‘Terrorism’, self-determination and the PKK ban on programme at Bonn Conference

Next weekend an international conference will tackle anti-terrorism legislation, international law and the impact of this framing on the Kurdish struggle. Taking place in Bonn, Germany, the conference will bring together lawyers, barristers and academics around a series of discussion that will include such topics as the right to self-determination; concepts of ‘terrorism’; legal challenges to the PKK ban and the impact of the ban on the Kurdish people; as well as quests for a legal and political solution.

The conference has been organised by MAF-DAD and Azadi Freiheit, which are both on the forefront of leading appeals agains the prohibition of the PKK, in association with European Association of Democratic Lawyers (ELDH), Internationale Liga fur Menschrechte and VDJ.

You can download a full programme here. We will bring you papers and the final resolution of the conference once we receive hem.

German authorities review the ban on the PKK/trial test and talks with Ankara


Berlin – MESOP – 2.6.2013 – In secret negotiations with Turkey, German security authorities are reviewing the ban on the activity of the left-extremist PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party), imposed in 1993.

Members of the Interior Ministry of the German Bundestag like Franz Josef Jung (CDU) and Dieter Wiefelspütz (SPD) have pointed to consultations, which suggest that the VS had originally expressed vehement opposition against the PKK ban. They are now “testing” the Turkish reaction. The latter being negative for sure, but possibly only towards outside – as the legalisation of the PKK in the foreseeable future would allow the Erdogan government to lead more relaxed talks and negotiations with the PKK.

Continue reading “German authorities review the ban on the PKK/trial test and talks with Ankara”

German Justice Minister awards Ludovic-Trarieux Prize to imprisoned Turkish lawyer Muharrem Erbey

By Severin Weiland

30 November 2012

Translated from German original which was published by “Der Spiegel”.

It is a symbolic action: Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger has awarded one of the most important prizes for lawyers to a man who has been held in custody for three years. The German FDP politician appealed to Ankara to end the imprisonment of Muharrem Erbey.

Berlin – Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger has awarded the Ludovic-Trarieux Prize, one of the most important human rights prizes for lawyers, to Muharrem Erbey, who is in prison in Turkey. He has been in prison for three years, not until September was the trial against him begun. Continue reading “German Justice Minister awards Ludovic-Trarieux Prize to imprisoned Turkish lawyer Muharrem Erbey”

A present to Erdogan: Switzerland extradites Kurdish activist

A present to Erdogan: Switzerland extradites Kurdish activist Metin A. – on hunger strike for 50 days – to German authorities

The Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had hardly left Germany, had barely ended amicable talks with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel about the joint struggle against the PKK, when the theory was immediately put into practice.

On 1st November, the Swiss justice ministry extradited the Kurdish activist Metin A. to Germany, and this was despite the fact that the Kurd had been on hunger strike for over 50 days, with serious health consequences. He is now in the prison hospital at Stuttgart-Stammheim auf dem Hohenasperg, where he is at least taking some liquids once again, which he had strictly refused in Switzerland. Continue reading “A present to Erdogan: Switzerland extradites Kurdish activist”

YEK-KOM responds to police violence in Mannheim

YEK-KOM – Federation of Kurdish Associations in Germany

9 September 2012

Dialogue not violence: Lift the PKK ban now

We regret the violent clashes between the police and some Kurdish youths so close to our 20th International Kurdish Culture Festival. In the one-sided coverage, what was not mentioned was the fact that approximately one hundred visitors to the event were injured by police batons and tear gas. Our sympathy goes out to those injured on both sides and we wish them a speedy recovery.

Yesterday, on Saturday, tens of thousands of Kurds from Germany and other European countries celebrated peacefully, together with international guests, a gathering under the motto “Freedom for Ocalan – a status for Kurdistan”. Continue reading “YEK-KOM responds to police violence in Mannheim”

Press conference to launch new campaign to free Ocalan

The International Initiative has invited the press and public to a press conference in Brussels this Thursday, for the launch of a new international campaign, ‘Freedom for Abdullah Ocalan’. The campaign already has a list of over 1000 first signatories, and will be the latest significant international coordinated effort to put pressure on the Turkish government to finally stop isolating Ocalan from the people and negotiate a peace settlement with the only legitimate representative that can do so.

The press conference will take place on Thursday 6th September 2012 at 10.30am, in the Résidence Palace and the International Press Centre (IPC), Rue de la Loi, 155 – Bloc C, 1040 Bruxelles.

A statement by the International Initiative says:

“Already over a thousand notable people worldwide have signed an international petition with the demand: Freedom for Abdullah Ocalan and the political prisoners in Turkey. They are of the opinion that Ocalan’s freedom would mean a breakthrough in Turkey’s democratization and a peace process in Kurdistan.
Continue reading “Press conference to launch new campaign to free Ocalan”

Call for Zilan Women’s Festival

CENI – Kurdish Women’s Office for Peace are organising the 8th International Zilan Women’s Festival, which will take place in Gelsenkirchen in Germany. This year, the festival will be focused around attacks on the social, cultural and political life of Kurdish women.


“We, at Ceni, Kurdish Women’s Office for Peace, organise the 8th International Zilan Women’s festival, which takes place this year on 16th June 2012 in the amphitheatre in Gelsenkirchen. The International Zilan Women’s Festival is an event at which women living in Europe and those from Kurdistan meet culturally, socially, ideologically, artistically and politically. Continue reading “Call for Zilan Women’s Festival”

MEP responds to news of abuse in Sincan Prison

The GUE/NGL Group at the European Parliament recently published a damning report about the recent news that child prisoners held at Ponzanti Prison in Andan, Turkey have been subjected to sexual, physical and mental abuse. You can view the full report here, and below, we reproduce a statement by Jurgen Klute MEP responding to new allegations that the abuse of the same children has been continuing since there transfer to Sincan Prison in Ankara.

On new information concerning the situation of jailed Kurdish children in Sincan prison (Ankara)

Jürgen KLUTE German Member of the European Parliament, GUE/NGL Group

Coordinator of the European Parliament – Kurds Friendship Group Continue reading “MEP responds to news of abuse in Sincan Prison”

Formal complaint lodged against Turkish state for war crimes

Lawyers in Germany have lodged a complaint against Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and former and acting Ministers of Defence and Chiefs of staff, for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes consisting in the employment of prohibited means of warfare. A comprehensive report has been produced, documenting ten cases between 2003 and 2011, in which the Turkish state has been responsible for death, torture, and other violations of international and human rights.

Click on the link to download the full report: Criminal Complaint_Dolzer