Turkish government to debate reforms as Kurdish pressure mounts

By Gulsen Solaker ANKARA |  Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:15am EDT 

(Reuters) – Turkey’s government is expected to begin debating a package of long-awaited reforms next week aimed at bolstering Kurdish rights and boosting democracy, a step which could help keep a fragile peace process on track.

The cabinet will discuss the “democratization package” – whose proposals range from wider Kurdish-language education to changes to anti-terror laws – at its meeting next Monday, a senior justice ministry official told Reuters.



Kurdish PYD leader to visit Turkey again

PYD leader Salih Muslim will meet with Turkey for the fourth time after two prior meetings on Cairo and one in Istanbul. 

The agenda for the meeting with PYD leader Salih Muslim this week will include the latest situation in Syria and the repercussions of the issues discussed during the previous meeting held in Istanbul.

Muslim is expected to arrive in Ankara this time and again meet with foreign ministry officials.

Turkish officials had met with Muslim two previous times in Cairo, and once in Istanbul at the end of July.



Syria’s FSA must distance itself from al-Nusra, Kurdish leader says

“The FSA has now announced that it did not regard al-Nusra among its membership. However, some troops still side with al-Nusra,” PYD leader Salih Muslim said. 



Turkey Signals More Pragmatic Approach to Syria’s Kurds 

by Dorian Jones, Voice of America, 12 August 2013  

When Syrian Kurds announced their intention to declare an autonomous state, Ankara reacted with anger and threats and deployed its army along the border. But in what is seen as a remarkable change in stance, it recently hosted a meeting with the leader of the Democratic Union Party, or PYD, a Syrian Kurdish group it had earlier labeled a terrorist organization.

The Turkish foreign ministry made headlines last month when it hosted PYD leader Salih Muslim for a series of high-level diplomatic meetings in Istanbul. Both sides described the meetings as positive, and further meetings are reportedly set for later this week. Amberin Zaman,  a columnist for the Turkish newspaper Taraf, describes the diplomatic move as groundbreaking.



Syria rebels pass ‘Kurd hostages to jihadists’

(AFP) BEIRUT — Syrian rebel fighters kidnapped 13 Kurds in the northern province of Aleppo on Sunday, turning them over to jihadist fighters already holding 250 abducted Kurds, an NGO said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the 13 were snatched at a roadblock in the Sfeira region of Aleppo and passed them on to Al-Nusra Front, a jihadist group affiliated with Al-Qaeda. Al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), another Al-Qaeda-linked group operating in Syria, have abducted more than 250 Syrian Kurds since the end of July.



Iraqi Kurd president says ready to defend Kurds in Syria

BAGHDAD |  Sat Aug 10, 2013 10:30am EDT 

(Reuters) – Iraqi Kurdistan is ready to defend Kurds living in Syria <http://www.reuters.com/places/syria>  if it is found that they are being threatened by al Qaeda-linked fighters involved in the Syrian civil war, the president of the well-armed autonomous region said. In a letter posted online on Saturday, Masoud Barzani said he had directed Kurdish representatives to go to neighboring Syria <http://www.reuters.com/places/syria?lc=int_mb_1001>  to investigate news reports that the “terrorists of al Qaeda are attacking the civilian population and slaughtering innocent Kurdish women and children.”



Syria: the Kurdish question, the Islamists and the FSA

Posted on July 22, 2013 <http://syriafreedomforever.wordpress.com/2013/07/22/syria-the-kurdish-question-the-islamists-and-the-fsa/> 

No to sectarism… No to racism… Our Revolution is the revolution of dignity and freedom

These last few days have seen an expansion of fighting’s between Kurdish militias on one side, from the Popular Protection Units (YPG), the armed wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is the Syrian emanation of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the Islamist groups, al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on the other side in the North East of Syria where the Kurdish population is the majority. This region of Syria is also a strategic oil-rich care and also serves as a transit point between Syria and Turkey, where all kinds of goods, including weapons, and men pass.

Syria Freedom Forever  <http://syriafreedomforever.wordpress.com/> http://syriafreedomforever.wordpress.com/2013/07/22/syria-the-kurdish-question-the-islamists-and-the-fsa/#more-4047


Engineering Potential Disaster in Syria

The old saying goes be careful what you wish for. You may get more than you bargained for. Washington’s wars often don’t turn out as planned. Middle East, North African, Eurasian countries are embroiled in conflict. No end game looms. Unresolved conflicts continue. Escalation’s likely. US-sponsored death squads infest the region. They commit mass murder and destruction.

Official silence followed Al Nusra militants massacring 450 Kurdish civilians. The mainstream media reported nothing. Mostly women and children were slaughtered. Assad’s often blamed for terrorist crimes.

Engineering Potential Disaster in Syria


Iran Kurds sending fighters to ‘help their brothers’ in Syria

Special to WorldTribune.com

NICOSIA — Iranian Kurdish fighters said they would be deployed in Syria to help establish an autonomous region near the Turkish border. The Party of Free Life in Kurdistan said it would send fighters to join their counterparts in northern Syria. In a statement, Free Life, known as the Iranian branch of the Kurdish Workers Party, said the Syrian Kurds were under threat from both the regime of President Bashar Assad as well as the Free Syrian Army.



CIA Gun-running, Qatar-Libya-Syria

By Phil Greaves <http://www.globalresearch.ca/author/phil-greaves> 

A report from CNN’s Jake Tapper <http://thelead.blogs.cnn.com/2013/08/01/exclusive-dozens-of-cia-operatives-on-the-ground-during-benghazi-attack/>  has reintroduced “Benghazi-Gate” to the US media spotlight. The report claims that “dozens” of CIA operatives were on the ground in Benghazi on the night of the attack, and the CIA is going to great lengths to suppress details of them and their whereabouts being released. The report alleges that the CIA is engaged in “unprecedented” attempts to stifle employee leaks, and “intimidation” to keep the secrets of Benghazi hidden, allegedly going as far as changing the names <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2383654/Congressman-cries-cover-claims-Obama-administration-hiding-Benghazi-witnesses-relocating-giving-new-identities.html>  of CIA operatives and “dispersing” them around the country.

One suspects this has a single and defined purpose – to hide the CIA’s culpability in supplying arms to known extremists in Libya and Syria. Moreover, the CNN report alludes to the CIA supplying “surface-to-air missiles” from Benghazi to rebels in Syria, but this may only be the tip of the iceberg. 



Campaign Launched in Yoğurtçu to Support Rojava

İstanbul – BIA News Desk, 08 August 2013

A group of people has launched a campaign in Istanbul’s Yoğurtçu Park, accepting medicine and dry foods donations in order to support people in Rojava – Syria’s Kurdish region. The campaign was initially launched on August 4, after Al Nusra Front has committed a series of massacres on Kurdish people in Rojava, Syria. Volunteers set up a #direnrojava (resistrojava) desk in Istanbul’s Yoğurtçu Park, accepting medicine and dry foods donations. Volunteers are reportedly working on to spread to other forums in Istanbul’s various parks. 



PERVIN BULDAN : PKK leaders expected to return to Turkey from Iraqi Kurdistan 

August 10, 2013 – ERBIL, Sherzad Shekhani, Erbil – Asharq Al-Awsat –  Kurdish youth and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leaders are expected to return to Turkey to participate in the country’s political process in a step marking the third stage of the Turkish–Kurdish peace process, deputy chief of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Pervin Buldan was quoted by Istanbul’s Radikal newspaper as saying.

“The peace process is ongoing. . . . We will enter the third and final stage, which is the most important one. This stage will witness the return of our youth and the PKK leaders from Mount Qandil to Turkey in order to participate in the political process.”

Buldan expressed her thanks to the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government for supporting the formation of a Kurdish state in “Western Kurdistan,” in Syria. She also expressed hope that “Turkey’s Kurds will soon obtain similar freedom.”A senior figure in the PKK who spoke on the condition of anonymity denied reports that Turkey was providing any sort of support to the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syrian Kurdistan.



Öcalan: Process will work if both sides work

ANF – Bursa 13.08.2013 15:41:11

Speaking about the meeting he had with Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan, his brother Mehmet said the Kurdish leader underlined that without a genuine engagement by the Turkish government progress in the process towards a solution to the Kurdish question will be very hard. Öcalan told his brother that “having managed to spare lives for 8 months now is very important, but the process is not unilateral. For it to work the government should take its responsibility and its share of work”. Öcalan added that he will continue to do his best for the process to succeed but underlined that “this alone will not provide a solution. The government must act”.



Interview with Alexandra, Viviana and Maritza

FARC-EP Peace Delegation * – La Habana 10.08.2013 11:13:54

We publish here an interview with three women guerrillas and members of the FARC-EP Peace Delegation, Alexandra Nariño, Viviana Hernández and Maritza Sánchez.

The interview was first published in the FARC-EP Peace Delegation webpage and can be found at:




International Jihad and the Syrian Conflict 

Aaron Y. Zelin <http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/experts/view/aaron-y.-zelin> 

Fair Observer August 7, 2013

Nicholas Heras, a contributing editor and analyst at Fair Observer, speaks with Washington Institute fellow Aaron Zelin about the Syrian civil war and foreign jihadi fighters.



VIDEO: Syrians protest against al-Raqqa’s new rulers 

Al Jazeerea Published on Aug 12, 2013 

Syrians in al-Raqqa, a stronghold for fighters linked to al-Qaeda, are holding protests against their new rulers.They are accusing the fighters of abuses and unjustified detentions.The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, one of al Qaeda’s two official affiliates operating in Syria, has imposed its authority in the northern city for the past four months.Al-Raqqa is the only provincial capital no longer under the government’s control.Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr reports from Antakya, Turkey.

Syrians in al-Raqqa, a stronghold for fighters linked to al-Qaeda, are holding protests against their new rulers.They are accusing the fighters of abuses and unjustified detentions.The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, one of al Qaeda’s two official affiliates operating in Syria, has imposed its authority in the northern city for the past four months.Al-Raqqa is the only provincial capital no longer under the government’s control.Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr reports from Antakya, Turkey.

WATCH: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRWdd_kboZw&sns=em


Al-Qaeda: A Force for “Good”   

By KANI XULAM <http://rudaw.net/english/authors/kani_xulam>     9/8/2013   

Trouble is ominously brewing in the once-quiet, northeastern Kurdish corner of Syria where violent terrorist groups affiliated with al-Qaeda, Jabhat al-Nusrah and Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) have begun cold-bloodedly attacking the Kurds.  Bloodthirsty beheadings, reminiscent of Nick Berg, the American cruelly carved up in Iraq in 2004, horrifically bloat today’s Kurdish news.  Kurds are alarmed.Americans should be too. But America is closing its eyes—and closing its embassies around the world in the face of Al-Qaeda inspired terrorist threats.

Puzzled Kurds have asked me why America is so indifferent to the Kurdish beheadings, especially when these same “disciples of enforced ignorance” attacked Americans only a decade ago.  I wonder too, and paraphrase Heraclitus who said, “Character is destiny,” and tell them: “Geography is destiny.”