Turkish government bloodbath in Cizre town, solidarity demonstration

This video says about itself:

Pro-Kurdish protesters clash with police in Turkey

26 July 2015

Clashes between pro-Kurdish protesters and police broke out in the southeastern province of Cizre on Sunday night. The unrest came after the funeral of a protester killed in demonstrations against military strikes targeting PKK camps in northern Iraq.

From Dutch daily De Volkskrant (translated):

Nobody is allowed to enter Turkish town, ‘civilians are shot’

“A bloodbath threatens in Cizre. At least 25 civilians have been killed, including a baby of six weeks old,” says Bozo Bilal Acar from the besieged town Cizre in southeast Turkey. “There are snipers on the roofs shooting at civilians. I myself was a few times almost hit by them.”

By: Sacha Kester September 11, 2015, 18:22

On Saturday 12 September (today), at 15:00, there will be a solidarity demonstration with the people of Cizre, starting on the Malieveld in The Hague, the Netherlands.

‘Pentagon helping ISIS against Kurds’

This video says about itself:

The Kurds Forging A New Nation In Syria

20 November 2014

Secret Revolution: Out of the chaos of Syria’s civil war, Kurdish leftists have forged a mini-state run on communal lines.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Patrick Cockburn

Sunday 30 August 2015

Turkey duped the US, and Isis reaps rewards

The real losers are the Kurds, the only force to have effectively resisted the jihadis in Syria

The disastrous miscalculation made by the United States in signing a military agreement with Turkey at the expense of the Kurds becomes daily more apparent. In return for the use of Incirlik Air Base just north of the Syrian border, the US betrayed the Syrian Kurds who have so far been its most effective ally against Islamic State (Isis, also known as Daesh). In return for this deal signed on 22 July, the US got greater military cooperation from Turkey, but it swiftly emerged that Ankara’s real target was the Kurds in Turkey, Syria and Iraq. Action against Isis was almost an afterthought, and it was hit by only three Turkish airstrikes, compared to 300 against the bases of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

President Barack Obama has assembled a grand coalition of 60 states, supposedly committed to combating Isis, but the only forces on the ground to win successive victories against the jihadis over the past year are the ruling Syrian-Kurdish Party (PYD) and its People’s Protection Units (YPG). Supported by US air power, the YPG heroically defeated the Isis attempt to capture the border city of Kobani during a four-and-a-half month siege that ended in January, and seized the Isis crossing point into Turkey at Tal Abyad in June.

The advance of the Syrian Kurds, who now hold half of the 550-mile Syrian-Kurdish border, was the main external reason why Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered the US closer cooperation, including the use of Incirlik, which had previously been denied. The domestic impulse for an offensive by the Turkish state against the Kurds also took place in June when the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) won 13 per cent of the vote in the Turkish general election, denying Mr Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) a majority for the first time since 2002. By strongly playing the Turkish nationalist and anti-Kurdish card, Mr Erdogan hopes to win back that majority in a second election on 1 November.

There are signs of a growing understanding in Washington that the US was duped by the Turks, or at best its negotiators deceived themselves when they agreed their bargain with Ankara. Senior US military officers are anonymously protesting in the US media they did not know that Turkey was pretending to be going after Isis when in practice it was planning an offensive against its 18 million-strong Kurdish minority.

Further evidence of misgivings in Washington came last week with an article in The New York Times entitled “America’s Dangerous Bargain with Turkey” by Eric S Edelman, former US ambassador to Turkey and under-secretary for defence policy, who is normally regarded as a neo-con of good standing. He accuses Mr Erdogan of unleashing “a new wave of repression aimed at Kurds in Turkey, which risks plunging the country into civil war” and he goes on to suggest that this might help the AKP win back its majority, but will certainly undermine the fight against Isis. He says: “By disrupting logistics and communications between the PKK in Iraq and the PYD in Syria, Turkey is weakening the most effective ground force fighting the Islamic State in Syria: the Kurds.”

In fact, there is growing evidence that the Turkish government has gone even further than that in weakening US allies opposing Isis in Syria, Arab as well as Kurd. For several years the US has been trying to build up a moderate force of Syrian rebels who are able to fight both Isis and the Syrian government in Damascus. The CIA-run initiative has not been going well because the Syrian military opposition these days is almost entirely dominated by Isis, which holds half Syria, the al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, and the equally sectarian Sunni Ahrar al-Sham.

Read more: Modern-day Monuments Men take on Isis
Site fighting Isis run by British ex-jihadi too scared to go public
Isis militants routed from village in Northern Iraq

But in July, the US plan to create such a moderate force was humiliatingly knocked on the head when Jabhat al-Nusra attacked and kidnapped many of this US-trained force as they entered Syria from Turkey. It now seems certain that Nusra had been tipped off by Turkish intelligence about the movements of the US-backed unit known as “Division 30”. Turkey apparently did this because it does not want the US to have its own surrogate in Syria. According to an investigation by Mitchell Prothero of the McClatchy news organisation, citing many Syrian sources in Turkey, the Turkish motive was to destroy the US-run movement, which was intended to number 15,000 fighters targeting Isis. Its disintegration would leave the US with no alternative but to train Turkish-sponsored rebel groups whose primary aim is to topple Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. The article quotes a Syrian rebel commander in the Turkish city of Sanliurfa, 30 miles north of the Syrian border, as saying that the Turks “don’t want anything bad to happen to their allies – Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham – along the border, and they know that both the Americans and the Syrian people will eventually recognise that there’s no difference between groups such as Nusra, Ahrar and Daesh.”

How does Isis itself assess the new US-Turkish accord? Its fighters may find it more difficult to cross the Syrian-Turkish border, though even this is uncertain. But it will be relieved that its most effective enemy in Syria, the PYD, will in future be restrained by Turkish pressure. Its PKK parent organisation is coming under sustained attack from Turkish forces in south-east Turkey and in the Qandil Mountains of Iraq.

The destruction of one of the most famous temples at Palmyra by Isis last week, and the decapitation of the site’s most famous archaeologist a few days earlier, are a show of strength and acts of defiance very much in the tradition of the Islamic State. The aim is to dominate the news agenda, which can easily be done by some spectacular atrocity, and thereby say, in effect, “you may hate what you are seeing, but there is nothing you can do to stop it”.

And this is demonstrably the case not just in Syria but in Iraq. Isis captured Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province in Iraq on 17 May and Palmyra five days later on 22 May. In neither case has there been an effective counter-attack. Isis is still winning victories where it counts, and faces no real threat to its existence.

The US campaign against Isis is failing and the US-Turkish deal will not reverse that failure and may make it more complete. Why did US negotiators allow themselves to be deceived, if that is what happened. No doubt the US air force was over-eager for the use of Incirlik so it would not have to fly its planes from Jordan, Bahrain or carriers in the Gulf.

But there is a deeper reason for America’s inability to confront Isis successfully. Ever since 9/11, the US has wanted to combat al-Qaeda-type movements, but without disturbing its close relations with Sunni states such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the Gulf monarchies. But it is these same allies that have fostered, tolerated or failed to act against the al-Qaeda clones, which explains their continuing success.

Turkish government fights WordPress and Kurds, not ISIS

This video from the USA says about itself:

16 November 2014

Jon Stewart: Turkey: Erdogan helps ISIS at Kobane.

From the Peace in Kurdistan campaign in Britain:

Kurdish message of peace stifled by Turkish censorship

Monday 10th August 2015

The Peace in Kurdistan campaign explains how President Erdogan is more interested in trampling the Kurds than fighting Isis

DAYS ago, the Peace in Kurdistan Campaign’s website was blocked to users in Turkey in the latest government crackdown on Kurdish and pro-Kurdish news and media.

As part of a broad attack on internet freedom, 77 million websites hosted by WordPress.com were temporarily blocked under Turkey’s Internet Law 5651. After WordPress challenged the ban, the Turkish government lifted restrictions on the majority of sites, leaving just five — which included peaceinkurdistancampaign.com and four other pro-Kurdish sites — inaccessible inside Turkey. WordPress’s appeal to the courts regarding our site and the others is still pending.

The move came as the Turkish air force’s heavy bombardment of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) sites in northern Iraq and Rojava, the first such strike since 2011, threatened to put a definitive end to the more than two-year peace process.

Using their participation in the US-led anti-Islamic State (Isis) campaign as cover, the Turkish government has taken the opportunity to wage war not against Isis at all, but against the Kurdish movement, human rights defenders, activists and the peace process by breaking the 10th ceasefire called by the PKK in the last 15 years.

What is especially galling for the Kurds is that this new clampdown on freedom of expression, combined with the renewed offensive against the PKK, comes in the wake of the Suruc massacre of young Kurds who were preparing to take part in a voluntary mission to aid the people of Kobane — the city that became a symbol of Kurdish resistance to Isis.

The massacre, carried out by an Isis-inspired suicide bomber, left 33 youths dead and hundreds more badly injured. The Kurds immediately blamed Turkey because of its complicity in aiding Isis — assistance which has been well documented.

However, Turkey’s AKP government has quite cynically used the outburst of popular anger at the massacre as a pretext for launching its attacks on the Kurdish movement, both within the country and across the border, by systematic bombing of PKK camps in Iraq. Hundreds have since been killed and maimed by indiscriminate bombing, including many civilians, according to reports.

At the same time, the Turkish authorities, steered by an increasingly authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have begun attempts to lift political immunity from pro-Kurdish HDP parliamentarians, which will pave the way for their prosecution and possible disqualification from standing for re-election in the event of the president calling a snap general election. This is likely if coalition negotiations fail.

The latest wave of censorship included a temporary ban on Twitter, a platform used by nearly a third of the country’s population. In total 96 sites have been blocked on the grounds they are publishing “terrorist” propaganda. The vast majority of these were pro-Kurdish or leftist political sites.

This duplicity was mirrored in police raids and air strikes that took place the same week, ostensibly part of Turkey’s fight against Isis. Of the 1,050 arrests that took place across Turkey in nationwide “anti-terrorism operations” last week, 137 were alleged Isis sympathisers while 847 were Kurdish activists suspected of links to the PKK. Similarly, on the day the supposed anti-Isis air strikes began, just one sortie was sent to attack Isis targets, while 75 F-16s and F-4E 2020s dropped around 300 smart bombs onto 400 PKK targets in just two days.

For those us familiar with Turkey’s repressive, vague and draconian anti-terrorism legislation, these acts come as little surprise. Over the years we have campaigned for journalists imprisoned for speaking in support of Kurdish rights and for the reinstatement of media outlets after they were repeatedly banned or taken off the air. One such campaign was for the Kurdish-language broadcaster Roj TV, which, although based in Denmark, was forced from the air after the Turkish government agreed to support former Danish PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s appointment as Nato secretary-general.

We are well aware that we too are working under the suspicious gaze of an integrated surveillance system with global reach. Our peaceful activities that advocate for the inviolable rights of Kurdish people and a peaceful, negotiated resolution to the conflict are still seen as a threat.

For more information see peaceinkurdistancampaign.com.

Under the guise of fighting ISIS, Turkey’s president is re-igniting a bloody war with the Kurds for his own political purposes: here.

‘Turkish air force killing Iraqi civilians’

This video says about itself:

Turkey kills “by mistake” 35 Kurdish civilians

30 December 2011

Tension increases at the border between Turkey and Iraq after Turkish officials confirmed their troops killed by mistake 35 civilians during an airstrike in the Kurdish village of Ortasu.

That was then. And now today, 1 August 2015.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands today:

‘Turkish fighter jets again cause civilian casualties in northern Iraq

Today, 16:55

New attacks by Turkish warplanes on PKK targets in northern Iraq have killed ten civilians. This report the [Iraqi] Kurdish Rudaw media network, which has a reporter in the area. …

The attacks were on Zargali village, in the district Rawanduz. …

The Kurdish government in northern Iraq … condemned Turkey for “bombing civilians.” …

In The Hague this afternoon some 700 Kurds and Turks protested together against the Turkish bombardment of the PKK. The demonstrators marched from the central station to the Spui, where there were speeches.

Turks and Kurds demonstrate in The Hague, the Netherlands, against Turkish government bombing, 1 August 2015

Erdogan, stop bombing Kurds, Britons, others say

This video says about itself:

Turkey Is Bombing Kurdish Forces — Who Are Fighting ISIS

29 July 2015

Turkish jets launched their heaviest assault on Kurdish militants in northern Iraq overnight since air strikes began last week, hours after President Tayyip Erdogan said a peace process had become impossible.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Stop bombing the Kurds

Thursday 30th July 2015

Activists, MPs, trade unionists and campaigners call on Turkey to stop its renewed aggression against the Kurdish people

WE have watched with increasing alarm and frustration as the peace process between the Turkish government and the Kurds has stalled and been brought to a halt.

Just a few months ago talks between Turkish officials and jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan promised to herald a historic breakthrough in the protracted conflict.

We believe that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had deserved credit for enabling these talks to go ahead with a view to finding a lasting resolution to the decades-long conflict which has brought incalculable damage to Turkish and Kurdish communities alike and needlessly claimed thousands of lives on both sides.

But recently, and at least since the run-up to Turkey’s June general election, President Erdogan has abruptly changed track and allowed himself to become embroiled in a reckless gamble that sees him playing with the country’s future.

He has stood accused of putting the peace process on hold and even of terminating it for political gain. The consequences of such a move would be to reignite the conflict and this can only be utterly catastrophic for the country and its future generations.

We share the fears expressed by the Kurds about Turkey’s repeated threats of military intervention across the border in Syria.

The stated intention to establish a buffer zone really appears designed to destabilise the fledgling democracy in the regions of Rojava liberated by the Syrian Kurds, rather than contribute towards a resolution of the crisis in Syria.

In addition, Turkey has been highly ambiguous in its attitude to Isis, with evidence that it is sheltering and supplying weapons to Isis fighters. The Turkish state has clearly been using Isis to undermine the gains of the Kurds in places like Kobane.

The opportunity for peace still exists and should not be squandered. President Erdogan can still facilitate it by showing true leadership, but this involves vision and magnanimity.

The possibility of securing a lasting peace would be a historic gain for Turkey, the Kurds and the entire Middle East region.

In fact the whole world has a stake in seeing Turkey at peace.

The leaders of Turkey need to recognise the importance of the choices that lie ahead: either grasp the chance for peace or reignite a conflict with no end in sight.

The results of the Turkish general election gave hope for peace when the pro-Kurdish HDP made historic gains and broke through the 10 per cent obstacle to achieve representation in the country’s parliament.

The HDP fought the election on a clear and unambiguous platform of support for the peace talks between Turkey and the Kurds.

The support that the party received was an endorsement of the peace process.

The party’s success inspires all those who want to see Turkey achieve a more democratic and pluralistic society founded on peace and reconciliation.

The Kurds have been calling for the restarting of the peace process. We believe that it is time for Turkey to reciprocate and opt for peace over conflict.

Peace in Kurdistan Campaign

Noam Chomsky
John Berger, novelist
Derek Wall, international co-ordinator of the Green Party of England and Wales
Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley, Lecturer in Political Sociology, Cambridge University
Melanie Gingell, barrister, Doughty Street Chambers
Bronwen Jones, barrister, Mansfield Chambers
John Hunt, journalist and writer
Sean Hawkey, photojournalist and Green Party member
Dr Austin Reid, consultant in international university development
Hywel Williams MP
Elfyn Llwyd, former MP, Plaid Cymru
Essa Moosa, Judge of the High Court of South Africa and Cape Town and Chair of the International Peace and Reconciliation Commission
David Graeber, Prof of Anthropology at London School of Economics and author
Jonathan Bloch, author
Margaret Owen, human rights lawyer and director of the international NGO Widows for Peace though Democracy
Dr Radha D’Souza, global justice scholar and democratic rights campaigner
Mike Mansfield QC, President of Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers
Lord Rea
Baroness Jenny Jones, Green Party
Caroline Lucas MP, Green Party
Jean Lambert MEP
Lord Avebury
Dr Les Levidow, Senior Research Fellow, Open University
Bruce Kent, Vice-President, Pax Christi
Bill Bowring, Professor of Law, Birkbeck, University of London
Louise Christian, lawyer, Vice-President of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers
Frances Webber, Vice-President of Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers
Mary Davis, visiting professor at Royal Holloway University of London
Lindsey German, Convenor Stop the War Coalition
Trevor Rayne, Lecturer in Public Service Management and Economics
Dr Michael M.Gunter, Professor of Political Science, Tennesse Technical University
Dr Kariane Westrheim, Associate Professor University of Bergen, Norway
Nick Hildyard, policy adviser
Dr Andy Higginbottom, Associate Professor, International Politics and Human Rights
Zaher Baher, Kurdistan Anarchists Forum
Yvo Fitzherbert, Istanbul-based journalist
Liz Davies, barrister, Vice-President Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers
Catrin Lewis, barrister
Sarah Parker, human rights campaigner
Stephen Smellie, South Lanarkshire UNISON
James Kelman, novelist
Dr Johanna Riha, epidemiologist
Bert Schouwenburg, International Officer, GMB (personal capacity)
Dr Zeynep Kurban, Physicist at Imperial College London, human rights activist
Rosa Salih, Kurdish Society, Scotland
Isabel Kaser, PhD candidate SOAS
Amin Husain, Tidal: Occupy Theory, Occupy Strategy magazine (tidalmag.org ) & Direct Action Front for Palestine
John Holloway, Professor of Sociology at the Instituto de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades in the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, Mexico
Marina Sitrin, Post-doctoral Fellow at the CUNY Graduate Center, Author of “Everyday Revolutions: Horizontalism and Autonomy in Argentina”, National Lawyers Guild, US
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, University Professor in the Humanities, Columbia University, US
Silvia Federici, scholar, author and activist, prof emerita and Teaching Fellow at Hofstra University
George Caffentzis, political philosopher and autonomist Marxist, founder of the Midnight Notes Collective
Andrew Ross, cultural studies specialist, directs American Studies Programme at New York University
Andreas Gavriliedis, Greek-Kurdish Solidarity
George Eugeniou, founder and director of Teatro Technis
Eric Lee, LabourStart (personal capacity)
Prof Eleni Palazidou, Consultant Psychiatrist
Jean Lambert MEP
Kate Osamor MP
David Morgan, journalist
Dr Felix Padel, visiting professor, JNU, Delhi
Dr Janroj Yilmaz Keles, Research Fellow, Middlesex University
Eoin Slattery, actor
Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner
Pete Radcliff, Secretary of Beeston North Labour Party
Cynthia Cockburn, author and activist
Carol Mann PhD Women In War, Think Tank for Gender and Armed Conflict
Khatchatur I Pilikian, Prof. of Music & Art
Paloma Polo, visual artist and independent researcher
Batu Talu, independent researcher
Sheila Mosley, Co-Chair: International Support Kurds in Syria
Tim Cooper, Nottingham Unite Community treasurer and Nottingham Kurdish Solidarity Campaign
Kadim Lacin, Journalist
Penny Papadopoulou, Journalist
Tim Gopsill, editor of Free Press (CPF)
Houzan Mahmoud, Kurdish femininist activist
Maryam Ashrafi, photojournalist
Mithat Ishakoglu, PhD at the University of Exeter
Tony Fisher, Law Society Human Rights committee member
Melanie Sirinathsingh, Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
Estella Schmid, Peace in Kurdistan Campaign

Having reached a deal with the Turkish government to set up a buffer zone inside Syria, ostensibly to combat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), official Washington has begun debating the rules of engagement for US military forces to intervene against the Syrian military: here.

An ‘Isis-free zone’ is nothing but a road to US mission creep, by Emma Ashford. The US’ involvement in Syria displays no strategy, no boundaries and no clear goals. The only viable long-term solution to Syria’s problems is diplomacy: here.

Erdogan, stop bombing Kurds in Iraq, Iraqi government says

Erdogan and Syrian Kurds

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Iraq condemns bombing of PKK camps

Today, 14:55

Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi has condemned the Turkish bombardment of PKK camps in northern Iraq. He sees the attacks as a serious violation of the independence of Iraq and fears a “dangerous escalation” of conflicts.

Abadi calls on the Turks in order to avoid further escalation and find a solution to the crisis.

Turkey has intensified the attacks on the armed wing of the PKK after the NATO allies yesterday proclaimed their support to Turkey’s approach to terrorism.

The approach of the Turkish Erdogan government to terrorism is now: a few symbolic actions against ISIS terrorists who had used Turkey as their base for violence in Syria for a long time; and many more attacks on the only effective force fighting these ISIS terrorists: the Kurds in Syria, in Turkey, in Iraq.

In an article on the site of NOS TV from the Netherlands, Kurds in Iraq describe the Turkish armed forces as ‘the air force of ISIS’.