This video says about itself:
2 December 2015
HDP Co-chair Figen Yuksekdag interviewed by BBC World on Turkey’s links with ISIS.
Dutch NOS TV reports today that the Erdogan regime in Turkey has arrested eleven members of parliament of the leftist opposition party HDP, including party leaders Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yüksekdag.
The regime had accused Ms Yüksekdag of ‘terrorist propaganda’, as she had praised Syrian Kurds (who are, ironically, basically the only effective force against ISIS terrorism).
Turkish government moves to crush Kurdish parliamentary HDP party: here.
Turkey’s Treatment Of Purged Officials Reminiscent of Nazis, Luxembourg Says. More than 110,000 public servants have been detained. 11/07/2016 08:12 am ET: here.
Turkish regime bans Dutch MEP: here.
Saturday 5th November 2016
posted by Morning Star in World
Arrests ordered of Turkish opposition – MPs night-time raids – HDP supporters targeted – World watches as Erdogan silences dissent
by Steve Sweeney
TURKEY is moving towards dictatorship and the “end of democracy,” MPs warned as one of the country’s darkest days saw a “coup” against opposition politicians yesterday.
People’s Democratic Party (HDP) co-leaders Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag were jailed yesterday along with five other MPs following their arrest in night-time raids on Thursday. Warrants were put out for the remaining legislators.
The MPs are charged with supporting the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), which has been labelled a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the EU and the US.
Appearing in court yesterday Mr Demirtas said that he “won’t be a puppet in this trumped-up judicial theatre, which is started by the order of Erdogan.” In a defiant response, Ms Yuksekdag said: “We fear neither prison nor death. We have nothing to hide or lose.”
The UN human rights commission called the arrests “unacceptable,” while European Parliament president Martin Schulz said: “Today’s detentions send a chilling signal about the state of political pluralism in Turkey.”
President Recep Erdogan has been accused of waging “all out war” on the Kurdish people as he tightens his grip on Turkey.
HDP foreign affairs spokeperson Hisyar Ozsoy said that the party was being targeted as its MPs were standing in the way of Erdogan’s “goal to introduce a presidential system in Turkey.”
An HDP tweet called for the “international community to react against Erdogan regime’s coup,” as police raided the party headquarters.
The Turkish government moved swiftly to block access to social media across the country following the arrests.
EU Commission vice-president Federica Mogherini called an emergency meeting of EU ambassadors in Ankara saying that she was “extremely worried” at the arrests.
Protesters took to the streets worldwide against the crackdown, including in Britain.
Hundreds attended an emergency protest at the BBC HQ in the early hours of yesterday morning before moving on to 10 Downing Street. The demonstration marched to the Turkish embassy.
Peace in Kurdistan campaign coordinator Estella Schmid urged the government and MPs to “get to Diyarbakir and witness the atrocities being committed against the people.”
“This is an all-out war on the Kurdish people,” she said.
DTK co-chair Leyla Güven told a press conference “Words have become obsolete. Today is the day to resist.”
Solidarity with the People of Turkey spokesman Oktay Sahbaz accused the government of “collusion with the Erdogan regime, calling for the release of the MPs and those arrested under the “purge on opposition media.”
Mr Ozsoy said that more arrests were anticipated as Erdogan “attempts to shut down Turkey’s third-largest party.”
He called it a “dark day not only for our party but for all of Turkey and the region as it means the end of democracy in Turkey.”
Thousands of members, executives, elected mayors and city council members affiliated with the HDP and/or sister party BDP have been sent to prison since the election in June 2015.
MPs’ immunity from prosecution was controversially removed in May in a move widely seen as an attack on opposition politicians.
Demanding the immediate release of those arrested Mr Ozsoy called upon “friends around the world to stand in solidarity in our struggle to stop Erdogan steering the country into a civil war and further despotism.”
Saturday 5th November 2016
posted by Morning Star in Editorial
TURKEY’S issue of arrest warrants for every single MP of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) is a watershed moment in the president’s war on democracy — and on the rights of the Kurdish people.
This is not some little local trouble.
The HDP has 59 MPs in the Turkish parliament — meaning the government has decided to arrest more than a 10th of the legislature.
It is the only major legal party in Turkey which has fought for the representation and rights of the Kurds, who by some estimates make up a quarter of the Turkish population.
Charges of support for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) are not new. But having driven the PKK to violent resistance by waging what amounts to a war on Kurdish communities in the country’s east, the crackdown on the only legal outlet for Kurdish political expression is a recipe for escalating violence.
Ever since the failed military takeover in July, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has moved ruthlessly to smash opposition and silence dissent.
Any government that has avoided an army takeover by the skin of its teeth might be expected to take stern measures to clip the wings of the armed forces and unearth the conspirators, and Erdogan has responded to foreign criticism of his sweeping closures of TV and radio stations and mass arrests of “suspects” with indignation.
But the assault on Turkey’s Kurds shows that his priority is not punishing the guilty but suppressing that people’s national aspirations.
Ankara has cynically equated the guerillas of the PKK and its Syrian equivalent, the People’s Protection Units or YPG, with the genocidal terrorists of Islamic State (Isis) and al-Qaida.
There is no comparison. The PKK and YPG are fighting for the rights of the Kurdish people to autonomy and for a secular, socialist and collectivist vision which has no time for the shocking religious, ethnic and sex discrimination which disfigures so much of the Middle East.
Al-Qaida and Isis are battling to establish and maintain a barbaric tyranny in which women are neither seen nor heard, children can be put to death for blasphemy and homosexuals and adherents of other faiths or none are massacred at whim.
This sleight of hand is particularly shameless since the YPG have been among the most successful forces fighting Isis in Syria — and since Turkey itself has yet to come clean over its murky role in arming and funding the death cult in order to overthrow regional rival Bashar al-Assad.
Turkey’s continued intervention in the Syrian and Iraqi wars against Isis is without the consent of their governments — Iraq has been forced to threaten war to defend its sovereignty in Mosul — and clearly designed to suppress Kurdish liberation forces rather than the terrorists themselves.
And yet this reckless, expansionist, warmongering power is not seen as a rogue state by the British government or our Nato allies — it is in fact one of our Nato allies, and Britain not only maintains close relations with the butchers of Ankara but is bound to fight alongside them if they blunder into a full-scale war, as they almost did a year ago by shooting down a Russian jet.
All pressure must now be put on Theresa May’s floundering administration to condemn Turkey’s clampdown and end its connivance with its Middle Eastern war.
Longer term, the Labour Party should question its unthinking adherence to membership of Nato — an aggressive alliance which makes the world, Britain included, a much more dangerous place.
Monday 7th November 2016
posted by Morning Star in Features
With each passing day, Turkey looks ever more like a dictatorship. Not only has the British government remained silent but it colludes in this betrayal of democracy by selling Erdogan weapons, writes STEVE SWEENEY
IT HAS been a tumultuous week in Turkish politics from the announcement of plans to reintroduce the death penalty to the arrests of pro-Kurdish opposition politicians.
It is possible that an escalating civil war will ensue as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seeks to tighten his stranglehold in an attempt to secure the constitutional change necessary to rule by presidential decree.
The failed coup on July 15 gave Erdogan the green light to go on the offensive as arrests and detentions of government workers, journalists and opposition voices escalated.
Access to the internet and social media in Turkey was blocked by throttling — a method of slowing certain websites to the point where they are unusable.
The arrests of Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) politicians were designed to exclude pro-Kurdish voices from Turkish politics and to silence opposition to the Erdogan regime. The HDP made its breakthrough in the June 2015 elections and again in the re-run in November the same year — gaining five million votes and 59 MPs, making them the third largest party in Turkish politics. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) stated at the time that the HDP success — which ended its majority rule — was part of an international conspiracy, vowing to make them pay.
Erdogan has repeatedly accused the HDP of terrorism, claims which ring hollow considering the attacks on them and their supporters by Isis during the election campaigns. Much of the media were quick to blame the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) for the car bomb that exploded in Diyarbakir following the arrests of HDP politicians on November 3-4. Isis, however, claimed responsibility for the attacks which now appear to have been directed at the pro-Kurdish politicians held in the police station at the time of the blast. The HDP have been accused of supporting the PKK, a terrorist organisation according to Turkey, the EU and the United States. But HDP representatives had been invited by the ruling AKP to act as mediators between the imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan and the government. However the talks, initiated by Ocalan, were arbitrarily halted by the AKP bringing a fragile ceasefire to an end.
The continued imprisonment of Ocalan remains a major obstacle to a peaceful solution. Kidnapped with the collusion of the secret service and sentenced to death in a sham trial, Ocalan has been held in solitary confinement for 17 years on Imrali island.
Ocalan is widely seen as a leader of the Kurdish people. Millions have signed a petition stating that they regard him as their political representative. His detailed “road map,” which outlines a step-by step plan for peace, remains important.
But his freedom is vital to any peace process which is why GMB and Unite supported the launch of the British “Freedom for Abdullah Ocalan” campaign earlier this year.
The arrests come as no great surprise to many. They had long been anticipated — it was just a matter of when. The move to lift the immunity of lawmakers through a “provisional constitutional amendment” started as far back as January 2016 with Erdogan’s statements proclaiming that HDP MPs should be jailed. During election campaigning, he was joined by the heads of the judiciary while he said of the HDP: “My nation wants them in jail.”
On May 20, the immunity was lifted thanks to an anti-Kurdish bloc as the AKP joined with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) to force the motion through the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. The Republican People’s Party (CHP) also voted for the amendment although at the same time condemned it as anti-constitutional.
There can be no doubt that the lifting of immunity from prosecution was designed specifically to enable the indictment of HDP MPs. The recent arrests and imprisonments must be seen in this light. A range of charges including “making propaganda for a terrorist organisation,” “membership of an armed organisation” and “violating the law on meetings and demonstrations” are a political attack on the freedom of expression and relate to criticism of government policies and actions, including those made in parliament.
The lifting of the immunity from prosecution must be understood as an administrative coup designed to silence opposition.
The real reason for the arrests however is clear. By issuing arrest warrants for all 59 MPs and lawmakers, Erdogan is attempting to pave the way for the constitutional changes that are needed to increase his powers.
The move is the latest escalation in a war on the Kurdish people. Diyarbakir is effectively under siege and has been subjected to attacks from the police and Turkish armed forces. Curfews are regularly enforced and the city has come under heavy fire and shelling. Drones are a regular sight in Kurdish areas.
Around 80 per cent of buildings in the Sur curfew zone are reported to have been destroyed with Turkish health minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu saying that 355,000 people have been displaced.
Scenes similar to the destruction of Aleppo are occurring in a Nato member state, yet there appears to be a wall of silence as Erdogan continues to act with impunity. The 1990s saw over 3,000 Kurdish villages burnt down by Turkish forces as they claimed to be moving against the PKK. In reality this was designed to wipe out Kurdish culture and identity, forcing the mass displacement of communities.
The Human Rights Association in Turkey says there are thousands of bodies in hundreds of mass graves in the south-east of the country.
Hundreds of Turkish military bases have since been established with plans for over a thousand with costs of up to £1 million each.
February 2016 saw one of the most shocking incidents in the war on Kurds. Over 150 people were killed by Turkish security forces, their bodies found burnt alive in three basements in Cizre. A phone recording reported that music associated with fascists and ultra-nationalists was being played as they poured petrol into one of the basements. A majority of those killed were women and children as young as 10, according to reports. The Turkish government claimed this was “baseless terror propaganda.” Some of the bodies were reported to have been found without heads.
Human Rights Watch suggested a cover-up as the United Nations were denied access to research the area and the ruins were flattened with no crime scene investigation.
Turkey have been supported with intelligence and military aid and weapons sales from their Nato allies. In December 2011, F16 fighter jets bombed a convoy of villagers in the village of Roboski as they returned from visiting relatives with diesel and sugar they collected. Thirty-four people were killed, the oldest of whom was just 20 years old. The attack came as US intelligence tipped off Turkish military forces following a US Predator drone spotting the convoy.
A US deal worth millions was authorised in March 2016 for the sale of smart bombs to Turkey. A Turkish military official said the deal was timeley as “we are engaged in asymmetrical warfare and need smart bombs.”
The British government stated that Turkey was a “priority market” for arms exports in 2015 as the sale of £800m of weapons including drones and missiles was approved, according the the Campaign Against Arms Trade. Latest figures reveal that the government has given millions in military aid to Turkey. The British government’s silence makes it complicit in the atrocities committed by the Turkish state. In his first diplomatic trip to Turkey, Foreign Minister Boris Johnson underlined the strong relationship between Britain and Turkey and reiterated his solidarity with Turkey’s democratically elected government.
While journalists and elected politicians were being arrested and TV stations and newspapers being closed down, Johnson remained silent. Instead he praised Turkey, saying: “We are happy in the United Kingdom to be one of the biggest recipients of Turkish goods […] I am the proud owner of a digital, very well-functioning Turkish washing machine.”
Turkey remains a key strategic ally for Nato and the EU. This was underlined by Johnson following the arrests when he said at a press conference in Berlin that “Turkey is critical for our security, for our struggle against terror and of course critical for managing the conflict in Syria.”
Democracy and human rights are being sacrificed for wider imperialist and neoliberal interests. The repression of the Kurds is an ongoing crime against humanity. For decades there has been silence. Following the arrests the world has finally, but slowly, started to open its eyes. As we condemn the attack on democracy we will continue the fight for the freedom of all political prisoners. We stand on the side of humanity. We must break the silence and demand the government acts. We stand in solidarity with the Kurdish community and the people of Turkey.
Wednesday 9th November 2016
posted by Morning Star in World
Action damned as ‘support for Isis terrorists’
TURKISH artillery bombarded Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria’s north-eastern Hasakeh governorate yesterday even as the Kurds spearhead a US-backed assault aimed at liberating Isis’s Syrian stronghold of Raqqa.
A Kurdish officer told ARA News that “Rojava has witnessed a new violation by the Erdogan government,” saying that YPG units in Ain Diwar had been hit by shelling.
The Turkish action amounted to “support for Isis terrorists,” he charged, adding that the YPG had returned fire.
Significant photographic and witness evidence revealed by Turkey’s Cumhuriyet newspaper, among others, last year suggests that Ankara, despite denials, did deliver weaponry to terrorist forces inside Syria. Turkey is also widely believed to have helped Isis by buying its oil and treating its wounded fighters.
Ankara asserts that its interventions in Iraq and Syria — over the angry protests of both countries’ governments — are aimed at helping to defeat Isis.
But Turkey has expressed outrage at Washington’s support for the Kurdish forces advancing on Raqqa and claimed yesterday to have US assurances that the YPG-dominated Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) would not be allowed to enter the city.
Turkey argues its own brand of anti-Assad rebels should take Raqqa with the support of its military, currently fighting to seize the city of al-Bab.
But senior SDF official Ilham Ahmed said it was a no-brainer that the same forces leading the anti-Isis offensive toward Raqqa would liberate the city.
“The campaign will continue until it enters the city,” she said, arguing that Turkey “is trying to press the Americans to bring in allied groups.
“We are the main party that decides if we need such troops. We are self-sufficient. There is no need.”
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu suggested that Raqqa, a Sunni Arab city, would not wish to be occupied by Kurdish troops, although he did not explain why Turkish troops would be preferred by the locals.
Syrian forces are also advancing towards Raqqa, suspicious that Washington plans to use the SDF to keep the city out of government hands and as a base for the further fragmentation of their country.
Friday 11th November 2016
posted by Morning Star in World
TURKISH democracy is becoming a “complete sham,” the world’s workers charged yesterday amid continued sackings and assaults on media freedom in the wake of July’s failed coup.
More than 100,000 public-sector workers have fallen victim to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s purge of public bodies, with the latest 10,131 losing their jobs at the end of last month under new decrees making it easier to sack health workers and teachers for their alleged political links.
International Trade Union Confederation general secretary Sharan Burrow spoke amid a continued media crackdown and the arrest of 11 pro-Kurdish MPs last week.
“Democracy is becoming a complete sham in Turkey, with the government attacking the fundamental freedoms of speech, association and assembly,” she said.
“Ordinary workers are being punished simply based on their ethnicity, or because of their political views.”
The European TUC conveyed “grave concerns” to EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker after an extraordinary meeting of its executive.
Monday 14th November 2016
posted by Morning Star in Britain
by Steve Sweeney
RALLIES were held in cities across Britain on Saturday in protest at the continuing crackdown on democracy in Turkey.
Thousands demonstrated in London calling for the release of academics, journalists and MPs and urging people to “Unite for Peace and Democracy in Turkey” as part of a Europe-wide day of action.
Event organiser the Democratic Unity of Forces accused the government of remaining silent and turning “a blind eye to all undemocratic practices in Turkey.”
Over 100 people gathered in Edinburgh’s Princes Street for the third protest in the city in support of the arrested politicians from the Peoples Democratic Party (HDP).
Ruth Mcguire MSP joined the demonstration as speakers called on the Westminster government to condemn the actions of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and end arms sales to Turkey.
Public-sector union Unison south Lanarkshire branch secretary Stephen Smellie said: “The attacks on the HDP and now the closure of 370 NGOs show that the Turkish regime is no friend of democracy and human rights. They have been condemned internationally by trade unions and various governments, and we call on Theresa May to take action and demand Turkey restores democratic rights.”
Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan chair Roza Salih told the rally: “We will continue to mobilise and show support for the HDP and call on all Scottish political parties to take a stand.”
Sarah Glynn said: “On Armistice weekend we should remember that the division of the Middle East by the great powers following the first world war is still leaving a legacy in today’s battles.”
Kurds rise up across the world
People of Kurdistan and their allies rose up across the world to protest the AKP government’s political genocide operations against Kurdish people and the HDP.
People of Kurdistan and their allies rose up across the world to protest the AKP government’s political genocide operations against Kurdish people and the HDP. Protestors condemned the arrests of HDP politicians and called upon European institutions to take action against the Erdoğan dictatorship in Turkey.
Led by the Toulouse Democratic Kurdish Society Center, nearly a thousand people of Kurdistan and their allies came together at the François-Verdier Subway Station in Toulouse, France, and marched to Capitol Square. French Communist Party, New Anticapitalist Party, Left Party, Peace Movement and World Women’s March supported the protest and demanded the immediate release of HDP Co-Presidents and parliamentarians.
Protestors also demanded the removal of the PKK from the EU’s terrorist list, and called upon everyone to participate in the march for the freedom of Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan on November 12.
Hundreds of Kurdish people and their allies gathered in the International Film Festival area in Cannes, France, and condemned Erdoğan’s policies of political genocide against the HDP.
Led by Rouen Democratic Kurdish Society Center, hundreds of Kurdish people and their allies met in front of the Democratic Kurdish Society Center office in Rouen, France, distributed pamphlets, and condemned the AKP government’s arrest of HDP politicians.
Hundreds of young people led by the Free Youth and Free Young Women organizations in Paris came together in the Villiers Le Belle suburbs and marched to protest AKP fascism and salute the resistance in North Kurdistan.
Led by Ronahî Women’s Assembly and TJK-E, tens of thousands of people gathered in Hauptbahnhof, Hannover, Germany, and protested the AKP government’s political genocide operations. Organizations such as Die Linke party and ATİK supported the march, and protestors invited everyone to join the marches that will be held at 16:00 in front of Landtag in Hannover on Tuesday and in Celle on Thursday.
Led by the Internasionales Kulturzentrum Asscoiation, protestors met in front of the train station in Koblenz, Germany, and condemned the recent arrests of HDP politicians. Protestors also called upon Europe to take a stance against the Turkish state.
Led by the local Kurdish organization, nearly 800 people gathered in Friedrichshafen, Bodensee, Germany, and condemned the AKP government’s war against Kurdish people and HDP parliamentarians.
Democratic Kurdish Society Center organized a solidarity night in Neumünster, Germany to protest the AKP’s political genocide operations and show that Kurdish people’s will cannot be taken hostage.
Swedish Left Party organized a protest in Gävle, Sweden, to demand the freedom of HDP parliamentarians. Democratic Kurdish Society Center and Warşin Women’s Commune supported the protest, in which European Council member Inger Schörling condemned the treatment of HDP parliamentarians and described the unlawful arrests as unacceptable.
People of Kurdistan and their allies met in Göteborg, Sweden, to protest the arrests of HDP parliamentarians. Protestors condemned Erdoğan and the AKP for carrying out a coup against people’s will, and called upon the EU and the Swedish government to impose sanctions on Turkey.
Kurdish and Armenian people came together in San Francisco to protest the arrests of HDP Co-Presidents and parliamentarians, and demanded the immediate release of Kurdish politicians.
Kurdish Women’s Organizations and Russia Kurdish Women’s Movement organized an event in Moscow, Russia, and condemned the AKP government’s fascist attacks against HDP politicians. Protestors called upon Russia and other international powers to take action against Turkey, and emphasized that Kurdish women would not be silent in the face of cruelty and fascism.
Led by the Greece Kurdish People’s Assembly, people came together at the Syntagma Square in Greece to condemn the arrests of HDP parliamentarians, the seizure of DBP municipalities and the isolation of Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan.
Led by the Britain Democratic Union, more than 5 thousand of Kurdish people and their allies gathered In front of the Manor House station in London and marched to Turnpike Lane Station. Protestors held a rally in front of Turnpike Lane Station and called upon everyone to enhance the resistance until AKP is forced to backtrack on its oppressive policies.
Hundreds of people also gathered in other British cities such as York, Sheffield, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Brighton, Cambridge and Exeter to protest the AKP government’s political genocide operation.
Source: NEWS DESK – ANF 08-11-2016
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