Turkish aggression and the silence of the world

Kariane Westerheim The recent bombing in Istanbul, probably orchestrated by the Turkish secret services, has become a convenient pretext for Erdoğan and the AKP-MHP government as they launch their latest wave of assaults on Kurdish-led North and East Syria (NES), the Yazidi homeland of Sinjar, and northern Iraq. As Turkey’s economy and welfare have continued […]

Kurds have no reason for Istanbul bombing, Turkey does

Amed Dicle On 13 November, a bomb exploded on Istiklal Avenue, the busiest street in Istanbul. The bombing directly targeted civilians, killing six people and injuring dozens more. The media broadcast images from the scene minutes after the explosion, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made a statement shortly after, saying the incident “smells of […]

Medya News ban in Turkey is tip of the censorship iceberg

Matt Broomfield The Medya News website has been banned in Turkey, but with censorship targeting hundreds of thousands of web pages including sites like Wikipedia and YouTube plus the Western press, it’s clear Turkey’s programme of censorship is not limited to the Kurdish media. It will come as no surprise to Medya News readers to […]

Kurds who fought ISIS feel abandoned once again

Amed Dicle Below are four Kurdish guerrillas and the information the People’s Defence Forces (HPG) released about them upon their deaths in Turkey’s military operations in Iraqi Kurdistan. These young Kurds had all joined the guerrilla forces in relation to the Islamic State (ISIS) attacks against Kurds, Arabs and all other peoples of Iraq and […]

Convention against chemical weapons demands a spine of the international community

Fréderike Geerdink New accusations have been made against the Turkish army for the use of banned weapons in the war against the PKK. Inside Turkey, more people are beginning to speak out and ask questions. The reactions to their courage to speak out only adds to the urgency with which this issue needs to be […]

Revolution, counter-revolution, and revolution in Iran – a weekly news review

Sarah Glynn It feels as though our world has become the scene for a giant game of Risk in which the players have as little care for the results of their actions as they would if it were actually just a board game. What went wrong? How can our intelligent species have thrown up such […]

The Murder of Jîna Mahsa Amini – a Fire Torch for Collective Mobilisation

Kariane Westerheim Jîna Mahsa Amini was Kurdish, she was a woman and like most Kurds, was brought up in political environments in a politically aware family. Being a Kurd, a woman, and politically conscious is like waving a red cloth in front of the eyes of the clergy in Iran, and for that matter also […]

Erdoğan’s train to autocracy: a commentary on varieties of democracy studies – 2

Michael Günter This commentary will only briefly discuss how the Report specifically defines liberal democracy: the Liberal Democracy Index (LDI) “combines the electoral ‘core’ institutions with the liberal aspects—executive constraint by the legislature and high courts, and rule of law and individual rights” (p. 13). It maintains that “this measure is among the most sophisticated […]

Erdoğan’s train to autocracy: a commentary based on the University of Gothenburg Varieties of Democracy Study, 2022

Michael M. Gunter Recep Tayyip Erdoğan – Turkey’s current president (elected 2014) and former prime minister (2003-2014) – infamously once declared that “democracy is like a train; you get off once you have reached your [real] destination.” In other words, one can use democratic means to achieve autocracy. Analyzing Erdoğan’s imaginary train journey, one must […]

How do Kurds fit into Putin’s push for Syria-Turkey reconciliation? – 2

Ertuğrul Kürkçü Yesterday’s column discussed how Kurdish gains in Syria had set Ankara and Damascus drifting toward reconciliation against a backdrop of devastation in the war-torn country. But how might the other players in the conflict react to Turkey’s shifting Syria policies? And, where does this leave the Kurdish-led Autonomous Administration of Northeast Syria? The […]

Ax Kobani – the revolutionary battle on screen

Fréderike Geerdink Last night, KOBANÊ, the newest film of the Rojava Film Commune, had its premiere in Kobani. It must have been amazing to see it right there in the city where the legendary battle against the siege of Daesh took place a couple of years ago. Having seen the film already, at home on […]

How Ankara’s Kurdish conflict led to possible rapprochement with Syria – 1

Ertuğrul Kürkçü What could Kurds possibly gain from the “secret” negotiations between Ankara and Damascus, as lethal Turkish drone and artillery strikes continue targeting Kurdish inhabitants, including children and elderly, in the autonomous settlements across North and East Syria? Is there a chance that the talks pave the way for a new window of opportunity […]

Crescendo of Kurdish women’s rallying cry: Jin Jîyan Azadî!

Zozan Sima writes for Yeni Özgür Politika The Iranian morality police (Gasht-e-Ershad) beat to death a young Kurdish woman in the flush of youth, Jîna (Mahsa) Aminî, on the grounds that her hair was showing from under her headscarf. Throughout the centuries a woman’s hair has been seen as her crowning glory. It is a […]

Ax Kobani – the revolutionary battle on screen

Fréderike Geerdink Last night, KOBANÊ, the newest film of the Rojava Film Commune, had its premiere in Kobani. It must have been amazing to see it right there in the city where the legendary battle against the siege of Daesh took place a couple of years ago. Having seen the film already, at home on […]

Imperial legacies – a weekly news review

Sarah Glynn For a large part of British media, Shamima Begum is the poster girl of evil: a woman who praised and colluded in unspeakable atrocities carried out by the Islamic State (ISIS). One of three London schoolgirls who ran away to Syria to become ISIS brides – and the only one of the three […]

If you tolerate this your children will be next – a weekly news review

Sarah Glynn While political pundits continue to debate the implications of Turkey’s U-turn towards President Assad, and to speculate on responses from the Syrian government and from the opposition groups that had been enjoying Turkish support, the cruel realities of life under Turkey’s authoritarian government continue to bite, both in Turkey itself and in the […]

Rojava stays calm in a crisis. We must too.

Matt Broomfield Each time Turkey threatens a fresh invasion of the Kurdish-led autonomous regions in North and East Syria, it spreads a wave of panic through the Kurds’ friends and supporters in the West. The response is understandable. We all know what another invasion would mean. But during the years I spent in Rojava (Syrian […]

The SDF’s retaliation is only guided by their own compass

Fréderike Geerdink Is it smart of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to retaliate against Turkey across the border? Shouldn’t they retaliate against Turkish targets inside Syria, to circumvent the possibility that Turkey will use the retaliations as proof that the SDF attacks them? It’s yet another example of how the Kurdish struggle – armed and […]

Erdoğan and Assad, a match made in Russia – a weekly news review

Sarah Glynn On 15 August, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party – the PKK – marked 38 years of armed struggle against the Turkish state. The decision to take up arms is not one made lightly. It is a last recourse when all other options have been thwarted. 38 years on, the Turkish government continues to employ […]

Decisions made behind closed doors – a weekly news review

Sarah Glynn   We see the staged handshakes in front of national flags, and read the official communiqués, but the life and death deals made behind closed doors we can only guess at. What was negotiated between Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan? How have the dynamics been impacted by the war in Ukraine? And […]

When war is the new normal – a weekly news review

Sarah Glynn International leaders seem ever more ready to go to war: ready to resort to force in pursuit of their own power, and ready to accept military aggression by others as inevitable. The Turkish government, especially, has no qualms about seeking a military solution to every problem – including the problem of dwindling political […]

“The Rojava revolution has completely refreshed my activism”

by Fréderike Geerdink The revolution in Rojava, or North and Northeastern Syria, has “completely refreshed my activism”, said writer and feminist Rahila Gupta in a new episode of Avaşîn podcast. After having waged a struggle against racism and sexism, mainly focused on trying to eradicate gender-based violence against women, in London for forty years, visiting […]

Legacy of Lausanne – a weekly news review

Sarah Glynn Ninety-nine years ago, the Palais de Rumine, in the Swiss city of Lausanne, witnessed the signing of a peace treaty between the remnants of the Ottoman Empire and the Allied victors of the First World War. This was the treaty that brought into being the new Turkish Republic, and that killed off hopes […]

Picnic with death…

Kariane Westrheim Northern Iraqi Kurdistan region is an attractive destination for travellers and tourists from central and southern parts of Iraq. The region’s beautiful mountains, waterfalls and streams have made it a favourite holiday destination. According to the two Jerusalem Post correspondents Seth J. Frantzman and Tzivi Joffre, Kurdistan Region was considered a major centre […]

A massacre too far? – a weekly news review

Sarah Glynn On Wednesday afternoon, a group of tourists who had escaped the heat of the Iraqi plains for the cooler mountains of Duhok were enjoying a popular picnic spot in Zakho district when they came under attack from the nearby Turkish military base of Khatir. Four artillery strikes left nine people dead, including a […]

“Justified security concerns” about Turkey – a weekly news review

Sarah Glynn Anyone who cares about peace, democracy and human rights must worry about Turkey and the threat that the Turkish government poses to prospects of peace in the Middle East and beyond. While Turkey’s NATO allies obediently echo Turkey’s rhetoric about Turkey’s “justified security concerns”, despite the absence of any justification, Turkey daily attacks […]

Crushing freedom movements is what NATO does – a weekly news review

Sarah Glynn To be considered for NATO membership, Sweden and Finland have been forced, by Turkey, to sign a memorandum that pits them against the Kurdish freedom movement and undermines their own purported democratic values. This is not just a hurdle to be overcome to allow them to join NATO. Crushing freedom movements is what […]

Sweden at the crossroads – a weekly news review

Sarah Glynn Benny Gustafsson could be a symbol of humanitarian Sweden: a retired headmaster who has dedicated his time and energy into making his small town a centre of support for Kurdish rights. Of course, this was only ever one version of Swedish life, but if the Swedish government is tempted to submit to President […]

Why I am forever indebted to my Kurdish journalist colleagues

Fréderike Geerdink Almost two dozen Kurdish journalists are in detention, their files have a ‘secret’ stamp marked on it, they are not informed about the charges against them and have not been taken to the prosecutor to have their statements taken. As rights violations are piling up again, I can’t help but think of the […]

Who cares about the Kurds? – a weekly news review

Sarah Glynn As Turkish invasion threats continue to cast their shadow over northern Syria, and pundits dissect the latest statements to speculate on whether either the United States or Russia will do a deal to stand aside and let Turkish ground forces go in; as Turkish forces continue to pound the mountains of northern Iraq, […]

A good time for autocrats – a weekly news review

Writer Sarah Glynn evaluates the latest developments in Turkey, Middle East and Kurdistan.

Anything is possible

Writer Akın Olgun looks at the coming Turkish general elections and the two main competing alliances, and notes also a third, the Alliance of Democracy, coming to the fore, stating that it presents a real alternative to the status quo.

NATO and US duplicity in North and East Syria

Writer and politician Erling Folkvord looks at Turkey’s transfer of arms to jihadist groups in Syria and its ongoing support for ISIS, and the attitude of the US and NATO, appearing to oppose ISIS while actually supporting Turkey.

Semra Güzel picture shows: PKK fighters are not aliens

Fréderike Geerdink writes in her weekly article, “A 2014 photo of HDP MP Semra Güzel with PKK member during ‘peace talks’ has been deemed worthy of prosecution by the Turkish government.”

America: the dog that didn’t bark in the night – a weekly news review

Sarah Glynn looks at how the US displays a complete absence of support for NE Syria in fighting ISIS, noting that they still remain silent about Turkey’s continued attacks on the region although it is clear Turkey itself supports ISIS.

Confessions began when the ‘destruction plan’ collapsed

Fehim Işık writes that the exposure of Turkish criminal elite Sedat Peker was caused by the failure of the National Security Council’s “destruction plan”, which the Kurds have resisted against and scuppered.

Turkey – A mafia state

HDP’s Fayik Yağızay looks at the ongoing YouTube confessions of Sedat Peker, a mafia boss in Turkey and details the history of mafia connections with the Turkish state.

Turkey sows the seeds of future conflict – a weekly news review

Sarah Glynn writes in her weekly review, “Everywhere that Turkey goes they bring in mercenary gangs of brutal jihadi fighters and consolidate their occupation with settlements of the jihadists’ families – and western governments hardly even comment.”

In which I effortlessly connect Roboskî massacre to Dutch colonialism

Fréderike Geerdink sees the same colonial powers at work in the Netherlands as she saw in Roboski and the same love and solidarity that offers hope for the future.

The occupation of Afrin and the ongoing revolution

https://medyanews.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/18-03-21-AUDIO-ELIF-KAYA-EFRIN.wav Elif Kaya Three years has passed since the occupation of Afrin (Efrîn). Hundreds of thousands of people were forced to leave Afrin after 58 days of shelling from the ground and air by Turkish forces. They could not even say a last farewell to their lands before they left the city. They arrived in [...]

For the Fascist State of Turkey, No Lives Matter

Kurdish affairs expert Frederike Geerdink suggests a planned scenario was spun out at Gare to allow Turkey to further criminalise the PKK and to justify the next phase of repression.  

The Arab Spring did not fail

Rojava, the women’s revolution, a grassroots anti-patriarchal, multi-ethnic, secular and ecologically sustainable democracy was the only true success story of the Arab Spring argues Rahila Gupta  

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