De Syrische Koerden dansen op strijdliederen

Qamislo – Twee meisjes van een jaar of zeven staan vervaarlijk te dansen op de dwarsijzers van het hoge hek dat de tribunes van het speelveld scheidt. Vaders erachter, om ze op te vangen als het misgaat. Een van de meisjes zingt uit volle borst de nummers mee, net als de hele tribune, die volgepakt is met families. ‘Guerrilla! Guerrilla!’ scanderen ze een refrein mee.

Lees verder in De Groene Amsterdammer!

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In 2020 Raqqa will have electricity again

RAQQA – The wall of white ‘cells’ is shining white. Abu Majid (header picture) pulls open doors of the small boxes behind which wires are hidden. The ‘cells’ are crucial parts of power plant number 4 in the city centre of Raqqa in the north of Syria. They arrived two weeks ago and he and his colleagues installed them immediately, of course. It can’t be long now before no less than 65% of the city will have electricity again.

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In 2020 heeft Raqqa weer stroom

Raqqa – De muur witte ‘cellen’ glimt Abu Majid toe. Hij trekt hier en daar een deurtje open van de kleine kastjes waarachter draadjes schuilgaan. De ‘cellen’ zijn cruciale onderdelen van elektriciteitscentrale nummer 4 in het centrum van Raqqa in het noorden van Syrië. Twee weken geleden aangekomen, meteen geïnstalleerd natuurlijk. Het kan nu niet lang meer duren voor maar liefst 65 procent van Raqqa weer elektriciteit heeft.

Lees verder in de Groene Amsterdammer!

Erdoğan’s Kurdish policy isn’t about the Istanbul elections – it’s about the Syrian thorn in his side

By propitiating the Kurds, Erdoğan could destine the new elections in Istanbul in his favour, some people think. It is assumed that this is why he ended the confinement in isolation of the Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan. But if that’s the case, why then did he simultaneously start an offensive against PKK fighters in the north of Iraq?

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The Dutch version was published at the site of magazine Vrij Nederland. Read it without paywall here!

Crop fires in Iraq and Syria may be start of larger disaster

In Iraq and Syria, fires are destroying wheat, barley and lentil crops. Islamic State (IS) sleeper cells may be to blame, but other factors should not be ruled out.

Rainfall was abundant in the north of both countries over the winter, reaching levels that had not been seen in at least two decades. It was a welcome sign of hope for farmers, a prediction of good harvests and a much-needed income in a still harsh economic climate.

Continue reading on Fanack!

SP-fractievoorzitter Eindhoven Murat Memiş vast in Turkije

SULAYMANYA – Murat Memiş, voorzitter van de SP-fractie in de gemeenteraad van Eindhoven, werd op 30 april in het bijzijn van zijn vrouw en twee jonge kinderen opgepakt in de Turkse badplaats Antalya. Inmiddels is hij weer vrij, maar hij mag van de Turkse autoriteiten het land niet verlaten. Memiş (31), een Koerdische Nederlander, wordt verdacht van lidmaatschap van, recruteren voor en het maken van propaganda voor een terroristische organisatie. Op die vergrijpen staan in Turkije lange gevangenisstraffen. Burgemeester John Jorritsma zal de Eindhovense gemeenteraad vanavond aan het begin van de raadsvergadering over de kwestie informeren.

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Family business: Nechirvan Barzani takes over presidency of Kurdistan Region from uncle

On 10 June 2019, Nechirvan Barzani was sworn in as president of Iraqi Kurdistan. He follows in the footsteps of his uncle Masoud Barzani, who held the post between 2005 and 2017.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by Barham Salih, Iraq’s president and the Barzani family’s main rival. He is, after all, a member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). The understanding between the PUK and the Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) is that the PUK can propose a candidate for Iraq’s presidency while the KDP can put forward a candidate for Iraqi Kurdistan.

Continue reading at Fanack!

In Turkey, violence starts as hunger strikes end

On 27 May 2019, the Turkish army launched a military operation against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the Hakurk area in northern Iraq. It was not just an air operation for a change but a seemingly limited ground operation as well, with soldiers dropped in the rugged mountains from helicopters.

Five days earlier, the Turkish state allowed lawyers to visit imprisoned Kurdish leader and PKK founder Abdullah Ocalan, the second of two visits since 2011, raising questions about Turkey’s intentions.

Continue reading on Fanack!

Turkey’s ruling AKP manipulates election outcomes in Kurdish South-east, leaves municipalities broke

The big question in the Kurdish-majority municipalities in the south-east of Turkey was whether the candidates for the leftist Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which won the most votes in the local elections on 13 March 2019, would be acknowledged as the winners. Now that most of them have received their mazbata (official certificate) and assumed their positions as mayors, another story has emerged: the crippling public debts the mayors have discovered in their towns. In the background, another issue lingers: will the Kurdish mayors actually get the chance to fulfill their five-year terms?

Continue reading at Fanack!

Turkey’s Saturday mothers gather for the 700th time

Every Saturday afternoon a group of mothers in Turkey gathers on a square in Istanbul to draw attention to the fate of hundreds of missing people. On Saturday 25 August 2018, they gather for the 700th time. Journalist Fréderike Geerdink tells us more about the mothers.

Interview for late night radio show Met het Oog op Morgen, Friday evening 24 August, Dutch public radio. In Dutch, obviously, listen from minute 0:37:37.