For all of the latest Kurdish news, see these sources:

ANF English: https://anfenglishmobile.com/

Hawar News: https://www.hawarnews.com/en/

Rojava Information Center: https://rojavainformationcenter.com

https://twitter.com/RojavaIC

Women Defend Rojava: http://womendefendrojava.net/en/

Rojhelat: http://rojhelat.info/en/

Rojava Centre for Strategic Studies

http://nrlsrojava.com/en/

Komun Academy: 

https://komun-academy.com

NEWS

  1. Syria’s isolated Kurds wait and worry as coronavirus threat grows
  2. Happy Birthday, Abdullah Öcalan!
  3. Riot erupts in southeast penitentiary, after parliamentary committee approves prisoner release bill
  4. Turkish state accused of murder after death of hunger-striking Grup Yorum musician
  5. Turkey imposes curfew on youth, shuts borders of 31 cities: Erdogan
  6. Turkey: Lira at crisis levels as virus hits trade, factories
  7. Turkey could tighten coronavirus controls as strains, criticism grow
  8. Syrian Kurds say no escapees after IS prison revolt
  9. Turkey is continuing its attacks in northeast Syria despite the coronavirus crisis
  10. Turkey opposition calls for ‘stay at home’ order over coronavirus
  11. SDF: ISIS detainees escape prison in northeast Syria
  12. Turkey suspends all international flights, expands restrictions
  13. Turkey Moves Migrants From Greek Border Amid Virus Pandemic
  14. Kurdish journalists demand release of “political hostages”
  15. Turkey Holds First Tender Related to Istanbul Canal Project

 

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS

 

  1. Erdogan claims monopoly on goodness, but it might backfire
  2. The Turkish Trump: How Erdogan Emulates U.S. Posture Toward Coronavirus
  3. Opinion and recommendations about proposed amendments to the law on the execution of sentences for prevention of COVID-19 outbreak in jails and prisons
  4. Could coronavirus outbreak rationalise Turkey?
  5. COVID-19 holds silver lining for Turkey’s Erdoğan
  6. Turkey: COVID-19 Puts Sick Prisoners at Grave Risk
  7. The Coronavirus Meets Authoritarianism in Turkey
  8. Open Letter to Dominic Raab: Release Political Prisoners in Turkey.
  9. Politicians appeal to Turkey’s Erdoğan to release jailed dissidents
  10. Syrian Kurds hunker down amid fears of COVID-19
  11. Turkish political prisoners left out of plan to reduce jail population
  12. Turkey’s cloudy post-Erdoğan future
  13. Presidential system impairs Turkey’s response to corona outbreak
  14. The coronavirus is exposing the flaws of Erdogan’s strongman rule
  15. OMCT Statement Calling for Early Release from Prisons in Turkey
  16. Turkey/Syria: Weaponizing Water in Global Pandemic?
  17. Coronavirus cases surge in Turkey as anger grows among workers at government response
  18. Joint Statement: COVID-19 Pandemic and Urgent Measures in Prisons
  19. Report of the 2020 International Peace Delegation to İmralı
  20. Syria’s Kurds Brace For Coronavirus Amidst Tensions With Turkey
  21. Turkey mulls full lockdown to check coronavirus
  22. Turkish government divided over lockdown proposals
  23. How Ankara’s intervention in Syria could revive US-Turkey relations
  24. Underequipped Kurdish-held northeast Syria under grave COVID-19 threat
  25. Weaponizing water in northern Syria?
  26. Turkey’s Pelican group – Erdoganʹs state within a state?

 

VIDEO

 

  1. Erdogan’s priority is to keep turning the wheels of economy over virus

 NEWS

 

  1. Syria’s isolated Kurds wait and worry as coronavirus threat grows

06 Apr 2020 | Tessa Fox, The National

As the number of coronavirus cases in Syria increases, strained ties with the government and restrictions on aid into the north-east have left the Kurdish-led administration unprepared for an outbreak. The Autonomous Administration of North-East Syria took control of the region amid the civil war that began in 2011, but President Bashar Al Assad is seeking to reassert his authority over the entire country.

https://www.thenational.ae/world/mena/syria-s-isolated-kurds-wait-and-worry-as-coronavirus-threat-grows-1.1002012

 

  1. Happy Birthday, Abdullah Öcalan!

04 Apr 2020 | International Initiative “Freedom for Öcalan – Peace in Kurdistan”

Another year has passed where he and the other prisoners on İmralı island could only be visited a couple of times, despite the numerous protests against this unacceptable situation.

http://freeocalan.org/news/english/happy-birthday-abdullah-oecalan

 

  1. Riot erupts in southeast penitentiary, after parliamentary committee approves prisoner release bill

04 Apr 2020 | Ahval

Turkish parliament’s Justice Commission on Saturday approved a divisive draft law that would release up to 100,000 inmates to stave off the spread of the deadly coronavirus, while leaving journalists and political prisoners in jail to fend for themselves.

https://ahvalnews.com/prisoner-bill/riot-erupts-southeast-penitentiary-after-parliamentary-committee-approves-prisoner

 

  1. Turkish state accused of murder after death of hunger-striking Grup Yorum musician

03 Apr 2020 | Steve Sweeney, Morning Star

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was accused of murder today following the death of revolutionary leftist musician Helin Bolek after 288 days on hunger strike.

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/w/turkish-state-accused-murder-after-death-hunger-striking-grup-yorum-musician

 

  1. Turkey imposes curfew on youth, shuts borders of 31 cities: Erdogan

03 Apr 2020 | Reuters

Turkey imposed a partial curfew on citizens under the age of 20 effective from midnight on Friday as part of measures against the coronavirus outbreak, President Tayyip Erdogan said.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-turkey-measures/turkey-imposes-curfew-on-youth-shuts-borders-of-31-cities-erdogan-idUSKBN21L2SC

 

  1. Turkey: Lira at crisis levels as virus hits trade, factories

01 Apr 2020 | Al Jazeera

Turkey’s lira slid one percent on Wednesday to levels last touched during the worst of the 2018 currency crisis as the coronavirus pandemic began weighing on manufacturing and trade.

https://www.aljazeera.com/ajimpact/turkey-lira-crisis-levels-virus-hits-trade-factories-200401152302032.html

 

  1. Turkey could tighten coronavirus controls as strains, criticism grow

01 Apr 2020 | Mert Ozkan and Tuvan Gumrukcu, Reuters

Turkey will step up measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak if it keeps spreading and people ignore “voluntary” quarantine rules, President Tayyip Erdogan said, as the death toll rose and doctors demanded action to ease the strain on hospitals.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-turkey-erdogan/turkey-could-tighten-coronavirus-controls-as-strains-criticism-grow-idUSKBN21J5JZ

 

  1. Syrian Kurds say no escapees after IS prison revolt

30 Mar 2020 | Amberin Zaman, Al-Monitor

Kurdish-led forces say they have defused an overnight revolt in a prison in northeast Syria after Islamic State detainees took partial control of the facility apparently to protest their conditions. In a statement a spokesman for the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) asserted that none of the prisoners had managed to flee Al-Sinaa prison in Hasakah, contrary to initial reports. The building was cordoned off by local security forces, while the coalition provided aerial backup to locate any fugitives.

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/03/syria-prison-revolt-kurdish-region-islamic-state-water-alok.html

 

  1. Turkey is continuing its attacks in northeast Syria despite the coronavirus crisis

29 Mar 2020 | Tom Anderson, The Canary

Turkey’s attacks on northeast Syria show no sign of abating. This is despite United Nations pleas for military conflicts to cease while the world deals with the coronavirus epidemic.

https://www.thecanary.co/global/world-analysis/2020/03/29/turkey-is-continuing-its-attacks-in-northeast-syria-despite-the-coronavirus-crisis/

 

  1. Turkey opposition calls for ‘stay at home’ order over coronavirus

29 Mar 2020 | Middle East Monitor

Turkey halted inter-city trains and limited domestic flights on Saturday, as the main opposition called for a stay-at-home order after coronavirus cases surged to more than 7,000, reported Reuters. President Tayyip Erdogan called on Friday for a “voluntary quarantine” in which Turks stay at home except for shopping or basic needs to help contain the fast-growing outbreak. On Saturday, the death toll from the outbreak rose by 16 to 108, as the number of confirmed cases jumped by 1,704 to 7,402, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said. The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) called for a stay-at-home order to be imposed urgently.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200329-turkey-opposition-calls-for-stay-at-home-order-over-coronavirus/

 

  1. SDF: ISIS detainees escape prison in northeast Syria

29 Mar 2020 | Jared Szuba, The Defense Post

The Syrian Democratic Forces said they regained control of a prison housing suspected Islamic State members near the northeast Syrian town of Hasakeh on Monday, March 30, following a breakout attempt the day prior.

https://www.thedefensepost.com/2020/03/29/isis-syria-kurds-prison-escape/

 

  1. Turkey suspends all international flights, expands restrictions

28 Mar 2020 | Al Jazeera

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has imposed additional nationwide restrictions to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country. While stopping short of declaring a lockdown, Erdogan on Friday announced the suspension of all international flights to and from Turkey as well as strict monitoring of domestic travel.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/03/turkey-suspends-international-flights-expands-restrictions-200328055429764.html

 

  1. Turkey Moves Migrants From Greek Border Amid Virus Pandemic

27 Mar 2020 | AP, New York Times

Turkish authorities have evacuated thousands of migrants who had been waiting at the border with Greece hoping to make their way into Europe, as a precaution amid the coronavirus pandemic, Turkey’s interior minister said Friday.

https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2020/03/27/world/europe/ap-eu-turkey-greece.html

 

  1. Kurdish journalists demand release of “political hostages”

27 Mar 2020 | Morning Star

Kurdish journalists in Turkey have called for the release of jailed media workers, accusing the government of retaining them as “political hostages” despite the expected release of 100,000 prisoners to combat the spread of coronavirus.

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/w/kurdish-journalists-demand-release-political-hostages

 

  1. Turkey Holds First Tender Related to Istanbul Canal Project

26 Mar 2020 | Reuters, New York Times

Turkey held its first tender on Thursday to prepare to build a huge canal on the edge of Istanbul, a Transport Ministry spokesman said, signaling progress on the project despite widespread criticism over its cost and environmental impact.

https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2020/03/26/world/europe/26reuters-turkey-canal.html?auth=login-email&login=email

 

 OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS

  1. Erdogan claims monopoly on goodness, but it might backfire

06 Apr 2020 | Orhan Kemal Cengiz, Al-Monitor

Many had expected that rights and freedoms would be among the first victims of the coronavirus crisis in Turkey, as they have been in any other turmoil in the country. Indeed, health professionals disputing the official tally of coronavirus cases have faced probes or seen their social media accounts blocked, while journalists have landed in police custody for their coverage of the pandemic, including one already in prison, pending trial for a tweet lampooning a donation campaign launched by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/04/turkey-erdogan-goodness-claims-may-backfire-amid-coronavirus.html

 

  1. The Turkish Trump: How Erdogan Emulates U.S. Posture Toward Coronavirus

05 Apr 2020 | Bulent Gokay, National Interest

Turkey confirmed its first case of the new coronavirus on March 11, but since then the speed of its infection rate has surpassed that of many other countries with cases doubling every two days. On April 2, Turkey had more than 15,000 confirmed cases and 277 deaths from complications related to the coronavirus, according to data collated by John Hopkins University.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/turkish-trump-how-erdogan-emulates-us-posture-toward-coronavirus-140042

 

  1. Opinion and recommendations about proposed amendments to the law on the execution of sentences for prevention of COVID-19 outbreak in jails and prisons

05 Apr 2019 | Foundation for Society and Legal Studies (TOHAV)

We are passing through days of rapid losses of lives globally due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The speed manner of the infection, the increased human mobility between countries caused the virus to spread over a wide geography. COVID-19 constitutes the primary issue on the agenda of countries even in ongoing physical or cold war situations.

http://www.tohav.org/Content/UserFiles/ListItem/Docs/katalog9692opinion-and-recommendations-about-proposed-amendments-to-the-law-on-the-execution-of-sentences-for-prevention-of-covid-19-outbreak-in-jails-and-prisons.pdf

 

  1. Could coronavirus outbreak rationalise Turkey?

06 Apr 2020 | Gokcan Bahcik, Ahval

There is an optimism that has grown commonplace among many Turks, who believe in a kind of exceptionalism of their state and its ability to manage crises. But two developments have shown that a positive outlook alone cannot overcome the coronavirus pandemic.

https://ahvalnews.com/turkey-coronavirus/could-coronavirus-outbreak-rationalise-turkey

 

  1. COVID-19 holds silver lining for Turkey’s Erdoğan

04 Apr 2020 | Dimitar Bechev, Ahval

In less than a month, the COVID-19 virus has transformed daily life in the industrialised parts of the world. From work to patterns of consumption, to childcare and welfare provision, there is hardly any area of social life left unimpacted. That might be just the start. A global recession is looming on the horizon which would wreak havoc over Western economies and beyond.

https://ahvalnews.com/turkey-coronavirus/covid-19-holds-silver-lining-turkeys-erdogan

 

  1. Turkey: COVID-19 Puts Sick Prisoners at Grave Risk

03 Apr 2020 | Human Right Watch

An examination of cases of prisoners, in the hundreds, whose underlying health conditions put them most at risk of the deadly effects of COVID-19 demonstrates why the Turkish authorities should include such inmates in its new plans for early release on parole or house arrest despite their conviction under antiterrorism laws, Human Rights Watch said today.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/04/03/turkey-covid-19-puts-sick-prisoners-grave-risk

 

  1. The Coronavirus Meets Authoritarianism in Turkey

03 Apr 2020 | Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker

In a public address on Monday night, the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, stated, “Turkey is a country where production must continue and the cogs must keep turning under every circumstance and every condition.” Turkey, where more than two hundred people have died from the new coronavirus, has one of the world’s fastest-growing outbreaks, but Erdoğan has resisted urgent action, calling only for a “voluntary quarantine” for most of the country.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/the-coronavirus-meets-authoritarianism-in-turkey

 

  1. Open Letter to Dominic Raab: Release Political Prisoners in Turkey.

02 Apr 2020 | Peace in Kurdistan Campaign

We are deeply concerned about the situation for political prisoners in Turkey. It is of great importance that we don’t allow the accelerating spread of corona virus across the world to provide cover for further violations against those who are in prison, particularly those who are there simply for the expression of peaceful opinions.

https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2020/04/02/open-letter-to-dominic-raab-release-political-prisoners-in-turkey/

 

  1. Politicians appeal to Turkey’s Erdoğan to release jailed dissidents

02 Apr 2020 | Ahval

Turkey’s overcrowded prisons, which watchdogs say with 300,000 inmates are more than 10 percent above capacity, are at severe risk from the coronavirus pandemic. The government has prepared a bill of legal amendments that, if passed, will relax sentencing and see nearly one third of prisoners released on parole or to house arrest.

https://ahvalnews.com/turkey-prisons/politicians-appeal-turkeys-erdogan-release-jailed-dissidents

 

  1. Syrian Kurds hunker down amid fears of COVID-19

01 Apr 2020 | Shivan Ibrahim, Al-Monitor

Facing a coronavirus pandemic that has invaded most countries of the world, the Kurdish autonomous administration in Syria has imposed a curfew and lockdown throughout its areas of control, as a preventive measure.

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/03/syria-kurds-curfew-coronavirus-outbreak.html

 

  1. Turkish political prisoners left out of plan to reduce jail population

01 Apr 2020 | Diego Cupolo, Al-Monitor

As the number of coronavirus cases grow in Turkey, lawmakers are seeking to limit the spread of the disease in the nation’s overcrowded prison system. As of Wednesday, Turkish health officials reported a total of 15,679 Covid-19 cases and 277 virus-linked deaths in the country, where a virtual lockdown on domestic travel and commerce have disrupted daily life amid the global pandemic.

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/04/turkey-political-prisoners-remain-jail-pandemic.html

 

  1. Turkey’s cloudy post-Erdoğan future

01 Apr 2020 | David Lepeska, Ahval

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been running Turkey for 17 years, but with the coronavirus pandemic arriving during a time of economic trouble and on the heels of last year’s local electoral defeats, some observers see this as a good time to imagine the post-Erdoğan political landscape.

https://ahvalnews.com/turkey-politics/turkeys-cloudy-post-erdogan-future

 

  1. Presidential system impairs Turkey’s response to corona outbreak

31 Mar 2020 | Huseyin Sefa Cavdaroglu, Ahval

In 2018, Turkey shifted to a presidential system of government that concentrated all executive powers in the hands of one person and awarded him sweeping legislative powers and direct influence over the judiciary.

https://ahvalnews.com/turkish-presidency/presidential-system-impairs-turkeys-response-corona-outbreak

 

  1. The coronavirus is exposing the flaws of Erdogan’s strongman rule

31 Mar 2020 | Asli Aydintasbas, Washington Post

In Turkey, a video of a truck driver went viral this week, as he voiced the feelings of millions of working-class Turkish citizens too poor to observe the government’s stay-home advice.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/03/31/coronavirus-is-exposing-flaws-erdogans-strongman-rule/

 

  1. OMCT Statement Calling for Early Release from Prisons in Turkey

31 Mar 2020 | Human Rights Association (IHD)

While welcoming the current intentions in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey on the early release of prisoners due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the OMCT Europe urges legislators to not discriminate against any group of inmates on the basis of political opinion, ethnic, racial, religious differences or human rights activism.

https://ihd.org.tr/en/omct-statement-calling-for-early-release-from-prisons-in-turkey/

 

  1. Turkey/Syria: Weaponizing Water in Global Pandemic?

31 Mar 2020 | Human Rights Watch

Turkish authorities’ failure to ensure adequate water supplies to Kurdish-held areas in Northeast Syria is compromising humanitarian agencies’ ability to prepare and protect vulnerable communities in the COVID-19 pandemic, Human Rights Watch said today. Turkish authorities should immediately do everything they can to resume supplying water through the Allouk water pumping station.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/03/31/turkey/syria-weaponizing-water-global-pandemic#

 

  1. Coronavirus cases surge in Turkey as anger grows among workers at government response

30 Mar 2020 | Baris Demir, World Socialist Web Site

According to the Ministry of Health, Turkey’s death toll from the coronavirus increased by 23 to 131 yesterday, as the number of confirmed cases rose 1,815 to 9,217. Anonymous health care professionals told the press media that the number of deaths and cases is much higher than the official figures due to insufficient testing. The government still refuses to give details about cases and deaths, such as their age and location. As a result, suspicion of official government statements is growing among workers.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/03/30/turk-m30.html

 

  1. Joint Statement: COVID-19 Pandemic and Urgent Measures in Prisons

30 Mar 2020 | Human Rights Association (IHD)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) that appears to have first emerged in Wuhan, China in December 2019 has spread to 146 countries in a short period of time and has been described as a global outbreak (pandemic) by the World Health Organization. Turkey’s Minister of Health, Fahrettin Koca, has also stated that the first coronavirus case in the country was diagnosed on 11 March 2020. Following the first case many public and private enterprises have started taking measures against the pandemic, notably the government.

https://ihd.org.tr/en/joint-statement-covid-19-pandemic-and-urgent-measures-in-prisons/

 

  1. Report of the 2020 International Peace Delegation to İmralı

29 Mar 2020 | 2020 International Peace Delegation to İmralı, International Initiative “Freedom for Öcalan – Peace in Kurdistan”

The İmralı Peace Delegation visited Turkey between 11th and 16th February 2020, witnessing and gathering evidence about the state of civil society and human rights in the country.

http://freeocalan.org/news/english/2020-international-peace-delegation-to-imrali-report

 

  1. Syria’s Kurds Brace For Coronavirus Amidst Tensions With Turkey

26 Mar 2020 | Matthew Petti, National Interest

Turkish-backed rebels reopened a pumping station in Northeast Syria on Thursday, restoring clean water to hundreds of thousands of Syrians in a region unprepared for the coronavirus pandemic.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/skeptics/syria%E2%80%99s-kurds-brace-coronavirus-amidst-tensions-turkey-138057

 

  1. Turkey mulls full lockdown to check coronavirus

26 Mar 2020 | Ayla Jean Yackley, Al-Monitor

Turkey may introduce a full lockdown to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus if current measures to encourage social distancing fail to slow the outbreak that has claimed at least 59 lives, the interior minister said, while the mayor of Istanbul urged the government to declare a curfew in the country’s biggest city.

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/03/turkey-considers-total-lockdown-coronavirus.html

 

  1. Turkish government divided over lockdown proposals

23 Mar 2020 | Metin Gurcan, Al-Monitor

Turkish public health officials are pressing for a national lockdown while decision-makers at the helm of the economy fear the measure’s possible impact on the country’s already ailing economy. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tends to favor the latter, at least for now, well-informed sources told Al-Monitor.

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/03/turkey-coronavirus-government-divided-over-lockdown-proposal.html

 

  1. How Ankara’s intervention in Syria could revive US-Turkey relations

26 Mar 2020 | Ranj Alaaldin, Middle East Eye

Turkey’s military intervention in Syria recently culminated in a ceasefire agreement between Ankara and Moscow, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s principal backer, giving the population of Idlib much-needed respite. Just four years since Assad vowed to retake every inch of territory lost to the rebels, the regime was very close to recapturing Idlib and subjugating its population of approximately three million people to brutal repression.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/how-ankaras-intervention-syria-could-revive-us-turkey-relations

 

  1. Underequipped Kurdish-held northeast Syria under grave COVID-19 threat

25 Mar 2020 | Ahval

Aid-deprived areas of northeast Syria that are held by Kurdish-led groups are bracing for a tough battle with the coronavirus pandemic as medical supplies are low, pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat reported.

https://ahvalnews.com/northeast-syria/underequipped-kurdish-held-northeast-syria-under-grave-covid-19-threat

 

  1. Weaponizing water in northern Syria?

25 Mar 2020 | Matthias von Hein, Deutsche Welle

Syria’s first case of COVID-19 was confirmed earlier this week. As the crisis breaks out, water is running scarce in the Kurdish-administered territories of northern Syria. The most important water plant in the region, supplying about half a million people, is not producing right now.

https://www.dw.com/en/weaponizing-water-in-northern-syria/a-52918146

 

  1. Turkey’s Pelican group – Erdoganʹs state within a state?

23 Mar 2020 | Hulya Schenk and Daniel Derya Bellut, Qantara

After Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government set its sights on critical news outlet OdaTV, several of its journalists now face harsh prison sentences. Is Turkey’s president using a secret group to control judges?

https://en.qantara.de/content/freedom-of-the-press-turkeys-pelican-group-erdogans-state-within-a-state

 

 

VIDEO

 

  1. Erdogan’s priority is to keep turning the wheels of economy over virus

04 Apr 2020 | Ahval, Hot Pursuit Podcast

The priority of the Turkish government is to keep turning the wheels of the economy rather than taking necessary and urgent steps to tackle the spread of the deadly Coronavirus, said Ahval’s editor-in-chief Yavuz Baydar during Ahval’s Hot Pursuit podcast programme.

https://ahvalnews.com/coronavirus/erdogans-priority-keep-turning-wheels-economy-over-virus