NEWS
1. 20 new arrests in Cizre-Şırnak
2. Hunger strike in Strasbourg

3. BDP Mayors go on hunger strike
4. BDP filed request to ICC on Roboski massacre

5. Alleged Sexual Abuse of Children in Pozantı Prison
6. Leaked Facebook document reveals website’s secretive and bizarre ‘graphic content’ policy
7. Facebook filtering Kurdish content, closing accounts
8. Facebook User of the Kurdish Gay Association Hacked by Extreme Nationalists

9. BIA Media Monitoring Report 2011 – Full Text
10. From Ece Temelkuran: An open letter to Slavoj Zizek
11. “Journalists Need a Lawyer on Standby”
12. Turkey: Journalist in isolation for a year
13. In Solidarity with Arrested Writer Zarakolu
14. Researchers: Terror-stricken Kurds live ‘on verge of justice’

15. Hizbullah’s Return Raises Many Questions

16. Turkish foreign minister to meet Syria opposition: Report
17. NCB delegation on an official visit to Rome
18. Syria opposition group boycotts Tunis meeting
19. Kurdish leaders insist on peaceful struggle
20. Iranian Kurdistan: Prominent Iranian Kurds Not Allowed To Run For Election

21. Iranian Kurdistan: Amnesty Reports On Surge Of Repression In Iran

22. UNICEF and Save the Children Report

COMMENT, NEWS AND ANALYSIS
23. On the Turks’ lack of remorse and defiance about past atrocities

24. The Legacy of Military Coups and Freedom of Expression in Turkey
25. Erdogan at bay: The Turkish prime minister faces new enemies both at home and abroad
26. Talking Turkey: Stop Calling this Repressive Regime a “Model Muslim Democracy”
27. Extraordinary turnaround in Turkish policy
28. Open Letter to Facebook

29. Some lessons I learned from Yilmaz Güney
30. A political model in post-Assad Syria

STATEMENTS AND REPORTS
31. On military activities
/ HPG Media and Communication Center
32. TO OUR PEOPLE AND THE PUBLIC OPINION
/ KCK Presidency of the Executive Council

ACTIONS
33. Write to UNICEF campaign launched to expose sexual abuses in prison
34. Turkey: Sign urgent appeal to condemn the arrests of female union officers in connection with 8th of March celebrations

NEWS

1. 20 new arrests in Cizre-Şırnak
28 February 2012 / Dicle News Agency

Arrests and trial of Kurds are continuing. Cizre Police Department launched a blanket house raids and took 20 citizens, including Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) branch executives, into custody in the Cizre District of Şırnak in the early morning today.  BDP Cizre Branch Executive M. Sait Aşut, Cizre Council Members Müdür Gök and BDP members Emin Gökan, Nevzat Yılmaz, İbrahim Acar, Abdulkerim Yıldız, Sabri Karagöz, Dilan Yıldız, Mevlüde Kolanç, Ferit İmrağ, Teyfik Tunç, Abdurrahman Yanık, Süleymen Adak, Cemal Karaduman, Hacı Göçmen and İbrahim Arınç are among the detainees.

2. Hunger strike in Strasbourg
29 February 2012 / ANF

Fifteen people have today started an indefinite hunger strike in Strasbourg to demand freedom for Öcalan and guarantees about his health and security conditions. Protestors will also call on the European Council and the European Union to take action against the pressures the Turkish state puts on the Kurdish people. The group of protestors, naming themselves as Initiative for Freedom for Öcalan, will start their act with a press statement to be made in front of the European Council building.

3. BDP Mayors go on hunger strike
28 February 2012 / Dicle News Agency

All mayors from the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) will go on a three-day hunger strike in the BDP Kayapınar Branch Building in Diyarbakır on March 1 in order to support the hunger strikers in prisons. Over 400 prisoners, including three deputies and mayors, are currently on an indefinite hunger strike without turns to protest the isolation of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Leader Abdullah Öcalan and to demand an end to the military and political operations.

4. BDP filed request to ICC on Roboski massacre
28 February 2012 / ANF

Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Gültan Kışanak’s appeal to International Criminal Court for the investigation on Roboski massacre has been put into process. In a letter to co-chair Gültan Kışanak, the Court notified that the presented documents and letters have been received for consideration. 

5. Alleged Sexual Abuse of Children in Pozantı Prison
27 February 2012 / Bianet

Juveniles imprisoned at the Pozantı M TypePrison in Adana (eastern tip of the Mediterranean) were allegedly exposed to sexual violence. The juveniles were detained on the grounds of political issues but were put in cells together with convicts who were not political prisoners and who apparently abused them. The Pozantı Prison made the headlines in previous years because of ill-treatment of juveniles. The new allegations are based on a news item of Dicle News Agency (DİHA)reporter Zeynep Kuriş that was recently published in the Evrensel newspaper.

6. Leaked Facebook document reveals website’s secretive and bizarre ‘graphic content’ policy
22 February 2012 / Daily Mail
A former employee who used to filter out offensive content on Facebook has leaked the website’s secret rulebook, which gives astonishingly detailed instructions that include blocking mild nudity but allowing images of death and disfigurement, as well as racially charged comments. An aggrieved Moroccan worker who was paid a mere $1 an hour by oDesk – a third-party content-moderation firm used by Facebook – revealed it tells staff to delete all forms of sexual activity, even simulated activity where there was nothing explicit on show.

7. Facebook filtering Kurdish content, closing accounts
24 February 2012 / Rudaw

A former employee of the company oDesk, who used to filter out offensive content on Facebook, has leaked the website’s secret rulebook of detailed instructions, which include blocking any content related to Kurdistan and the PKK. The British Daily Mail reports that aggrieved Moroccan worker Amine Derkaou leaked the information to the U.S. gossip website Gawker. The rulebook bans all attacks on the founder of Turkey, Kemal Atatürk, along with maps of Kurdistan and the burning of Turkish flags. Furthermore, indications of supporting PKK, or PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, will result in IP or Facebook account blocks, unless they are clearly against the PKK or Öcalan.

8. Facebook User of the Kurdish Gay Association Hacked by Extreme Nationalists
22 February 2012 / Huffington Post  Blog

An extremist Turkish Nationalist hacking group called Ayyıldız Tim hacked this weekend the Facebook user of Hebûn, the Kurdish LGBT Association based in Diyarbakir. Members of Hebûn are extremely concerned about sensitive information that was stored on their account and the fact that Kurdish LGBT people have been outed via the hacked user.

9. BIA Media Monitoring Report 2011 – Full Text
1 March 2012 / Bianet

One hundred and four journalists and 30 distributors/members of the media were imprisoned as we entered the year 2012. In 2010, there were a total of 30 journalists in prison. The year 2011 was a year of mass journalist arrests. The Turkish Penal Code (TCK) and the Anti-Terror Law (TMK) were applied jointly in these arrests. All the arrested journalists were accused with having “connections with a terrorist organization,” be it “armed or not.” This led to a mentality that applied “politics” rather than “law,” and did away with the right to a fair trial and the principle of legality in crime.

10. From Ece Temelkuran: An open letter to Slavoj Zizek
1 March 2012 / GIT North America

Ece Temelkuran, a journalist who has written time and again about the undermined democratic rights and the proliferation of a culture of fear in Turkey (an example of which can be read here), and who, as a result of her opposing views, was recently fired from her news agency, has penned a letter addressed to the acclaimed cultural theorist and philosopher Slavoj Zizek. The letter was published in the New Statesmen, wherein Temelkuran expressed her unease with Zizek’s support of the idea of Turkey as a model, pointing out Turkey’s alarming record on human rights violations.

Read the letter here: http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2012/02/arab-world-turkey-rights-model

11. “Journalists Need a Lawyer on Standby”
24 February 2012 / Bianet

According to an analysis of the Committee to Protect Journalists, “A critical journalist in Turkey these days needs a lawyer on standby. The press is laboring under a creaking judicial system”. “A critical journalist in Turkey these days needs a lawyer on standby. The press is laboring under a creaking judicial system and a panoply of antiquated and vague legislation that officials and politicians of every stripe find irresistible as a weapon against muckraking reporters and critical commentators” said Robert Mahoney, Deputy Director of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

12. Turkey: Journalist in isolation for a year
29 February 2012/ Ansa-Med

One of the most well-known of the more than a hundred Turkish journalists in prison, Mustafa Balbay, has been in isolation for a year, according to the Turkish newspaper Vatan, which has focussed its attention on the detainment of journalists, one of the most widely-criticised aspects of Turkish democracy, which aspires to be a model for the Middle East.The newspaper says that Balbay has been in prison for almost three years (since March 6 2009) and until last year was the cellmate of another journalist awaiting sentencing, Tuncay Ozkan, who was arrested earlier still (in September 2007).

13. In Solidarity with Arrested Writer Zarakolu
27 February 2012 / Bianet

Turkish and international defenders of freedom of expression came together in Ankara on Saturday (26 February) to demonstrate their solidarity with detained writer and publisher Ragıp Zarakolu. The Ankara Initiative for Freedom of Thought and the “Friends of Belge” group organized an evening reception at the Ankara Arts Theatre. Zarkolu is the founder of the Belge Publishing Company that has been at loggerheads with the judiciary several times in the past. He was arrested on 31 October in the course of an operation related to the Union of Kurdish Communities (KCK), an organization founded by Abdullah Öcalan, imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PPK).

14. Researchers: Terror-stricken Kurds live ‘on verge of justice’ 
26 February 2012 / Today’s Zaman
As the Turkish state tries to find ways to deal with its long-standing Kurdish problem, a law for compensating Kurds who were forced to migrate in the 1990s came into effect, but to no avail, according to the findings of a recent study.
The study, “On the verge of justice: The state and the Kurds in the aftermath of forced migration, an assessment of Compensation Law 5233 — the case of Van,” written by the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV), dissects the law that was passed in order to repair the damage caused by terrorism and counterterrorism measures.

15. Hizbullah’s Return Raises Many Questions 
29 February 2012 / The Journal of Turkish Weekly

For almost a decade Kurdish Hizbullah (Hizbullah Cemaati) has been relatively silent on the political scene, but early this year the group unveiled a 17-page “Hizbullah Manifesto” outlining its political vision.  The Sunni fundamentalist organisation — unrelated to the Lebanese Shi’ite movement Hezbollah — set out its new goals as: “Muslim individuals, Muslim families, Muslim society and ultimately the establishment of Islamic government.” Moving beyond religion, the manifesto gives special attention to the Kurdish problem, stressing that the group will exert “all necessary effort for Kurdish to be an official language and for services in all areas to be made available to the Kurdish people in their own language.”

16. Turkish foreign minister to meet Syria opposition: Report
26 February 2012 / The Daily Star
ANKARA: Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will meet with the Syrian opposition ahead of the second “Friends of Syria” meeting in Istanbul next month, media reported on Sunday. The first “Friends of Syria” conference in Tunisia last Friday saw calls for an immediate end to violence and for new sanctions against the Damascus regime. “I will meet with the Syrian National Council (SNC) on Tuesday prior to the Istanbul conference,” Davutoglu was quoted as saying by the daily Hurriyet.

17. NCB delegation on an official visit to Rome
29 February 2012 / Syrian NCB

A delegation from the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change in Syria – NCB is on an official visit today (29/02/12) in Rome, Italy. The delegation is headed by Dr. Haytham Manna, who is accompanied by Dr. Ossama Al Taweel, member of the NCB’s Executive Bureau in Exile, and Ghassan Azzam. and Dr. Ayham Haddad member of Maan toghether movement .They are to take part in a conference on the subject of the Arab Spring that will be attended by Italian and European Ministers and by significant Arab and international figures.

18. Syria opposition group boycotts Tunis meeting
24 February 2012 / The Daily Star

A Syria-based opposition group said it was boycotting the international “Friends of Syria” meeting being held on Friday in Tunis on the future of the country, complaining of exclusion and fearing escalated militarization. The National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change (NCCDC) denounced what it described as attempts to leave the door open to militarize the uprising against the regime of Bashar Assad, and for foreign military intervention.

19. Kurdish leaders insist on peaceful struggle
25 February 2012 / The Kurdish Globe
Erbil hosts conference to commemorate 66th anniversary of Republic of Mahabad
Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani encouraged Kurds in all parts of Kurdistan to adopt a peaceful approach to achieve their rights and insisted “the time of armed struggle is over.”  Barzani’s statement came during a Feb. 19 conference in Erbil to celebrate the 66th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Mahabad. A number of leaders from all parts of Kurdistan also attended the meeting.  A larger meeting for Kurdish leaders from all parts of Kurdistan is expected to be held in Erbil this year, aiming reportedly to unify Kurdish parties and to discuss Kurdish questions at a time when the region faces crucial developments.

20. Iranian Kurdistan: Prominent Iranian Kurds Not Allowed To Run For Election
29 February 2012 / UNPO

A number of Kurds who wanted to run in Iran’s upcoming parliamentary elections, including former MPs and some notable figures, have been disqualified by a government committee in charge of assessing election candidates. Iran’s ninth parliamentary — or Majles — elections are scheduled to take place on March 2 [2012]. The polls come three years after the highly controversial elections that led to large-scale protests when current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won by a landslide.

21. Iranian Kurdistan: Amnesty Reports On Surge Of Repression In Iran
28 February 2012 / UNPO

Iran’s crackdown on freedom of expression has dramatically escalated in the run up to this week’s parliamentary elections, Amnesty International said today.  The 71-page “We are ordered to crush you”: Expanding Repression of Dissent in Iran details how, in the wake of protests called by opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi in February 2011, the Iranian authorities have steadily cranked up repression of dissent in law and practice, launching a wave of arrests in recent months.

22. UNICEF and Save the Children Report
1 March 2012 / Apogeeculture

Today a group of 20 Kurdish youth met with UNICEF Offical Jon Sparkes and June (surname not known) and then SAVE THE CHILDREN Officials Ishbel Matheson and Jude Bridge to discuss the abuse, torture and rape suffered by Kurdish children in Pozanti Prison, Adana, Turkey. The first meeting took place at UNICEF as the youths entered the building and requested to see officials after their emails and phone calls were left unanswered for days. After a few minutes of waiting and confusion by UNICEF staff, UNICEF Operations Manager Jon Sparkes and his colleague June (surname not known) appeared and accepted to meet with the spokespersons of the group.

COMMENT, NEWS AND ANALYSIS

23. On the Turks’ lack of remorse and defiance about past atrocities
26 February 2012 / Kurdistan Tribune
Earlier this year, thousands of savage Turks coming from European countries thronged into the streets of Paris protesting a bill before the French Parliament which acknowledges the Armenian genocide and makes denial of such subject to state penalty. French President Sarkosky should be credited for his courage and resolution to stand tall for human rights. Last October, in Yerevan, Sarkozy gave Turkey an ultimatum, insisting it should face its history and concede that the killing of 1.5 million Armenians was genocide; if not, he has promised to initiate legislation in France to hold genocide-deniers accountable for their alleged offenses.

24. The Legacy of Military Coups and Freedom of Expression in Turkey
29 February 2012 / GIT North America

If one is to have a complete picture of the repressions on freedom of expression in modern Turkey one needs to look more closely at the legacy of the military coups the country has experienced, especially that of the 1980 coup, the spectre of which still continues to haunt Turkish citizens via the 1982 military constitution which is still in place. Although the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), through a referendum, changed 26 articles of that constitution and advertised the results as ‘the triumph of civil democracy over the military rule’, the changes have been nothing more than cosmetic as the main clauses restricting freedoms have still not been touched.

25. Erdogan at bay: The Turkish prime minister faces new enemies both at home and abroad
25 February 2012 / The Economist
For nine years Turkey’s prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has moved smoothly from one victory to another, winning three elections in a row with a bigger share of the vote each time. He has seen off coup plots by once-omnipotent generals and attempts by their cronies in the judiciary to ban his mildly Islamist Justice and Development (AK) party. So far the economy has survived the financial crisis largely unscathed. And although membership talks with the European Union are stuck, relations with America are (in the words of the foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, who recently spent five hours with Hillary Clinton) in “a golden age”.

26. Talking Turkey: Stop Calling this Repressive Regime a “Model Muslim Democracy”
24 February 2012 /  Family Security Matters
Whenever an old alliance comes apart, our foreign-policy establishment behaves like the spouse who pretends away a partner’s ever-more-flagrant infidelities—hoping that patience and indulgence will somehow bring the straying party around. But real life doesn’t work that way for lovers or for states. When we look away from shameless betrayals, it only encourages further bad behavior. And sometimes the situation requires a divorce. With no more support payments.

27. Extraordinary turnaround in Turkish policy
26 February 2012 / The Voice of Russia

Interview with Gareth Jenkins – Senior associate fellow with the Silk Road Studies Program and Turkey Initiative with Jones Hopkins University.
Mr. Jenkins, thank you very much for joining us. So, what are your impressions of the visit?

They talked mostly about trade and I think they expressed a desire to boost it, bilateral trade at the moment is 24 billion and they are talking about quadrupling  it to a hundred billion. But of course the problem of course concerns China most is that Turkey has got a huge imbalance in trade. So, I heard they discussed how to try to boost Turkish exports but things are going to be extremely difficult.

28. Open Letter to Facebook
24 February 2012 / Kurdish Aspect

In a recently leaked document outlining Facebook’s “Abuse Standards Violations” one section of this bizarre document mentions that violations include ” All attacks on Ataturk (visual and text), maps of Kurdistan (Turkey), Burning Turkish Flags, PKK support and depiction, Abdullah ‘APO’ related material”. This document also prohibits the use of the word ‘Kurdistan’ as page titles and names of individuals.

29. Some lessons I learned from Yilmaz Güney
28 February 2012 / Chicago Reader

wrote several posts about the Yilmaz Güney series that just wrapped up at Doc Films, in part because it was such an eye-opening experience for me. Save for a handful of festival titles and the films of Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Distant,Climates, etc.), I’d spent zero time with Turkish cinema before this. The series provided a great overview, as Güney made movies both within the Turkish studio system and as an independent. His amazing life story spans the entire class system of postwar Turkey, as he went from an impoverished Kurdish background to mainstream celebrity to political martyrdom (and ultimately exile) between the years of 1937 and 1982. In the best films of the series—HopeThe FriendYol—Güney conveyed this complex experience artfully and stirringly.

30. A political model in post-Assad Syria
25 January 2012 / Kurdish Globe

Syrian Kurds should participate actively in the opposition against the regime and struggle for the overthrow of Assad. It is equally essential that Syrian Kurds control and be a recognized force in its own territory in order to have a role in a post-Assad period. “Despite public denials, military preparations for intervention in the horrendous Syrian crisis are quietly afoot in Washington, Paris, Rome, London and Ankara. US President Barack Obama is poised for a final decision after the Pentagon submits operational plans for protecting Syrian rebels and beleaguered populations from the brutal assaults of Bashar Assad’s army,” claimed Debka, a website close to the Israeli intelligence community.

STATEMENTS AND REPORTS

31. On military activities / HPG Media and Communication Center
http://www.mesop.de/?p=18123

32. TO OUR PEOPLE AND THE PUBLIC OPINION / KCK Presidency of the Executive Council, 1 March 2012
http://www.mesop.de/2012/03/01/to-our-people-and-the-public-opinion-kck-presidency-of-the-executive-council/

ACTIONS

33. Write to UNICEF campaign launched to expose sexual abuses in prison
After allegations regarding sexual abuse of children and juveniles at the Pozantı Prison in Adana, an international campaign has been launched to cite the issue to UNICEF, the children organization of the UN. People are asked to send an email to UNICEF Media ([email protected]) regarding the abuses and rape suffered by children in Pozantı Prison, Adana.
http://www.diclehaber.com/2/4/1/viewNews/297405

34. Turkey: Sign urgent appeal to condemn the arrests of female union officers in connection with 8th of March celebrations, 17 February 2012
EI and ETUCE strongly condemn the police raid against union members of the Confederation of Public Employees’ Unions (KESK) on 13 February in Ankara, when fifteen women union leaders were dragged from their bed and taken into custody. Find information on where to send your letters of protest here: http://www.ei-ie.org/en/news/news_details/2081