NEWS
1. High Stakes for Erdogan In Turkish Talks With PKK
2. New BDP delegation may go to Imrali next week
3. Two party assembly members resign, press officer fired for leak, BDP says
4. HPG: Prisoners to be released tomorrow
5. Hearing of Kurdish politicians going on in Istanbul
6. Kurds welcome British genocide statement
7. Syrian Kurdish Militia Takes Over Oil Fields
8. Mohsen Rezaee officially announced to be a candidate for the Iranian presidential election in eastern Kurdistan
9. Over 50 Kurdish activists arrested in Iran

COMMENT, OPINION AND ANALYSIS
10. The Democratic Union Party (PYD) Factor Forces Turkey to Have a Peace Process with the PKK
11. Unprecedented Turns On Turkey’s Kurdish Question
12. The Kurds Are for the Kurds: Syria’s other combatants
13. Turkey and the Kurds: the era of mass hypnosis is over
14. Women of Rojava building a free society

ACTIONS
15. Early Day Motion: Turkey and the Kurds – Peace Talks
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NEWS

1. High Stakes for Erdogan In Turkish Talks With PKK
8 March 2013 / Al Monitor
The leaking of the “Imrali minutes” has not dampened Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s desire to press on with the peace talks with Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed head of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) who is serving a life sentence on the Island of Imrali. Erdogan has vowed to “drink poison hemlock” for the sake of peace. Meanwhile, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), which some see as the political wing of the PKK, and which is acting as an intermediary between Ocalan and PKK elements in Europe and the Kandil Mountains in Northern Iraq, has said it is willing to go the full distance for the success of the talks.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/03/erdogan-talks-ocalan-pkk-kurdish-peace-process-turkey.html
 
2. New BDP delegation may go to Imrali next week
8 March 2013 / Today’s Zaman
Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Deputy Chairman Hüseyin Çelik has said a new delegation of Kurdish lawmakers may travel to Imrali Island next week to meet with the imprisoned leader of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). However, it is not certain who will be included in the new delegation.
 “The visit may come next week. I am not sure if it may be extended to another date such as two weeks later or so. The justice minister has not made a statement about the exact date of the visit, and I will not utter a date, either,” Çelik told reporters on Thursday evening.
http://www.todayszaman.com/news-309190-new-bdp-delegation-may-go-to-imrali-next-week.html

3. Two party assembly members resign, press officer fired for leak, BDP says
12 March 2012 / Hurriyet
Two members of the Peace and Democracy Party’s (BDP) party assembly have resigned while a press officer has been dismissed following the leakage of the content of talks with the head of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the party said today. M. Rauf Kocaman and Resul Baykara, both members of the BDP party assembly, resigned from their posts in self-criticism over the responsibility for the leaking of documents, the party said in a statement to the Hürriyet Daily News. At the same time, press officer Ali Özgüç was dismissed from his post for sharing the contents of the talks without first notifying the party.
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/two-party-assembly-members-resign-press-officer-fired-for-leak-bdp-says.aspx?pageID=238&nID=42826&NewsCatID=338
 
4. HPG: Prisoners to be released tomorrow
12 March 2013 / ANF
People’s Defense Forces (HPG) has announced that the eight prisoners it is holding will be released and handed over to the delegation on Wednesday.
A six-person delegation which left Diyarbakir on Monday has arrived in Hewler on Tuesday. The delegation includes Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputies Sebahat Tuncel, Hüsamettin Zenderlioglu and Adil Kurt, as well as Human Rights Association (IHD) President Öztürk Türkdogan, IHD Diyarbakir Branch Chair Raci Bilici and MAZLUMDER Chairman Ahmet Faruk Ünsal.
http://en.firatnews.com/news/news/hpg-prisoners-to-be-released-tomorrow-flash.htm

5. Hearing of Kurdish politicians going on in Istanbul
12 March 2013 / Dicle News Agency
The sixth session of the fourth hearing of “KCK” Istanbul main lawsuit of 205 Kurdish politicians of them 118 arrested including politicians, academicians, writers, human rights defenders, is going on. The hearing is going on with the TRT reporter’s reading of 2400-papered averment. The sixth of session of the fourth hearing of “KCK” Istanbul main lawsuit of 205 Kurdish politicians, of them 118 arrested, who were taken into custody in the military raids to lots of BDP buildings, politicy academies, homes and other foundations related to Kurds on 5-28 October 2011 in Istanbul, is going on in Istanbul 15th High Penalty Courthouse. 111 arrested indictees, families and lawyers stood by in the hearing.
http://www.diclehaber.com/2/22/1/viewNews/343836

6. Kurds welcome British genocide statement
8 March 2013 / UPI
Britain established its reputation as an international leader by formally recognizing Saddam Hussein’s regime committed genocide in Iraq, a Kurdish leader said.
The British Parliament last week voted unanimously to recognize the genocide of the Kurdish people by Iraq’s government under Saddam.
Ali Hassan al-Majid, an Iraqi defense minister under the former Baathist regime, was executed in January 2010 for ordering chemical weapons attacks on the Kurdish population in 1988 as part of the so-called Anfal campaign. An estimated 5,000 people were killed during the assault, earning Majid the nickname Chemical Ali.
http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Special/2013/03/08/Kurds-welcome-British-genocide-statement/UPI-63351362762605/

7. Syrian Kurdish Militia Takes Over Oil Fields
7 March 2013 / Al Monitor
In the beginning of March, a Kurdish militia took over oil fields and installations in northeastern Syria, declaring their willingness to share the resources with the Syrian opposition if the Kurds would get their own share. With the ongoing civil war between Syrian government forces and Arab rebels, a Syrian Kurdish party called the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its militia, the Kurdish People’s Defence Units (YPG), are increasingly using the power vacuum to create a form of Kurdish autonomy similar to that which Iraqi Kurds enjoy. The PYD has set up local councils, security forces and Kurdish-language schools, creating a parallel government in the north of Syria.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/03/power-vacuum-oil-fields-syria-kurdish-militia-pyd.html

8. Mohsen Rezaee officially announced to be a candidate for the Iranian presidential election in eastern Kurdistan
10 March 2013 / Roj Helat
The secretary general of Expediency Discernment Council addressed the people of Divandareh in the city’s Grand Mosque: “I have been asked several time whether I will participate in the scene of presidential election or not, and I had postponed the answer to this question to the appropriate time and place, and today, among the people of Divandareh in Kurdistan province I announce that I will participate in the forthcoming presidential election.”
http://rojhelat.info/en/?p=5436

9. Over 50 Kurdish activists arrested in Iran
12 March 2013 / ANF
Based on official statistics more than 50 civil and political activists have been arrested by Iranian security forces during last two months. In recent days a new wave of arrest has been started specially in cities such as Pawe, Mehabad and Sne (Sanandaj). Iran’s Islamic Regime has intensified its pressure on Kurdish activists by illegal and mass arrests, issuing death penalty and abusing families of prisoners.
http://en.firatnews.com/news/news/over-50-kurdish-activists-arrested-in-iran.htm

COMMENT, OPINION AND ANALYSIS

10. The Democratic Union Party (PYD) Factor Forces Turkey to Have a Peace Process with the PKK
11 March 2013 / Kurdish Aspect
Let me be clear. I am for peace, and I support any step toward the peace process, because innocent people are paying the price. Therefore, I salute the BDP (Kurdish Peace Democratic Party), the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party), and even the Turkish government for their courage in trying to end violence and bloodshed, but let’s be honest and not delude ourselves. Based on what we have seen and what has been done in the past, this recent fanfare is an effort to discredit the BDP and to encourage division between the Kurdish parties or groups such as the BDP, the PKK, the KCK (Union of Communities in Kurdistan), and the new Kurdish religious party, the Huda-Par Party.
http://www.kurdishaspect.com/doc031113AM.html

11. Unprecedented Turns On Turkey’s Kurdish Question
11 March 2013 / Al Monitor
Cengiz Candar: Turkey is a dazzling country. For years, I have been saying that nobody can claim to be an “expert on Turkey.” Developments in the last couple of months have proven how right I was. Actually anyone can reach the same conclusion by looking at two photographs I saw. A photograph printed on the first pages of Turkish dailies in July caused a furor. Two women members of the parliament from the Peace and Democracy Party [BDP] known to be following the line of the notorious PKK and accepted as a Kurdish party in the parliament that is perceived as “Turkey’s Sinn Fein” were in the photograph. One of them is the current co-chair of BDP and the other was the previous co-chair. They were photographed embracing armed PKK militants who had cut off a road and were checking identifications at a point near the Iraqi border.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/03/kurdish-issue-turkey-developments-ocalan-bdp-pkk-ceasefire.html

12. The Kurds Are for the Kurds: Syria’s other combatants
8 March 2013 / The Weekly Standard
In northeast Syria, from the border with Iraq to the disputed town of Seri Kaniyah, a de facto Kurdish autonomous region has emerged. The area, known to the Kurds as western Kurdistan, is ruled by the Democratic Union party (PYD). This is the Syrian franchise of the Kurdistan Workers’ party (PKK), which has been waging a military campaign against Turkey since 1984. The Kurds’ creation and successful defense of this area has largely been ignored in media coverage of Syria, with attention focused farther south and west, on the battle between the forces of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and the rebel insurgency.
http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/kurds-are-kurds_706670.html
 
13. Turkey and the Kurds: the era of mass hypnosis is over
7 March 2013 / Guardian
Since the start of this year, the Justice and Development party (AKP) has emerged from what looked like an impasse over Turkey’s three-decade-long Kurdish conflict. The pace of change has been intense. But slow-motion progress in the background has often been overlooked: over the course of 15 years the public debate, backed by small-scale reforms, has evolved from the archaic militarist jargon of “there are no Kurds here, only mountain Turks”. Ankara is now conducting direct negotiations with the jailed PKK leader, Abdullah Ocalan – once demonised as a baby killer and chief terrorist by a venomously nationalist “mainstream” media.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/07/turkey-kurds-recep-tayyip-erdogan

14. Women of Rojava building a free society
9 March 2013 / ANF
Kurdish women in Rojava intend to build a new society in the political, economic, social and diplomatic areas as well. Just like in all parts of Kurdistan and the Middle East, the freedom struggle of women has been led by Kurdish women in Syria and West Kurdistan as well. The long-lasting and challenging struggle of Kurdish women, for which they have paid great prices, have led to the creation of a great organization as well as the establishment of  a democratic society. The history of the organized struggle of women in Lebanon, West Kurdistan and Syria began with Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan’s arrival at the Syrian territory. They carried out significant works in the areas of life, society and philosophy within the period of 20 years when Öcalan stayed in this territory where he took significant steps concerning the reality of women and described women as the “leading power of life”.
http://en.firatajans.com/news/news/women-of-rojava-building-a-free-society.htm
 
ACTIONS

15. Early Day Motion: Turkey and the Kurds – Peace Talks, 27 February 2013.
An Early Day Motion (EDM) has been tabled in Parliament calling for the UK government to support peace negotiations with all legitimate representatives of the Kurdish movement, and also calls for the release of Adem Uzun.
Write to your MP and urge them to sign the EDM!
http://peaceinkurdistancampaign.wordpress.com/activities/parliamentary-lobbying/
 
Peace in Kurdistan
Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question
Email: [email protected]
www.peaceinkurdistancampaign.wordpress.com
Contacts Estella Schmid 020 7586 5892 & Melanie  Sirinathsingh – Tel: 020 7272 7890
Fax: 020 7263 0596
Patrons: Lord Avebury, Lord Rea, Lord Dholakia, Baroness Sarah Ludford MEP, Jill Evans MEP, Jean Lambert MEP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Hywel Williams MP, Elfyn Llwyd MP, Conor Murphy MP, John Austin, Bruce Kent, Gareth Peirce, Julie Christie, Noam Chomsky, John Berger, Edward Albee, Margaret Owen OBE, Prof Mary Davis, Mark Thomas

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