Families of Turkey’s political prisoners fear coronavirus impact

The families of political prisoners, especially those in poor health, are worried for the safety of their jailed loved ones after Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül said on Friday all family visits would be suspended for the next two weeks in an effort to contain coronavirus infections.

The ministry also said the temperature of everybody who enters or leaves prison would be checked. Requests by family members for permission to have extended phone calls or ‘closed visits’ – in which there is no physical contact between prisoner and visitor – seem to have fallen on deaf ears.

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Boycott of Turkish products: ‘Resistance is not only military’

Boycotts of Turkish products are ongoing in both the Kurdistan Region in Iraq and in the autonomously governed northeast of Syria. There are similarities: in both regions, the people started the boycott and many business people support it. But there are striking differences too. A report from Qamislo and Sulaymanya.

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Our heart shrivelled because we forgot Roboski

On Dec. 28, 2011, late at night, the Turkish warplanes bombed a group of Kurdish villagers, who had gone across the border into Iraq to load packages with cigarettes and tea and barrels with petrol on their mules. They were about to enter the Turkish territory again when the bombing started. Not much later, 34 traders, 19 of whom were underaged boys, were dead. One of the victims was 34-year-old Osman Kaplan, married to Pakize and father of five children. All I ever saw of Osman was a photo of him while working in a small garden where the family grew some vegetables. Spade in his hands, looking up into the camera.

Continue reading at Ahval.

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.

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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.

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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.