In 2023, we had the privilege of talking with numerous remarkable individuals who are shaping the narrative of the Kurdish movement. Join us as a diverse range of individuals, from community leaders and activists to academics and politicians, share their stories and insights.
The interviews highlight not only the challenges but also the strength, unity and determination of those who contribute to the ever-evolving narrative of the Kurdish people and the Middle East.
Exploring the Impact of Jina Amini’s Legacy: An Interview with Saleh Nikbakht
In 2023, the EU Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Human Rights honoured ‘Jina Mahsa Amini and the Woman, Life, Freedom Movement in Iran.’ Despite the Amini family’s absence at the award ceremony in Strasbourg due to last-minute arbitrary restrictions by Iranian authorities, their lawyer, Saleh Nikbakht, stood as their representative.
Sarah Glynn caught up with Nikbakht in Strasbourg to ask a few questions, including what has changed in Rojhilat since Jina’s death:
From Oslo to Erbil: Zübeyir Aydar’s Exclusive Perspective on Hakan Fidan’s Diplomatic Moves
An exclusive interview with Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) executive committee member Zübeyir Aydar on Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan’s visit to Erbil (Hewlêr) in August for high-level meetings.
A distinguished lawyer and politician, Aydar’s roots go back to the early days of pro-Kurdish advocacy in Turkey. As a key participant in the historic peace negotiations representing the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) at the Oslo talks, where Hakan Fidan was part of the Turkish government delegation, Aydar brings a unique perspective to this interview.
Dissecting the verdict: Lawyer unpacks the political motivations behind Mazlum İçli’s trial
In August, the Turkish Court of Cassation upheld the life sentence without the possibility of parole handed down to Mazlum İçli for killing four people during widespread ‘Kobane protests’ that had erupted in Kurdish-majority cities.
We talked to İçli’s legal representative, Mahsuni Karaman, after the verdict, to explore the course of the trial from inception to the present day, highlighting irregularities, the court’s stunning disregard for substantial evidence, and the underlying political motivations driving the case.
İçli was only 14 years old at the time. Video footage, phone signals and eyewitness accounts proved that İçli was attending a wedding 140 kilometres away from where the victims lost their lives on the day of the incident.
The accusation against İçli was based on the testimony of an anonymous witness, and the anonymous witness later retracted his testimony, saying that it had been given under police pressure.
Harmony amidst hardship: Îbrahîm Feqe chronicles the artistic journey of Hunergeha Welat
Hunergeha Welat, a music community and cultural centre based in northern and eastern Syria, is known for its distinctive music videos. Îbrahîm Feqe, one of the creators, spoke to us about the work of the community, art, culture and struggle.
Insights from Kurdish Peace Institute’s Meghan Bodette: Syria’s fragile peace
During our interview in August, Meghan Bodette of the Kurdish Peace Institute described the recent visit by members of the US Congress to Turkey-backed opposition-held areas in northwest Syria as “dangerous” and “extremely incongruous” with any hope for a political solution in Syria, especially in light of Turkey’s destabilising actions in the region.
Insights into the pre-election atmosphere in Turkey from KCK’s perspective
Ahead of Turkey’s presidential elections in May 2023, Medya News discussed the political environment with Roni Serdem, a member of the KCK’s Foreign Relations Committee, in an exclusive two-part interview.
In conversation with John Holloway: Kurdish movement’s impact on the broader anti-capitalist left
Sarah Glynn met with Marxist philosopher John Holloway at the Challenging Capitalist Modernity Conference in Hamburg in April and asked him for his thoughts on how Öcalan’s ideas and the Kurdish movement can inspire and interact with the broader anti-capitalist left.
From Kurdistan to Germany: Rudolf Bürgel’s journey of solidarity and documentation in the Middle East
Rudolf Bürgel of Germany’s Left Party (Die Linke) shared insights from his delegation visits to the Middle East and his meeting with Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), in the early 1990s. In an exclusive interview with Medya News, he reflected on the reasons for these Middle East delegations, including documenting the use of German weapons and village destruction in Kurdistan, and providing solidarity with Kurdish parties.
In the wake of devastation: Nilüfer Koç examines the role of Turkish government in the earthquake crisis
In the aftermath of the devastating February earthquakes, we spoke to Nilüfer Koç, a leading representative of the Kurdish political movement in Europe, to ask what role Turkish government policy played in the crisis, and what a Kurdish-led political administration in Turkey might have done differently before, during and after the natural disaster to limit the humanitarian cost.
A new lens on peace: Dr. Thoreau Redcrow’s insights
This exclusive Medya News interview with Kurdish rights advocate Dr Thoreau Redcrow offers a fresh look at the role of Abdullah Öcalan in achieving a peaceful solution to the Kurdish conflict.
Exclusive: Öcalan’s lawyer reveals reality of isolation in İmralı
Rezan Sarıca, one of two lawyers who saw Abdullah Öcalan during his last permitted legal visit four years ago, spoke to Medya News about the extent of isolation in İmralı Prison.
Navigating neutrality: Amineh Kakabaveh discusses Sweden’s shifting stance
Amineh Kakabaveh made headlines last year when her name was included on a list of individuals Turkey was demanding be extradited from Sweden – at that time an MP in the Swedish Parliament, Kakabaveh is an Iranian Kurdish refugee, writer and political activist with no ties to Turkey whatsoever. In July, Medya News spoke with Kakabaveh to get her perspective on what the NATO deal means for Sweden’s Kurdish diaspora, Kurds in the Middle East, and Sweden’s once-vaunted policy of military neutrality.
“Spanish Delegation Detained: Jon Iñarritu Shares inside story of detention and deportation during Turkey’s crucial elections
A delegation of observers from Spain, including Basque, Catalan and Spanish Members of Parliament, regional senators and civil-society leaders, were detained and deported from Turkey during the country’s crucial ay elections.
Among those detained and expelled from Turkey were an MP from the Basque Bildu party, Jon Iñarritu.
Iñarritu explained the circumstances of their arrest, the message it sends to the international community, and what it means for the democratic process in Turkey.