Selahattin Demirtaş: release order upon release order, but still in jail

Legally speaking, Selahattin Demirtaş should have been freed from prison three times already. Also legally speaking, he shouldn’t have been jailed in the first place.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) said so and a Turkish court said so. Despite that, the former co-leader of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) is not a free man. Meanwhile, on Sept. 18, the ECHR will look at the case again. Demirtaş’s team of lawyers have high expectations for the hearing.

Continue reading on Ahval!

Are you close to vomiting?

‘The Act of Killing’ is by far the most overwhelming film I have ever seen. It was recommended to me by the lecturers in my International Journalism Master’s as an example of a documentary film in which the unexpected form, re-enactment, is exceptionally well chosen. It is, but the film hit me mostly because of its content. All the violence was re-enacted, but revealed a shocking truth.

Continue reading on my Patreon page!

Syrian photographer documents destruction by walking tightrope

His absolute independence is what saved him in all the years that he stayed in Raqqa, the Syrian city where photographer Aboud Hamam was born and raised and that he refused to leave, even during the years that Isis was in charge. Under the current rule, he finally let go of his pseudonym for years, Nur Firat. “I miss Nur Firat sometimes,” Hamam said during a recent interview in Raqqa. “He achieved a lot.”

Keep reading at Index on Censorship!

Raqqa recovers and wants recognition

A plastic plate with pink flowers is floating in the small water basin underneath the trees on the northern bank of the Euphrates. On its rim small glasses of fresh tea are standing. Five broken plastic chairs around it. In one of the trees a yellow garden hose is wrapped around a branch. Tiny holes have been punched in it so a soft, lukewarm rain descends upon the tea drinkers. Welcome to the paradise of photographer Aboud Hamam.

He comes here every day. The shade and the vapour make the summer heat bearable. The city can’t be seen from here, but its people can. Cars and trucks pass the newly repaired bridge and boys jump from it into the strong current of the river. On the southern pebbled beach a few cars are parked. In the water close to the bank women float in their colourful clothes and boys and girls splash about in their underwear. The men are watching and smoking, in the water no higher than their knees.

For Dutch weekly groene Amsterdammer I made a big story about the reconstruction of Raqqa, the former ‘capital’ of the ISIS ‘caliphate’. I translated the story and put it on my Patreon page! No paywall, you can read the story for free here, but why don’t you become my Patron too?

Hoe de burgemeestersverkiezing in Istanbul de Koerdische kwestie op de spits drijft

Door de Koerden gunstig te stemmen, zou Erdogan de hernieuwde stembusgang in Istanbul aanstaande zondag in zijn voordeel kunnen beslissen, denken sommigen. Daarom zou hij de isolatie van de Koerdische leider Öcalan hebben doorbroken. Maar waarom is Erdogan dan tegelijkertijd een offensief begonnen tegen de PKK-strijders in het noorden van Irak?

Lees verder op de site van Vrij Nederland!

Dutch local politician stuck in Turkey on terrorism charges

SULAYMANYA – Murat Memiş, chair of the Socialist Party in the local council in the Dutch city of Eindhoven, was detained in the Turkish city of Antalya on 30 April in the presence of his wife and two young children. On 3 May he was released but Turkish authorities won’t allow him to leave the country. Memiş (31), a Dutch Kurd, is suspected of membership of, recruiting for and making propaganda for a terrorist organisation, both crimes that carry considerable prison sentences. Eindhoven Mayor John Jorritsma has informed the local council about the matter this evening.

Continue reading at Patreon!

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!

Loont het om journalisten te bedreigen?

Dutch investigative journalism radio show Argos dedicated most of its broadcast of 2 March 2019 to murdered journalists. Since I had just published a story about that, I was one of the guests.

Naar aanleiding van mijn artikel in Vrij Nederland van 18 februari 2019 over het vermoorden van journalisten en waarom dat nogal eens loont voor gespuis assorti, besteedde Argos, het onderzoeksjournalistieke programma van de VPRO, haar uitzending aan dit onderwerp. Ik was er te gast, samen met Jan Meeus, misdaadjournalist van NRC Handelsblad, en Thomas Bruning van de NVJ. Luister de uitzending hier terug!

Koerdische parlementariër al meer dan 100 dagen in hongerstaking

(Interview on Dutch radio about the hungerstrike of Kurdish MP Leyla Güven in Turkey.)

Een opmerkelijke wending in het Turks-Koerdische conflict. De Koerdische parlementariër Leyla Güven is al meer dan 110 dagen in hongerstaking. Zij werd in januari 2018 gearresteerd door de Turkse politie op verdenking van het maken van propaganda voor een terroristische organisatie. Inmiddels hebben meer dan 150 Koerden in Turkse gevangenissen, maar ook daarbuiten zich aangesloten bij de hongerstaking. Journaliste Fréderike Geerdink woont in Iraaks-Koerdistan en volgt de zaak op de voet.

Luister het interview hier terug!