Tendance Coatesy

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Posts Tagged ‘Turkey

Turkish General Election Approaches: Erdoğan Inspires More And More Fears.

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Another Try for the Caliphate? 

Uncertainty abound as Turkey election approaches

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — The streets of Ankara are quiet as Turkey’s general election on Sunday approaches, says Rudaw’s Hejar Berenji, reporting from the capital.

Berenji, the agency’s chief technical officer, is working with a team of reporters to deliver comprehensive coverage of the upcoming elections from Ankara and Diyarbakir.

Coverage will focus on the participation of Bakur (a Kurdish term used to describe Turkish Kurdistan) in the elections.

The Turkish general parliamentary election on June 7 did not give any party, including the ruling AKP, a majority, which would have enabled it to form a government alone. In June’s elections, the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party, or HDP, made it into parliament for the first time with more than 13 percent of the vote.

The special coverage started on October 23 and will continue until November 3.

“Inside Turkey, Rudaw media network has a massive audience and for that audience it is important to be aware of every step of the election, and the debate of the political parties,” Berenji said.

Rudaw is here.

Demirtaş denounces ’mafia-like’ actions against media

Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-chairperson Selahattin Demirtaş paid a visit to the İpek Media Group’s offices in İstanbul to show solidarity with the group, which was stormed by police early on Wednesday, denouncing the police forces acting like a mafia in their actions against members of the media.

Turkish riot police stormed the headquarters of İpek’s media outlets in İstanbul on Wednesday morning, after authorities appointed several trustees to replace the management of the İpek Koza Holding business, which houses media outlets that include Bugün TV, the flagship station that has emerged as a main platform for opposition politicians over recent months.

In his remarks from the group’s broadcasting room, Demirtaş said he is not surprised by the seizure of the companies and media outlets under Koza İpek Holding as these incidents took place many times under the rule of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party).

“It is unbelievable that a state; a government’s acting rudely, like a mafia, like an illegal organization… right in the public eye, during a live broadcast…The appointment of a board of trustees turning into seizure, police forces’ cutting the cables of [broadcasting cameras] is not stated in any law. You may appoint the board of trustees for a temporary period… Spraying pepper gas, using batons, cutting the cables are mafia-like, gang-like practices,” Demirtaş stated.

Demirtaş called Wednesday’s raid “a serious attack against people’s right to information.”

“This is a show of force being made, made via police force; it is a reflection of a government’s mindset based on forced power. It also raises suspicions [as it comes] just a couple of days before the election. It raises questions about their having a plan or some hesitation about the broadcast that would have been made during election day,” Demirtaş stated.

President Erdoğan justifies appointment of a board of trustees to Koza-İpek group

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has seemingly justified the appointment of a trustee board to manage the Koza-İpek group, 23 companies of which have been seized by a local court as part of a crackdown on followers of the government’s ally-turned-nemesis Fethullah Gülen.

“There are different things behind the support lent [to the group],” Erdoğan said late on Oct. 28. “The reason for appointment of a trustee should be thoroughly deliberated because its number one is on the run,” he said in a live interview with Kanal 24 news channel.

As Akın İpek, CEO of the Koza-İpek group, suggested there was no irregular transfer of money abroad, Erdoğan asked why he was on the run.


Now there is this:

Turkey will “do what is necessary” to prevent US-allied Syrian Kurds from declaring autonomy in the town of Tel Abyad near the Turkish border, which includes conducting further military operations, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Wednesday.

NATO member Turkey is part of the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants in Syria, but it sees advances by autonomy-seeking Kurds, led by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), as a threat to its own national security, fearing they could stoke separatism among Turkish Kurds.

Turkish jets recently hit the Syrian Kurds’ armed People’s Protection Units (YPG) targets twice after they defied Ankara and crossed west of the Euphrates River.

“This was a warning. ‘Pull yourself together. If you try to do this elsewhere — Turkey doesn’t need permission from anyone — we will do what is necessary,'” Erdoğan said, signaling that he could defy Washington’s demand that Ankara avoid hitting Syrian Kurds and focus his military might on ISIL targets.


More background: The battle for Turkey: can Selahattin Demirtas pull the country back from the brink of civil war?

An excellent article on the Peoples’ Democratic party (HDP), by . (Guardian today).

And this French report: Turquie : l’irrésistible ascension du Kurde Selahattin Demirtas, cauchemar d’Erdogan.


Written by Andrew Coates

October 29, 2015 at 2:04 pm

Is this the end of the Turkish Republic? Davutoğlu Blames Ankara Bombings on Islamic State and Resumes Bombing Kurds.

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Downing Street Protest at Ankara Peace Rally Bombing.

Turkey blames Ankara bombings on Islamic State


Prime minister says authorities close to identifying one of suicide attackers who killed at least 128 at peace rally

Turkey is focusing on Islamic State in its investigation into a twin bombing that killed at least 128 people in Ankara, and are close to identifying one of the bombers, the prime minister has said.

Speaking on the Turkish broadcaster NTV, Ahmet Davutoglu said the attack was an attempt to influence the outcome of the country’s general election, due to take place on 1 November, and that necessary steps would be taken if security failures were found to have contributed to the bombing.

“It was definitely a suicide bombing,” he said. “DNA tests are being conducted. It was determined how the suicide bombers got there. We’re close to a name, which points to one group.”

At least 128 people were killed and more than 200 wounded on Saturday when two explosions hit a peace rally organised by several leftist groups, including labour unions and the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic party, to call for an end to the escalating violence between the Turkish government and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ party (PKK).

The attack is the deadliest in the country’s recent history and was labelled a terrorist act by the government, which declared three days of national mourning.

Then there is,

Turkish air strikes on Kurdish PKK rebels as mourning continues

The Turkish air force has pounded Kurdish militants a day after a deadly bomb attack on a rally for peace in the capital Ankara.

Planes hit Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) targets in both the south-east and over the border in northern Iraq.

Saturday’s twin bombing in Ankara killed at least 95 people, making it the deadliest such attack ever.

Security sources say they suspect the so-called Islamic State (IS) group was behind the attack.

The air force struck after the government rejected a new ceasefire announced by the PKK on Saturday.

Tensions in Turkey were already high, with a general election looming on 1 November.

The governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost its overall majority in June after gains by the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), which was involved in Saturday’s rally.

PKK positions were destroyed in the Metina and Zap areas of northern Iraq in Sunday’s air strikes, the Turkish military said.On Saturday, the air force targeted the PKK in Turkey’s Diyarbakir province. Forty-nine people were reported killed in the strikes, but these figures could not be verified independently.

“The PKK ceasefire means nothing for us,” one senior Turkish security official told Reuters news agency. “The operations will continue without a break.”

Whether there was Turkish state complicity in the Ankara atrocity – which continues to sear the hearts of millions throughout the world – is not clear.

Islamism, in all its shapes and forms, is the enemy of the left and all people of good will.


This is well worth reading:

Ankara bombing and the end of the Turkish Republic

What we have witnessed in the last two years, culminating in the horrible scenes of 10 October in Ankara, is the end of the Turkish Republic as we know it.

..the last of these moments was experienced during the rule of none other than Erdogan when his Justice and Development Party (AKP) embarked on a peace process with the Kurds, the so-called “democratic opening” process which lasted in fits and starts until the beginning of 2015. True, the reforms the state undertook were more cosmetic than concrete; the process itself was top-down, opaque and subject to the whims of two “men”, Erdogan and Abdullah Öcalan, the incarcerated leader of the PKK. Yet the ceasefire between Turkish armed forces and the PKK lasted more than two years, and many believed that the process was irreversible, whatever the (real) intentions of the actors involved.

In the long-run, it probably is irreversible. That it was not in the short-run has been proven by the events that have unfolded since the collapse of the ceasefire in the wake of the now defunct June 7 elections.

What is more, it is not only the Kurds that the AKP and its unquestioned leader Erdogan have alienated. Trampling on every faultline that divides the society, the AKP has managed to turn the liberals, leftists, ultra-nationalists (of all hues), Alevis, secularists, other political Islamists (including its one-time ally, the Gulen community) against itself, running the country relying only on a loyal constituency which is still enough to give it a majority in the parliament.

But the country it runs is not the country it took over in 2002. “The rusty wire that holds the cork that keeps the anger in” (be it the army, or common ideals, common symbols – you name it), to borrow from the lyrics of a famous Pink Floyd song, is no longer there. The armageddon, if it has not already happened at Gezi or Suruc, or indeed Ankara, is nearby.

The bottom line may not be pleasant to hear for some, but it needs to said out loud: what we have been witnessing in the last couple of years, the culmination of which were the horrible scenes we were exposed to on 10 October in Ankara, is the end of the Turkish Republic as we know it. This does not mean that the territorial integrity of the country will be forfeited. But the anger that pits half of the society against the other is too intense, the divisions that run through various ethnic, religious or ideological groups are too deep to paper over. Moreover, as I have alluded to above, the quest of the Kurds for the full recognition of their identity and rights, especially in the context of the developments in Iraq and Syria, is in the long-run irreversible. Whatever the results of the forthcoming November 1 elections (assuming that they will be held), Turkey will embark on a long and possibly painful journey to a “less unitary”, less centralized system.

On 10 October, Simon Tisdall observes in the article I have mentioned earlier, “Turkey, suffering the impact of the worst ever terror outrage on its soil, is a nation in shock. But it is also a nation living in fear.” Unfortunately, Tisdall is wrong, for Turkey is not a nation in the conventional sense of the term any more.

Written by Andrew Coates

October 12, 2015 at 11:52 am

After Ankara Massacre: Solidarity with our Sisters and Brothers in Turkey.

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An injured man hugs an injured woman after the explosion

Peace Marchers in Ankara: our Kith and Kin.

Thousands protest in Istanbul after Ankara attack

Istanbul Protest After Ankara Bombing.





Thousands of people, many chanting anti-government slogans, gathered in central Ankara on Sunday near the scene of bomb blasts which killed at least 95 people, mourning the victims of the most deadly attack of its kind on Turkish soil.

Two suspected suicide bombers hit a rally of pro-Kurdish and labor activists near Ankara’s main train station on Saturday, three weeks before an election, shocking a nation beset by conflict between the state and Kurdish militants.

The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), a major presence at Saturday’s march, said police attacked its leaders and members as they tried to leave carnations earlier at the scene. Some were hurt in the melee, it said in a statement.

“Murderer (President Tayyip) Erdogan”, “murderer police”, the crowd chanted in Sihhiye square, as riot police backed by water cannon vehicles blocked a main highway leading to the district where parliament and government buildings are located.

The government denies any suggestion of involvement. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, exposing a mosaic of domestic political perils, said Islamic State, Kurdish militant factions or far-leftist radicals could have carried out the bombing.

Some have suggested militant nationalists opposed to any accommodation with Kurds seeking greater minority rights could have been responsible.

Turkish investigators worked on Sunday to identify the perpetrators and victims of the attack. Newspaper headlines reflected the mixture of grief and anger.



Demirtaş: The state has become a mafia and serial killer

HDP Co-President Selahattin Demirtaş said today’s bomb attack in Ankara came during a period of debates of an imminent ceasefire.

ANF News.

Speaking to reporters in Istanbul before leaving for Ankara in the wake of today’s massacre of demonstrators for peace, HDP Co-President Selahattin Demirtaş said the bomb attack came during a period of debates of an imminent ceasefire.

Demirtaş said “We are facing a state mindset that became a mafia, murderer and a serial killer.”


Pointing out that police forces attacked the scene with tear gas soon after the incident and hindered the access of ambulances, Demirtaş said it was not ambulances but riot police that mobilized after the massacre in the heart of the Turkish capital. “It is obvious that there is an intention to increase the number of deaths. And now representatives of the government and the Prime Minister will say ‘maintain your common sense’ in our faces, while the police forces under their command attack the wounded people. What sort of a government has this become as its police fire tear gas on the people, just like what happened in Diyarbakır? I do not know what kind of a bomb has caused this massacre but it was definitely a malicious one. A highly effective bomb was used here to ensure a high number of casualties, as was the case in Suruç and Diyarbakır. The forces behind this massacre will not be revealed either, because there is an explicit force behind it, just like in Diyarbakır and Suruç”


Demirtaş asked; “Is it possible for a state, whose intelligence organization is this powerful, to not have any information on this incident?, and continued; “There is a bitter situation in question. We are facing a state mindset that became a mafia, murderer and a serial killer which wants to take the society captive. We will overcome these days with the resistance of those not surrendering to persecution. Yet, we will bring those responsible to account within the scope of the law. We will not allow these incidents to go down in history as just a cruelty. We are assured that this mindset will not last forever.”


HDP Co-President said the party has cancelled all its election program everywhere which they cannot possible run while dozens of people have just been killed. He said they will be dealing with the casualties and manifest everywhere that they will be resisting these attacks. “Freedom and peace is much more important than elections”, he added.



Our people who said “guns should be silenced without buts and only ifs”, who organized demonstrations and hit the streets to make this demand real were attacked viciously.

Firstly, we wish God’s mercy and grace to 97 lives we lost, and send our condolences to their families and our people, and  hope that hundreds of people who got wounded get better soon.

It is obvious that this attack isn’t different from the massacre in Suruc and bombings in Adana, Mersin and Diyarbakir. These are the results of the language of hatred that the political power used against the ones who worked to bring peace. This attack targeted the ones who struggle for equality, freedom and justice and remained persistent about peace and democracy. This attack is against the dissemination of the language of peace and its actual realization.

In this country, a mafia leader who is fed by the government and some state institutions can organize a demonstration in Rize and announce his commitment and support to the Palace. He states that “they will bleed in streams” and a day after people who demand peace in Ankara are murdered by bombs. Unless the political power cut their ties with these mafia organizations within the country, and global gangs like ISIS and Ahrar es Sam, we will experience these kinds of massacres.

We are sure that all the people who didn’t lose their inner conscience and pride feel the pain in their hearts. We will overcome these difficult days with their and peace activists’ solidarity and union.

We will never let these massacres buried. Those days will come that  the people who instigated and planned these massacres and also the politicians who are responsible for them and actual executors of these actions would be taken to court.

HDP Central Executive Committee

10 October 2015

The Guardian reports,

There were no claims of responsibility for the attack, which came as external threats mount for Nato member Turkey with increased fighting across its border with Syria and incursions by Russian warplanes on its air space over the last week.

The Turkish prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, exposing a mosaic of domestic political perils, said Islamic State, Kurdish or far-leftist militants could have carried out the bombing. Experts have said it is unlikely left-wing groups would be behind the attack.

The two blasts happened seconds apart on Saturday morning as crowds, including pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic party (HDP) activists, leftists, labour unions and other civic groups, gathered for a march to protest over the deaths of hundreds since conflict resumed between security forces and the Kurdistan Workers party (PKK) in the mainly Kurdish south-east.

Hours after the bombing, the PKK as widely expected beforehand ordered its fighters to halt operations in Turkey unless they faced attack. It said it would avoid acts that could hinder a “fair and just election” on 1 November.

It was distasteful to watch the BBC reportsafter lengthy items on such important things as the death of a former Minister of Margaret Thatcher.

Davutoglu’s suggestion, that the Turkish far-left has attacked…..the Turkish far left and the broad left, was given, unchallenged.

By contrast a reporter was able to parrot the government response to the following

The pro-Kurdish HDP party has blamed the state. That is undoubtedly a reference to the so-called “deep state” often talked about here: a shady mix of nationalist forces either colluding with or supporting the government in power

The party has previously blamed the government for colluding in attacks on Kurdish activists, which the government denies.

Cemalettin Hasimi, director of press and information at the prime minister’s office, told the BBC that such allegations were “a disgrace, unacceptable”.

AKP inspired mobs, with even further right groups involved,  have attacked HDP offices in recent months.

Violent mobs have attacked Kurdish and other targets in towns across Turkey as the fighting between the government and PKK guerrillas worsens, prompting fears of renewed civil war.

Headquarter offices of the main pro-Kurdish party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which has 80 seats in parliament, were set on fire in the capital Ankara, the southern city of Alanya and more than 100 towns across the country.

There were also attacks on newspaper offices, with the headquarters of Hurriyet, one of the country’s biggest papers, surrounded by a mob chanting slogans in support of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. They accused the paper of misquoting the president in a report on a speech which discussed the crisis.

Telegraph 9th of September.

With this background it is understandable that the Turkish left, and the HDP in particular, points the finger in President Erdoğan’s direction.

There have been, nevertheless, unconfirmed reports that the Islamic State, Daesh, has released comments referring to the deaths of “communists and atheists” in Ankara.

Suicide bombings bear all the hallmark of that organisation.

Whether the slaughter was carried out at the instigation, or complicity of the ‘moderate’ Islamists of the AKP Turkish government, or independently  by the genociders of Daesh, remains to be determined.

The most important thing is for international solidarity with the families, the friends and the comrades of those struck down in this atrocity.

They are our sisters and brothers. Our loved ones.

They will not be forgotten.

Written by Andrew Coates

October 11, 2015 at 11:06 am

Ankara: Murderous Bomb Attack on Peace March.

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Hundreds assembling at Wood Green for solidarity march for victims of bombing in Turkey (Photo. G.H)

Our hearts go out to the families, friends and comrades of our beloved sisters and brothers murdered in this attack.

Embedded image permalink

We Came with our Banners of Peace: They Served to Cover our Dead (Libération.)

Ankara (AFP) – At least 86 people were killed Saturday in the Turkish capital Ankara when twin blasts ripped through groups of leftist and pro-Kurdish activists gathering for an anti-government peace rally, the deadliest attack in the history of modern Turkey.

The attack, near Ankara’s main train station, ratcheted up tensions ahead of Turkey’s November 1 snap elections which were already soaring amid the government’s offensive on Kurdish militants.

Bodies of the slain activists were seen strewn across the ground after the blasts, with the banners they had been holding lying next to them for the “Work, Peace and Democracy” rally.

Sixty-two people died at the scene of the blasts and 24 more then succumbed to their wounds in hospital, Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu told reporters in Ankara. He said another 186 people had been injured in the attack, 28 of them seriously.

Agence France Presse.

Death toll at 86 in grisly Ankara bombing

By RUDAW 15 minutes ago

ANKARA – Two explosions at a peace march in central Ankara on Saturday have killed at least 86 people with the death toll expected to increase due to the high number of wounded, according to officials.

The blast occurred at 10:05 am local time near a train station in the Turkish capital. TV footage shows scenes of panic and people lying on the ground covered in blood, amid protest banners.

“After the explosions there was a clash between families of the victims and police,” Rudaw reporter Mashalla Dakak reported live from the scene of the blasts.

“No party has claimed responsibility for the attack,” he added, saying at least 100 people were wounded besides those who had been killed.
Turkey’s president condemned the attacks as “terrorist acts”.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan denounced what he called “this loathsome attack that targeted our unity and our togetherness”.

Government officials are investigating reports that a suicide bomber was behind at least one of the explosions.

The rally was called by the Confederation of Public Sector Trades’ Unions to demand an end to the fight between the Turkish government and the Kurdistan Worker’s Party, or PKK.
The pro-Kurdish HDP party, which was was among those attending the rally, said in a statement that it believes its members were the main target of the bombings.

Selahattin Demirtas, co-leader of the HDP has blamed the state for the attack, which he called “a huge massacre. The opposition party has called off all its election rallies.

Demirtas said that whenever his HDP party kick offs an election campaigns an attack occurs.

“Unfortunately, another massacre happened and those rallying for peace were brutally wounded and killed. It reminds us of the Suruc explosion,” Demirtas added, referring to a mid-July attack that killed 27 people at a student rally in the southern Turkish town of Suruc.

Turkey’s new polls are scheduled to be held Nov 1.
Turkey is holding a re-run of June’s inconclusive parliamentary elections on 1 November.

Later on Saturday, the PKK called on its fighters to halt its guerrilla activities in Turkey unless attacked first.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Selahattin Demirtas, co-leader of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Paty (HDP), said Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) must take the blame for Saturday’s twin blasts at an Ankara railway station that has left at least 40 people dead and 100 wounded.


“The AKP’s hands are red with blood and they support this terror,” said Demirtas to a crowd of reporters at HDP headquarters in Ankara.

Turkish government officials described the blasts as a “terrorist attack” and said they were investigating claims that a suicide bomber was responsible.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is to reportedly scheduled to hold a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan, government officials and security chiefs in response to the attack.

Demirtas alleged that the people of Turkey have no right to freedom of expression and are forced to support the government.

“In this country, whoever speaks out against the government will be shot…[I]if you don’t support the government you will be deprived from basic human rights and means of prosperity,” Demirtas told the press.

“If a child throws a stone at the police, they will answer him with a bullet.”

Demirtas said that whenever his HDP party kick offs an election campaigns an attack occurs.

“Unfortunately, another massacre happened and those rallying for peace were brutally wounded and killed. It reminds us of the Suruc explosion,” Demirtas added, referring to a mid-July attack that killed 27 people at a student rally in the southern Turkish town of Suruc.

He continued: “[The government] wants to silence us but we will continue our peaceful struggle until the last drop of our blood. And I told them, ‘If you want to stop us with these cowardly explosions, you cannot.’”

Turkey’s new polls are scheduled to be held Nov 1.

There will be a solidarity march on Sunday 3pm Trafalgar Sq to Downing st.

Written by Andrew Coates

October 10, 2015 at 4:02 pm

Turkey: People’s Democratic Party (HDP) Makes Urgent Call for International Solidarity Against Mounting Violence.

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Turkish Nationalists and Islamists Lead Attacks on  HDP



Turkey is increasingly drifting into a civil war. Politics of violence have escalated after the general elections of June 7 led by the AKP provisional government. Today, the peace and negotiation process between PKK and the Turkish state has come to a halt and war has started again.

Just within the last month, severe clashes have taken place in many Kurdish cities such as Silopi, Lice, Şemdinli, Silvan, Yüksekova and Cizre where the civilian population has been targeted by state forces. Tens of civilians, guerillas and members of state security forces have died in the ensuing clashes. Since July 24, the AKP interim government has not been attacking ISIS, as it claims to be doing, but the Qandil Mountains in the territory of the Kurdistan Regional Government instead, as well as Kurds, democratic forces, democratic politics, civilians, women and the opposition as a whole in Turkey.

The Turkish state and the provisional AKP government are implementing all sorts of oppressive measures such as forbidding entry into and departure from Kurdish cities against which it launches military operations, cutting off all communication including phone and internet lines, blocking off press and observers to prevent the truth about what is happening on the ground from reaching national and international public attention. A curfew has been in place in the province of Cizre for the past week where 21 civilians have been killed. The province of Cizre have been under siege for days where there is serious shortage of food, water, access to basic health services, preventative treatment of the wounded, and burial of those who have been killed by state security forces. Serious concerns regarding fears of civilian massacre in Cizre have been voiced by the elected members of the parliament and civil society organizations.

In this very violent situation, HDP has also been targeted by AKP spokespersons and pro-AKP mass media. Almost every day, our party officials and especially our co-chairs are being put on the target for those “nationalist and patriotic” people. Many calls and statements of AKP officials have been signaling a call for war against HDP. As a result of this violent discourse of AKP, many of our buildings in several cities have been attacked by groups of people associated with racist and fascist groups. On September 8, they attacked our HQ in Ankara, setting fire to the building. Our party archives and records were targeted specifically. No one was injured in the attack but our HQ is now heavily damaged and unavailable for use.


The headquarters of the HDP in Ankara was badly damaged by fire on Tuesday night (9 Sept)

Until now, over 128 party buildings all over the country have been attacked. Moreover, the police and other security forces of the state did not do their job to prevent the attacks.

We once again want to emphasize that HDP is not a part of these violence-based, war- oriented policies. As HDP, we did not take part in any decision-making process of the war. On the contrary, we are trying to push both PKK and the Turkish state to end this armed conflict. It should be known that it is the AKP who is insisting on war politics and implementing anti- democratic practices all over the country.

In spite of these adverse developments, we call on all international communities, civil society organizations and the international media for solidarity and support to bring about an immediate cease-fire and the commencement of peace talks. Our call is also one for urgent action against increasing state violence, the violation of human rights and anti-democratic practices and measures ins Kurdish cities as well as the cities in the western regions of the country. We now need the support of the international public more than ever in order to achieve the realization of a lasting peace in the Middle East, Turkey and Kurdistan. In this context we invite all of our friends, political parties, associations, networks, civil society organizations and all peace-loving forces to act in solidarity with us. We call on all democratic international institutions and forces to take concrete steps against the Turkish state’s violent, anti-democratic actions against its own people and citizens.

Foreign Affairs Commission of HDP
10 September 2015

Written by Andrew Coates

September 11, 2015 at 5:17 pm

Anti-Kurdish Violence in Turkey Spirals out of Hand.

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Hundreds of Turkish fascists in Istanbul chanting tonight: “We don’t want a military operation, we want a genocide”, referring to the ongoing war against the Kurds.

Save Kobane Facebook.


Smoke comes from HDP headquarters after attack by nationalist demonstrators in Ankara. 8 Sept 2015

A crowd has attacked the headquarters of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish HDP party, amid rising violence between Turkish forces and the militant Kurdish PKK group.

Pictures from the scene appeared to show the HDP building in the capital, Ankara, on fire.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has appealed for calm.

Earlier, Turkish ground forces crossed into Iraq in pursuit of Kurdish militants for the first time since a ceasefire with the PKK two years ago.

Turkish warplanes also launched a wave of air strikes on bases of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) in northern Iraq.


US concerned by attacks on media outlets in Turkey

By Yerevan Saeed

WASHINGTON DC—The US State Department called on Turkey’s ruling party and government officials Tuesday to not encourage violence against media workers amid street protests and clashes in Istanbul and other Turkish cities.

“We’re concerned by reports that the protests against the Hurriyet Daily were encouraged by members of the Justice and Development Party,” said State Department’s Spokesperson John Kirby. “Elected officials must be careful not to appear to encourage violence against media outlets,” he added.

Washington voiced its concern after pro-government protesters, including an AKP member of parliament, attacked Hurriyet Daily, an independent liberal media outlet for misquoting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as he spoke live on Haber TV.

The Turkish president was answering questions about the Daglica incident in which 16 Turkish soldiers were killed in a roadside bomb attack by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Hurriyet Daily had allegedly challenged the president on his election promise that the conflict with the PKK would not have resumed if his AKP party had won 400 parliamentary seats.

The newspaper published Erdogan’s exact words later on, and said it would make proper inquiries about the misquoting incident.

The State Dept. Spokesperson Kirby said that media freedom and due process were “key elements in every healthy democracy”, urging Ankara to uphold these values.
“The quality of Turkey’s democracy matters to us, and we expect Turkish authorities to uphold Turkey’s core values, democratic foundations, and universally recognized fundamental freedoms,” said Kirby.
Amidst ongoing violence between the Turkish army and the PKK southeast of the country, Turkey recently detained several reporters including two British and a Dutch journalist, inviting international condemnation.



HDP official: anti-Kurd attacks a step to civil war.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – An official from the People’s Democratic Party’s (HDP) has accused Turkey on Tuesday of waging a war against the Kurds, claiming that 128 of the pro-Kurdish party’s buildings were attacked Monday.

HDP Co-chair Figen Yuksekdag said in a press conference Tuesday that the Kurds have been subject to harassment and attacks have been carried out on Kurdish political party buildings, homes and vehicles by groups across Turkey.

Yuksekdag said “facist” groups killed a worker on Monday for speaking Kurdish and Turkish police did not intervene.

Yuksekdag said the recent attacks are a dangerous step toward civil war.

In Turkey’s Niğde province, in the southern part of Central Anatolia, a group of nearly 500 protesters attacked the HDP provincial branch in the city of Nigde building with stones, according to Today’s Zaman news agency.

Similar attacks were staged in the Manavgat, Antalya, Mersin, Sakarya, Çorlu and Kayseri provinces, with protesters throwing rocks at the party’s local headquarters and hanging Turkish flags on the buildings.

Tensions also ran high in the Beypazarı district of Ankara on Monday night. A group of some 200 people who marched in the district to protest the PKK were pelted with rocks as they passed through the Zafer neighborhood where Kurdish seasonal workers reside, the news agency reported.

There were several injuries sustained in the incidents, according to police.

During the recent clashes between the PKK and Turkish Army, 100 civilians were reportedly killed during four days of heavy attacks.




Urgent: Disturbing Coordinated mob-attacks, and lynchings against the Kurds in Western Turkey:

Hundreds of Kurdish civilians in Western Turkey injured and several killed. Police have participated in the attacks against Kurdish civilians.

Turkish president Erdogan and the AKP have provoked fascist, nationalist and racist groups into protesting and forming lynching groups who have engaged in terrorizing Kurdish civilians by attacking homes in different districts in Istanbul, Ankara, Kirsehir, Kocaeli, İzmir, Balikesir, Malatya, Mulga, Mersin, Keçiören, Tuzluçayır, Beypazarı, Balgat, Isparta, Konya, Antalya and many other cities.
Following ongoing provocations by the R.T. Erdogans government, pro AKP racists and fascist groups have engaged in coordinated attacks against Kurdish civilians, including attacking Kurdish shops, houses, businesses, and HDP offices. These attacks have been ongoing for the past 48 hours.

Hundreds of Kurdish civilians in Western Turkey have been injured during the attacks by these fascists, and an unknown number of people killed. Hundreds of Kurds in different Turkish cities are currently blockaded in HDP offices, where they have sought safety from the lynching mobs. The mobs have broken windows, chanted anti-Kurdish and HDP slogans, with local police not intervening to stop the terrorism of the mobs.

Since the start of the Turkish war on the Kurds 32 years ago, this is the first time that such casualties have occurred to such a large scale. Erdogan and AKP are directly, explicitly, and deliberately provoking racial and nationalist clashes. Two days ago Erdogan gave the official order to the police forces to shoot civilians on sight if they are deemed a “threat”. He also called on the public to inform on fellow civilians who are considered to act “suspiciously”. This is an attempt to divide society and promote internal conflict between ethnic groups, and stimulate anti-Kurdish racism.

The mobs are organising themselves across social media, forming groups and attacking homes known to belong to Kurdish families. Attacks on 128 HDP offices have occurred with HDP signs and slogans ripped off and replaced with the Turkish flag. Other offices have been set on fire. Mobs are stopping local buses travelling between cities and checking civilian identity cards to determine who is Kurdish or not. When the bus drivers have attempted to drive off to escape the angry mobs, the police intervened and stopped the buses leading to further attacks against the buses, drivers and civilians. In some cases, the police have participated in the attacks with the fascist mobs against the Kurdish civilians.

The attacks on Kurdish homes, civilians and neighbourhoods are still ongoing and hundreds of thousands of Kurds in these major cities are currently in direct danger.

We call on the international community to stand with the Kurds in light of these disturbing and clearly coordinated attacks, and to act immediately to call on the Erdogan government to end its violent, racist and divisive policies.

Kurdistan National Congress – KNK

Written by Andrew Coates

September 9, 2015 at 11:36 am

Shilan Ozcelik, Kurdish Volunteer, on Trial for Trying to Join Fight Against Islamic State.

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Shilan Ozcelik Trial Begins at the Old Bailey – First PKK Trial in Over a Decade.

Kurdistan Tribune.

Kurdish woman Shilan Ozcelik, who was arrested in January for allegedly attempting to join the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), will appear in court on Monday 7 September, 10am, for the first day of her trial.

The 18 year old was charged with ‘engaging in conduct in preparation to for giving an effect to an intention to commit acts of terrorism’ under section 5 (10) (a) of the Terrorism Act 2006 and has been held on remand in Holloway prison since early March.

Her arrest and charge was met with outrage by the Kurdish community in the UK and supporters of the Kurdish struggle, who condemned it as a blatant example of selective and political criminalisation of the Kurdish community, which has continued since the PKK was listed as a ‘terrorist organisation’ in 2000.

We reject this labelling of the PKK, which we believe confuses the Kurdish people’s legitimate struggle for self-determination with terrorism and has the effect of criminalising anyone in the Kurdish community who is part of peaceful political activity. We know that Shilan has never committed any act of violence and poses no threat to the people of this country. As such, we reiterate our call for the charges against her to be dropped.

Her arrest also came at the height of the ISIS siege on Kobane, Rojava, when the YPG and YPG, the Kurdish self-defence forces, resisted a fierce onslaught which garnered them international recognition. These forces, along with the PKK, have been coordinating with the US authorities to fight ISIS in northern Syria, despite the terrorism designation that looks increasingly nonsensical.

The PKK was, until the end of July, holding to a two-year long ceasefire while early stage negotiations between PKK leadership and the Turkish government were taking place. The party has made numerous statements declaring their commitment to a peaceful resolution to the Kurdish question in Turkey, and currently plays a key role in the stabilisation of northern Syria and Iraq. Given this context, the arrest of a young Kurdish woman for allegedly attempting to join the fight against ISIS seems more than a little contradictory.

Peace in Kurdistan Campaign has begun a postcard campaign calling for the government to drop the charges against Shilan. We aim to send hundred of postcards to land on the Home Office doorstep and we need as many people as possible to send them.

Contact us on estella24@tiscali.co.uk  / knklondon@gn.apc.org and we will send you a set of cards.

Woman in court for alleged PKK ties.

Morning Star.

Monday 7th Lamiat Sabin.

A WOMAN accused of terrorism-related activity is set to appear at the Old Bailey today in the first trial involving the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in more than a decade.

Shilan Ozcelik was arrested in January for allegedly attempting to join the PKK, designated a terrorist group by Britain in 2001.

The 18-year-old from Highbury, north London, is charged with “engaging in conduct in preparation to and for giving an effect to an intention to commit acts of terrorism” under the Terrorism Act 2006.

Ms Ozcelik has been held on remand since March in Holloway Prison after she was arrested at Stansted Airport while returning from Syria on suspicion of travelling to fight against the so-called Islamic State (Isis).

She is also accused of attempting to join the Women’s Protection Units of the PKK.

Ms Ozcelik and her family claimed that she had gone to Syria to be an aid worker.

The Kurdish community in Britain criticised the charge as a “blatant example of selective and political criminalisation.”

“We know that Shilan has never committed any act of violence and poses no threat to the people of this country.

“As such, we reiterate our call for the charges against her to be dropped,” the Peace in Kurdistan Campaign said in a statement.

“We reject this labelling of the PKK (as terrorist), which we believe confuses the Kurdish people’s legitimate struggle for self-determination with terrorism and has the effect of criminalising anyone in the Kurdish community who is part of peaceful political activity.”

Turkey broke a ceasefire with the PKK last month after a strong showing by Kurdish political party HDP in recent elections.

More information on the campaign:

Free Shilan! Drop the charges!

Meanwhile in Turkey:

Racist attacks on HDP offices and Kurds across Turkish cities.

ANF news Desk.

September the 8th.

Large numbers of racist groups have started a Kurd-hunt in a number of Turkish cities, in which some 126 offices of the HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) were attacked across the country since yesterday.

Large numbers of racist groups have started a Kurd-hunt in a number of Turkish cities, in which some 126 offices of the HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) were attacked across the country since yesterday.

Police took no action against the aggressive assailants who blamed HDP for the current situation in Turkey, without ever mentioning the role of the AKP despite it clearly stating that “None of these would have happened if we had won 400 seats in the parliament”.

Still unable to accept the results of the June 7 elections and pointing at HDP as the responsible side for the ongoing conflict, government officials, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu in the first place, keep making statements provoking attacks of avenge against the party, as well as the Kurdish population in the country and the Kurdish armed movement, PKK, which voiced numerous calls for peace and negotiations even after the ending of the solution process due to the AKP’s failure to win what it desired.

Local racist groups are also promoted and reportedly supported by the AKP that faced a big disappointment in the elections in which HDP received 13 percent of the votes across the country and thus didn’t allow AKP to come to the power alone.


Many extreme nationalists attacked in large groups on the HDP, DBP buildings and the mainly Kurdish inhabited neighbourhoods in many districts of Ankara last night.


A large group of racists attacked the DBP headquarters in Balgat district of Ankara by throwing stones and chanting racist slogans against the Kurds at around 20:00 yesterday evening. While police forces did not intervene the attack, the signboard of the party was broken down by the group. The action of the racists in front of the DBP building lasted until 02:00.


In Beypazarı district of Ankara, another large group marched from the district centre to Zafer neighbourhood where mainly Kurdish people live and attacked the houses and shops of the Kurdish citizens, setting fire to some of the houses and vehicles. While the Kurdish people in the neighbourhood responded to attacks with self-defence, the racist group reportedly used guns against the Kurds, leaving 7 persons wounded.

While police intervened the scene only in the early morning hours, tension remains high in the district. HDP Beypazarı branch co-chair Abdu Öner said although the situation is relatively calm in the district as of the morning hours, some Kurdish families are leaving the district as the threat continues.


A large group of racists gathered also in the city centre of Ankara last night and marched to Tuzluçayır district of the city known as a leftist settlement. The group attempted to enter the neighbourhoods where Kurdish, Alevi and leftist people live, intensifying their attacks mainly on Aktaş neighbourhood where many Kurdish people live, but faced a strong resistance by the people waging self-defence. The racist attacks were repulsed and the racist group had to leave the district as the youth held vigil in the district during the night against further attacks. In the meantime, police did not intervene the incidents, but rather accompanied the racist group from the city centre to Tuzluçayır.


In another development, a group of racists attacked on the HDP Keçiören office breaking the windows and taking the signboard of the party down. The group attempted to enter into the building until late hours, and left the scene after hanging a Turkish flag on the building.


Getting organised through social media, a group of racist assailants first attacked HDP building in Erdemli district of Mersin and then attacked the houses and shops of the Kurdish people in the district. Two vehicles owned by Kurdish citizens were set on fire in front of the police forces, while the group also attempted to burn three houses of Kurds. While the fire department and police did not intervene the scene, the racists further threatened the Kurdish people with killing them.

In the meantime, another racist group closed the highway between Mersin and Antalya and stopped the buses belonging to companies from Amed, Van and Mardin and held ID checks in the buses in an attempt to figure out the Kurdish people.

The attackers damaged the buses and also attacked the drivers. Some drivers who had to drive on the group to flee the scene were stopped by police, paving the way for further attacks on the buses.


HDP headquarters in the southern city of Antalya also became the target of Turkish racist groups. While five persons remained stuck in the building during the attack, the party members arriving at the scene were also attacked by the fascist mob and police forces. 10 people were wounded in the incidents, while one person, O. Çakmak was seriously injured by a knife from the back. Çakmak still remains in a life-threatening condition in the hospital where he was operated.


Racist groups in Konya also attacked the buildings of HDP and Ronahi –Der, a gathering point of Kurdish students in the city, while another group targeted the Kurdish workers in Ilgın district.

A group gathered in Konya bus station in the evening hours and marched to HDP building in an attempt to set the building on fire. The group broke the door to enter the building while HDP executives were inside. The group had to leave the scene after an intervention by police teams.

Another group directed at Ronahi-Der in Karatay district and set the building on fire before continuing to march in the neighbourhoods where mainly Kurdish people live.

In Ilgın district of Konya, racist groups targeted around 400-500 Kurdish citizens, who came to district from the Kurdish cities to work in the construction of buildings. The workers did not respond in order not to flame the incidents, but had to defend themselves as the attacks increased. Two Kurdish workers were reportedly injured in the attacks that lasted until late hours.

The workers demanded to be evacuated from the district following the incidents, but the district governor told that they could only be evacuated in 3-4 days. The workers said they did not have any life security as there were no measures taken by security forces and concerned authorities.


A group of around two thousand racists attacked the HDP building in Isparta, leaving big material damage inside. The group threw down the chairs inside from the windows and then set the office on fire. The group then escaped from the scene by chanting the slogan “Martyrs are immortal, our land is indivisible”.


In the western province of Muğla, a university student was attacked by a racist group with knieves, leaving him injured in many parts of his body. The student was taken to Fethiye Public Hospital after the attack.


A group of around 100-150 racist assailants attempted to burn down the HDP building in Malatya, entering the passage where the office of the party is located, and breaking down the iron doors before police forces standing there, who also accompanied the group in hanging Turkish flags on the building.


In another western city of Balıkesir, a group of racists entered the HDP building and first damaged the furniture inside, then threw down the chairs from the balcony and then set the office on fire. The group then dispersed from the scene, while the police did not intervene.


HDP offices in İzmir city center as well as ddistricts of Bergama, Dikili, Kemalpaşa and Buca were also targeted by attacks of racist mobs on the excuse of the Dağlıca incident which left 31 soldiers dead, including one staff lieutenant colonel, and 6 others wounded.

While the assailants were not intervened or stopped by police here either, groups raided HDP offices and burned flags of the party, while also rallying in Selçuk and Atatürk neighborhoods from which they were later repelled by the self-defense of Kurdish citizens.

Written by Andrew Coates

September 8, 2015 at 11:58 am