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Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan…………………………………………………………………………………………….. 3
Turkey refuses to implement ‘right to hope’ for PKK leader……………………………………………………..3 Group from Heilbronn takes over Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan Vigil in Strasbourg……………………3 HDP applies to the Ministry of Justice to meet with Öcalan…………………………………………………….4 University students debate on Democratic Confederalism in Mexico…………………………………………5 Öcalan’s books exhibited at international book fair in Libya……………………………………………………..5
Prisons in Turkey……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 6
Prisoner’s release postponed twice for rejecting repentance law………………………………………………….6 Released Kurdish politician called for Turkey to free ill prisoners……………………………………………….7 Turkish authorities extend prison sentences on extraordinary grounds………………………………………..7 Taşdemir MP says torture in Turkish prisons is increasing and becoming systematic……………………..8
Military aggression and occupation……………………………………………………………………………………… 9
Car bomb against Yazidi security forces in Shengal injures four people……………………………………….9 Sutoro spokesperson Akad Hena: Attacks only bolster our resolve……………………………………………10 HPG reports ongoing Turkish attacks with chemical weapons…………………………………………………11 Turkish drone attack in Qamishlo………………………………………………………………………………………12
Chemical weapons………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 13
HDP calls on international agencies to respond to Turkey’s alleged chemical attacks…………………..13 Turkey chemical weapons allegations spark protests in Europe………………………………………………..13 Turkey denies alleged chemical attack, launches investigation against forensic specialist………………15 Forensic expert says Turkey intimidates public on chemical weapons use allegations……………………16 Doctors petition for urgent investigation into Turkey’s alleged chemical attacks…………………………17 Medical Association head faces investigation over ‘chemical attack’ comment……………………………18 Evidence on Turkey’s chemical use ‘warrants formal investigation’: IPPNW’s Jan Van Aken…………19 German government points to OPCW on allegations of Turkey’s use of banned chemical weapons.20 Erdoğan says allegations on use of chemical weapons is to throw dirt on Turkish army………………..21 German Green Party vows to take action after protests against Turkish war in Kurdistan……………..22 Condolence visit to the family of Kevser Ete killed by Turkish chemical attack…………………………..23 Iraq to establish a commission to investigate Turkish use of chemical weapons…………………………..24 War disabled in NE Syria denounce Turkish crimes, accuse OPCW and NATO of partiality……….24 KODAR says that keeping silent about Turkish chemical attacks means complicity with those crimes …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….25 Özsoy: Chemical weapons allegations must be investigated…………………………………………………….26 What gas masks tell…………………………………………………………………………………………………………28 Turkish state terrorism condemned at Féte de L’Humanite……………………………………………………..28
KODAR: Uprising in Iran has reached a point of no return……………………………………………………30
The İmralı Post #24
Iran protests not against national unity, unlike official discourse: report……………………………………31 Iran Human Rights warns of situation of detainees……………………………………………………………….31 PJAK publishes declaration of proposals for Iran and Rojhilat…………………………………………………32 Iran: Jails full, torture widespread, says protestor…………………………………………………………………..34 Uprising in Iran and Eastern Kurdistan continues…………………………………………………………………35
Femicides increasing in South Kurdistan……………………………………………………………………………..36
Two more femicides in Izmir and Manisa…………………………………………………………………………….37
Environmentalists concerned at high numbers of fish dying in small river in eastern Turkey………..38
Human Rights Violations…………………………………………………………………………………………………. 39
Kurdish association in Saarbrücken raided and searched…………………………………………………………39 Police take HDP executives into custody in Erciş………………………………………………………………….40 Persecution of Kurdish family one of the reasons behind major resignation from Turkey’s ruling party41 Diyarbakır residents say Turkish President unwelcome before visit…………………………………………..42 MLSA co-director Ok: Not enough done to counter ‘censorship law’………………………………………44 Turkish lawyers display racist reaction to Kurdish slogan of Iran protests…………………………………..45 Sweden to step up actions against Kurds to appease Erdoğan for NATO accession bid………………..46 Erdoğan: We have not left the Diyarbakır Mothers to the chimpanzees of the West……………………47 Drones keep Hakkari under surveillance 24 hours a day…………………………………………………………48 Sancar: Erdoğan’s discourse reflects state mentality………………………………………………………………..49 Activists pay tribute to internationalist Andrea Wolf in Frankfurt…………………………………………….50 Director Elif Yiğit presents film about struggle for justice of Emine Şenyaşar…………………………….50
Karasu: Kurdish people must rise up in the face of attacks………………………………………………………51
PJAK Co-Chair: It is important to continue the uprising until victory……………………………………..55
Iraqi Kurdish leaders facilitating chemical warfare 34 years after Kurds suffered Halabja……………..58
Why did Erdoğan visit Diyarbakır?…………………………………………………………………………………….. 60
The strategically unchanging fascist Turkish reality………………………………………………………………..61
Who Are We?…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 64 —★—
Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan
Turkey refuses to implement ‘right to hope’ for PKK leader
MedyaNews | 18 October 2022
Turkey submitted a new action plan to the Council of Europe (CoE) Committee of Ministers for the ‘right to hope’ monitoring process on 14 October regarding the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan who is held under severe isolation in İmralı prison, Mezopotamya Agency reports.
3 The İmralı Post #24 In the plan, Turkey confirmed that there is a review mechanism for the conditional release of prisoners,
but went on to say that some offenses are exempt from this review mechanism.
Back in 2014 the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that Turkey had violated Article 3 on the prohibition of torture as regards Öcalan’s confinement.
This August, lawyers from the Asrın Law Office filed an appeal with the Council of Europe for the imple- mentation of the ECHR ruling on the PKK leader.
The Cof E committee gave Turkey until the end of September 2022 to provide information on its plans to rectify violations of Article 3, namely via passing legislation ensuring the right to hope for all.
In response, Turkey told the committee in the action plan that “while it is possible for convicts issued ag- gravated life sentences to be released on parole, certain crimes have been exempted from this possibility”.
Öcalan’s isolation in İmralı Prison since 1999 is contrary to international laws.
PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan has not been allowed to meet with his family or lawyers for more than 18 months due to disciplinary penalties and visitation prohibitions.
Group from Heilbronn takes over Freedom for Abdullah
Öcalan Vigil in Strasbourg
ANF | Strasbourg | 19 October 2022
The Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan Vigil in front of the European Committee for the Prevention of Tor- ture in Strasbourg is the longest continuous protest action in the world. Week after week since 25 June 2012, new delegations of activists have taken over the protest. This week Hüseyin Genç, Nadile Çelik, Hediye Şemrağ and Müslüm Özkan came to Strasbourg from Heilbronn.
Protest against the Turkish use of poison gas
The protest is marked by the escalating use of chemical weapons by the Turkish state. On Tuesday, the cen- tral headquarters of the People’s Defense Forces reported that 17 guerrillas had died as a result of chemical weapons operations. Footage of fighters dying from the effects of the poison gas has also been released.
The delegation condemns the silence of the EU and the Council of Europe on these massacres. Hüseyin Genç declares on behalf of the group: “We condemn the massacre of 17 guerrillas. We call on the interna- tional organizations to send a delegation and investigate.”
4 The İmralı Post #24 HDP applies to the Ministry of Justice to meet with Öcalan
ANF | Ankara | 20 October 2022
Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chairs Pervin Buldan and Mithat Sancar applied to the Ministry of Justice to visit Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan in Imrali prison.
The application made by the HDP was announced by the party’s spokeswoman Ebru Günay at a press conference at the party’s headquarters in Ankara on Thursday.
HDP Central Executive Board (MYK) member and Abdullah Öcalan’s nephew, Ömer Öcalan, and Günay herself were part of the delegation that submitted the request to be allowed access to Imrali Island Prison, where the Kurdish leader has been held in incommunicado detention since his capture as result of an in- ternational conspiracy in 1999.
Remarking that the policy of denial that keeps the Kurdish question in deadlock caused a war both inside and outside of the country, Günay said: “This hostile policy was essentially introduced with the Imrali iso – lation system. Mr. Öcalan has developed solution proposals to the Kurdish question for years, and pre- sented his opinions both to public opinion and concerned interlocutors during the process of Imrali talks.
His proposals which could contribute to the achievement of peace, democratization of Turkey and a solu- tion to the Kurdish question, are now placed under aggravated isolation by the government. The first thing the AKP-MHP government did to preserve hawkish policies and the policy of denial and to institu- tionalize the government fascism was to isolate Mr. Öcalan.”
The HDP Spokeswoman continued: “The march to Gemlik took place fundamentally to show the way to the solution. We protested the October 9 conspiracy against Öcalan together with our people. In this scope, a delegation consisting of our co-chairs Pervin Buldan and Mithat Sancar, Central Executive Board (MYK) Member Ömer Öcalan and my person have today applied to the Ministry of Justice to visit the Imrali prison to be able to discuss over a solution against the conflict policy and to bring up a democratic resolution to the Kurdish question.”
Günay added, “We renew our call to the Ministry of Justice to provide a positive response to our request. Because, as everyone knows, a peaceful solution to the Kurdish question can be discussed, and a culture of democracy can be promoted when meeting and dialogue with Mr. Öcalan is allowed.”
5 The İmralı Post #24 University students debate on Democratic Confederalism in
ANF | Xalapa | 21 October 2022
On October 19, in the city of Xalapa, Veracruz, in southern Mexico, a discussion entitled “Struggles and emancipations in the global South: from Kurdistan to Abya Yala” was held, organized by professors and students of the Institute of Historical-Social Research of the Universidad Veracruzana. Different students from the faculty of sociology, history and anthropology, as well as students from different postgraduate programs in social sciences, participated in the dialogue with a member of the Academy of Democratic Modernity.
The event began with the participation of women from the student movement recently organized at the university against patriarchal violence, who denounced the harassment of male professors and students and the impunity of the institutions themselves. This theme was linked to the liberation struggle of Kur- dish women and how their example of organization has been elemental in confronting violence and the historical oppression of women around the world.
The dialogue brought together around 70 people and consisted of an initiative to disseminate the processes of democratic autonomy in Kurdistan, the experience of Rojava and how new theoretical and political ref – erences are being built in the Middle East to analyze capitalism and patriarchy. At the end of the event, the attendees chanted the slogan: “Woman, Life, Freedom” (Jin, Jiyan, Azadi).
Öcalan’s books exhibited at international book fair in Libya
ANF | 24 October 2022
The books of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan attracted readers’ attention at an international book fair in Libya.
The book fair attended by more than 300 publishing houses from 12 Arab countries kicked off in Beng- hazi, Libya on October 15 and ended on Sunday, October 23. The annual book fairs could not be held regularly in war-torn Libya in recent years.
Hundreds of books, including those written by Kurdish authors, were exhibited at the fair. The books of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan were among the books that were particularly popular. His books trans- lated into English, Arabic and other languages were also exhibited at the fair.
6 The İmralı Post #24
The director of Nefretît Publishing House said that the participation of Kurdish institutions and publish- ing houses in the international book fair is more important than ever for the introduction of the ideas of the Kurds to other peoples.
Prisons in Turkey
Prisoner’s release postponed twice for rejecting repentance law
ANF | Amed | 19 October 2022
Metin Güven was sentenced to 36 years in prison for “destroying the unity and integrity of the state” after he was detained in the Silvan district of Diyarbakır in 1992.
Although Güven completed his sentence fully on 30 April, his release was postponed twice, each time for 3 months, because he did not accept the repentance law imposed by the Prison Administrative Observa- tion Board (IGK).
Speaking with his family in a phone call on 13 October, Güven revealed that he would be interviewed by the IGK on Friday. Güven said that before this meeting, the prison manager asked him: “Did you take a lesson in the last 6 months?” and “Do you regret what you did”. Güven replied: “I have been in prison for 30 years and I have not done anything to regret. I did not regret anything in the last 6 months and won’t regret anything.”
Released Kurdish politician called for Turkey to free ill
MedyaNews | Mardin | 20 October 2022
Former Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) MP for Turkey’s Mardin (Merdîn) province, Gülser Yıldırım, after completing her sentence as a political prisoner on Tuesday, called on Turkey to release sick prisoners, like Aysel Tuğluk, who is incarcerated with dementia, Mezopotamya News Agency reported.
Yıldırım’s release was welcomed at the HDP building in Turkey’s Mardin, where she said that many Kur- dish politicians are still in prison, mentioning Gültan Kışanak and imprisoned former founding co-chair of the Democratic Society Party (DTP), Aysel Tuğluk.
7 The İmralı Post #24
“If I had the chance to choose, I would have preferred Aysel to be released in my place,” said Yıldırım, who has been held in the same prison as Aysel Tuğluk, Kandıra Prison in Turkey’s northwestern Kocaeli province. “My heart remains there,” she added.
Tuğluk was diagnosed with dementia in February 2021 while behind bars. Her health has been deteriorat- ing as her condition advances, and she is less able to take care of her daily self-care needs.
Stating that Tuğluk is very ill and should be released, Yıldırım asked, “What kind of hostility is this that keeps Aysel behind bars?”
The Constitutional Court rejected the release application for Tuğluk in August, despite the Forensic Medicine Institute (ATK) reporting that her condition was likely to decline and that her dementia would advance under prison conditions.
Turkish Minister of Justice said arrested Kurdish politician Aysel Tuğluk’s state of health will be re-evalu – ated as he announced a new regulation for sick prisoners in September. However, there has been no legal development in this regard since then.
Turkish authorities extend prison sentences on extraordinary
MedyaNews | 23 October 2022
Prisoners in Turkey are being denied their right to conditional release, with the authorities producing ab- surd grounds to justify this, according to letters received by the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), Gazete Duvar reported.
As a result of this, prison sentences are being arbitrarily extended, Ayşe Sürücü, HDP MP for the south- eastern province of Urfa told Gazete Duvar.
Using too much water and singing songs in Kurdish are among the reasons cited by authorities to strip prisoners of their right to conditional release, she said.
Sürücü said she had received hundreds of letters from prisoners complaining of similar treatment. On one occasion, a prison monitoring board denied the application of Rojda Erez for conditional release, saying she had killed her spouse 15 years ago and could harm others if freed.
“However, Rojda Erez never married. She is not in prison for killing her spouse, she is a political prisoner Erez applied to the board once more, saying that she had never married and her file must have been some- how mixed with another file. They told her there was no mix-up,” Sürücü explained.
8 The İmralı Post #24
Another prisoner was denied conditional release on the grounds that her brother was in jail for member- ship of the religious group the Turkish government holds responsible for the failed coup of 2016. “Can you believe such a justification? What happened to the principle of individual criminal responsibility?” Sürücü asked.
“Monitoring boards in Turkey’s prisons are manipulating sentencing arbitrarily, preventing prisoners with the right to conditional release from actually being released. They are doing this on completely irrelevant, impossible grounds. They say things like, ‘they left the lights on’ or ‘they chat with friends’,” said the MP.
According to the Council of Europe’s statistics for 2021, Turkey has the second highest prison population among member countries after Russia, with 212,115 people in prison.
Taşdemir MP says torture in Turkish prisons is increasing and
ANF | Ankara | 23 October 2022
HDP Ağrı Deputy Dirayet Dilan Taşdemir drew attention to the fact that violations, usurpation of rights and torture of prisoners became systematic.
Speaking to ANF, Taşdemir said that the situation in Turkish prisons has never been traceable, transparent and according to human rights, and added: “These indescribable practices are increasingly happening in prisons. They are becoming systematic. If the same unlawfulness is repeated in almost all prisons, this is a systematic policy of repression. This is not something to be explained by certain prison directions and staff. It is about the policies of the government. It is the more severe version of the policy of repression of society carried out outside, in prisons. All constitutional rights have been usurped and the prisoners are forced to resist it.”
Noting that there is no law or obligation to impose a standing count, although this practice has been insis- tently imposed in recent days, Taşdemir said: “Prisoners have international rights as to visits, time to so – cialize, sport, receiving books etc… These rights are recognized in the Penal Code, but constantly violated. Arbitrary reasons are given, and when prisoners protest, guards resort to violence. They demand their rights, they object, and now they have a court within the prison. The court has already given a sentence, but the Prison Monitoring Board established a new court. They ask the prisoners, ‘Are you a member of the organization?’ They ask this to prisoners who have spent 30 years inside, and when they do not get the answer they want, they continue to keep them in prison. This is completely arbitrary. The AKP-MHP is taking revenge on political prisoners. We got to the point in which when their families send money, they are punished for “aiding and abetting an illegal organization”.
9 The İmralı Post #24 Torturers wearing suit
Taşdemir continued: “According to the information we received through families and lawyers, plain clothes people who are not prison personnel appear in prison. These are gendarmes, not guards. They are wearing suits. They use different types of torture, such as forcibly making the prisoners stand for count. We asked the ministry about this, we submitted petitions, but no action was taken. Prison administrations do not talk to us. Political parties and democratic mass organizations need to be very serious about this is- sue and send observers. Human rights organizations and bar associations have a great responsibility.”
Taşdemir said that they frequently bring the tortures experienced in prisons to the agenda of the Parlia- ment and put forward parliamentary questions. However “80% of our questions go unanswered.”
Military aggression and occupation
Car bomb against Yazidi security forces in Shengal injures four people
ANF | Shengal | 19 October 2022
A car bomb attack on the autonomous security forces (Asayîşa Êzdîxanê) was carried out on the main street of Shengal at around 8.30 p.m. local time on Monday evening. According to information from the region, the vehicle loaded with explosives was observed driving through Shengal on Monday. Since the Iraqi security forces did not intervene, the car was pursued by the Asayîşa Êzdîxanê. As they approached the car, the bomb detonated. Two members of the Yazidi security forces and two civilians were injured in the explosion. Two of the injured were taken to hospital in Mosul, while the other two are being treated in Shengal.
Terror against genocide survivors
Under the pretext of “fighting the PKK”, there have been increasing attacks by Turkish warplanes and drones on Shengal since 2017. Concrete targets are mostly institutions that were founded after the Islamic State genocide – such as the Democratic Autonomous Council of Shengal (MXDŞ) or the self-defence units YBŞ/YJŞ – and their representatives. The casualties are mostly civilians – often survivors of the 2014 genocide.
Most recently, on 6 October, a camp for displaced persons on the Serdeşt plateau in the Shengal Moun- tains was bombed. Only the area around the camp for Yazidi displaced persons was hit, but the civilian
10 The İmralı Post #24 population suffered property damage. The camp has been the target of killer drones from Ankara in the
In September, Turkey carried out several targeted airstrikes against the YBŞ and its autonomous women’s organization YJŞ, which among other things led to the devastation of a housing estate in the village of Til Ezer. At the end of August, two fighters from the resistance units were injured in a drone strike by the Turkish NATO state in Shengal.
Sutoro spokesperson Akad Hena: Attacks only bolster our
ANF | Qamishlo | 21 October 2022
Sutoro-Internal Security Forces Spokesperson Akad Hena stated that they would avenge their martyrs in- cluding İbrahim Mixail (Aryo) who died as a result of a Turkish drone strike on October 12, 2022 near the Newroz Camp in the northeast of Dêrik district of the Qamishlo Canton.
Akad Hena spoke to ANHA about the founding purpose and objectives of the Sutoro-Internal Security Forces: “With the beginning of the revolution, the Syriac region has been frequently targeted by ISIS and the invading Turkish state. The region has been subjected to cultural and historical annihilation attacks. The Sutoro forces were formed on October 1, 2013, to confront these attacks. Its establishment was an important step to protect the region from ISIS terrorism.”
Akad Hena noted that the Sutoro has a women’s unit, which is a component of the Internal Security Forces of North and East Syria. The women’s unit, called Sutoro-Jin, have proven themselves in security and military matters, he added.
Hena pointed out that the Sutoro forces, together with the Syriac Military Council, the Women’s Defence Units (YPJ), the People’s Defence Units (YPG) and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), took part in all liberation campaigns against ISIS, including the final one in the Baghouz town of Deir ez-Zor in 2019. “The activities of the Sutoro Forces are not limited to the military field. It has also undertaken activities such as taking part in security patrols and operations in neighbourhoods and cities to maintain the inter- nal security of the region,” he said.
11 The İmralı Post #24 ‘Turkish state targets Sutoro forces’
“The Turkish invasion targets all regions without exception. Its aim is to destroy security and stability in the north and east of the country. It keeps escalating its attacks to destroy the Autonomous Administration project created by the components of the region,” Hena said.
‘We will avenge the martyrs’
Hena pointed out that the increasingly ongoing attacks did not break the will and determination of the people of the region to continue the struggle. “On the contrary, it bolsters our resolve to follow in the footsteps of our martyrs who sacrificed their lives to protect these lands. We protect the land, the people and all the churches of the local people. We will avenge our martyrs. We will continue our struggle to pro – tect our people. Our people should support the security and military forces of our regions. The interna- tional community should close the airspace of North and East Syria to halt the Turkish attacks,” he con – cluded.
HPG reports ongoing Turkish attacks with chemical weapons
ANF | Behdinan | 21 October 2022
The guerrillas continue to resist the invasion of the Medya Defence Zones unabated despite continued chemical weapons attacks by Turkey. As the press centre of the People’s Defence Forces (HPG) reported in an overview of the current war in the region, five members of the Turkish occupation forces were killed in various actions on Thursday. The guerrillas also destroyed various armaments.
In the Zap region, the actions of HPG and YJA Star (Free Women’s Troops) were concentrated on hostile activities in the surroundings of the resistance areas. In the Çemço area, occupiers in the area around the “Şehîd Aryen” war positions were fired upon several times by mobile units. Four soldiers were killed and another was injured. In Saca, the guerrillas took Turkish troops under artillery fire. In Sîda, a camera sur – veillance system installed near the “Şehîd Felat” defence position was destroyed using sabotage tactics. The action also resulted in one death among the ranks of the occupation forces.
In Xakurke, a YJA-Star unit destroyed a Turkish military position at Girê Şehîd Axîn and a military radio inside was destroyed. In Metîna, the guerrillas struck at Girê Cûdî and two soldiers were injured. Here, a military tent was also destroyed by a mobile YJA-Star unit.
Attacks by the Turkish army
The HPG stated that the Turkish army carried out at least 17 attacks with banned weapons against guer- rilla areas in Southern Kurdistan the previous day. All attacks were directed against defensive positions, most of them against the Şehîd Felat position in Sîda. The Çemço area was bombed dozens of times by
12 The İmralı Post #24
tanks, and in Karker the Turkish army continues to try to demolish guerrilla positions with construction machinery. Military road construction from Girê FM to Hekarî hill continues. Intensive reconnaissance flights take place there as well as over Saca, Girê Cûdî and Girê Amêdî.
—★— Turkish drone attack in Qamishlo
ANF | Qamishlo | 24 October 2022
Turkey has once again attacked the city of Qamishlo in north-eastern Syria on Monday. The target of the attack early by an unmanned combat drone in the evening was a construction site near the Şehîd Delîl Sarûxan cemetery in the Meyselon district, according to military sources. According to unconfirmed re- ports, the attack resulted in injuries. The fire brigade is on the scene and is carrying out fire-fighting opera- tions.
Turkey repeatedly carries out drone attacks on northern and eastern Syria in violation of international law. Since the beginning of the year, there have been more than 80 such attacks, and in recent weeks and months, the Turkish state has escalated the drone war against Rojava.
Twelve days ago, a member of the Christian Sotoro security forces was killed by a Turkish drone near Dêrik, and at the beginning of October, the YPG commander Koçero Batman was murdered in Kobanê in the same way. At the end of September, the co-chairs of the Justice Office of Cizîrê, Zeyneb Mihemed and Yilmaz Şero, died in a drone strike in Girkê Legê. In June, a depot of the HPC (Social Defence Forces) in Qamishlo, which is in the immediate vicinity of today’s attack site, was bombed by a Turkish drone. The attack resulted in five casualties.
13 The İmralı Post #24
HDP calls on international agencies to respond to Turkey’s alleged chemical attacks
MedaNews | 18 October 2022
The central executive board of the pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) released a statement regarding allegations of chemical weapons use by Turkey against Kurdish guerrillas on the terri- tory of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government since 2021.
On Wednesday, the People’s Defence Forces (HPG) released video footage showing two guerrillas suffer- ing severe symptoms reportedly after a Turkish chemical weapons attack.
The footage, published on the ANF news site, reinforces claims that Turkey uses chemical weapons in its military operations against Kurdish guerrillas.
“These developments cause anxiety among the region’s people and open the door to possible massacres,” HDP states.
The HDP also noted in the statement that using chemicals is against the Geneva Convention and is a war crime.
“We invite the relevant international institutions and the public, especially the Organization for the Prohi – bition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations, to work more effectively,” HDP says.
HDP also calls the Kurdistan Regional Government to investigate the allegations seriously.
Turkey chemical weapons allegations spark protests in Europe
MedyaNews | 19 October 2022
Kurdish organisations and European civil society groups have condemned Turkey’s use of chemical weapons after the People’s Defence Forces (HPG) released footage it said showed guerrillas suffering the effects of a chemical attack.
14 The İmralı Post #24 The footage, published by ANF on 18 October, is said to have been captured after a Turkish chemical
weapons attack that killed 17 guerrillas.
The Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) issued a statement regarding chemical attacks carried out by Tur- key in the Kurdistan Region in Iraq, reported Mezopotamya News Agency.
The statement shared some statistics and called for Kurds and their friends to stand against the use of chemical weapons by Turkey:
“Images and evidence on the use of chemical weapons have been shared many times with the public and press,” the KNK said. “Finally, new images showing the use of chemical weapons made it clear that 17 guerrillas were martyred as a result of chemical weapons attacks.”
The statement referred to the latest of many reports accusing Turkish forces of using the prohibited weapons against Kurdish guerrillas in the north of Iraq – reports which have so far been ignored by inter- national bodies. The statement continued: “The Kurds, the Kurdistani movements and the friends of the Kurds have been trying to make their voices heard in every field for a long time. However, no institution other than some human rights institutions have heard this voice. In particular, the Council of Europe, the United Nations and the OPCW remain silent in the face of attacks. The Turkish state increases its attacks taking courage from this silence.”
Ilham Ehmed, a senior politician from the Kurdish-led Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), also made a statement on the attacks, calling on the international community to hold Turkey to account.
“The Turkish state has committed a massacre. This massacre must be explained, documented and brought to the courts. No one should be silent on this embarrassing massacre,” said Ehmed.
The Peace Mothers Assembly, a Turkey-based civil society organisation aiming to promote peace between the country’s ethnicities, also published a statement condemning the massacre and demanding action.
Meanwhile, the Kurdish parties and organisations including Democratic Society Congress (DTK) and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) shared a joint statement in Diyarbakır recalling the crucial role Kurdish fighters had played in the battle against the Islamic State and calling on the world to defend them: “Kurds defended humanity in Rojava and protected humanity. Humanity owes the Kurds, it is necessary to break the silence to pay for it. We must act today to defend humanity. Everybody should take action against those who see the Kurds as an experimental object. Saddam also did it in Halabja. Had there been a reac- tion that day, Turkey would not have dared to do the same today.”
The reports of chemical attacks also prompted protests throughout Europe, with demonstrations recorded in Hanover, Lavrio, Cenevre, London, Paris, Marseille, Montpellier, Düsseldorf, Munich, Zurich, Bern, Copenhagen and many other cities, ANF reported.
Kurds and their European supporters came together in Geneva wearing white overalls and masks to call for action.
15 The İmralı Post #24 Erdal Atasoy, co-chair of the Geneva Kurdish Community Center, discussed his group’s plan to organise a
demonstration in front of United Nations (UN) on Thursday to protest the use of chemical weapons.
Left-wing and Kurdish organizations also gathered in Frankfurt to protest the use of chemical weapons by the Turkish state and called on the international community to take action as soon as possible.
Kurdish and European protesters gathered outside the Representative Office of the European Commission in Marseille, to hang a banner bearing images of the 17 guerrillas who were killed in the attack.
The KNK says it has sent relevant international bodies a large amount of evidence pointing to Turkey’s use of chemical weapons, but has yet to see any action taken.
This month, the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) published a report including some possible evidence of Turkish use of prohibited weapons, and called for an independent in – ternational investigation.
Turkey denies alleged chemical attack, launches investigation
against forensic specialist
MedyaNews | 20 October 2022
An investigation was launched against Turkish Medical Association (TTB) Chair Şebnem Korur Fincancı after she answered Selahattin Işıldak‘s questions on Medya Haber TV regarding the footage of Turkey’s al- leged chemical attack in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), part of the ruling ‘People’s Alliance’ in Turkey, targeted Fidancı for her statement that she concluded toxic chemical gas that directly affects the nervous system was used.
MHP MP Levent Bülbül targeted Şebnem Korur Fincancı at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey on Thursday. Hours after Bülbül’s statements, the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office took action and launched an investigation against Fincancı.
The investigation includes charges of “propagandizing terrorist organizations” and “degrading Turkish Na- tion, State of Turkish Republic, the organs and institutions of the state”.
Fincancı said to Gazete Karınca, “I make these assessments not as the Chair of the TTB, but as a forensic medicine expert.” Regarding the investigation against her, she said, “This is intimidation and I won’t re- frain from giving my opinion just because of an investigation.”
On Tuesday, video footage released by the People’s Defense Forces (HPG) which shows a group of Turkish soldiers with a device allegedly to deliver an explosive chemical device. The footage also shows guerrilla fighters suffering from the alleged chemical attacks.
16 The İmralı Post #24 Forensic specialist Professor Fincancı said in a Medya Haber broadcast that she went over the footage and
concluded that some toxic chemical gas that directly affects the nervous system was used.
AKP Spokesperson Ömer Çelik denied the allegation that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) used chemical weapons against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) guerrillas and said, “Those who accuse the Turkish Armed Forces of using chemical weapons are part of a vile slander network.”
Forensic expert says Turkey intimidates public on chemical
weapons use allegations
MedyaNews | 21 October 2022
Forensic specialist Şebnem Korur Ficancı told The Independent (Turkish) that the Turkish authorities aim was covering up allegations of chemical weapons use that required investigating by launching a hurried in- vestigation against her for even commenting on the allegations.
On Thursday, the Turkish authorities launched a hurried investigation against Fincancı who is also the Chair of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB), over her comments on Turkey’s alleged chemical attacks against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in its cross-border military operations.
“They are intimidating the public by criminalizing me,” said Fincancı, adding that the footage, which is the source of the allegations, requires an independent and effective investigation.
Stating that “there is suspicion of chemical use due to involuntary movements” in the footage, Fincancı said that by criminalizing to mention of the subject, the authorities “also create the impression that they really committed a crime and are trying to cover it up.” Instead, the forensic expert argued that the neces- sary investigation should be done with samples and autopsies.
Fincancı also criticized how her expert comments on the subject were reported. “There has been reporting as if I actually said chemicals have been used. I said no such thing,” she noted. “I said it should be investi- gated. Speaking on live television, I was saying it is impossible to say from images.”
As a forensic specialist working in human rights, Fincancı said, “it is not a crime to want the allegations to be investigated.”
The forensic expert stated that she is not worried about being arrested, “But they create such anxiety in the society and cause the society to remain silent,” she added.
Fincancı said she has no information about the investigation process since she is in Germany right now and would return to Turkey on Sunday: “We will see if they detain me directly from the plane.”
The İmralı Post #24
Doctors petition for urgent investigation into Turkey’s alleged
MedyaNews | 21 October 2022
Kurdish doctors and health workers launched a petition calling on international institutions to investigate Turkey’s alleged chemical attacks against Kurdish forces in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) and to take any necessary further steps.
Doctors from the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) travelled to KRI and published a report summarising evidence of Turkey’s chemical weapon use against Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) guerrillas last week, calling for an urgent independent investigation.
On 18 October, the People’s Defence Forces (HPG) released footage showing a group of Turkish soldiers with a device that can allegedly deliver an explosive chemical device and guerrilla fighters suffering from the alleged chemical attacks.
HPG announced that 17 were killed in Turkey’s chemical weapons attacks after the footage’s release.
Selahattin Demirtaş, the former co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), also ad- dressed the allegations and called on independent international authorities to conduct an investigation in the region, as Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) MP Sezgin Tanrıkulu an- nounced he would submit a parliamentary question on the subject.
In a broadcast on Wednesday, Turkish Medical Association (TTB) chair and forensic specialist Professor Şebnem Korur Fincancı said that she went over the footage and had concluded that toxic chemical gas which directly affects the nervous system was used.
Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) denied the allegation, and authorities launched a lightning-fast investigation against the forensic specialist over her comments on Turkey’s alleged chemical attacks against Kurdish forces.
The use of chemical weapons is prohibited under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) of 1993 since they are classified as mass destruction weapons. Turkey is among the signatories of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons.
18 The İmralı Post #24 Medical Association head faces investigation over ‘chemical
ANF | 21 October 2022
Prosecutors are investigating Şebnem Korur-Fincancı, head of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB), be- cause of her comments on a video published by ANF on October 18, showing two PKK (Kurdistan Work- ers’ Party) members suffering from a chemical attack in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region.
The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office yesterday (October 20) opened an investigation against Ko- rur-Fincancı for “propagandizing for a terrorist organization” and “publicly degrading the Turkish Nation, the state of the Republic of Turkey and its institutions.”
The substance of the investigation is constituted by Fincancı’s comments to Medya Haber. The head of TTB stated that the involuntary movements of the people seen in the video could occur with the effect of a chemical getting hold of the nervous system and that an effective investigation should be carried out in relation to this if there are allegations that a chemical was used.
“I proved many times that I will not keep silent, therefore I do not think that this investigation is targeting me. This investigation is meant to be an intimidation for the whole society,” she told Bianet.
Regarding the investigation, Korur-Fincancı said, “If there are such allegations, they should have allowed an effective investigation into the incident. Opening an investigation against the one who is saying ‘an in- vestigation should be made’ gives the impression of concealing a crime. We also know why such an inves- tigation was opened. They want no doctor to talk about these issues again. This investigation is an attempt towards intimidating and silencing people.”
“However, I proved many times that I will not keep silent, therefore I do not think that this investigation is targeting me. This investigation is meant to be an intimidation for the whole society. Great misfortune for Turkey,” Fincancı noted.
The head of the Turkish Medical Association added, “In any case, what needs to be done in this kind of a situation is to request an effective investigation. They should have started an effective investigation and proven that they have not used any chemicals instead of opening an investigation against me.”
19 The İmralı Post #24 Evidence on Turkey’s chemical use ‘warrants formal
investigation’: IPPNW’s Jan Van Aken
MedyaNews | 22 October 2022
The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) has discovered enough evidence to warrant further investigation on allegations that Turkey has been using chemical weapons in its military operations in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), Jan Van Aken told Mezopotamya Agency in an inter- view on Friday.
“There is enough evidence to warrant a formal international investigation. I am not in a position to say yes, there was a chemical attack, but I am in a position to say there is enough evidence to warrant an in – vestigation,” said Van Aken, a former UNMOVIC inspector of biological weapons and an expert on chemical weapons.
The Nobel Peace Prize winning IPPNW held a week-long visit in the KRI for in situ examinations, but could not get very far in their efforts as the local governorates did not grant them the necessary permis- sions.
“No reason was given, but I think the problem is the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Erbil (Hewler) did not want us to investigate, because apparently there is some kind of cooperation with the Turkish government,” he said. “But this is a guess from our part.”
The KRG has close relations with Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, and is cur- rently accused of collaborating with the AKP in its efforts against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has its headquarters and many encampments in the KRI.
Turkey has been engaged in intense military operations in the region since April. Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told reporters in September that the Turkish Armed Forces killed 371 PKK members since then, while the PKK’s armed wing, the People’s Protection Forces (HPG) reported losing 105 of its members in the same time frame.
Reports the IPPNW have prepared need to be relayed to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) member states, Van Aken said.
“Because the OPCW is an organisation that has member states, and the member states are the bosses,” he continued. “We need the member states to say ‘please investigate’.”
The current report on IPPNW’s findings has been submitted to the German government. “I hope some- thing will happen here,” Van Aken said.
While KRG stands accused of cooperation with Turkey, Van Aken said the Iraqi Federal Government “never gave permission to Turkey to have military operations in Northern Iraq. That is why the whole op- eration violates international law.”
20 The İmralı Post #24 However, the Iraqi government has also not appealed to the OPCW yet. “This is key. And that they are
not involved in the chemical attacks.”
Two “big issues” at hand are a speech by Minister Akar, where he said the TAF “only uses tear gas” in the operation in Iraq’s Mount Gara.
“Probably he did not know, but using tear gas in a military operation is prohibited under the Chemical Weapons Convention,” Van Aken said.
While “it sounds strange” that use of tear gas would be legal in demonstrations but not in military opera- tions, the matter is “very clear, there is no doubt about it in the CWC, and there is very good reason for it to be prohibited.”
The other big issue is more indirect, but in combination, the evidence is “enough” to warrant further in- quiry, the expert said. “To me it looks like the Turkish military produces a self-made chemical agent.”
HPG members have discovered containers of over-the-counter chemicals that can be used to manufacture chlorine gas, one of the banned chemicals that was first weaponised in World War I.
The IPPNW has been calling for official investigations into the matter, but no organization has yet launched any efforts.
German government points to OPCW on allegations of
Turkey’s use of banned chemical weapons
MedyaNews | 22 October 2022
The German government has said it did not have any other information about the Turkish army’s alleged use of tear gas against Kurdish fighters bar one incident that involved the use of the gas, adding that as a signatory of the Chemical Weapons Convention, Turkey is subject to the monitoring of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)
“The German government is aware of the media reports” said Katja Keul, the Minister of State at the Ger – man Federal Foreign Office, in her 19 October answer to German lawmaker Andrej Hunko from the left- wing Die Linke, who asked what information the German government had on Turkey’s use of chemical weapons in northern Iraq.
Keul also underlined information on a report by the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nu- clear War (IPPNW) published on 12 October, that referred to Turkey’s use of tear gas and references to improvised chemical agents such as chlorine gas. “This is an outright violation of the Chemical Weapons
21 The İmralı Post #24 Convention and should be pursued legally by the international community,” the report said, while citing a
speech made by the Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar in the Turkish Parliament last year.
Keul recalled that Turkey was part of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (CWC) and had previously declared that it had no stockpiles of chemical weapons.
“In order to ensure compliance with the agreement, Turkey, as a State Party, is subject to the monitoring mechanisms of the OPCW,” Keul said.
Meanwhile, Gökay Akbulut, a member of the German Bundestag from the Left Party, sent a letter to Thomas Schieb, Permanent Representative of Germany to the OPCW, about Turkey’s alleged use of chem- ical weapons.
“I have received several videos, photos, and reports suggesting the use of chemical weapons by Turkish armed forces,” Akbulut said in her letter, particularly referring to a video that was shared by Kurdish fight – ers this week and sparked a heated debate on Turkey’s possible war crimes.
Akbulut said the existing evidence on several incidents called for an urgent investigation by the OPCW.
Erdoğan says allegations on use of chemical weapons is to
throw dirt on Turkish army
MedyaNews | 22 October 2022
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Friday that recent allegations about Turkey’s use of chem- ical weapons in northern Iraq is just an attempt by those who are the remains of communism in Turkey that follow the policy of “throw enough mud, some will stick” to throw dirt on the Turkish army.
Erdoğan said the Turkish government will pursue those who voiced such allegations, particularly Şebnem Korur Fincancı, the head of the Chair of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) and a forensic expert, who told Media Haber this week that she went over the footage shared by Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq as evidence of Turkey’s chemical attacks and concluded that some toxic chemical gas that directly af – fected the nervous system was used.
Fincancı has become the target of a widespread smear campaign after the video of her broadcast with the Media News was shared on social media. “I told this to my colleagues and we repeatedly talked about it with Hulusi Akar Pasha,” Erdoğan said, referring to Turkey’s Defence Minister and the Turkish army’s for – mer chief of staff.
“My colleagues immediately lodged lawsuits and we will never give up pursuing this,” the President said to reporters on his plane, returning from a trip to Azerbaijan.
22 The İmralı Post #24
Erdoğan strongly denied Turkey’s use of chemical weapons. “Our armed forces has never committed the fault of using chemical weapons. It has taken all its steps in accordance with the international law and it will continue to do so,” he said.
“It is not the first time they are casting aspersions,” Erdoğan said referring to people mentioning allega- tions on the use of chemical weapons. “This is some dirt they always fling on our army. They think if enough mud is thrown, some of it will stick.”
“This is one of the motto of communism, the communists. And since these people are remains of those, they will always fling such dirt,” he said.
Erdoğan’s comments came a day after Turkey’s defense ministry said in a statement that allegations on the use of chemical weapons were completely baseless and untrue.
“All these disinformation efforts are the futile struggles of the terrorist organization and its allies,” the min – istry said after the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) said it had found indirect evidence of possible violations during a two-expert mission’s field trip to northern Iraq in Septem- ber.
German Green Party vows to take action after protests against
Turkish war in Kurdistan
ANF | Hannover | 22 October 2022
On Friday, activists of the campaigns “Women Defend Rojava” and “Defend Kurdistan” occupied the of- fice of the district association of the Green Party in Hanover. The aim of this action of civil disobedience was to get into conversation with the responsible politicians of the Green Party. At the same time, a loud rally took place at the main railway station to protest against the Turkish war of aggression, the use of in- ternationally outlawed chemical weapons and ecological destruction by Turkey in Kurdistan. This was in solidarity with the action at the Green Party office in the form of a spontaneous demonstration to the party office.
The demands that were made clear in the talks include several points. On the one hand, activists called for a resolution to be passed at the regional level in the city council condemning Turkey’s war of aggression in Kurdistan. In addition, the Greens’ co-responsibility in the foreign policy of the FRG was also discussed. Andrea Zielinsky said: “One of the main demands is to send an independent delegation to the war zone in Southern Kurdistan/Northern Iraq to take samples and investigate the use of chemical warfare agents by the Turkish state.”
23 The İmralı Post #24 “Firm commitment for support and talks”
“It was not easy to communicate our positions and demands. However, we received a firm commitment to support our concerns and to talk about the content within the next week,” Andrea Zielinsky said about the action in the Greens’ office. Accordingly, the Greens are interested in bringing a resolution to the city council condemning Turkey’s war of aggression in Kurdistan, just as one was recently passed on Ukraine.
After the activists had successfully completed the action at the Green Party office, they were received at the final rally of the spontaneous demonstration with the slogan “German weapons, German money – murder all over the world”. However, this was prevented by the police, who detained the activists for taking their personal details on the grounds of “possible trespass”. Uninvolved persons who showed solidarity with the activists were also affected. The measure was carried out even though those in charge of the office of the district branch of the Green Party made it clear to the police that they did not want to press charges. Ac – tivist Lina Ebert angrily commented on the disproportionate action of the police: “The encirclement of diplomatic activists contradicts democratic principles.
Lastly, Andrea Zielinsky stressed the responsibility of the Greens in foreign policy: “When Baerbock talks about feminist foreign policy, it must be followed by corresponding action. Erdoğan must be shown a much clearer stance. However, the work done so far leaves much to be desired in this respect.”
Condolence visit to the family of Kevser Ete killed by Turkish
ANF | Şirnak | 22 October 2022
HDP MP Nuran Imir visited the family of Kevser Ete (Helbest Koçerîn) living in Şırnak. Kevser Ete was a guerrilla fighter of the YJA Star (Free Women’s Troops) and was killed in a Turkish chemical weapons at- tack in Southern Kurdistan (Northern Iraq). Footage of her death throes was released on Tuesday.
Nuran Imir was accompanied on her condolence visit on Friday by members of the MEBYA-DER Soli- darity Association. The group was greeted on arrival by the relatives of the fallen fighter with trills and shouts of “Martyrs are immortal”. Imir gave a short speech and said, “The Kurdish people have been resist- ing cruel oppression for years. Great massacres have taken place. International powers also play a role in these massacres. Kevser, together with her friends, resisted until the last moment. We will continue her struggle. Kevser stands for the slogan Jin-Jiyan-Azadî (Woman, Life, Freedom).
Kevser Ete’s family belongs to the Sorî tribe from Siirt and had to leave their home due to the state’s policy of oppression. Kevser grew up in Turkey and joined the guerrillas in 2014. After basic training, she fought against the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS) and was seriously injured. Most recently, she resisted the Turk – ish invasion of the Zap region. In October 2022, she was killed by poison gas.
The İmralı Post #24
Iraq to establish a commission to investigate Turkish use of
ANF | Baghdad | 22 October 2022
Reactions continue to pour in over the latest images and information exposing the employment of chemi – cal weapons by the Turkish state in the guerrilla-held Medya Defense Zones in southern Kurdistan (north – ern Iraq).
Iraqi Parliamentary Security and Defense Commission member Hadi Amirli said they were aware of the reports on the use of chemical and banned weapons by the Turkish state in its ongoing military campaign in northern Iraq.
“We are following the Turkish state’s attacks on civilian settlements in Iraq closely. We have been informed that Turkey has been using chemical and banned weapons, which is against neighborhood principles and international law,” he said.
Amirli stated that the Iraqi Parliament would establish a commission to determine the Turkish use of in – ternationally banned chemical weapons.
War disabled in NE Syria denounce Turkish crimes, accuse
OPCW and NATO of partiality
ANF | Rojava | 22 October 2022
The Federation of War Disabled of Northern and Eastern Syria condemned Turkey’s chemical weapons use in Southern Kurdistan (Northern Iraq) and accused NATO and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) of partiality. “When two organizations like the OPCW and the Western de- fense alliance remain silent on allegations of the use of internationally outlawed weapons of war leveled against a partner and persistently refuse to launch an investigation despite numerous indications, we see ourselves strengthened in the assumption that the bellicose and genocidal course of the Turkish regime against Kurdish society is in the interests of the West,” the local branch of the war-disabled association in Manbij said at a rally on Saturday.
25 The İmralı Post #24 Genocide with the support of NATO and OPCW
“As those disabled in a war for which Turkey is largely responsible, we condemn this ignorance of the crimes of one state against the Kurdish people and call on democratic forces and peace initiatives to sup – port the people of Kurdistan and their defence force, the guerrillas, in their resistance and to help end Turkish war crimes in the region. All people with conscience must raise their voices against the genocide against the Kurds supported by NATO and the OPCW,” the association said.
Protest in Tabqa
Also in Tabqa, the local section of the War Disabled Association took to the streets against Turkey’s chemi – cal weapons attacks on Kurdistan. In a speech, an activist recalled the use of white phosphorus by the Turkish army and its jihadist allies against civilians and combat units in the war of aggression on Serêkaniyê (Ras al-Ain) and Girê Spî (Tal Abyad) in October 2019. “At that time, too, the OPCW refused to conduct an investigation. In doing so, the organisation sent a fatal signal to the victims of these crimes and encouraged the perpetrators to commit further atrocities, as we are forced to note today. We call on the OPCW to investigate all evidence of the use of chemical weapons and to name those responsible. The attacks on Kurdistan, its people and guerrillas must stop.”
KODAR says that keeping silent about Turkish chemical attacks
means complicity with those crimes
ANF | Rojhilat | 23 October 2022
Komelgeha Demokratîk û Azad a Rojhilatê Kurdistanê (KODAR) made a statement against the chemical attacks carried out by the Turkish state in guerrilla areas.
KODAR said: “Keeping silence against war crimes carried out by the Turkish state means being a partner in crime in all Turkish actions.”
The statement underlined that the killing of 17 guerrillas in Metina, Avaşin and Zap with chemical weapons by the invading Turkish army also happened because of the silence of world public opinion, and added: “The invading Turkish Army has been increasing its chemical weapons attacks against Rojava and South Kurdistan for years also because of the silence of the international community. The silence, deafness and deliberate blindness of the international community and especially the human rights institutions in the face of these crimes means that they are also partners in these war crimes.
The statement added that if the silence continues, other societies and movements may be targeted.
26 The İmralı Post #24
KODAR said: “We once again offer our condolences to the families of the 17 fallen guerrillas and strongly condemn the brutal attacks carried out by the invading Turkish state. It is the responsibility of the Kurdish people and all those who want peace to protest and try to prevent the crimes of the Turkish state every- where.”
Özsoy: Chemical weapons allegations must be investigated
Zeynep Kuray | Istanbul | 23 October 2022
The footage of the use of chemical weapons in the Turkish attacks on the HPG guerrillas in Southern Kur – distan (Northern Iraq) provoked strong reactions, and the issue was also raised in the parliament in Ankara. While Defense Minister Hulusi Akar denied the attack on the grounds that the Turkish Armed Forces do not possess chemical weapons, an investigation was launched against the head of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB), Şebnem Korur Fincancı. The renowned forensic scientist and winner of the 2018 Hessian Peace Prize had stated after viewing the footage that the symptoms shown indicated the use of nerve agents and that the allegation needed to be investigated.
HDP MP Hişyar Özsoy, co-speaker of the party’s Foreign Affairs Committee, has spoken to ANF about the issue. He said that the issue could only be clarified after an independent delegation investigated the in- cident.
The issue is not new
Özsoy pointed out that the discussion about the use of chemical weapons in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) is not new. The region has been at war for six to seven months and civilians from the surrounding villages have been hospitalized because they were exposed to chemical gases. Özsoy said that two delega- tions so far traveled to the region to investigate this, but were not allowed to do so: “Two different delega- tions traveled to the region to investigate the situation of people who were reportedly exposed to chemi- cals. But unfortunately, the Kurdish Regional Government denied the delegations access to the areas. It must be noted that this government itself has already been affected by chemical weapons and experienced the Halabja massacre. Its behavior is of course unacceptable.”
Shocking and inhumane images
The HDP MP referred to the “shocking and inhuman pictures” of dying guerrilla fighters and stated that there are serious allegations that cannot be dismissed with the words of the Defense Minister. Özsoy stressed that the only way to prevent discussions on this issue was for an independent delegation to travel to the scene and conduct an investigation. If the government has no concerns about its own statements, then it should clear the way for an independent delegation, he added.
27 The İmralı Post #24 Fincanci is a doctor with professional ethics
Regarding the agitation against Şebnem Korur Fincancı, Özsoy stated that as a forensic scientist, she is an expert and a doctor who fully adheres to her professional ethics. Özsoy noted that a witch hunt was launched against Fincancı just because she said the incident should be investigated: “Just because she inter- preted the footage from a professional point of view and said the matter should be investigated, everyone, starting with President Erdoğan, attacked her and Selahattin Demirtaş, who made a statement on the issue on Twitter.”
The opposition shows its classic status quo behaviour
Özsoy explained that the opposition, which should have shown itself at such moments, displayed its usual classic etatist status quo attitude, whereas it should have denounced these serious accusations. Referring to the 1937/1938 Dersim massacre, Özsoy said: “An approach such as such a thing cannot exist and therefore did not take place is not correct. In the history of Turkey, people have been killed with gas in caves in Der- sim before. This is what the official records of the state say. But while this is the case, voices other than CHP MP Sezgin Tanrıkulu, who has submitted a parliamentary question on the issue, can make the argu- ment that such a thing cannot happen. Therefore, as Şebnem Korur Fincancı said, an international inde – pendent delegation, even an international independent delegation with experts from Turkey, must go there and investigate the matter on the spot. Apart from that, all the words and discussions are aimed at closing this issue and are nothing but demagogy.”
Whoever wants peace must solve the Kurdish question
Özsoy recalled that in the past, when the state lost the will to solve the Kurdish question, it resorted to all kinds of violent methods. The statement of Defense Minister Akar “In our culture there is no such thing as torture or punishment” is not convincing, said the HDP MP: “Weren’t Kurdish villages burnt down? Weren’t people killed in the streets? Even corpses were tortured, not to mention the living. There are nu- merous archives on this subject from the 1990s. Now Hulusi Akar speaks up and says that this and that cannot happen. But this people has a memory. Will it go by the official accounts or by its own memory? We have seen with our own eyes how people were tortured in the middle of their village. It is obvious that when the state loses the will to solve the Kurdish question, it resorts to all kinds of violence. When you block the way for politics, you pave the way for the means of violence. This is as simple as 2+2= 4. There- fore, of course, we have no expectations or hopes for this government. If you really want peace and tran- quility in Turkey, you have to solve the Kurdish question. The conflict has already been going on for 100 years, and if it continues like this, it will go on for another 100 years. The people will be the losers. And those who are in power will find a way to stay in power by using such issues.”
In conclusion, Hişyar Özsoy remarked that the HDP will continue to pursue the issue and has launched a number of initiatives to ensure that chemical weapons use is investigated.
28 The İmralı Post #24 What gas masks tell…
ANF | Behdinan | 24 October 2022
The Turkish state is using all the means at its disposal to get results against the guerrillas, in clear violation of both its own laws and all international agreements.
The Turkish state’s war crimes and crimes against humanity are carried out on almost a daily basis. Interna- tional institutions remain silent in the face of crimes committed by Turkey and become partners.
According to the HPG, banned weapons were used thousands of times in the six-month period from 14 April to 14 October.
The HPG-Press Liaison Center (HPG-BIM) said: “The war tunnels and positions of our forces have been bombed 2,476 times with internationally prohibited bombs (phosphorus bomb, thermo-baric bomb, tac- tical nuclear bomb) and chemical weapons.”
Numerous images, testimony and documents have been published regarding the use of chemical weapons.
Despite all this, Turkish state officials denied the chemical attacks, saying they were “slanderous”, “base- less”, and “untrue”.
The Turkish Ministry of Defense, on the other hand, exhibited the materials they seized to praise the in- vading army. Among the sized items were gas masks, oxygen and breathing tubes. In other words, vital materials used by the guerrillas precisely to protect themselves against chemical gases.
Like the Turkish army, the KDP forces seized and published images of a large number of gas masks head- ing to the guerrillas to protect themselves.
Turkish state terrorism condemned at Féte de L’Humanite
ANF | Lorient | 24 October 2022
The Fête de l’Humanité is an event organized annually by the French daily newspaper L’Humanité and the Communist Party of France (PCF).
This year’s event was held in a hall in Lanester. Activists spoke out against the Turkish use of chemical weapons against the Kurdistan Freedom Guerrillas, and against the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the United Nations (UN) and NATO, which maintain their silence and in- action in the face of reports and proof brought out on the issue.
29 The İmralı Post #24 The Féte de L’Humanite Bretagne festival started on Saturday and continued until late Sunday.
Many institutions and the Kurds living in the city of Lorient set up a promotional table at the festival. Lo – cal music groups and pro-Kurdish friends showed solidarity with the Kurds.
Kurdish activists distributed leaflets to give information on Turkey’s chemical attacks. In addition, hun- dreds of signatures were collected as part of the campaign launched by the Justice for the Kurds Initiative to remove the PKK from the list of terrorist organizations last year.
Alexandre Rault, MJCF 56’s department secretary, said, “The Turkish state’s use of chemical weapons against the Kurdistan Freedom Guerrillas is a barbaric attack, and the Erdogan regime should be immedi- ately prosecuted for its chemical attacks.” Rault noted that the silence of the relevant institutions is shame- ful for humanity, adding, “We, young communists, will continue to support the Kurds,” since the Kurdish women and men are defending their own lands.”
Dr. Boris Campos, secretary of the PCF in Lorient, said that the massacres and chemical attacks of the Turkish regime in southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq) are against humanity, reminding that Turkey, a member of the OPCW, the UN and the NATO, had agreed to ban the use of these weapons. Campos stressed that an independent committee should investigate Turkish war crimes, underlining that they stand in solidarity with the Kurdish people who are fighting for their freedom.
Alexandre Scheuer, a member of the Insoumis city council in Lanester and leader of the Lorient People’s Union, said: “I offer my support to my Kurdish friends. Kurdish fighters have been exposed to chemical attacks multiple times, and we know that 17 Kurdish fighters lost their lives most recently. The Turkish government crackdowns on the HDP and Kurdish society. This repression is just unacceptable. We have seen how the Kurdish people fought ISIS supported by the Turkish regime, and now we will not remain silent when the Kurdish people fighting for their freedom are subjected to barbarian massacres. We want the Erdogan regime to come to an end.”
During the festival, many authors set up tables and promoted their books.
Kurdish writers Maha Hassan and Ismael Dupont promoted their novel “Femmes d’Alep” (Women of Aleppo).
In a speech at a conference, Maha Hassan stated that many of her family members were killed first by the regime forces and then by Jihadist groups when the war first erupted in Rojava. Hassan stated that she was trying to express the suffering of other peoples as well as the Kurds in Rojava.
The economic crisis in France was addressed and the economic policy of the French government was criti- cized in speeches delivered at the festival, which concluded with the performance of music bands.
30 The İmralı Post #24
KODAR: Uprising in Iran has reached a point of no return
ANF | Rojhilat | 18 October 2022
The East Kurdistan Democratic and Freedom Community (KODAR) released a written statement about the ongoing uprising in Iran and East Kurdistan, which has been shaped by the motto “Jin jiyan azadi” (Woman, Life, Freedom) since September 16.
The KODAR highlighted that the protest actions were “stronger and more disciplined” than the previous ones, and the uprising had reached an “irreversible” stage.
Iranian regime forces were unable to suppress the protest actions and the regime had come to a deadlock, the statement said.
The KODAR called on protestors to form “autonomous administrations” and consolidate their actions.
The KODAR said that the stance of the Iranian state stood for suppressing the protests, as is proven by the remarks of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, adding that the protestors have manifested a serious, radical and determined stance against the Iranian crackdown.
“Khamenei declared war against the people, he is openly threatening to attack the protestors.”
The KODAR stated that Khamenei called on the Iranian armed forces to “shed blood”. “The Iranian regime is trying to find a way out by confusing the internal and external wars,” it noted.
Autonomous administrations will be established in cities
The KODAR said that the cross-border attacks carried out by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards against the Kurdish forces show that Iran has sunk into despair in the face of the Kurdish and East Kurdistan peo – ple.
The KODAR also condemned the massacre carried out by the Iranian state forces in Baluchistan. “Despite the crackdown they face, peoples of Iran and East Kurdistan are revolting.” The KODAR emphasized that no power would manage to suppress the popular revolt. “People’s revolts will not stop. The next step is to establish autonomous administrations in cities. Therefore, all peoples revolting in the streets and squares need to build a stronger organization and autonomous administration in regions, neighbourhoods and squares.”
31 The İmralı Post #24 Iran protests not against national unity, unlike official
MedyaNews | 19 October 2022
Iran’s religious leaders try to portray the spreading protests over the death of Jîna (Mahsa) Amini as a breakaway uprising which threatens national unity rather than clerical rule, Reuters reported on Monday.
Much of the crackdown by security forces focused on the northwest part of the country, where most of Iran’s estimated 10 million Kurds live. More security, including riot police and paramilitary forces as well as tanks, were transferred to the Kurdistan province from other areas, Reuters said, citing witness accounts.
An unnamed Iranian security official accused Kurdish opposition groups of using Amini’s death as “an ex- cuse for their decades-long goal of separating Kurdistan from Iran”. Such rhetoric was behind Iran’s missile strikes against Iraqi Kurdish territory, which reportedly killed 13 people. Another Iranian official told Reuters that there were “concerns” that support for Kurds throughout Iran would result in a stronger push for independence.
However, “significant solidarity” among Iran’s various ethnic groups has undermined the official Iranian line, Ali Fathollah-Nejad, a political scientist at the American University of Beirut, told Reuters.
Iran’s constitution grants language rights to all ethnic minorities, but Kurds and other ethnic and religious minorities report discrimination under Farsi-Shiite rule. “Scores if not hundreds” of Kurds have been jailed over unfair trials, Reuters cited Amnesty International as saying.
Political groups representing Kurds in Iran “want regime change, not independence”, Iranian Kurdish journalist Kaveh Ghoreishi told Reuters.
While official discourse attempts to paint a different picture, the treatment of minorities and the disregard of their legitimate grievances “have rendered the country increasingly vulnerable to the civil strife that has pulled countries in the region like Syria and Yemen into a deadly downward spiral”, International Crisis Group’s Ali Vaez told Reuters.
Iran Human Rights warns of situation of detainees
ANF | 22 October 2022
A month after the start of nationwide protests in Iran, at least 215 people, including 27 children, have been killed by security forces and mass arrests made on and off the streets.
32 The İmralı Post #24 Calling for the immediate release of all protesters and recognition of the Iranian people’s right to peaceful
protest, Iran Human Rights warns about the dire situation of the detainees.
Reports received by Iran Human Rights confirm that detainees are being subjected to verbal insults and torture and other ill-treatment. Some have been forced to make self-incriminating televised confessions under duress and torture. Furthermore, some protesters have been taken to unofficial buildings without any regulations or monitoring. The official detention centres and prisons are filled above capacity without sanitary facilities. Children under 18 years are amongst the detainees.
Iran Human Rights is unable to provide the exact number of arrests, but based on reports from different cities, it is estimated that several thousand people have been arrested in Iran. Of the available information, at least 38 journalists, 170 students, 16 lawyers and more than 580 civil activists, including workers and teachers unions, have been arrested. Islamic Republic officials have provided sporadic statistics. For exam- ple, a member of parliament announced that 3000 people were arrested in Tehran and police officials in Gilan stated that 880 people had been arrested on October 16.
Many human rights defenders and journalists were arrested off the streets. It is not clear what charges they have been arrested for and, in a lot of cases, where they are being held. There are reports of arbitrary arrests without warrants, with security forces even disguised to gain access to properties. Following arrest, funda- mental rights including access to a lawyer, medical treatment, being informed of charges, telephone access and due process are systematically breached.
PJAK publishes declaration of proposals for Iran and Rojhilat
ANF | 22 October 2022
In Eastern Kurdistan (Rojhilat) and Iran, the uprising that broke out after the violent death of Jina Mahsa Amini continues. The PJAK (Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan) has published proposals for further devel – opments.
The declaration published on Saturday states the following:
“Through the revolution of the peoples of Eastern Kurdistan and Iran, which has been going on for more than a month, material and spiritual values have been created. Now the main thing is to become aware of the dangers that threaten this revolution. The peoples of Iran must give clear answers to the question of what will happen after the revolution. Parties, political forces and society must avoid anything that could block the revolution. They must express this clearly for the revolution to succeed. It is the responsibility of all movements and forces to overcome every obstacle to the revolution. For this reason, every party and ev- ery force must clearly state its programme, its thoughts and its attitude towards society. Based on the cor- rect positions of the parties, people can stay mobilised and continue their protests.
33 The İmralı Post #24
The Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK) has stated its position on the ‘new revolution’ developing in Iran in favour of the revolution and the measures necessary for the revolution. Now, the discussions about the revolution and the obstacles in its way are becoming clearer. Based on this debate, we feel the need to explain once again our stance, proposals and assessments in the spirit of ‘unity and solidarity’. We think it is necessary to clarify some things so that the Kurdish and Iranian peoples can identify with this revolu- tion. On this basis, we explain our position for the Kurdish people and the peoples of Iran with a pro- gramme.”
The revolution must be contextualized
In the declaration of PJAK, the following points are listed:
The revolution is led by women. It has been a women’s revolution since the beginning and must be con – textualised. All sexist and masculine methods against women must be stopped. The idea of women’s libera – tion must be defended. The whole society must be formed on this basis so that a free life is possible.
The struggle must overcome racism, nationalism and confessional and religious differences. Such dis- courses and practices must be avoided.
The struggle must not continue with a centralist understanding but must focus on self-determination.
All regions must focus on self-government and strive for an education system based on democracy and a free life with one’s own culture and tradition.
The negative tendencies of the Iranian regime towards life must be fought, the ecology and environment must be protected.
The fundamental rights of all nations, peoples, religions, confessions and social groups must be defended. For a coexistence of all social components according to ethical principles, the model of a “Democratic Na- tion” should be striven for.
Freedom must be granted to all religions, denominations and faith communities.
Revolutionary forces must not only demand freedom for all religions, faiths, nations and social groups in discourse, but must also act in practice under the motto of “unity and solidarity without distinction”.
Platforms should be formed for the people to include, within the framework of unity, solidarity and com- mon coordination, all movements, parties, institutions, associations, revolutionary forces and people de- manding and struggling for freedom, in order to build self-government against theocratic and religious domination.
A committee or council should be appointed to strengthen and advance the popular uprising and revolu- tion.
34 The İmralı Post #24 On the struggle of the Kurdish people
The resistance for freedom must be for all identities, cultures, traditions, languages and religions living in Kurdistan.
The revolution of the Kurdish people is led unconditionally and without further justification by women.
For the emergence of a radical and direct democracy, a system of self-government must be introduced in all institutions and social platforms of the Kurdish people. The domination of any language or religion is rejected.
Within the framework of the above articles, PJAK declares that it rejects all kinds of flags and symbols. The PJAK accepts the flag of the Republic of Kurdistan (Mahabad) as the national flag until the convening of a national congress for the unity and solidarity of the Kurdish people and a new decision made by all Kurdish forces.”
Iran: Jails full, torture widespread, says protestor
MedyaNews | 23 October 2022
In response to massive demonstrations across the country, Iranian officials have arrested so many people that they have run out of jail cells and have been detaining some people in the basements of homes, Sky News reported on Sunday citing a woman protester.
The protester, whose name was changed to Mina for security reasons, has been arrested twice by the police for joining the protests, and was held in solitary confinement while in detention.
“Our whole life has changed,” said the protester on the effects of the protests that have swept Iran since a 22-year old Kurdish woman died of brain injuries following her arrest by morality police for not wearing her hijab properly.
“This is a place where detainees are not transferred into the justice system. They undergo beatings and tor- ture,” the protester, who is working towards a PhD in the Kurdish region of Iran, told Sky News. Without giving details of what happened to her she said that the torture was sometimes physical, sometimes men- tal, or a combination of the two, in voice notes she sent to Sky News on an encrypted messaging app.
“When women’s rights activists are detained, they [the police] don’t attack you physically,” Mina said. “In- stead [they] threaten, intimidate and try to frighten you. They insult people’s beliefs. It is an intense psy- chological violence,” she added.
The protester also said that women protesters risked losing their jobs by taking part in demonstrations.
35 The İmralı Post #24
“The jails are full of prisoners so now they use houses and basements to detain protesters,” Sky News quoted Mina as saying. She added that two other protesters were held for a week in a huge basement full of protesters and were beaten with cables and iron bars.
According to human rights watchdogs from Iran, almost 12,500 people have been arrested and nearly 250 killed since the start of the street protests, the Guardian reported. Many of those arrested are allowed ei- ther no or minimal contact with their families.
The human rights organization Hengaw reported on Saturday that a protester who was arrested ten days before in Sanandaj in Iranian Kurdistan died as a result of torture. The authorities told the protester’s fam – ily that he had committed suicide while in detention.
There have been strikes in a few Kurdish populated cities including Sanandaj, Bukan and Saqez, while Ira- nian security is behaving particularly brutally in Kurdish regions of the country, according to reports.
Meanwhile rallies continue to be organized in other countries to show solidarity with the protesters in Iran. In Berlin 80,000 people gathered on Saturday and demanded that democratic governments of the world stop negotiations with “the criminal state called the Islamic Republic”.
Thousands also gathered in Washington and Los Angeles in the United States to protest against the Iranian government’s treatment of women.
Iran’s state news agency IRNA reported on Saturday that “the Justice Department of Tehran has been tasked to file a lawsuit in order to investigate the damages and meddling inflicted by the US’s direct in- volvement in the unrest”.
Deputy Head of the Iranian Judiciary and Secretary of the country’s High Council for Human Rights Kazem Gharibabadi told IRNA that “the roles of countries such as the UK and Saudi Arabia that host and support the TV networks will not be ignored by the Islamic Republic’s judiciary system”.
Uprising in Iran and Eastern Kurdistan continues
ANF | 24 October 2022
The uprising following the murder of the Kurdish woman Jina Mahsa Amini by the Iranian morality po- lice does not come to a halt. People continue to take to the streets amidst strikes and street battles.
At many universities, including Razi University in Kirmaşan (Kermanshah), Zahidan University of Medi- cal Sciences, Tehran University of Social Sciences, Sharif University in Tehran, Amir Kebir University in Tehran, Tehran University, Firdausi University in Mashad and Isfahan University, students protested against the Islamic Republic’s regime with various actions.
36 The İmralı Post #24 As published videos show, clashes broke out between Besij militia and protesters at Sharif University in
Tehran. The students overran the Besij forces and entered the university building.
In Eastern Kurdistan and Iran, teachers went on strike and supported the demonstrations with a call from the Coordinating Committee of Teachers’ Unions. As was heard from Sine (Sanandaj) yesterday, Iranian regime forces opened fire on female students gathered in the city.
In recent weeks, female students in Eastern Kurdistan and other parts of Iran have taken part in protests inside and outside schools, removing their headscarves and chanting slogans against the regime. On Sun- day evening, however, it was not only students and pupils who took to the streets. Widespread protests took place in Sine, Diwandar and Serdesht in Eastern Kurdistan, Bandar Abbas and various parts of Mazandaran province, as well as in Tehran.
Femicides increasing in South Kurdistan
ANF | Sulaymaniyah | 18 October 2022
In the small town of Kifrî in the Germiyan region of South Kurdistan, a 14-year-old girl fell victim to femicide on Monday. The girl, who was born in 2008, was shot twice in the chest, according to the direc – tor of the local emergency clinic, Rebwar Muhammed.
According to the security authorities in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, the child’s father is suspected of hav- ing shot the girl. He is on the run and a manhunt has been launched. The man lived separately from his family and is considered violent. His ex-wife and mother of their daughter is said to have reported him several times for domestic violence.
In South Kurdistan there has long been a sharp increase in violence against women and femicides. At least 24 women were victims of femicide in 2021, according to figures from the Department for the Prevention of Violence Against Women set up in the Ministry of Interior of the Kurdistan Region. However, indepen- dent women’s organizations assume that the number of unreported cases is at least ten times higher, since perpetrators often construct scenes to make femicide look like suicide, an accident or natural death. Women are often driven to suicide by men around them.
Jineolojî Academy: Femicides in the region are based on a system
According to the Jineolojî Academy in Southern Kurdistan, femicides in the region are based on a system. The causes are independent of social status, cultural or religious affiliation, but lie in the prevailing patriar- chal way of thinking, which sees women as property and slaves of men. The organization also criticizes the
37 The İmralı Post #24 fact that the government takes practically no measures for real victim protection in favour of those affected
by violence and uses cases of violence against women and femicide for its own political propaganda.
Laws to prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence have been passed. However, the regulations are hardly used at all for the application and deterrence of perpetrators. In this way, the po – litical leadership would share responsibility for the violent situations.
Two more femicides in Izmir and Manisa
ANF | Izmir | 24 October 2022
Hülya Şevalcı Yeğin, who lived in Izmir Bornova, was found dead in her embroidery workshop.
Upon the notification, the police and medical teams took the body to the Izmir Forensic Medicine Insti – tute (ATK) for autopsy procedures after the first examination of the murder scene.
A search warrant was issued for Kaffar Yeğin, whom Yeğin married 6 months ago and had been trying to divorce for the last month.
It has been learned that Kaffar Yeğin threatened Hülya Yeğin with death many times, and therefore four criminal complaints were filed against him. It was also reported that a restraining order was issued against Kaffar Yeğin.
In the Şehzadeler district of Manisa, Huriye Zeybek was murdered by her husband, Zafer Zeybek. Zafer Zeybek was in the house and was detained by the police and taken to the police station.
At least 246 women killed in 9 months
A woman is murdered almost every day in Turkey. According to the We Will Stop Femicide Platform, at least 26 women were murdered in September, and 19 women died suspiciously. There were 33 femicides and 15 suspected female deaths in August. Looking at the monthly balance sheets of the platform, at least 246 women have been murdered since the beginning of the year. When dozens of suspicious female deaths are added to this figure, the picture of violence against women is even more horrendous.
38 The İmralı Post #24
Environmentalists concerned at high numbers of fish dying in small river in eastern Turkey
MedyaNews | 23 October 2022
Environmentalists in Turkey’s eastern province of Van are concerned about high numbers of fish found dead in the Zilan River, increasing the danger of the Erciş barbel, a freshwater fish unique to the region, going extinct.
The environmentalists believe that fish have been dying due to decreasing water levels, which they link to a hydroelectric power plant built on the river.
“The fish deaths happening here are not natural. They are dying of lack of oxygen and the lowering water level. And this is related either to the State Water Works, which holds water for dams, or the hydroelectric power plant shifting the waterways,” Ali Kalçık, head of Van Environment and Ecology Foundation, told Gazete Duvar.
Kalçık added that the lowering water level has brought the freshwater fish endemic to the region to the point of extinction. “This is savage. If Zilan’s waters are kept captive, their habitat will disappear. The Zilan needs to flow freely,” Kalçık said.
Müjdat Ceyhan, a local from a village near the Zilan, told Gazete Duvar that the villagers have been wit- nessing fish dying in massive numbers for the last two years.
“Last year thousands of carp died that way. This is totally related to the pollution in water. The municipal – ity has to do something about it. Rubbish is not being collected, there is no sewage system. All the filth flows into the streams,” he said.
Van is one of a number of provinces in Turkey where all municipality works are managed by trustees ap- pointed by the government to replace elected mayors from the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), which they justified with accusations of terrorism.
Scientists and environmentalists have for years been warning the authorities that the Erciş barbel (Barbus Plebejus Ercisianus) is facing the risk of extinction due to waterworks around small rivers that endanger the freshwater fish of the region.
39 The İmralı Post #24
Human Rights Violations
Kurdish association in Saarbrücken raided and searched
ANF | Saarbeucken | 18 October 2022
The Kurdish Community Centre (KGZ) in Saarbrucken and four private residences in the Saarland were searched by the police on Tuesday morning. According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Koblenz, the suspects from Lebach, Völklingen, Losheim and Beckingen are accused of being members of the “Kurdis- tan Workers’ Party” (PKK).
In front of the KGZ, members of the association and people in solidarity protested against the searches and stated: “Activities that are part of everyday business for every association are not a matter of course for Kurds. Even the campaign against the Turkish military’s war in northern Syria and northern Iraq is being put through the wringer at Erdogan’s behest, because criticism of and opposition to Turkey as a NATO partner is undesirable.”
The group stated that the police action was intended to make the work of the Kurdish association in Ger- many impossible. Documents that are needed for the regular work of the association were seized: member- ship lists, applications for the register of associations and notarial deeds.
Speaking at the spontaneous protest rally, Dilan Akdogan, spokesperson for the association, said: “We stand behind our association here today. We are a Kurdish society, we will not allow ourselves to be crimi- nalised and we will continue to stand behind what we represent with our heads held high. We stand up for democracy and human rights. We want to be treated in an equal way also here in the Federal Republic of Germany, we want to exercise our basic rights.”
The PKK ban, which has been in force since 1993, repeatedly provides the leverage to persecute politically active Kurds. This is “practical support for the despot Erdogan and his AKP regime” and “legitimisation of the war policy against the Kurdish population”, said the KGZ, and demanded: “Stop supplying weapons to Turkey, condemn the war crimes committed by the Turkish military, get rid of the ban on the PKK!
KON-MED: Intimidation ordered by the Turkish state
Engin Sever and Zübeyde Zümrüt, co-spokespersons of the umbrella organisation KON-MED, also com- mented on the searches in Saarland and the situation of the Kurdish community in Germany: “As the Kurdish society in Germany, we are regularly confronted with harassment and repression. On the one hand, there are massive attacks by Turkish nationalists, such as the largest right-wing extremist organisa- tion in Germany, the ‘Grey Wolves’. In recent decades there have been repeated attacks by members and sympathisers of these groups. They threaten, attack, injure and kill Kurds here in Germany on the sole ba – sis that we are Kurds.
40 The İmralı Post #24
On the other hand, there are the activities of the Turkish secret service with its thousands of agents and in – formers here in Germany. One of their main tasks is to continue to monitor and spy on us as Kurds who had to flee to Germany because of the political pressure in Turkey. Hundreds of us were imprisoned in Turkey for months because of this, when we were visiting our homeland. Many are intimidated and no longer dare to become politically active here in Germany or to publicly recognise themselves as Kurds.
To make matters worse, a massive anti-Kurdish racism has developed in Germany over the last decades. As a Kurdish society, we are placed under general suspicion because of the ban on PKK activities. Each and every one of us is seen as a potential terrorist. The German authorities are thus making themselves a stooge of the Turkish regime’s repressive policy of contempt for human rights. Since this year in particular, a cam – paign called the ‘repatriation offensive’ by the coalition of the two parties has been taking place, resulting in mass deportations of Kurds to Turkey. Currently, for example, there is the case of an HDP member who had to flee to Germany because he has been sentenced to prison in Turkey for his political activities. His deportation would mean direct deportation to prison, deportation directly into the hands of Turkish na- tionalists. It should be well known that this means persecution and torture. Germany must immediately stop the deportation of all Kurds to Turkey and other countries in the Middle East!
In addition, four flats as well as the Kurdish Community Centre (KGZ) in Saarbrucken were searched to- day by the German police. The KGZ said, “It is pure harassment and anti-Kurdish racism that we are con – fronted with here. Because here, too, the searches are only based on flimsy reasons. It is an attempt at in- timidation ordered by the Turkish state.”
“As Kurds, we are being subjected to multiple attacks and repression here in Germany, which is incompati- ble with both the German constitution and international law. We strongly condemn the actions of the German state and demand a statement from the Federal Ministry of the Interior on the latest criminalisa – tion attempts against the KGZ in Saarbrucken and its members! Germany must massively rethink its Kur- dish policy!”
Police take HDP executives into custody in Erciş
ANF | Van | 19 October 2022
As part of a new political police operation carried out by the Van Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in the Erciş district of Van, four Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) executives were taken into custody.
Among those detained is HDP member Abdullah Işlenen. He was taken into custody after the police raided their homes. Erciş District co-chair Fatma Serhatlı was also wanted but she was not at her house.
It was later confirmed that former city council member, Muhittin Üzümcüoğlu, as well as HDP members Şemsettin Esen and Mürsel Sayıner were also detained.
The HDP members were taken to the Van Police Department.
The İmralı Post #24
Persecution of Kurdish family one of the reasons behind major
resignation from Turkey’s ruling party
MedyaNews | 22 October 2022
The unfair treatment towards a Kurdish family was one of the reasons that forced a lawmaker of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to resign after 20 years, journalist İsmail Saymaz told opposition channel Halk TV on Friday.
Ahmet Eşref Fakıbaba, a lawmaker from the south-eastern province of Şanlıurfa, an AKP stronghold, re- signed both from party membership and his parliamentary seat this week, saying that he would “no longer be with some people who do not conform to his political and moral understanding”.
Fakıbaba, a medical doctor by profession and a former agriculture minister, was top of the news in Turkey this week as the veteran political is known to be one of the main figures in AKPs success in his hometown.
The politician resigned briefly from his party in 2009 when he was not nominated by the AKP for re-elec- tion as mayor. Fakıbaba then competed as an independent candidate in local elections and was re-elected by receiving 44 percent of the votes. He later returned to the AKP.
“There were tensions between Fakıbaba and the AKP for the last one, two years,” said Saymaz. “One of the phases of this tension was a 2018 armed confrontation,” between the family of AKP MP İbrahim Halil Yıldız and the Şenyaşar family, who supported the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party.
An argument started between two families while Yıldız, along with his relatives and bodyguards, visited a shop that belonged to the Şenyaşar family, while canvassing for votes in the Suruç district of Şanlıurfa in the run-up to the 2018 elections. The conflict at the shop left one of Yıldız’s brothers dead and two mem – bers of the Şenyaşar family wounded.
The brothers, Adil and Celal Şenyaşar, were later brutally murdered by Enver Yıldız, another brother of the MP, at a hospital where they were taken for their injuries. The father, Esvet Şenyaşar, was also mur- dered at the hospital, allegedly by 20 members of Yıldız’s family.
Emine Şenyaşar, who lost her husband and two of her sons in the incident and saw another son jailed, along with her remaining son Ferit Şenyaşar have become symbols of human rights advocacy in Turkey af – ter they started a silent vigil in March 2021 in front of the Şanlıurfa courthouse asking that justice be served.
In 2018, Fakıbaba rushed to link the Şenyaşar family to terrorism, but he later regretted doing so. “Fakıbaba said at the time that this is a terrorism incident, but when he learned what had happened in re- ality, he said he had been ashamed of himself for calling the incident a terror event,” Saymaz said.
42 The İmralı Post #24 “Several lawmakers are uncomfortable with this situation. More people to resign as long as this persecu-
tion continues,” the Şenyaşar family said in the Twitter account following Fakıbaba’s resignation.
“Fakıbaba is a witness to this incident. One of the reasons behind his resignation is the massacre at the hospital,” Ferit Şenyaşar later told reporters during the family’s daily sit-in. “He previously expressed that he felt a pressure of conscience because of this event. We believe he did not lose anything by resigning, in – stead he won,” Şenyaşar added.
In fact, there are testimonies that prove that Fakibaba was present during the 2018 murders at the hospi- tal. A witness told the media after the incident that Fakıbaba tried to calm down the parties but could not succeed.
Fakıbaba is not included as a witness in an indictment on the killings at the hospital that was made public last week. However, in one of the testimonies, a witness from the hospital staff says that Fakıbaba was as- saulted by Yıldız’s family members, one of whom jumped on the then-minister’s throat.
The prosecutors demanded life sentences for 14 suspects out of the 19 in the indictment that came more than four years after the deadly event. However, they did not charge the AKP MP Yıldız, who was at the hospital when the murders took place, and his name is mentioned only in the testimonies of witnesses and suspects.
Meanwhile, Fakıbaa this week also announced that he will continue his political career in the centre-right İyi Party, while the opposition media have been repeatedly reporting that several new resignations from the AKP are expected as Turkey enters a new election period.
Diyarbakır residents say Turkish President unwelcome before
MedyaNews | 22 October 2022
The residents of Diyarbakır who spoke to Mezopotamya News a day before Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to the south-eastern province showed that the people of the mainly-Kurdish city are not very eager to welcome the leader of the ruling party.
“His visit is totally related to the elections and he is coming here only for the votes of the Kurdish people,” said Adem Bayrak, a resident of Diyarbakır, referring to upcoming elections in Turkey currently scheduled for June 2023. “But they can no longer fool Kurdish people. Nobody that calls him/herself a human being will go neither to welcome him or any place he will be,” he added.
“As people of Diyarbakır, we do not want Erdoğan to come here and we are not happy that he is coming,” said Mehmet İhsan Atlı, adding that nobody should be attending Erdoğan’s rally on Sunday. “We cannot
43 The İmralı Post #24
accept him being hostile to Kurds and then coming to Kurdistan lands. He is attacking four parts of Kur- dish soil. Just a few days ago footage of chemical weapons being used against Kurdish guerrillas became public,” Atlı said.
Another Diyarbakır resident, Mehmet Ekinci, recalled Erdoğan saying “PKK members had 5, 10, 15 chil- dren”, a comment which many understood as implying the Kurdish people as a whole. “Let’s give Erdoğan the best response by not going to the rally squares,” Ekinci said.
Barış Sağ, another resident recalled Erdoğan calling Kurds his brothers when he first came to power. “But after he became president, the cattle died, the partnership ended. Kurdish question remains unsolved,” he said.
“Erdoğan has no message to give Diyarbakır, but to Kurds he owes lots to give an account for,” Sağ said.
The president was to visit the Kurdish political movement’s stronghold last week but postponed it after a mining incident claimed the lives of 41 people. The province’s governorship and the municipality has filled Diyarbakır with billboards inviting people to Erdoğan’s rally. The governor’s office is also sending several texts to the residents to encourage them to attend the event.
The provincial head of Ministry of Education ordered the personnel from top to the bottom to attend Er- doğan’s rally, according to audio recordings shared this week. Other public institutions are also making similar efforts, Yeni Yaşam newspaper reported.
Erdoğan needs the Kurdish votes to guarantee re-election as president in upcoming polls, yet his support in Kurdish-populated provinces have been declining since the collapse of peace negotiations between the Turkish state and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in 2015 and the military operations of the Turkish army that followed.
Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) have for years enjoyed a high level of support, par- ticularly from conservative Kurdish voters in the south-eastern provinces, but recent polls suggest that the popularity of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) is on the rise.
The provincial head of the CHP claimed this month that his party will come second in parliamentary elec- tions in Diyarbakır and will win three seats.
In the latest elections in 2018, the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) received 65.5 percent of the votes in Diyarbakır and won nine seats, while the ruling AKP got the remaining three seats with 21.4 percent of the votes.
44 The İmralı Post #24 MLSA co-director Ok: Not enough done to counter ‘censorship
Roni Aram | Istanbul | 22 October 2022
MLSA co-director Veysel Ok said that the CHP decision to bring the ‘censorship law’ to the Constitu- tional Court was not a strong method of opposition.
Speaking to ANF, Ok said that the CHP, HDP and IYI Party, that is, parties opposing the government, did not do what was necessary until this law was passed by the Parliament. Stating that the public does not know that retweets, likes and WhatsApp groups can now be evidence of a crime under this new law, Ok said that “the opposition could not show the necessary reaction when it was necessary. If there was going to be a march for justice, it had to be against this law. If there was going to be a parliamentary boycott, it had to be against this law. The CHP leader was in America on the day the law was passed. This law will affect not only journalists, but also the HDP, CHP and IYI Party. They will not be able to disseminate in- formation without official approval from the government. It’s a law affecting everyone and they don’t re- ally realize it. In this respect, their last minute opposition was not enough. The problem was the great si- lence before the law was approved.”
Application to the Constitutional Court is a legal right
Reminding that the CHP applied to the Constitutional Court as it always does, Ok continued: “Applying to the Constitutional Court is not a method of opposition, it is a legal right. Expecting hope from the Constitutional Court would be a very optimistic interpretation under these circumstances. It should can- cel this law, but we have no guarantees that it will do so and in what length of time. For the government, it is enough to apply this law until the election process. I don’t think they have any reservations about the annulment or amendment of this law after the election. It’s a law enacted to save the day. Therefore, it is not the right way for the opposition to leave all hope to the Constitutional Court and not do what is nec- essary beforehand.”
This law will affect everyone
Underlining that this is a law that will affect everyone, Ok added: “From the Facebook user in Hakkari to the journalist in Istanbul and Diyarbakır, this law will affect everyone. In Ankara, it will affect politicians, bar associations and professional organizations. Unfortunately, we were unable to present a necessary and organized objection. Therefore, we can foresee that everyone will be exposed to this judicial harassment in the coming period. Now we need to sit down and think about how we can overcome this law.”
45 The İmralı Post #24 Turkish lawyers display racist reaction to Kurdish slogan of Iran
MedyaNews | 23 October 2022
A group of Turkish lawyers in the western province of İzmir started a brawl during the general meeting of the İzmir Bar, when one of their colleagues chanted “Jin, Jiyan Azadi” to show support for the protests in Iran, Artı Gerçek reported.
The Kurdish slogan, which means “Woman, Life, Freedom”, has become a symbol of the protests that have swept Iran since the death of a 22-year old Jina (Mahsa) Amini following her arrest by the Islamist regime’s morality police for disobeying hijab codes.
Many lawyers in Turkey showed their support for Iran’s women’s protesters on Saturday during provincial bar association general meetings held across Turkey.
Aryen Turan, a lawyer in İzmir, spoke of sick prisoners being denied release despite severe medical condi – tions. The lawyer also mentioned the case of Deniz Poyraz, a female employee of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) who was killed in an attack against the HDP’s İzmir branch headquarters in 2021.
“We pledge that we will hold onto their struggle for equality and freedom. We say ‘Jin, Jiyan, Azadi’ aloud against the male dominant system that represses women,” said Turan, a member of the Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD).
The bar association’s Republican Lawyers Group, reacting against the Kurdish slogan, started a brawl, and things only calmed down after some of the lawyers left the meeting venue, Artı Gerçek said.
A lawyer cut her hair on the podium at the general meeting of the Istanbul Bar to show support for her sisters in Iran. Then a lawyer from Iran stepped up, saying “I am the voice of Iranian women”. However, her speech was cut short by protests from the Nationalists Lawyers Group and she was forced to leave the podium.
46 The İmralı Post #24 Sweden to step up actions against Kurds to appease Erdoğan for
NATO accession bid
MedyaNews | 23 October 2022
Sweden has detailed concrete actions it will take to address Turkey’s demands for the Scandinavian coun- try’s NATO bid, including stepping up efforts against Kurds which Ankara claims to be linked to terror groups, Reuters reported on Friday, citing an exclusive letter from Stockholm to Ankara dated 6 October.
The two-page letter gives 14 examples of steps taken by Sweden to show the country’s full commitment to a memorandum signed with Turkey and Finland in June, to convince Ankara to lift its veto blocking the two countries’ applications to join the North Atlantic alliance.
Sweden’s letter came after a delegation of its security and counter-terrorism police (SÄPO) visited Turkey and met members of the Turkish Intelligence Agency in September.
The extradition of a long list of people Ankara categorises as terror suspects, including people linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and to a religious group Turkey holds responsible for the 2016 failed coup was one of the main demands Turkish President Erdoğan put on the negotiation table in exchange for agreeing to lift Turkey’s veto against Sweden and Finland’s bids for NATO accession.
Reuters said that according to the letter, the Swedish authorities “carried out new analyses of PKK’s role in threats to Sweden’s national security and in organised crime (and) this is likely to lead to concrete results.”
“Sweden is committed to address…pending extradition requests of terror suspects expeditiously and thor- oughly,” taking into account Turkish intelligence, and in accordance with Swedish law and the European Convention on Extradition, Reuters quoted the letter as saying.
Turkey will continue consultations with Sweden and Finland “to pursue full implementation of the mem- orandum,” Reuters quoted Turkish diplomatic sources as saying. However steps “need to be taken…(in) combatting terrorism, prevention and punishment of incitement to terrorism, improvement of security and judicial cooperation,” the sources added.
Erdoğan answered questions related to Sweden from government-affiliated reporters on his way back from Azerbaijan on Friday.
“Meanwhile, Sweden’s new prime minister asked for an appointment. I told my colleagues ‘give them an appointment’,” Erdoğan said, referring to Ulf Kristersson, the head of the Nordic country’s new right-wing government.
“At the moment the approach of the new prime minister is in favor of the struggle against terrorism and terrorists; he made statements saying ‘we should not accommodate terror and terrorists’. Of course we will test their sincerity during our meeting,” the Turkish president said.
47 The İmralı Post #24
A Finnish delegation will also visit Turkey next week to discuss Turkey’s requests based on the trilateral
Erdoğan: We have not left the Diyarbakır Mothers to the
chimpanzees of the West
MedyaNews | 23 October 2022
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday slammed human rights defenders in the West and questioned the Kurdishness of Kurdish politicians during a rally in the Kurdish-populated southeastern province of Diyarbakır.
Erdoğan went to Diyarbakır on Sunday for formal openings of a number of public sector projects and for meetings with various groups. His visit had been planned to take place a week earlier, but was postponed after 41 miners died in an explosion in northern Turkey last week.
“We have not left the Diyarbakır Mothers to the chimpanzees of the West,” Erdoğan said in his speech. “Where are those human rights advocates of the West? Have they ever come to visit the Diyarbakır Moth – ers?” Erdoğan added.
Diyarbakır Mothers is a group affiliated with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) that orga- nizes sit-ins outside the provincial headquarters of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), claiming that their children have been abducted by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), and demanding their return. The establishment of the group was an effort to make motherhood a new battleground around issues related to Turkey’s Kurdish question and a clear reference to the Saturday Mothers who have been organizing weekly sit-ins for 27 years demanding information about relatives who disappeared in the 1990s.
Erdoğan is expected to meet with the Diyarbakır Mothers, who also met with Turkey’s Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, earlier on Sunday.
“Does the individual who is currently in Edirne prison have any relation to Kurdishness?” Erdoğan asked, referring without using his name to Selahattin Demirtaş, the former co-chair of the HDP. Demirtaş has been imprisoned since 2016 in Turkey’s northwestern province of Edirne on terror-related charges, despite the European Court of Human Rights calling for his release.
“This man is not a Kurd. But he is exploiting my Kurdish siblings,” Erdoğan said before adding that the current co-chair of the HDP is also not Kurdish.
The pro-Kurdish party has two co-chairs, Pervin Buldan and Mithat Sancar, both of whom are ethnically Kurdish.
48 The İmralı Post #24
Erdoğan told the crowd that the Diyarbakır prison notorious for the cruel torture and inhumane treat- ment of prisoners after the 1980 military coup, will be turned into a museum, before resuming his attacks of the HDP.
“The HDP, an imperialist operational apparatus masked as a party, is the actor of all perverts that target your morality,” he said.
According to many, Erdoğan’s Diyarbakır visit is another sign that Turkey will hold elections within a short period of time. The presidential and parliamentary elections are currently scheduled for June 2023, but many analysts expect early elections to be announced.
Erdoğan, who came to power in 2002, needs Kurdish votes if he is to be re-elected as president. The sup- port of conservative Kurds has played a critical role in Erdoğan’s 20 years in power, but the president is facing declining support in southeast Turkey.
An AKP politician who wanted to remain anonymous told Artı Gerçek that there is widespread discom- fort among Kurds about the ruling party.
“Under normal conditions, no risks should be associated with being seen with the ruling party. But no- body wants to be seen with this party,” the politician said.
According to the source, Kurdish supporters of the AKP have become alienated from the party as national- ist rhetoric has started to dominate AKP policies, and particularly since Erdoğan formed an alliance with the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
Artı Gerçek also reported that support for the AKP in Diyarbakır is far below the 21% it achieved in the 2018 elections, according to polls held on the orders of the trustee appointed by the government to the province to replace the elected HDP mayor. According to another poll conducted on behalf of the Di- yarbakır governor, AKP votes are at 15%.
Drones keep Hakkari under surveillance 24 hours a day
ANF | Hakkari | 23 October 2022
The ancient Kurdish city of Hakkari has witnessed the repression of the Turkish state for years. In Hakkari center, as well as all its districts, villages and neighborhoods, there are police stations, military posts and watchtowers. You can also see them on many hills and mountains surrounding Hakkari.
The AKP-MHP government has turned Hakkari and its districts into something similar to a winter mili- tary station. The city centers and neighborhoods are full of armored vehicles. There are checkpoints at the entrances of the city, the bazaar center and the entrances of many neighborhoods, turning the city into a kind of open prison.
49 The İmralı Post #24
Although there are many military barracks and police stations in the city center of Hakkari, the area is guarded by building towers on all the hills surrounding the city center. Not content with this, the Turkish government keeps the city center and neighborhoods of Hakkari under surveillance for 24 hours with UAVs and drones.
The state fears the people of Hakkari
People are prevented from using their democratic rights and the city is under a state of emergency law im- plemented de facto. The fact that the city center and many city’s neighborhoods are under drone surveil- lance day and night, causes protests.
The people of Hakkari said that the state has been ruling the city of Hakkari for years with war methods. A citizen who said that the state is afraid of the people of Hakkari and that drones and UAVs are con – stantly watching over Hakkari, especially at night, said: “We can hardly notice UAVs and drones during the daytime, but we can see them in the sky at night. The state clearly violates private life. They’ve been doing this with watchtowers for years, now they’re doing it with drones. The state has a great fear of the Kurdish people. But they cannot intimidate us with these abuses.”
Sancar: Erdoğan’s discourse reflects state mentality
ANF | Ankara | 23 October 2022
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s recent remarks on the number of children reflect a state ideol – ogy that is the basis for a denialist, assimilationist policy, Mithat Sancar, co-chair of the Peoples’ Demo- cratic Party (HDP), said on Saturday. Erdoğan caused stupefaction earlier this week when he advised Mehmet Ali Çelebi, a former opposition MP who has switched to the AKP, to have more children. Er- doğan advising parents to have more children is not new. What was surprising, however, was the way he justified it, saying: “The numbers should be increased, you see, the PKK has five, has ten, has 15 children.”
“High number of children is considered a terrorist act”
Many comments later said that Erdoğan meant the Kurdish people and not the PKK. “Erdoğan knows very well that the members of the organisation [PKK] do not have children. In reality, he is building a na – tionalist rhetoric by implying the Kurdish people. The Kurds have understood this. He sees a high number of children as a terrorist act,” said HDP MP Meral Danış Beştaş, adding that behind this is a pronounced racist and Kurdish-hostile mentality.
Mithat Sancar said at a meeting of the HDP provincial association in Ankara on Saturday: “This discourse cannot be evaluated as words uttered unconsciously. This utterance reflects a mentality that is the basis of
50 The İmralı Post #24 the denying, assimilating state policy. This mentality can technically and mildly be called demographic en-
gineering used as an instrument of assimilationist policy.”
Higher birth rate in Kurdistan
The higher birth rate in the Kurdish-populated regions of Turkey has been a widespread concern of Turk- ish nationalists for years, who fear the loss of their demographic advantage in the future. Kurds are esti- mated to make up at least 20 per cent of the country’s population. As the proportion of young people in particular is larger in Kurdistan, it can be assumed that the population shares will equalise in the coming years.
Activists pay tribute to internationalist Andrea Wolf in
ANF | Frankfurt | 24 October 2022
The Frankfurt Youth Commune invited activists to Bockenheim on Sunday to commemorate Andrea Wolf. The internationalist was captured by the Turkish military on 23 October 1998. She was a guerrilla and her Kurdish name was Ronahî. She was captured in Çatak near Van and extrajudicially executed. At least 24 other guerrillas died with her that day.
The commemoration began with a minute’s silence for Andrea Wolf and all the other internationalists who died in the liberation struggle. This was followed by a discussion on the current political situation in Kur- distan. The debate focused on the chemical weapons attacks by the Turkish state against the guerrillas in Kurdistan, which have been escalating for months. The meeting was then devoted to the life and work of Andrea Wolf.
Director Elif Yiğit presents film about struggle for justice of
ANF | 24 October 2022
On 14 June 2018, the bodyguards and relatives of AKP Urfa MP Ibrahim Halil Yıldız attacked the Şenyaşar family’s shop in Suruç during the election campaign.
51 The İmralı Post #24
In the attack, brothers Celal, Adil, Mehmet, Fadıl and Ferit Şenyaşar were injured. Relatives and support- ers of AKP MP Yıldız, badly injured Celal and Adil Şenyaşar, and their father Hacı Esvet Şenyaşar, when he went to the hospital to visit their sons. He was brutally murdered, being lynched in front of his wife Emine Şenyaşar.
Emine Şenyaşar and her son Ferit (who was injured in the attack), have been holding a Justice Vigil in front of the Courthouse of Urfa since 9 March 2021, demanding those responsible to be brought to ac- count.
Young Amed film director Elif Yiğit, made a film about the struggle for justice of this mother. The film is called For Justice, and the trailer has just been released.
Elif Yiğit was born in Diyarbakır in 1994. She graduated from Istanbul Kultur University Radio and Tele- vision Department in 2015. She continues her education at Istanbul University Art History Department.
She is part of the Eurimage sponsored project The Purple Meridians promoted by Streeen.org, Rosa Kadin Derneği and Ovni.
She worked as ssistant director in Doğu Yakası by Harun Durmuş. She also worked in Ozan Çağlar’s Film Mersin, Orçun Benlinin’s Film Ver Kaç, Emre Akay’s Film AV – the Hunt, Yücel Yolcu’s Movie Kafalar Karışık, Mecit Güvenin’s Documentary Series Legends of War, Hissen Hassan’s film, Buka Barane, Gıtta Gsell’s film Beyto, Recep Bozgöz’s Film Enden Korkmana Gerek Yok, Arin İnan Aslan’s film Beder.
Heskif (Hasankeyf) – 2021
Lîstikên Bê Sînor (Unlimited Games) – 2019
Karasu: Kurdish people must rise up in the face of attacks
ANF | 22 October 2022
Mustafa Karasu, a member of the Executive Council of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), spoke out in an interview on the Medya Haber television station about the isolation of the Kurdish leader Ab- dullah Öcalan, the Turkish chemical weapons attacks and the current war situation.
52 The İmralı Post #24
Regarding the situation of Öcalan, Karasu said, “Even though there have been visits to Imrali from time to time during the special war, and even though the government has held sporadic talks in the past due to pressure from our struggle, the isolation on the island has lasted for almost 24 years now. No lawyer visits have been allowed since 2011. Rêber Apo [Abdullah Öcalan] has also not been allowed to meet with his family, with a few exceptions. It is not known what has been going on in Imrali in the last two years. But we do know one thing: Rêber Apo represents the free and democratic attitude of the Kurdish people in Imrali. He shows the attitude necessary for a representative of a people. For this reason, the Turkish state and the currently ruling fascist AKP/MHP regime have imposed a heavy isolation regime on him.
The reason for this intensified isolation is their policy towards the Kurdish people. Because the Turkish state is pursuing a policy of genocide against the Kurdish people, because it wants to liquidate the Kurdish freedom movement, Rêber Apo is also isolated. The attitude towards him corresponds to the attitude to- wards the Kurds and their freedom movement. How the Turkish state approaches the Kurdish question becomes clear when we look at the isolation in Imralı and its extent.”
Karasu spoke of a great anger of the Turkish state that is taking revenge on Abdullah Öcalan for making the Kurdish people self-aware: “Because the Kurdish people’s struggle for freedom and democracy is the biggest problem for the Turkish state at the moment. This struggle is a reality created with the thinking of Rêber Apo and his leadership. While the Turkish state is fighting against it, its only policy is to crush this struggle, the consciousness, the organisation, the aim and the commitment of this people. It is in this sense that the isolation against Rêber Apo is practiced. He may be physically isolated, but as a leader he cannot be isolated. Isolation of such a leader is impossible and cannot be implemented.”
“An ideology created to overcome capitalist modernity”
Karasu underlines that Öcalan’s thinking today radiates far beyond the Middle East and has an impact on the oppressed worldwide. This, he SAİD, is the core of his leadership role: “It is essentially about showing a way for thinking and mentality. This is the most important aspect of Rêber Apo’s role. Another is di- rectly related to the Kurdish people. The Kurdish people draw strength from his thoughts. We can also say that Rêber Apo is someone who develops and proposes solutions to the world’s problems. In history, such pioneering personalities have developed solutions to the problems of peoples and changed history. Thus, prophets have appeared in ancient history in very troubled times, in times of social, political, cultural and economic problems. They naturally dealt with and tried to solve the problems of their time. Today, hu- manity can hardly breathe under the conditions of capitalist modernity. The greatest exploitation prevails. The sociality that constitutes the existence of man has been destroyed.
The dissolution of sociality means decay, corruption and dehumanisation. In such a world, Rêber Apo’s ideas show a way out to liberation. There is no other politics, no other ideology that can find a solution to the problems of humanity.
“Marxism could not overcome capitalist modernity”
Yes, in the past, 150 years ago, the ideas of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were a great hope, a great light for humanity. Humanity rallied around these thoughts and fought for freedom and democracy. But 150 years later, the product of these ideas was dissolved by the forces of capitalist modernity. However, this was
53 The İmralı Post #24 mainly due to its own shortcomings. For one was not able to find a real solution to the problems of hu –
manity. Now humanity needs an ideology of liberation, it needs a line that shows humanity a way.”
“The struggle for Öcalan’s freedom will be a struggle to eliminate capitalist modernity”
Karasu pointed to the line of women’s liberation and recalled 5,000 years of exploitation, suffering and op – pression by the patriarchal state system. “In contrast, Abdullah Öcalan developed the concept of demo- cratic confederalism. In addition, democratic confederalism also includes proposed solutions to other problems of humanity. Rêber Apo developed the theoretical basis for a truly profound ecological approach to the industrial system and the attacks on nature. He created a theory for the liberation of humanity and nature in all its essence. For this reason, he is embraced by the peoples and humanity. This must be per- ceived. The fact that women are so massively in favor of Rêber Apo is mainly because, through him, an ideological-theoretical basis for the line of women’s liberation has been created. Through his ideas, the line of women’s liberation was transformed from a reactive struggle against patriarchy into a struggle for free – dom and rights and to create a free women’s system on an ideological-theoretical basis. There is already a struggle for the freedom of Rêber Apo all over the world. The struggle for his freedom will gradually turn into a struggle to guarantee his freedom. It will expand and become a struggle of the peoples to eliminate capitalist modernity.”
“Europe practices a policy of interests”
Criticizing the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), Karasu said, “They say this in- stitution was founded to fight torture. But there is also the reality of a Turkey that wants to join the EU. The EU has all kinds of economic and political relations with Turkey. It has its own interests in this sense. That is why the European Union and the Council of Europe turn a blind eye to all kinds of oppression by Turkey, not only with regard to Imrali, but also on many other issues. A Europe that turns a blind eye to the genocide of the Kurds and supports the Turkish state in every possible way will naturally remain silent about the repression in Imrali. Rêber Apo said that he met the CTP for the first time when he arrived in Imrali. He explained that the Imrali system was set up by Europe, by forces of the international conspir- acy, and that Turkey was given the task of administration. In this respect, the CPT and the European Union are behaving hypocritically. They talk about democracy and human rights. But when it comes to the Kurdish question, when it comes to their economic and political interests, their own values are forgot- ten and trampled on. In this respect, the attitude, self-image and values of the CPT and the Council of Europe are mainly dominated by their interests. When these interests are threatened, the values are simply forgotten. I have already made this statement on several occasions in interviews. When he was in office, the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, openly admitted that everywhere in the world one conducts politics according to one’s own principles, morals and standards. However, when it comes to the Middle East, one cannot do that. In other words, when it comes to the Middle East or the Kurdish question, European val- ues, human rights and international law are pushed aside. That is a disgrace to Europe.
“The EU turns a blind eye to the genocide of the Kurdish people”
Karasu described the historical dimension of the policy of extermination against Kurdistan and spoke of the Lausanne Agreement, by which the partition of Kurdistan was decided. The Turkish state was allowed to commit genocide against the Kurdish people and this had historical consequences, he said and contin- ued, “If the Turkish state has pursued a policy of genocide against the Kurdish people from the twentieth
54 The İmralı Post #24 century until today, this is the result of the agreements made at that time. These agreements still apply. Eu-
rope is still fulfilling the requirements of this agreement and turning a blind eye to genocide.”
“Europe has shown loopholes to the Turkish state”
The CPT’s position should also be understood in this sense, said Karasu, and referred to the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights on the “right to hope”, according to which prisoners must have a perspective of freedom: “It has emerged that the Council of Europe and its organisations dealing with the right to hope advised Turkey during the discussions on the right to hope. They explained to the Turkish state how the law could be shaped so that Abdullah Öcalan would not have to be released. They have shamefully shown the Turkish state the way. The Turkish state has taken advantage of this guidance and gap and told Europe that there can be no right to hope for Rêber Apo. This is how the true face of Euro- pean institutions has been shown.”
“The region will be razed to the ground by the Turkish state”
Karasu also commented on the current war developments and the use of chemical weapons: “The attacks by the Turkish state are many times stronger than the Russian attacks at the moment on Ukraine. There is an attack every second. Every minute around the clock there is war and attacks. If this continues, the Turkish state will raze the whole region to the ground. That is the situation. Chemical weapons are also being used in this war, but there has been big, brave resistance against this for six months. This is what all our comrades are doing there. They are resisting sacrificially, like Sara Tolhildan and Rûken Zelal. The friends there are making the same sacrifice.”
“The Kurdish people must rise up”
Karasu underlined the need for a strong public reaction to the use of chemical weapons and said: “The Kurdish people must stand up. The democratic forces must protest and rise up. The democratic forces in Turkey must also make their voices heard in this sense. The world looks away when it comes to the Kur- dish question. In Turkey, the fascist regime is trying to silence anyone and everyone.”
“The attitude of the KDP is the biggest historical disgrace”
Karasu also criticized the KDP: “Of course, the Turkish state is the enemy, it is attacking. Europe has its interests and is closing its eyes to the facts. But the most painful thing is the attitude of the KDP, which covers up these attacks. It is blocking the way for the people who want to go there (to investigate the at- tacks). It is covering up Turkey’s crimes. The KDP has taken on the task of covering up Turkey’s crimes. Wherever the Turkish state attacks, the KDP provides justification. It provides legitimacy for the attacks on Shengal and Rojava. But it does not blame the attacker. But it is historically the biggest shame that the KDP hides the use of poison gas for Turkey.”
55 The İmralı Post #24 PJAK Co-Chair: It is important to continue the uprising until
ANF | 24 October 2022
The uprising in Eastern Kurdistan and Iran for freedom and self-determination has left 39 days behind, and the mullahs’ regime continues to react with full force: more than 200 people have been killed so far, at least 40 of them in Rojhilat. But there are no signs of the insurgency abating. In Mahabad, another gen- eral strike was called at the weekend, and, despite a heavy presence of security forces, large numbers of people took to the streets in the evening, chanting “Jin, Jiyan, Azadî” (Woman, Life, Freedom) and “Death to the dictator”. Protests against the regime were also held in Sine (Sanandaj), Seqiz (Saqqez), Kir – maşan (Kermanshah), Dêwlan (Dehgolan) and Bokan. Shots were reportedly fired again in Sine, and in Kirmaşan, students from Razi University chanted “We will fight, we will die, we will take back Iran”. A strike announced by the Coordinating Council of Teachers’ Unions also began yesterday.
The co-chair of PJAK (Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan), Siamand Moini, sees Kurdistan as the centre of the revolution in Iran. In an interview with RojNews, Moini spoke about the current situation in the country, his party’s project and the importance of a common stance among all resisters.
In your opinion, what is the difference between the current uprising, which was ignited by the violent death of Jina Mahsa Amini, and previous protest movements?
Dictatorships and conservative systems have their own truths based on a certain limitation and rejection of other ideas. These systems generally oppose any form of social and personal freedom. They do not accept any path that opens to freedom. The Islamic Republic of Iran operates in this consciousness and from a militaristic perspective. This is how the patriarchal system has been maintained. It is perfectly natural to call this regime sectarian and fascist. It never tried to find solutions. Therefore, protests have been continu – ously organised by different classes and groups in Iran. However, the current demonstrations are different from the previous ones. They can be described as the beginning of a renaissance of consciousness and ideas in Iran and the whole region. Previous protests were either class-based or region-based and were directed against the centralist mentality of the nation state. There was no common ground between the different social components of Iran and Kurdistan. This time the demonstrations started in Eastern Kurdistan, led by Kurdish women. People used the revolutionary slogan “Jin Jiyan Azadî”. This slogan unites all forces and parties that oppose the Iranian regime. It is chanted all over the country, but originates in Eastern Kurdistan. This means that Kurdistan can be the centre and vanguard of the democratic and liberal revolu- tion in the whole of Iran.
“The regime considers the democracy and freedom issue as a security problem”
What are the demands of the people, especially women, in Iran and Eastern Kurdistan?
Every population group and every identity has its own demands. However, if we look at the issue from a sociological and political point of view, we find that there are many common points between the demands of all population groups and identities in Iran. One of these common points is the demand for the aboli –
56 The İmralı Post #24
tion of the totalitarian, fascist and sectarian regime. This is not an acceptable regime for the population groups in Iran and for women, who after all make up half of society. In this country, the regime’s oppres- sion has reached such a level that it interferes in everyone’s lives. It dictates how women should dress and how they should tie their headscarves. The regime considers the question of democracy and freedom of the peoples as a security problem and a threat to its own power. It does not allow any freedom. It silences ev- eryone under the pretext of the alleged “division of Iran”. As PJAK, we have presented many projects in the past years, but the demands of the people of Eastern Kurdistan have never been taken into considera- tion by the government. Therefore, the people of Iran, especially the Kurdish people in Rojhilat, are look- ing for ways to fight for freedom.
“We are witnessing the collapse of the regime”
The Iranian regime claims that foreign forces are behind the protests and blames the forces from Eastern Kurdistan. How do you assess these accusations?
Such statements by the regime are not new; most dictatorships that are in trouble and unable to solve the problems of society look for the excuse that forces from abroad are behind them. This is a complete lie and a lame excuse that dictators use in response to demands for freedom and rights. When a society is ruled by a dictatorial and totalitarian system where there is no freedom, people are forced to protest and demand their rights from the government. Dictatorships refer to external forces for every conflict between the peo- ple and the government. However, human history has shown that this method is not successful. Instead, we are witnessing the collapse of the dictatorship and the destruction of this system by the people.
“Do not replace a dictatorship with a new one”
Some forces are trying to turn the hopes of the people outwards and revive the Shah’s regime. What is be- hind this?
It is true that there are some parties and individuals who have pinned all their hopes on foreign interven- tion and want to take a place in the future government. But they do not reflect the will of the people. This basically means that these circles have no effective organisation among the people. Therefore, they want to put themselves in the place of the old dictators with the help of foreign powers. We know that the global system has its own semi-liberal plans and projects in the region, which it wants to implement out of self- interest. In contrast, the people’s power is preparing on another front to build a sustainable and demo- cratic society. But on the other hand, there are also those who want to realise the semi-liberal aspirations of international powers and exchange the current dictatorship for a new one. However, the peoples of Iran and especially the Kurdish people already know this dynastic system. It cannot win a place among the Ira- nian people with these chauvinist methods. The people as a whole demand peace and freedom. They reject a sectarian and racist dictatorship. Therefore, this system will have no place in the future of Iran.
“Reactionaries want to patriarchally liberalise women’s demands”
Are there also attempts to marginalize women’s demands within the protests?
It is common knowledge that Iran’s society has been shaped by a comprehensively patriarchal mentality through the education system and the system of the Islamic Republic. On this basis, the mindset is also
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patriarchal. It is sociologically understandable that the ideas of the regime and part of the Iranian opposi – tion are based on this mentality. They view political events and social issues from a power- and male-domi- nated perspective. Therefore, the patriarchal part of this society cannot digest the natural demands of women for freedom and equality. They want to liberalise these demands according to their own ideas or, in other words, according to a patriarchal attitude. However, women’s democratic demands, which I de- scribed earlier as a renaissance of the spirit, are an obstacle to the conservative and patriarchal mentality. In a male-dominated society, it is therefore only natural that the conservatives want to hide their reactionary mentality under a revolutionary mask.
“Kurdish people act in unity and solidarity in Rojhilat”
What about the political unity of the forces in Eastern Kurdistan?
Regardless of the political parties, the Kurdish people are generally in a state of unity and solidarity. The uprising that started in the city of Seqiz over the assassination of Jina Amini soon found support in the other cities of Eastern Kurdistan. Not only the cities in Kurdistan but also cities like Tehran, Tabriz, Shiraz and Ahvaz were involved. This uprising spread to all places in Iran and Kurds living in other countries also rose up and took to the streets against the regime. This surprised all the oppressive forces in Iran.
“Reform of the regime is not possible”
What kind of solution do you want for Iran?
The Islamic Republic, with its sectarian and fascist perspective, does not allow any possibility for democ- racy and problem solving in Iran. Now, after more than 40 years in power, they cannot even tolerate their old allies. Many of their former leaders have been eliminated, killed or imprisoned. As for the Kurdish question, this system approaches it from both a security and a sectarian-fascist perspective. Therefore, it would be a historical mistake to expect democracy from such a system. As we have already said, there is no possibility for change and reform with this government. Therefore, reform and change are not possible at this time. Change can only mean that this regime collapses and a change of power is brought about. PJAK has projects for this period.
“Until victory is achieved”
What is your demand for the Iranian people, the Iranian forces, the democratic forces and women in this period?
Since 2016, we have worked on two main projects: One for Eastern Kurdistan and the other for the whole of Iran. We want the pro-democracy forces to cooperate in a common front against this totalitarian regime. At present, the slogan “Jin, Jiyan, Azadî” has brought together all forces throughout Iran as a basic slogan. The Kurdish people became the vanguard of this revolt. It is time to take advantage of this. Most components in Iran have recognised Kurdistan’s vanguard role. Kurdistan can lead the people’s revolution at this stage. However, it is important to strengthen the unity in Eastern Kurdistan and continue this up- rising until victory. It is important that the demonstrations continue until success. We, the PJAK, have fought for our people from the first day and will continue to stand by our people and the people who de – mand freedom in Iran with all our strength. Until victory is achieved.
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Iraqi Kurdish leaders facilitating chemical warfare 34 years after Kurds suffered Halabja
MedyaNews | 19 October 2022 | by Matt Broomfield
The term ‘chemical warfare’ is a loaded one, and accusations of chemical weapons usage are always highly politically charged. In the Syrian conflict, for example, the Assad regime’s use of nerve gas against civilians in Khan Sheikhoun provoked a significant shift in US policy towards the war, with the then president Donald Trump launching an unprecedented missile strike in response. The public responds with shock and disgust to images of people writing in contorted pain and frothing at the mouth – as well they should.
Why is it that chemical warfare is seen as beyond the moral pale? After all, hundreds of thousands more civilians have died through conventional means in the course of the Syrian war without provoking any such response from the West. Even Roman jurists decried the use of poison in war – albeit their own gen- erals did not shy away from targeting their enemies’ wells. The contemporary ban and taboo on chemical warfare dates from the aftermath of World War One, when chlorine, phosgene and mustard gas were used by all sides to kill tens of thousands of combatants.
Again, there is something inhumane and psychologically devastating about the silent, creeping menace of a chemical agent, famously captured by Wilfred Own in his description of ‘blood come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs/obscene as a cancer.’ But given that chemical attacks actually accounted for less than 10% of the death toll of that bloody war, with the gas shells used at the time prone to drift back over friendly trenches, some have argued that Western powers cynically acceded to the ban on chemical weapons as part of the 1925 Geneva Protocol, while reserving the use of machine guns and other more ef- fective instruments of mass death.
This also explains why Turkey and other states have felt able to continue using chemical weapons against non-state opponents – for example, why it is legal to use tear gas against civilian protesters, but not on the field of war. Many chemical weapons cannot be used effectively against soldiers equipped with protective equipment such as gas masks, but they can be used to terrorize civilians (as they were by Assad in Ghouta and Khan Sheikhoun), or against lightly-armed guerrilla fighters. Napalm and the herbicide Agent Or- ange, chemical agents in practice if not by the letter of the law, were used to devastating effect by the US as their forces brought destruction and misery to Vietnam. And today, it appears that crudely-improvised chemical weapons are being used by Turkish soldiers against the Kurdish People’s Protection Forces (HPG) as they penetrate into Iraq.
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We are not speaking, here, about sarin gas being sprayed from war-planes onto major civilian settlements. Indeed, Kurdish accusations of chemical weapons use have not been helped by sensationalist claims made without proper evidence. But given the obstructive attitude of the Iraqi Kurdish authorities, proof is hard to come by. Evidence points to the use of tear gas, smoke, likely improvised chlorine agents, being released into the cave systems in which Kurdish fighters are forced to hide by the parallel threat of Turkish drones. Such weapons would be ineffective against a well-equipped state army, but are highly potent against a non-state actor.
Indeed, while protective equipment was found in a region vacated by Turkish forces, Iraqi Kurdish author- ities have tried to obstruct the delivery of gas masks to the Kurdish People’s Defence Forces (HPG) in northern Iraq. More recently, these same authorities actively worked to prevent a delegation from the In- ternational Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War from investigating alleged chemical weapons at- tacks conducted by occupying Turkish forces in northern Iraq.
It is as shocking as it is unsurprising that the governing Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) blocked the delegation from visiting even civilian villages which have suffered alleged chemical attacks. The Iraqi Kurds suffered one of the worst chemical massacres in modern history, with Saddam Hussein’s forces killing up to 5000 civilians with mustard gas and other agents. But these days, the KDP is willing to block even an objective, external investigation into allegations of chemical warfare on its own territory conducted against its fellow Kurds, all in order to preserve its relationship with and reliance on Turkey. (The KDP provides infrastructure, intelligence and military support to Turkey to invade its own territories, where Turkey has established dozens of bases in violation of international law.)
For the use of chemical warfare against non-state actors is not merely a matter of military doctrine. As the IPPNW delegation emphasized in their report, only actors like the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons or the UN Secretary General have the competency to conduct a serious investigation into these claims. But in reality, it will need a state party to escalate the issue to the OPCW and force a re – sponse from Ankara, Baghdad or Erbil. And when even fellow Kurds are willing to cover up Turkey’s al- leged atrocities, the Kurdish freedom movement in northern Iraq can have little hope of finding support elsewhere.
Matt Broomfield is a freelance journalist, poet and activist. He writes for VICE, Medya News, the New Statesman and the New Arab; his prose has been published by The Mays, Anti-Heroin Chic and Plenitude; and his poetry by the National Poetry Society, the Inde- pendent, and Bare Fiction. His work was displayed across London by Poetry on the Underground, and he is a Foyle Young Poet of the Year.
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Why did Erdoğan visit Diyarbakır? MedyaNews | 24 October 2022 By Yüksel Genç
The following is a summary translation of an article that first appeared in Gazete Karinca on 23 October.
There have been posters of Turkish President Erdoğan up in the streets of the Kurdish-majority city of Di- yarbakır for some time. Recently they have been accompanied by banners screaming out loud about his (23 October) visit to the city.
What stimulated the president to visit the city and speak to the citizens? Did this visit awaken excitement in the city?
Well, no. There is no appetite in Diyarbakır for hosting the president. The majority are looking forward to life in the city returning to normal. The citizens have been squeezed out by security personnel and precau – tions. They are waiting for him to get his business done and leave.
So, you say, won’t the conversion of the notorious Diyarbakır prison known as the “dungeon”, that symbol of the savagery of the 1980 coup, into a centre of culture create excitement?
Again, the answer is no. Because the people of Diyarbakır would prefer the Diyarbakır dungeon to be a place for confronting the facts, a resource in the establishment of a mechanism to solve the Kurdish Ques- tion.
If there were a different political climate, if the person coming were not seen as the architect of persecu – tion, fear and apprehension, if there were progress in the Kurdish question, serious steps being taken to- wards solving the economic crisis and deepening unemployment, and a credible promise of justice, peace and freedom, the people of Diyarbakır might be interested. But this is not the case with the AKP and the president. So why did he go there?
Diyarbakır is the most significant city from the point of view of Kurdish history and demands. Every word a politician speaks here is a message to the Kurds, and the stance of the city indicates the Kurdish re- sponse.
Polls have indicated for some years that the AKP has been losing the Kurdish vote in particular. Many Kurdish voters have been put off since the change of policy towards the Kurdish question in 2015, the surge in nationalism following the AKP’s alliance with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), their bringing back talk of terrorism, and their overthrow of municipal elections by the appointment of trustees to councils.
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As a result, Kurdish AKP voters no longer have any political party in which to place their hopes for do- mestic peace and socio-economic status, and they have not found anywhere to turn to place these hopes, because of the stance of the opposition.
The AKP hopes with this visit to address these directionless Kurds. If they cannot make themselves the party to turn to, they want to stop the main opposition from becoming the party to turn to, because the Kurdish vote has become crucial to the outcome of next elections.
On the skewed playing field of the election, the president, with his visit to Diyarbakır and his words to the Kurdish electorate, is not aiming to gain their votes, but to stop the balance turning in favour of the oppo- sition. At the same time, he avoids any appearance of taking the main opposition seriously.
So, he targets the city’s favourite, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), and works to establish a populist agenda, initiating discussion of the nature of Kurdishness by asserting, in contravention of the facts, that three leading lights of the HDP are not in fact Kurdish.
In summary, rather than presenting commitments and promises of things that need to be done to gain votes, this visit is aimed at preventing votes going to the other side.
Yüksel Genç is a columnist and researcher who was imprisoned, though not convicted, between 2011- 2014 in connection with her writing.
The strategically unchanging fascist Turkish reality
ANF | Qamishlo | 21 October 2022
Armed clashes continue between Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham and other groups in Afrin, which is occupied by the Turkish state and is now home to Turkey-backed mercenary groups.
On October 10, fighting took place in the al-Bab district, north of Aleppo, between the Jabhat Al-Sham and Jaysh al-Islam groups affiliated with the Syrian National Army (SNA) and the Hamza Division (Hamzat) and Sultan Suleiman Shah (Amshat) groups. The fighting spread to Afrin as Hayat Tahrir Al- Sham lent support to the Hamzat and Amshat groups. The fighting first erupted in Sherewa and Jindires districts and spread towards Afrin centre.
There are also groups affiliated with Jabha Al-Sham and Jaysh al-Islam: Al-Macd Division, Al-Islam Brigade, Melik Shah Division and 51st Division.
Moreover, there are groups, mostly Turkmen, such as the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Brigade, Al-Sham Divi- sion, Faruk Brigade, 1st Division, Jaysh al-Sharqiya and Ahrar al-Sharqiya affiliated with the Hamza Divi – sion (Hamzat) and Sultan Suleiman Shah (Amshat).
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Reports and information about the conflict between the Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham and the Jabha Al-Sham mercenaries bear no meaning other than confusion and information pollution. The first noteworthy infor- mation is that Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham seized strategic points in Afrin. And there is an attempt to establish a joint civil administration in other areas. Leaflets are distributed about the administrative concept in areas where civilian administrations would be formed. The leaflets say: ‘patrol with weapons in public shall not be allowed, people’s properties shall not be infringed on, people’s lands and properties shall be returned’. Such remarks that address society and highlight a ‘trust’ relationship does not actually aim at the people’s trust but seeks to throw dust in the eyes of the world that is not aware of what has been happening in Afrin.
It is obvious that a relationship of ‘trust’ cannot be established with these proposals because the people of Afrin have long been subjected to massacres, kidnappings and rapes and denial of culture. These groups are portrayed as “humanitarian” groups, however what they do is to suppress, intimidate and silence the people.
A new move to oust the autonomous administration
Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham had previously made a move against Afrin. This move, however, remained inconclu- sive. Most recently, it is seen that the group seeks to carry out a large-scale operation to exercise domi- nance. Considering these developments in terms of Turkey-Syria relations, it may be necessary to treat it as a new situation. Thus, it is understood that the aim is to eradicate the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria and to establish the dominance of the Syrian government in entire country in line with its interests. Therefore, through the partnership of Turkey and Russia, this process might lead to a reconciliation with the Syrian government in return for fighting the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria.
Merging or eliminating the mercenary groups
The recent attempt to “normalize” relations between Turkey and Syria disturbed some mercenary groups. These groups, trained and supported by the Turkish state, declared that they were organized as an opposi- tion to the regime. Opposition to the Syrian government may be replaced by a cooperation though. The process to either merge or to liquidate these groups has begun. This points to a new plan to restructure them. New plans will be put into effect with the remaining groups after eliminating those who cannot live up to the happenings. For this reason, the Turkish state wants to gather mercenary groups together on a political line and use them as it wishes. It is necessary to consider this operation as a Turkey-centred opera – tion, which refers to a fascist Turkish reality that is tactically new, and strategically unchanged.
Russia and US approve the invasion attack
Russia supported the invasion of Afrin on January 20, 2018. In a similar vein, it currently ignores the con- flicts between the mercenary groups, becomes a partner to Turkey in the purging campaign and approves a new invasion attack without taking into account the Kurdish achievements. The US is at least as good. In 2019, it did not stand against occupation attacks and led the actors that prevented the closure of the
63 The İmralı Post #24 airspace to Turkish attacks. This amounts to supporting the Turkey-backed groups and cheering the occu –
pation of new areas.
After the occupation of Afrin, Girê Sipî and Serêkaniye, torture, massacre and kidnapping of the local population, as well as demographic change were executed by the Turkish state and mercenary groups un- der its control. If the local people cannot live peacefully on their land, the only reason is the occupation. If the people who once lived safely under the Autonomous Administration cannot step out of their houses today, if their lands or workplaces are confiscated and if their lives are threatened, Turkey and its support- ers bear the sole responsibility.
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Who Are We?
The International Initiative “Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan — Peace in Kurdistan” was founded in March 1999, a month after Öcalan’s abduction from Kenya and his imprisonment by Turkey. Since its initial foundation, the International Initiative struggled for Abdullah Öcalan’s re- lease from prison so that he can play his rightful role in the establishment of a just peace between the Turkish state and Kurdistan’s Workers Party (PKK). The International Initia- tive also aimed at contributing to the repairing of the ties between the Kurdish and Turkish peoples, as well as all other peoples of the Middle Eastern regions.
In order to achieve its aims, the International Initiative followed several related paths. Influencing international and national audiences through international campaigns to in- terfere with Turkish state’s policies towards Abdullah Öcalan has been one of these paths. A second area of work the In- ternational Initiative committed itself is the dissemination of Öcalan’s views through art, publications and conferences. Finally, the International Initiative has also been active in raising awareness for Öcalan’s conditions and the human rights violations he faces through reports, fact-finding dele- gations and lobbying.
The International Initiative organizes signature campaigns to influence the policies towards Öcalan. One such cam- paign which was launched in 2012 by one thousand prelim- inary signatories including Gerry Adams, Prof. Antonio Ne- gri, Prof. Immanuel Wallerstein, Prof. Achin Vanaik, and other intellectuals, politicians, MPs, and NGOs from South America, Europe, Asia, Russia, and the Middle East. The campaign reached 10,328,623 signatures and may be the biggest signature campaign for the freedom of a political prisoner that the world has ever seen. It significantly chal- lenged the isolation that was enforced on Öcalan and possi- bly paved the ways for the peace talks that the Turkish state and Öcalan led between 2013 and 2015.
The International Initiative also organizes video cam- paigns that educate the public on Öcalan’s life-story, his prison conditions and the demands for his freedom.
The International Initiative translates, edits and publishes books written by Öcalan in different languages including in English, German, French, Spanish and Arabic.
It compiles brochures from his works on specific topics, such as democratic confederalism or women’s freedom.
It edits books on Öcalan that discuss his main ideas.
The International Initiative also publishes regular reports on Öcalan’s prison conditions and his isolation.
The International Initiative organizes biannual conferences and invites scholars, activists, students and politicians to discuss Öcalan’s ideas in order to initiate a conversation be- tween different Movements around the world.
Every year on February 15 , which is the date of the abduc-
tion of Abdullah Öcalan, the International Initiative orga- nizes a group of internationally acclaimed people to take a trip to Turkey for a fact finding mission and publicizes their findings.
The International Initiative lobbies in the European Coun- cil, CPT and other international organizations against the human rights violations against Abdullah Öcalan and his total isolation in İmralı prison.
Art for Öcalan
This campaign aims to express the relationship between Ab- dullah Öcalan, Kurdish people, freedom and women’s free- dom and to educate the wider public on the past and present of the Kurdish people. The International Initiative has already collected art from Brazil, South Africa, USA, South America, Italy, Germany as well as Kurds from differ- ent parts of Kurdistan. These works have been printed in postcards, t-shirts and canvas and made available for solidar- ity sale.
Contact e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Websites: freeocalan.org | ocalanbooks.com ‖ Videos: vimeo.com/freeocalan