For years the rape of Kurdish women living in Turkey both in custody and during village raids has been a scandal. Many of the victims of sexual torture dare not speak of their experiences, because of the dishonor associated with rape and sexual violation in traditional communities.
Jake R. Hess
As RAWA wrote way back in 2002, “Given the social and legal penalties for speaking out, it is a reasonable assumption that the documented cases of rape and sexual torture of Kurdish women represent the tip of the iceberg. Even so, they reveal that sexual torture is routinely used against women in custody, and frequently involves their children and other family members.”
The Democratic Free Women’s Movement (DOKH), a loose amalgamation of mostly Kurdish women’s organisations and activists, launched a year-long campaign under the banner “Let’s create a free and democratic society and overcome the culture of rape.” Read more
The Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan made a speech a month ago, in the city of Konya, central Anatolia. Directing his comments to the Israeli government, he said that the Sixth Commandment in the Torah regarding murder says, ‘Thou shalt not kill’, and he repeated these words in Turkish, English and Hebrew. The following day, the leader of the opposition Republican People’s Party gave a response in relation to internal affairs, saying that the Eighth commandment of the Torah states, “Do not lie”.
These commandments are first and foremost of relevance to everyone connected to the Turkish government, the opposition, and in the context of the recent history of contemporary Turkey. Turkish history is littered with massacres and the version that the Turkish Government relies on is false (like other countries in the region), because it fails to disclose important information, in particular in relation to Kurds and Armenians. Read more
KHRP is alarmed to hear reports from its local partners that two villages in the Hasankeyf district, the site of the controversial Ilisu Dam project, were yesterday set alight by the Turkish army.
Both the villages of Keçeli (Bizinka) and Palamutlu (Xerbekar) –- villages previously destroyed by the Turkish military in the 1990’s and which stand to be flooded by the Il?su Dam reservoir if construction of the hydro-electric dam goes ahead — were burned. Pictures taken from the north side of the Tigris River show the devastation caused to the villages which although no longer continuously inhabited, are sources of livelihood for local farmers and herders. Read more
ANKARA, — The Turkish air force has struck Kurdish rebel hideouts in neighbouring Kurdistan region of Iraq after an attack inside Turkey left two soldiers dead, the military said late Friday.
“After detecting that anti-aircraft fire was opened on (Turkish) helicopters from various positions across the border, the air force fired on those positions” for an hour Friday afternoon, the army said in an online statement.
“It has been observed that those positions were destroyed,” it said. Read more
KHRP today submitted a report outlining a list of issues that it believes warrant urgent consideration by the Pre-Sessional Working Group to the 44th Session of the Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR). These are in respect of Turkey’s continued failure to sufficiently meet its obligations under the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). Read more
HASANKEYF- Turkey: Turkey has secured the support of a local bank to build a dam on a major historic site on the Tigris River, overriding harsh opposition at home and snubs by European lenders. The head of Turkey’s Akbank said last week that the company would help finance the construction, but not without a sense of discomfort for backing a project which, critics say, will displace 54,000 people and submerge millennia-old archaeological remains. Banks make only financial considerations when joining such projects. But the Ilisu dam will be the last such example for us? From now on we will pay attention also to environmental aspects; Suzan Sabanci Dincer told the Vatan newspaper. Read more
To the Swedish Immigration Directorate
To whom it may concern
We, the undersigned organizations and personalities, we hope that you would show concern for the request of the Syrian Kurdish writer, poet and journalist Hooshang Osei (real name: Abdul-Aziz Mohammed Osei) submitted to the Swedish consulate in Istanbul on 11/2/2010, under No. 11 479 966, with a view of obtaining residency in the Kingdom of Sweden. The writer Hooshang Osei is one of the Syrian Kurds that are deprived of their citizenship, and are denied their political, cultural and civil rights. He was forced to flee to Turkey after exposure to the Syrian security investigations, and was threatened with arrest if he did not stop his political writings criticising the Syrian, Turkish, and Iranian authorities. Read more
Leyla Zana, a former MP who has gained internationally acknowledgment for her tireless political work for the Kurdish People, was Thursday April 8 sentenced to 3 years imprisonment, accused of being supportive to the PKK and its leader Mr. Abdullah Öcalan.
The court has claimed that Leyla Zana, in her speeches, has praised Abdullah Öcalan for his tireless work for the Kurdish causes and announced him as the Kurdish national leader. She should also have stated that if PM Erdogan intends to solve the Kurdish issue he should take Öcalan as the interlocutor and instead of travelling to Diyarbakir he should visit him in the Island of Imrali Prison. In another speech Leyla Zana should have expressed that the PKK and its jailed leader are “as important for the Kurdish people as the brain and the soul are for a human being.” Read more
Thursday, 08 April 2010
Northern Kurdistan- Diyarbakir: the final trail of the Kurdish female politician Leyla Zana was ended on Thursday morning. The Diyarbakir Court sentenced her to 3 years imprisonment for supporting the Kurdistan Worker Party (PKK).
In a speech, Leyla Zana had praised Abdullah Ocalan for his tireless work for the Kurdish causes and announced him as the Kurdish national leader. She also stated that if Erdogan is intending to solve the Kurdish issue he should take Ocalan as the interlocutor and instead of travelling to Diyarbakir he should visit Ocalan in his solitary confinement in the Island of Imrali Prison. Read more
Kurdish Southeastern region of Turkey, — Hakkari Mayor Fadil Bedirhanoglu, former mayor Kazim Kurt and officials of closed Democratic Society Party Fahri Kurt and Rahmi Temel stand trial for addressing their electorate in Kurdish in the run-up to the 2009 local elections.
The Court of First Instance of Hakkari in the south-east of Turkey tries four politicians from the closed pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) on the grounds of having addressed their electorate in Kurdish in the run-up to the local elections on 29 March 2009. The second hearing of the case against Hakkari Mayor Fadil Bedirhanoglu, former mayor Kazim Kurt, former DTP Provincial Chair Fahri Kurt and former DTP executive Rahmi Temel was held on 31 March. Read more