Turkish police used water cannons to disrupt Kurdish demonstrations in the southeastern part of the country. Powerful gusts of water sent many Kurds fleeing as police enforced a ban on early Newroz or Persian New Year celebrations. Kurds responded by setting off firecrackers and hurling stones and Molotov cocktails at police patrols. Over the weekend, one local politician died in the protests in Diyarbakir and Istanbul , a sign of rising tension ahead of the New Year which starts on Wednesday. Newroz is celebrated throughout the Middle East. Deborah Gembara, Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/video/2012/03/20/kurdish-protesters-clash-with-police?videoId=232035110&feedType=VideoRSS&feedName=TopNews&videoChannel=1
Kurds clash with police in eastern Turkey on Sunday amid Newroz celebrations, which authorities said are only permitted on the 21 of March. The clashes broke out when Kurdish demonstrations insisted on taking part in early celebrations for the traditional Kurdish New Year. Police fired water cannon and tear gas, while demonstrations retaliated by hurling stones. Violence also erupted in Istanbul, where police fired smoke grenades towards demonstrators, and chased protesters along a main highway in Turkey’s biggest city. Newroz is also celebrated in Iran, northern Iraq and central Asia as the beginning of spring. It often sparks clashes between Turkish security forces and supporters of the Kurdistan Workers Party, which took up arms in 1984 to carve out a Kurdish ethnic homeland in southeastern Turkey. Around 12 to 14 million people out of Turkey’s population of 70 million are Kurdish. Travis Brecher, Reuters  http://www.reuters.com/video/2012/03/18/clashes-in-turkey-amid-kurdish-festiviti?videoId=231894510&videoChannel=1
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Turkish police used water cannons, tear gas, smoke grenades and baton charges to break up Kurdish demonstrations across the country on Sunday and one local politician died in the protests, a sign of rising tension ahead of the Kurdish New Year next week. Turkey’s pro-Kurdish party and Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) armed militants have both called for large demonstrations for Newroz, the Kurdish New Year that begins on March 21, sensing the government, which has strongly backed Arab uprisings, may be vulnerable to pressure from street protests. Both the legal Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and the PKK are demanding a level of autonomy for the mainly Kurdish southeast of the country. http://www.reuters.com/video/2012/03/18/at-least-one-dead-as-turkish-police-figh?videoId=231899237&videoChannel=1
 
 Special News-File on the KURDISH HUNGER STRIKE  – http://kurdishfreedom.wordpress.com/
 NEWS
1.  PETITION: HEAR THE CALL FOR HELP OF THE KURDIS FROM TURKEY
2.  HEALTH OF HUNGER STRIKERS DETERIORATES
3. Swoboda calls on Turkey to negotiate with PKK
4. KURDISH POLITICAL ACTIVISTS BEGIN HUNGER STRIKE IN TRAFALGAR SQUARE IN LONDON
5. SUPPORT OF ILPS FOR THE DEMANDS OF THE 400 KURDISH POLITICAL PRISONERS 
6. THE NEW YORKER NEWSPAPER: THE HUNGER STRIKE
7. THOUSANDS OF KURDS ACROSS EUROPE START HUNGER-STRIKE
8. HUNGER-STRIKE AT GERMANY & BELGIUM
9. HUNGER-STRIKE AT BUCHAREST FOR ÖCALAN
10. HUNGER STRIKE BEGUN IN COLOGNE / GERMANY
11. A MESSAGE FROM IMRALI
12. INFORMATION FILE ON INDEFINITE KURDISH HUNGER STRIKE
13. PUBLIC STATEMENT OF AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
14. HUNGER STRIKERS SENT LETTER TO INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS
15. JAILED MP ON HUNGER STRIKE PUNISHED
16. PRESS RELEASE: MESSAGE OF THE INDEFINITE-IRREVERSIBLE HUNGER STRIKES
 1. PETITION: HEAR THE CALL FOR HELP OF THE KURDIS FROM TURKEY
http://www.petitions24.net/soutenir_les_grevistes_de_la_faim_kurdes
To : Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland
Secretary General of the Council of Europe
Avenue de l’Europe, 67075 Strasbourg
PETITION
Subject: Hear the call for help of the Kurds from Turkey
Mr. Secretary General,
Since 2009, in absolute violation of the most basic democratic rights and freedoms, the Turkish government has jailed nearly 9,000 Kurds, including 6 Members of Parliament, 31 mayors, 96 journalists, 36 lawyers, 183 leaders of the BDP (Party for Peace and Democracy), trade unionists, human rights defenders, students and nearly 2,000 children, known as “stone throwing children”.Moreover, the Turkish army conducted military operations beyond the border with Iraq, in violation of international law. 41 civilians have been killed in these operations and chemical weapons were used. Read more ? http://kurdishfreedom.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/petition-hear-the-call-for-help-of-the-kurdis-from-turkey/
 
2. HEALTH OF HUNGER STRIKERS DETERIORATES  – 15 March 2012 / ANF
The hunger strikes carried out to demand better health, safe and freedom conditions for Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan continue in Diyarbakir, Izmir, Mersin, Istanbul and Nusaybin. It has been reported that hunger strikers’ health is deterioring every passing day in Diyarbakir. Members of the Association of Solidarity with Families of Prisoners (TUHAD-DER) in Diyarbakir have begun the fast nine days ago. On Monday a hunger striker fainted while on Tuesday two other hunger strikers were said to be in bad health by doctors. Read more ?
http://kurdishfreedom.wordpress.com/2012/03/15/health-of-hunger-strikers-deteriorates/ http://en.firatnews.eu/index.php?rupel=article&nuceID=4347
 3. Swoboda calls on Turkey to negotiate with PKK – 13 March 2012 / ANF
Socialist group leader Hannes Swoboda called on Turkish authorities to start negotiations with the PKK again. – In a press statement at the European Parliament, Socialist group leader Hannes Swoboda called on Turkish authorities to re-launch negotiations with the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) to overcome the problem of the Kurdish people. Read more ?
http://en.firatnews.org/index.php?rupel=article&nuceID=4343
4. KURDISH POLITICAL ACTIVISTS BEGIN HUNGER STRIKE IN TRAFALGAR SQUARE IN LONDON
PRESS RELEASE 14 March 2012
Twenty Kurdish activists in London have begun a hunger strike today, Wednesday  14 March at 8am. Fedbir, the Kurdish Federation UK, will be staging the hunger strike on the northern terrace of Trafalgar Square until the 17th of March, in parallel with similar actions which have been taking place within Turkey and across Europe. Hundreds of prisoners in Turkish jails, including imprisoned members of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party and other elected officials, have been on hunger strike since the end of February. The hunger strikes are a desperate plea to the Turkish government to halt the latest clampdown on Kurdish political organising and protest. In the last three years, some 8000 people – including elected MP’s mayors and local councillors, journalists, students, human rights activists, and academics – have been sent to prison in what Prime Minister Erdogan’s government refers to as counter-terrorism operations. Read more ?
http://kurdishfreedom.wordpress.com/2012/03/15/kurdish-political-activists-begin-hunger-strike-in-trafalgar-square-in-london-in-protest-against-repression-in-turkey/
 
5.  SUPPORT OF ILPS FOR THE DEMANDS OF THE 400 KURDISH POLITICAL PRISONERS 
ILPS Supports the Demands of the 400 Kurdish Political Prisoners
Currently on Hunger Strike in Turkish Prisons
The International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) extends its militant solidarity and support to the more than 400 political prisoners who are on hunger strike in sixteen (16) prisons in Turkey and Kurdistan who are demanding freedom for the Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Ocalan, the right to education in their mother language and an end to political repression and military operations by the Turkish government against the Kurdish people. Read more ?
http://kurdishfreedom.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/support-of-ilps-for-the-demands-of-the-400-kurdish-political-prisoners/
 
6. THE NEW YORKER NEWSPAPER: THE HUNGER STRIKE
March 9, 2012 Posted by Jenna Krajeski
Just before the midday clouds broke with snow on the first day of March, a large crowd, including nearly eighty mayors with the pro-Kurdish B.D.P. (Peace and Democracy Party), gathered in the backyard of the B.D.P. offices in the Kayapinar neighborhood of Diyarbakir, the second-largest city in southeastern Turkey. The office, a two-story house painted red, yellow, and green, the colors of the Kurdish flag, is set back from Diyabakir’s new wide highways by white metal fences whose barbed wire and spindly tree branches seemed to be the day’s only security. Along the path to the yard, someone had built a wood fire inside of a metal drum, and men huddled around it, smoking cigarettes and rubbing their hands together for warmth. Read more ?
http://kurdishfreedom.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/the-new-yorker-newspaper-the-hunger-strike/
7. THOUSANDS OF KURDS ACROSS EUROPE START HUNGER-STRIKE
News Centre – Thousands of Kurds in Europe gathered today to launch a two-day hunger-strike, in solidarity with the indefinite-irreversible hunger-strikes carried out by 15 people in Strasbourg and 400 hundred political prisoners in Turkey, 4 of which BDP (Peace and Democracy Party) MPs. While the 400 increased to 900 and reached its 25th day of hunger-strike, the 15 hunger-strikers in Strasbourg reached their 10th day of the indefinite hunger strike.
HUNGER-STRIKE BY OVER A 150 ASSOCIATIONS AND COMMITEES ACROSS EUROPE
Over a 150 associations and committees in Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and all across Europe initiated the two-day hunger-strike to call an end to the severe isolation of Abdullah Öcalan and for the recognition of political status for Kurds. The hunger-strikes are mostly initiated in groups of 15, 30 to 50. The number of participants is estimated to be between four thousand and five thousand. Read more ?
 http://kurdishfreedom.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/thousands-of-kurds-across-europe-start-hunger-strike/
 
8. HUNGER-STRIKE AT GERMANY & BELGIUM
ANF, 16:42 / 10 Mart 2012
News Centre – Thousands of Kurds in Europe gathered today to launch a two-day hunger-strike, in solidarity with the indefinite-irreversible hunger-strikes carried out by 15 people in Strasbourg and 400 hundred political prisoners in Turkey, 4 of which BDP (Peace and Democracy Party) MPs. Thousands gathered in Ludwigshafen, Antwerp, Belgium, Germany, while 83 people entered the two-day hunger strike in Russelsheim.
Over a 150 associations and committees across Europe initiated the two-day hunger-strike to call for an end to severe isolation of Abdullah Öcalan and for the recognition of political status for Kurds. The number of participants is estimated to be between four thousand and five thousand. Read more ?
http://kurdishfreedom.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/hunger-strike-at-germany-belgium/
9. HUNGER-STRIKE AT BUCHAREST FOR ÖCALAN
Bucharest – More than 50 people from the Kurdish Cultural Association in the Romanian capital Bucharest protested by initiating a hunger-strike, against the severe isolation carried out towards the PKK leader, Abdullah Öcalan. On Thursday the hunger-strike will end with a press conference. In hope to support the indefinite hunger strike initiated by 15 people in the cities of Strasbourg, France and also the 400 imprisoners amongst them MPs.  The hunger-strike commenced yesterday at 17:00 with a press release and will last for two-days. Those embracing the hunger-strike demand the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan and a political status for Kurdistan. The press-release asked the European Union and the Council of Europe not to remain silent and to take action against, the political-military operation implemented against the Kurdish people and the severe isolation of Abdullah Öcalan. Read more ?
http://kurdishfreedom.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/hunger-strike-at-bucharest-for-ocalan/
10. HUNGER STRIKE BEGUN IN COLOGNE / GERMANY
Six days fast in Köln/Cologne
A group of 50 people have started a six day hunger strike in the German city of Köln joining over four thousand people from some 150 organizations fasting in almost all European countries.
The hunger strikers are fasting in a tent in Rudolfplatz. They will also visit civil society organizations and political parties to present their demands. Seminars, music performances and film views will be performed in the tent where the hunger strike is taking place. Read more ?
http://kurdishfreedom.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/hunger-strike-begun-in-cologne-germany/
 11. A MESSAGE FROM IMRALI
Istanbul 14:58 / 03 March 2012
Cumali Karsu, an inmate at Imrali Special Type Prison with PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, has sent a fax to his lawyers assessing the current political process.
While PKK Leader Öcalan has been prevented from meeting with his lawyers  for seven months, Imrali inmate Cumali Karsu, also sentenced  for being a PKK member, has sent a fax to Asrin Hukuk Bürosu (The Century Law Bureau.)
‘HUNGER STRIKES SHOULD END IN A REASONABLE MANNER’
Karsu gave the following information in the fax he sent: ‘I can only write a few words when it is necessary in these condition. An intense period has developed in the past few months. Read more ?
http://kurdishfreedom.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/a-message-from-imrali/
 
12. INFORMATION FILE ON INDEFINITE KURDISH HUNGER STRIKE
Contents:
•         Introductory Letter
•         European Hunger Strikers’ Press Release
•         Information on Abdullah Öcalan’s Condition
•         Selma Irmak’s Letter
•         ANF’s News on the Hunger Strikers in Turkish Prisons
•         MP on hunger strike: “We are entering a critical stage that will determinate the future of our people”
•         Selahattin Demirtas’s Letter Regarding the KCK Operations
•         Information on the Roboski Massacre
PDF Information File on INDEFINITE KURDISH HUNGER STRIKE
 
13. PUBLIC STATEMENT OF AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL – PUBLIC STATEMENT
AI index: EUR 44/002/2012 – 20 February 2012
Turkey: Draft bill risks violating rights of prisoners
Amnesty International wrote to the Minister of Justice in Turkey to raise its concerns over a draft bill due to come before parliament which may violate the rights of prisoners to access their lawyers and have contact with their families.  Read more ?
 http://kurdishfreedom.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/publikc-statement-of-amnesty-international/
 14. HUNGER STRIKERS SENT LETTER TO INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS
Kurdish hunger strikers in Strasbourg have sent a letter to international organizations to draw attention to the indefinite hunger strike they – like hundreds in Turkish prisons and outside – are carrying out. The hunger strikers in Strasbourg are staying at a Church of St. Maurice’s hall (1, rue de Reims. 67000 Strasbourg). The letter has been addressed to the European Council, the European Parliament, the Committee for the prevention of torture.
The letter has been signed by Fuat Kav ,Gönül Kaya, Ahmet Çelik,Mecbure Özer Gülistan Hasan, Nigar Enayati, Emine Benek Tarik Yusufi, Öner Uludere, Hasan Acar Ahmet Kiliç,Harun Yilmaz, Imam Yildiz, Kerim Sivri, Erol Polat. The fifteen have pointed out the meaning of the action, underlining that Kurds are claiming their right to exist as well as freedom for Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan.
Here is the full text of the letter:
Dear Sir/Madam,
We have started an indefinite-irreversible HUNGER STRIKE on the 1st of March 2012 as a Kurdish group of 15 people in the city of Strasbourg in France. The HUNGER STRIKE is started for the cause ‘Initiative for Freedom for Öcalan’ and will continue until our basic demands are fulfilled.
Read more ?
http://kurdishfreedom.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/hunger-strikers-sent-letter-to-international-institutions/
15. JAILED MP ON HUNGER STRIKE PUNISHED
BDP (Peace and Democracy Party) Mardin MP Gülser Yildirim who has been on an indefinite hunger strike for three days in Mardin prison has been given a disciplinary punishment by prison authorities. She has been denied open visits for a month because of a two-day hunger strike she had carried out before. BDP Van MP Nazmi Gür who visited Yildirim in Mardin E Type Closed Prison said that all prisoners on hunger strike have been subjected to disciplinary punishments.
Gür also visited BDP Sirnak MP Faysal Sariyildiz, who is on hunger strike in the same prison. Noting that Sariyildiz has lost weight, Gür reported that the hunger strikers are determined to continue their action until the isolation of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan and the military and political operations are ended.
Gür said he will prepare a report for the Ministry of Justice about the prison where, he said, there are serious problems in terms of both living and prisoners conditions.
ANF News Agency / MARDIN
http://en.firatnews.eu/index.php?rupel=article&nuceID=4255
 16. PRESS RELEASE: MESSAGE OF THE INDEFINITE-IRREVERSIBLE HUNGER STRIKES
Freedom to Ocalan for the Solution of the Kurdish Question
A hunger strike started by the 8000 Kurdish politicians imprisoned in Turkey has now turned into an indefinite-irreversible hunger strike as a result of the complete disregard of the protest by the Turkish government. The first group of indefinite hunger strikers began their strike on the 20th of January 2012 to coincide with the 13th anniversary of Abdullah Ocalan’s handing over to Turkey as a result of an international conspiracy. Among the 400 strikers there are two elected MPs of the BDP, Selma Irmak and Faysal Sariyildiz.  Read more ?
http://kurdishfreedom.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/message-of-the-indefinite-irreversible-hunger-strikes/

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