New edition of the Spokesman on the Kurdish Question in Turkey – out now



Spokesman 119: The Kurdish Question in Turkey

Edited by Tony Simpson

To order contact Central Books:

ISBN:                           978 0 85124 821 9
Price:                           £6.00
Format:                       Paperback
Length:                        100pp
Size:                              210mm (H) x 148mm (W)
Publication Date:       February 2013
Genre:                          Politics, Current Affairs, Human Rights
Readership:                 General  & Academic
Rights:                          Contact publishers


Ayse Berktay has been locked up in a Turkish prison since October 2011. She and some 200 others are, periodically, before Turkey’s Tribunal with Special Powers as part of the ‘KCK trials’. KCK stands for Kurdish Communities Union, which the Turkish government has labelled a ‘terrorist’ organisation, although the actual basis for this draconian claim is not at all clear.

Continue reading “New edition of the Spokesman on the Kurdish Question in Turkey – out now”

EUTCC appeals to Turkish government to release detained mayors

The EU turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC) has made a public statement in response to recent arrests of mayors and other municipal officials last week:

13 June, 2012
Press Release: For immediate release



The unfortunate KCK arrests and trials which unlawfully and politically target the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) continue. As many as 6 BDP Members of Parliaments, 32 mayors, hundreds of chairs and members of city councils and municipal councils, in addition to the staff of municipalities and more than 7000 members of the BDP party have been detained. These operations aim to immobilise and destroy the BDP which has established a new democratic, participatory, ecological and anti-sexist local governance model instead of the traditional classical local governance methods. Continue reading “EUTCC appeals to Turkish government to release detained mayors”

Final resolution of the 2nd Women’s Conference

The end of May saw 210 delegates from all over Kurdistan and Europe to discuss the current political crises across Kurdistan and the importance of women’s issues. The conclusions of the conference and the final resolutions can be found below:



 The 2nd Kurdish National Women’s Conference took place between 22nd to 24th May 2012 in the south Kurdish city of Hewler (Erbil). Under the theme, ‘Many colours, one voice for national unity,’ 210 delegates from all four regions of Kurdistan as well as from Europe took part in the conference where both the political situation and the women’s question in all four regions were evaluated. The conference ended with a general final resolution. Continue reading “Final resolution of the 2nd Women’s Conference”

Leyla Zana sentenced to 10 years

From BBC News:

“A Turkish court has sentenced a high-profile Kurdish MP to 10 years in prison for spreading propaganda on behalf of the Kurdish People’s Party (PKK) militant group.

The judge in the south-eastern town of Diyarbakir found Leyla Zana guilty of violating Turkey’s anti-terror law.

As an MP she has immunity from prosecution. The sentence will not take effect until she leaves parliament.

The charges relate to nine speeches she gave between 2007 and 2008.

Mrs Zana is seen as a hero by many Kurds for her criticisms of Turkey’s treatment of their community.”

Read the report in full.

Leyla Zana and MEP’s visit hunger strikers in Strasbourg

In solidarity with the  hundreds of political prisoners on hunger strike in Turkey, 15 Kurds from across Europe have been on a continuous hunger strike for 51 days to protest Abdullah Ocalan’s isolation at Imrali prison. Having had visits from the BDP, letters of support from Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, and with an online signature campaign underway, the strikers were finally visited yesterday by 10 members of the European Parliament who joined Leyla Zana and South African Judge Essa Moosa to offer political support and highlight their cause. Continue reading “Leyla Zana and MEP’s visit hunger strikers in Strasbourg”

Book Review: Activists in Office, by Nicole F. Watts

Activists in Office: Kurdish Politics and Protest in Turkey
Originally published in Insight Turkey, Vol. 14, No. 2, 2012, p.206

Reviewed by
Michael M. Gunter, Tennessee Technological University and Megatrend International University of Vienna

Most of the recently published books on the Kurdish problem in Turkey focus on the armed struggle and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Watts, however, offers a much-appreciated alternative approach. “Pro-Kurdish political parties” (p. xvii), or what she also calls “challenger parties” (p. 16), “have made themselves matter and… have impressed their ideas and agendas on reluctant and often repressive states” (p. x). Continue reading “Book Review: Activists in Office, by Nicole F. Watts”

“A dying horse has a killing kick”: EUTCC 8th International Conference report

Melanie Sirinathsingh
Peace in Kurdistan Campaign

The 8th International EUTCC conference*, titled ‘The Quest for Democracy in Turkey – Universal Rights and Kurdish Self-Determination and the Struggles over the New Constitution’ and held at the European Parliament in Brussels on the 7th and 8th December, came at a critical time for Turkey’s Kurds. Six months on from the June general elections that saw 36 Kurdish politicians elected to the National Assembly, amidst promises of a new draft constitution in the autumn, it has been becoming increasingly clear that the struggle for Kurdish self-determination is far from over. Continue reading ““A dying horse has a killing kick”: EUTCC 8th International Conference report”

Leyla Zana writes to Obama and Ban Ki-Moon

Diyarbakir deputy Leyla Zana has sent a letter to the U.S. President Barack Obama, NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, President of the Council of Europe, Herman Van Rompuy and Turkish President Abdullah Gül regarding the most recent policy implemented against the Kurdish people. While Turkey’s air strike continues in southern Kurdistan, Leyla Zana, in a letter to the leaders of the world, criticized the silence over the growing attacks against Kurds.

28 August 2011

Text of Leyla Zana’s letter

“While the world is going through a very fast process of change and transformation and the Middle East is witnessing new developments, our people who are deprived of the fairness of the history still continue their struggle for “existence” at the cost of their lives. Continue reading “Leyla Zana writes to Obama and Ban Ki-Moon”

The elegant dissidence of Leyla Zana

by apogeeculture, 1 October 2011

Today the Turkish Parliament began its new legislative season for the 24th term with an opening speech by the President Abdullah Gül. The President covered a wide range of issues in his opening speech, ranging from ‘terror to uhhh terror.’ However attention was centred on the oaths to be taken by Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) MPs who had been boycotting Parliament since the election on June 12th. The boycott had begun because six of the elected MPs supported by the Labour, Freedom & Democracy Bloc were not released from prison, one, Hatip Dicle had his MP mandate revoked and mass arrests of BDP members  were ongoing. The reasons for the BDP’s boycott stand, MPs are still imprisoned and arrests continue; 11 in Istanbul last night. So why did the BDP return to Parliament?
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