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Proposed Military Strike on Syria


John Simkin
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Damascus, Oct 15 (Prensa Latina) Combat in the northern Syrian city of Ain al Arab continues today with fierce clashes between the Kurdish militias and the Islamic State extremists who are trying to take control of that strategic enclave.

Despite its limited armament and forces, the Units for the People�s Protection (YPG), the name of the Syrian Kurdish militia, retook Tel Shair hill yesterday, located four kilometers west of that locality.

According to regional television channels, the IS controls half of Kobane, called Kobane by the Kurds, though Idris Nuaman, top official of the autonomous government, estimated that the extremists only have between 25 and 30 percent control of the city.

Though the extremists occupied the Police station, the court headquarters, the cultural center and the Kurdish headquarters, they were forced to withdraw from certain areas due to counterattacks from the militia.

Kobane has been under siege by Islamic fundamentalists since last Tuesday, when they reached the doors of that locality after taking control of scores of neighboring towns in a three-week offensive.

The Kurdish militia continue to fiercely defend the locality, though Turkey's refusal to allow the sending of reinforcements and munitions makes the fighting very difficult.

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http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-5d73-We-have-met-the-enemy-and-it-is-us#.VD4vZ2ddVCA

ON the Turkish frontier, around the town of Kobane in northern Syria, the world is witnessing the very best of humanity alongside the very worst.

The very best are of course the Kurdish defenders of the town, whose courage and heroism in resisting an onslaught by the forces of Isis is such that songs will be written about them in years to come.

The sight of those men and women, many barely out of their teens, holding the line with light weapons against the barbaric hoards of Isis fighters attacking the town from three sides with heavy artillery and tanks conjures up parallels with Barcelona, the Warsaw Ghetto, even Stalingrad in microcosm.

And given the medieval ideology of Isis, under which women are reduced to the status of slaves, the fact that women are playing such a key role in the town’s defence adds an extra dimension of defiance to the barbarism they are facing.

Isis has emerged and erupted across northern Syria and Iraq as a direct consequence of the West’s disastrous policy of military intervention in the region, going back to 2003 with the war in Iraq.

Moreover, in pursuit of its domination of this oil-rich part of the world, Washington and its allies have extended themselves in propping up the most vile regimes across the region — specifically corrupt kleptocracies in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait, while continuing its support for the apartheid state of Israel, whose treatment of the Palestinians remains a scar on the conscience of the world.

During this crisis, the previously mentioned Gulf states, along with Turkey, Washington’s Nato ally, have managed to navigate a pernicious policy of providing, indirectly if not directly, support to Isis over the past couple of years, while maintaining the facade of fighting terrorism.

Until recently Isis fighters moved freely across the Turkey-Syria border and large shipments of arms were allowed to enter Syria from Turkey, as witnessed and recorded by outraged Kurds. It is no wonder that Kurds are demonstrating across Turkey demanding an end to the country’s support for Isis.

The Saudis also give new meaning to the word mendacious.

That this vile regime retains the support of the West is an affront to decency.

The medieval and obscurantist creed of Wahhabism, near indistinguishable from the fundamentalist perversion of Islam which underpins the ideology of al-Qaida and its offshoots such as Isis, has no place in the 21st century.

It is barbarous, inhuman and incompatible with human rights and yet it is the ruling orthodoxy taught to millions in the kingdom.

So why is the West an ally of the very state which exists to promote Wahhabism across the region and wider Muslim world?

Oil, a multi-billion dollar trade in arms, and strategic advantage is the answer — but even on those terms the Frankenstein’s monster that is Isis demands a major reorientation of this policy and alliance.

Indeed, if Washington was serious about defeating Isis it would order air strikes not only against Isis forces on the outskirts of Kobane but also against the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul followed by air strikes to root out the Saudis in Riyadh.

The world should not make the mistake of holding its breath waiting for this to happen, however, as currently in the White House resides not a president but a comedian masquerading as one.

Obama’s recent announcement that he is still formulating a strategy to deal with Isis, weeks after the group’s eruption across the region, suggests a president who feels the need to consult his advisers and ponder the issue endlessly before he even takes a trip to the bathroom.

This is not a game. The defenders of Kobane, the Syrian people as a whole, the Iraqi people — the people of the Middle East in their entirety — demand an end to the double dealing, opportunism and hypocrisy that has defined the West and its allies’ role in creating the conditions for the carnage being visited upon them by this murder cult.

Only the most callous would criticise the US air strikes in recent days against the Isis forces surrounding Kobane — air strikes which those desperately defending the town have been pleading for.

We are where are and the plight of Kobane gives its defenders the right to make a pact with the devil himself in order to defeat those who mean to torture, rape and behead them.

Ultimately, until the West desists from its wrongheaded policy of treating Assad as an enemy rather than a pillar of resistance to this poisonous ideology, and understands that a coalition which includes Turkey and the Saudis is no coalition at all, will the region finally begin to emerge from this disaster.

Sadly, anyone betting on such an eventuality is likely to lose their money. For as the saying goes, “We have met the enemy and it is us.”

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Islamic State fighters have been driven out of Kobani, the Kurdish town that straddles the Syrian-Turkish border, after weeks of heavy fighting, according to Kurdish sources speaking to RT.

A Kurdish commander said that ISIS retreated overnight – withdrawing by 2 km east and 9 km west.

The Kurds are now clearing the city. The Islamists have left behind suicide bombers hiding in the ruins of the various buildings in the city.

"We can still hear sporadic gunfire and explosions coming from Kobani," RT's Murad Gazdiev reports from the Turkish-Syrian border.

However, a victory announcement from the Kurdish fighters is yet to be made because the whole of the city has not been secured


RT source in #Kobani: #IslamicState retreated, left behind suicide bombers in ruins. Victory announcement once city cleared.

— Murad Gazdiev (@MuradoRT) October 17, 201

Syrian Kurds Regain IS-Besieged Ai al Arab pdf_button.png printButton.png emailButton.png

kurdos.jpgDamascus, Oct 18 (Prensa Latina) After fierce clashes, the Kurds militias regained several areas of Ain al Arab from extremists of the Islamic State (IS), which are trying to conquer that northern Syrian city, a local commander reported today.

In remarks to Press TV network, a leader of the People's Protection Units (YPG), the name of Syria's main Kurdish force, said their troops regained most of the locality bordering Turkey.

He was optimistic about the possibility to fully free Kobane soon, as Kurds call Ain al Arab, but he warned that it will be impossible to keep control over it without receiving weaponry.

The city is very near the border, but for the moment Ankara refuses to send any help to the defending troops.

In its pullout, IS left numerous suicide attackers and bombs planted in buildings; the YPG forces are carrying out a thorough search for terrorists, said the source.

For the time being, the balance tips in favor of the Kurds, but the battle is far from ending, said Al Jazeera television network.

The region is of great importance to IS, an organization considered terrorist by the international community, as it would allow it link two areas now under its control. Besides, it has some 300 km of common border with Turkey, a country accused by Damascus of supporting radical groups, specially the IS.

rma/tgj/rob Modificado el ( sábado, 18 de octubre de 2014 ) Edited by John Dolva
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Kobanî continues to fight against ISIS despite Turkiosh intransigence and US waffling

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We have the following news from Rojava regarding the fight against ISIS.

* The YPG (Rojava's People's Prtection Forces) Press Center issued a statement about the clashes in Kobanî today. The statement says that "ISIS gangs have been attacking Kobanî to occupy the canton for 33 days. ISIS gets reinforcements from different regions of Syria and Iraq and especially targets the canton from the eastern front. They also use mortars and heavy weapons. YPG forces, in response to the attacks, targeted ISIS gangs in and around the city." The statement adds that in the last 24 hours at least 22 of the ISIS gangs were killed in the clashes.

* ISIS gangs attempted to attack YPG forces from three points on the eastern front of Kobanî but were pushed back by YPG forces immediately after the attacks started.

Clashes also continue on the western and southern fronts where YPG forces carried out a successful offensive against the ISIS gangs. YPG sources noted that the operations are going well and that they will announce victory soon.

* The YPG Press Center also released a statement providing information about the YPG operation going on in west and southeast Serêkaniyê since October 11. The statement said that YPG forces have carried out an attack targeting an ambush group of the gangs on the border while also hitting ISIS positions in and around the Rawiya region.

* The last two ambulances in the Kobanê have been hit by random ISIS mortar attacks. The city now has no ambulances. ISIS launched these random attacks after having suffered heavy losses at hands of the YPG/YPJ fighters over the last 4 days.

One of the 5 doctors working in Kobanê, Welat Xelîl Omer, says that there are currently no ambulances in the town and that the wounded have to be carried in ordinary cars.

The ISIS gangs have begun attacking the town with mortars and with explosive-laden vehicles following the heavy blow they suffered at the hands of the strong resistance of the YPG/YPJ forces and the people of Kobanê. In the mortar attacks carried out over the last two days, the only two ambulances in the town were targeted. The ambulances were put out of use by these attacks and there are no other ambulances in the town at the moment. Welat Xelîl Omer says that ambulances and health personnel are rarely targeted in wars, but that many ambulances, health personnel and hospitals have been targeted by the ISIS gangs in Kobanê. “As you can see, our hospital, ambulances and the cars of the doctors have been made unusable. Our last two ambulances have been destroyed. We could only take out the stretchers. The rest is junk,” the doctor said.

Doctor Omer says that they now have to carry the wounded in ordinary cars and that the wounded lose blood before they reach the treatment center, adding that their most urgent need at the moment is ambulances. “We were told that we would receive 4 ambulances. But we have not received any so far. Mostly our health institutions and vehicles were targeted in this war. We have said it before, the three hospitals of the town were made unusable by being bombed. But we especially suffer great difficulties in carrying the wounded after our ambulances were put out of use. We would be grateful if we could urgently receive some ambulances,” said Doctor Omer.

* Women in the Qamishlo (Cizîrê Canton or Jezira Canton) city of Rojava have started to receive weapons training with an aim to improve self-defense. The training is being provided by YPJ (Women's Protection Units) fighters at the demand of local people and women who want military training in order to protect themselves and their region. The training will last two days and will teach women how to shoot.

* Mainstream Turklish media is saying that YPG forces in Kobane repulsed a new attempt by ISIS to cut off the border with Turkey today. Five U.S.-led strikes hit ISIS positions around Kobane last night. Still, the US military has issued a statement saying that the strikes might not prevent Kobane’s fall and that their priority remains ISIS targets in Iraq.

The UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said earlier this month that about 12,000 civilians remain in and around Kobane and that they risk a "massacre" if ISIS cuts off the border. There has been some recent dispute about the number of civilians left in Kobane. We believe that about 2000 civilians remain there and that random ISIS mortar fire and some concentrated attacks are preventing the evacuation of the remaining civilians.

"Iraq is our main effort and it has to be, and the things that we’re doing right now in Syria are being done primarily to shape the conditions in Iraq," said General Lloyd Austin to international media. Iraqi government troops are fighting ISIS in the Anbar provincial capital of Ramadi, west of Baghdad, and near Tikrit. A loss in Ramadi would be a major blow for the government in Baghdad, but we have insisted that breaking ISIS in and around Rojava will deplete their forces and turn the tide of the fighting over the entire region. Sacrificing Rojava will mean threatening Rojava's advanced revolution, something both the US and Turkey would like to see happen.

The Iraqi troops are struggling to retake and hold their ground despite coalition air support, but Rojava holds out because the Rojava revolution is so deeply rooted in the people. The coalition airstrikes help, but they do not come often enough and started rather late in the fighting. Opening a UN-supervised safety corridor and allowing Rojava to purchase arms (or arming Rojava's forces and the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK) would be a great step forward at this point.

International mainstream media admits that the US-led coalition has prioritized fighting against ISIS in Iraq because they can work with the compliant Iraqi government and the forces under the Kurdistan Regional Government (the KRG or Federal Republic, so-called "Iraqi Kurdistan"). The leadership and people of Rojava, on the other hand, are not so compliant and maintain a revolutionary consciousness.

If ISIS forces in Kobanî are indeed creating a "target-rich environment" for the US, as the White House says, then why is the US not resolute in hitting those targets?

The US has only just begun to develop open direct contact with Rojava's Democratic Union Party (PYD). The US and Turkish position is that the PYD and Rojava reflect the thinking and actions of the blacklisted Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Still, the PYD confirmed on October 18 that PYD leader Saleh Muslim met with the US special envoy for Syria Daniel Rubinstein in Paris on October 12. US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf said yesterday that Washington has has been sharing intelligence and information with Rojava's fighting forces but stopped short of calling the cooperation.

In a bizarre statement made to Hürriyet Daily News, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan has said that “Syrian Kurds are our natural allies,” that it was his government who convinced the US to conduct airstrikes in order to save Kobane and that Turkey is the only country giving aid to Kobane. He also said that Rojava is "a de-facto and illegitimate entity formed without the Syrian people’s approval" and will not be recognized by Turkey.

More seriously, ISIS has announced that they have three fighter jets captured from the Syrian military and that ISIS pilots are being trained to fly them by pilots who formerly served under Saddam Hussein.

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Sunday, October 19, 2014
Unrest in Iran and Rojhelat over the Kobani resistance
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Our friends at Rojhelat.info are running this post. We are reblogging it because of its great importance at this moment.

In recent days, people of Rojhelat (Eastern Kurdistan) stood up against ISIS (Islamic States of Iraq and Sham) terrorists who aim to capture the border city Kobanî in the last 31 days, but they were met with iron resistance by the YPG (People’s Protection Units) and YPJ (Women’s Protection Units) forces.

With the expansion of terrorist attacks on the Kobanî, Kurds in Rojhelat and Iran strongly condemned the horrific attacks by ISIS over the city and they protested in cities of Kurdistan and Iran like Tehran, Tabriz, Mehabad, Sine, Meriwan, Kirmanshan, Bane, Serdesht, Ciwanro, Bokan, Piranshar and other Kurdish zones.

After the rally in support of Kobanî resistance, in some cities protest turned violent with security forces of the Iranian regime. In capital Tehran which was held a protest in front of UN headquarters, two participants were arrested namely Aso Rostami, 28 years old poet, teacher and child rights activist also Ali Nouri, 21 architecture student, HRANA agency reported.

Also according to ANF report, Iranian troops captured 6 Kurdish activists in city of Serdesht over the Kobanî protest. It is said that the Iranian regime has released 3 of them and 3 others are still in detention with names Sirwan Salihzade, Jiyan Begzade and Wirya Qazizade.

Thousands of people “will most likely be massacred” if Kobanî falls to ISIS fighters, a U.N. envoy said on Friday, as militants fought deeper into the besieged Syrian Kurdish town in full view of Turkish tanks that have done nothing to intervene.

U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura said Kobanî could suffer the same fate as the Bosnian town of Srebrenica, where 8,000 Muslims were murdered by Serbs in 1995, Europe’s worst atrocity since World War Two, while U.N. peacekeepers failed to protect them.

Speaking at a press conference in Geneva, U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura called on the Turkish authorities to allow the flow of volunteers at least and their own equipment in order to be able to enter the city and contribute to a self-defence operation.

In this regard, PYD (Democratic Union Party) Co-President Asya Abdullah, who is in Kobanî taking part in the resistance against ISIS gangs, has said they need an ‘aid corridor’ in order to maintain the resistance, calling on international forces to take notice of this demand.
“We will eat a handful of Kobanê's soil every day, but we will not eat the kebabs of Turkey.”
We have the following news from the fight against ISIS in and around Rojava this morning. We remind readers that reports from the fighting can be repetitive and contradictory.

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* YPJ (Rojava's Women's Protection Units) fighter Diyale Viyan has died while receiving treatment at a hospital in Urfa. She had been sent to Urfa through the Mürşitpınar border crossing and taken there for treatment after sustaining critical injuries in clashes with ISIS gangs in Kobanê on October 6.

* A YPG Press Center release says that "Last night YPG forces cleansed 10 regions of ISIS gangs after severe clashes in which 48 ISIS gangs were killed and an important amount of ammunition was seized. During the clashes 3 YPG fighters lost their lives."

In another statement the YPG Press Center detailed the last twenty-four hours of the fighting as the resistance and fighting going on in Kobanî goes into its 34th day.

About 50 ISIS gang members were killed since yeserday in fierce clashes at four fronts and many points were recaptured from the gangs. Three YPG fighters lost their lives in the fighting.

ISIS gangs launched a new wave of attacks with reinforcements brought in from various areas yesterday. After carrying out intense mortar attacks on Kobanî's town center from early morning to the evening, ISIS gangs then started to attack from the eastern, southeastern and northeastern sides of the town following a suicide attack with two bomb-laden vehicles last night. The YPG forces advanced after taking some areas at the town center where the gangs had been deployed.

ISIS gangs launched simultaneous attacks from the eastern and southeastern lines last night. These attacks were beaten back by the YPG in fierce fighting that lasted into this morning. Sixteen ISIS fighters were ascertained killed and many others wounded there.

On the northeastern, southwestern and southern sides of the town YPG forces captured areas formerly occupied by the ISIS gangs and killing at least 15 ISIS fighters and seizing ammunition.

On the western line YPG forces targeted two ISIS deployment areas on the Minaze road and both areas from the gangs and killed at least 5 ISIS fighters.

According to the statement, severe clashes took place between YPG forces and ISIS gangs in and around the village of Zorava to the west of Kobanî yesterday afternoon and lasted into the evening.
"As the Kobanî resistance continues with a great will and determination, three comrades of ours fell as martyrs fighting for the defense of the town last night," the statement added.

* The Kobanê town of West Kurdistan has witnessed fierce clashes last night as ISIS gangs launched attacks from four sides. YPG/YPJ (People's/Women's Protection Units) repulsed all the attacks and captured four areas where gangs were deployed.

ISIS gangs attacked from three directions on the eastern front last night. At last 6 gang members were killed in clashes that erupted after YPG forces strongly responded to the attacks. Two ISIS deployment areas were taken by the YPG.

The second attack by the ISIS gangs was launched from the area of the Kobanê municipal building. More than 10 ISIS fighters were killed in the fighting that broke out following a harsh response by YPG forces.

The third attack on the eastern side was carried out in the Kaniya Kurda region where YPG forces broke the wave of attacks and cleansed two areas of gangs, also seizing ammunition belonging to them.

On the southeastern front of the city, dozens of gang members were killed in violent clashes as YPG fighters responded to the gangs attempting to reach Azadi Square.

YPG fighters also carried out actions targeting two deployment areas of the gangs at the southern front, destroying both positions and killing a number of members of the gangs.

While severe clashes are going on at the eastern front, gangs continue to launch mortar attacks on the town center.

ISIS gangs attempted two suicide attacks with bomb-laden vehicles last night. YPG fighters hit the cars before they reached the targets, which were two separate positions of the YPG/YPJ fighters.
* YPG/YPJ fighters who have gained the upper hand in continuing clashes on three fronts in Kobanê are inflicting serious blows on the ISIS gangs. YPJ fighter Bişeng said they had prepared their positions for winter conditions, saying, “We can sleep under a rock if necessary, but for civilians it is different,” stressing the need for an aid corridor.

After a month of fighting in Kobanê the YPG/YPJ forces are continuing to inflict blows on the ISIS gangs on all three fronts. YPJ fighter Bişeng said that their only concern is the civilians, highlighting the urgent need for an aid corridor to be opened.

On the eastern front in the battle for the canton of Kobanê in Rojava, the attacks by the ISIS gangs have reached the neighborhoods of the town, while on the southern front clashes are continuing outside the town near the village of Memîdê and on the western front also outside the city. Since snipers play a determining role in urban warfare, the course of the battle has varied from front to front. On the eastern front snipers have played a key role, but in the last three days the YPG/YPJ forces have gained the upper hand on all fronts. The gangs are bombarding the town with mortars and are trying to hit the border gate in an effort to regain lost prestige. Clashes are continuing in villages and neighborhoods on the margins of the town, while on the western front outside of the town fighting is going on from battle lines. On the western front the YPG/YPJ fighters are launching operations on many villages supported by militia forces from Kobanê.

Around the village of Tel Shair in the west the YPG/YPJ fighters are providing security for civilians and meeting their needs. The fighters have put up tents as winter approaches. YPJ fighter Bişeng said, "We are preparing our houses for winter," adding "We can sleep in a tree trunk or under a rock if necessary, but for civilians it is different. Most of them are children, women or elderly. We are trying to take more of the town so that they can move back,” stressing the need for an aid corridor.

Fifty-three-year-old Hecî Faruk has been in the YPG for 18 months. He is at the front with his daughter. He says, "My daughter and I have promised each other we will fight to the last drop of our blood for this country. I had an orphaned niece in the YPJ who fell in a clash in the village of Toreman. I also promised her I would not give up the resistance.”

When you speak to the people of Tel Shair they all have a different story to tell. For a month now many of them have been living in the minefield on the border. An elderly mother with barefoot children bemoans the fact they have not been able to wash for days, adding that sick elderly people were lying in pickup trucks. She said, “We Kurds have nobody. This old man has been ill for days." When asked why they didn’t cross to the North, she replied, “We will eat a handful of Kobanê's soil every day, but we will not eat the kebabs of Turkey.”

* According to the information provided by YPG Press Center, the operation launched against ISIS gangs in the west and southwest sides of Serêkaniyê city on October 11 is continuing. The statement said that YPG forces destroyed a ISIS vehicle carrying fighters near the Dehma region yesterday afternoon and also hit ISIS gangs who attempted an attack in this region. Thirteen ISIS fighters were ascertained killed in yesterday's clashes that lasted all day long, while fierce fighting in the area has continuing since last evening.

In the Jazaa region, YPG forces carried out an action targeting ISIS forces between the villages of Qadisiye and Misterîha to the southeast of Jazaa, destroying a vehicle with ISIS fighters inside it. In Qadisiye village YPG fighters killed 6 gang members and wounded one other.

* The Martyr Xebat Academy in Efrîn has started a new training session for 40 young people recruited by the YPG and YPJ. The session will last for 35 days and the young people will be trained in military skills and politics, ideology, culture and history. During the first day of the session YPG commander Selaheddîn Kurdî made a speech on the importance of self-defense and called on all young people to join the YPG and YPJ. Selaheddîn Kurdî said, "We are joining the general mobilization. We will never give up our land and martyrs' memories. Kobanî, thanks to resistance of YPG and YPJ, now goes towards freedom."

* Construction equipment is now being used to dig a trench in an area close to the border crossing between the Akçakale district of Urfa and the Girêspi (Tal Abyad) city of Rojava, West Kurdistan, under siege by ISIS gangs. The trench is 2 metres wide and 3 metres deep. Wire fences have also been placed around the area. Armored vehicles are being used to secure the area as the trench is dug.
The last letter of Suphi Nejat Ağırnaslı, an MLKP fighter martyred in Kobanê
We recently did two posts about Suphi Nejat Ağırnaslı---also known by his codename Paramaz Kızılbaş in Rojava---who bravely gave his life in Rojava in the fight against ISIS. He was a member of the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Turkey (MLKP), which Turkey and the EU and the US have criminalized. His death comes as a real loss. The following item is circulating through Kurdish and progressive alternative media. We have not edited it.

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The last letter written by Suphi Nejat Ağırnaslı---also known by his codename Paramaz Kızılbaş--- has been read out-loud at a memorial for Nejat at his alma mater, Boğaziçi University.

Nejat, who was a member of the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Turkey (MLKP), is reported to have left the letter for his family and friends before leaving for Kobanê. Nejat lost his life fighting alongside the YPG in the defense of the city on October 5th.

Below is a translation of the letter into English:

I have lived life and learned much from those who have been a part of my life. I made a choice with what I have learned and I became a witness to the truth, or to truths. Within life’s dialectic I have passed to the other pole and hope that it will be for the good. I was born as an ordinary person and I am saying goodbye to you as an ordinary person as well. I know that I often left you halfway down the road, that I sometimes acted clumsily and was sad for it, that I had become sad. Forgive me for the last time.

I have made a choice as an ordinary youth and from nothing but the ordinary contradictions. Above all else I made this choice for myself. I haven’t set out for some lofty belief. All I wanted to do is bring some spark to the lives of unlofty people, to a world without a spark, to a world which has been reified. I have learned that I will not get past my own contradictions, and that insomuch that these are social to map out the contradictions of people only. And I have learned to be able to work toward socializing them to a higher degree. This is the closest point in my life that I have come to the truth.
I was born a fugitive in Söke. A Turkish Duisburger, Cluberger. Anyhow, as for it being Turkey I have no regrets. Every calamity in life is in fact supposed to be an opportunity which can contribute in some way when one seeks to gain from it. My only concern was never to grow up, to never be a part of the world of grown-ups, to remain a child forever…now just like Peter Pan I am going off to Neverland, never to grow up. There is nothing that could have made me happier...

With the wish that you lay the seeds for the emergence of ordinary heroes that will bring a spark to the lives of ordinary working people in the west of Turkey, and that you create a vanguard and rearguard organization that will be devoted to the search for truth.

Every heart is a revolutionary cell!!!

To the power of imagination!!!
"The Kurdish movement and people will not accept any attitude not shaped by concrete steps,"
The following report details the results of a meeting between leaders of the progressive People's Democratic Party (HDP) and the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK). We said at the time that this meeting was announced that we considered it to be especially important because it wold speak to people at the grassroots and say much about the resolution process underway between the Kurdish liberation movement and Turkey's government. The meeting took place in Kandil, the guerrilla movement's stronghold, and it took place as the Turkish government moved forward with the repressive legislation referred to below while also giving lip service to the resolution process which should be abolishing such laws. This version of the report has been edited and we apologize for any errors which may be the result of our editing.

A delegation of the HDP (Peoples' Democratic Party) has issued a statement after returning from Kandil where they held a meeting with KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) leaders as part of the democratic resolution process launched with the initiative of Kurdish people's leader Abdullah Öcalan in March of 2013.

The delegation, made up of HDP Group Deputy Chairs Pervin Buldan and İdris Baluken and HDP Deputy Co-President Sırrı Süreyya Önder, conveyed the details of yesterday's meeting with KCK executives which lasted seven hours.

The HDP delegation said that the meeting witnessed a detailed assessment of the developments in Rojava and the Middle East, the resolution process and Kobanê being in the first place, works for the National Congress, the AKP's (Turkey's ruling reactionary Justice and Development Party) approach towards the resolution process and Kobanê protests, and its policy on Rojava.

The delegation also conveyed that the road map draft---submitted to them as a result of talks in Ankara---maintain the AKP's delaying tactics regarding the resolution process and has yet to establish mechanisms for the advancement of the talks to negotiations. The AKP has still not undergone a change in its policies in this regard despite all the calls made by the Kurdish movement and democratic circles.

The KCK leaders warned that "the Kurdish movement and people will not accept any attitude not shaped by concrete steps," while also stressing that in the event that the process advances to negotiations, they will maintain the positive approach they have manifested from the beginning of the process launched by the Kurdish people's leader to today.

The HDP delegation said that the KCK leaders underlined that the civil resistance led by the YPG and YPJ People's/Women's Defense Forces) in Kobanê is continuing in a course to lead up to historic results, and that the uprising of the people in Kurdistan and their intervention in the Kobanê process has been one of the most significant developments giving strength to the resistance.

The KCK leaders also said that it is vital to continue to follow the situation in Kobanê with great sensitivity, and remarked that the concept of aiming to eliminate the gains of the Kurdish people over the Rojava revolution remains in effect.

According to the delegation, KCK leaders put emphasis on the importance of the National Congress whose importance has once again manifested itself within such a process, and called for sensitivity from all Kurdish parties and organizations in the current process when the ground for the National Congress is getting stronger.

The KCK leader also pointed out that the AKP hasn't undergone any change its attitude in the face of the support it has provided to ISIS gangs since the beginning of the siege of Kobanê, as has also been revealed by the international community.

The delegation said, "Executives of the KCK stated that the AKP is not even allowing a corridor to prevent a probable massacre in Kobanê, where the Kurdish people remain under the threat of an imminent mass killing, and is, on the other hand, considering the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) and ISIS equal and bringing the anger of the people to a boiling point by saying that 'Kobanê is about to fall.'" They also said that the AKP hindered the development of a solution through these remarks and policies, and that the people have exposed these policies of the AKP government to the whole world by adopting the stance of an uprising.

The KCK leaders also pointed out that the loss of lives during Kobanê protests and all of the developments that followed it were a consequence of the AKP government's policies and repressive implementations not serving a solution.

According to the KCK leaders, the wave of detentions and arrests coming in the wake of Kobanê solidarity protests also gives an idea about the AKP government's approach.

Saying that the KCK leaders strongly objected to the new law package of the government, the delegation conveyed the following opinions highlighted by KCK leaders in this regard, "It should be known well that the Kurdish people and democratic powers will give the necessary democratic struggle in the event of the enactment of this law, which gives police further powers and aims to suppress the public opposition under the cover-up 'probable suspect' concept in a process which is witnessing a debate regarding the abolition of the anti-terror law and enactment of laws serving the resolution of the Kurdish question."

The KCK leaders said that all circles defending democracy should struggle against the AKP government's policies delaying a resolution, and called for sensitivity in this regard from all those siding with peace.
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Fighting around Sinjar, victories in Kobanê and young people joining the struggle from Turkey, North Kurdistan and Europe

HPG.jpg

We have these three reports late in the day.

* Clashes have been taking place between ISIS gangs and People's Defense Force (HPG, most often associated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK) guerrillas and the Sinjar Resistance Units (YBŞ) in the villages of Barê, Sikêniyê and Geliyê Şilo in the Sinjar region of South Kurdistan.

HPG guerrillas speaking to Rojnews reported that fighting on and around Mount Sinjar has got heavier in the last two days. Over 20 ISIS gang members were killed and two ISIS vehicles were destroyed in the clashes.

* As ISIS gangs continued their attacks on Kobanê for a 35th day, the YPG (Rojava's People's Defense Forces) mounted a stiff resistance, repulsing the ISIS attacks and moving onto the offensive, retaking certain positions occupied by the gangs and advancing inside the town.

The YPG Press Center announced today that YPG forces have retaken certain positions from ISIS in counter-attacks after repulsing ISIS attacks.

The YPG Press Center said that YPG forces had put up stiff resistance to ISIS forces attacking at the northeast of the town through Sunday night, repulsing the attacks. At least 16 ISIS gang members were killed in these attacks. The YPG forces then counter-attacked to the east of the town, cleansing Municipality Street entirely of ISIS fighters. As far as could be ascertained, 13 gang members were killed.

The Press Center statement said, “In this area 2 heavy machine guns, 4 B7 rocket launchers, a AK 47 and a Bruno type weapon and large quantities of ammunition were seized. Two bodies of gang members were also found.” The statement also said that YPG forces had carried out an attack on the southern front, after which a position was entirely cleansed of gangs. Seventeen ISIS gang members were killed during these operations.

* Since ISIS began attacking on Kobanî on September 15, hundreds of young people have returned from Turkey, North Kurdistan and European countries to join the YPG and YPJ's (Women's Defense Units) resistance against ISIS. Last night another 26 young people arrived in Kobanî. Those who know how to use guns were sent to YPG and YPJ fronts in Kobanî and the rest were taken for military training to YPG and YPJ centers.

In Memory of Suphi Nejat Ağırnaslı by Cihan Tekay
This is a strong piece of journalism by Cihan Tekay and we reprint it here because of its content and Cihan's writing style and because it says a great deal about the left in Turkey today. We have run several articles about Suphi Nejat Ağırnaslı. We found this in Jadaliyya, an internationalist journal with especially good writing on Turkey, North Kurdistan and Rojava.

In Memory of Suphi Nejat Ağırnaslı

On 5 October 2014, we lost our friend, comrade, and colleague, the sociologist, translator, writer, and revolutionary Suphi Nejat Ağırnaslı while he was fighting with the Marxist Leninist Communist Party/Turkey and North Kurdistan (MLKP) and People's Protection Units (YPG) in Kobane. Condolences to all, and may he rest in peace.

Suphi Nejat Ağırnaslı was born on 22 September 1984. From his early years on, he lived in Germany with his family, who were in political exile from Turkey. Despite having very high scores in the university entrance exams he took in Germany, he chose to pursue his university education in Turkey. He was placed in the Sociology Department of Marmara University, where he soon had to leave because of political pressure and fascist attacks, which are ongoing in Marmara University's Göztepe campus to this day. Because of his academic achievements, he transferred to the Sociology Department of one of the most prestigious educational institutions in Turkey, Boğaziçi University. After completing his BA in Sociology at Boğaziçi, he went on to pursue his MA in the same department, writing a thesis on the work "accidents" in the shipyards of Istanbul's Tuzla district, in which hundreds of workers died. An adept graphic designer who was fluent in web design, Nejat also created posters for numerous actions organized by Boğaziçi students during his university years.

In 2011, Nejat was detained during the KCK operations; the contents of his computer’s hard drive, including his course schedule and class notes, was presented as evidence for his persecution.

Boğaziçi University students issued a statement denouncing his detainment, entitled "Foucault should be tried as well!" which pointed out the absurdity of Nejat’s trial. Nejat spoke to the independent news network Bianet upon his release, saying:

I’m a socialist, and I’m known for this identity. I’m sensitive to the Kurdish issue, but this is not the point. What I went through delivers this message: “If you are engaged in certain social issues in Turkey, whether intellectually or politically, if you are sensitive to these issues, this is how we’ll treat you.” Socialists and liberals who engage intellectually or politically with the Kurds are subject to a witch hunt in Turkey.

Nejat’s KCK trial is ongoing.

Nejat was the son of Nuran Ağırnaslı and the grandson of Niyazi Ağırnaslı, who served as a Workers Party of Turkey (TİP) senator between 1961 and 1966. Niyazi Ağırnaslı also served as one of the lawyers for Deniz Gezmiş, Yusuf Aslan, and Hüseyin İnan, revolutionary students who were hanged on 6 May 1972 in the aftermath of the 12 March 1971 coup d'etat. Nejat’s father Hikmet Acun wrote these words in the wake of his son’s loss: “I lost my son, my comrade, my brother Nejat in Kobane. He chose revolutionary solidarity while he had other, bright lives ahead. He kept his word. He did not disappoint me. He gifted me a part of himself. Every pain is heavy, and it does not repeat. I bow down before him in respect.”

All the names that Nejat carried point to the struggles of the oppressed peoples of Turkey. The nom de guerre he chose for himself, "Paramaz Kızılbaş," is a nod on the one hand to the Armenian socialist Matteos Sarkissian, who was hanged by the Committee of Union and Progress government in 1915, and to the Alevis on the other hand. His given name, “Suphi Nejat,” comes from a combination of the names of Mustafa Suphi, the first chair of the central committee of the Communist Party of Turkey (founded in 1920), and of the party secretary Ethem Nejat.

Nejat was also part of the labor struggle and made his living as a translator. In 2012, Nejat wrote an article for Bianet, titled "Can Freelance Workers Organize?" In this piece, he sought to draw attention to increasingly flexible and precarious work conditions. Underlining the urgency of new and diverse ways of organizing, he wrote: “Let’s imagine a union which is not a union; let’s imagine a cooperative/collective which is not only an economic commons; let’s think of spaces that are corporations outside but our mutual wealth inside, and let them not be corporations.” Nejat went on to write a manifesto for a new communism in 2013 titled “Menkıbe” (“Tales”), which can be downloaded here (in Turkish.)

A sophisticated intellectual, Nejat was deeply knowledgeable on the history of the left in the Ottoman Empire and Turkey, and was fluent in global Marxist and left literature. Grounded in this framework, he brought valuable critiques to the contemporary left in Turkey, crystallized in an article he penned in 2012 for Fraksiyon.org, "The Sins that Boil in the Witch's Brew" (in Turkish.) A rigorous critique of the left in Turkey which takes Sylvia Federici’s Caliban and the Witch as its starting point, Nejat ends the piece with these words: “those who partake in the common [struggle] should not be judged for who they are but for what they contribute to it.” These words have been widely shared in social media reactions in the wake of the news of Nejat’s death on Sunday, which can be followed with the hashtag #SuphiNejatAğırnaslı. In addition to his writing, Nejat translated several books into Turkish, among them We Are Anonymous. Some of the publishing houses he worked for have issued their condolences via Twitter.

His family, friends, comrades, and colleagues have been memorializing Nejat since Monday. Condolence tents have been set up in Kadıköy and Boğaziçi University with the calls and initiatives of the People's Democratic Party and Boğaziçi students, among others. The North Quad of Boğaziçi University has been renamed in Nejat's name. Commemorations will continue throughout the week. The Sociology Department at Boğaziçi University issued an obituary on Tuesday, which reads: “We are suffering deeply from the loss of our old student and colleague Suphi Nejat Ağırnaslı while he joined the struggle in Kobane. We remember Nejat’s smiling face, his bashful gaze, his friendship, his honesty, his never-ending energy, his belief in equality, plurality, and freedom, and his communist intellectual and political identity with respect.”

The press center of the YPG issued a written statement on Nejat’s death on 13 October, saying: “Comrade Paramaz Kızılbaş, who participated in the magnificent resistance in Kobane in order to build the free future of our peoples, has been immortalized in the honorable struggle against Da’esh gangs who are the enemies of our peoples.” Nejat’s party, the MLKP, also issued a statement, emphasizing the importance of Nejat’s fight against both imperialism and the oppressive states of the region, adding: “The name he chose for himself as he stepped into the barricades built by our YPG comrades speaks for itself in reflecting comrade Nejat’s thoughts and feelings. His decision to volunteer in Kobane and overcome death became the clearest expression of this.”

Some of those who knew Nejat have started commemorating him in the section under his name in ekşi sözlük, telling everyday stories and memories they shared with him. One of these eulogies speaks to the hearts and minds of many of us who knew him, whether closely or from afar: “Nejat was not less precious than any of us. On the contrary, he was miles ahead. He put his life on the line, wise and simple. He did what we could not do. Nejat gave a nod to us from Kobani, smiled; he sent us a slogan from afar with his childish voice, unable to pronounce his r’s…Nejat made us cry. Good thing we cried; he made us remember our humanity.”

As precious as Nejat was to us, he is only one of those we lost in Rojava, in Kurdistan, in Turkey, in Syria. There are many whose stories we don’t know like we do Nejat’s, those whose lives we cannot touch. Nejat’s loss opens the door to commemorating those lives that we are not familiar with, those that he touched and fought together with and in the name of, and remembering the injustice that underlies the impossibility of telling the stories of those that we will never know.

Suphi Nejat Ağırnaslı is immortal! May he rest in light and peace.

Other pieces in English on Nejat Ağırnaslı:

Nejat Ağırnaslı, Sociologist, Dies in Kobane

Student of Prestigious Bosphorus University Killed While Fighting ISIL in Kobane

An Internationalist Fighter

Nejat Ağırnaslı Died for What He Believed In

[An earlier version of this article was first published in Turkish on Jadaliyya; it can be found here. It was translated by the author.]

Who will defend the LGBT organization in Kurdistan?
This post came to us from LGBTI NEWS TURKEY.

Source: Müjde Tozbey Erden, “Kürdistan’da LGBT derneğini kim savunacak?” (“Who will defend the LGBT organization in Kurdistan?”) Sol Portal, 19 September 2014, http://haber.sol.org.tr/yazarlar/mujde-tozbey-erden/kurdistanda-lgbt-dernegini-kim-savunacak-97415

[The Van Attorney General’s Office has moved to disband the Van Youth and Ecology Association (Van Gençlik ve Ekoloji Derneği) on the grounds that the Association’s bylaw to “support sexual orientation” is against morality as determined by the Article 56 of the Turkish Civil Code.]

You might have heard of the establishment of the Van Youth and Ecology Association [Van Gençlik ve Ekoloji Derneği] in our region. “What does this Association do?” you may have asked. The association works on several matters, but one of its primary goals is to lend support to individuals regarding their sexual orientations.

According to Article 2 of the Association’s code, “The Association may form alliances with, become a member of, work in solidarity with, and provide financial and moral support to local, national, and international and cultural and academic associations and/or associations working in the fields of women, refugee, asylum seeker, ecology, humanity, youth, children, sexual orientation as it sees fit by following relevant legal procedures.” [sic] Under the “Activities” heading, the code states that “The Association pursues activities in the fields of life, organic agriculture, climate change, rural development, education, culture, social politics, art, gender, discrimination, poverty, refugee, asylum-seeker, youth, children, the disabled, sexual orientation.” [sic]

The issue begins right there; the Van Attorney General’s Office has brought in a case for the annulment of the Association on the basis that the Association’s bylaw to “support sexual orientation” is against morality as stated in Article 56[1] of the Turkish Civil Code.

This case has failed to catch the attention of the media and the public opinion. This might stem from insensitivity towards LGBT rights and efforts to work towards them. Nevertheless, this case is being taken seriously by a “marginal”[2] section of the people in our region. The space in which they can organise themselves is under threat.

The concept of “sexual orientation” that is in the association’s code refers to a certain form of diversity. According to scientific findings, there is no single sexual orientation. The concept of sexual orientation incorporates multiple orientations (heterosexuality, homosexuality, asexuality, and so on).

As such, to attribute this only to homosexuality can only be described by homophobia. Let’s move on since this is not surprising. Of course they cannot stop the establishment of the association. Legal precedents in our country clearly demonstrate that the code is neither against law nor life [sic].

For instance, when the City Associations Directorate of the Ankara Governorship [Ankara Valiliği İl Dernekler Müdürlüğü] requested the annulment of the Kaos Gay and Lesbian Cultural Studies and Solidarity Association [Kaos GL] on the basis of Article 56 of the Turkish Civil Code, the Attorney General’s Office of Ankara [Ankara Cumhuriyet Başsavcılığı], in its nolle prosequi no 2005/2247, turned them down, on the basis that there is no justification on the grounds of morality, stating that[3]:

In the scrutiny of the concept of morality, it must be taken into account

  • that it [the concept of morality] is the entirety of rules, principles, and beliefs,
    • which have been adopted in time by human groups [sic], and
    • which regulate the relationship between individuals the family, the society, and all humans,
  • that the sum of behaviors that are evaluated in the context of good-bad [sic] is called a society’s morality,
  • that the main goal of morality is to maintain order in social life and to bind relations between individuals to rules,
  • that it [the concept of morality] varies between societies and incorporates the concept of relativity,
  • that, in a period where ‘discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation’ in the Turkish Penal Code is being debated,
  • being gay or lesbian does not mean being devoid of morality,
  • what should be realized is ‘the freeing of human will’ as agreed upon by everyone who works in the sciences of ethics
Again, in the 2008 decision by 7th Legal Department of the Supreme Court [Yargıtay 7. Hukuk Dairesi] LGBT rights are protected as it states that:

“Even though the justification section of the court’s decision indicates that both the name and the goals of the association are against the law and morality, sexual identity and orientation are not personal choices but rather are encountered inadvertently by individuals through birth or the family’s manner of nurturing. As all nations in the world do, our nation too recognizes the existence of persons of a variety sexual orientations, as defined by the terms lesbian, gay, bisexual, transvestite, or transsexual… Not only is it not forbidden by our laws, but also it is not possible to characterize as immoral persons possessing such a sexual orientation, one that is independent of their volition or that such defining terms are used.”

The founders of the association explain their use of this concept on the basis of their “aim to incorporate all groups who are subjected to rights violations / who are oppressed in the industrializing society.” Isn’t it great that someone is trying to embrace all oppressed peoples in our region as well? But who will defend the rights of these friends? Does radical democracy embrace these groups? I can hear you say “of course it does” but it is not so in our region. I, as a communist, am the attorney of this association, because it is not easy for LGBT activists who reclaim their status as “marginal” to find an attorney in our region. Note this: the state allows LGBT associations and they are active throughout Turkey, but attempts to prevent the establishment of such associations in the Kurdish region. Is this not discrimination; is this not an effort to leave Kurdish LGBT individuals without organizational structures?

We have argued in previous articles that socialist movement works not only for a bright future but towards improving the conditions of today.[4] We have seen yet again with the proceedings of this case that one ought to be in a socialist struggle in order to defend people without discriminating on the basis of region, race, or gender [sic]. We will see what happens next …

[1] Article 56 defines and regulates associations founded or operating in Turkey and states that “it is not allowed to establish associations for goals that are in violation of law or morality.” Neither the Article nor the relevant section of the Civil Code contains language pertaining to sexual orientation. Article 57 guarantees that anyone with legal capacity can establish an association. According to Article 60, the chief administrator shall request and allow 30 days for revisions only when a legal problem pertaining to the association’s code or to the legal status of the founders is observed. At the end of this period, if revisions were not submitted, the chief administrator is to inform the Attorney General in order to request the annulment of the association. The Attorney General may also decide to halt the activities of the association at her/his discretion. (Source) The source article does not identify the chief administrator in question.

[2] In Turkish politics, the concept “marginal” (not to be confused with “marginalized”) has become a popular term used by both the ruling party and oppositional parties in order to alienate them from the public opinion and to delegitimize various rights advocacy groups and organizations. Here, the author attempts to subversively mimic, and thus reclaim, this concept.

[3] The original has been converted to a bulleted list by the translators in order to assist the reader.

[4] The author is making an argument associated with what is commonly called “Classical Marxism.”

Transphobia at Starbucks
Source: Çiçek Tahaoğlu. “Starbucks’ta Transfobi” (“Transphobia at Starbucks”) Bianet, 17 October 2014, http://bianet.org/bianet/lgbti/159242-starbucks-ta-transfobi
The post came from our friends at LGBTI NEWS TURKEY and Bianet.
Instead of serving her coffee, the Starbucks at the Cevahir Shopping Mall, Istanbul, gave Michelle Demishevich her money back. Demishevich, who protested with a sit-in at the coffee shop, is awaiting a written apology.

starbucks-protest-demischevich.jpg?w=620
Source: Bianet

Trans journalist Michelle Demishevich experienced discrimination at the Starbucks at Cevahir Shopping Mall in Istanbul.

Demishevich, who spoke to Bianet, said that, instead of serving her coffee, the employees gave her money back and said “you may file your complaint with whomever you want.” Demishevich said:

“I got in the line and ordered my coffee. First they started laughing among themselves and make fun of my name, saying ‘is it Michael or Michelle.’ Then they served the customer behind me. When I protested the situation and asked why they did not serve me, they refunded my money. Then they said, laughing, ‘you may file your complaint with whomever you want.’

“Five women who were present at the coffee at the time and witnessed the incident supported me. They came by my side with a rainbow unbrella and with a piece of paper with ‘We are here, get used to us! LGBTI individuals exist.’

“I am currently protesting with a sit-in inside Starbucks and my sign. People passing by are giving me support. Mr. Ozan, Starbucks Turkey’s Operations Director also arrived. I am awaiting a written apology due to the discrimination I was exposed to.”

Demishevich reported that, after waiting in the coffee shop for a few hours, she was told by the Operations Director that the relevant procedure will be initiated regarding the employees who denied service and were transphobic towards her and that ‘they [starbucks] cannot issue a written apology but that, in line with company policy, they can provide her with a spoken apology.'”

Political repression in Turkey today---Özalp and Öcalan
abdullahocalan2_wide-e80e3117f4d3a221c54
We have the following two items which say much about political repression in Turkey and North Kurdistan today.

* Five people have been taken into custody after house-raids in the Özalp district of Van early this morning. A number of homes in the İstasyon, Karkalı, Cumhuriyet and Sugeçer neighborhoods were raided in the operation which targeted people who participated in protest demonstrations against the ISIS attacks on Kobanê in Rojava. Kobanê borders the Suruç district of Urfa where there is an on-going solidarity mobilization.

* Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the Kurdish liberation movement, was arrested in 1999 and was moved in 2009 to a 12-square-meter solitary cell with a small yard, similar to the F-type prisons in the rest of Turkey, on İmralı Island. That space was later redesigned and rebuilt.

With the onset of the negotiations between the Turkish government and the liberation movement, and the role of the liberation movement and Rojava’s forces in fighting ISIS, Öcalan’s living conditions came back into the news and demands for his freedom have again been raised around the world.

Abdullah Öcalan, or Apo, now has five political prisoners as neighbors. A ruling from the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) helped win him a TV with 12 channels.

A delegation made up of Kurdish politicians visits the island when allowed and in part to check the conditions Abdullah Öcalan is held under. He has a bedroom and working room, a separate bathroom and a small garden. If the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) forces withdraw from Turkey by February of next year, Abdullah Öcalan’s available space will again increase but he will still be held on İmralı island.

Important developments in the fight against ISIS today
Today’s notes on the anti-ISIS struggle in and around Rojava contain a number of important points which may show changes in the direction of the anti-ISIS fight and deepening tactical splits between the imperialist powers.

* Rojava’s People’s Defense Forces (YPG) General Command released a statement on the on-going clashes in Kobanî on the 33rd day of resistance to the ISIS gangs. The following is the full statement of the YPG:

To the Media and the General Public,

It has been 33 days that the city of Kobanî has been fighting terrorism in the eventful days of resistance, redemption, and enormous sacrifices in combating the terrorist attacks of ISIS and its evils. For this organization, which has become the biggest threat to global peace and stability, the battle of Kobane poses a historic turning point. We are certain that the result of this battle will shape the future of Syria and the democratic struggle for freedom and peace. We want it to be known that the victory in Kobane is a victory for all Syria, and it will also be a major defeat for ISIS and terrorism.

The resistance shown by us, the People’s Defense Units (YPG) and the factions of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), is a guarantee for defeating ISIS’s terrorism in the region. Counter-terrorism and building a free and democratic Syria were the bases of the agreement we signed with factions of the FSA. As we can see, the success of the revolution is subject to the development of this relationship between all factions and the forces of good in this country.

We as the YPG affirm that we will meet all of our responsibilities towards Rojava and Syria in general. We will work to consolidate the concept of true partnership for the administration of this country commensurate with the aspirations of the Syrian people with all its ethnic, religious and social classes.

We also confirm that there is coordination between us and the important factions of the FSA in the northern countryside of Aleppo, Efrîn, Kobanî, and Cizîre (Jazeera). Currently, there are factions and several battalions of the FSA fighting on our side against the ISIS terrorists.

* The US Central Command (Centcom) said today that it delivered weapons, ammunition and medical supplies in an air-drop to Kobanî’s anti-ISIS fighters yesterday. The US was quick to describe this as a "momentary effort" in response to a crisis situation and not as supporting Kobanî’s or Rojava’s government. The supplies apparently moved from the Federal Kurdistan Region (KRG) to Kobanî by way of Centcom. The US seems to be downplaying exactly how many drops were done, but an initial announcement referred to “multiple drops of arms, munitions and medical supplies to Kobanê.” Centcom is claiming credit for more than 135 air strikes against ISIS in Kobanî.

* Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said today that his government has been providing assistance to the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Peshmerga in order to cross into Kobanî to fight ISIS forces there. It is assumed that the main support extended to the Peshmerga by Turkey is in facilitating their crossing borders.

Çavuşoğlu again made the odd claim that Turkey has been in “full cooperation with the international coalition over Kobanî.” Çavuşoğlu said, “We have never wanted Kobane to fall (into the hands of ISIS) and never will. Turkey has made every effort to prevent that. Turkey sent humanitarian assistance and medical equipment. We have been in full cooperation with coalition forces for Kobane. We want the region to be cleaned of all threats.” In other remarks he seemed to imply that yesterday’s air-drop by Centcom to Kobanî’s fighting forces are a part of Turkey’s efforts.

Çavuşoğlu also referred to Kobanî as “the Euphrates Volcano” and went through some twists of logic to argue that many groups are fighting together in Kobanî so that aid to the canton and city is not going to the Democratic Union Party (PYD). The PYD and the People’s/Women’s Defense Forces (YPG/YPJ) and other people’s organizations certainly have responsibility for whatever solidarity exists on the ground in Kobanî as people there fight desperately for their lives and freedom, but this sidesteps the question of what the Turkish government has been doing to help the situation.

Çavuşoğlu, the US and other allies may well agree, as he seems to say, that the Free Syrian Army (FSA), or some FSA faction, is the only group which should receive support because it is supposedly fighting both ISIS and the Assad regime. Çavuşoğlu wants one unified Syria and Assad gone and they believe that they have the right to intervene and enforce this. He needs to tell us how these questions will be resolved with Iran and he needs to recognize that the YPG opened their arms some time ago to factions of the FSA and to certain forces within the Assad regime as well. If Çavuşoğlu wants one unified Syria, then he must explain his government's concept of a "safe zone," which directly interferes with Syria's and Iraq's internal affairs and borders. It will take many more twists of logic by Çavuşoğlu to explain what has taken place to this point. We can at least say that Çavuşoğlu brought to light the key question of the present fighting when he called on the PYD to join with the FSA and abandon Rojava. The question, then, is exactly as Çavuşoğlu will have it---does Rojava have a right to its existence and revolution or not?

* Kobanî’s Defense Minister Ismet Sheikh Hasan spoke to Ronahî TV about the present situation in Kobanî and said that the ISIS gangs are suffering heavy losses in face of the resistance by YPG/YPJ (People's/Women's Protection Units) and that many areas in the town have been retaken from the gangs.

“For the last 35 days, YPG forces have been mounting a historic and dignified resistance against these gangs that cannot be confronted even by big states. In the face of this will, the gangs are suffering more and more blows every day. The initiative now is with the YPG and YPJ in Kobanê. Many areas have been liberated so far and a new phase has begun now.”

The Defense Minister also said that “The wave of their (ISIS) attacks has been broken, but the town remains under siege, which is why the danger continues as there are also civilians in the town. Kurds in four parts of Kurdistan must know this and stand up.”

Ismet Sheikh Hasan said, "Our people are facing a shortage of food and shelter. The winter is approaching; this is also another important problem. On the other hand, there are serious health problems as the hospital and ambulances have also been demolished in the clashes. International institutions and states must urgently provide help to Kobanê, which requires opening an aid corridor into the town."

* The living conditions of the refugees living in the Newroz Camp in Derik (in Rojava’s Cezîre Canton) are getting worse as winter approaches. Administrators of the camp and the refugees are calling for urgently needed help.

There are about 13,000 Êzidis who escaped from Şingal after the inhuman ISIS gangs occupied the city now in the camp. Heavy rains in the Cezîre Canton badly damaged the camp.

Nûrî Seîd, one of the refugees, said, "All of our tents, beds and clothes are wet now. We cannot get any help from UN and humanitarian aid organizations." Nûrî Seîd also called on all organizations and the UN to send immediate help to the refugees. Another refugee, Kine Qasim, stressed that they mostly need clothes and medicine.

* Heavy fighting continues on Kobanê’s eastern, western and southern fronts after intense clashes last night.

ISIS gangs launched an attack on YPG positions in the Kaniya Kurda region to the east of Kobanê. YPG forces responded and killed many ISIS fighters and seized a great deal of ammunition there.

A YPG offensive against ISIS gangs on the eastern front led to YPG forces liberating the area around the municipal building and killing dozens of ISIS fighters.

On the southern front, YPG forces attacked ISIS lines last night and seized some ammunition and killed at least 7 ISIS fighters.

* At the Suruç Kobanê solidarity camp in of Urfa, Turkey, volunteers are arriving from England, Sweden, South Korea, New Zealand, Zambia, Africa and the US to assist the solidarity movement and people there.

An activist from Zambia who came to Suruç with some friends, said, "We all are witnessing the humanitarian tragedy caused by inhumane gangs in Kobanê. It was not possible for us to turn a blind eye to it. The Kurds are one of the most downtrodden peoples in the world. Today, the ISIS, which is known to the whole world as a barbarian organization, is harming the Kurdish people and the other peoples living with them. Kurds from Sinjar to Kobanê are being displaced today. Whom did the people in Sinjar and Kobanê give harm to?"

Volunteer Patriek Jensen from the US said, “They are really in a challenging situation. We call on the peoples in America and other countries to act in solidarity with Kobanê. We will not be leaving these people alone until they turn back home."

Mine Ule, who came from South Korea, pointed out that the people of Kobanê have prevented a massacre in the town by paying great prices and taking great losses in face of the attacks carried out by those aiming to leave them in colonial status. Mine Ule said, "The savage organization called ISIS intends to commit a massacre today in front of the whole world's eyes. The displacement of the Kobanê people and their (living in) tents is a shame that should be felt by everyone. If a people in the Middle East is treated as a colonial community and is deprived of all fundamental rights, everyone should think deeply about it. Some powers couldn't tolerate the Kurdish people's establishment of their own system. As attacks on Kobanê have reached the highest level now, it is owing to the Kurdish fighters and young people fighting there that there has not taken place a second Sinjar case there."

* The village of Etmanek has been declared a “prohibited zone” after participating in the anti-ISIS solidarity movement. The village is now surrounded by Turkish soldiers. Villagers are protesting, saying the measure is directed at the resistance in Kobanê, and they are demanding that the military leave immediately.

Twenty-year-old Mahmut Demir said that their village has been occupied for two weeks by the military, saying that the soldiers had told them not to go out in the evening and checked their ID cards. He also said that the reason for the occupation was to block the resistance, adding that they could not go out on account of being frightened of the troops, and that the women and children were particularly scared. “Their tents were originally inside the village, but after we warned them they moved them lower down (near) the village,” he said.

Another resident of the village, Ömer Ceylan, said that their village is under an occupation, calling it unacceptable. He said the troops were there so that they could more easily assist the ISIS gangs across the border, demanding that the authorities remove the encirclement immediately.

The KDP Government Must Also Recognize The Rojava Cantons
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The following article “Kantonları hükümet de tanıma” was written by M. Ali Çelebi for Özgür Gündem. It has been translated into English below. We have not edited the translation, which we got from our friends at The Rojava Report. The KDP is the Kurdistan Democratic Party, the ruling party in the Federal Republic, or the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). The PYD is Rojava's leading Democratic Union Party. ENKS is the Kurdish National Assembly of Syria. TEV-DEM is the Democratic Society Movement, a unitary and inclusive people's organization. The YPG/YPJ are Rojava's People's/women's Defense Forces. The AKP is Turkey's ruling reactionary governing party. In a word this is about Rojava's revolution catching up with itself and consolidate support among allies.
One year after he was banned by the KDP government PYD Co-President Salih Muslim is once again in the KRG.
The meetings which began in Duhok between the different parties from Rojava and the KDP and YNK continue. Kurds are meeting to establish a foundation for national unity in response to barbaric organizations like ISIS.
Following the collapse of the Hewler Agreement and the subsequent failure to form committees aimed at working out national, foreign relations, security and social issues, a delegation headed by PYD Co-President Muslim – who was last within the borders of the KRG in October 2013 and is back following the reversal of his ban by the KPD government – continues to attend meetings in Hewler (Erbil) and Duhok. Constituents of the PYD and TEV-DEM, as well as a delegation headed by KDP leader Mesud Barzani, representatives of the YNK, and representatives of the National Congress of Syrian Kurds (ENKS) are attending the meetings. During the meetings the Kurdish parliament [of the KRG] adopted a resolution which included the recognition of the Rojava Cantons and the provision of support [to the cantons]. Following the resistance in Kobanê there is an expectation that this strategic opening will be clinched by [the emergence of] national unity and a common will.
PYD Representative in Hewler Xerib Hiso pointed to the importance of the decision taken by the [KRG’s] parliament as he assessed the meetings and the decision for our newspaper. Hiso said “there was a two day session. In these sessions we met around the subjects of the cantons, autonomous government, and the subject of support. 79 people said yes. These were positive steps. But it should not stop here. If you want to offer support then you would recognize [the canton governments]. If you recognize them then you must offer support. We want more and for them to be clearer. The [KDP] government should also recognize us. If parliament has taken this positive decision then they too should join them in this positive decision.
What ENKS Wants
Xerib Hiso also said that the ENKS representatives had caused problems which stemmed from their old attitude [to the cantons], saying “ENKS, TEV-DEM, and the parties which have taken part in the system of democratic autonomy all have delegations here. Some problems and issues have emerged in particular around the old attitude of the ENKS representatives. Because this attitude is the mentality of 1 or 2 years ago. They need to approach [the cantons] with a view to the two and half year process through which Rojava has gone through. The ENKS party bosses also wanted to divide up and share Rojava Kurdistan 50/50 just like two years ago. Just like at Hewler 1 they are not getting in line at Hewler 2. The Rojava resistance has affected the whole of Kurdistan, the region and the international arena. The YPG/YPJ resistance and struggle has established roots in the land. Within the social arena the system of autonomy and the formation of the cantons have developed with this struggle. These are Kurdistan’s gains. They are once again approaching with the old mentlaity. They are saying 50/50. This approach is not ethical. We do not accept their narrow approach. They are saying let it only be ENKS and TEV-DEM on the ground. Ok, well then one needs to ask: there are some parties and they do take part in TEV-DEM. Nor do they take part in ENKS. Where will those in people in charge of these parties participate? Where will these parties go? We as the delegations from the Rojava put forward a suggestion. Let there be a system in which all parties can participate.”
Meeting Between Muslim and Barzani
Hiso noted that in the meeting between Muslim and Barzani many issues were discussed – including the general situation in Kurdistan, the widening resistance, the resistance in Kobanê in particular, the pressure ISIS has put on Kurdistan, and the subjects of unification and an alliance as a foundational need. Hiso added that the weapons which had been sent by the Hewler government had not been allowed to reach Kobanê by the AKP government. Hiso explained that the weapons brought to the border “stayed there for a couple of hours and then came back. In rhetoric Turkey is a friend of the government in the South and needed to be of help but the Turkish government did not accept them and the weapons were returned to the South.”
The Duhok Meetings Must Not Come To Nothing
PYD Hewler Representative Hiso stressed that all eyes are on the current meetings, saying “the eyes of the entire Kurdish public are on the meetings taking place in Duhok. Everyone is expecting us to move forward in unity and as allies. We must not go back to Rojava with empty hands. We came here for unity. We came here for an alliance. We came with the spirit of the Kobanê struggle and we are insistent on obtaining certain outcomes. We want that all the parties and organizations in Rojava take part in a body of between 27-31 people. 7-9 people will coordinate the work and will be chosen from within the 31. This coordinating body will oversee political work. The government will oversee work around elections.”
Kobanê, the Kurdish struggle, and the dangers lurking ahead---A post from ROAR
We are reprinting this article from the ROARMAG.ORG blog. We enourage readers to read the entire piece. We see two problems here: there is a confusing tendency to say "the Kurds" and to leave it at that without clarification, and some of the ROAR commenters don't understand democertic confederalism and democratic self-management. We certainly have much work to do.
Kobanê, the Kurdish struggle, and the dangers lurking ahead
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By Jelle Bruinsma On October 19, 2014
While ISIS has been driven out of Kobanê, dangers of U.S. imperial prerogatives lurk around the corner for Kurdish ambitions for democratic autonomy.
Now that various reports confirm that the amazingly brave Kurdish men and women have succeeded in holding the town of Kobanê and even driving out the ISIS fascists, it is time to reflect. How did they manage to repel ISIS? Why did the U.S. become more heavily involved? And what dangers lurk ahead?
Two weeks ago, the indomitable People’s Protection Units (YPG) came out with adefiant statement underlining the sense of their “historic responsibilities”, promising that “the defeat and extinction of ISIS will begin in Kobanê. Every single street and house of Kobanê will be a grave for ISIS.” Many admired the courage of the Kurds. Turkish and other comrades even tried to join in the defense of Kobanê and worldwide campaigns were set up to raise money for them.
But there were probably few outsiders who truly believed that ISIS’ murderous assault could be stopped, with several published articles assuming Kobanê had all but fallen. This was in large part due to Turkey’s criminal and intransigent position of blocking Kurdish supply lines, and the lack of U.S. interest in what — in their imperial calculations — was a strategically unimportant town.
Two weeks later, the situation seems to have been turned around, with ISIS reportedly retreating and a Kurdish official stating that “There is no ISIS in Kobanê now,” although fighting continues on the eastern outskirts. In these same weeks, the U.S. has stepped up its aerial bombardments of ISIS positions in and out of Kobanê, and engaged for the first time in direct talks with the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD). Kurdish YPG commander Baharin Kandal, meanwhile, said “her militia group had been receiving arms, supplies and fighters.” Although she did not disclose more information, journalists in the Turkish town of Suruc, 15 kilometres across the border from Kobanê, reportedly“met fighters who have been passing back and forth.” This could be due to the fighters’ intimate knowledge of the region, but a “well-placed Turk” told the BBC“that supplies had indeed been allowed across.”
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Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Kurdistan Communities Union: Kobanê is resisting for the common values of humanity
The following statement from the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) is being run here without editing because of the urgency of the analysis provided.
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KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) Executive Council Co-Presidency has said in a written statement released today that the Kobanê resistance will continue until the town is entirely cleansed of fascist ISIS gangs and a free Rojava and democratic Syria is established.
KCK stressed that; “The people resisting in Kobanê against the ISIS, which is an enemy of the common values of humanity, are giving a fight for not only themselves but also all the peoples in the Middle East and all the values of democracy and freedom.”
Remarking that the Rojava revolution which arose as an oases of freedom and democracy in the Middle East has been facing attacks since the very first day, the KCK Executive Council Co-Presidency said the first major attack was carried out on Serêkaniyê, by groups that were backed by Turkey and used Ceylanpınar [a border district of Urfa province] as a hinterland while carrying out these attacks. However- the KCK added- the brave resistance by YPG and YPJ fighters repelled the gangs aiming to occupy the Serêkaniyê city.
KCK emphasised that the Turkish state bearing animosity to the Rojava Revolution had the ISIS attack it, while ISIS however suffered a defeat and was forced to retreat in all the areas it attacked. "The ISIS which attacked Sinjar, Makhmur and Kirkuk after capturing Mosul in Iraq, did however once again confront the YPG-YPJ and HPG guerrillas. The ISIS, backed by Turkey and shares a destiny with it, has failed to achieve the goal of these attacks", KCK added.
The statement also underlined that the ISIS, having suffered heavy losses in face of the resistance by the guerrilla, and relying on its relationship with Turkey, later deployed reinforcements around Kobanê and started an expansive wave of attacks aiming to occupy the town. The KCK statement continued; "The Kobanê town, which had been expected to fall within a few days after the ISIS siege began, continues to resist for the 35th day, witnessing one of the bravest struggles in history. The ongoing resistance in Kobanê has on the other hand been strongly supported and strengthened by the peoples of Turkey including Kurdish, Turkish, Circassian, Laz, Arab and Armenians. In addition, the resistance has also gained strength from the support given by brave comrades such as Paramaz Kızılbaş."
KCK noted that the Kobanê resistance has also been widely supported and strengthened by the solidarity of the women, youths, as well as the oppressed, socialist and democrat circles, belief groups in Turkey, mainly the Alevi community who has stood by the Kobanê resistance in a manner worthy of their history that takes side with the oppressed and the exploited.
The KCK Executive Council Co-Presidency recalled that the Kobanê resistance has also started a new phase with regards to the history of democracy and freedom in Turkey as all democratic and revolutionist powers united around the Kobanê resistance and exhibited an attitude siding with the Rojava revolution.
"The Kobanê resistance has revealed and united all the dynamics to democratise Turkey and to resolve the Kurdish question. Most particularly, the merging of the Kurdish Freedom Movement and Turkey's revolutionist democracy powers on the basis of Kobanê resistance has scared and shaken the AKP government which has been through the hardest times of its 12-year-old rule. This unity has eliminated the fences that deep and special warfare powers have intended to place between the Kurds and the people of Turkey for dozens of years", KCK said and noted that the democracy powers in Turkey have played an important role in raising awareness for Kobanê across the world, just like the peoples of the world that have manifested sensitivity and support in solidarity with the Kobanê resistance.
KCK ended the statement by extending thanks and greetings on behalf of the Kurdish people to all those supporting the Kobanê resistance against ISIS, and all the peoples and political powers that have provided political and military support to the YPG and people of Kobanê in their fight against ISIS fascism.
Ayşe Efendi calls on Kurdish youth to take place at the battlefront and analyzes the current situation
As with our earlier post today, we are reblogging the following without editing given the urgency of what is being communicated.
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Kobanê Canton’s People’s Assembly co-chair Ayşe Efendi called on the youth from Kobanê who came to Suruç and are staying there in tents, schools and mosques to go to the battlefront. Efendi said Kobanê does not need good wishes but concrete steps.
It is time protect our honour and dignity, Ayşe Efendi said in a statement about the resistance in Kobanê in its second month now.
Efendi pointed out that the national unity of Kurdistan has become concrete through the Kobanê resistance, adding: “The great resistance mounted by the Kurdish people and the YPG in Kobanê continues for over a month now, bringing the four parts of Kurdistan under unity. The Kobanê resistance has given the Kurdish people the opportunity to get to know themselves better. This is why all the four parts of Kurdistan today should concretely witness the power and determination of the Kurdish people in Kobanê. It has also been concretely revealed that a national military army is essential today. The Kurdish people, our youths in particular, must reclaim their struggle for an honourable life.”
Remarking that there is also an urgent need for reinforcement, in terms of both troops and heavy weaponry, through Semalka border gate as well as Jazaa and Kobanê, Efendi added; As a matter of fact, the border between Rojava and Bakur (North Kurdistan) has been removed by the people following the call of the Leader Apo [Kurdish people's leader Abdullah Öcalan] for mass mobilisation, proving that Kurdistan is indivisible”.
Kobanê Canton’s People’s Assembly co-chair said the youths who have recently crossed from Rojava to North or to South Kurdistan should stop waiting on the corners of mosques, schools and tents, stressing that all these youths who can take up arms must flock to the battlefront rather than pleading for a cup of soup where they are taking shelter now.
Ayşe Efendi also added that; “Hundreds of youths have joined the YPG/YPJ ranks and are now fighting bravely and with the spirit of devotion at the battlefront against the enemies of humanity. However, as participation to the Kobanê resistance from South Kurdistan is not strong enough, youths in the South must also flock to the battlefront in order to defend the Kurdistan lands and create the spirit of national unity.”
Ayşe Efendi further stressed that Kobanê does not need good wishes but concrete steps, adding that they have many times highlighted the urgency of a humanitarian corridor into Kobanê. Efendi said this corridor must be opened under the supervision of the international states as the people of Kobanê will otherwise remain under the threat of massacre, adding; “The usage of the border crossing [Mürşitpınar] remains dependent to the arbitrary attitude of the Turkish state which has many times so far refused to open the gate, causing the death of many wounded people due to loss of blood at the border. The heart of the people of North Kurdistan is with Kobanê over a month now. They have left their daily routine, siding with an honourable struggle and putting their heart and soul into waiting at the Kobanê border to prevent the crossing of ISIS gangs”.
Urgent call for global action for Kobanê
We are presenting the following piece without editing because of the urgency of the appeal or declaration.
An appeal signed by a number of politicians, intellectuals, scientists, philosophers, journalists, artists, lawyers and human rights organisations worldwide has called for urgent action for the Kobanê town of West Kurdistan, Rojava, under attack by inhumane ISIS gangs.
130 well-known individuals and institutions signing the appeal have also called for the organisation of a Global Rally against ISIS- for Kobanê and for humanity- in all world countries at 2pm on 1 November 2014.
The appeal for Kobanê recalled that ISIS had launched a major multi-front military campaign against the Kurdish region of Kobanê in northern Syria, as the third ISIS onslaught on Kobanê since March 2014, and were attacking with larger forces and want to take Kobanê after being unsuccessful on the two previous occasions.
Noting that the Turkish border is to the north of Kobanê and all the other sides are surrounded by ISIS-controlled territories, the appeal said; “The ISIS has approached the Kobanê borders, using US made heavy weapons. Hundreds of thousands of civilians are threatened by the most brutal genocide in modern history. The people of Kobanê are trying to resist using basic weapons against the most brutal attacks of ISIS terrorists, with only the assistance of People’s Protection Unit in Western-Kurdistan, the YPG and YPJ, but without any international help.”
Therefore -it added- a Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê - for Humanity is vital.
The appeal also pointed out that the so-called international coalition to fight the ISIS, have not helped Kurdish resistance effectively despite witnessing the ongoing genocide committed against Kobanê, and have not fulfilled their real international legal obligations. “Some of the countries in the coalition, especially Turkey, are among financial and military supporters of the ISIS terrorists in Iraq and Syria", it added.
The appeal also underlined that: “If the world wants democracy in the Middle East, it should support the Kurdish resistance in Kobanê. Democratic autonomy in Rojava promises a free future for all peoples in Syria. In this regard, the “Rojava Model” - the secular, non-sectarian, democratic position in Rojava is the model which practices unity in diversity.”
Remarking that it is high time to give the global players the reason to believe otherwise, the signatories said they encouraged people all over the world to show their solidarity with Kobanê, to go to the streets and demonstrate to support the resistance against ISIS.
The signatories of the appeal for Kobanê include Prof Noam Chomsky-US; Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 1980-Argentina; Luisa Morgantini - Former Vice President of EP-Italy; Margaret Owen O.B.E, human rights lawyer-UK, Prof Michael Günter, EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC)-US; Peter Tatchell, Director, Peter Tatchell Foundation-UK; Fabio Amato, Foreign Representative of the PRC Party and Secretariat of the European Left-Italy; Nora Cortinas, Human rights activist, co-founder of the Mayo's Square Mothers-Argentina; Maria Augusta Calle, President of the Commission on Sovereignty and International Relations of the National Assembly-Ecuador.
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Kurdistan Communities Union: Kobanê is resisting for the common values of humanity

The following statement from the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) is being run here without editing because of the urgency of the analysis provided.
KCK.png

KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) Executive Council Co-Presidency has said in a written statement released today that the Kobanê resistance will continue until the town is entirely cleansed of fascist ISIS gangs and a free Rojava and democratic Syria is established.
KCK stressed that; “The people resisting in Kobanê against the ISIS, which is an enemy of the common values of humanity, are giving a fight for not only themselves but also all the peoples in the Middle East and all the values of democracy and freedom.”
Remarking that the Rojava revolution which arose as an oases of freedom and democracy in the Middle East has been facing attacks since the very first day, the KCK Executive Council Co-Presidency said the first major attack was carried out on Serêkaniyê, by groups that were backed by Turkey and used Ceylanpınar [a border district of Urfa province] as a hinterland while carrying out these attacks. However- the KCK added- the brave resistance by YPG and YPJ fighters repelled the gangs aiming to occupy the Serêkaniyê city.
KCK emphasised that the Turkish state bearing animosity to the Rojava Revolution had the ISIS attack it, while ISIS however suffered a defeat and was forced to retreat in all the areas it attacked. "The ISIS which attacked Sinjar, Makhmur and Kirkuk after capturing Mosul in Iraq, did however once again confront the YPG-YPJ and HPG guerrillas. The ISIS, backed by Turkey and shares a destiny with it, has failed to achieve the goal of these attacks", KCK added.
The statement also underlined that the ISIS, having suffered heavy losses in face of the resistance by the guerrilla, and relying on its relationship with Turkey, later deployed reinforcements around Kobanê and started an expansive wave of attacks aiming to occupy the town. The KCK statement continued; "The Kobanê town, which had been expected to fall within a few days after the ISIS siege began, continues to resist for the 35th day, witnessing one of the bravest struggles in history. The ongoing resistance in Kobanê has on the other hand been strongly supported and strengthened by the peoples of Turkey including Kurdish, Turkish, Circassian, Laz, Arab and Armenians. In addition, the resistance has also gained strength from the support given by brave comrades such as Paramaz Kızılbaş."
KCK noted that the Kobanê resistance has also been widely supported and strengthened by the solidarity of the women, youths, as well as the oppressed, socialist and democrat circles, belief groups in Turkey, mainly the Alevi community who has stood by the Kobanê resistance in a manner worthy of their history that takes side with the oppressed and the exploited.
The KCK Executive Council Co-Presidency recalled that the Kobanê resistance has also started a new phase with regards to the history of democracy and freedom in Turkey as all democratic and revolutionist powers united around the Kobanê resistance and exhibited an attitude siding with the Rojava revolution.
"The Kobanê resistance has revealed and united all the dynamics to democratise Turkey and to resolve the Kurdish question. Most particularly, the merging of the Kurdish Freedom Movement and Turkey's revolutionist democracy powers on the basis of Kobanê resistance has scared and shaken the AKP government which has been through the hardest times of its 12-year-old rule. This unity has eliminated the fences that deep and special warfare powers have intended to place between the Kurds and the people of Turkey for dozens of years", KCK said and noted that the democracy powers in Turkey have played an important role in raising awareness for Kobanê across the world, just like the peoples of the world that have manifested sensitivity and support in solidarity with the Kobanê resistance.
KCK ended the statement by extending thanks and greetings on behalf of the Kurdish people to all those supporting the Kobanê resistance against ISIS, and all the peoples and political powers that have provided political and military support to the YPG and people of Kobanê in their fight against ISIS fascism.
ANTI-ISIS STANCE BY RELIGIOUS SCHOLARS IN ROJHELAT
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This short article comes from Rojhelat.info. It addresses in a few good words the questions we get almost every day about ISIS and Islam. We have not edited the piece.
Several religious scholars in Rojhelat (Eastern Kurdistan) issued a statement condemning ISIS’s criminal acts while asserting their ideology to be racist and barbaric than religious.
In the statement, Rojhelat’s religious scholars denounced the massacre campaign that is ongoing in the name of Islam against people of Kurdistan. They added ISIS’s goal is to destroy Islam’s true message which is peaceful coexistence among people.
The statement also discussed the Kurdish youth who joined ISIS ranks and participated in war against their own nation due to their ignorance. We, as religious scholars declare that ISIS has no legitimacy in enforcing Islamic laws and whoever falls in ISIS’s trap by joining their ranks is shedding his own and his people’s blood unjustly.
While condemning racist and inhumane acts of ISIS, religious scholars of Kurdistan asked the Kurdish youth to ignore ISIS’s calls.
“Thanking” The United States – A Piece By Veysi Sarısözen run on The Rojava Report
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The following article – Stalin: Spasiba Mr. Roosewelt Müslim: Spas Mr.Barack Obama - was written by Veysi Sarısözen and appeared in Özgür Gündem. It mirrors some of our thinking and we are grateful to Özgür Gündem and The Rojava Report for the article.
Yes…it seems that way looking from Suruç as well. Like Erdoğan sung in his “famous song.”
“Everything reminds me of the Second World War.”
Even if it’s like a song there’s nothing to be done. Reality is this way. Let’s remember:
The German Nazi armies attacked the Soviet Union in 1941. Then Japan hit the United States at Pearl Harbor. The war became a world war. In 1942 there emerged an agreement among the “allied forces” that the United States and Great Britain would open up a second front in Northwest Europe.
However the United States and Great Britain did not immediately open up a second front.
They waited. The goal of this “waiting” was to wait until the Soviet Union was as damaged as possible.
And that’s how it went. The Soviet Union, which had lost 10 million people by ‘42, had lost another 10 million by ‘44. Then the second front was opened.
After it was opened not even the most extreme leftists accused the Soviets of “fighting with American support.”
The similarities regarding the United States ends here. That is to say the issue of waiting.
Certainly the US does not resemble the US of that day, nor Kobanê Soviet Russia. But there is this: If the United States had gone into action the day ISIS occupied Mosul there would have been no Battle of Kobanê. They waited and now Kobanê is in ruins. It has been depopulated and suffered an enormous loss of life.
But it resisted. And this resistance against ISIS made the world rise up. Actually “the Kurds of the World” made the world rise up. Nothing more could have been expected. Nor was it.
Was it a bad thing? No. It was as good as the second front.
The day the second front was opened Stalin, a pipe in his mouth, gave Roosevelt a half-sarcastic “spasiba.”
Now Salih Muslim has probably said “spas.”
Look at the situation: The similarities between events are such that even the Russian and Kurdish words of “thank you” resemble each other as two twins.
And Turkey?
Turkey, which was singled out for blame by the US for opening its borders to ISIS, is now deciding to open its borders to military aid coming from South Kurdistan. That is to say it is “changing course” at the last minute. Just as its behavior began to change slowly following the Battle of Stalingrad. Just like its “declaration of war” against Nazi Germany following the opening of the second front and the entrance of Soviet armies into Germany in 1945…
Let’s take another good look at the world. Let no prosperous eyes be blinded! Right now in Mosul ISIS is sitting on a trillion dollars worth of oil and gas wealth.
He who relaxes, loses.
“We Will Not Wait Until Tomorrow”
As we celebrate every little momentary “victory” in this war, suddenly we heard another piece of good news from the free media headquarters:“the hostages from Kobanê had been set free…”
We ran together with our friends from the media headquarters to the Suruç municipal building where the “free hostages” were located. We met with them. The Co-President of the Kobanê Canton’s People’s Assembly Ayşe Efendi was also there sharing the joy of the HDP members with them.
When one of [HDP members] told them “tomorrow we will celebrate victory together in Kobanê” a half-angry youth turned and said smiling:
“We cannot wait until tomorrow…”
Yes! In Kobanê they were waiting for them the day before tomorrow.
And those present were recalling the call which Ayşe Efendi’s had made to the youth in exile just a short while earlier: “Don’t wait at school, in the tent, at the mosque or on the corner. Come to the front!”
“Perhaps I Will See Him”
I had known about war which people are made to watch. The last two Iraq wars were broadcast to the people on their TV’s.
But until I came to Suruç I had never heard of or seen a war which the people watched in person.
Right now the people of Kurdistan are “watching” the battle of Kobanê from the minarets of mosques and the roofs of houses in Suruç. Everywhere, on every hill, dozens of people with binoculars – as if they were captains or colonels – are observing Kobanê over hours and hours.
And there are those among them who you would think are watching the enemy on the front and sending off their coordinates to the army.
Even if it is not quite like that these “binocular” people are in possession of an extraordinary deterrent. Neither the army nor the police have been able to drive them from the “positions” they occupy.
And they tried but they couldn’t. Those keeping vigil on the border resisted. And right now this battle has been won by the Kurds with binoculars.
The tactics of the battle are more important that one might think. As I said, these binocular people have actually set up a border around the military zone along the border. The binocular people on the roofs and hills immediately notice any ISIS infiltration or permission for them to infiltrate.
And as soon as they see them they use their organization to inform the long-lensed cameras of our free media.
And as as soon as they are informed they catch the Erdoğan-Davutoğlu team in the act and make the ISIS fighters regret the day they were born.
And you watch the crimes being committed on your television broadcasts as if they were TV broadcasts.
I am speaking with one of those “standing guard” on the border with his binoculars. From the moment he hears the sound of mortar round leaving its tube to the moment it hits its target he begins to count “a thousand one, a thousand two, a thousand three…” and if the second explosion strikes at “a thousand six” it means ISIS fired that mortar from exactly six kilometers away.
To watch a war live with your own eyes is not as “entertaining” as one might imagine. Because the men and women who are watching with binoculars and trying to guess where the mortar rounds have fallen in Kobanê are actually trying to understanding where their relatives, children and siblings are serving on the front.
I asked a middle-aged man: Where are you looking so intently?
“At my son…” he said.
I was surprised…”Can you see your son?”
“No” he said, “but perhaps I will see him.”
Some MP’s On The Border
In the Battle of Kobanê I didn’t have the opportunity to cover the resistance “to defend against ISIS infiltration and government support along the border” for our paper.
But for a couple of days during my trip to Suruç I had the opportunity to listen to the details from those who took part in these events.
One of the dozens of these was the HDP MP Ibrahim Ayhan.
Ayhan has not left the area since the first days of the resistance. Sometimes he slept in the fields wrapped in a blanket, sometimes he woke up in car, and was together with the people day and night. He endured the attacks by police and soldiers together with the people.
Like Ibrahim Ayhan many HDP MP’s and many elected mayors and city council members organized an alternative to our Turkish parliamentarians in the course of the border resistance and the great serhildan (uprising). Many of them threw of their MP costumes and made themselves equal with the people then resisting.
Ibrahim Ayhan explain the parliamentary group’s mission in the Battle of Kobanê with its determination still in his mind: “We undertook all kinds of “war diplomacy” on this side of the border. We represented the common interests of both Turkey and Rojava and the entire Middle East and we did everything possible in order to stop the advance of ISIS as quickly as possible and to hold the AKP government responsible. One of these things was to stop the inhumane obstacles that were in place on the border: 12 severely injured people lost their lives because they were made to wait along the border. We showed great effort and finally after 10 days were able to bring an end to these ‘delay’ policies and since those days not a single person has died for want of blood [on the border].”
“Of course we tried to develop an environment and the circumstances in which the ISIS attack would be defeated and the Turkish state would be made to open a corridor. I think that what we did in the name of our party helped to create an environment in which a corridor will need to be opened.”
“Even if things are still very difficult and there are intention obstacles and pressure the situation is much better than it was.”
Without making a show in front of the media Ibrahim Ayhan continues to carry on official contact with the both the Turkish Republic and the Kobanê Canton, not in the lobby of some five-star hotel but in Suruç, right on the border which has been engulfed with clouds of gunpowder that burn our nostrils.
In this way did the “war diplomacy” and “revolutionary parliamentarians” take on their real substance in the days of life and death.
How In The End The Bombs Began To Fall And The Corridor Was Opened
With the confirmation of the news that the YPG has received weapons and the announcement from the Turkish government that it opened a corridor to allow Kurdish national aid to come from the South, a great and unbelievable joy has spread among the people in Suruç who have been keeping guard for over a month.
As everyone was adding their own commentary to the developments, a youth shouted out:
“It means that the whole world has understood that we will win in Kobanê” then adding “if we had fallen they would not have been our friends. We didn’t fall. And now the world is forced to win our friendship…” I ran after this youth. But for whatever reason I lost track of him. It was as if that youth had caught my eye from some other place. Where was it? Out on the plane? In the orchard? Or was it in the mountains? My old memory couldn’t place him. But his words at that moment struck a clear chord within my own conscious and the conscious of the crowd. The resistance of Kobanê brought out bombs. Rojava and the Ağırnaslı’s resisting shoulder to shoulder with it opened that corridor.
That is to say that corridor on which the bodies of YPG-YPJ fighters are now being carried out, that corridor which they opened so that aid could get in and no more bodies would be carried out of Kobanê…
Saturday Mothers: the same tenacity for 500 weeks in a struggle for justice and peace
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We are reprinting this piece from our friends at Firat News without editing because it captures exactly the politics and poetry of the situation.
The struggle of the families of the disappeared and the defenders of human rights for the disappeared has continued in Turkey since 1995. The Saturday Mothers, who gather each Saturday at Galatasaray Square in Beyoğlu, Istanbul, will come together this weekend for the 500th time.
The struggle for the disappeared in Turkey started with the demand for the revolutionary communist Hasan Ocak to be found. While the disappeared people and unsolved murders had always been on the agenda in Turkey since the 70’s, it did not prove possible to organise a systematic struggle against this state policy until 1995.
Hasan Ocak, who was one of the leading persons in the upheaval against counter-guerrilla attacks in the Gazi neighbourhood in Istanbul, was abducted on 21 March 1995. His family and comrades campaigned for months, saying “you took him alive, we want him alive” for him to be found.
Candles were lit in the centre of the city for Hasan Ocak, hunger strikes held, CHP buildings occupied and labour unions held marches. In addition to these struggles in the streets, the family of Hasan Ocak tried every possible judicial and administrative way. But each institution gave the same reply to the family: “There is no such person registered in our records”.
News of Ocak came only at the end of the 57th day. His tortured body was found in the Altınşehir Cemetery for Unidentified People. He had been strangled with wire. His belt and shoe laces had been removed, as is always done when people are taken into custody. His body was taken from the Altınşehir Cemetery on 17 May, and was buried on 19 May in Gazi Cemetery at a funeral attended by thousands.
Hasan Ocak’s being found meant the state had been caught red handed. But the murderers were not found. Although there was a relative decline in the number of the disappeared following the struggle for Hasan Ocak, the bodies of Rıdvan Karakoç and Ayşenur Şimşek were found in the same period. Again, following a struggle of 21 days, Ayhan Uzala was found alive and blindfolded in the İzmit-Hendek “Death Triangle”.
The struggle for the disappeared did not end after Hasan Ocak was found. The struggle evolved into a permanent one under the slogan “Find the Disappeared, Bring Those Responsible to Justice”. ‘Buses for the disappeared’ departed from Kadıköy, Istanbul and visited many Turkish and Kurdish cities to inform people of the disappeared. Hasan Ocak’s mother, Emine Ocak, and many others turned the square in front of parliament into a place of protest.
While the sit-down protests continued in Kadıköy and Bakırköy in Istanbul, the Saturday actions, inspired by the Thursday actions of the Plaza de Mayo Mothers in Argentina, were launched. The first Saturday Action, led by the Ocak family, the mother of Hüseyin Toraman, Hatice Toraman, the wife of Hasan Gülünay, Birsen Gülünay, and human rights activists, took place on 27 May 1995 in Galatasaray Square in Istanbul.
Since then, each Saturday, the relatives of the disappeared, their friends and comrades and human rights activists have assembled at Galatasaray at 12:00 holding carnations and pictures of the disappeared.
During these protests until 13 March 1999, the families pointed out the counter guerrilla forces behind the disappearances and demanded that they be brought to justice.
But these 200 weeks were not easy. The families faced state violence. The mothers were attacked by the police, targeted by gas bombs and police dogs, and they were detained and arrested. The actions were ended after the 200th week because of intense attacks and repression.
But, as the ones behind the disappearances were arrested in the context of the Ergenekon investigations, the families re-launched the sit-down protests on 31 January 2009 in order for those responsible for the disappearances to be put on trial.
The Saturday Mothers will gather for the 500th time this weekend. “We have demanded justice for 500 weeks”, say the families, and call on all the people sensitive about the issue to join them on 25 October at 12:00 at Galatasaray Square.
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Police and military raids in North Kurdistan today
Dozens of people have been taken into custody and 5 people have been jailed under charges that they joined in solidarity actions with Kobanê and protests against ISIS. Turkish soldiers have also organized raids on villages and on the Martyr Ismail cemetery in Muş. Following the raid, a clash broke out between HPG (People’s Defense Forces) guerrillas and soldiers.
Turkish police and special teams organized house raids in Manisa, Bitlis' Güroymak district, Hatay's Dörtyol district, Mersin's Akdeniz district and Antep. In these raids dozens of people, mostly young people, were taken into custody. They were detained under charges of joining in solidarity actions with Kobanê and protests against ISIS. They are being held in the police headquarters.
Five people were jailed in Muş' Bulanik district and Mardin's Derik district. Two young people were jailed in Bulanik under the charge of "committing a crime on behalf of organization." Three people were jailed in Derik with the charge of "being a member of an illegal organization." These five people were taken to prison.
Turkish special team police and hundreds of soldiers organized raids in the Varto district of Muş early this morning. Dozens of people were detained in the district center. Turkish troops attacked the Martyr Ismail cemetery during the raid on the Kulan (Qolan) village. Troops destroyed the tents of people working in building the cemetery and set two vehicles of theirs on fire. After the attack, a clash broke out between People's Defense Forces guerrillas and soldiers. Troops detained 6 people working at building the cemetery and left the area.
Abdullah Öcalan calls for trust in peace and democracy---Kobanê and Sinjar resist ISIS--People in Siirt resist the military---Class. democratic and national struggles---US arms Turkey
Today we have provided a number of items from across Turkey, North Kurdistan and Rojava. Today's items speak very directly to the struggles for democracy and peace taking place across Turkey, North Kurdistan and Rojava today.
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Berkin Elvan
* We have made some comments here about the meeting between Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan and the standing delegation from the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) Imralı island, where Abdullah Öcalan is imprisoned. That meeting was, as we said, crucial to the resolution process underway between the Kurdish liberation movement and the Turkish state. Events taking place across the region give the process greater weight each day and it is this process which will determine to a great extent the depth and future of democracy in Turkey. The meeting lasted 4 hours.
Abdullah Öcalan told the HDP delegation that he believes that the resolution process reached a new stage on October 15. He said what is needed is trust in peace and democracy and a more determined resolve to take courageous political steps, adding, "If we don’t do this while we have the opportunity to reach universal solutions, our region will perish in the maelstrom of the impositions of other forces.”
The HDP reports that Öcalan stressed that "It is essential that all institutions and bodies in the region that believe in democratic politics, peace and a resolution should approach the question in a serious, responsible and enquiring way. It is of the utmost importance that the parties learn from these incidents, grasp the crucial importance of a democratic resolution and accelerate efforts towards enduring negotiations. The parties have a duty to establish a stable legal footing. If this is not done, it is inevitable that this period will conclude with a coup by the deep state. The most important option for all the peoples and faiths living in this region should be a radical democracy.”
Abdullah Öcalan said the following regarding the process of resolution: "As regards the process of resolution, we were exposed to a breaking point. The most significant reason for this was the government’s attempt to instrumentalize the form of relations it has established with me in this process. It has become abundantly clear that such an approach does not meet the requirements of the issue we are trying to resolve. It has now been sufficiently grasped by the parties that the narrowness of this approach will not serve the process. I wish to say that with October 15 this process, which closely interests the democratic future of Turkey and lasting peace in our region, we have moved on to a new stage and I am more optimistic regarding successful practice.”
The Kurdish leader also stressed that “It is our historic duty and responsibility towards our peoples to ensure that the hope we have revived leads to practical results without delay. All those in favor of democracy and peace must play their part. In this context I consider the meeting of the Wise Persons and the Second Ankara Peace Conference, and the demands that emerged from these platforms, to be of the utmost importance. What everyone must understand is that it is in our power to reverse the dynamics that threaten all of us and to ensure that our peoples, the entire region and all humanity enjoy the benefits of democracy.”
* Attacks by ISIS gangs against Kobanê have continued into the 37th day. The People’s Defense Center (YPG) Press Center has reported that the ISIS gangs launched new attacks from all fronts all day yesterday and throughout the night. ISIS brought in reinforcements from areas surrounding Kobanê city for thee attacks. ISIS gangs are launching mortar and howitzer attacks on the town center. The YPG/YPJ (People's/Women's Protection Units) repulsed all of these attacks with the determined resistance they are putting up against the ISIS gangs.
ISIS forces launched uninterrupted attacks on the eastern front yesterday, attacking from 6 different points in the Kaniya Kurda region. The YPG/YPJ responded to the attacks andpushed the ISIS forces back, killing at least 26 ISIS gang members.
ISIS gangs were forced to retreat from the Municipality Street area, which is also located at this front, following clashes in which 7 gang members were killed.
ISIS gangs also launched large-scale assaults at the southern front where all their attacks were repelled, 3 members of theirs were killed and many others wounded in clashes with YPG forces.
* The HPG (People's Defense Forces) Sinjar Command reported today that 63 ISIS gang members have been killed in the last 3 days of fighting in the Sinjar region.
ISIS gangs have intensified their attacks on the Sinjar region over the last three days and HPG guerrillas and YBŞ (Sinjar Resistance Units) fighters have stepped up the determined resistance against the gangs. HPG and YBŞ forces have responded immediately to all the attacks and the people of Sinjar have also taken their place in the resistance, not leaving their lands and continuing the struggle for life under the most severe conditions that they could ever face.
The HPG Sinjar Command said that ISIS gangs have recently intensified their attacks in face of the determined stance maintained by the people, with an aim to narrow the circle around Mount Sinjar and to massacre the civilian population there. The Command also said that the large-scale attacks ISIS carried out on October 19, 20 and 21 targeted the regions of the Skiniye, Barê, Şilo and Solak villages.
According to the HPG, ISIS launched a separate wave of attacks on the villages of Dahola and Borik on the evening of October 19 and fierce clashes took place in Barê, Solak and Shilo villages where Kurdish forces responded to the attacks and carried out many actions against the gangs.
The HPG reported that fighting intensified in Barê and Solak on the first day and around Solak region on the second day of concentrated attacks, adding, "Fifty-five ISIS members were killed and more than 10 others were wounded in the two days of clashes. Corpses of 13 ISIS members remained in the area held by the guerrilla, and those of 3 others were seized."
Pointing out that a convoy of the gangs was targeted in an ambush by the guerrillas while traveling between Shilo and Barê, the HPG said that 4 gang members were killed, 3 wounded and 2 vehicles of theirs were damaged in the action.
A guerrilla action in Barê village left 4 gang members dead.
Three HPG guerrillas and 1 YBŞ fighter also lost their lives in the fighting.
* An air-supported military operation involving a large number of soldiers and village guards on the Çırav mountains in Siirt was stopped as Kurdish people formed a human shield yesterday morning. Hundreds of people took part in the action and leadership came from local leaders of the Party of Democratic Regions.
The military action and the people’s mobilization took place in the foothills of the Çırav Mountain, where the villages of Akmeşe (Dirişka), Akdiken (Serpene), Payamlı (Dêrawid), Budamış (Spandikan) in the district of Eruh are located. The villagers formed a human shield against the operation yesterday morning. The protesters held a vigil at the Şaş hill in between Budamış (Spandikan) and Akdiken (Serpene) villages. Chanting slogans such as “PKK is the people, the people are here!” and “Long Live Apo!”, the people gathered on the hill. The soldiers and the village guards retreated around midnight, putting an end to the operation. The protesters continued the vigil on the hill until early this morning. "Apo" is Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the Kurdish liberation movement.
* The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has released a statement voicing increasing concerns at developments in Kobanê as the town and canton in Rojava remains under attack by ISIS terrorists.
The Confederation called on the international community and European states, including Turkey, to act urgently in order to prevent the mass murder being perpetrated by these brutal thugs not only against Kurds, but also against people of all faiths and throughout Syria and Iraq. Their violent treatment of women is particularly abhorrent, the ETUC underlined.
The ETUC also drew attention to the view of their affiliate in Turkey, the Confederation of Public Employees’ Trade Unions (KESK), that the process for a democratic solution of the Kurdish matter is being brought into question. The statement said that rising tensions in Turkey, including a mounting death toll, are a component of destabilization in the region and that IS terrorists must not be offered sustenance.
* On September 6, ten construction workers were killed when an elevator they were riding in at the Torun Center in Istanbul plunged to the ground from the 32th floor. We have talked a great deal about the disaster and Turkey’s construction sector and workplace fatalities. A 31-page indictment dealing with the disaster has been issued and some details from that indictment have been released.
Charges against the top board members of Torunlar GYO have been dropped, but 25 people, including 12 Torunlar GYO employees, 5 people from the elevator maintenance company, and 8 people from the workplace safety company involved are facing charges that could put these people behind bars for periods running between four and twenty-two-and-one-half years in jail. Meanwhile, eight families of the workers killed in the accident have made financial settlements and have withdrawn their complaints against the company. Settlement s have been estimated to be set at 500,000 Turkish Liras, or about $232,000. A family might hold out in the courts for a settlement of 820,000 Liras, or about $365,000.
The indictment has not yet been accepted by the court. There is some controversy about 9 other people who were expected to be indicted but have not been. Among these people are senior company executives, the company’s accounting manager, the purchasing manager, the project coordinator and the company’s three occupational health and safety specialists. What is at stake here is the question of whether or not the indicted people, and the people who might have been indicted, can be tried for the “reckless killing of 10 people” and for “affecting the people pursuing jurisdiction” charges.
* The police officer who shot Uğur Kurt during a crackdown on demonstrations in Istanbul’s Okmeydanı neighborhood last May is facing up to six years in prison on charges of involuntary manslaughter. Uğur Kurt was attending a funeral at a Cemevi, an Alevi house of worship, when he was shot. The neighborhood has been the site of what we in the US call “gentrification,” but also of fighting between left forces and drug dealers. A left-led demonstration was underway when Uğur Kurt was killed.
The prosecutor in the case has argued that the police officer committed recklessness and negligence by disobeying his supervisors and firing his weapon. The officer has said that he had not received training for fire arms, but only for gas canister rifles, and that he did not have much experience in protest interventions. It took authorities 3 months to investigate the crime scene and it is believed that the authorities have tried to cover up the facts of the killing.
* Turkish President Erdoğan has once again spoken out against Berkin Elvan, the 14-year-old killed by police during the Gezi Park protests, calling the teenager a “stooge of a terrorist organization.” These remarks were made at the International Ombudsman Symposium held in Ankara today. The President said, “The child, who unfortunately died in İstanbul, was allegedly on his way to buy bread. This is not even close to the real case. He was a stooge of a terrorist organization. They made up such stories.”
Erdoğan also claimed that his government has been slammed by some circles using the death of Berkin as pretext in recent protests.
Berkin was shot in the head with a tear gas canister by a policeman on June 16, 2013, during the nationwide Gezi Park protests. After remaining comatose for about 10 months, Berkin died in March 2014, following a social media campaign titled “Wake up Berkin Elvan” and a series of street demonstrations in his name. The teen's parents later told the media that Berkin had gone out to buy bread at the time he was shot by the police. His funeral ceremony was attended by tens of thousands of people who showed up to protest police brutality. Thousands of social media users have set Berkin's photos as their profile pictures. We have also talked about him as a martyr on this blog, and will continue to do so.
* Ten workers employed by an electricity distribution company near the Gürpınar village in a rural area of Silvan district were arrested and taken away by an unidentified armed people’s organization yesterday. The workers are presumed to be safe.
* Professor Hayrettin Ökçesiz has been dismissed from the privately run Aydın University for filing a complaint against President Erdoğan for not resigning as prime minister or chairman of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) after being elected president in the August elections. Hayrettin Ökçesiz had filed the complaint on the grounds that Erdoğan was acting as president, prime minister and party leader at the same time.
The university initially gave Hayrettin Ökçesiz a warning and a wage cut on the grounds that he acted against certain regulations, which prohibit academics from making statements to the press on matters other than academic issues without prior consent from their university. He was later suspended from his position and then was dismissed last week. The university claims that Hayrettin Ökçesiz failed to show up for work for three consecutive days. The professor maintains that he ws fired for filing his complaint against Erdoğan.
* The Lockheed Martin corporation and Turkish missile manufacturer Roketsan signed an agreement today to produce, market and sell the SOM-J air-launched cruise missile for the F-35 Lightning II combat jet. "Lockheed Martin has a long history of partnership with Turkey, and we look forward to working closely with Roketsan on this very important project," said Rick Edwards, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.
İsmail Demir, Turkish Under-Secretary of Defense Industries said, "Within the (F-35) Joint Strike Fighter project there is no other cruise missile with the capabilities of the SOM-J. I think the SOM-J will be an important option for other countries in the project including the United States."
The Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) is a development and acquisition program intended to replace a wide range of existing fighter, strike, and ground attack aircraft for the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark and Turkey.
Asya Abdullah: UN must take initiative for corridor
We know that many Harvest readers in the US do not have a full grasp of where Rojava and Kobanê are, what the fighting there is about, what the nature of Rojava's advanced revolution consists of and what it is that people there want. Over the past two days we have posted a number of unedited articles from Rojava,Kobanê and Turkey in a hurry so that people can catch on or catch up. The article below is from our friends at Firat News and runs along the lines of our other introductory articles. We have not edited this piece, but we have added a photo and a map. Our goal is to be fully accessible to people in the US who are deprived of news about Turkey, North Kurdistan and Rojava's revolution.
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Asya Abdullah
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The dark green area is an optimistic outline of Rojava's cantons. To the north of Rojava is Turkey.
PYD (Democratic Union Party--Rojava's leding party) Co-President Asya Abdullah has reiterated the four main demands in order for the resistance in Kobanê to continue, calling on the UN to take an initiative in order for a corridor to be opened between the cantons of Cizireh (Jazireh), Afrin and Kobanê. Abdullah also asked for aerial attacks by coalition forces to continue.
Asya Abdullah made a statement in Kobanê, which has been under siege by ISIS gangs for 35 days. She said that coalition bombing raids were of critical importance, as the ISIS threat remained. Abdullah added that in the last three days the gangs had stepped up their attacks with reinforcements, saying: “ISIS is continuing to receive daily supplies of weaponry and fighters from places such as Rakka, Tal Abyad, Ain Issa, Sarrin, Manbij, Jarabulus.”
She added that they had heard that in the region controlled by ISIS the mosques were making constant calls to attack Kobanê for pillage, destruction and jihad, adding: “they say the attack on Kobane is against the USA and that everyone should unite against these enemies. In this way they get Arab children and young men involved in savagery. Many Arab families are fleeing from this tyranny to protect their children. When ISIS takes over a village it carries out all manner of destruction and pillage, then burns down the houses. We are facing ISIS gangs that make barbarity, savagery, plunder and rape the focus of their ideology.” Abdullah added that the gangs were trying to develop the use of bomb-laden vehicles as a method of attack, and that when they were unsuccessful they burnt down houses, as has been the case in the Kaniya Kurda and Botan neighbourhoods of Kobanê.
Arms aid
Abdullah commented on the arms and medical supplies provided to Kobanê, saying: “It is true that aid came to the YPG (Rojava's People's Defense Forces) from US planes, but lots of circles are claiming to have assisted us. We don’t know who sent it but whoever did we are grateful.”
Abdullah said the following regarding the sending of peshmerga forces to Kobanê: “On the one hand Turkey says it will allow the peshmerga to reach Kobane, while on the other it is waging a smear campaign against the PYD and the reality of Rojava. We do not consider this to be appropriate, as the PYD has a concrete political project in the chaotic environment of Syria, and has a clear purpose. This smear campaign will serve neither the situation in Kobane nor Turkish policies. The whole world knows what is right and what is wrong in Kobanê, who is attacking and who is resisting. And permitting the access of peshmerga is not the same as the demand of the people of Kobane for a corridor. No one has made an official request to the canton of Kobane or the YPG/YPJ. If someone wants to come here these are the political and military bodies to apply to. As ISIS attacks continue on Kobane we call on everyone to develop a dialogue.”
Four basic demands
Asya Abdullah said that in order for the resistance to continue in Kobanê a corridor needed to be opened between the cantons of Cizireh (Jazireh), Afrin and Kobanê, calling on the UN to get involved. She also called for coalition attacks on ISIS targets and arms aid to continue, and also asked for humanitarian assistance.
Abdulah said: “People are continuing to return to Kobane, but where will they live? We need to set up tent cities before winter sets in. We therefore call on international aid organisations to develop concrete projects.”
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Dêrik--A face and model of Rojava's revolution
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We have not edited this excellent reporting from our friends at DIHA. This article gives an excellent view from the inside of Rojava's revolution.

DÊRIK (DİHA) - Dêrik is one of the towns in the Cizîre (Jazireh) canton of Rojava (West Kurdistan).

It has a population of between 45 and 50 thousand. However, with the influx of displaced people from Sinjar (Shengal) fleeing the savagery of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Sham) gangs being accommodated at the Newroz camp and in various villages, the population has increased. Dêrik is also seen as a model of municipal service by the autonomous administration in Rojava.

33 communes established

The principal tenet of municipal governance is to ensure the participation of local people. Significant steps have already been taken in this regard. The town has been divided into 5 separate areas and 33 communes have been set up. The communes are open to everyone. However, there is a condition: to respect the value of others. In other words, not being someone who disturbs other people. The communes meet once a week, and if there is work they want to carry out in their area they raise it at the meeting and reach a decision. The communes then send the decision to the town assembly. Once the town assembly and the communes have decided how the work will be carried out, it is submitted to the relevant institution or the People's Municipality. The municipality then endeavours to implement the decision.

All resources created by efforts of workers

The municipality of the regime existed until last January, but during this time officials from the autonomous administration also worked at the municipality. In January 2014 the Dêrik People's Municipality officially began its work in a separate building, taking over all the functions of the regime's municipality. In this way there was no longer a need for the previous municipality. The people began to see the Dêrik People's Municipality as the place where problems were resolved, and the regime's municipality turned into an office that merely paid its employees' salaries. It would be difficult to say the municipality has a budget. Nearly all the resources are created by the efforts of the workers. However, since 1 April when all licensing of housing and workplaces began to be carried out by the People's Municipality a source of income has been come into being.

Principle of salary according to need

The total number of employees at the municipality in the electricity, water, fuel, bakery and cleaning fields is over 100. For a long time they received no remuneration at all, but as the municipality began to create resources payment began to be made to the employees to make their lives a little easier. The principle involved is according to need. Unmarried employees receive 15 thousand, those who are married receive between 20 and 25 thousand. Assistance such as food parcels is also provided from time to time.

Problems of water and electricity largely resolved

The Dêrik People's Municipality has to a great extent resolved the most fundamental needs of the people by ensuring a regular supply of water and electric power. Until a year ago there were frequent power cuts and this also caused the water supply to be cut off. However, this has been largely overcome. The hospital in the town now has a constant 24-hour supply of electricity. The supply of water is mainly from underground sources. Generators have been placed next to wells so that even in the event of power cuts the supply of water will continue. In Dêrik signs regarding cleanliness attract attention. The municipality is prioritising cleanliness, but the conflict situation also affects this, as it affects all other work. A hundred refuse bins of a thousand sent from Iran and originally earmarked for Dêrik have been given to the Newroz camp for refugees from Sinjar.

Low cost services

The Dêrik People's Municipality has not yet charged for the electricity it provides. Work is continuing to establish an Electricity Board. Once it is established a symbolic fee will be charged to encourage the people to use electricity more carefully. 1,500 lira will begin to be charged for water and cleaning every other month. The aim of this is to prevent the over-consumption of water, rather than to create a resource for the municipality. In addition to water, electricity and cleaning, the Dêrik People's Municipality has also begun to build roads to some villages. Sewage pipes and drinking water is also being provided to new settlements. Employees of the municipality emphasise that all this is being accomplished with meagre resources, adding: "this might not seem much when compared with other municipalities, but these are great steps for us. We are trying to all these things while in a conflict environment." The Dêrik People's Municipality is also arranging public education meetings with the communes in order to change the habits of the Assad regime period.

Encouraging women out of their houses

The Dêrik People's Municipality has also begun work for women. The first aim of this work is to encourage women to participate in work outside the home. Work has also begun to ascertain women who have lost their husbands. Women employees of the municipality have asked widows what they expect from the municipality. A project has been set up to enable women to work. The aim is to establish an agricultural cooperative where a thousand women would be employed. There are also plans to open a bakery producing cakes and pastries.

The Dêrik People's Municipality has also decided to commence educational and social work for women from Sinjar at the Newroz camp.
President Of Kobanê Canton: In Order For Support, Dialog Must Be Established
Reporters Abdurrahman Gök and Ersin Çaksu have spoken with the President of the Kobanê Canton Enver Muslim about the recent delivery of weapons from coalition forces, the question of an aid corridor, claims that the peshmerga forces were in Kobanê, and the situation in the city more generally. The article appeared in Özgür Gündem and has been translated into English below. We have not edited it due to the need to get this out quickly. We took our version from our friends at The Rojava Report.
The President of the Kobanê Canton Enver Muslim told the reporters that right now there was no question of of peshmerga forces coming to Kobanê and that no one had contacted either the YPG (Rojava's People's Defense Forces) or the canton government about the subject. Muslim went on to say that “since our main goal is destroying ISIS then there needs to be a relationship. We are ready to build this relationship and would be glad to do so. The help that has been provided also makes us very pleased.”
Muslim also emphasized that threat to the city continues to be great and said that while they would be open to any aid “any power which wants to offer aid to Kobanê or the YPG would need to establish relations with us and the YPG.”
Delivery Of Weapons Needs To Continue
On the question of the weapons which had been delivered by coalition forces, Muslim said “the attacks against Kobanê have been going on for more than one month. Following the heavy attacks against Kobanê and the subsequent increase in events held in support of Kobanê around the world many different groups have begun to support Kobanê. However that support by itself is not enough. The coalition forces in which the United States, Great Britain, France, Canada and many other states are taking part launched airstrikes against those places where the gangs had their heavy weapons and they were effective. However there were not enough because YPG is fighting ISIS on the ground and it needs support. In fact yesterday support came from South Kurdistan. These support reached the YPG through US planes. This is something for which we need to say thanks. It was something that made us and the civilians in the city very happy. In the aid that arrived there were weapons, medicine and food stuffs. However this by itself is not enough and needs to continue. It will take a little time to push ISIS out of Kobanê. And in order to liberate the villages of Kobanê in the next phase the delivery of weapons needs to continue.”
In Order For There To Be Support First There Must Be Dialog
Muslim said that claims that peshmerga forces had arrived to Kobanê were false, saying “right now the force fighting ISIS in Kobanê is the YPG and YPJ (Rojava's Women's Defense Forces) and some democratic elements within the Free Syrian Army (FSA). Other than that there is no other force fighting here. However we want to reiterate that if there is a force that would like to support Kobanê and the YPG they need to establish relations with us and the YPG. We can get results without establishing relations. In the same way that those who sent us weapons and the coalition forces were able to get these weapons to Kobanê in partnership with us, forces which want to support Kobanê and the YPG must work in the same coordinated fashion. However until now there are no such established relations. However if there are those who want to then we are open to this and it would make us happy. But until now there is no group here other than the YPG, YPJK and some groups from the FSA. Forces that want to come can get results by establishing relations with the canton government and the YPG. We are open to such support and would be very pleased.
“We Are Open To Support”
“What we want to say” Muslim continued, “is that the threat to Kobanê continues. The threat of a massacre by ISIS against civilians continues. Because for two months ISIS has claimed to be taking Kobanê but cannot take it. For that reason there is a risk of massacre and Kobanê needs to be supported in response. We are open to weapons support and to groups which want to fight together with us against ISIS.”
No Change In Turkish Policy
Muslim also said that Turkish policy towards Kobanê and Rojava had not changed and reminded Turkey that ISIS also posed a threat to them, saying “even after the delivery of weapons we have had no dialog with Turkey. But we are hoping that Turkey is coming to consider ISIS as an enemy of the people. In the same way that today it threatens the Kobanê Canton tomorrow it can threaten Turkey and the peoples of Turkey. It will take the destruction it has wreaked in the places it has occupied to Turkey as well. For this reason Turkey too needs to support the struggle against ISIS. Turkey, Iraq and everyone needs to support [efforts] to remove the threat posed by ISIS in the Middle East.
The Threat Against Kobanê Is Great
Muslim also denied the reports carried by certain media outlets that ISIS had pulled back from Kobanê, saying “the threat against Kobanê is great. ISIS has entered Kobanê with a very large force and heavy weapons. Until now it has fired thousands of mortars as the city. News reports suggesting that ISIS has pulled back from Kobanê do not reflect reality. The threat against Kobanê is still very great. Kobanê remains subjected to daily mortar attacks. There is not a single part of Kobanê that has not been struck by mortars. At the same time dozens of car and truck bombs have been detonated in Kobanê. There are thousands of fighters here in attack mode. The threat continues. However with the support of the coalition and those forces which defend humanity we will push ISIS out of Kobanê within a short period and later out of all the villages of Kobanê.”
ISIS Wants To Carry Out A Massacre
Muslim also emphasized that YPG and YPJ forces had expanded much effort and sacrifice in order to protect civilians, saying “the morale of the YPG and YPJ is very high. Because the YPG and YPJ believe that they are protecting Kobanê and its civilians and will push ISIS out of Kobanê. The YPG have faith in a democratic Syria. For that reason they mobilized for defense with all of their resources. Right now the YPG is showing the most resistance in order to protect civilians. There are thousands of civilians in Kobanê. They are under threat and the YPG is protecting them. Actually ISIS wants very much to enter the city and carry out a massacre. That they are sending these truck bombs shows that they want to carry out a massacre. They want to take out their rage at having been defeated and their plans having been spoiled with a massacre. The attacks are continuing constantly. However they cannot get through the defensive line set up by the YPG and YPJ.”
In conclusion Muslim called on everyone to support Kobanê and show their support for a democratic Syria, saying “finally our patriotic people and the forces of Kurdistan must continue their democratic protests so that we get Kobanê out of this difficult situation. All forces need to support us for a democratic Syria in which Assyrians, Kurds, Turkmens, Arabs, Armenians and different peoples can live together.”
Today's reports from Turkey, North Kurdistan, Kobanê, Rojava and Sinjar---national, class, environmental and political struggles against repression
We have the following news from Rojava, North Kurdistan and Turkey to report at this point today. We have had to mix reports about different subjects and areas. We hope to be back on a better track by tonight or tomorrow morning. The urgency of so many of the situations mentioned below is causing us to rush our reports.
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Figen Yüksekdağ
* Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu announced that Peshmerga from the Kurdish regional Government (the KRG or Federal republic, so-called “Iraqi Kurdistan”) have not yet to crossed into Syria or Rojava via Turkey to join the fight against ISIS there.
“Talks about their route are continuing. We won’t publicize any details until they are finalized,” Çavuşoğlu said on NTV today.
Rojava’s heroic People’s Defense Forces (YPG) fighting ISIS in Kobane have taken some big hits today and may be holding out with the expectation of Peshmerga reinforcements and additional support from the international anti-ISIS coalition. Çavuşoğlu took the hard line that the aid corridor we are demanding be opened and overseen by the UN will not be opened by Turkey. “We didn't promise anyone a corridor [to transfer military aid to Kobane],” he said. He extended remarks made yesterday (and reported here) that only the Free Syrian Army and the Peshmerga from the KRG can defend Kobane.
Two important points have come to the fore in this situation. First, we call attention to the fact that Çavuşoğlu and his government are allowing this cross-border movement quite late in the fighting and they are doing so with the hope or expectation that Peshmerga forces will remain loyal to the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and to the Barzani leadership in the KRG while in Rojava and affect events there. Since these forces have opposed Rojava’s revolution, or have not cooperated with it when we hoped that they would, this seems like a cynical move by Turkey’s government to misdirect or topple Rojava’s revolution from within. A report in today’s New York Times seems to validate this point as well. We point out that the Peshmerga, the KDP and the KRG might well waver on some questions and that Rojava’s leadership is hopeful that they can affect the situation there in positive ways.
Our second point is that the US is probably badgering the Turkish government with good cause by supplying even a small bit of aid and support to Kobane’s fighters and by saying today that Rojava’s leading Democratic Union Party (PYD) is not a terrorist organization. Turkish President Erdoğan said last weekend that “just like the (outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party) PKK ... it is a terrorist organization.” So the people have a two-fold victory here: the PYD can get some legal support from the US and Erdoğan has been handed a setback. The American government is certainly doing all of this for the wrong reasons, but it is Rojava’s revolution which is benefiting today.
Çavuşoğlu may be missing the point. He said today, “We’re against sending arms to the PKK and the PYD. The United States has the same position on the issue. If the PYD doesn’t change its policies, it will not be acceptable.” This pressure on the PYD does not help matters, and the PYD may well be forced to compromise eventually, but Çavuşoğlu is trying to change the subject and recover lost ground here.
In any event, Çavuşoğlu showed his hand when he said, “Apparently, (Kurdish groups) have come to terms now ... We wouldn’t like Kobane to fall, but we have a principled policy. Only the Free Syrian Army wants a democratic, unified Syria. Most of the other groups are involved in terrorist actions.” He also blamed the media for organizing people against his government’s position.
* The People’s Democratic Party (HDP) delegation which is to meet with imprisoned Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan today will inform him of the meetings they have held with the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) and government and state authorities since October 1. Abdullah Öcalan will respond with messages regarding these reports and recent developments and his messages will be of great importance.
The HDP delegation went to the İmralı island prison where Abdullah Öcalan is held today. Abdullah Öcalan told the HDP delegation on October 1 that he would give the government until October 15 to take concrete steps regarding the process of resolution between the Kurdish people and the government. Just hours before that deadline, the government presented a one-page draft road map consisting of 6 articles. After the spread of popular solidarity protests over Kobanê, Öcalan sent a message on October 8 via the HDP calling on the parties to have an urgent dialogue and warning of the risk of provocation. We said at that point that the Kurdish liberation movement was showing remarkable patience.
The HDP delegation subsequently met with the government regarding the situation in Kobanê and the popular protests. They then went to Kandil, the PKK and KCK-held region in northern Iraq, for discussions with KCK officials. The HDP delegation informed the KCK of the draft proposal made by the government, in response to which the KCK officials announced that only a concrete step would persuade them and that mere words were insufficient. At an early and crucial moment the KCK maintained a principled stand even as others in the movement asked the KCK for flexibility.
HDP Group Chair İdris Baluken said that they would discuss the situation in Kobanê, the search for national unity among the Kurds and the AKP (Justice and Development Party, Turkey’s ruling reactionary party) government’s stance regarding the process with Abdullah Öcalan. Baluken added that they would inform Abdullah Öcalan of their recent meetings with the government and the KCK, saying, “We will have a critically important meeting.”
İdris Baluken added that the government had responded positively to the secretariat concept proposed by the HDP and Öcalan and that certain names had been put forward. Baluken said, "They concur, but without a concrete step we cannot make an evaluation.” With regard to news that the HDP İmralı delegation would be enlarged from 3 to 5 persons, Baluken said, "Like with the secretariat, they say they accept this, but nothing has been put into practice. So we cannot say anything.”
Baluken stressed that the existing HDP delegation consisted of 3 people, but that this might increase for a subsequent visit.
* Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Head Figen Yüksekdağ has criticized the government and the president for having mixed approaches in the peace process underway between Kurdish forces and the Turkish government. She made these remarks at an HDP parliamentary group meeting today.
“Who will we look to for answers in the solution process? The ministers say the current situation of (the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, PKK, leader Abdullah Öcalan) may be changed and opened to discussion. But the president says, ‘we will not give (Öcalan) a villa.’ Can there be such a frivolous approach? We have a president who challenges and rejects the statements from the prime minister and other ministers,” Figen Yüksekdağ said. She also called on the government to focus on taking new steps in the peace process, rather than on Öcalan’s situation, adding that the jailed PKK leader is not demanding to be moved to another facility.We made some mention of this in a post yesterday and had a different take on these matters at that time.
“The government keeps saying ‘the peace process is my major policy,’ but it does not take the actions that the process necessitates. The day has come, it is time. The solution process cannot survive another dangerous halt,” Figen Yüksekdağ said.
“(The prime minister) has just realized Suruç (near the border with Rojava--ed.) is no different than Kobane. These people have tried to tell you this for months. Did it take 48 people to die to make you understand this fact? These 48 people would be alive today if you had realized this a month ago,” she said. Her reference is to the people killed during protests across Turkey and North Kurdistan which have been going on for two weeks now.
Figen Yüksekdağ also accused the government and president of "playing politics through death ... But we are not participating in politics through death. We are dying when we want to participate in politics.”
* Five people have been injured during an altercation between members of the Turkish Youth Union (TGB) and progressive Kurdish students at Ankara University today. TGB is known as the youth group of the nationalist Workers’ Party (İP).
Riot police units took tight security measures in the university's Sıhhiye campus where the clash took place and all classes at the school were suspended. Ambulances had to be called to carry the wounded away from the campus.
Clashes have taken place at many universities as nationalist-fascist groups attack students who are supporting Kobane and the fight against ISIS.
* A group of villagers near the town of Soma were attacked and beaten by private security guards working for an energy company building a new coal plant today. The villagers were trying to prevent the company from cutting down olive trees in their plantation. They recently began guarding the area against midnight operations with bulldozers.
The construction of the new coal plant in Soma came with the passage of a law which allows the building of energy facilities in olive groves. Such construction might devastate Turkey’s olive plantations, damage the environment and undermine an economic sector and a way of life. It also comes at a time when Turkey’s energy sector, and particularly mining, is in chaos. It is important that this project be stopped and that such development projects cease.
Soma saw at least 301 mine workers killed in a workplace massacre last May. There are already two coal plants in the area.
“Around 100 people, including some forty private guards, forty other hired security officials, three digger operators, three bulldozer conductors and more than ten sawyers came to the plantation in the morning. Villagers came after they heard the sound of the bulldozers. Those people then beat the villagers with sticks,” said Özgür Özel, Manisa deputy for the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP). “Not content with that, they handcuffed the villagers and continued to cut the trees. But private security guards do not have the authority to use handcuffs, it is against the law,” Özel told Bianet, adding that some of the villagers were badly injured, including some who suffered concussions.
At least 20 villagers were taken to a hospital after the incident, while one was taken to intensive care.
Özel also said that the lawsuit against the expropriation of the plantations has not yet been settled, stressing that the land was still classified as an agricultural area according to municipal master plans.
The total number of trees cut down in the area is approaching 1,000 since the company got the green light for the construction of the new plant. Kolin İnşaat, the main company involved in this Soma project, is one of the five constructor companies working on building Istanbul’s third airport, and is known for its close ties with the government.
* A leader of the liberal/social-democratic Republican People’s Party (CHP) said today that the Turkish government aims to turn Turkey into a “semi-open prison.”
“Now they are bringing in a new code. It offers fines for those who cover their faces [in protests]. But there is already a fine for this. Why are you cheating the people? The country is at risk of being turned into a semi-open prison…Can journalists write freely in Turkey?” Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu of the CHP stated today. He also expressed outrage over the recent annulment of the huge corruption probe that included senior government figures, likening the prosecutor who annulled the probe to Nazis. “If there is no proof of bribery and corruption in this file, then there is no proof in any corruption file on earth … There lies corruption worth 247 billion liras and this prosecutor sees no evidence,” he said.
* We know of many arrests which have taken place over the last twenty-four hours. This repression is directed at progressive Kurdish and left forces and the Rojava/Kobane solidarity movement. They come in a two-week period when over 40 people have died in street violence provoked by Turkish security forces and as the government hurries to put in place particularly repressive legislation.
Police raided the assembly of Hasırlı neighborhood and the laundry room of the Sur Municipality in the Sur district of Amed/Diyarbakir, detaining 14 people, 13 of them from Rojava. These arrests took place after a demonstration was held in support of Kobanê. Doors were broken down by police in the raids but police gave no reason for their actions. The people from Rojava had all been wounded and were under the care of the other person arrested. All of the 14 people were sent to the Amed training and research hospital and were being held at the entrance to the hospital by police at last word.
In the Derik district of Mardin, 8 people were taken into custody and 2 of these people have been formally arrested for attending a solidarity rally there. The two young men who were arrested have been charged with being members of an illegal organization and have been sent to prison. With these arrests, the number of people who have been formally arrested for attending rallies organized to support Kobanê in Derik has risen to 10.
Turkish police and special teams organized simultaneous house raids in Bulanik district of Muş. Police made arrests in the neighborhoods of the Kültür, Cumhuriyet and İnönü of Bulanik districts. DBP (Party of Democratic Regions) District leader Oğuz Gündoğdu was also detained by police in the Korkut district of Muş.
Thirteen people have been detained after police house raids in Batman province this morning. All of those detained took part in solidarity demonstrations.
* At least 10,000 Yezidis who did not want to abandon their homes in the Sinjar regionin the face of brutal ISIS attacks there are struggling to survive as winter sets in on Mount Sinjar. There are many young children who are in danger if urgent aid does not reach them soon. They are trying to resist the cold in summer clothes. Families who are living together in thin tents say that they have survived thanks to aid that has reached them from Rojava, but complain that they have not received any air-drops of aid. With the aid corridor having been closed they are concerned about where aid will come from. Every day their children are falling ill.
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We support the revolutionary, democratic and progressive forces in Turkey and the Kurdish Freedom Movement.

Thursday, October 23, 2014
Prof. Matin: Kobanê democratic experience has a strong potential for being model in region
We talk a great deal about how Rojava's revolution is a key to reaching a new and radical stage across the entire region and how the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Democratic Society Movement (TEV-DEM) are really something much more than political organizations, even participatory ones. But what does this really mean? The interview below with Karman Matin clarifies these questions and their answers. We thank our friends at DIHA for this great interview. we have not edited the piece.

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NEWS CENTER (DİHA) - Karman Matin, born in Eastern Kurdistan, spoke to DİHA about the recent developments in the Middle East and attacks of ISIS gangs at Kobanê Canton of West Kurdistan, Rojava.

Karman Matin, professor of international affairs in Sussex University in England told about himself: "I was born in Iran to a Kurdish family. I experienced the Iranian revolution as a young adult. My political consciousness was formed by that experience, which also entailed a period of Kurdish autonomy in the Kurdish region of Iran. My exposure to Kurdish national liberation is also dating back from that period. In terms of academic background, I have studied development studies for my first degree and then done a Masters and Phd in International Relations here at Sussex. Currently I'm working on a paper on the lineages of the current crisis in the Middle East, with a focus on Iraq and Syria where it's most explosive. I'm hoping my research for this paper will provide partial basis for a larger project on the Kurdish national liberation movement." Our interview with Matin is as follows:

* Using your research on that paper, can you give context and historical background on Rojava and how it's been under attack?

The project has been dormant there for a while. Kurdish nationalism has a long history there, just like other parts of Kurdistan. After the protests in Syria turned into a civil war as a result of Assad regime's repression of protests, the Syrian forces withdrew from a number of Kurdish-inhabited areas, which allowed for Kurdish forces and PYD to establish a kind of Kurdish self-administration in this area, in the form of three cantons, in Efrîn, Cizîrê, and Kobanê. It heavily emphasizes grassroots participation, gender egalitarian approach, and increased women's participation in all levels of social, political, and public life. It's very ecologically conscious, and inclusive in its reach to different linguistic and ethnic groups living in that region-and there are lots of them, although in relatively small numbers. What's distinctive is that the whole notion of democratic autonomy is rejectionist of the traditional idea of nation-statism. It tries to address the so-called national question as part of the wider question of radical democracy. Although it emphasizes right of self-determination, it does not limit the realization of this right to the idea of a nation-state.

* Can you say a little about the attacks on Rojava over the last few years from Al-Nusra and now ISIS or Daesh? Where have these attacks been coming from?

The Syrian army withdrew from this region and PYD established its cantons. The Turkish government was alarmed and all reports suggest that it encouraged and supplied radical Islamist forces within Syrian opposition to target these cantons and the Kurdish forces very early on. This continued and reached a climax with the rise to prominence of ISIS or IS, which has been constantly attacking Kurdish forces. Kobanê has been under attack for more than 18 months, in fact. After the advance of ISIS in Iraq, they intensified their attacks on Kobanê. Kobanê is in the middle of a vast territory controlled by ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Without it, ISIS would have a much less continuous controlled territory. But probably once [the attack on Kobanê] started, it turned into a highly symbolic point given ISIS' rapid victory in other places. Not capturing it seemed very demoralizing and embarrassing for IS. In their media releases, you can also see that they are treating and talking about the Kurds and PKK using the word "murtad," which in Islamic discourse refers to Muslims who have left Islam.

* I wonder if you could comment on the U.S. provision to Kobanê. What kind of agenda do you think the U.S. is pursuing?

I think the provision of arms was imposed on the U.S. because of the confusion of its strategy, which according to Obama didn't exist well into this month. I think ISIS, the U.S., and Turkey all expected Kobanê to fall quickly. As it did not fall and days went by, the U.S. administration was increasingly embarrassed by its inaction. It was pressured by its critics at home, the Republicans and others. In this peculiar circumstance where world media was able to produce live coverage. Daily Telegraph had live coverage of Kobanê. And hence, at some point, the U.S.was almost forced into this intervention. But it could also be seen as a way for the U.S. to pressure Turkey to take a more active role in the coalition. Turkey, knowing what the U.S. wanted, tried to use Kobanê as an instrument for dictating certain terms on the U.S. Airdropping weapons and aid finally pressurized Turkey into a 180 degree turnabout in their policy by saying "we can do it without you, so you shouldn't overplay your hand." All in all, the U.S. is not left with many options. It's a difficult argument to sell not to engage PYD at some level. And what can come out of it is by no means predetermined and depends on the balance of forces, the particular aims the U.S. might define in negotiations with PYD, and what the PYD can and will put to them. So unlike many on the left, I don't think the U.S. has a kind of grand strategy. I think it's a very precarious situation the U.S. is in, with Qatar and Saudi and Turkey each having their own aims and agenda. Without them, it would be highly problematic for the U.S. to be engaged and without being engaged, the Iraqi government would likely fall, and that would make a mockery of U.S. foreign policy since the invasion of Iraq. I think the U.S. is in quite a difficult position and its reaching out to the Kurds doesn't necessarily mean conspiracy.

* Speaking of Iraq, can you comment on the attack on Shengal (Sinjar) and on ISIS' emergence in Iraq, their seizure of arms? What factors made this possible?

I think the attack wasn't unexpected. The poor way in which it was defended by KRG, the so-called peshmerga forces, had to do with KRG's naïve optimism about ISIS being essentially concerned with central Iraqi state and not having any particular appetite to attack Kurdish region. Once the attack came, they retreated and it was only the YPG who came and rescued the Êzidî (Yezidi) civilians. Anyone knowing a little about ISIS ideology and project would expect them to attack a non-Muslim minority right next door to them.

* Can you talk about the current situation in South Kurdistan now?

Militarily, their defense is more effective. Politically, because of the poor performance of KDP forces, the rival party PUK is now politically on the offensive and trying to score political points by highlighting the poor performance of KDP forces especially in Shengal area. KDP has been generally very quiet and passive with respect to the war in Kobanê. Although now they claim they have been lobbying Turkey for help, publicly they did very little until last few days.

* What about Turkey? Can you talk about the state of the peace process, renewed military activity, and the political situation there?

The reality is the peace process seemed to never have been taken seriously by the Turkish side. There were certain reforms, but the real issues were never addressed - for example, the infamous terror law that is the basis of arrest and detention of thousands of Kurdish political activists and others. There was no change in the prison situation of Öcalan, which PKK had demanded. So there weren'treally many concrete and important steps from the Turkish side. Now neither side has declared it dead. At least officially both sides seem to be still kind of committed to it. I think PKK will be much more assertive in its demands from now on, especially if Kobanê manages to decisively defeat IS. That will certainly strengthen their position. Especially if they and PKK manage to maintain some form of diplomatic line with the U.S., which makes a lot of European states more amenable to removing PKK from their list of terrorist organizations. That would again haveimpacts on PKK's negotiation position. All in all, I think PKK is in a stronger position than a month ago in relation to the peace talks. But the AKP a history of political maneuvering in the approach to elections. One election is underway next summer, for the general assembly, which AKP sees as the opportunity to get the required majority or reform the constitution to allow a more powerful presidency, which is now occupied by Erdogan himself. So in a way he needs the Kurdish vote. One would imagine the PKK and BDP, the official legal Kurdish party in Turkey, would read the AKP's hand here and act accordingly.

* Can you say a little bit about the role of the solidarity protests in Turkey, attempts to cross the border, as well as the explosion of protests across tens of cities and their brutal suppression? How do you analyze that?

Well, there is a long history of such acts of solidarity. When Öcalan was captured in '99 there was widespread protest in Iranian Kurdistan, for example, in which more than 12 people were killed in one of the Kurdish cities. So ordinary Kurds have a strong sense of solidarity with fellow Kurds elsewhere. It's mostly the circumstances that might limit the expression of such solidarity.And with modern means ofcommunication, organizing events and demos of this kind is much easier than before.

* Could you talk about the projects in Rojhilat? Could you give more details on that, as it's under-discussed?

PKK's sister party, PJAK, announced a new movement called KODAR, Democratic Society in the East. This was described not as a political party but as a movement, which seems to be similar to Rojava canton system: a radical bottom-up form of democracy with widespread participation of women and subaltern classes as the basis. The difference is in Rojava there are territories controlled by PYD. In Rojhilat. It's simply a concept, a concept which they seek a gradual propagation of. This has the advantage of not directly attacking the existing state form, and therefore having a chance of being an interlocutor of the Iranian state. In fact, PJAK have issued statements and letters to the Iranian state proposing negotiations and a peaceful solution of the Kurdish question. The situation over there is a bit different, because unlike Syria where PYD was the leading and hegemonic force and still is, in Iranian Kurdistan and Iraqi Kurdistan, that's not the case. So it is a bit more complex than Turkey and the Syrian case. In Iran the non-PKK parties probably are all in all more progressive and radical than KDP and PUK in Iraqi Kurdistan. [These parties] might technically be more at ease with PJAK and PKK, but there are also serious differences between them.

* Could you comment generally on the potential right now for the spread of radical political projects? Kobanê has become a flashpoint of resistance, showing the possibility of the survival of another way of life in the Middle East. What do you see as the possibility for radical democratic autonomy spreading in the Middle East in general?

If the Syrian experience survives the current onslaught by ISIS, I think it will have a very strong potential for being a model of democratic experience in the region. In a region that is ravaged by sectarian and ethnic conflict, the very formulation of that kind of project from a local force with considerable constituency is very important. But I also have no doubt that regional actors, Turkey in particular, will do everything they can to undermine it. While there is lots of potential, there is no automaticity. In the end, it ultimately depends on the wider balance of forces in the region: the PKK's relation with the Turkish state, the PKK and PYD's relation with KRG, and most immediately, whether the PYD in Syria can withstand IS assaults.At the moment, a successful defense of Kobanê is very crucial.

* You mentioned sectarian conflicts. Can you say a little more about the origin of these kinds of sectarian divisions, in the Iraq War or in Syria?

The colonial states which were established in the aftermath of the Ottoman Empire deliberately recruited the state elite from minorities in order to keep them weak enough not to challenge the colonial rulers, and strong enough to maintain internal order. In Iraq, the British made the Sunni minority the dominant power and in Syria France made the Alawi minority the dominant power. Once the colonial powers left, those minorities had already a lot of political and economic investment to defend through violence. That violence always appeared to have an ethnic and religious element from the start. Nonetheless, the open ethnic sectarian conflict was never of the kind that we see today; after all, people saw the state, rather than the ethnic identity of the state men, as the target of their discontent. The Iraq war was the turning point because facing the insurgency from disempowered Sunni Arabs,the U.S. deliberately deployed and manipulated sectarianism-for example, by letting the Shia militia religiously cleanse many parts of Baghdad and different parts of Iraq. Much of the manpower of ISIS is not actually ISIS; it's actually ordinary Arab Sunnis in the region who hate the central state, in this case Iraq or, in Syria, Assad. And once they do find themselves joining the ISIS, there is very little way back, because then the other side indiscriminately attacks those areas, as for example Shia militia do in Iraq at the moment. People join IS not because they are extreme Salafis, but because there are real objective grievances that translate to support for ISIS. Once that support is expressed, you burn the bridges and it's difficult to get out. I don't think the social support of IS is very big. Its cadre is very small. But it finds itself in a large area where the population is so hateful of the other side that they find themselves on IS' side rather than be on the side of the central state.

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Friday, October 24, 2014
Duran Kalkan: The PKK is at the forefront of struggle against ISIS
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The following article – PKK at forefront of struggle against ISIS - was written by Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) Executive Committee Member Duran Kalkan and appeared in Özgür Gündem. We are taking our version of this article from our friends at DIHA. We agree completely with this assessment and we think that this puts in a few good words what we try to say here in much longer posts every day. We have not edited the piece.

The article is as follows: "Let us remember the biggest tragedy throughout the history of humanity that took part during the era of capitalist modernity: The Second World War.

After Germany's defeat in the First World War, they created Hitler's fascism and, through Europe, turned into the nightmare of humanity. Hitler was able to turn the psychology of defeat into a a hatred that in turn became a platform for immeasurable massacres. It was almost going to destroy the whole world.

It goes without saying, that the biggest resistance against this fascism was carried out by Soviet Russia. although it sacrificed more than 20 million of its people to stop this fascism, it was unable fully succeed. This fascistic wave continued to threaten humanity, and consequently led to the formation of the "Democracy Front". Everyone joined this historical coalition that was led by Soviet Russia, the USA and the UK.

The front that is now forming in Kobane is reminiscent of this coalition. The fascist gang ISIS is a reborn version of Hitlerism that is now threatening humanity in the Middle East. This ISIS fascism was born out of the the war that began in the Gulf in 1991, and ended in the fall of Saddam in 2003. This fascist curse is trying to utilise the anger and rage of the Arab community.

This unorganised and uncontrolled, but manipulated rage has for a long time caused bloodshed in the Iraqi civil war. And since the Spring of 2011, has utilised the fertile conditions of the externally prompted Syrian civil war. For a while, this group made use of the regional and global support for the opposition in Syria; but then grew enough to attempt to quash the other opposition groups. On the 12th of June, this organisation — along with the open support or tacit complicity by the USA, Israel and other regional power — initialised its attack on Iraq from Mosul to Baghdad.

At the time, this was called "the USA's new intervention in Iraq and Syria". Iraq and Syria were going to be divided, Iran's dominance in the region was going to be weakened and the USA's recent stagnation in the Middle East was going to be overcome. At first this is how things were unravelling, and really quickly. The fascist ISIS gang overran a massive city like Mosul in almost less than a day. The subsequent occupations of Tikrit and other similar towns meant that ISIS was at the gates of Baghdad with blistering speed.

This fascist gang then attacked Raqqa and Kobane with the weapons it so effortlessly took from the Maliki forces, who never even showed the slightest signs of resistance. It then made little work of the Assad forces around Raqqa, and with the political and military enforcement that came with these battleground successes, this gang attacked Kobane; but when faced with resistance in Kobane, they then turned to Sinjar and Makhmour in the South Kurdistan region.

When the Peshmerga forces too were unable to show any signs of resistance against ISIS, just like the Maliki and Assad forces, the PKK guerrillas took on the fight in South Kurdistan. In Sinjar the PKK guerrillas saved the Yezidi Kurds from genocide and defended the people of South Kurdistan and the administration by repelling ISIS in and around Makhmour. However, this then meant that there was now a 1500km long frontline between ISIS and the Kurds, spanning from Afrin to the Zagros mountains.

ISIS was unable to break the Kurdish resistance in places like Makhmour, Kirkuk, Sinjar, Jazaa, Hasakah and Serikani. On the 15th of September, however, they initiated a large-scale attack against what they thought would be a weak spot for the Kurds, in Kobane. It thought that it could break the Kurdish resistance, something it was unable to do in any of the other battlefronts. In this regard, the Kobane battle has become a decisive battle for the Kurdish-ISIS war.

This battle, that has lasted for 40 days now, has already uncovered significant political and military consequences. Although ISIS has poured in all of its forces and resources into the battle in Kobane, it has been unsuccessful in the face of a resolute Kurdish resistance. This battle, that has become a matter of life and death for both sides, has also given rise to a new global polarisation, reminiscent of that of the Second World War.

Those regional and global forces that initially supported ISIS in line with its own political gains in the region, have had to revise their political stances in the face of the growing threat from ISIS fascism for the region and the world. Now, these forces are pondering on how to deal with the monster that they helped create.

Despite all of this, the Kurdistan Freedom Movement foresaw the dangers that ISIS posed for the region and humanity as a whole, and did not hesitate in the slightest when reacting to this fascist gang. The PKK has not refrained from spearheading the struggle against this fascism on behalf of human dignity and freedom.

It goes without saying that what enables the Kurdistan Freedom Movement to conduct this resistance, is its ability to interpret and comprehend events and phenomena. And the creator of this is the theoretical, political and historical analysis of the Kurdish people's leader Abdullah Ocalan. Our leader Abdullah Ocalan's analysis of historical society and the resulting paradigm of democratic modernity is what enables the Kurds to deploy an effective political and military struggle.

The position of the Kurdistan Freedom Movement as the vanguard in the struggle against ISIS is a direct result of this. This in turn, has made the Kurdish people the leaders of the new democracy front.

Today, in light of the battle in Kobane, a new democratic front is crystallising. On the one hand there is the representative of fascism in the 21st Century that ISIS is spearheading; and on the other hand, there is the democracy front which is being led by the Kurds. Whoever is supporting ISIS is a member of the fascist front; and whoever is supporting the Kobane resistance is in the democracy front.

In this regard, the real face of the AKP government in Turkey is now clear for everyone to take a look at. It is now clearly understandable that the AKP, who has supported ISIS from the beginning, is on a similar line with the ISIS fascists. Turkey has therefore openly taken its place in the global fascist front.

In contrast, the PKK has taken its place at the forefront of the democracy front. The Kurdistan Freedom Movement's position against ISIS fascism is reminiscent of the position taken by Soviet Russia against Hitler's fascism. While this has put the solution of the Kurdish question on the global agenda, it has also proved that the Kurds are a progressive force for solution in the Middle East.

It goes without saying that we have not come to today without making sacrifices. There are hundreds of martyrs and casualties. We would like to commemorate our martyrs as the representatives of human dignity and freedom, and reiterate are determination in raising the flag of the values that are martyrs represent. Those that are able to accomplish big things with little or no resources, will also know how to complete the job. Therefore, the Kurds, as the vanguards of the new democracy front, will solve the age old Kurdish question and will guarantee their existence and freedom!"
Êzidîs need aid for winter
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DİYARBAKIR (DİHA) - Aid being collected through solidarity campaigns is not enough for the Êzidî (Yezidi) refugees who have taken shelter in the camp of the Yenişehir Municipality in Amed/Diyarbakır.

The Êzidî refugees had to leave Shengal (Sinjar) on August 3 because of the barbaric attacks by ISIS gangs and they then came to North Kurdistan. They reached Diyarbakır and now live there in a tent city. Inside the camp there are 3.875 Êzidî citizens. The aid being collected through solidarity campaigns in North Kurdistan and Turkey is not enough to aid the refugees.

There is a lack of items needed by women and children in the camps. Camp leaders Zeycan Ateş and Recep Yalçın noted that there are 1200 women in the camps and added, "There is a need for womens' cleaning stuff, underwear for women and children, pajamas, women's shoes and coats, socks, shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste, 0-3 baby clothes and clothes." Ateş said that the victims of war, the children, are being disregarded. She drew attention to the approaching condition of war and continued, "Children have no space for playing. Children need toys and tents for games." There are assemblies in the tent areas of Yenişehir, Büyükşehir, Sur, Bağlar and Kayapınar municipalities. The aid distributions are occurring through the assemblies.

Social Facilities administration officials said there is no need for tents and added that the work to prepare the tents for winter conditions is going on. Officials added, "Some delegations came from abroad and provided aid. The foreign delegations are asking our projects to make contributions. The voice of Êzidîs has been heard. And this occurred though Kobanê resistance."
Salih Muslim: Victory is close in Kobanê
We are reblogging this item from our friends at Firat News without editing because of the urgency of the news and analysis it contains.
PYD (Rojava's leading Democratic Union Party) Co-President Salih Muslim has said in an interview to ANF that Turkey’s chicanery is continuing over Kobanê and that YPG forces have inflicted heavy losses on ISIS gangs. Muslim stressed the importance of the Dohuk Accord, adding: “In Kobanê victory and freedom is close”.
Democratic Union Party (PYD) Co-President Salih Muslim said the fact the ISIS gangs had used Turkish territory to facilitate reinforcements and military aid had played a role in clashes continuing for so long in Kobanê, adding that Turkey’s chicanery was continuing. He said Turkey wanted to establish a buffer zone on the Rojava-North Kurdistan border, but that this would not happen.
“We held serious talks in South Kurdistan, and took significant steps towards Kurdish unity with the ‘Dohuk Accord”, said Muslim, adding that military aid had been provided to Rojava by South Kurdistan and a decision been taken for peshmerga to go to Kobanê. Müslim continued: “a decision has been taken but no peshmerga force has yet gone. Talks are continuing between the YPG and peshmerga command.” Muslim added that if the international interest in Kobanê was translated into practice it would be meaningful.
What is the latest situation in Kobanê?
“Every day there are more people joining the ISIS gangs through Tel Abyad and Turkey. They also receive military equipment. This is why the attacks are continuing. There are fierce clashes going on now on the eastern and southern fronts in Kobenê. Yesterday in Tel Shair the YPG inflicted heavy blows. This village is 4 or 5 km from Kobanê town. Aerial bombardment is also continuing.
How does the situation compare with previous days?
Intensive clashes are continuing and the YPG has seized the initiative. Sometimes they withdraw, sometimes they attack, it’s difficult to say anything definite.
Last night it was claimed that the Free Syrian Army was going to fight ISIS in Kobanê. Have you heard this?
This is not true, no such statement has been made. Some groups from the FSA are already fighting with us. This news is designed to confuse minds and has no basis in fact.
Who would do this?
The Turkish state. They want to create confusion.
Until recently international public opinion was silent, but now there is intense interest in Kobanê. There is great support. How did this happen?
The resistance in Kobanê has awoken this interest. We are fighting against savage enemies of humanity. People identify with this, which is encouraging, but it is insufficient. We want this to be translated into practice, as we have not yet received any aid by land. Turkey is persisting with its policy of assisting the gangs. Only yesterday 70 people crossed the border at Akçakele to join ISIS and take part in the battle for Kobanê. The international powers should put pressure on Turkey and condemn it.
Turkish officials are now issuing statements that indicate a change in their attitudes. Have you noticed this?
Not yet. The whole world is on one side and Turkey is on the other. Pressure needs to be put on Turkey so that it declares it is opposed to the ISIS gangs, something it has not yet done.
There is news from South Kurdistan that the peshmerga have set out for Kobanê. Have they arrived there?
A decision has been taken to send peshmerga, but talks are continuing between the YPG and the peshmerga command on the numbers and weapons that will go.
You are talking to the government of South Kurdistan. What are your demands?
We have the fighters, what we need is heavy weaponry such as tanks, and the expert personnel to use them. Talks are continuing along these lines.
Will Turkey open a corridor?
Turkey pledged to open a corridor at the request of South Kurdistan and the US. They are bargaining over this at the moment.
What kind of bargaining?
Turkey wants to establish a 10-kilometre wide security zone. Its intentions are not good.
The YPG said it had received 26 bundles of military aid from the coalition forces. Is this enough?
The YPG has received some effective weaponry. We hope this continues, but I stress that there were no heavy weapons in this aid, which is what we want.
You have been in South Kurdistan for a few days. The day before yesterday you reached agreement with ENKS. Could you tell us what is in the accord?
We signed the accord after 8 days of talks. Agreement was reached over three articles: “Joint administration, joint military force and political union will be forged”. After two months the decision will be implemented, followed shortly by elections.
What will the “Dohuk Accord” mean for Rojava?
It will bring in unity of the Kurds and internal peace. It will also bring freedom for the Arab and Assyrian-Syriac communities. This is an important step for the Kurds, as first and foremost it will consolidate the system in Rojava.
There is a lot of debate in the media in South Kurdistan about armed aid for Rojava. What can you say about this? Some circles want to prevent this taking place. All Kurds should be aware of this. Both parties provided arms, some went to Cizire canton, some to Kobanê. We thank both the PUK and the KDP and the government for this assistance.
The Parliament in South Kurdistan recently voted to develop relations with the cantons of Rojava. Could you comment on this?
This was a significant step towards Kurdish unity. We visited the Parliamentary Speaker and the parties and thanked them.
ISIS gangs again want to carry out a massacre in Sinjar. The area is under siege and there is silence...
ISIS wants to finish what it started on 3 August. In fact, they want to massacre all Kurds, not just those in Sinjar. According to them, the Kurds are Christian or without religion, so they see them as enemies. It is only the Kurds who are fighting them, as no one opposed them in Mosul or Rakka. Armies fled. The Kurds are resisting in Kobanê, in Sinjar and in South Kurdistan. ISIS wants to eradicate the Kurds and then become a problem for the entire world. We therefore call on everyone to join the struggle against ISIS.
People from many different countries are going to Kobanê to join the resistance. Suphi Nejat Ağırnaslı ( Paramaz Kızılbaş) died recently. There are also people from different nations at the border vigil. There will be demonstrations all over the world for Kobanê on 1 November. What do you think about this interest?
The resistance of the people of Kobanê has created this international solidarity, which we hope will have practical implications as Kobanê needs support. The town has been destroyed, civilians are dying. The blood of people like Paramaz Kızılbaş has mixed with ours. For us this is sacred. People are coming from Europe and America to fight with us. No one should believe what the enemies of the Kurds are saying. In Kobanê victory and freedom are close.
The Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Turkey on Rojava and the fight against ISIS
The following comes from the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (MLKP) of Turkey on their rcent 20th anniversary.

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Joint declaration of revolutionary parties that attended the 20th anniversary of MLCP.

SUPPORT REVOLUTIONARY KOBANE, GET INTO ACTION!

Since the September 15th, roughly a month ago, the people of Kobane have resisted the attacks of the ISIS gangs.

The panislamic organization ISIS grew rapidly in the reactionary civil war of Syria. Turkey's AKP government, the kings of Saudi Arabia and Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, the USA and the European imperialists allowed this reactionary civil war to escalate with the intention to bring down the Syrian regime. They provided support in the form of dozens of millions of dollars, dozens of millions of heavy weapons, training of combatants and training camps.

Furthermore, the AKP (Justice and Development Party) government intensified this support to crush the Rojava revolution. In the deciphered secret conversation between Davutoğlu, MIT (Turkish security services) and the responsibles in the army they mentioned that the Turkish government provided 2000 truckloads of weapon support and discussed which provocations they could organize to justify an occupation. The Turkish government instructed the panislamic warriors in Turkey as well as on the battle ground of Syria in the use of heavy weapons – including chemical weapons.

Through seizing Mosul on June 10th ISIS got the chance to grow again. These were the same forces that boosted this development in order to reshape the power in Iraq. ISIS did not content itself with the conquest of Mosul and eluded the supporting forces' control. It founded the Islamic State and caused a bloodbath among peoples of distinct beliefs. They enslaved women and sold them on the markets.

The AKP government orientated ISIS towards the crushing of Rojava's revolution. ISIS attacks Kobane with tanks, artillery and rockets. Kobane is one of the self-administrating regions of the Rojava revolution. The people of Rojava and Kobane defend themselves through the YPG (People's Defense Forces) that was made against the attacks of the barbarian ISIS from the different nations and beliefs present in Rojava. The defensive battle of the Revolution, in which also the militants of MLCP as comrades Serkan Tosun and Paramaz in Kobane participated, goes on.

The USA, NATO and the reactionary states of the region allegedly decided to conduct a war against ISIS. Yet, in fact, taking ISIS as a pretense, they let the demoralizing war in Syria escalate even more. Even more important; they plan to intervene after ISIS debilitated YPG with heavy weapons.

In the revolution of 19th July 2012 the peoples of distinct nations and belief in Rojava have obtained their freedom and founded the self-administration on a voluntary basis. They tried to keep the reactionary war out of their region and to create their future independently from it.

What is rising these days at the horizon against bloodbath and obscurity in Syria is the sun of people and revolution.

We as the revolutionaries and communist parties that participated in the 20th anniversary of MLCP's foundation support the Rojava revolution wholeheartedly.

We call on the working classes and peoples of the world, and their progressive, revolutionary and communist forces to support the Kobane resistance, which is the Stalingrad of Kurds.

Let us go beyond the internationalist slogan of the Madrid defense against the Franco hordes: Now Kobane is the home of the revolution!

Let us strengthen the Kobane resistance by demonstrations and strikes at work places, schools and on the public squares and through the heroic resistance of the revolutionaries that form part of the international brigades in Kobane and Rojava!


Long live the Kobane resistance!

Crvena Akcija
Kommunistischer Aufbau
Marokkanisches fortschrittliches Kollektiv
Marokkanische kommunistische Marxisten-Leninisten
MLKP
MLPD
Partija Rada
PYD
Reconstruccion Comunista
TKP/ML
Thursday, October 23, 2014
The Kurdish-Turkish Resolution Process---Repression in Turkey---The fight against ISIS and the revolution in Kobanê and Rojava---National, class & environmental struggles
We have much to report on today, but we will break up our longer reports and analysis into smaller sections so that readers can more easily find the items which most interest them.


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The Kurdish-Turkish Resolution Process

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said that the settlement process underway between his government and the Kurdish liberation movement could wrap up with a few months. “Now there is a road map that we have designated. If all of the parties, particularly the segments that are involved in the resolution process, do their part, then the desired point can be reached in the shortest time, within the next few months,” Davutoğlu told Al-Jazeera late last night.

Leaders of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) seem to be saying publicly that "absolute peace" can be reached in five or six months. They are including disarmament of the guerrilla movement in their calculations and are no doubt hoping for a spring settlement that will give them time and space to campaign for next year's National Assembly elections.For their part, then, it is important at this moment that reactionary forces do not push for early elections.

The issue of the conditions under which Abdullah Öcalan will have to live and work in this period arises and recedes with the moment. Abdullah Öcalan is the imprisoned leader of the Kurdish liberation movement and has the leading public role in the settlement process. We have stuck to the line here that he must be released, or at least specially accommodated in this period, in order for the process to move forward and reach a just conclusion. Others close to the movement have disagreed with this position. Some people who serve in the HDP delegation meeting with Abdullah Öcalan and working on the process are again raising the issue of his confinement and did so again today. For some people this is bottom line in negotiations now.

The government takes the line now that they cannot be expected to unilaterally move the process forward. They see Abdullah Öcalan's confinement as a matter of negotiations and as linked to the liberation movement's ability to mobilize people and spark disruptions. We have said here that the movement has gone quite far in its proposals and is showing much patience. Abdullah Öcalan seems optimistic an willing to negotiate further. Both sides agree that events in Rojava, Syria and Iraq have a determining influence on the settlement process, but naturally disagree over how and why this is so.

The much-discussed road map for the process has not yet been fully shared with the HDP. The HDP was given an index and this has been shared with the liberation movement leaders in the Kandil Mountains and it is our hope that someone from the Mountains can be directly involved in the talks. Whether that turns out to be the case or not, we note that it is unfair to expect the HDP to speak with one voice until the road map has been fully shared and analyzed. The road map is said to be about 200 pages in total.

The contentious issue of a secretariat to see the talks through does seem to be nearing resolution. Winning a secretariat will be a victory for the movement. The demand is that a five-member secretariat be fully integrated into the settlement process as it moves forward, and it is possible that a representative from the Mountains could serve on the secretariat. Granted that this has not been fully or openly discussed by all parties, it seems like an easy enough demand for the government to meet, and especially so given their stated optimism about reaching full agreement by the spring. Some people on the HDP delegation have already stepped forward to take on this work.

Working against the meeting of this demand is Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç. “A secretariat for Öcalan is not the right issue here,” Arınç told the press today. “There is no change in Öcalan’s prison conditions. The Justice Ministry will do what is necessary. It is an issue that can be done within the conditions of the island (of İmralı)."

Additional people and public bodies are being added to the process. Nine main themes or issue areas have been identified and these include security, education, women and truth and reconciliation. Hatip Dicle, the legendary progressive Kurdish politician, will be involved. The Undersecretariat of Public Order and Security will create a new monitoring team.

The liberal/social-democratic parliamentary opposition is meanwhile repeating their demand that the resolution process be carried out in Parliament and through a delegated committee. The Republican People's Party (CHP) certainly has a point hen they say that the ruling reactionary Justice and Development Party (AKP) is approaching the settlement process in ways which benefit them and sideline others, but the CHP denies the specific political meaning of the moment we are in and calls for an abstract "political unity" which has no real content or meaning. They worry about what commitments the government is making in the negotiations, not about justice for Kurdish people. The secrecy of the process to this point concerns them, but negotiations are, almost by their nature, driven by parties being able to suggest, withdraw and negotiate proposals. The transparency that the liberals are looking for can more easily be found and tested in the results than in the process itself.

All of that said, we agreed with Peoples’ Democratic Party deputy Altan Tan when he argued today that the peace process should be transparent “as far as possible” and should be accessible to the public and that the government may be “unserious” about the process and hiding behind the false argument of “state secrets” to conduct the process.

Repression in Turkey

* Turkey's gendarmerie is being reorganized and politicized. The gendarmerie already conducts a great deal of the warfare against the people's liberation movement and the new restructuring move is part of a proposed security package which we have criticized on this blog. A number of questions are being raised about this move: could the gendarmerie engage ISIS? how would the gendarmerie's command respond to civilian control and being held accountable to civilian bodies? what would their non-military duties consist of and who would oversee these? in a system where command
responsibilities are linked to governors, can the gendarmerie function independently? The proposed restructuring mixes civilian and military control through governors and commanders and seems to assume that a conservative establishment remains in power. The new regulations require that some military staff be dismissed, so the question of how they will react and how this will affect the rest of the gendarmerie naturally arises.

* Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan charged late yesterday that Abdullah Öcalan incited people to disruption during the anti-ISIS and Kobane solidarity protests which swept across North Kurdistan and Turkey over the past two weeks. Over 40 people lost their lives as these demonstrations took place, most of them killed by state authorities and fascist groups. Arrests and detentions of people who participated in the demonstrations are continuing.

“I believe that Öcalan played a role,” Akdoğan said in an interview with NTV. “I have the conviction that the message delivered by Öcalan provoked these incidents...There is no such date set as October 15. What is this October 15 all about? Sometimes, there is a state of affairs, a wind blowing either from Kandil or the HDP...The HDP might have reflected Öcalan’s approach differently to the public. Perhaps Öcalan was expecting a controlled tension, but the reflection on the ground was destructive.”

These are not new charges, of course. The "October 15" reference is to a date put forward as a possible turning point for the settlement process. Street protests and moves by Abdullah Öcalan and a spirit of resistance shown by the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) all worked together to move the settlement forward at that tense moment.

What is alarming about these charges are that they come from a Deputy Prime Minister at a moment when the government claims to be looking for resolution and that they come as an attack on progressive forces as repressive legislation is being pushed forward by this Deputy Prime Minister's party.

The fight against ISIS and the revolution in Kobanê and Rojava

These reports may be occasionally contradictory and repetitive.

* Kobanê's resistance to the inhuman attacks by ISIS is continuing. ISIS gangs are suffering heavy blows as the People's/Women's Defense Forces (YPG/YPJ) and Burkan Al Fırat forces carry on the daily resistance.

On Tuesday there were intense clashes between the YPG forces and ISIS gangs in the areas of Kaniya Kurda, Municipality Street and Azadi Square on the eastern and southeastern fronts. In the Kaniya Kurda region, ISIS gangs attempted to attack with a bomb-laden vehicle which was hit by YPG fighters. One ISIS gang member inside the vehicle was killed. Clashes in this area are continuing.

On the southern front the YPG hit and destroyed another bomb-laden ISIS vehicle.

Clashes that broke out in and around the Til Shaîr village on the western front are also continuing. YPG forces carried out an attack on the ISIS gangs between the villages of Arbus and Mezrê on the western front and one ISIS vehicle was destroyed with 4 ISIS fighters inside of it.

Five YPG fighters and 2 Burkan Al Fırat fighters lost their lives in one day of clashes earlier this week as they put up a determined resistance in the fight against the ISIS gangs.

* ISIS forces launched an attack near the village of Tel Shair. A woman and her 11-year-old child were wounded in this attack. Some people had come from Kobanê to Tel Shair for safety and were attacked by ISIS there. YPG forces killed many ISIS gang members here and fighting is continuing in the area.

* YPG/YPJ guerrillas are fighting ISIS forces mainly on the eastern and southern fronts of Kobanê town. Fighting continued through last night without ceasing, with ISIS forces also hitting the Mürşitpınar border crossing area with mortar attacks. Some of the shells hit the North Kurdistan side of the border.

Six ISIS fighters were killed, a bomb-laden ISIS vehicle was destroyed and one other ISIS vehicle was damaged in last night's clashes on the eastern and southern fronts.

The increasing use by ISIS of vehicles carrying loads of bombs and suicide attacks is a response to their having been defeated by YPG forces at Tal Abyad.

* The YPG Kobanê Command has rejected reports that the Syrian government has provided arms and ammunition to the Kobanê Canton. The YPG Kobanê Command said today that media reports claiming Syrian government support for their fighters are groundless allegations that have nothing to do with the truth.

* The People's Defence Forces Press Center [HPG-BIM] has reported that clashes have taken place between HPG guerrillas -YBS (Sinjar Resistance Units) fighters and ISIS gangs attacking the Mount Sinjar region. The HPG-BIM stated that clashes erupted after HPG and YBS forces responded to the attacks of the ISIS gangs attacking the Mount Sinjar area from the Solak region of Sinjar on October 21, with the goal of entering the area held by Kurdish forces. The HPG statement said that at least 15 ISIS fighters were killed in this region. ISIS attacks here have been pushed back. Patriotic families are aiding the resistance.

Last week 12 young Yezidi women issued a press release after they had joined the resistance, saying, “We as Yezidi women are taking our place in this resistance, and we call on all Yezidi women to join us.”

The 12 young Yezidi women who joined up are receiving training. One of the women, Dılfin Xıdır (Evrim), said, “The HPG and YBS are fighting and dying for us every day so we want to take our place in this honorable resistance. We have come to save our land and our people from the clutches of the gangs. Many women want to join the YBS, but their families do not allow them to do so. They should allow them to do so, as our honor is our land and country. Some people have fled to Zakho or Duhok and are wondering what is happening in Sinjar. We say to them: ‘Sinjar is in the hands of the gangs and we are fighting them every day for your land. You must return and liberate your land from these inhuman gangs.’”

Xıdır continued, saying they are fighting for their people’s freedom. She said that those who are worried about honor should remember the reality of 5000 women having been abducted by ISIS. She added, “We will take revenge for this massacre and we call on everyone to join the struggle.”

Xalide Xelil(Beritan) said that she joined the YBS to do something for Yezidi mothers and girls, adding, “We have been receiving training for a week. Lots of Yezidis fled and left Sinjar defenseless. They left their elderly parents behind. We stayed and joined the YBS. Our leaders ran away.”

Xelil added that they have changed perceptions of the role of women in society, saying, “Previously, women were expected to clean the house, cook and look after children. They said we couldn’t fight. But now we are fighting the gangs on Mount Sinjar. We will no longer live as slaves. If we die of the cold or while fighting for our freedom it will be an honorable death. We are training to fight the gangs in the hills. For this we are eternally grateful to Leader Apo and the PKK.” The reference is to Abdullah Öcalan (Apo).

With the closure of the most secure aid corridor, the struggle for survival of the people remaining in Sinjar has become even more difficult. There is now an urgent need for basic foodstuffs and humanitarian aid in Sinjar.

The HPG Sinjar Command issued a statement yesterday, saying that with the closure of the most secure corridor, life for the people has become even harsher. The statement said “With the closure of the corridor more than 10,000 people are facing shortages of food and health problems. It is up to international aid organizations to provide urgently needed aid.”

The statement continued, saying that the HPG and YBS have gained control of many areas of Sinjar, and that the struggle against ISIS gangs would continue. The HPG Sinjar Command called on organizations and tribes in Sinjar to take ownership of the struggle and unite their forces.

* Fifteen communes have established in one month in Dirbêsiyê, Rojava. The People's Assembly of Dirbêsiyê, in cooperation with TEV-DEM (Movement of Democratic Society), established the communes in five districts of the city, the Ş. Ebdulrihman, Ş. Rêzan, Ş. Bercem, Ş. Korcan and Mesakin districts.

TEV-DEM and assembly members spoke at the opening of the commune's center and said that these communes will play an important role in creating a free and democratic society.

Residents of 11 villages around Dirbêsiyê, which are the villages of Girê Tişrîn, Dibiş, Bab Mehmûdî, Ebû Cerdê, Talik, Bîrkinês, Tirbê, Ebbas, Mebrûka, Kerbetilî, Qermaniyê and Girê Îlon have established their communes.

Additional communes will continue in other regions of the city.

* Air strikes by the US-led coalition in Syria have killed 553 people since their launch a month ago, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said today. The strikes have killed 464 Islamic State group fighters, 57 Al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front fighters and 32 civilians. Among the civilians killed were 6 children and 5 women. Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP that the "vast majority" of fighters killed in the strikes were not Syrians but foreign fighters who had joined IS and Nusra in the country.

* The YPG Press Center announced that the arms and ammunition sent by the coalition forces on the night of October 20 had reached their destination. The YPG Press Center confirmed that 26 bundles of arms, ammunition and medical supplies dropped on October 20 had safely reached YPG forces. The statement said, “On account of strong winds in Kobanê on the night of the drops, 2 of the bundles fell beyond the area under the control of our forces. One of these was destroyed.”

The resistance in Turkey and North Kurdistan

* Ali İsmail Korkmaz was killed during the Gezi resistance last year and the trial of a police officer suspected of beating him along with a mob is underway. We have said much about this case on this blog. A missing security camera recording belonging to a hotel involved in the case has led to suspicions that the killing was targeted and that there has been collusion in covering up the details of the killing. Now the missing footage has emerged.

In the footage the police officer, who is being tried in the case without arrest, is seen entering the hotel and ordering the person in charge to shut down the hotel's security cameras. The hotel's owner later reportedly said that he had cut off the power in the building as a precaution during the clashes. The daily Radikal did great investigative work and obtained recordings on compact discs. These were sent to the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) for further examination. TÜBİTAK somehow found sound recordings and utilized voice enhancing technology in order to make the case that the charged police officer entered the hotel and asked an employee there if the security cameras were working. After being told that the cameras were working, the officer said, “You can shut them down” and asked the employee to delete a portion of the footage.

* A reporter of the Dicle News Agency, Mensur Küçükkarga, who is a student in the department of journalism at Atatürk University and who was following the protest organized for Kobanê starting on October 6, was taken into custody by the police on Tuesday. He was arrested on the basis of testimony given by person who also gave statements against many other people and became the reason for their arrests. Mensur Küçükkarga was sent to the H-type Erzurum closed prison.

Mensur Küçükkarga's lawyer made a statement about the issue, saying that without any evidence, by abstract testimonies, the court decided to arrest his client. He said that this was not correct and that they will object to the arrest decision.

* Five people who were detained because they attended support rallies for Kobanê in the town of Dörtyol have been formally arrested. At the Maraş Sütçüimam University, 16 Kurdish students who were assaulted by fascist-racist groups were taken into custody.

The 5 arrested people were taken into custody in the early hours of the morning for joining Kobanê support protests in the Dörtyol district of Hatay. They were eventually sent to the Iskenderun Prison under suspicion of being members of an illegal organization and for attending the solidarity demonstration.

The 16 Kurdish students were arrested after racist-fascist groups assaulted them at the Sütçüimam University in Maraş. A group of fascists got on a bus that the Kurdish students were on. The fascist group called other fascist-racist people and said, “We are on the same bus with the terrorists, come to the bazaar.” They then tried to attack the Kurdish students. When the Kurdish students tried to defend themselves, the police came on the scene and arrested the Kurdish students. No one from the racist-fascist group who assaulted the Kurdish students was taken into custody.

The class struggle

Turkey's Labor Minister has said that it is “natural” for a construction firm to cover the expenses of children whose fathers died in the construction site elevator disaster last month in Istanbul. “It is good if (the firm owners) look after the children who lost their fathers in an accident, in addition to the rights they will receive by law. Some think this should not take place, but it would be merciless (for a company) to say that it will do nothing but observe legal rights,” the Labor Minister said.

There is much anger and controversy now because some of the families of the workers killed on the construction site have withdrawn their complaints against the Torunlar Construction Company after receiving money from the company. The disaster took place on September 6 and killed 10 workers. The murder of these workers stirred much outrage and brought attention to the exploitation of construction workers. We have posted many articles about this on this blog.

“It is very natural for employers to make efforts to provide new opportunities, apart from the ones already given by the law, for the education of children (who lost their parents in work accidents). I do not want to judge anyone, neither the families nor the company, as we do not know what was discussed between them,” the Labor Minister told reporters today.

Not all of the families of those killed are willing to settle with the company or sign a peace agreement and class-conscious workers and progressive people will not agree that there is anything "natural" about what has happened here.

Charges against the top board members of Torunlar GYO have been dropped, but 25 people, including 12 Torunlar GYO employees, 5 people from the elevator maintenance company, and 8 people from the workplace safety company are facing charges that could lead to prison sentences. The company has lucrative ties to the reactionary ruling party.

An environmental struggle

The construction of a mosque in Istanbul’s Validebağ grove went forward today despite a court’s stay of execution order and protests by local activists who oppose attempts to open one of Istanbul’s largest and last remaining green areas to construction. Police officers took extreme security measures as people gathered nearby to protest.

An Istanbul administrative court suspended the construction project of the mosque after an on-site company launched excavation work in an early-morning operation under a large police escort.

The Validebağ grove is located in the middle of a large residential area on the hills of Üsküdar. The grove has long been a protected area due to its historic value. The local municipality recently moved to remove the grove's protected status in order to pave the way for a leisure complex of wedding halls, open-air theaters and artificial ponds. Üsküdar Mayor Hilmi Türmen has supported the mosque project and says that the site is outside of the grove and is owned by the municipality.

Local activists collected 80,000 signatures on a petition against the project, but this has only moved the mayor to call the activists “fake environmentalists.” He has also vowed to file legal complaints against the protesters. "Unfortunately too much tolerance and goodwill drives people wild and makes them believe that they are right. They aren’t even on legal ground,” the mayor said.

The area is home to many historic green areas, including another historic grove which has reportedly been sold to Cengiz İnşaat. Cengiz İnşaat has strong ties to the government and he heads one of the five contracting firms that won a tender for a third airport. That project will result in the clear-cutting of northern Istanbul’s last major green area.
Women march for "life corridor" for Kobanê in Istanbul
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Twenty-eight womens’ associations and organizations held a march in Istanbul today with the demand to "Open a life corridor" for Kobanê. Among the organizations participating were the Womens’ Enterprise For Peace (BİKG), Peace Mothers, Anarchist Women and Rainbow Union groups.

Slogans and signs for the action were "Open a life corridor for Kobanê," "Woman, life, freedom," "We are insisting on a safe life corridor for peace without condition," "Life for Kobanê, death for ISIS," "A corridor not to ISIS, but to Kobanê" and "Women in resistance in Kobanê and everywhere." Women held hands and locked arms and formed a symbolic corridor.

The women marched to Galatasaray High School with slogans in support of the Kobanê resistance and held a sit-in action here. Zeynep Ekin Aklar spoke there and said, "Efforts (to cause an) internal war by the AKP are going on. Also, the resistance of Kobanê’s people and women is going on. We cannot leave the life corridor to the anti-ISIS coalition and Turkish state. We are insisting on a safe life corridor for peace without conditions. The life corridor must be opened as soon as possible."

The AKP is Turkey’s ruling reactionary party. The demand by the people’s anti-ISIS resistance for an aid and relief corridor for Kobanê has been made necessary by the on-going and inhumane attacks by ISIS on Kobanê and Rojava and the Turkish government’s call for a “safe zone” which would decimate Rojava and the liberation movement forces and stand as a government land grab if implemented.

The action ended with the women dancing halays accompanied by March of Rojava.
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MOSCOW, October 25 (RIA Novosti) - Kurdish armed forces have retaken control of town Zumar in northern Iraq and pushed Islamic State (IS) militants out of several nearby villages, a Kurdish security official said Saturday.

A source in the Kurdish intelligence told Reuters that Islamic State fighters had put up a fight as they were evicted by local Kurdish forces, who made considerable gains on Saturday morning.

Zumar lies some 60 kilometers (36 miles) northwest of Mosul, a city which is key to Iraq's oil and gas production.

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We support the revolutionary, democratic and progressive forces in Turkey and the Kurdish Freedom Movement.

Saturday, October 25, 2014
The ISIS Economy And The Importance Of Rojava
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The following article “IŞİD ekonomisi” was written by Metin Yeğin and appeared in Özgür Gündem. It has been translated into English below. Our version comes from our friends at The Rojava Report. We have not edited the piece.

The extent of ISIS economic activities functioning around booty often goes unnoticed and it is evaluated as simply the distribution of spoils captured in war according to Islamic practices!
For example when ISIS sold the Yezidi people which they captured – the men as slaves and the women as concubines – because Yezidism was a ‘non-sanctioned’ religion and this came onto the world’s agenda, its human dimension shocked the world. When a simulated slave market was set up in the streets of London, complete with simulated veiled concubines, it was perhaps the first time since the bombing of the Nazi army in the Second World War that the British public was unified in its support for a bombing campaign.

However it is forgotten that behind this ‘human’ aspect lies an ‘ordinary’ economy that works to reproduced everyday life. That is to say that ISIS is not an organization only concerned, as the public might imagine, with the ‘other world’ or ‘paradise.’ In the first place the situation which emerged following the intervention in the Gulf and the occupation of Iraq created a sphere of “obligatory” economic activity for different groups. The large bureaucratic apparatus, the army and the security forces on which the Saddam government – like every authoritarian regime – depended on was left in a bind following the destruction of the regime. These groups were particularly excluded by the new, heavily Shia Iraqi regime and nothing remained in the hands of Sunni communities.

The lion’s share of the income from oil, the country’s most important resource, was taken by international oil companies, and what was left was divided up by those close to the occupiers, the Kurdish governments of Barzani and Talabani and Shia powers each in proportion to their influence. Nothing remained in the hands of the Sunnis. At the same time the agriculture which had sustained the lands of Iraq for thousands of years was destroyed in the course of the occupation. The agricultural economy which relied on the annual cycle collapsed. In particular the Sunni people of Iraq, who could no longer practice agriculture, lost their basic form of economic activity which had served as their livelihood for thousands of years, and even worse they could no longer produce enough food to fill their stomachs.

The only thing which remained to them, even if backwards, was the “war economy.” The income from this economy does not only derive from the sale of members of religious communities liked the Yezidis deemed to be forbidden by those above. It is an integral sphere of economic activity characterized by the ransom of kidnapped Christians, concubines, slaves, gold, money, the management of conquered property and the the rent derived therefrom, and the 20% tax paid on all of this income to the ‘Islamic State.’ This situation has once again proved the old adage, often used in these parts, that “the grass doesn’t grow where the soldier trods.” After the occupation nothing remained except the retrograde economy of pillage.

Moreover employment and unemployment – as is the case everywhere – are not only a questions of income but of social status. The Sunni community did not just lose their income but their social status. The former members of the bureaucracy, the soldiers, security services, and tribes have replaced their former positions and social status, now destroyed, with the terrible explosions of truck bombs, the esteem of territory captured for Islam, and of course the status of the martyr.

The concept of martyrdom – poorly understood in the West – is in fact nothing other than what comes from the dynamic derived from “the beautiful days to come” that occupies a place in every social structure’s utopic foundation. Once more martyrdom is not a status which only exists for the dead in the other world, but comes to define the social status of his or her family and tribe in this world. The real prize of the family or tribe of the martyr, outside of the small share which falls to it from the war economy, is its standing and even if perhaps impoverished it comes to posses a status and prestige which allows it to “walk around with its head high.”

It is not at all difficult for a social structure – particularly one subjected to massacre at the level of Fallujah or the experience of torture such as occurred at Abu Ghraib – to be terrorized by ISIS’s economy of plunder in the form of an Islamic ideology.

For that reason the economy of “communes, collectives and cooperatives” symbolized in Kobanê and Rojava is so important for the Middle East.

Either radical democracy or barbarism...
Kurdistan Communities Union: the AKP's Rojava policy has collapsed
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The KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) Executive Council Co-Presidency has released a statement assessing the recent developments in line with the historic Kobanê resistance going on for 40 days now.

The Kurdistan Communities Union stressed that the Kobanê resistance has boosted the morale and strength of all peoples struggling for democracy and freedom worldwide.

Putting emphasis on the importance of the South Kurdistan government's decision to send peshmerga to Kobanê, the KCK underlined that a joint struggle to be waged on this basis would serve the realization of Kurdish national unity and a national congress.

The KCK said that the counter policies and reaction of the AKP (Turkey's reactionary ruling party) government in the face of the developments in Kobanê exhibited its attitude towards the Kurds, noting that this was because the AKP government has yet to abandon its unfavorable policies against Rojava's revolution and the Kobanê resistance.

The KCK statement continued, "All the effort being made by the AKP aims to eliminate the democratic will and status revealed by the Kurds and other peoples and cultures in Rojava. The libertarian and democratic character of the Rojava Revolution exposes the AKP policies insisting on a deadlock and its anti-Kurd consideration. The AKP government is endeavoring to enable the emergence of a consequence against the PKK and PYD (the Kurdistan Workers' Party and the Democratic Union Party) in order to hinder the outcomes the Kobanê resistance will lead up to. It is trying to associate others in its opposition to the PKK and PYD."

The statement also emphasized that with these policies the AKP followed a policy hostile not only to the democratic will of the Kurdish people, but also to the Arab, Syriac, Yezidi, Armenian and Turkmen peoples that also take part in the Rojava Revolution and see it as hope for a democratic Syria.

Pointing out that the AKP government's Middle East and Rojava policy has collapsed and strains in the face of the Kurdish people's resistance and international politics, the KCK Executive Council Co-Presidency noted that despite this truth the AKP hasn't undergone a change in its policies nor adopted a new one embracing brotherhood with all peoples and belief groups.

"The support the AKP provides to ISIS, its Kobanê policy, Erdoğan's remarks claiming that 'Kobanê is about to fall' and identifying the PKK with the ISIS, and labeling the PYD as a terrorist organization have led up to a burst of anger among our people and all democratic powers. It is especially the AKP's insistence on supporting ISIS and the desire for the defeat of the Kobanê resistance that reveals the fact that it has not brought about a change in its attitude towards the resolution of the Kurdish question," the KCK underlined.

The KCK statement also remarked that this attitude of the AKP will not only create significant problems for the peoples but also play a role in finishing the AKP government itself in a deadlock.
The KCK Council emphasized that the most recent wave of detentions and arrests were being carried out with the mindset born in the political arrests (the "KCK cases") across North Kurdistan and Turkey in 2011 and 2012. The KCK said that the purpose of these operations was to maintain the cultural genocide exploitation aiming to break the will of the Kurdish people and to hinder a resolution of the Kurdish question by means of palliative steps. The KCK said that the Kurdish people would naturally exercise their basic right to self-defense against these operations of political genocide, the aim of which is to maintain the deadlock in the Kurdish matter.

According to the KCK, the recent arrests, which come during the ongoing İmralı resolution talks, also manifest an unserious attitude towards the resolution process. The KCK said that the Kurdish people will assuredly not remain silent in face of the present mindset and practices and will enhance their struggle, considering each arrest as a reason for resistance as part of the struggle for democratization and for the resolution of the Kurdish issue.

Stressing that the AKP government kept the conflict environment alive by continuing the anti-KCK operations under a different cover now, the KCK added that it is not only the Kurdish people, but all democratic powers that should give a struggle against this attitude, counteract the anti-democratic policies of the AKP and pave the way for Turkey's democratization and a democratic political solution of the Kurdish question.

An international campaign for Kobanê---Please do your part.
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Rojava's Democratic Union Party (Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat, or PYD) has launched an international aid campaign for the Kobanê canton of Rojava (West Kurdistan), which has been under attack by ISIS since September 15. While hundreds of thousands of people have left the canton, which is under a de facto embargo, thousands remain there threatened by massacre. The People's/Women's Defense Forces (YPG/YPJ) fighters are waging a relentless resistance to the ISIS gangs in spite of their limited means. This resistance has become the focus of international attention. Hundreds of well-known writers, performers and academics have signed an appeal calling for November 1 to be declared a day of global solidarity with Kobanê. Interest in Kobanê continues to grow as the resistance against the ISIS gangs is now 40 days old.

PYD Co-President Salih Muslim said that this interest needed to be broadened, calling for international assistance. Muslim said his people were having a hard time, but added, “I’m sure that with the support of our friends victory will be ours,” calling on everyone to support Kobanê.

"We are protecting the values of humanity"

PYD Co-President Salih Muslim has issued a statement saying, “Since September 15 Kobanê has been facing the brutal attacks of ISIS. The people of Kobanê and the YPG are mounting a historic resistance. They are aware that they are defending the honor and values of humanity. They are waging the struggle with this belief. Our people have taken to the roads and our city has been devastated as the world looks on.”

Salih Muslim emphasized that world public opinion had shown a great interest, adding, “There has been solidarity from organizations and the people who can see that the resistance in Kobanê is protecting human values against savage attacks. This interest is encouraging, and we appreciate it, but it is insufficient. It needs to be translated into practice.”

"We need material and moral support"

Salih Muslim recalled that the resistance of the people of Kobanê has exposed the reality of ISIS, adding, “We want the international interest to create an influence on politics and on states. This needs to happen as the people of Kobanê are in a desperate situation. Everyone needs to help the Kurds. This is a matter of humanity. We therefore need the material and moral support of our friends. With this support I’m sure victory will be ours.”

You can lend your support to the international aid campaign launched by the PYD at the bank account below:

Altruism Foundation
www.altruism-foundation.org
Account No.: 859005216 (SNS Bank)
IBAN: NL31SNSB0859005216
BIC: SNSBNL2A

Silava e.V.
IBAN: 34 4325 0030 0001 0509 05
Bic : WELADED1HRN

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Two reports from today's fighting against ISIS in and around Kobanê.

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We have two reports from the fight against ISIS in and around Rojava.

* Rojava’s YPG (People's Protection Units) Press Center has reported that least 21 ISIS gang members were killed and 5 YPG fighters lost their lives in yesterday's clashes at three fronts around Kobanê. Today marks 42 straight days of inhuman ISIS attacks on Kobanê.

The YPG statement stressed that the splendid resistance of the forces and people of Kobanê has been defeating the attacks launched by the ISIS gangs and that ISIS has recently intensified their attacks by bringing in reinforcements.

On the eastern front, hand-to-hand fighting began yesterday and was still going on this morning in the Kaniya Kurda and Municipality Street areas.

ISIS gangs carried out three car bomb attacks with two trucks and a motorbike after suffering heavy blows in the fighting. The three vehicles were spotted and destroyed by YPG forces and 17 gang members were killed in the fighting at the eastern front.

The YPG reported that clashes also continued throughout the night on the southern front where 4 ISIS fighters were killed and a heavy weapon-laden vehicle belonging to them was hit by YPG forces.

According to the statement, a vehicle was destroyed, with ISIS fighters inside it, near the Izea village at the western front.

Five heroic YPG fighters fell in the fighting yesterday and last night.

* ISIS gangs are continuing to target civilians after suffering heavy defeats in clashes with YPG/YPJ (People's/Women's Protection Units) in Kobanê. This afternoon ISIS fighters opened fire on the village of Etmanek in the Suruç district of Urfa within Turkey’s borders and overlooking Kobanê.

Ehmed Kalo from Kobanê, who was on a visit to his relatives in the village, was injured after being hit by a bullet in his shoulder.

Ali Kaya, a relative of Ehmed Kalo, told alternative Kurdish media how this incident happened. "We were sitting in the garden of the house, watching the clashes on the other side of the border. Bullets started to be (shot at) us in the meantime. We lay down on the ground in order to protect ourselves. For a moment, Kalo stood up and was hit by a bullet on the shoulder as soon as he did. We called an ambulance and brought him (to the hospital)."

Etmanek is the closest village to the Mürşitpınar border crossing and many homes there have been hit by mortar shells, missiles and bullets fired by ISIS gangs recently. Turkish soldiers are not taking security measures or fighting back in face of these attacks by ISIS.
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Is Rojava's Democratic Union Party (PYD) collaborating with imperialism?

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The following piece – “PYD emperyalizmle işbirliği mi yapıyor?” -was written by Rıdvan Turan, the General Secretary of the Socialist Democratic Party (SDP) in Turkey, and confronts allegations made by some on the left that the PYD is ‘collaborating’ with imperialism. It originally appeared in Özgür Gündem and has been translated into English below. This version comes from our friends at The Rojava Report.
The US airstrikes on ISIS positions around Kobanê and the subsequent delivery of weapons to the PYD has caused a fictitious debate within the left around the question of imperialism.
The debate is revolving around whether or not accepting weapons from the United States is the same as collaborating with imperialism. I am of the opinion that this thesis’ approach to imperialism is counter to Marxist-Leninism insomuch that ignores any manner of engagement with existing praxis and the current conjuncture of class forces.
But the basis of this question has a dimension that is related to the way Kurdish resistances have been approached historically.
It is not a secret that among those who make this criticism there is tendency to view the processes around Kurdish nation-building and the struggles in this direction as collaboration with imperialism from a denialism inspired by Kemalism. The directives from the Comintern to support the Kemalist regime against the Kurdish rebellions, which were proclaimed to be ‘backwards’ and ‘feudal,’ are well known, as is what the Turkish Communist Party actually did around this question. There are some, both then and now, who have already sized up everyone by employing their “god given” anti-imperialism rubric and who have long since sacrificed the right of self-determination to national chauvinism. They have an easy time proclaiming the Kurds to be collaborating with imperialism while not seeing their own state’s collaboration with imperialism. It carries no value that the PKK has for years avoided coming to resemble the KDP, but their acceptance of the delivery of weapons from the United States under the shadow of massacre is collaboration.
This rote recitation of the same discourse does not change despite the fact that the characteristics of the system in Kobanê have been determined by a leftist paradigm, and the Kurds remain unable get out from under the accusation of collaboration. What kind of abandonment of reason is this that instead of seeing the success of the Kobanê resistance as a step forward for the revolutionary center forming in the Middle East and of supporting the resistance they joyfulling shout out “look you see – they are collaborating with imperialism”?
Is it not necessary that one choke on one’s own words when claiming that the PYD is collaborating with imperialism while a people resist – man, woman and child – face to face against gangs which have themselves been produced by imperialism? There is more than two years of cooperation, in both word and deed, between the United States, Turkey and the KDP around the Rojava question. Do not forget that just yesterday US imperialism and Turkish colonialism was pressuring the PYD to become a part of the Free Syrian Army and fight against Assad. Do not forget that they wanted the PYD to join the National Council of Syrian Kurds (ENKS), which is controlled by Barzani, and be rendered powerless; do not forget the border politics nurtured by the alliance between Turkey and Barzani, nor the implementation of an undeclared embargo. Up until the debate about military aid, imperialism had many times attempted to manipulate Rojava through the use of regional powers. Those who are now sounding the alarm about collaboration never once raised their voices against these colonialist/imperialist onslaughts. Why do you think that those who now degrade the acceptance of arms delivered by the United States while under the shadow of a communal massacre as collaboration with imperialism have for years never brought attention to this movement’s liberatory and anti-imperialist stance? Let me tell you, because of an unredeemable social chauvinism.
Collaboration is not accepting military aid while under the threat of massacre but of entering into imperialist dependency and colonial relations. To claim that the acceptance of weapons has this meaning is to discount the class struggle entirely. The character of such relations are defined not in the “moment” but over the course of a “process.” The reverse means to claim that imperialist dependency and colonial relations are established independently and automatically from the momentary circumstances determining the class struggle. To advance this argument is to see imperialism as ‘Almighty.”
Remember that it was Lenin’s transportation from Switzerland to Saint Petersburg with the necessary material support of German imperialism that produced one of the finest moments of the First World War. The hope of the Germans was to contribute to the confusion in Russia and work toward the overthrow of the Czar. As a result Germany would end the Russian war and send all of it forces on the Eastern front to the Western front. The plan was carried out and civil insurrection broke out in Russia.
The Soviet revolution became the most important response to those who in that period claimed that Lenin was a German agent. It was not the support which Germany gave to Lenin that determined the character of the process but the revolution which emerged from the creative forces of the class struggle in Russia. The class struggle has long since provided an answer to the question “is Lenin a great revolutionary or a collaborator with German imperialism” to all of those who were incessantly ringing the warning bells of collaboration. Just as it is now. We see that some are running the risk of declaring Lenin an imperialist collaborator and even a German agent in order to declare that the PYD is collaborating with imperialism. One is surprised and cannot help but ask: where is the dignity of all this hostility to the Kurds?

"The Battle of Stalingrad changed the balance entirely and Kobanê is now playing that role. For that reason it is strategic. For that reason it has become a battle of honor for Kurdistan and for others. Not only for Kurds. In particular 1,500 fighters have come from Bakur [North Kurdistan]. We are fighting against this terror for the world and all its peoples."
The following interview may seem difficult to follow for many of our US readers. We havve explained before that TEV-DEM is a unitary people's movement that has a leading role in Rojava's advanced revolution. The popular character of Rojava's revolution is described below in some detail. What is at stake here is the question of how can Kurdish-majority areas in Syria govern themselves? What are the specific structural paths open to Rojava's revolution now? How do representative bodies hold and take power and insure that they represent people's power in a fluid situation and in an environment where popular organizations, political parties, outside political forces and public bodies or authorities are all functioning and sometimes expressing different objectives?

In the following interview Western Kurdistan Democratic Society Movement (TEV-DEM) Executive Council Member Aldar Xelil speaks with journalist M. Ali Çelebi about the Duhok Agreement reached between TEV-DEM and ENKS (National Council of Syrian Kurds) last week, the substance of that agreement and its meaning for the revolution going forward. They also discuss relations between the KDP (Kurdistan Democratic Party, the leading party in the Kurdistan Regional Government, so-called "Iraqi Kurdistan") and the Rojava Autonomous Administration, Turkey’s role in Syria, and the situation in the region more generally. It originally appeared in Özgür Gündem and has been translated into English below.

- How many articles does the Duhok agreement consist? What are these articles?
There are three articles. The 1st article concerns the formation of an assembly. A place for politics for Rojava Kurds and an official Kurdish body. The parties from both TEV-DEM and from ENKS will take part together along with other parties. Within the assembly TEV-DEM will have 40% of the seats, ENKS will have 40% and the other parties will have 20%. There will be a total of 30 seats. The strategic and political positions of the Kurds will be discussed and if needed necessary decisions will be taken. This official body will forward certain views to the autonomous administration. If they have particular proposals or projects they can send them using their own Kurdish candidates in something like a Kurdish block.
- It will be something like a consultative assembly?
This government will be something like a consultative assembly. This official body is only for the Kurds. As you know within the autonomous administration there are Arabs, Assyrians, Chaldeans. This only applies to the Kurds.
- How many places will each group have in this assembly?
12 people from TEV-DEM, 12 from ENKS and 6 from the other parties. ENKS itself is formed from 9 different parties. They will choose three more from among themselves for a total of 12. Within TEV-DEM there are 6 parties. There are women’s organizations, youth organizations and different parties. There are some civil society organizations. They will chooses representatives from among themselves.
- Is it clear what other parties there will be?
No the other parties remain unclear. The existing parties will meet. Whatever parties apply will be included. If there are many different parties then there will be an election. The 24 people will vote and choose the remaining 6. The parties which gain the most votes will join the assembly.
- What are the other articles?
The 2nd article covers relations with the administration of Democratic Autonomy. As you know ENKS had opposed the system of the administration of Democratic Autonomy. In this agreement they accepted the administration. It has become a common project. They have accepted themselves as a part of this project. However they said that “we have some proposals.” As for us we let them know that we will debate these proposals. A committee will be formed within the official body [to debate] these proposals. If their proposals are accepted and there are certain subjects which will be changed then all of this will be debated. Of course in addition to this they will also participate in the administration. They will take part in the legislative and executive assemblies, and can take part in other bodies. However this is all until the elections. After the elections this agreement is no longer binding, because the elections are the main foundation.
- There were certain proposals regarding the Social Contract…
They are not proposing anything concretely. We said that we had our own proposals. However these proposals will become clearer with coordination. They said “We have certain views and opinions regarding the Social Contract.” No detailed proposals were forthcoming. We said “a committee will be formed within the official body and these will be debated.” We said that “the Social Contract and other aspects of the system can be debated. We are open to change.”
- The 3rd Article?
The 3rd Article relates to defense. They said “we are also citizens of this country. We want to do something for the defense of this country.” And we told them that defense was everyone’s duty. We said “take part in the defense. You will discuss how you will take part and the different processes within the established bodies.” And this body is the YPG and YPJ. A committee will be formed within the YPG and YPJ (Rojava's People's/Women's Defense Forces) high command. They will go and discuss this with the YPG and YPJ. It’s they who will figure out how to come to an agreement.
- Were changes to the YPG and YPJ system of defense up for discussion?
No proposals were made about this subject. They did not have the courage. If this proposal had come up we would have walked out of the meeting.
- 2 years and 3 months have passed since the First Hewler Agreement was signed and 10 months since the Second Hewler Agreement. You were also party to the Second Hewler Agreement. Following the signing of this agreement the Semelka Border Crossing was closed. Raids were launched against organizations located in Hewler (Erbil). Border ditches were dug along the border with Rojava. When you compare the conjuncture of forces then and now what gave you hope at Duhok?
Back then there was neither the autonomous administration nor ISIS. Nor was the situation with the Syrian regime the same. Moreover [the relationship] between our people and our organizations were different. The situation in South Kurdistan is not like this. ISIS has upset the balance. A common enemy has emerged. A common threat has emerged. Then again this has been a result of the Kobanê resistance. The Kobanê resistance gave birth to a common resistance. We do not look upon the Kobanê resistance as a military battle only. Everything the revolution represents is becoming clearer there.
- During the course of the meetings in Duhok, White House Deputy National Security Adviser Antony Blinken and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Brett McGurk were in the KRG. Who did they meet with?
They met with Barzani. However Turkish officials were also present at this meeting. There were people from the US, Great Britain, Turkey and the KDP.
- Did the meetings between PYD co-President Salih Muslim and American diplomats in Paris have any effect on the Duhok agreement?
Not any direct effects, however everything is affecting everything else. There is an environment, a foundation for discussion. Up until now ENKS was not a popular force. They had no organizations, they had no YPG. They only had one thing. They were saying “we have relations with certain powers and certain states. You have none. We are in a strong position.” Now we are in these meetings as well. At the same time there have been meetings with America. Of course there have been some psychological effects. If we wanted we could have said “look we are not beholden to you. We have relations that go outside of you.” However we didn’t say this.
- ENKS, which is backed by the KDP, has been categorically against the Rojava Revolution. How did such a foundation emerge?
At one point even there was discussion that one party within ENKS might create a civil war within Rojava. After Shengal (Sinjar) the situation of the KDP got bad. They lost a lot of prestige. They were weakened. However ISIS attacked them too and they saw the threat. In fact most of the resistance in the South is formed from our people. Our people are fighting and resisting there. For that reason they are dependent on us. We came at their request. They wanted to say to the world “look I still have influence.” However ISIS is a dangerous force and is hitting them. They saw the autonomous administration and the existing resistance. In the beginning they waited saying “maybe they won’t succeed and Kobanê will fall.” However that didn’t happen. Our autonomous administration is moving forward.
- What kind of road will be followed after the elections? Is there anything in the Duhok Agreement about this or an election calendar?
No. There is not certain calendar for the elections. A meeting will be held in Qamishlo. The details will be discussed. The general elections might not be until 2015.
- As President Erdogan was flying to Latvia he said that no civilians remained in Kobanê, that it had not fallen as he had said earlier, and then he criticized the United States for opening up an air corridor and bringing weapons. At a press conference in Latvia on October 23, referring to the American aid, he said “Did Turkey look positively at this?
No it did not. America did this despite Turkey and I also told them. I said ‘right now Kobanê is not a strategic place for you. At most it is a strategic place for us and it is to us that sensitivity needs to be shown.’” On the other hand a change in policy is expected from Turkey. How do you evaluate this? Erdogan really wanted Kobanê to fall. He wanted it to fall more than ISIS. However it did not go as he expected. Until now he has been using delay tactics. He wanted it to fall., perhaps tonight, perhaps tomorrow or the other day. This resistance convinced everyone that it would not fall. That is why Erdogan lost. Erdogan says that it’s “not strategic.” It is strategic. In fact [on the radio] the YPG heard ISIS say this: “If we win this battle we will win the whole of Syria. If we lose we will lose everything.” They look at it as being that strategic. Let me give you some information. These days ISIS has stopped fighting against everyone over the whole of Syria. They have sent all their forces to Kobanê. That is to say they are insistent. They are saying “we will take Kobanê.” And for this they have stopped there fighting every else. Kobanê is our city. Whatever happens we will not abandon it. For us this is a principal. If we abandon it that means surrender. For us this city is strategic and meaningful. The 19th of July Revolution began in Kobanê. Kobanê is a symbol for us. More than that we want to break ISIS. Their attacks need to be stopped wherever they occur.
- The first martyr of the Kurdish movement in Rojava was Dicle. Years later youths are coming from different parts of Kurdistan, from the resistance in Gezi and from Europe for the Kobanê resistance. An international unity is also forming…
Kobanê became Stalingrad. In the same way that Stalingrad changed the balance of the Second World War. A democratic front formed there. The Nazi forces were broken. The Battle of Stalingrad changed the balance entirely and Kobanê is now playing that role. For that reason it is strategic. For that reason it has become a battle of honor for Kurdistan and for others. Not only for Kurds. In particular 1,500 fighters have come from Bakur [North Kurdistan]. We are fighting against this terror for the world and all its peoples. Everyone should help us in the war we are waging. We are the most successful force defending against terrorism, that is to say the Kurds. We will be successful. And Kobanê has in fact been successful. Following the Kobanê resistance ISIS has started to head toward the cliff.
- The Kurds were not accepted at the First and Second Geneva Conferences. Kobanê has become the crown of the Rojava revolution. How will the subsequent conferences be after Kobanê?
We are now at the forefront. Kurds are now at the forefront of the Syrian revolution. There will be no Syrian revolution without us.
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