motives. Çevirmen continued: “As far as we have
8 The İmralı Post #18
been able to determine, from the beginning of the year until today, 47 prisoners have died. These, and I want to stress this, are the deaths we have been able to record, because there are many deaths that we are not aware of. According to the data of the General Directorate of Prisons and Detention Houses, there are 314,502 detainees in prisons, and it is not possible to reach all of them. In the last week, two out of the four prisoners who died suffered a sudden heart attack, while the other two died from serious illness. There are many seriously ill prisoners, who are older, have many chronic diseases, have cancer, have lung disease, are unable to continue their life on their own, and are disabled. There are seriously ill prisoners trying to survive in the prison with difficulties. It is truly a shame on humanity that these seriously ill pris – oners are not released and kept in prison. The fact that the Forensic Medicine Institute makes decisions with political motives causes these prisoners to stay in prisons. And the prisoners who stay in jail unfortu – nately lose their lives due to these serious diseases.”
Failing to prevent death in prison is a crime against humanity
Nuray Çevirmen underlined that deaths in prisons are preventable and that failure to prevent them is a crime against humanity. “All deaths in prisons are preventable. If they are not prevented but actually pro- voked, it is a violation of the right to life and the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment. In short, we can call it a crime against humanity. For this reason, we demand that these rights violations be ended as soon as possible, that seriously ill prisoners be released, executions postponed, and that ill prisoners stay with their families until they recover.”
Political prisoners held in same cell wing with ISIS jihadists in
ANF | Adana | 21 August 2022
In a high-security prison in the province of Adana, political prisoners are apparently housed in the same cell wing as jihadists of the terrorist group “Islamic State” (ISIS). As Mehmet Kurt, a Kurd imprisoned in the F-type prison Kürkçüler, told relatives, the political prisoners also have to go to court together with the ISIS members. In addition to the Islamists, however, criminal prisoners have also been transferred to the political prisoners’ wing.
The political prisoners in Kürkçüler Prison in Adana province have been on hunger strike since mid-July. With the temporary action, which is carried out in groups for five days at a time, they are demanding the lifting of Abdullah Öcalan’s isolation on the prison island of Imrali and humane prison conditions. The prisoners complain that the isolation system designed especially for Öcalan in the Imrali island prison has meanwhile spread to all other prisons in the country, and accuse the judicial authorities of massive viola- tions of the law and degrading practices.
In this context, in particular, it is a dangerous situation that prisoners who have been imprisoned for polit – ical reasons are housed in the direct vicinity of ISIS mercenaries and prisoners and also have to go to court
9 The İmralı Post #18 with them, says the family of Mehmet Kurt. They hope for an outcry from the public and the commit-
ment of relevant human rights organisations so that the disenfranchisement in Turkish prisons will end.
There is no age for a Kurdish person in this system, you can be
sent to jail at 7 or at 70
ANF | Van | 22 August 2022
Medeni Özer said that his parents have been in prison for more than three months, and added:: “If this process is extended, their health will worsen. My mother has serious problems with surviving in prison. As a family, our concerns are increasing with every passing day.”
80-year-old Makbule Özer and her 79-year-old husband Hadi Özer were detained with their children in the police raid on their house in Edremit, Van, on 24 July 2018. As a result of the investigation conducted against the Özer couple, a lawsuit was filed. The 2 years and 6 months’ prison sentence given to the Özer couple by the local court was upheld by the higher courts. The couple were first taken into custody and then sent to prison on 9 May. The Özer couple have been held hostage in prison for 105 days.
Kurds have no age for the system
The couple’s son, Medeni Özer, said that they do not expect justice, rights and law from those who prac- tice this unlawfulness. Noting that these arrests were the result of hatred and grudge against the Kurds, Özer said: “A Kurdish person has no age in the system. You can be thrown in prison at 7 or at 70. My par- ents are in need of care. They are not people to be held in prisons. They’re both ill.”
Our concerns are increasing
Özer said that his mother and father’s health will seriously worsen if the prison period is extended, and added: “My mother has no chance to survive. As a family, our concerns are increasing. We have organised many initiatives to protest their detention. We formed a public opinion against the arrest, support came from various circles and political parties, but this blind, deaf system does not want to hear it.”
Stating that the system does not only arrest individuals, but also tries to keep the whole family hostage, Özer added: “The system is trying to keep under the boot the families of prisoners, socially, politically, economically and psychologically.”
10 The İmralı Post #18 Guards torture prisoner in Sincan jail for moving his bunk bed
ANF | Ankara | 23 August 2022
Prisoner Hakan Tunç is in Sincan High Security Prison. He was tortured by the guards for moving his un- stable bunk bed.
Tunç moved his bunk bed in order to be able to read more easily. He was told nothing for some 20 days, but he was tortured by the guards after the morning count held on 31 July.
Tunç stated that the chief officer who came to his cell during the meeting with his lawyer said to him, “You are a prisoner, you can’t make any change” and that the guard then punched him, and took him to the sponge cell.
Tunç requested a report of assault, but has not yet been able to access the content of the doctor’s report. He filed a criminal complaint on the attack.
Hunger strikes in Van and Beşikdüzü prisons continues
ANF | 27 August 2022
The alternating hunger strike launched by political prisoners in Van High Security and Beşikdüzü prisons continues. Prisoners in Van High Security Prison are on hunger strike since 1 August against the increas- ing rights violations in prisons and arbitrary practices of the administration. They are now on their 27th day of fast.
The ongoing hunger strike by political prisoners in Trabzon Beşikdüzü T Type Closed Prison has been go- ing on for 44 days. Mahsun Bilem (45), who has been in prison for 27 years, said in a weekly phone call with family members on 19 August that the hunger strike continues and the demands of the prisoners have not been met yet.
His mother, Hasibe Bilem said: “My son has been in prison for 27 years. There have been violations of rights in prisons all these years, but my son would never tell us what happened in prison before. Now the situation is so bad that the prisoners are not even properly fed. That’s why political prisoners went on hunger strike.”
Bilem said that they talked to the prison authorities because only cabbage is given to prisoners almost ev- ery day.
Bilem called for the demands of the prisoners to be accepted as soon as possible.
11 The İmralı Post #18 Some of the demands of the prisoners in the two prisons are as follows:
• “The petitions written by the prisoners to the Parliament, the Ministry of Justice and the relevant prosecutor’s offices must be sent to the competent authorities
• Publications and books must be delivered to prisoners
• The ban policy on broadcasting in Kurdish must end
• Ill prisoners must be given access to treatment
• Strip searches must end
• Precautions against the rapidly spreading coronavirus in the prison must be taken and the neces- sary medicines must be provided
• Food must be healthy, fresh, and portions must be proper
• Social activities must be allowed
• The prison guards and the administration should put an end to their arbitrary approach to de- tainees.”
Many detainees test positive for Covid-19 in Van’s two prisons
but are not treated
ANF | Van | 27 August 2022
It has been reported that almost all of the detainees in Van High Security and F Type Closed Prison tested positive for coronavirus within a month. According to the information conveyed by the relatives of the prisoners, treatment was not given even though some of the prisoners were in a bad condition. It has been noted that a prisoner whose name has not been learned has tested positive for coronavirus for 25 days. However, he was not taken to the hospital and was kept in isolation.
It was learned that many detainees survived the coronavirus, but many still tested positive. It was noted that prison administrations did not take any measures against the rapidly spreading coronavirus in both prisons.
12 The İmralı Post #18 Police detain prisoners’ relatives in Istanbul
ANF | Istanbul | 28 August 2022
In the western Turkish metropolis of Istanbul, a vigil of relatives of seriously ill and political prisoners was again attacked by the police on Saturday. Ten people, mostly women, were taken into custody using vio – lence. Among them are mothers fighting for the lives of their imprisoned children. The co-chair of the HDP Istanbul branch, Ilknur Birol, and the co-chair of the Anyakay-Der Solidarity Association, Evin Genç, were also detained.
The “Justice Vigil” has been going on for 23 weeks. Initially, the participants and supporters gathered ev- ery Thursday in front of the Istanbul Palace of Justice in Çağlayan to bring their concern to the public. On the one hand, they demand the release of sick prisoners and, on the other hand, the infamous measure of the Ministry of Justice to make the release of political prisoners dependent on a confession of remorse after they have served their prison sentence. There are many people in Turkish prisons whose regular prison term has long since expired and who are still not released because of their political views.
For several weeks now, the Justice Vigil has been taking place on Saturdays in different places in Istanbul. Yesterday, relatives of prisoners gathered at Mecidiyeköy Square in the Şişli district. The police were again on the scene with a large contingent and surrounded the vigil before those involved could make a public statement. The police commissioner Muhammed Hanifi Zengin, who is known for sexual violence against female demonstrators and who severely abused prisoner Cemile Karakaş during her arrest a fortnight ago, was also on duty again.
Without warning, the police tightened the circle around the people within seconds and fished Ilknur Birol out of the crowd first. Subsequently, Evin Genç, HDP activist Zübeyde Ince, “Saturday Mother” Hanife Yıldız, and prisoners’ mothers Fince Akman and Cemile Çiftçi were also detained and taken to Istanbul police headquarters. The names of the four other detainees are still unclear. They all now face charges for violating the Turkish Law of Assembly.
HDP MPs Oya Ersoy, Züleyha Gülüm and Ali Kenanoğlu, who were present to support the vigil in Şişli, protested against the arrests. Gülüm described the police crackdown as a “futile attempt” to hide the life- threatening conditions in the country’s prisons and the dramatic number of deaths in custody. “Our resis- tance will continue until all sick prisoners are released from detention and people no longer have to die be- hind bars,” she underlined.
13 The İmralı Post #18 No news from prisoner tortured by guards in Rize Kalkandere L
Type Closed Prison
ANF | Van | 30 August 2022
Prisoner Mirza Çağlayan was tortured during the raids carried out by the guards in Rize Kalkandere L Type Closed Prison. He was taken out from the ward after the torture and he has not been heard from for 4 days.
According to the information provided by the relatives of the prisoner, the guards raided the wards on 26 August and Çağlayan was beaten by many guards. It was stated that Çağlayan was taken out of the ward by the guards after the assault. There has been no news about him for 4 days. The prisoners asked the prison administration about what happened to Çağlayan, but the prison administration did not answer.
Seriously ill prisoner dies 8 months after being released
ANF | Amed | 31 August 2022
Seriously ill prisoner Nevzat Çapkın was released from Trabzon Beşikdüzü T Type Closed Prison about 8 months ago. He died in a hospital in Amed, where he was treated for cancer.
After being washed in Yeniköy Cemetery, Çapkın’s body was set off to be buried in Silvan’s Hacireş dis- trict.
Democratic Society Congress (DTK) co-chair Berdan Öztürk, Democratic Regions Party (DBP) co-chair Keskin Bayındır, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) provincial and district administrators, MEBYA-DER and TUAY-DER executives and thousands of citizens attended the funeral.
DTK co-chair Berdan Öztürk said that Çapkın has dedicated his life to the freedom of the Kurdish people and added: “Our pain is great, but we feel proud. Nevzat’s struggle and life have been left to us. This is a great honor for us. Comrade Nevzat did not stay in prison for 29 years for himself, every day was for the freedom of these people and he sacrificed his life for it.”
14 The İmralı Post #18 Mother of prisoner threatened with death in Amed prison starts
ANF | Amed | 31 August 2022
Gülan Ateş is the mother of Kurbani Özcan, a resident in Erzurum. The prisoner was exposed to torture by the guards in Diyarbakır No. 3 T-Type Prison. The woman claimed that her son was threatened with death by the prison director, and said that she came from Erzurum to the Courthouse in Amed. She started a “Justice Vigil” in front of the court.
Ateş said that her son had been in prison for 10 years and that she had not been allowed to meet him.
She said she came to Amed to have a visit with him, after a phone call in which the man told her about the threats. Ateş said that she received special permission from the prosecutor’s office after the prison ad- ministration did not allow the visit, but even so she was not allowed to meet him.
Ateş said that her son told her that the prison director threatened him with death. “He told my son – the woman said – ‘Your mother will take your body from here.”
The woman added that the phone call was cut off and that in a later phone call her son told her that he had been beaten and kicked by the guards.
The mother said that she had come to Diyarbakır to see her son and that she wouldn’t leave until she had seen him.
Claiming that her son was given 25 stitches due to torture-related injuries, Ateş said: “They constantly punish my son with disciplinary sanctions. My son will go on a hunger strike against this harassment on Wednesday 31 August. He got 25 stitches on his body. I want my son’s transferred to Erzurum. I will wait here until my request is met.”
Kurbani Özcan told his mother that he wanted to talk to a Mezopotamya Agency (MA) journalist when he learned that his mother was being interviewed. During the interview his mother had with the journal- ist, she put him through to her son, who said: “I and other prisoners are constantly tortured. I have at- tempted suicide many times because of these. Prisoners are being killed here. They are trying to kill me. They are killing the prisoners here. They are torturing us. We are being tortured by psychological pressure. They are beating us. During the torture, they insult me, they curse me. They threatened me with death. I tried to commit suicide. I am going on a hunger strike on Wednesday, indefinitely. I have no one left but my mother. ”
15 The İmralı Post #18 Prisoner died suspiciously in Elazig Prison
ANF | Elazig | 3 September 2022
Engin Korcum, 35, who was detained in Elazig T Type Closed Prison, died suspiciously.
Family members interviewed by the Mezopotamya Agency (MA) said that the prison administration called them on 30 August and said that Engin Korcum committed suicide on the night of 29 August. The family said that they went to Elazig Fethi Sekin City Hospital to collect the body as soon as they heard about it, and that they could see Engin with the permission slip they received from the prosecutor’s office. The fam- ily said that Engin had rope marks on his neck and that he died on the same day.
Engin’s body was buried in the village of Ataçınar in Mazgirt, where he was born.
On the other hand, it was reported that the Tunceli Governorate called the family and requested that the body not be brought to Dersim and be taken directly to Mazgirt instead of the city center on the grounds that “it would be propaganda”. In addition, it was stated that the village headman was threatened that an investigation could be launched if he attended the funeral.
Military aggression and occupation Turkish authorities hide the number of dead soldiers
ANF | Hakkari | 19 August 2022
Many soldiers and village guards die every day in Turkey’s ongoing war in the guerrilla-held Medya De- fense Zones in southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq).
Most of these deaths are not explained, some are said to be accidents or even by insect stings.
Hakkari Mountain Commando Brigade and Fatih Barracks are among the main bases used in the war. Military preparations are made at these bases throughout the day; soldiers and village guards are brought to and from the conflict areas. The dead soldiers and village guards are also brought to these military bases.
Previously, ceremonies were held for the dead soldiers brought here, with the participation of the state’s heads of institutions. Moreover, the attendance of the head of the institution was compulsory. Recently, it has been revealed that no military ceremony was held in Hakkari Mountain Commando and Fatih Bar- racks. Sometimes the bodies of soldiers are sent directly to Van, instead of Hakkari.
16 The İmralı Post #18
Noting that tens of military helicopters take off or land from military bases every day, a source said: “Since spring, hundreds of deaths have been brought to the base. These deaths are not told to the press, they are hidden from people, but we see everything. The number of bodies brought is so high that they had to hide them.”
HPG: The Turkish army cannot record any progress in Medya
ANF | Behdinan | 20 August 2022
The press centre of the People’s Defence Forces (HPG) released a statement providing information about the latest actions by guerrillas and attacks by the Turkish army in the guerrilla-held Medya Defense Zones in southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq). According to the statement, nine soldiers of the Turkish army were killed in guerrilla actions, while a position and two surveillance cameras were destroyed: “The freedom guerrillas of Kurdistan are fighting with great willpower. The Turkish occupation forces, despite their tech – nical capabilities, cannot record any progress and continue to be hit hard.”
Regarding the latest guerrilla actions, the HPG provided the following details:
“In the Zap region, guerrillas of the YJA Star (Free Women’s Troops) stopped an advance of Turkish troops in the Karker area with an action of sabotage on 19 August, killing four soldiers. Another soldier was shot dead in the Saca area.
On 18 August, the guerrillas destroyed an enemy position at Girê Amêdî. At Girê Hekarî, two soldiers were shot dead by YJA Star snipers on the same day. In the same area, a mobile unit of the YJA Star de- stroyed a surveillance camera on 19 August.
At Girê Cûdî, two soldiers were shot dead and a surveillance camera destroyed on 19 August. An at- tempted attack on a guerrilla position was repelled by guerrillas with a sabotage action. In the evening, the occupation forces were struck with heavy weapons.”
The HPG reported two chemical weapons used by the Turkish army on Friday at Girê FM. The gases used were yellow and grey in colour and smelled of burning and paint. In the category “attacks with tactical nu- clear bombs and chemical weapons”, the HPG reported 23 attacks in the Karker area and four attacks in the Girê Cûdî and Girê Amêdî areas.
The areas of Qaşûra, Kurojahro, Girê Cûdî and Girê Hekarî were attacked eight times by attack heli- copters on Friday. The areas of Girê Bihar and Sîda were bombed ten times by fighter jets. Dozens of other attacks by the Turkish army were carried out with howitzers and mortars.
17 The İmralı Post #18 Clashes in Muş, preparations for military operation in Hakkari
ANF | 22 August 2022
Clashes between Kurdish guerrillas and Turkish soldiers are taking place in a rural area between the prov- inces of Amed (tr. Diyarbakır) and Muş. According to information so far, the fighting broke out on Sun- day night in the course of a military operation focused on the high mountain area of Şenyayla. The region is populated, and nearby is the village of Eskar, which belongs to the Kulp district.
The operation in Şenyayla has been ongoing since Saturday and is supported by the Turkish Air Force. At least four Cobra combat helicopters are deployed, and the combat area has been bombed several times since then. According to reliable ANF sources in the region, the fighting only started after the aerial bom- bardment. Several ambulances arrived on the scene with sirens sounding. The People’s Defense Forces (HPG) have not yet commented on the events in Şenyayla.
Şenyayla part of Muş since 2021
Some time ago, the high alpine region of Şenyayla belonged administratively to the province of Amed. With the presidential decree of 20 March 2021, the region was added to the province of Muş through the signature of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Operation in Cilo Mountains
Another operation by the Turkish army is currently being prepared in Hakkari. For months, new military operations have already been launched in the province. The next operation is to cover the glacier-covered Cilo Mountains, which belong to the eastern foothills of the Taurus. To this end, the local governor’s office has issued a ban on access to the mountains and the famous Sat glacial lakes. The measure is limited to four weeks for the time being. High altitude tours, hikes, climbing trips in the Cilo Mountains are thus prohibited, as are excursions to the glacier lakes in the valley.
Teachers’ union of North and East Syria: Turkey is destroying
ANF | Qamishlo | 26 August 2022
The Teachers’ Union of North and East Syria (Yekîtiya Mamosteyên Bakur û Rojhilatê Sûriyeyê) intro- duced itself in a statement. The union is organized throughout Northern and Eastern Syria at municipal and regional levels. According to the description, the union is committed to social justice and equal op- portunities for teachers. In addition, the union also sees itself as a mechanism for the further development of education in Northern and Eastern Syria and the training of teachers.
18 The İmralı Post #18
The union underlined that the region’s education system is “oriented towards building a ethical and demo- cratic society”. The foundations of this social development lie in the freedom of women and the turning away from chauvinism.
“Teachers on the education front in the fight against jihadism”
The union continued: “Ethnic and religious extremism gave rise to fanaticism, which turned into radical- ization and terrorism. So our region is still suffering from an era of darkness and extremism of ISIS terror. Constant threats are made against the education workers who work to prevent the spread of this sinister thought.”
“Turkish attacks prevent the fulfilment of the educational mission”
However, said the union, a safe environment is necessary for educational work, but this is “difficult to achieve” due to the ongoing Turkish threats and attacks. This situation harbours the danger that terror will regain strength and spread ideologically.
“Educational infrastructure is being destroyed”
The union also warned that large parts of the educational structure have been destroyed or threatened. This is mainly due to the constant Turkish attacks. As a result, there is now a shortage of school buildings in the attacked areas. Due to the shelling of educational institutions, parents feared sending their children to school.
“Lack of international recognition threatens education”
Another threat to the future of education in Northern and Eastern Syria is the lack of explicit interna- tional recognition of the region. “The current circumstances – said the union – do not offer the opportu- nity for diplomatic activities and the establishment of foreign relations with the aim of informing the world about the education and training system in Northern and Eastern Syria and about the experiences of democratic self-government.” Other factors are the embargo against the region, which leads to a lack of educational material.
“Children need special care, especially during war”
The union underlined the special needs of children and said that “especially in the current situation, chil- dren need special care because of the anxiety and depression caused by the war.” The union called on “the international community, humanitarian organizations and institutions dealing with education to support education in the region and to promote it in international forums”.
“Free and pluralistic education system”
The union described the education system as a free and democratic system that aims to consolidate the principle of free thought and respect for the diversity of languages. In this sense, the teachers in Northern and Eastern Syria have gained many experiences that they would like to share with colleagues and institu- tions around the world. “But first of all, – the union said – it is necessary to end the war against us, to end
19 The İmralı Post #18 ISIS terror and the remnants of its extremist ideology, as well as to end of the Turkish occupation of our
cities and the constant threats to start a new invasion against the region of Northern and Eastern Syria.”
KDP builds road through guerrilla area for the Turkish army
ANF | Behdinan | 28 August 2022
Turkey has been carrying out occupation attacks on the regions of Zap, Avaşîn and Metîna within the guerrilla-held Medya Defense Areas in southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq) since mid-April. The invasion is a continuation of the military operation launched in spring 2021.
In the region of Zap, the Turkish army suffered heavy losses. On 25 May, the operation was extended to the western Zap region. Since then, fierce fighting has been taking place between the guerrillas and the in- vading forces in the Girê Hekarî, Girê Cûdî, Girê FM and Girê Amêdî areas. According to the guerrillas, the Turkish army lost four helicopters and hundreds of soldiers in these areas. The guerrillas were able to seize many military materials and there are still several soldier corpses under their control.
According to the latest information, South Kurdistan’s ruling party KDP, which is dominated by the Barzani clan, is now trying once again to help Turkey’s army, which is in trouble. On Saturday, the con- struction of a road between Girê Hekarî and Girê Amêdî began. The road is to run through the guerrilla area.
Footage taken on 27 August shows two excavators, two bulldozers and five other vehicles paving a road into the guerrilla area. The Turkish army is getting nowhere in the guerrilla area, which is difficult to ac- cess, and is repeatedly attacked during airdropping operations. By building roads, the KDP wants to give Turkish troops access and isolate the guerrilla areas from each other.
Kongra Star trains women in weapons and first aid
ANF | Rojava | 28 August 2022
The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) declared a state of emergency in the self-governing areas on 6 July in view of the Turkish threat of invasion. Turkey is trying to break the will of the population and drive people to flee with daily drone and artillery attacks. In the course of the mobili- sation against Turkish occupation, training courses for self-defence and for the emergency care of the wounded are held in the towns and villages of north-eastern Syria.
20 The İmralı Post #18
The Women’s Association Kongra Star has started to train women in firearms and first aid. The courses last between five and seven days and the participants are taught how to behave in emergencies. Cihan Ehmed from Amûdê, who is taking part in one of the courses, said: “We learn how to use weapons so that we can defend ourselves and our country alongside our fighters. It is a very critical time and the Turkish state wants to occupy our country. Most of us are mothers and we will not leave our fighting children alone.” Cihan Ehmed added that the Turkish state has not yet received permission for a full-scale invasion and is therefore trying to achieve results with drone attacks: “It is indiscriminately attacking children, women and the elderly. We demand a no-fly zone for Turkey in northern Syria. We don’t rely on any foreign power to defend our region.”
Viyan Yusif is a member of Kongra Star’s education committee and sees an urgent need for weapons train- ing for women. She stated that the entire population of the north-eastern Syrian autonomous region lives in constant danger due to Turkey’s attacks and threats. As in all wars, it is women who suffer the most, she said and added, “The fact that women are now learning to defend themselves even with weapons in an emergency is based on the strategy of revolutionary people’s war. We will not leave our country and we will defend ourselves. We are prepared for all kinds of attacks.”
—★— Turkish drone strikes Maxmur Camp
ANF | Maxmur | 29 August 2022
An unmanned combat aerial vehicle (SIHA) of the occupying Turkish state struck a house in the Martyr Rustem Cudi Refugee Camp (Maxmur) at 12:40 local time today.
The attack came after hours of aerial reconnaissance activity since early this morning. According to initial reports, a man named Ebû Zêyd Ebdullah Ubêyd was wounded as a result of the attack.
The man lost his life while being taken to hospital.
The Maxmur Assembly is expected to make a statement about the attack in the coming hours.
The Martyr Rüstem Cudi Refugee Camp is located on the skirts of Qereçok Mountain in the Maxmur district of Mosul. Nearly 12 thousand citizens from North Kurdistan, who had to migrate to South Kur- distan in 1994 due to the brutal destruction campaign of the Turkish state, reside in the camp. Apart from the attacks of the Turkish state, the KDP has been imposing an embargo on the Maxmur Camp for the last three years.
Turkish attacks on the camp
On December 6, 2017, Turkish fighter jets bombed the Maxmur Camp. 5 members of the Self-Defence Forces, Bager Boran, Botan Amed, Çekdar Mawa, Dewran Mardin and Baz Dijwar, were martyred in the attack.
21 The İmralı Post #18
On 13 December 2018, Turkish fighter jets bombed the camp, killing 73-year-old Asya Eli Mihemed, her 26-year-old daughter Narinç Farhan Qasim, her 14-year-old grandson Evin Kawa Mehmud and 23-year- old Eylem Mihemed Emer.
Attacks on the camp during the embargo
On July 18, 2019, Turkish fighter jets bombed the camp once again and two camp residents were injured. On April 15, 2020, a Turkish drone bombed the camp, leaving three young women in the camp dead.
On June 15, 2020, Turkish fighter jets heavily bombed the vicinity of the Maxmur Camp and Qereçox Mountain. No casualties were reported.
On May 5, 2021, Turkish drones attacked the Maxmur camp.
On June 5, 2021, armed reconnaissance planes of the Turkish army dropped bombs on the camp area where schools and parks are located, but no casualties were reported.
On September 3, 2021, Turkish drones bombed the Maxmur Camp, injuring a mother and a child.
On February 1, 2022, Turkish fighter jets once again bombed the Makhmur Camp, targeting the Self-De- fence Forces. 2 members of the Self-Defence Forces were martyred and dozens of citizens who wanted to help their relatives were injured.
On May 21, 2022, a Turkish drone bombed a vehicle in the Maxmur Camp. A shepherd named Haci Mirza Eli was martyred.
On July 5, 2022, during the visit of the Iraqi Army General Commander, the Joint Operations Comman- der and several high-ranking commanders to the camp, a Turkish drone targeted a civilian house, leaving a woman injured.
Turkey mobilizes racist paramilitaries in Kirkuk
ANF | Kirkuk | 30 August 2022
The Turkish state has been using the Turkmen Front to escalate tensions, especially in Kirkuk. It is a well- known fact that the Turkmen Front, a racist paramilitary group, is trained and armed by the Turkish state.
According to RojNews, Erşed Salihi, former head of the Turkmen Front and also known for his hatred to- wards the Kurds, made provocative statements after the clashes that broke out in Baghdad.
22 The İmralı Post #18 In a latest video, Salihi is seen to have gathered Hashdi Turkmen members and some members of the Iraqi
army around him, flinging down a challenge and uttering threats in Kirkuk.
“Let the friends of these heroes cheer up and the enemies fear. Kirkuk is safe under the control of the Kirkuk Defence Forces. Kirkuk will be under our control during these conflicts in Iraq,” Salihi said.
Analysts fear that the threat of Salihi, who has no military responsibility whatsoever, might trigger a new conflict in Iraq, especially against the Kurds.
SDF announces the outcome of Turkish crimes against North-
East Syria in August
ANF | News Desk | 4 September 2022
The Media Center of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced the outcome of the Turkish occupa- tion war crimes against the region of North-East Syria during August 2022.
The SDF statement published on Sunday includes the following:
Over the past month (August), the Turkish occupying army and its mercenaries escalated their aggressions against the people of North-East Syria, resulting in many civilian casualties, destruction of civilian houses, and severe damage to service centers such as mills, churches, and schools. In addition to targeting civilian cars and farmers while working on their farms.
In their aggressions, they depend mainly on UAV strikes in targeting civil centers and cars, in addition to using various types of weapons, including artilleries, heavy machine guns, tanks, sniper guns, and bomb throwers, besides many infiltrations attempts to our areas.
The outcome of the Turkish occupation crimes against the region of North-East Syria during August 2022:
1 – The southern countryside of Afrin:
Villages of the Sherawa district, primarily “Binah / Abyan, Aqiba / Eqiba, Jalt Ziyara / Ziyarah, Tanab, Mayassa, were subjected to 24 attacks using heavy artillery, tanks, missiles, and mortars. 766 artillery, tanks, and mortar shells landed on the mentioned villages resulting in injuring one child who has formerly displaced from the village of “Basleh / Baslhaya” in Shirawa district, in addition to injuring one soldier of the Damascus Government forces. These villages are heavily populated with Afrin IDPs who were forcibly displaced by the Turkish-backed mercenaries.
23 The İmralı Post #18 2 – Al-Shahba areas:
Al-Shahba areas have been subjected to violent bombardment that mainly focused on the town of Tal Ri- faat and the surrounding villages. The brutal attacks claimed the lives of many civilians and wounded oth – ers, in addition to significant material damage to their property.
The result of the brutal attacks:
46 attacks targeted the areas, including a brutal attack on the downtown market of Tal Rif ’at and 3 UAV strikes, one against an outpost belonging to the Damascus Government forces, causing material damages.
Around 623 missiles and artillery tank shells landed in the areas resulting in the martyrdom of 6 civilians, one girl, one woman, three other civilians, and one soldier. In addition, 16 civilians were wounded, in- cluding 6 women. The attacks also resulted in significant material damage to civilian property.
3 – Ain Issa town and its countryside:
The Ain Issa town, especially its countryside and the international road M4, was subject to 41 intense at- tacks and shellings using artilleries, heavy machine guns, tanks, and bomb throwers, in addition to 2 UAV strikes. Around 412 shells landed in the area and caused severe damage to civilian property and water pumps of “Al-Heisha” and “Al-Fatisa”, and electricity blackout in the western villages of Tal Abyad.
4 – Tal Tamir countryside:
The countryside of Tal Tamir was subjected to 25 attacks with heavy artillery and tanks and 3 UAV strikes resulting in the martyrdom of 6 civilians, including 4 school girls, and 2 fighters of the Syriac Military Council. In addition to wounding 5 civilians, including one child and 3 soldiers of the Damascus Govern- ment forces, including one officer. The brutal aggressions also caused severe damage to civilian property and communication towers.
5 – Qamishlo and its countryside:
Using UAVs, the Turkish occupying army targeted the populated neighborhoods in the city center of Qamishlo, which resulted in the killing of several civilians.
It also targeted with heavy artillery (Ubis) the Qamishlo countryside, especially the areas of “Al-Der- basiyah” and “Tirbespiye”.
In total, the area was subjected to 24 attacks, 8 of which targeted the city of “Al-Darbasiyah”, and 4 at- tacks targeted the city of Tirbespiye.
3 UAV strikes, two of which targeted civilian cars, the first one was in the Qamishlo downtown, and the other was in the countryside.
24 The İmralı Post #18
43 shells of different kinds of weapons landed in the area resulting in the martyrdom of 5 civilians, includ- ing two children, and 6 fighters, four of whom were from the Self-defense forces who were guarding the Covid-19 Hospital in the city.
In addition, 19 people were wounded, including 3 soldiers and one girl who was working on a farm, two women, a shepherd, 8 children, and one soldier of the Damascus Government forces.
6 – Kobane and its countryside:
The populated neighborhoods of Kobane city and its countryside were also brutally shelled and targeted with artillery, tanks, armored vehicle, and missiles, which resulted in civilian casualties. Moreover, The outpost of the Damascus Gov. forces, deployed on the border west of Kobane, was also tar- geted by Turkish aircraft resulting in casualties and material damage.
In total: the area was attacked 4 times, and one airstrike airstrikes resulting in the killing of 2 civilians and 4 soldiers of the Damascus Gov. forces.
In addition to wounding 5 people, including one child, and 3 soldiers of the Damascus Gov. forces. The aggressions also caused severe damage to civilian properties, including the house of the child whose leg was amputated due to a Turkish UAV strike on his house earlier this year.
7 – Amuda and its countryside:
Amuda town and its countryside were subjected to 5 heavy artilleries attacks, and 3 UAV strikes against two outposts belonging to the SDF Self-defense forces and the Damascus Gov. forces, resulting in the martyrdom of five Self-defense fighters. The bombing also targeted a press crew affiliated with ROJAVA TV.
8 – Tal Abyad western countryside:
The Turkish occupation targeted the villages of the western countryside of Tal Abyad city 6 times in an at – tempt to force the residents to flee from their villages for occupying purposes. 18 shells landed on the mentioned areas.
9 – Manbij and its countryside:
The villages of the northern countryside of Manbij were bombarded 2 times with 55 heavy artillery and mortar shells, causing material damage to the civilians’ properties.
25 The İmralı Post #18
IHD says women were victims of 202 rights violations in Aegean region
ANF | Izmir | 19 August 2022
The Human Rights Association (IHD) Izmir Branch Women’s Commission published the “Women’s rights violation” report covering the months of January, February, March, April, May and June 2022.
The report was prepared on the basis of the application made to the association and the data compiled from the press. The report recorded violations from the provinces of Aydın, Afyon, Balıkesir, Muğla, Man- isa, Uşak, Burdur, Isparta, Denizli, Kütahya and İzmir.
IHD Izmir Women’s Commission member Cemile Karakaya said that violations of rights are increasing in prisons and added: “Women prisoners continue to be exposed to dozens of violations every day by adopt- ing oppressive and incompatible methods with human dignity.”
Torture and ill-treatment
Karakaya pointed out that the women who defended the Istanbul Convention were detained and suffered torture and ill-treatment and added: “Women have been subjected to judicial harassment, investigations and lawsuits have been opened against them.”
202 rights violations recorded
Karakaya said: “Violence against women is a violation of human rights and a crime” and demanded an end to it. Karakaya listed the rights violations data of the last 6 months as follows:
• “Battering, violence, injury to women 21;
• Harassment, rape, sexual assault against women 6;
• Femicide 32;
• Unjust reduction in femicides, impunity, bias in judgment, 2;
• Sexual abuse 8;
• Female activist detention, following, investigation 2;
The İmralı Post #18
Battered women in custody by law enforcement officers, strip searches 3; Reverse handcuffs in custody 2;
Torture and ill-treatment during detention 3;
Threats, stalking with the excuse of family member 2;
Blackmail, hostage taking, threats against women 9; Suspected death of woman 52;
Transgender murder 3;
Following by and phone threats by law enforcement 5; Punishment for self defense 1;
Forced prostitution 4;
Spreading hate crimes against women on social media 1; Burning, arson, burning with chemicals 6;
Sexual harassment 7;
Attempted to kill woman 1;
Judicial harassment 2;
Attempted suicide due to ill-treatment 1;
Violence due to gender 2;
Disciplinary penalties without legal basis in prisons 1;
Failure of state officials to combat violence against women 2;
Abuse in custody 2;
Female prisoners who start a death fast due to prison conditions 1; Failure to provide a hygienic environment for ill female prisoners 1;
The İmralı Post #18 Extension of the conditional release date of female prisoners for arbitrary reasons 5;
Unhygienic quarantine conditions in prison 1;
Malnutrition of female prisoners due to insufficient food in prison conditions 1;
Inability of female prisoners to meet their needs due to high canteen prices 1;
Delayed mail in prison conditions and victimization in communication 1;
Not giving the personal belongings of the transferred prisoners 1;
Arbitrary prevention of sports activities in prisons by the administration 1;
Grievance caused by high increases in postal prices 1;
Lack of adequate quarantine wards 1;
Handcuffed examination at the hospital 1;
Having too many prisoners in the wards 1;
Limitation on the number of books 1;
The seizure of the magazines by saying that they are out of date during the ward searches 1; Total: 202”
—★— 18-year-old murdered in Şırnak
ANF | Şirnak | 22 August 2022
The Turkish gendarmerie (military police) in the northern Kurdish province of Şırnak discovered a body in the Hezil River in the district of Uludere on Saturday evening. The dead woman was found partially un- dressed and wedged between two rocks, the authorities said on Sunday. Her various injuries pointed to a homicide, which is why the body had to be autopsied.
In the meantime, it has emerged that the deceased is 18-year-old Firdevs Babat from the town of Şenoba. The teenager had been reported missing by her parents on Thursday after she left early in the morning to visit a friend but did not return. She was reportedly killed the same day.
28 The İmralı Post #18
A homicide squad has been investigating the cordoned-off site since Saturday. This also included the secur – ing of evidence. Presumably, because the body had been lying there for so long, the cause of death could not be determined despite several hours of autopsy at the hospital in Uludere, so the body of the deceased was transferred to the hospital in Şenoba. The cause of death was not initially revealed. At the moment, further analyses are said to be underway.
On Sunday evening, a suspect was arrested. His name was given by the authorities as Ahmet Babat. He is said to come from the same extended family in Şenoba to which the victim Firdevs Babat also belonged, and to be her ex-boyfriend. In the first police interrogation, the man is said to have remained silent. He then confessed to the Uludere public prosecutor’s office that he had killed the 18-year-old girl. A local court ordered him to be remanded in custody.
Babat Village Guard Association
The Babat family association, which belongs to the Goyan tribe, is almost entirely in the pay of the Turk- ish state as a clan of village guards. Since the 1990s at the latest, the Babats have been involved in the dirty war against the Kurdish guerrillas, “disappearing” numerous people as the death squad “Dagger Team” (Hançer Timi). Today they participate in the ecocide in Northern Kurdistan and in the invasion of South- ern Kurdistan.
Man kills wife and their 3 daughters in Idil
ANF | Şirnak | 24 August 2022
According to the information received, a man called Hasan Karaaslan murdered his wife Leyla and their three daughters, Derya (17), Melek (16) and Şerife (13), on the night of 23 August in Yeni neighborhood.
The neighbours informed the medical teams and the police who came to the scene. The killer fled the house. The bodies were taken to Şırnak State Hospital for autopsy.
It was reported that Karaaslan later went to the Police Department and surrendered.
Woman dies under suspicious circumstances in Amed
ANF | Amed | 31 August 2022
It was claimed that Şevin Ulus committed suicide in Sanat Street, in the central borough of Ofis, in Amed.
29 The İmralı Post #18 Ulus, originally from Tatvan, was studying at the Faculty of Dentistry at Diyarbakir Dicle University. She
was found dead in her house on the 2nd floor of Dicle Apartment Building at around 4.30pm on Tuesday.
Two more femicides in Adana and Aydın
ANF | Adana | 1 September 2022
According to the information received, 24-year-old Şermin Sarı was murdered by Erhan Poyraz, her for- mer husband. The couple had divorced two years ago. The woman was killed in Adana’s central Yüreğir district.
It has been reported that Sarı filed a complaint against Erhan Poyraz 4 days ago and had a restraining or – der for him. Despite the order, Poyraz went to the house where Sarı, a mother of two children, was living, tortured and murdered her. After the murder, Poyraz went to the police and gave himself up.
Necla Aydoğdu, 33, was murdered with a cutting tool by her husband, Mustafa Aydoğdu (32) in Koçarlı, in the province of Aydın.
Neighbours called the gendarmerie that went to the scene and detained Mustafa Aydoğdu.
Soldiers set fire to forest area in Hakkari
ANF | Hakkari | 19 August 2022
For days, a forest fire has been raging in the village of Kavaklı in the northern Kurdish province of Hakkari, which was triggered by targeted artillery fire from the Turkish army. The flames have already de- stroyed hectares of vegetation and are now spreading to the village of Yoncalı, a good two kilometres to the south. So far, however, the authorities in the province have refused to send the fire brigade to the area and initiate extinguishing operations. Attempts to extinguish the fire by the villagers are being prevented by the military.
The fire in Kavaklı was started on Friday last week during a military operation in the course of which clashes allegedly took place between Turkish army units and members of the Kurdish guerrilla organisa- tions HPG (People’s Defense Forces) and YJA Star (Free Women’s Troops). According to local residents,
30 The İmralı Post #18 the forest area surrounding Kavaklı was “subjected to massive artillery fire” by soldiers after the fighting –
apparently in retaliation.
Ecocide for counterinsurgency
In Kurdistan, forest fires were first used for “counterinsurgency” in 1925. At that time, the aim was to put down the Şêx Saîd rebellion. With the reform legislation and the genocide perpetrated in Dersim in this context, this tactic was continued. In the 1990s, it reached its peak with the destruction of more than 3,000 Kurdish villages. Since the Turkish government unilaterally broke off peace talks with the PKK in 2015, not a summer goes by without the “scorched earth policy”. Ankara systematically burns down the forests and cultivated areas in Kurdistan.
Hakkari Municipality trustee responsible for pollution of
ANF | Hakkari | 20 August 2022
Ali Kalçık, President of the Van Environmental and Historical Artifacts Preservation Association (Van Çev-Der), exposed the dumping of wastes to Zap and said: “The trustee does not know the environment and nature of the region. It is the loyal representative of this government that does not protect and kills nature.”
Zap Water, after originating in the mountains of Baskale district of Van, passes through Zap Valley be- tween Hakkari and Van, Northern Kurdistan and Southern Kurdistan, joins with the Tigris River and flows into Iraq and then into the Persian Gulf via Kuwait. While giving life to thousands of plants and creatures in the Zap Valley, it is also home to hundreds of endemic creatures.
Zap Water gives life to millions of people, animals and plants living in the countries and cities it passes through. This water, which is very valuable for humanity, is poisoned by the domestic waste of the Hakkari Municipality, which is under the management of the trustee.
Hakkari Municipality co-mayor Cihan Karaman was elected as the Democratic Society Party (DTP) Hakkari Municipality Mayor in 2009, but was dismissed and replaced by state-appointed trustee Fadıl Be- dirhanoğlu.
Hakkari received a European-supported grant for a treatment plant that will process all the waste of the city and its districts, and it has been started to be built near the New Bridge. Karaman said: “I hope this facility will be activated in a short time and Zap will get rid of this pollution.”
Ali Kalçık said: “The trustee does not know the territory and nature of that region. The domestic waste of a city can be separated and recycled into energy by the municipality to obtain cleaner energy. As they do
31 The İmralı Post #18
not do this, the wastes of a province are thrown into the Zap Valley. The waste poured into the Zap Valley burn for up to 24 hours. While the burning waste destroyes nature, the dirty water leaking from the garbage is poured into Zap Water. Many countries, millions of people and creatures use this water. These wastes can cause poisoning or even the death of living beings. Therefore, dumping garbage in the Zap Val- ley is an act of violence. Nature is being slaughtered and polluted under everyone’s eyes. This atrocity must end.”
Lake Van suffers from serious pollution as many other lakes in
the city dry up
ANF | Van | 22 August 2022
Lake Van is on the verge of destruction because of the drought and the wastewater caused by residential areas around the lake. Particularly in recent years, lack of rainfall has reduced the waters of the lake, while numerous other lakes of various sizes in the city have dried up. Bad odours have started to affect residen- tial areas following the withdrawal of the waters of Lake Van. Waste carried by the streams flowing through the city makes the lakeshore almost uninhabitable.
Fish and gulls perish
In the meantime, fish and gulls have perished due to the pollution in the city. A large number of fish per- ished in the Sarımehmet Dam Lake in the Muradiye district due to the extreme heat last September. Re – searchers from the Faculty of Aquaculture at Van Yüzüncü Yıl University described the cause of mass deaths as ‘fish entering into shock due to sudden changes in water temperature’.
Similarly, a large number of fish perished when the waters of the Koçköprü Dam on the Zilan Stream re- ceded due to the drought.
Lake Akgol dried up
Lake Van is not the only lake hit by the climate crisis in the city. Lake Akgöl, which is also found in Başkale district, has dried up completely due to the extreme temperature and rapid evaporation. Once home to many bird species in the city, the lake is now arid land. Moreover, Lake Keşiş is gradually drying up as its waters are receding.
32 The İmralı Post #18 Trees planted in memory of Digor massacre victims uprooted
ANF | Kars | 23 August 2022
On August 14, 1993, 17 people, including children and elderly, lost their lives and more than 200 were injured in the Digor district of Kars province when Turkish soldiers opened fire on civilians who were set to stage a protest march against the imposition of the ‘village guard’ system, house raids and torture.
On the 29th anniversary of the massacre, former deputy and writer Mahmut Alinak announced the open – ing of an open-air museum at the scene of the mass slaughter: “This museum will be a sacred site where we will remember the dead on its anniversary every year. History doesn’t forget. Nor do we.”
Alınak went to the scene on Monday to water the trees they had planted in the open-air museum, to see the trees uprooted. Publishing images on the social media, Alınak condemned the perpetrators whom he vowed to bring to account. “Racist savages do not tolerate our grief even,” he wrote.
Trees cut down and road paved with asphalt for military
construction in Şırnak
ANF | Şirnak | 29 August 2022
A huge number of trees have been cut down since July in the village of Hesena on the slopes of Mount Cudi, in the Şırnak province of North Kurdistan.
In parallel, a military tower was built for soldiers and guards in the area. After the construction of the tower was completed, the rough road was paved with asphalt.
The 10-kilometer village road, which had long not been repaired, was maintained by the Şırnak Special Provincial Administration Directorate of Road Maintenance and Transportation in a remarkably short time.
The village of Hesena, populated by Syriacs, was forcibly evacuated by the Turkish state in the notorious 1990s for “security” reasons and the Syriac residents of the village were forced to migrate to European countries.
The ban on the village continued until the beginning of the 2000s. Following the lifting of the ban, some Syriacs returned home and started rebuilding their village.
33 The İmralı Post #18 Forest fire in Hakkari raging for 11 days
ANF | Hakkari | 23 August 2022
The forest fire that broke out as a result of a Turkish military operation launched in the village of Marinus in Hakkari province 11 days ago is reported to be continuing.
According to the latest information from the ground, the fire broke out when Turkish soldiers in the re- gion commenced fire with heavy weapons on August 12. As state authorities are taking no action to com- bat the fire, villagers attempting to reach the scene to extinguish the flames were obstructed and sent back to their villages for “security” reasons.
It is reported that the flames are sweeping through the triangle of Marinus, Kaval and Şine Mountain.
—★— Euphrates River is drying up
ANF | Kobane | 31 August 2022
Images captured on the banks of the Euphrates reveal that a large part of the Euphrates River has dried up. These areas which were once a source of life for the region have now become arid lands.
The images taken by ANHA at the Rojava Dam (Tishrin), Syria’s second largest dam on the Euphrates River, show that the waters of the river have decreased significantly.
The Turkish state, which has been using the Euphrates water as a weapon against the Syrians for years, cuts off the waters flowing into Iraq and Syria to a large extent.
According to the agreement signed between the governments of Damascus and Ankara in 1987, Turkey is supposed to deliver 500 cubic meters of water per second to Syria. However, the invading state does not comply with the agreement, delivering only 200 cubic meters of water per second currently.
The negative effects of the dwindling waters can be seen clearly on the ground. Due to the water cuts, the waters in the dam lakes in Syria have decreased, while electricity production and electricity supply to the region have diminished.
Moreover, the amount of agricultural land on the banks of the Euphrates is decreasing. Most importantly, access to drinking water has become difficult. This situation is causing major health problems.
The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria warned that the Turkish state’s policy to de- crease the waters of the Euphrates River would cause humanitarian crises in the region, jeopardizing 9 mil- lion Syrians living in areas close to the river.
34 The İmralı Post #18 The Dams Administration of North and East Syria called on the international community and human
rights organizations to stop the provocative actions of the Turkish state.
Turkish state speeds up cutting of trees in Şırnak
ANF | Şirnak | 1 September 2022
Trees have been cut for 2 years for “security” reasons in the Besta Region, which also includes the Cudi, Gabar and Namaz mountains.
Now the cutting of trees has been accelerated for “road works”. Military towers were set up in the defor- ested areas. The trees had been transported by truck for some time. However, with the acceleration of plunder, TIRs were put into use again. Public access to the area where the trees were cut is still prohibited.
Human Rights Violations
Leading ESP activists detained in police raid in Istanbul
ANF | Istanbul | 19 August 2022
Two leading members of the Socialist Party of the Oppressed (ESP), Deniz Aktaş and Ebru Yiğit, have been taken into custody in the western Turkish metropolis of Istanbul. The raid on a flat in the Gazi dis- trict on Thursday night was carried out by a “special counter-terrorism unit”. A total of four people were detained and taken to the counter-terrorism headquarters of the Istanbul Police Directorate. A secrecy or- der was imposed on the investigation file, and the authorities have imposed a 24-hour ban on lawyers. For one day, the victims were thus denied access to legal counsel. Their relatives were not informed about the arrest.
According to the ESP, the raid took place at the residence of Nurcan Gülbudak. She is the widow of the Kurdish activist Sezgin Dağ, who survived the ISIS attack in Suruç in 2015, but died in November 2020 in Lyss, Switzerland, where he was living as a refugee in an asylum centre. According to the ESP, Aktaş and Yiğit, who are also members of the Executive Council of the Socialist Women’s Council, stayed with Gül – budak as guests. The meticulous search of the house, which lasted several hours, was not documented on video, and an explosives team went to the flat during the raid.
35 The İmralı Post #18
The ESP also complains that its women members were subjected to a degrading naked search at the police station in the presence of male officers. “The way in which the Istanbul police authority proceeded clearly paints a picture of an attempted plot against socialist people,” the party stated on Friday. The party de- scribed the action as part of the “traditional illegal treatment” of ESP, including criminalisation campaigns carried out by the police and the media, as well as measures such as “de facto emergency decrees in Gazi”, interference in the private sphere of all dissenters, attacks on striking workers or bans on vigils for political prisoners.
“All this violence is not independent of the policies of the fascist AKP/MHP regime, which has turned this country into an oppressive backdrop of silence in its struggle for survival,” ESP stated, demanding the im – mediate release of its arrested members and calling on the democratic public to show solidarity.
ESP – member party of the HDP
ESP became known especially with the Gezi protests in 2013. One of its founding members is the impris- oned former co-chair of the HDP, Figen Yüksekdağ. In 2014, ESP joined the HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party), which functions as an umbrella party. On 20 July 2015, a bomb attack was carried out on its youth organisation, the Federation of Socialist Youth Associations. The ISIS attack in Suruç in the province of Urfa killed 33 people, mostly young people. The activists had gathered at the Amara cultural centre and wanted to hold a press conference before leaving for Kobanê. The planned trip to northern Syria was sup- posed to be an act of solidarity. The young people wanted to take children’s toys and humanitarian aid supplies to the ISIS-destroyed city. 104 other people were injured in the attack.
Six detained in Ankara over social media posts critical of war
ANF | Ankara | 23 August 2022
In the morning hours, Turkish police stormed several flats in Ankara. Six people were taken into custody during the raids. They are accused of making critical comments on social media about the Turkish attacks on northern and eastern Syria. The detainees were taken to the police headquarters in Ankara. Statements critical of war in particular are judged as “terror propaganda” in Turkey and can lead to sentences of many years in prison.
Most recently, the Turkish government press declared a heavy drone attack on an UN-sponsored education centre for girls, in which four young women were killed, a “strike against YPJ terrorists”. With the help of repression against journalists, but also through arrests like the one in Ankara, the regime seems to want to impose a sovereignty of discourse for its own false reports.
36 The İmralı Post #18 Mersin Governorship bans concert organised by Human Rights
Association on World Peace Day
ANF | Mersin | 25 August 2022
Mersin Governor’s Office banned the concert the Human Rights Association (IHD) Mersin Branch is or- ganising as part of the activities to mark 1 September, World Peace Day.
Artists Pınar Aydın and Dodan Özer were to attend the concert planned to be held at Yenişehir Munici- pality Atatürk Cultural Center on 2 September. The governorship, however, banned the concert by saying that it was “not deemed appropriate” in the application made by the IHD.
The IHD will make a statement on the subject at the Özgür Children’s Park at 12.30 today.
Children are working in the textile sector in Mersin
ANF | Mersin | 25 August 2022
Dozens of workers are employed without insurance in small and large-scale textile workshops located in the neighbourhoods of Mersin’s Akdeniz district. The number of child workers among uninsured workers is very high. While the age of child workers varies between 12 and 17, children are either hidden or re- moved from the workshops during inspections by state institutions.
Working for free
İsmail, who did not reveal his surname due to the risk of being fired, told Mesopotamia Agency (MA) that they were employed without insurance and received a salary of 4,750 TL. Ismail said: “They say that if we do not want to work overtime, they will fire us. We are forced to work overtime.” Stating that there are 60 workers where he works, Ismail said that only 15 of them have insurance and added: “The number of chil- dren is quite high now, also because the schools are closed. 25 of the employees are children. 10 of them are Syrian children. Their ages range from 14 to 16. Uninsured employees and children are dismissed from the workplace because the days and hours of inspection are known. Unpaid overtime is given for this pe- riod.”
T.Y., another textile worker registered through İŞ-KUR, said: “They calculate my salary as 5,000 TL. My salary is on my card. I took the extra and hand it to the boss. I have children. I accept this situation be – cause it is difficult to get along. I couldn’t get my salary for 4 months at a place where I worked before.
37 The İmralı Post #18 Where I applied, I did not get any answers. There is great exploitation in this sector. Children in particular
are exploited in this area. They are paid very low salaries. But they do the same job as adults.”
Stating that the business owned by a Syrian employer is not registered, Syrian textile worker Muhammad (17) said that they were paid between 3,000 and 4,000 TL. Stating that all of the workers had to migrate due to the war in Syria, Muhammed said: “We work more than in other places. The younger ones work for an extra hour when we have finished our work. They can’t get out without cleaning everything. They have to come to work before us. Last year, a 13-year-old girl fainted from exhaustion. We are very tired.”
Pop singer Gülşen jailed
ANF | Istanbul | 26 August 2022
Well-known pop singer Gülşen was detained on Thursday as a result of an investigation for “inciting the people into hatred and animosity” because of her remarks about Muslim vocational schools, known as “imam-hatip schools”.
The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office opened the investigation after a video excerpt from the con- cert circulated on social media. In the video, the singer said: “He studied at an imam hatip school before. This is where his perversion comes from,” sparking laughter from the audience. It is not clear whom she was talking about.
Gülşen was detained after giving her statement to the prosecutor at the Istanbul Courthouse, and re- manded in custody.
The singer was the target of a smear campaign by pro-government media and social media because of her remarks.
Two Syrian citizens found near Turkish military base had been
ANF | Urfa | 30 August 2022
On Monday, two shot Syrian citizens were discovered on a wasteland near the base of the Turkish border troops Sardıçtepe in the northern Kurdish district of Ceylanpınar. The rescue workers could only deter- mine the death of one of the two people. The other person was seriously injured and taken to the hospital. The deceased was taken to the coroner’s office for an autopsy.
38 The İmralı Post #18
As early as 8 August 2022, the body of an approximately thirty-year-old man was discovered near the Ateşoğlu base in Ceylanpınar. Time and again, people who cross the Turkish border as migrants or for sup – plies and are picked up are robbed, tortured and beaten up by Turkish security forces. Turkish soldiers also carry out extrajudicial executions.
In March, for example, the bodies of two young men were found at the border near Dirbêsiyê. The ANHA news agency reported that the two men were killed by Turkish soldiers. An autopsy at Şehîd Xebat Hospital revealed severe signs of torture that led to his death. According to reports, they tried to cross the Turkish border into Northern Kurdistan and fell into the hands of the military police. After the young men were killed by torture, their bodies were dumped at the border.
Ceyhan Municipality bans Ilkay Akkaya concert
ANF | Adana | 30 August 2022
Ilkay Akkaya concert organized by Ceyhan Municipality and scheduled for today, 30 August, was banned by the district governor’s office.
In the ban letter, the Ceyhan District Governor’s Office said that there were statements that the concert was not deemed appropriate in terms of “general security, public order, security and public order”.
Concert and festival bans increased
On 25 August, the Muğla Governor’s Office banned the Milyon Fest Fethiye, a music festival that was go – ing to take place in the resort district of Fethiye between September 1 and 4.
Fethiye Mayor Alim Karaca criticized the decision, saying that the governor’s office did not provide a rea- son for cancelling the festival.
The opposition-led district municipality, which was among the supporters of the festival, will take legal ac- tion against the ban, the mayor said in a written statement.
Since May, at least two other festivals have been banned. On 9 May, Eskişehir declared a 15-day event ban, effectively preventing the Anadolu Fest, which was going to take place between May 12 and 15.
Earlier in August, a district governor in Balıkesir banned the Zeytinli Rock Festival, the longest-running music festival in the country. “Security reasons” were cited for both decisions.
Many concerts have always been banned this summer, from Aynur Doğan concert to Mem Ararat, from Melek Mosso to Metin-Kemal Kahraman.
39 The İmralı Post #18 13 detained as police attack Saturday Mothers in a cemetery in
ANF | Istanbul | 30 August 2022
The Saturday Mothers and Human Rights Association (IHD) Commission Against Disappearance in Cus- tody met in Istanbul to make a statement to mark August 30, International Day against Enforced Disap- pearance.
The human rights defenders and relatives of disappeared people gathered at Istanbul’s Altınşehir Cemetery of the Nameless where the graves of Hasan Ocak and Rıdvan Karakoç, victims of disappearance in state custody, are located.
The group was denied the right to assembly and attacked by the police, to which they responded by raising the photos of the disappeared and chanting the slogan “human honor will prevail against torture”.
HDP deputy Musa Piroğlu, who remained outside of the police blockade, was denied access to the crowd and moved away from the area by the police.
Responding to the police obstruction, Piroğlu said, “What you are doing is against human dignity and hu- manity. You are preventing a member of the parliament from speaking.”
After keeping the group under siege for a long while, police took 13 people into custody by use of force.
The detainees include IHD Istanbul Branch Chairperson Gülseren Yoleri and relatives of the disappeared; Maside Ocak, Hüseyin Ocak, Ali Ocak, Besna Tosun, Hanım Tosun, Hüseyin Aygül, Hasan Karakoç, Hanife Yıldız, Ferit Barut.
Since 1995, the Istanbul Saturday Mothers, like the Argentinian “Madres de la Plaza de Mayo”, have held weekly sit-ins in Istanbul with pictures of their relatives to protest against their “disappearance” in state custody and to demand information about their whereabouts. Between 1999 and 2009, the Saturday Mothers had to suspend their weekly sit-ins as police regularly broke up the gatherings. On 25 August 2018, the initiative gathered for the 700th time at their ancestral place in front of the Galatasaray High School on Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue to remember their missing relatives with a peaceful vigil. However, on the orders of Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, police deployed water cannons and attacked the crowd with tear gas and rubber bullets. The violent action was justified because the Saturday Mothers were being instrumentalised by terrorist organisations, Soylu had said. Since then, Galatasaray Square has been a no-go area for the Saturday Mothers, who first moved to the building of the Human Rights Association (IHD) and, in the wake of the Corona pandemic, finally presented their demands online.
On the occasion of the 900th rally on 25 June 2022, the Saturday Mothers were again attacked by the po- lice and detained several people, including the co-chairs of the IHD.
40 The İmralı Post #18 17,000 disappeared in Turkey
In Turkey, since the 1980s, about 17,000 people, mostly Kurds, politically active and committed people, journalists and legal practitioners and ordinary people have been considered “disappeared”. The country became acquainted with this practice after the military coup of September 1980. In the mid-1990s, when the Turkish state’s dirty war against the PKK was particularly bloody, this method reached its peak.
The bodies of the abducted were buried in mass graves, caves or in disused industrial plants, thrown onto rubbish dumps, sunk into well pits and acid pits or, as in Argentina, disposed of by being dropped from military helicopters. Often the victims were picked up at home by the police or the army, or were ordered to the local police station for a “statement”, or detained at a military road check. This is often the last their relatives know of the whereabouts of those disappeared. Most of the “murders by unknown perpetrators” are the work of the religious extremist terrorist organisation Hezbullah as well as JITEM. This is the name of the informal secret service of the Turkish military police, which is responsible for at least four fifths of the unsolved murders in Northern Kurdistan and whose existence was denied by the state for years.
Rojava woman sent to prison in Turkey with her 2-month-old
Roni Aram – Istanbul | 31 August 2022
Reyhan Abdi from Rojava was taken into custody on 26 August and sent to prison on the 29 by the Turk- ish judiciary, on charges of “membership in a terrorist organization”.
Abdi was sent to prison with her two-month-old baby. The Lawyers’ Association for Freedom (ÖHD) Is – tanbul Branch said that Abdi was kept in custody for three days and then unlawfully sent to prison.
The ÖHD said that there was no evidence to justify the arrest and added: “We do not accept the court’s decision. Arrest should be applied exceptionally, both as a restriction of one’s fundamental rights and as a protection measure. However, it is obvious that applying a protective measure to a woman with a two- month-old baby will have serious irreversible consequences. Our client lost her milk due to the anxiety she experienced when she was sent to prison with her two-month-old baby and had to leave her three and four-year-old children in need of care. She suffered severe psychological damage.”
Violation of fundamental rights of children
The ÖHD said that the detention of children with their mothers is against basic human and child rights and added: “According to the Child Protection Law and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child,
41 The İmralı Post #18 to which Turkey is a party, the current situation in prisons is not suitable for a two-month-old baby to stay
Speaking to ANF, Abdi’s lawyer, Ferhat Boğatekin, said that Reyhan Abdi has been living in Turkey for about five years. “She was accused for her alleged participation in the YPG. Upon this accusation, she was taken into custody at her house. She was arrested after being kept in custody with her baby in Istanbul Vatan Security for three days.”
Boğatekin said: “Our client said that she couldn’t breastfeed her baby for three days because her milk stopped due to the shock of having been arrested. She does not speak Turkish, she can only speak Kurdish, so she can’t have a healthy communication. Her husband is being held in a removal centre. Our client is also very concerned about her other two little children who are left outside.”
Lawyers to appeal the arrest decision
Lawyer Ferhat Boğatekin said that Abdi was accused on the basis of one photograph and added that they would appeal the decision. “We have stated to the Criminal Court of Peace that the accusation against our client was baseless and in any case not sufficient to justify her arrest. Our client has been an official resi- dent in Turkey for five years.”
The corpse in the bag
ANF | Erzurum | 1 September 2022
In recent years, the Turkish state’s war against the martyrs of the Kurdish liberation struggle and their rela – tives has intensified. Graves are systematically destroyed, bodies are desecrated and the bereaved are denied the right to mourn. The case of Hakan Arslan is another highlight in a chain of incidents that violate hu- man rights and traumatise people.
Hakan Arslan died in 2016 during the siege of the old district of Sur in Amed (tr. Diyarbakir). Friends buried him next to a church, where his bones were found in 2021. Despite DNA matching, it took almost another year for the state to release the body. The Diyarbakır Chief Prosecutor’s Office handed Ali Rıza Ar- slan his son’s mortal remains in a bag on Monday. That same evening, the burial could finally take place in a cemetery in his home village in Erzurum province.
Ali Rıza Arslan told ANF in Erzurum about his struggle for a dignified burial for his son over the last six years. The family lives in Çavuşköy in Karayazı district. Hakan had six siblings with whom he got along well, his father says. He was very respectful of other people and helped him with his work in the village. In 2015, he told him that he wanted to join his big brothers in Istanbul to work there.
“His brothers worked in construction, then he himself was employed in the textile industry. At that time, I thought he would get engaged this year. When his mother talked to him about it, he wanted some more
42 The İmralı Post #18
time. We agreed. Eight days after that conversation, contact with him broke off. Seven months and twenty days later, it was reported on TV that our son had bled to death in Sur. I had already had a bad feeling for some time and a vague suspicion that something might happen to him. A day before, we had seen on the news that there had been a violent explosion in Sur. I told my friends in the village about it and said that I had the feeling that something had happened to my son. Then in the evening the news of his death came onTV.”
Every single day was an ordeal
When the news arrived, it was deep winter, snow was everywhere, Arslan continues: “Nevertheless, I im- mediately went to Amed. There I was confirmed that my son had fallen. A friend showed me around near Sur. It felt like I was following in Hakan’s footsteps everywhere. For the next six years, I fought to get the body from my son. Every single day was an ordeal. I waited all this time for a phone call, for a message from Hakan. I hoped for news every day until February 2021. Then I was told by phone that Hakan’s body had been found in Sur. Before that, we had tried again and again to get the public prosecutor to con- duct an investigation in the neighbourhood. However, the police claimed that investigations had already taken place and there was no body there.”
Ali Rıza Arslan gave a blood sample for DNA matching, which showed a match of less than sixty per cent. “This was not enough and three months later a DNA match was requested from his mother. The sample showed a 95 per cent match. After that, the body was sent to the Forensic Medicine Institute in Istanbul for an autopsy. It stayed there for nine months. On 25 August, my lawyer called me and said that the body had been released. On Monday I was able to pick it up.”
“I tied the bag shut and took it in my arms”
He did not expect that his son’s mortal remains would be handed over to him in the courthouse and in a bag, says Arslan: “I thought that the body would be handed over in the forensic medicine institute and that only official matters would have to be settled in the courthouse. We had not been told that the han – dover would take place there. They brought the body and opened the bag, took out a CD and handed it to me. I was very sad when I saw the bones. I asked if this was how they handed me the body. They said that it had come like this from the Forensic Institute in Istanbul. I tied the bag shut and took it in my arms. Then I left the building.”
Arslan says he had very mixed feelings at that moment. He was happy because he had finally received his son’s body. However, the way it was handed over hit him hard: “Anyone with a bit of humanity would have been ashamed. When a person dies, his body is handed over in a coffin, not in a bag. When I got back home, I saw the photo of me in front of the court building. I felt like I was dead. The photo tears me apart. My sister wanted to delete it, but I want it to be preserved somewhere.
After the handover, I put the body in the car. On the way, we opened the shroud and put the bones in a coffin. We buried him in the cemetery in the village. We were followed all the time by the gendarmerie (military police). The secret service has been observing me. We were also not allowed to be condoled at the house of mourning. We are only allowed to mourn in our own house. This was to prevent many people from coming together.”
The İmralı Post #18
Police take three Peace Mothers into custody in Istanbul
ANF | Istanbul | 1 September 2022
The Istanbul police attacked activists of the Peace Mother Initiative at a rally marking 1 September World Peace day in front of the Dolmabahce Palace. Three women were taken into custody by police in a violent manner.
The Peace Mothers met in front of the Beşiktaş Stadium on Wednesday to protest against the war in Kur- distan and to demand the resumption of peace negotiations.
In February 2015, an agreement to resolve the Kurdish question was declared in the Dolmabahce Palace. The agreement was a ten-point plan negotiated between Abdullah Öcalan and the Turkish state. The Kur – dish side was represented by the HDP, and the peace process was ended shortly afterwards by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
“Blood flows on both sides”
During their action, the activists wore white headscarves as a symbol of peace. Akime Keskin said in Kur- dish: “We are mothers and we want peace. We call on all mothers to support us. For a hundred years we have seen massacres and violence, but we still demand peace. We feel the pain of all mothers in our hearts, blood flows on both sides. We don’t want war. Problems cannot be solved by war. There was a negotiation table but it had been knocked over and needed to be put back up. Peace harms no one.”
Bedia Gökgöz, another member of the Peace Mother Initiative, said: “The massacres should stop. This is World Peace Day and we want peace in our country and around the world. The deaths in prison must come to an end. Kurdish parents are constantly being handed the bodies of their children in plastic boxes or bags.”
Activist Behiye Duman also addressed the case of Hakan Arslan, whose remains were handed over to his father in a bag on Monday. “We are subjected to degrading, inhuman and fascist treatment. – she said – Our children are murdered and their bones are sent to their parents by post or presented in a bag. This is a disgrace and those responsible should be ashamed.”
Three women violently taken into custody
After the speeches, the activists were attacked by the police. Several women were dragged to the ground, journalists were pushed back by the police and prevented from filming. Activists Bedia Gökyüz, Zeliha Gökyüz and Şükran Tugay were violently taken into custody.
44 The İmralı Post #18 Two journalists face prison for doing their job
ANF | Bursa | 1 September 2022
On 12 June, a march to Gemlik took place in Turkey demanding the end of the isolation imposed on Ab – dullah Öcalan on the prison island of Imrali. Ships travel from the port city in Bursa province to the is – land prison, where Abdullah Öcalan is being held under strict isolation conditions with three other politi- cal prisoners. The central demand of the demonstration was a “democratic and civilized step” by the Turk- ish government to solve the Kurdish question through dialogue and thus achieve social peace.
The police were deployed nationwide in large numbers and prevented the march in many places, detaining many people. Ten people were arrested in Bursa, including Rozerin Gültekin from JinNews women’s news agency and Ergin Çağlar from Mezopotamya Ajansı (MA). The two journalists were there to report on the demonstration.
The Bursa Public Prosecutor’s Office has now filed charges against Gültekin and Çağlar accusing them of violating the Law of Assembly. The journalists face prison sentences of between one and a half and three years.
The trial of Rozerin Gültekin will open on 25 October at the Seferihisar Criminal Court, and that of Er- gin Çağlar on 6 December in Bursa.
Journalists in Turkey are often exposed to police violence while trying to do their work, and Rozerin Gül – tekin and Ergin Çağlar had already experienced similar repression in the past.
Court releases man arrested for attacking HDP office in
ANF | Istanbul | 1 September 2022
Muhammed Eren Sütçü, who carried out a racist attack on the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Bahçelievler District Organization in December and was arrested on charges of “threatening with a gun”, “insulting” and “attempting to injure with a gun” has been released.
The first hearing in the trial against Sütçü was held on 7 June at Bakırköy 7th Criminal Court of First In – stance. Considering the accusations against Sütçü, the court decided that the file should be heard in the High Criminal Court. Thereupon, the file was sent to the 13th Penal Chamber of the Istanbul Regional Court of Justice.
45 The İmralı Post #18
The Chamber ruled that the High Criminal Court should look into the case due to the accusations against Sütçü. Bakırköy 18th High Criminal Court, which looked at the file, decided to release Sutcu on proba- tion, arguing that the accusations against Sütçü, the time he was in detention, and the alleged crime had changed in favour of Sütçü. The court also lifted the ongoing house arrest for Sütçü and set a new hearing on 7 December.
Diyarbakir Bar Association: Faith in judiciary has decreased
ANF | Amed | 1 September 2022
Numerous lawyers participated in the press briefing in front of the Diyarbakır Courthouse. Nahit Eren, head of the city’s bar association, remarked that the problems with the judiciary continued to increase.
Eren stated that there has been a serious loss of trust in the impartiality and independence of the judiciary; “In Turkey, the independence and impartiality of the judiciary has always been a subject of discussion. However, as we have stated repeatedly, in a democratic society based on the rule of law, the most funda- mental guarantee of the individual and society is an independent and impartial judiciary.”
“While the members of the judiciary performing judicial practices in accordance with government policies have been rewarded and promoted, those issuing decisions that disturb the government have been relo- cated to other cities,” Eren added.
“The judiciary should be independent from the state and government as well as from any official or unoffi- cial ideological or political thought and religious tendencies.”
Eren also addressed the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) that are not imple- mented by Turkish courts and the withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention. He emphasized that govern- ment intervention in fundamental rights and freedoms continued without interruption.
Eren raised concern over the maltreatment in Turkey’s prisons. “The most basic human right is the right to life. This right cannot be restrained or suspended under any circumstances.”
Referring to the government crackdown on the Kurdish language, Eren said, “The Kurdish identity and the use of the Kurdish language have recently been subjected to hate speeches and attacks. Since the use of violence and polarizing language pave the way for hateful and racist attacks, we urge the judiciary to com- bat hate speech and attacks against the use of the Kurdish language.”
Eren emphasized that lawyers are the guarantee of an independent judiciary, stressing that they did not re- main silent despite pressures, threats and trials against them. He demanded an end to the economic and physical violence against lawyers.
46 The İmralı Post #18 Emine Şenyaşar: They have been persecuting us for 543 days
ANF | Urfa | 2 September 2022
Emine Şenyaşar, who lost her husband and two sons in an attack that involved AKP Deputy İbrahim Halil Yıldız’s bodyguards and relatives on June 14, 2018, in the Suruç district of Urfa, and his son Ferit Şenyaşar who was injured in the same attack, have been holding a justice vigil outside the Urfa Courthouse since March 9, 2021.
The family came to the Urfa Courthouse on the 543rd day of the vigil.
Mother Emine Şenyaşar expressed her demand for justice once again, saying, “Judges and prosecutors are persecuting us. We do not give them our blessing.”
“Whoever persecutes us, we do not give them our blessing. Enough is enough, my son Fadıl should be re – leased. He is kept in a solitary cell. He has a daughter who is growing up without seeing him. My two sons were killed, so let my Fadıl come home at least. They killed my children unjustly. I want justice. I want justice for everyone, not just for myself. All those who are innocently imprisoned should be released. We have been persecuted here for 543 days. Whatever they do to us, we will not stop our vigil until justice is served. I’m not leaving here until my son is released. If I’m going to die, let me die in front of the court – house. Authorities should be just,” she stated.
Meanwhile, the ‘Justice Exhibition’ continues on its second day. The exhibition was opened in what’s called “Şenyaşar Family Justice Corner” outside the courthouse to mark September 1, World Peace Day and the inauguration day of the new judicial year.
Pictures taken during the Justice Vigil, cartoons about Emine Şenyaşar and justice, and a picture of the ambulance where the injured Şenyaşar family members were attacked on June 14, 2018 are displayed in the exhibition.
HDP Women’s Council on the detention of MP Semra Güzel:
“We will not bow to this dirty politics”
ANF | Ankara | 3 September 2022
HDP MP Semra Güzel, who was detained on Friday, has been taken to the Istanbul Palace of Justice in Çağlayan for a prosecution hearing after police interrogation. The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) is protesting against the detention and the media smear campaign against the Kurdish politician.
47 The İmralı Post #18
In a written statement, the HDP Women’s Council declared its united solidarity and described Semra Güzel as a representative of women and an elected representative of the people. The male alliance of AKP and MHP identified her as a target following its concept of distracting attention from its multi-layered cri- sis through attacks. To the Turkish Interior Minister, who publicly praised the detention of Semra Güzel as a successful operation, the Women’s Council appealed that instead of arresting women, they should rather arrest murderers of women. “You cannot cover up your own crimes with agitation and fuelling national- ism, racism, sexism and misogyny. As women, we will not bow to this dirty politics.”
The HDP executive board pointed out in a statement that the Turkish government is using the detention of Semra Güzel for propaganda purposes: “Contrary to what was claimed, our MP was not detained in Edirne, but in Istanbul. The reports that she wore a wig and changed her appearance do not correspond to reality. Until today, all our friends have been resisting any kind of attack. They are waging a courageous struggle and there is no question of them withdrawing and running away from the consequences. Of course, we do not trust the government-controlled judiciary and do not assume that they will make an in- dependent decision. However, we are a party that has made the struggle against the mentality and appara- tus of the AKP its basic principle.”
Proceedings against Semra Güzel
Semra Güzel’s parliamentary immunity was lifted in March. The 38-year-old is being tried for “treason” and “membership in an armed terrorist organisation”. This was preceded by an elaborate defamation cam- paign against the Kurdish politician and trained doctor, which was apparently directed by the Ministry of the Interior.
The starting point of the smear campaign, described by the HDP as a “smear theatre”, are photos showing Güzel with her former fiancé, the guerrilla fighter Volkan Bora (Nom de Guerre: Koçero Meletî). The pho- tos were taken in a guerrilla camp in southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq) in 2014, when a delegation from the HDP visited the PKK with state knowledge as part of the peace process to discuss further steps to- wards de-escalation. Meanwhile, Semra Güzel’s loss of parliamentary immunity in the “Kobanê trial” in Ankara has found its way into the files as supporting evidence against the more than one hundred defen- dants.
Peace in Kurdistan
468 organizations in Amed call for lasting peace
ANF | Amed | 1 September 2022
468 trade unions, non-governmental and labour organizations from different cities of North Kurdistan came together at the Dağ Kapı Square in Amed (Diyarbakır) to mark September 1, World Peace Day.
48 The İmralı Post #18 Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Diyarbakır Provincial Co-Chair Zeyyat Ceylan and Amed deputy
İmam Taşçıer also attended the press briefing held under the motto “Peace, Right Now”.
The Kurdish version of the statement was read out by the Chamber of Electrical Engineers (EMO) Di- yarbakir Branch Co-Chair Sorgül Aytek Avşar, and the Turkish version by the Diyarbakir Bar Association head Nahit Eren.
Eren remarked that the most important reason for Turkey’s problems in the fields of law, democracy and human rights is the insistence on the deadlock of the Kurdish problem.
“This insistence does not respond to the social demands concerning fundamental rights and freedoms in Turkey and maintains security policies that are far from offering a democratic solution,” Eren said.
“The deadlock in the Kurdish question causes loss of lives and undermines laws, democracy and human rights, leading to economic problems due to government expenditure. As a matter of fact, Turkey lags be – hind in the global democracy index rankings and the rule of law index.”
“We urge all actors, social and political groups to fulfil their responsibilities in order to ensure a non-con – flict environment as we believe that the Kurdish issue can only be resolved on a peaceful and democratic basis,” Eren noted.
“We insist that peace should be the most important and primary agenda of Turkey. We call for a solution and a lasting peace on the basis of universal principles by moving away from the shadow of weapons and conflicts as soon as possible as we observed the public enthusiasm created by the previous peace process,” the joint declaration concluded.
Foza Yûsif: The war has entered a new phase
Yeni Ozgur Politika | Emrullah Boztaş | 1 September 2022
Parallel to its military defeat in the Zap region in South Kurdistan, the Turkish state has expanded its at- tacks on Northern and Eastern Syria. The Turkish state seems to have negotiated with Russia and Iran to be allowed to use the airspace over Rojava for drone attacks. However, these forces did not agree to a ground operation. In recent weeks there has been repeated talk of a rapprochement between Ankara and Damascus. This indicates a reorientation of Turkey’s plans. In an interview with the newspaper Yeni Özgür Politika, Foza Yûsif, board member of the Democratic Unity Party (PYD), commented on these current developments.
49 The İmralı Post #18 How do you assess the current Turkish attacks and Erdoğan’s threats, especially against the background
of the talks with Russia and Iran?
The attacks and threats by the Turkish state are nothing new to us. The Turkish state has long wanted to use its war policy to position itself in the region and settle down permanently in Syria. This situation has taken a new direction after the NATO summit in Madrid and the summits in Tehran and Sochi. The at – tacks and threats against our region cannot be separated from these negotiations. The attacks on leading figures of the Rojava revolution are meant to weaken the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). From our point of view, we assess the attacks as follows: The Turkish state has started a war and this war has reached a new stage. Therefore, no one should be under the illusion that war has not yet been declared or has not yet begun. Every day there are attacks, every day people are massacred, villages are looted, the demo- graphic structure is changed, women’s dignity is attacked, rapes occur. The region is being set on fire and the Turkish state is using all kinds of dirty warfare against the peoples of our region.
Turkish attacks on the existence of Rojava, especially on the civilian population, have intensified. Every day there is news about the fallen. Why have these attacks increased now?
There are many reasons for attacks on civilians: the main one is to create instability in the region and force people to flee by instilling fear in the population. The Kurdish regions in particular are under attack. It’s about driving people away from their land. Just as cultural destruction and massacres are being carried out in the occupied territories today, there is also a policy of expulsion. In many border regions, the walls be – tween Turkey and Syria have been removed in preparation for a major attack. The most important point is that ruthless attacks on civilians are trying to undermine the people’s trust in the self-government and the Democratic Forces of Syria. With the help of special psychological warfare methods, the population has to be scared and the self-government liquidated.
For some time, assassinations of leading personalities of the revolution have been organized by MIT agents. Many people fell as martyrs. What is the attitude of the population on this issue?
Recently, numerous MIT agents have been arrested by the security forces (Asayiş) and the SDF’s intelli- gence units. The arrest of these traitors caused great public relief. Whoever throws himself, his dignity and his honour on the market for a few euros will not get away with it unpunished. People are very angry with traitors, the desire for revenge is great. They also isolate the families of these individuals. The population demands that the traitors be brought to justice and that their trials be held in public. There is already a de – cision taken by the Autonomous Administration in this direction. These procedures will also represent a kind of further education for the people. They will lead to an awakening. The vigilance of the population is great. All see themselves as part of the defense of the region. The people are ready to protect the achieve – ments of the revolution.
It is noticeable that the attacks have increased after a conference of Kurdish women. Is it a coincidence that so many attacks are actually targeting women?
Not only the project of the democratic nation, but also free life with equal rights is threatened today. The conference served to develop a female awakening. In particular, it also took place to strengthen the fight against sexist policies towards women. Our aim is to advance the attitude of women against Turkish fas- cism and against the sexist ideology of the AKP regime. Today, the women’s revolution is under severe at –
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tack. Therefore, all women must discuss this issue and show solidarity with the revolution. The women’s revolution is not only on the agenda in Kurdistan, but is also seen as an achievement for women’s move- ments around the world. In order not to lose these achievements, all women should be vigilant and see themselves as responsible and fight together and in a coordinated manner against the Turkish state and AKP fascism. This regime is as much an enemy of women as it is of the people. Women have an important role in defending themselves against this storm of attacks. We will not allow these power-oriented, colo- nialist and patriarchal forces to stifle and destroy our revolution.
Attacks have increased especially on the Ain Issa, Manbij, Shehba and Serêkaniyê lines. What is it about? Is it about the ANF | km occupation zone?
The Turkish state’s policy is not just about ANF | kilometers. The attacks have nothing to do with border security. That’s a big lie. The invaders speak this way to hide their true ambitions. In fact, Turkey is trying to restore its former hegemony in the Middle East and make Syria a province under its control. These aspi- rations of Turkey are not independent of the political developments in the world. The Turkish state would like to tie some areas of the neighbouring countries to itself. To this end, it attacks the neighbouring coun – tries under various pretexts.
In addition, Turkey is historically a state that built its existence on the genocide of the Kurds. It has de- clared the Kurdish areas to be enemy territory and is attacking them on all levels. In this way, it believes it can control the Kurdish question. However, this approach has been disclosed, as have the current ambi- tions of the Turkish state. Turkey can no longer pretend to anyone that it has a security problem. No ini – tiative other than self-defense by Rojava against Turkey was taken. Every time Turkey has attacked, we have exercised, and still do, our right to self-defense. In this regard, it would be a wrong and narrow- minded approach to view Turkey’s goals as a ANF |-kilometer strip. Their goal is to silence the protests and opposition to the Turkish government by invading and occupying new regions. On the other hand, the Turkish government is trying to maintain its power by getting votes with a false victory.
All of this is taking place before the eyes of the international coalition, the allies of the Autonomous Ad- ministration in the fight against ISIS. In their half-hearted criticism of the attacks, the coalition and the US do not even name the perpetrator. How do you assess this attitude?
The vast majority of the forces involved in the coalition are NATO forces. Against the background of the Madrid summit, it became known that concessions were made to the Turkish state for the expansion of NATO. One of those concessions is that the airspace will always remain open for Turkey to use whenever it chooses. It can be said that the states and powers in the coalition are pursuing mendacious policies. Our people know very well that the coalition states are responsible for the Turkish state’s attacks in the region. And as far as we can gather from previous statements, there is such an agreement. What is happening has been agreed. We know what is going on and we have informed them that we do not accept the position of the coalition forces in the face of this situation. We criticize this policy of the coalition and fight for its change. We are fighting for her to take a clear stance.
Attacks are also taking place in Shehba, where both Russian and Syrian forces are present. Russia is also present in the Kobanê and Ain Issa regions. Erdoğan claims he is acting in concert with Russia. What do you think about this?
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Russia has a presence in the region both east and west of the Euphrates. It is obvious that at the talks in Tehran and Sochi it was agreed that Turkey could fly airstrikes. So far, the attitude of Russia on this issue has been negative. But Russia is now silent and takes no position. That is, an agreement was reached on this issue. The states present in Syria have clearly made concessions in the interests of their own at the ex – pense of the people of Syria and the region. This was clearly shown in their attitude and behavior.
The Turkish state and Syria have started a new round of talks. It is suspected that anti-Kurdish coopera – tion could be behind this. How do you assess this?
The plans being made in talks between Turkey and Syria are a very dangerous and dirty game. Because the Turkish state has been pursuing the policy of bringing Syria under its control since the Adana Agreement, when it began relations with Syria. For this, it uses all means. The Turkish state has not given up this strat – egy. Its aim is either to bind Syria to itself or to destroy it politically and militarily in its entirety. In this context, such an alliance will not only be directed against the Kurdish people, but against all peoples of Syria. Since the Turkish state has a fascist character, far from helping to solve the problems, it is itself the source of the problems. The Turkish state has increased the chaos in Syria. It diverted the revolution of the peoples of Syria from its goal and made it serve its own nefarious interests.
Erdoğan was defeated. The project and the strategy that Erdoğan wanted to implement in Syria and in the region have failed. That is why Erdoğan wants to restore relations with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Syria and many other Arab countries. He wants to change his tactics and adapt his chau- vinist, colonialist and aggressive policies. So the danger is not only for the Kurdish people, but also for the future of all peoples of Syria. Failure to develop a democratic solution and an alliance based on anti-Kur- dish sentiment will further deepen Syria’s fragmentation. Something like this could even worsen the chaos and civil war in Syria. Nobody in Syria should stay out of this situation. Erdoğan says he will bring democracy, brotherhood and stability to Syria. How can Erdoğan, who cannot bring stability to his own country, bring stability to Syria? The government in Damascus has a great responsibility to avoid this dan – gerous game. Just as the first Adana Accords led to the collapse of Syria and opened Syria to foreign inter – vention, the second Adana Accords will deepen fragmentation and division, and spark civil war. This deal will darken Syria’s future and lead to its destruction.
Can you tell us about your military, political and diplomatic efforts to preserve existing achievements and liberate the occupied territories?
Today, a policy of massacre and liquidation is being pursued against our people. We are facing a compre – hensive attack on our values, our future and our very existence. This war is not only directed against Ro- java, but is also a danger for the Kurds in all other parts. The Turkish state wants to create a subjugated, collaborating Kurd. The political movements in all four parts of Kurdistan carry on their shoulders the his- torical duty and burden of defending their identity, existence and dignity.
Important historical achievements for the peoples and women were reached in Rojava and North and East Syria. However, a major attack is taking place to eliminate these democratic and libertarian values. But there is also historical resistance to it. Both the population and the SDF, the internal security forces and the women’s bodies are waging this fight with all forms of mobilization. In the face of attacks in diplo- matic, military and vital areas, we organize ourselves according to reality. We are preparing for the revolu-
52 The İmralı Post #18 tionary people’s war. We believe that the achievements of the peoples, women and the Revolution can only
be protected by unlimited resistance.
We are aware of the extent of the danger. Therefore, the resistance must be great enough to overcome this threat. The resistance in the Zap is a source of inspiration for all the peoples of this region, the Middle East and the four parts of Kurdistan. The resistance of young men and women against chemical weapons and highly developed war technology should be a role model for all of Kurdistan and humanity.
The peoples of North and East Syria and the entire region must be aware of the dirty games and that our destiny depends on each other. As long as we protect each other and strengthen our unity, we can live to- gether peacefully. In this conviction we say that total attack requires total resistance. With this conviction and determination, a great work is being done here and a great struggle is being waged. The struggle is shared by many sections of society. We are not weak and powerless; our fighters are strong. We have the power to thwart the enemy’s plans. Our belief in ourselves is important. We must continue our struggle with great perseverance and determination and take a stand together. Just as we have thwarted many schemes and plots, we have the power to thwart this one as well.
There are reports of negotiations between the regime in Damascus and the Autonomous Administra- tion. At what stage are these negotiations?
Relations between the Syrian government and the Autonomous Administration have existed since 2011 and have always been marked by struggle and dialogue. Unfortunately, these talks have not yet resulted in a lasting solution. All the people of Syria need to come together, talk and solve this problem. The interna – tional powers have played no role other than to complicate the problems. These powers continue to do dirty business at the expense of the peoples of Syria on a daily basis, sacrificing the region for their own in – terests. In order to clean up this mess and achieve a lasting and just solution, we as the peoples of Syria must recognize each other as Syrian forces.
Is it possible that the negotiations will lead to a solution? Yes, that is possible. Why not? We have a lot in common. There are many common themes that we can agree on. Syria’s stability is important to all of us, unity is important to all of us. Cooperation in the fight against colonialism and occupation is a common point for all of us, including the government in Damascus.
Here, too, a democratic solution and partnership are very important to ensure that foreign troops leave Syria. If we want to talk about a solution, the points on which we agree are much more important than the points on which we divide.
Ultimately, we are all in the same boat in Syria. No one should think that some will lose and others will win. A careful look at the past twelve years makes it clear that every development in Damascus has a direct impact on other regions. If we fail to solve our problems among ourselves, it will lead to Syria’s disintegra- tion and greater tragedy. There is only one solution: democratic principles and a democratic constitution that guarantees the rights of everyone in Syria.
53 The İmralı Post #18 Duran Kalkan: We are entering the final phase of the Time for
ANF | 2 September 2022
Duran Kalkan, member of the KCK Executive Council, spoke to Medya Haber about important new de- velopments with regards to the struggle for the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan, the continuing war crimes by the Turkish Army in South Kurdistan, the desperate diplomatic efforts by Turkey ́s AKP-MHP regime, the support of international powers for Turkey ́s attacks on Rojava/North and East Syria, recent developments in the relations between Turkey and Syria and the importance of the HDP ́s ongoing democratic struggle in Turkey.
Important new Developments with regards to the struggle for the freedom of Abdullah
“Lately, there have been important developments with regards to this struggle. A statement was recently published by ANF |8 Turkish intellectuals against the war in Kurdistan. This was important. They called on the opposition not to support this war. They exposed and criticized the war. They showed that they are against the war. Of course, this also means opposing the İmralı torture and isolation system. In addition, 70 well-known intellectuals, politicians and democrats from all over the world recently made a statement. They called on everyone to support the Kurdish people’s struggle for freedom, to oppose Tayyip Erdoğan’s fascism, and to oppose the Kurdish genocide. This was also very meaningful and valuable. At the same time, all this consitutes a call for the physical freedom of Leader Apo [Abdullah Öcalan]. All this clearly shows that this struggle is increasing. The statements and calls of trade unions, intellectuals, various demo- cratic circles, individually and collectively, their opposition to the İmralı torture and isolation system, their demand for the physical freedom of Leader Apo, their demand to hear his voice, their stance that Leader Apo should be given the opportunity to play his role; all this is increasing. We salute all of these efforts. This is very meaningful.”
“The lawyers have also been continuing their efforts. The legal struggle is ongoing. Of course, we are look- ing at the process ahead. 8 years ago, the lawyers made attempts to reveal some things that had been sup- pressed. Statements were made that the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe will make a statement in September  regarding the Imrali system and the ECHR’s decision on the retrial of Leader Apo. We have talked about these developments in the past. We have shown how the AKP-MHP fascism is trying to prevent this. They have been trying to prevent this with disciplinary penalties. All this has been maintained until now by neutralizing Europe, that is, the institutions that brought about this İmralı torture and isolation system, and by blocking their way. What will happen now? This is, of course, a matter of curiosity. The lawyers have stated that there will be a statement in September. The Kurdish peo- ple and all democratic circles, are waiting with curiosity. What will be said, what will be announced? Why have they been silent for 8 years? What will these related circles say? How will they convince humanity and the various forces? Honestly, this is a matter of great curiosity. Everyone is waiting [for the statement in September].”
54 The İmralı Post #18
New figures regarding resistance of guerrillas against Turkey ́s occupation policy in
South Kurdistan/North Iraq
“Of course, the fourth month of this great resistance has passed. Last year, this war was going on in similar areas. But of course, the 2021 war and the 2022 war are not in the same place. We are talking about the areas of Zap, Avaşîn and Metîna. The areas are the same, but the exact places where the war is taking place are different. Last year ́s war took place along the borders of these areas. Now the AKP-MHP fascist forces have been trying to move more inland. Therefore, war is taking place in more central parts of these areas. This is where the guerrilla is even better prepared. On this basis, it is clear that a very harsh, relentless and meaningful war is going on. We have been evaluating this for four months. The enemy also says it and ev- eryone is aware of it. The whole world is watching with great attention. There are intense discussions about what the results will look like. This government and the state system, the political status quo created after the First World War, led to this war. And now everyone is watching with great curiosity to see what will happen, how it will end, what will come out of it. But the fighting parties have made the situation clear. They themselves have said that this is the last war of AKP-MHP fascism. They consider it a war for life and death. It is certain that this will be the case for the AKP-MHP, because now this government has come to its end. It will fall. The problem is not limited to the AKP-MHP. The Turkish system, which was formed based on the century-old mentality and politics of denial, annihilation and genocidal mentality and politics, will be destroyed. This is also a vital struggle for us. The war continues at its peak. Many times this war has been called the final battle. We are indeed in a war that is heading towards that point, a war that is growing and that will have great consequences. The battle in Zap, Avaşîn and Metîna is at the center of this war. In this sense, we can say that it is a war that will determine the fate of the Kurds.”
“The 4th month [of Turkey ́s renewed attacks] has now been completed. The four-month balance sheet was recently published. One may first ask: Did those who started this war of aggression and occupation plan to fight for four months? How fast did they hope to achieve results? In fact, they didn’t envision four months, they didn’t even envision four weeks. They said let’s complete it in four days, let’s finish it quickly, let’s win a victory and increase our political influence according to the war ́s results. Despite making this calculation, not only did they not get any results in four months, they have now ended up in a complete deadlock. They are completely stuck now. There is a hand-to-hand battle. When they [Turkish army] move, the guerrillas hit them. They can’t do much from the ground. With air power, they are trying to break the effectiveness of the guerrilla, the effectiveness of the guerrilla ́s coordinated teams and tunnel warfare. In fact, guerrillas have developed a very important tactical breakthrough. It has been very effective with its coordinated teams and tunnel warfare. It has been very effective and has delivered heavy blows [to the Turkish army]. Now they are trying to break the guerrillas’ effectiveness with forbidden weapons, air strikes and technical power. The Turkish army ́s situation on the ground is miserable. Every day, the guer – rilla cameras film and show this. The whole public is watching how they are, how miserable they are. The balance sheets that are being published regularly also clearly show this. The guerrillas have carried out 1,454 attacks in four months. In a narrow area. Yes, the battlefield is rather big. But when we consider the whole of Kurdistan as a battlefield, the area where the current attacks are being carried out is a very limited area. So many guerrilla attacks in such an area. This means that the enemy has been attacked whenever he dares to make a move. This is definitely not a situation to be underestimated. It shows the intensity of the war. The guerrillas can verify at most half of the results of its attacks. 1871 killed Turkish soldiers have been made public. Many bodies [of Turkish soldiers] have been left behind under the control of the guer-
55 The İmralı Post #18
rillas. Guerrilla sources have already announced that they are in contact with the families [of these killed soldiers]. The total total number of killed soldiers is more like 2000. Of course, there are officers and con – tras among them, but heavy weapons are also destroyed: 6 helicopters, 2 tanks, 10 armored vehicles and 32 drones. A lot of technical equipment has been destroyed. Some of it has also been confiscated by the guerrillas. These are clear facts. The HPG and YJA Star guerrillas have so far had 84 şehits [martyrs] on the battlefield. In other words, compared to other times and the overall average of wars [since 2015], the dif- ference is really significant. It shows how effective the guerrilla’s performance and striking power has be- come, and how coordinated tunnel warfare has dealt a blow to AKP-MHP fascism, the Turkish army and its gangs. It is obvious how effective the guerrilla is today and what kind of position it has put the invad- ing, aggressive power into. All this is very important. We can clearly see this in the current attempts of AKP-MHP fascism. I fact, we can clearly recognize the deadlock and defeat it has experienced in the Zap, Avaşîn and Metîna wars.”
Continuing war crimes by the Turkish army in South Kurdistan/North Iraq
“First of all, they [AKP-MHP government and the Turkish state] are committing war crimes. Their very presence in Kurdistan constitutes a crime. They are genocidal occupiers who shed blood. But more than that, they are committing war crimes. They use banned weapons, chemical weapons, phosphorus bombs and tactical nuclear bombs. In the last four months, they have used these kinds of weapons 1532 times against the tunnels of the guerrillas. They have done this with weapons whose use constitutes a war crime and which were bought from NATO states. Some of them may have been bought with money, but the vast majority of them were simply given to them by NATO. The Kurdish people and the international public are still waiting for answers from the NATO administration, the US administration and from all the relevant state administrations. Because there are indeed documents [from the Turkish state] which clearly state ́we have used these kinds of weapons, we have used tactical nuclear bombs ́. What is a tacti- cal nuclear bomb? While a big bomb is used against a city, this smaller one is used against a building or a room. They have produced them the size of hand grenades: half a kilogram, one kilogram. These weapons cause complete destruction. The effect is the same [as other nuclear bombs]. Therefore, this constitutes the same degree of crime.”
“Turkey cannot produce these kinds of weapons. But the USA, France, England or Germany can. The Turkish state buys them from these states. Russia makes them. I guess they get them from Russia now, too. We don’t know exactly from whom and how much. But this situation needs to be exposed. It is necessary to investigate this crime further. Many esteemed intellectuals and politicians have talked about this issue. International organizations have called on everybody to fulfill their duties. This is important and meaning- ful, but there need to be even stronger reactions. We need to try to mobilize the relevant institutions more, to expose this situation even more. The Turkish state has no right to commit these crimes. No one has the right to carry out a genocide against the Kurds. When the Kurds do something small, these states immedi – ately make a statement: ́We understand the security problems of the Turkish Republic. ́ But the Republic of Turkey is committing massacre after massacre, without even caring about children, women and the el- derly. It is doing this in South Kurdistan, in Rojava [North and East Syria] and everywhere in North Kur – distan [East Turkey]. It is slaughtering people from East Kurdistan [North-West Iran]. But no one says anything. They call Kurds terrorists and all kinds of things. What do they themselves promise to the Kurds and what do they want the Kurds to obey? It is almost as if the Turkish Republic has been given a green light to slaughter the Kurds. They [international powers] support this to the fullest, they benefit from it. Based on this, they continue their policy of exploitation.”
56 The İmralı Post #18 Desperate diplomatic efforts by Turkey ́s AKP-MHP regime
“Since early July, Tayyip Erdoğan has been traveling all around the world. He has gone everywhere. There is no place he has not visited. There is no state he has not begged for help. He also carried out massacres. He did this in Perex [village in South Kurdistan], he attacked Zaxo, he did it in Qamişlo, he did it in Kobanê and he massacred 4 children [close to Hesekê in Rojava]. Every day, day and night, he attacks and carries out massacres and asks for help and support from everyone. First, he wants arms support. Secondly, he wants political support for the attacks. He is trying to ensure that nobody opposes these attacks. He si – lences everyone by selling Turkey’s assets and resources. This shows how difficult it has become for him, what kind of a deadlock he is in. In other words, using banned weapons in the war, attacking all parts of Kurdistan, all Kurds from seven to seventy, begging for support and help from all states; all these are clear indicators of what kind of deadlock and collapse the Turkish state and AKP-MHP fascism are experienc- ing in the current war. They is trying desperately to survive, but all their efforts are futile. The guerrilla has successfully developed its new way of warfare, renewed itself, and proven its power to resist. The Kurdish people and young people have learned how to resist fascism and the AKP-MHP ́s genocidal policy. From now on, these developments will continue even more. No matter what they do, they will not be able to stop the Kurdish women, youth and people.”
Support of international powers for Turkey ́s attacks on Rojava/North and East Syria
“These are not new efforts, but there are developments that seem new. As AKP-MHP fascism gets stuck in the Medya Defense Zones [mountainous regions in South Kurdistan controlled by guerrilla forces], it seeks support from all over the world. It wants support from NATO and it wants it from anti-NATO countries. In the past, Turkey increased its relations with China. Now they are trying to establish relations with Russia and Iran, just like they did with NATO. They rushed to Tehran, then to Sochi. Tayyip Er – doğan also rushed to see Zelenski. They are already working in partnership with NATO. We have not heard any statement from NATO against the AKP-MHP ́s genocidal policy. NATO always supports this policy. NATO is waging this war. It is also complicit in the use of banned weapons. Since the last Er- doğan-Putin meeting, the attacks [in Rojava/North and East Syria] have increased a little more. There have been statements from the Russian side that they held talks and signed agreements on many more issues. One of them was the issue of a new attack against North and East Syria. Russia has so far taken a cautious approach in this regard. The open or indirect statements of some circles who were able to get information gave the impression that the attack had been postponed a bit. Some of the AKP’s pencil pushers said that an attack might happen towards winter. Now the war is escalating in this area. The attack has apparently been postponed, but the war continues at a low intensity and is getting more and more intense. On the other hand, there are new developments in the political talks.”
“The developments with regards to the war in the Medya Defense Zones clearly show that we are faced with an occupation attack against South Kurdistan. Just like in Efrîn, Serêkaniyê, Girê Spî [all in Rojava/ North and East Syria], they are constantly attacking along the entire border. They bombard every day. They attack villages, houses and kill children. The people of North and East Syria are being martyred every day. In the attack in Qamişlo, Rêzan Cawîd and Dijwar Kobanê, founders of KODAR from East Kurdis- tan, were martyred. Rêzan Cawîd was the co-chair of KODAR. Today the Turkish state massacres chil- dren. There are massacres like this every day. In other words, AKP-MHP fascism says ́I can strike as I
57 The İmralı Post #18 want without recognizing any principles or rules ́. Just as it commits massacres in Zaxo, it is doing the
same against villages and towns all along the border of North and East Syria.”
“Today, there is a struggle against these attacks. This is very important and meaningful. I salute this strug- gle. In particular the actions of the Efrin Liberation Forces HRE are important. I congratulate them on all their successes and salute the HRE fighters. The SDF [Syrian Democratic Forces] has also developed a clear attitude. Not like in the past. Now it is using its right to retaliate. This has actually always been its right. No one can say anything about why the SDF is using its right to retaliate. It is absolutely the SDF ́s right to do so. It can use this right even more effectively and thus achieve important results. On the other hand, the people of North and East Syria, our people in Rojava have recognized the given realities. Today, there is an increased consciousness, organization and preparation of equipment to strengthen self-defense in the face of any new occupation attack. These developments are very important. All peoples, especially the Kurds of Rojava, should know well that they can exist and live free in this world only to the extent that they organize, train themselves and show a willingness to fight.”
Developments in relations between Turkey and Syria
“What do the AKP-MHP fascism’s efforts, its talks with Russia, Iran and Syria mean? It is really early to tell yet. But the fact that the Turkish Republic and the Damascus administration have met, the talks at the level of foreign ministers are important developments. Even the gangs [Islamist proxy-forces allied with Turkey] were disturbed by this. They protested, burned Turkish flags, there was chaos [in the occupied ar- eas in North Syria]. And it looks like there will be even more confusion. Of course, we want to understand who is behind such an alliance, such talks, such a relationship, what role NATO plays in this, what role Russia plays, what role Iran plays. I mean, on the one hand, Iran and Russia are talking about the dangers of AKP-MHP fascism and the Turkish state, but on the other hand, if they are promoting such a develop- ment, it is a very dangerous situation if they are going to support the AKP-MHP fascism’s invasion in North and East Syria on this basis. On the one hand, they have relations with the Kurds, the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria. Because this has been publicly said and the Autonomous Admin – istration has already said that they are involved in talks. As the PKK and the KCK, we have declared that we find these efforts meaningful and that we support them. These are situations that are still on the agenda. We still have the same view. It would be bad if, on the one hand, this is happening, and on the other hand, Turkey was being supported against these efforts and was being encouraged to carry out new attacks. This is dangerous. They themselves will suffer harm. And we do not think that this will really be the case. First of all, it is certain that the essence of the talks between the Turkish Republic and Damascus is anti-PKK, anti-Kurdish, against the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria. Because the Turkish Republic has no other concern. The AKP-MHP has no other problems. On this basis, they are asking for support from the Damascus government and the Assad administration. How much will such a demand be considered? How long will a relationship or an alliance be formed? After so much enmity, they can surely form an alliance against the Kurds. They have done this many times in the past. But how will they solve the many problems between them? This is not very clear. This is not something that will happen easily.”
“We can say the following: With regards to the Damascus administration, we have always been in favor of solving the problems with North and East Syria through a political solution within a Syrian Democratic Union. This was the right thing to do. We can also say this about the Syrian government: It is worth care- fully examining the past. The most stable time of the current Syrian state was when they developed posi-
58 The İmralı Post #18
tive relations with the Kurds. It was when they had a friendly relationship with the PKK. They should never forget this. They should not become a tool for the Turkish Republic’s Kurdish enmity. They would gain absolutely nothing from this. The same is true for Russia and Iran. If they are going to use the Kurds as a bargaining chip with NATO in order to benefit from Turkey in some ways, in order to carry out their contradictions through Turkey, they will not get anything out of this. They cannot pull Turkey away from NATO. Those who enter into such relations with them today while they are in NATO will enter into all kinds of relations against them tomorrow. They should know this well. These forces should be more care- ful and sensitive. We are watching these developments carefully. We hope that nothing negative or wrong will happen.”
“Finally, let me say this: There is no power left in the world that AKP-MHP fascism and the Turkish state have not established relations with and that they have not asked for support. Against whom? Against the Kurds. Why? To massacre the Kurds. You are so Kurdish-hostile, establish relations and alliances with ev – eryone against the Kurds, and leave the Kurds no possibility of life in this world. But if Kurds establish re – lations with anyone, you call them ‘traitors’. Who is the real traitor? Who is betraying whom? The Kurds have never done anything to betray the Turkish people. They have never entered into any relationship or alliance that would harm the interests of the Turkish people, their country and freedom. Accusing the Kurdish people of betrayal every now and then actually reflects their own reality. We see clearly here who the traitor is and how enmity is being practiced.”
Importance of HDP ́s ongoing democratic struggle in Turkey
“HDP has a clear stance. It continues its efforts and struggle. Recently, the HDP congress and several ral- lies took place. From time to time, the HDP takes effective initiatives. Its way forward is open. In fact, it may not be an exaggeration to say that the future of Turkey lies in the hands of the HDP. They continue their resistance. The HDP ́s path is clear. The government is collapsing and there is no opposition to com – ing to power. Time is also moving fast. Everyone sees this. AKP-MHP’s days are limited. The following can clearly be seen: After the AKP-MHP, it would make no sense for those who have the same mentality and politics in Turkey, who have an anti-Kurdish, colonialist, genocidal, pseudo-democratic mentality, to take over power. If this is the case, the AKP-MHP will not change and will not fall. Therefore, if the AKP- MHP were to fall and the government in Turkey is to change, the alternative is the HDP. The HDP seems to have understood this reality better in recent times. The “we will solve it” attitude at the recent HDP congress was very important. A program including basic problems and solutions was passed. All these de- velopments constitute an important stance.”
“As the third alliance, they also represent the democracy alliance. Their efforts in this direction continue. They say they will make a statement with regards to this alliance soon. This is good. This alliance needs to develop even more. They should be more confident. I can say the following: First, they should widen the alliance. They can have a broader approach. Why? Because today is their day. They should approach every- one with a program based on the minimum principles of democratization. They should be able to ally with anyone who wants even the smallest aspects of democracy. They should not necessarily combine many principles and say that they only unite with those who agree on all these principles. That is not an alliance. We are talking about democracy, alliance and basic principles. You formulate three or four articles which constitute the basic democratic principles. On this basis, you can unite with everyone. This is how broad of an alliance we need. Secondly, we need much more intensive efforts. They need to work and struggle even more actively and approach people one-on-one even more. They need to mobilize more
59 The İmralı Post #18
power. Yes, there are arrests, there is pressure, the current fascist administration creates obstacles. People see this, but all this must be fought against. The struggle develops, strengthens and pushes the HDP. The HDP is the HDP because it fights. Today, everyone is looking at the HDP. They see the future of Turkey in it. If the HDP hadn’t struggled, it wouldn’t have been able to do anything.”
“When Tayyip Erdoğan met with the Assad administration, Kılıçdaroğlu said, ‘Finally, they have come to follow our approach’. As if there was no problem left. AKP or CHP, Erdogan or Kilicdaroglu – there is no difference between them. That’s what this means. But this is unacceptable. CHP members should think a little smarter. If Kılıçdaroğlu says he wants to lead the new government, he should know that this attitude is completely unacceptable. So these efforts of his are in vain. Even if he succeeds, he won ́t be able to stay in power. Because everyone sees things much more clearly today and people are fighting. Therefore, every- one has the duty and responsibility to be more consistent and sensitive, to support the democracy alliance. And the HDP carries the duty and responsibility to lead the democracy alliance even more. We are sure that this is going to happen.”
The İmralı Post #18
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Websites: freeocalan.org | ocalanbooks.com ‖ Videos: vimeo.com/freeocalan