Judge Essa Mossa speaks on Kurdish struggle for peace

Last week, Judge Essa Moosa, prominent South African human rights lawyer and chairperson of the Kurdish Human Rights Action Group (KHRAG) in Cape Town, was in London to speak at a seminar about possibilities for peace and reconciliation in Turkey, and his work with the  International Peace and Reconciliation Initiative. The IPRI was launched after a call from Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu last year for Turkey to reopen talks with the Kurdish leader, Abdullah Ocalan.

While here, Mr Moosa was interviewed by Monocle 24’s news show Midori House about the part he played in dismantling Apartheid in South Africa and his work in support of the Kurdish movement, which includes the newly formed International Peace and Reconciliation Initiative. The interview is in two parts and is available to listen to online – just follow the links below.

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Michael Gunter book “out of Nowhere” to be released April 2014

EUTCC secretary general Michael M Gunter’s latest book, Out of Nowhere,  is due to be released in April 2014 from Hurst Publishers. More details below:

“In mid 2012 the previously almost forgotten Syrian Kurds suddenly emerged as a potential game-changer in the country’s civil war when in an attempt to consolidate its increasingly desperate position the Assad government abruptly withdrew its troops from the major Kurdish areas in Syria. The Kurds in Syria had suddenly won autonomy, a situation that has huge implications for neighboring Turkey and the near independent Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq. Indeed, their precipitous rise may prove a tipping-point that alters the boundaries imposed on the Middle East by the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916.

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“Why the US should not bomb Syria”, by Michael M. Gunter

New piece by EUTCC secretary general Michael M Gunter [updated on 3 September with revisions from earlier piece, To Bomb or Not to Bomb]:

WHY THE UNITED STATES SHOULD NOT BOMB SYRIA

On August 21, 2013 the Syrian regime apparently used chemical weapons against the opposition in Ghouta, an eastern suburb of Damascus, killing anywhere from 500-1,300 people, the numbers vary according to U.S. intelligence reports made public. While the Assad regime has long had a great deal of innocent blood on its hand and now may be guilty of using chemical weapons, this is not a sufficient reason for the United States and its Western allies to bomb Syria. Indeed, the United States has neither an intelligent entry or exit plan. In the first place, however, we are not yet even certain the Syrian regime actually used these weapons. U.S. intelligence on these matters has erred and lied to the world before.

For example, in 1998 the United States bombed a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan claiming that Sudan had supplied al-Qaeda with chemical weapons that had been used in its attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Later we learned that the intelligence supposedly implicating Sudan was incorrect. Similarly in the run up to the war that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003 and whose murders and repercussions are still being felt a decade later, the United States falsely claimed that it had incontrovertible intelligence that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, which justified attacking. It turned out that U.S. intelligence was wrong again or simply lied to justify going to war.

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Archbishop Tutu wins Templeton Prize

Peace in Kurdistan campaign was delighted to hear that Archbishop Desmond Tutu was recently awarded the Templeton Prize, which is offered yearly to an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to our vision of human purpose and spirituality.

We wrote to Archbishop Tutu to congratulate him on the award, and to  express our appreciation for his outspoken commitment to the cause for Kurdish justice over the years, for example through his participation in the EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC), and his recent support for the International Peace Initiative, which was launched last December with a call from the Archbishop for peace talks to resume.

You can read the letter we wrote to him here. You can also view some videos by Archbishop Tutu on winning the Templeton prize.

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EUTCC statement on the withdrawal of troops from Turkey

Press release: for immediate release

26 April 2013

PKK’S HISTORICAL MOVE FOR PEACE

It is with great appreciation that the EUTCC received the message from Kurdish Communities Union (KCK) Executive Council President Murat Karayilan that the PKK withdraws its forces gradually from Turkey starting 8 May, 2013. The withdrawal is a result of the ongoing peace talks between the PKK’s leader Mr. Abdullah Öcalan and the Turkish government and emerged following letter exchanges between the mountain and the leader. The withdrawal is the first phase in a process that hopefully leads to lasting peace.

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EUTCC calls for the release of Yilmaz Orkan

27 March, 2013

Press release: for immediate release

The deputy head of the Confederation of Kurdish Associations in Europe (KON-KURD) and a member of KNK, Mr. Yilmaz Orkan, were arrested yesterday morning at the Zaventem airport in Brussels by Belgian police on behalf of their Spanish colleagues.

Yilmaz Orkan was on his way to Tunisia and the World Social Forum (WSF) which provides a platform that enables encounters between women and the men who struggle to build democracy, equality for all, solidarity, justice and peace, to protect the environment and commons. Orkan’s work, his diplomatic efforts and lobbying for a peaceful solution to the Kurdish question are well known to the European Parliament, the European Council and the international community. It seems that despite the ongoing political peace talks between Mr. Abdullah Öcalan and the Turkish government, dark political forces swipe Europe. Orkan’s arrest is just another attempt to curry favor to the campaign against the PKK and its so-called “terrorism” in Europe. The arrest of Yilmaz Orkan follows the case of the imprisoned Kurdish diplomat Adem Uzun who was detained in Paris October 2012. Continue reading “EUTCC calls for the release of Yilmaz Orkan”

EUTCC salutes the Kurdish people on Newroz 2013

22 March, 2013

Newroz 2013: Solidarity Greetings

Newroz is the traditional Kurdish festival of light and hope. It is a celebration of the coming spring unfolding after the long winter and symbolises the victory over dark oppressive forces. This year’s celebration epitomises the historical narrative of Newroz more than ever. The ongoing talks between the Turkish government and Mr. Abdullah Öcalan signal a new beginning and a brighter future for the Kurdish people and for Turkey. It became clear from Mr. Öcalan’s letter, which was read aloud at the Newroz celebration in Diyarbakir by BDP deputies Pervin Buldan and Sirri Süreyya Önder. The letter indicates that the hope and call for peace by millions of Kurdish voices are finally heard and acted upon.

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New international campaign for Adem Uzun launched

Peace in Kurdistan campaign, along with Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC), is pleased to support this new international campaign launched by the EUTCC calling for the release of Adem Uzun:

EUTCC – TURKEY CIVIC COMMISSION

INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN

FREE ADEM UZUN
THE LIBERATION OF A GENUINE KURDISH DIPLOMAT : ADEM UZUN

Editorial

The international community while waiting for creative dynamics in context with the complicated Turkish-Kurdish dialogue at the same time Mr. Adem Uzun as one of the ARCHITECTS
OF KURDISH DIPLOMACY is arrested in Paris.

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EUTCC: In memory of our friends

Issued: 10 January, 2013

For immediate release

IN MEMORY OF OUR FRIENDS:

SAKINE CANZIZ, FIDAN DOGAN, AND LEYLA SÖYLEMEZ

It was with shock and grief we received the horrible news about the deaths of our dear friends who were massacred in Paris today in the most grotesque way. Sakine Canziz, the co-founder of the PKK in 1978 holds a crucial role in the party. Fidan Dogan (Rojbin), a Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) member from Paris, has also been working closely alongside the EUTCC for many years and her work has been very important to our international work for the Kurds.

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