Koerden vragen steun van Fryslân bij bescherming tegen Turkse overheersing

On Wednesday 30 October I was the main guest at IepenUP Live, a regional TV program in the province of Fryslân in the north of the Netherlands. The good thing was, I was not the only guest but joined stage with Sherin Seyda and with film maker Beri Shalmashi. Check this link to watch and listen! In Dutch.

Strijd van de lange adem

‘Als we moeten kiezen tussen compromissen en een genocide op onze mensen, dan kiezen we zeker de levens van onze mensen’, schreef de hoogste commandant van de Syrische Democratische Strijdkrachten (SDF) Mazloum Abdi afgelopen zondag in Foreign Policy. Zijn troepen stonden met de rug tegen de muur. Vanuit het noorden viel Turkije aan, vastbesloten de SDF van de aardbodem te vegen en daarbij de bevolking niet te sparen. Sinds precies een week kon de SDF niet meer rekenen op de Amerikanen, die Turkije en jihadistische milities de vrije hand gaven en zo de Koerden in de onbetrouwbare armen van Rusland en president Assad dreven. Het is het definitieve einde van een democratisch experiment dat de potentie had een oplossing te zijn voor het conflict in Syrië.

Lees verder op de site van de Groene! Het verhaal staat ook in de papieren Groene Amsterdammer, die tussen 17 en 24 oktober 2019 in de winkel ligt. Koop dat blad!

IS strikes as Turkey attacks northeast Syria

As the Turkish attack on north-eastern Syria began on the afternoon of 9 October 2019, with air strikes in and around the city of Ras al-Ayn, another enemy reminded the Kurdish-Arab forces of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) that it has not been fully defeated: the day before Turkey launched its offensive, the Islamic State (IS) carried out an attack in Raqqa, the caliphate’s former capital.

What anybody familiar with the region has known all along, namely that a Turkish attack would trigger disaster in assorted ways, started to become reality when US President Donald Trump announced that US troops will no longer stand in Turkey’s way.

Continue reading on Fanack!

De bizarre weg naar de verkiezingen in Istanbul

(Radio interview at popular Dutch current affairs radio show Nieuwsweekend, Saturday 11 May 2019)

Luister het interview terug via deze link!

De oppositie spreekt al van een ‘openlijke dictatuur’ en een ‘civiele staatsgreep’ nu de bevolking van Istanboel volgende maand opnieuw naar de stembus moet. De regerende AK-Partij van de Turkse president Erdogan had om nieuwe verkiezingen gevraagd omdat er sprake zou zijn geweest van georganiseerde fraude bij de verkiezingen. Hoe nu verder in het land nu de politieke, sociale en economische onrust volop borrelt onder de oppervlakte? We vragen het Turkije-kenner Fréderike Geerdink.

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!

Thirty-five years on, no political solution for Kurdish-Turkish conflict

Rage engulfed Turkey in late July 2018 when a woman and her 11-month-old son were killed, reportedly by a roadside bomb, after leaving an army base in the south-eastern province of Hakkari. The woman had paid a surprise visit to her husband, who worked as an officer at the base.

The deaths were blamed on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Two days later, the PKK issued a statement claiming that it never targets civilians, and the death of the mother and child was a ‘mistake’. Turkish rage, however, was not solely directed at the PKK, as Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu clearly expressed at the funeral of the two victims. He placed the larger blame on Europe and the United States (US) for being “supporters of terrorism”, as he put it.

Published on 16 August 2018. Continue reading on Fanack website.