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Turkey court tries 44 pro-Kurd journalists in biggest media case

Turkey court tries 44 pro-Kurd journalists in biggest media case | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

(Reuters) - Forty-four pro-Kurdish journalists went on trial in Turkey on Monday, charged with belonging to an armed rebellion in the country's largest media case, intensifying concerns about press and political freedoms.

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The KCK tribunals have led civil rights groups to question the stated commitment of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government to human rights, particularly given the widespread use of pre-trial detention.

Some supporters of the government argue it is using judicial measures to pursue those with suspected links to or sympathies for the guerrillas to drain grassroots support for the PKK and even put pressure on it to demilitarize.

Critics say the arrests amount to a crackdown on the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), parliament's pro-Kurdish party. The BDP says more than 1,000 of its members are in jail.

"This is a political trial. All of the trials under the KCK banner are an effort to break the back of the Kurdish political struggle," Ertugrul Kurkcu, a BDP lawmaker, told Reuters.

"The judiciary is a weapon in the war," he said.

Kurds are Turkey's biggest ethnic minority, making up an estimated 20 percent of the population of 74 million people.

Reporters Without Borders said the trial "undermined Turkey's attempts to play the role of a regional model".

HRW's Sinclair-Webb said the latest KCK indictment did not accuse any defendant of planning or carrying out attacks and that evidence they were involved in violence was "very thin". ...

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Quest for an Independent (Israel-friendly?) Kurdistan – Part I

Quest for an Independent (Israel-friendly?) Kurdistan – Part I | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

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“The Arab Spring will eventually lead to the creation of a decentralized federal republic of Syria, prompting Kurds to establish an autonomous area within the country,” said Abbas, stressing that the creation of Greater Kurdistan – a state that would stretch into the territories of Syria, Iran, Iraq and Turkey – was not on the horizon even though it was desirable. “We don’t want to change current boundaries,” he continued, but warned that the Kurdish people might have to look for alternatives if the international community continues to ignore their plight.

However, Prof. Ofra Bengio, Head of the Kurdish studies program at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African studies, believes that only the Kurds of Iraq are likely to achieve independence, adding that the process will take time. “The Kurdish area of Iraq has clear-cut borders, with Arabs required to obtain a special permit to cross the line,” she told Israel Today.

Nevertheless, Bengio pointed out that Kurds in the three corners of the so-called Kurdish triangle (consisting of Syria, Turkey and Iraq) have bolstered ties with each other, increasing their trans-border activity.

Apart from borders, a flag, and an anthem, northern Iraq also boasts several independent institutions, including a presidency, a parliament and an independent army. It enjoys a booming economy, relative security, and its own representatives abroad working to bolster foreign ties independently of the Iraqi mission.

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Turkey: For Ankara, Fears of a Kurdistan Rising

Turkey: For Ankara, Fears of a Kurdistan Rising | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

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Underlying all these reactions is the assumption that developments in favor of the Kurds in the region constitute a threat to Turkey. It is thus inferred that Turkey would prefer the Kurds being ruled by dictators like Saddam Hussein and Bashar al-Assad instead of having a say in their own future.

This is awkward, impossible to justify on any ethical or even practical ground. It is of course obvious that such an unethical position is the result of the security concerns of the state. Or, to put more accurately, it is due to the fact that there are demands from the Kurds of Turkey concerning their political and cultural rights. Once there is an emergence of a new entity populated by Kurds that provides the Kurds with more rights and freedoms, Turkey becomes worried that such improvements may set a “bad example” for its own Kurds. The well-being of Kurds thus is to be prevented by Turkey.

It is futile to try to build a future on the misfortune of the Kurds. Besides, in a world of changes towards democracy and self-government, it is unrealistic to assume that the Kurds will remain under the yoke of this or that nation or dictator. As the world transforms it is normal that the Kurds, too, are increasingly gaining their democratic rights and improving their standard of living. ...

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Kurds Take Up Arms for Kurdistan, Not Syria

Kurds Take Up Arms for Kurdistan, Not Syria | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Turkey is watching nervously as Kurds in northern Syria exert control over Kurdish-majority towns, writes Kadri Gursel. Turkey should not fear a "Lebanonized" Syria divided along ethnic lines, but instead should fear an independent Kurdistan that surrounds its southeastern border...

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Women victims of violence in South Kurdistan

Women victims of violence in South Kurdistan | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

A hundred and fifty women set themselves on fire in the last four months in South Kurdistan, reported Rudaw paper on Tuesday. It was also reported that 26 women were killed or committed suicide, while 48 others were raped in the same region within the mentioned time.

The Rudaw report which was based on figures by South Kurdistan government also stated that 876 women in the region denounced right violations in the last four months.

In a report on violence against women in South Kurdistan region in 2012, government alied institution Kurdistan General Directorate of Trace Violence Against Women stated that the figures of violence victim women in the area is thought to be higher as most of these women mainly avoid applying to official authorities.

In the 2011 report of violence against women, the government of South Kurdistan reported 720 cases of systematic torture and 3766 cases of violence. The report said that 76 women were killed or committed suicide in 2011, while 330 others set themselves on fire, in the most common way of women’s suicide in the region.

However, the reports of the Forensic Medicine Institute in Silêmanî reveal higher figures. According to the figures by the Institute, 200 out of 831 women who set themselves on fire in 2009 as a result of the pressure and violence they faced lost their life in South Kurdistan. 218 women died in the first seven months of 2010, killing themselves or being victims of murder cases. As to the figures of the first six months of 2011, 48 women were killed and 207 others set their body on fire, while 671 suffered from severe torture and 63 others were subjected to ...

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Timeline of events towards an Independent Kurdistan~

Timeline of events towards an Independent Kurdistan~ | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
June 26, 2012: The Turkish government has spent the last two months searching for a new political tactic to increase pressure on the PKK to disarm The government seems to have settled on using one that it has already been using, albeit m...
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Turkish Forces Kill 15 Women Kurd Rebels

Turkish Forces Kill 15 Women Kurd Rebels | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
Officials say clashes took place Saturday in he mainly Kurdish province of Bitlis...
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SIVAN PERWER - KINE EM : Kurdistan song! with Lyrics translated

Sivan Perwer singing in front of the Kurdish Peschmerga.

 

In English:

Who we are-Kine em? who we are, you ask ?
The kurd of Kurdistan, a lively volcano, fire and dynamite in the face of enemy. When furious, we shake the mountains, the sparks of our anger are death to our foes
. who we are ? we are in the east, forts and castles towns and hamlets, rouks and boulders, What irony, what a shameful day ! A slave we are now for blood suckers Yet we saved the Middle East from the Romans and the crusaders.
who we are ? Ask the Near East, Ask the Middle East, villages and towns, plains and deserts. They were once all mine when by war and knowledge we defeated rivals to become crowned over an empire stretching to the borders of India
. Who we are ? we are the proud Kurd, the enemies' enemy, the friend of peace-loving ones. we are of noble race, not wild as they claim. our mighty ancestors were free people. Like them we want to be free and that is why we fight for the enemy won't leave in peace and we don't want to be forever oppressed.
Who we are ? we shall free our land from the tyrants; from the crrupt Shah and Mollas, from the Turkish juntas so we may live free like other nations, so our gardens and meadows are mine again; So we can join the struggle for the good of mankind.
Who we are-kine em ? It was we who defeated Richard the Lionheart our own blood we shed to defend these regions. A thorn we was in our enemies' side; in our shadow lived the Arabs, Turks and Persian; many a king held my horse's head. Yes we are the warrior, we are Saladin, the King of Egypt, Syria and Israel.
Who we are ? we are Ardashir, we are Noshi Rawan. In the ancient days rivals feared our caesars regretted our animosity. we knew no fright; in love with adventure; from India to Greece they paid us tribute.
Who we are ? Yes, we are the Kurd, the Kurd of Kurdistan who is poor and oppressed today. our castles and forts are now demolished; our name and our fame' swindled by our assailants, those who set germs into my body to paralize our existence making a nameless soul of us; a nation with no friends.
Who we are? we arethe one who despite it all remains the unyielding Kurd; still formidable to the enemy. The smell of dynamite is again in my nostrils and in my heart the strong desire to erupt. we are the fighting valiant of mountains who is not in love with death but for the sake of life and freedom he sacrifices himself so that the land of his ancestors, the invincible Medes; his beloved Kurdistan , may become unchained.
Who we are? One of our ancestors was the Blacksmith Kawa who slayed Dahak, the notorious tyrant to break off chains from Kurdish shoulders and save many heads from the sword and death. The day his vicious reign ended was called NEWROZ, the New Day. When Newroz comes winter departs taking with it the dark harsh times to make place for light and warmth. This is the time, as Zoroaster says, the evil spirit Ahriman is defeated at the hand of Ormazd, the god of wisdom and light.
Who we are? we are the maker of Newroz; again we shall become our own master, the ruler of our land so we may enjoy the fruits of our orchards, relish the sacred wines of our vineyards and put an end to a dark era by seeking salvation in knowledge and science; we shall make another new day and breathe the pure air of the liberty.
Who we are? we are Kordokh, the good old Khaldew; we are Mitani; Nayri and Sobaro; the son of LoLo; Kardok and Kodi; we are the Mede, the Gosh, Hori and Gudi; we are the Kurmanc, Kelhor; Lor and Gor; yes, we have always been and remain the Kurd. Despite centuries of suppression in a country by force divided. Who we are/kine em? we are the chilldren of Lor, Kelhor and Kurmanc who have lost crown and reign to become powerless, betrayed in the name of religion to carry rosaries in their hands duped by the rulers, deprived of might and wealth, fighting each other, divided and torn while my oppressed Kurdistan, my wretched Kurdistan remains prossessed.
Who we are? The chilldren of the Kurdish nation awaken from deep sleep, marching forward, proud as a lion wanting the whole world to know; we shall struggle and continue the path to freedom; we shall learn from great men, we make a vow to our ancestors, to Salar, Shergo and Deysem, that this of our will remain vigorous, unyielding, stronger than death. Let it be kown; we announce with no fear; Liberty is our goal; we shall advance in this path.
Who we are ? we are not blood thirsty; no, we adore peace. Noble were ourancestors; sincere are our leaders, We don't ask for war but demand equality but our enemies are the ones who betray and lie. Friendship we seek and offer my hands to all friendy nations. Long live Kurdistan; death to the oppressor!!!

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Three generations of Kurds under arrest in Turkey!

Three generations of Kurds under arrest in Turkey! | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

The picture which was taken in Mardin E Type Closed Prison proved that the government ‘succeeded’ in keeping three generations of Kurds in jails.

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Kurdish women’s rights activist, Ronak Saffarzadeh, sentenced to 6+ years

Kurdish women’s rights activist, Ronak Saffarzadeh,  sentenced to 6+ years | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Be sure to sign the petition!  We must stand in solidarity with freedom activists everywhere!

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21-year old Kurdish student killed by Turkish police | Alliance for Kurdish Rights

21-year old Kurdish student killed by Turkish police | Alliance for Kurdish Rights | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Murat Elibol was shot in the back by Turkish police, and died later in hospital.

12/3/2011

 

(Ez Li Virim!)

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Kurdistan Trying to Broker PKK-Turkey Peace

Kurdistan Trying to Broker PKK-Turkey Peace | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

ERBIL, Iraqi Kurdistan -- Diplomatic efforts are underway to broker a ceasefire agreement between Ankara and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and to create a political solution for Kurdish rights in Turkey.

A well-placed source told Rudaw on condition of anonymity that Turkish and Kurdish leaders have seriously discussed a possible ceasefire between the Turkish army and the PKK. According to the source, Turkey’s precondition for ceasefire is that PKK withdraw from all areas of Iraq bordering Turkey.

Ilhami Isik, a well-known political mediator also known as Balikci who has mediated between Turkish and PKK officials in the past, believes that Turkey would welcome the idea of a PKK withdrawal from the border.

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Arrests of Kurdish Activists Continues: Three More Arrests | A Time to Betray

Arrests of Kurdish Activists Continues: Three More Arrests | A Time to Betray | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
Arrests of Kurdish Activists Continues: Three More Arrests...
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Could a state for Greater Kurdistan be on the horizon?

Could a state for Greater Kurdistan be on the horizon? | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Millions of Kurds, observing the meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Tehran last week, must have thought: "What about us? What about our non-aligned nation to be? We should be there. Maybe next time..."

It may be just possible that Kurds - which themselves admit their notoriety for internal squabble - are finally getting their act together; after all, history may be dictating, roughly a century after World War I and its aftermath, which dealt a big blow to Kurds. This is the last chance for the emergence of a Greater Kurdistan.

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Turkey treating Iraqi Kurdistan 'as independent'

Turkey treating Iraqi Kurdistan 'as independent' | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

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Turkey is "dealing with the (Kurdistan) region as an independent state, and this is rejected by us," Maliki said in a soon-to-be broadcast interview with a Turkish television channel, according to the statement on his website. ...

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Kurds Declare Autonomy in Syrian Kurdistan - IKJ News

Kurds Declare Autonomy in Syrian Kurdistan - IKJ News | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

The Kurdish council, an umbra group that gathers Kurdish National Council (KNC)and the Democratic Union Party (PYD,) said on Sunday in the Kurdistan region of Iraq that they have decided to declare an autonomous Kurdistan region in the Syrian Kurdish cities. The West Kurdistan politicians are seeking to establish an autonomous region similar to the South Kurdistan region of Iraq, Mahmoud Mohammed, a member of the council told elaf website.
As Kurds began seizing control of several Kurdish cities on Wednesday following the withdrawal of the Syrian army from the Kurdish areas in the country, the Kurdish political groups sent a message to the Free Syrian Army ( the Arab opposition group) which battles the Syrian regime, that they were not allowed in the Kurdish—populated region.
Syria’s Kurds who have long suffered discrimination under the Assad regime, now have a chance to curve a Kurdish zone in similar to that of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region. ...

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Kurdistan heads towards a totalitarian regime | Kurdistan Tribune

Kurdistan heads towards a totalitarian regime | Kurdistan Tribune | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

The danger of any totalitarian regimes is that they shape rules and state institutions to legalize their undemocratic plans and ambitions. Surprisingly, the two ruling parties, Kurdistan Democratic Party and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, are doing what the former – overthrown – totalitarian regimes previously did in the Middle East.

From now on, the life of any critical journalist and activist and any serious opponent of the two ruling families of Kurdistan is in peril – although it was in danger before, now it has become more so.

The newly-formed National Security Council is the real threat to Kurdistan’s people and its democracy.

Why is it a real threat?

...With regard to inaugurating a chancellor to the National Security Council, it is in the President of the Kurdistan Region’s authority to do this. This means the National Security Council is above being questioned by the parliament.

If Parliament cannot question the National Security Council, what can people expect from it?

For this institution, 318 billions of Iraqi Dinars have been allocated from the 2012 public budget, whereas only 450 billions of Iraqi Dinars have been allocated for projects!

The opposition parties and journalists have shown their anger towards the newly-formed National Security Council.

Adnan Othman, Gorran (Change Movement) MP declared: “Kurdistan is leading to a totalitarian system.”

Dr Shaho Sa’id, Gorran’s spokesperson, announced that: “Forming this National Security Council prepares the ground to a totalitarian police state regime that interferes in all fields of society and life.”

Bilal Sleman, Islamic Group MP, explained that: “This National Security Council is just to protect the KDP and PUK.” ...

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Middle East Online:Is a Kurdish State on the Horizon?

Middle East Online:Is a Kurdish State on the Horizon? | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

While the media is focused on Iranian nuclear talks, the war in Syria, and the elections in Egypt, Iraqi Kurdistan (KRG) is making headways in severing Baghdad's grip over its national ambitions, chiefly the establishment of an independent Kurdish state.

Still, numerous obstacles remain along with plenty of regional and international dissenters, not to mention the task of overcoming a web of Kurdish political rivalries. While a myriad of concerns exist, fresh geopolitical realities are furthering the Iraqi Kurdish cause. Those realities, which have manifested into a new pipeline deal with Turkey, are turning the KRG into an influential and crucial player in the Middle East, which could arguably propel a push for Kurdish independence – sooner rather than later. ...

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Bloody - Friday 3/16/88 .....Saddam Hussein kills w/ chemical weapons 5000+ Kurds!

Bloody - Friday 3/16/88  .....Saddam Hussein kills w/ chemical weapons 5000+ Kurds! | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Become informed about the Kurds!  They are a long suffering people in pursuit of their own nation, their human rights, and an end to persecution!  Please help in all ways possible!

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International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran – Death Sentences Upheld for Two Kurdish Political Prisoners

International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran – Death Sentences Upheld for Two Kurdish Political Prisoners | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

The Iranian Supreme Court has upheld the death sentences of two Kurdish political prisoners, local sources told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. Prison authorities from Rajaee Shahr Prison allegedly told Zanyar Moradi and Loghman Moradi that their death sentences were upheld.

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Turkish police raid Kurdish targets - CNN.com

Turkish security forces launched a wave of raids across the country on Friday, searching more than 100 locations and arresting dozens of people.
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The Supreme Court Has Overturned The Death Sentence of Kurdish Prisoner Zainab Jalalian

The Supreme Court Has Overturned The Death Sentence of Kurdish Prisoner Zainab Jalalian | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

The Supreme Court has overturned the death sentence of Zainab Jalalian giving her life in prison on Moharebeh charges (enmity against God).

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Studying the Kurdistan Regional Government as a De Facto State

Studying the Kurdistan Regional Government as a De Facto State | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Most students of the phenomenon of de facto statehood stress that such success has been achieved in spite of these entities’ lack of international legitimacy.

The case of the KRG, nonetheless, reveals that such success has been achieved because of the lack of international legitimacy. The pursuit of international legitimacy has meant that the Kurdish leadership has tried to demonstrate to the international community its success in state-building, emphasising not only its success in institution building but also in meeting standards of international society about “good statehood,” such as democratization, protecting the rights of minorities in its territory and more. This has had a major impact over the KRG: it has meant that the KRG, much like other de facto states, is more exposed to international society, its ideas, but also its scrutiny. The KRG’s constant commitment to meet the standards of international society has meant that those committed to such standards could use the KRG’s statements to pressure it to actually meet them. This has involved members of local civil society, members of the diaspora community in Western Europe and North America and international NGOs. This has meant a potential for continuous changes and progress in the KRG.

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