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!

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.

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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!

Iraqi Kurds vent anger with violent protest against Turkey

On January 26, Kurdish locals in northern Iraq’s Dohuk province began to peacefully protest the presence of a Turkish military base in the village of Sirye. Over the previous year, Ankara had killed dozens of locals in regularly bombings on the nearby mountain headquarters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which has fought an armed insurgency in Turkey for decades.

People from Sirye and the nearby village of Dereluk gathered opposite the base. Gulistan Niheli and Omar Ali Rekani, members of Iraqi parliament for the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), were among those holding a banner that read: “We call upon the Turkish army and PKK militants to respect the sovereignty of the region and take their political and military conflict to their own place”.

Continue reading at Ahval.

Er bestaat een kans dat je olijfolie gestolen is van de Koerden

(Interview on Belgian public radio about ‘Turkish’ olive oil from Afrin.)

Een Zwitsers parlementslid beweert dat er olijfolie op de Europese markt te koop is, die afkomstig is van geplunderde olijfgaarden in Syrië. Klopt dat?
“Dat kan zeker kloppen” zegt Fréderike Geerdink, journaliste in Koerdistan. “Het is een kwestie die ik al een paar maanden aan het volgen ben. Het gaat om olijfolie, gemaakt van olijven uit Afrin, een gebied in het noordwesten van Syrië waar Turkije vorig jaar is binnengevallen.”

Lees meer en luister het item terug op de site van VRT’s Nieuwe Feiten.

Despite brother’s visit, Öcalan remains in isolation

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wants to attack the predominantly Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia in Syria, but he also wants his Justice and Development Party (AKP) to perform well in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast in March 31 local elections. The latter goal would not be enhanced if Leyla Güven, a member of parliament for the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), dies while on hunger strike in prison.

Continue reading at Ahval.

7 years later, Roboski families cling to fading hope

Veli Encü remembers clearly what he vowed to himself, what all the devastated villagers vowed to themselves on that tragic night seven years ago: they would fight for truth and justice for as long as it took, and never give up.

Encü maintains that vow today, after a year that has been especially difficult for the families who lost their sons and husbands to Turkish army bombs on Dec. 28, 2011.

After years of failed court cases in Turkey, they took their case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) – and were rejected. “Still, we will not give up until those responsible for the massacre are punished,” says Encü, the spokesperson for the families seeking justice for their lost loved ones since that tragic night.

Continue reading at Ahval.

Turkije en Nederland begrijpen elkaar steeds beter

Opinion piece about the restored diplomatic ties between Turkey and the Netherlands. Published in Dutch daily De Volkskrant, 23 July 2018. Underneath is the Dutch version. The English one is here: Turkey and the Netherlands’ converging ideologies.

De diplomatieke relaties tussen Nederland en Turkije zijn hersteld, zo bleek vrijdag uit een gezamenlijke verklaring van de ministers van buitenlandse zaken van Nederland en Turkije. Wat er niet werd bijgezegd, is dat de regeringen van beide landen ideologisch steeds meer op één lijn zitten, aldus journalist Fréderike Geerdink.

Lees verder bij De Volkskrant.