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Kurdish Situation Report: March 8th, 2016

cizre curfew lifted

Welcome to The Kurdish Situation Report, a weekly update on the latest news coming from the four Kurdish regions in Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran. The Kurdish Situation Report is produced by the Washington Kurdish Institute, and published by the Kurdish Project.

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Turkey (Bakur or North Kurdistan)

  • HDP Amed Parliamentarian Sibel Yiğitalp stated that civilians trapped in the bombarded area called her and informed that more than 50 people including children and pregnant women were injured. Yiğitalp said that they informed all state officials and were waiting for the evacuation of the civilians as soon as possible.
  • HDP Co-President Selahattin Demirtaş, DBP Co-President Kamuran Yüksek, DTK Co-Presidents Selma Irmak and Hatip Dicle, and HDK Co-Spokesperson Gülistan Koçyiğit made a joint-statement in Amed. Demirtaş said that they would not step back and peoples’ protests in Amed would continue until the situation in Sur becomes clear. Demirtaş recalled that peoples’ democratic protests would continue at 16:00 today, and said that they could not stay silent in the face of AKP’s massacres in Sur.
  • Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chairs Figen Yüksekdağ and Selahattin Demirtaş have written a letter to the Secretariat General of the United Nations, UN-affiliated institutions, all parliaments and Presidency of the European Parliament, European Commission, Secretariat General of the Organization For Security and Cooperation in Europe, embassies and political parties abroad.
  • Photos portraying the destruction of İdil Municipality in Şırnak bombarded by Turkish state forces emerged as the curfew in the district enters its 21st day. In the photos, the municipality’s main building and garden on Alanya Avenue in Yenimahalle neighborhood are destroyed.

Syria (Rojava or West Kurdistan)

  • The YPG’s Press Center states that terrorist groups have attacked Sheikh Maqsood neighborhood with artillery and heavy weaponry in recent days, resulting in the death of 16 civilians. It also claims that the terrorist groups’ attacks have all successfully been repelled. The following is the full text of the YPG’s Press Center:
  • In a statement issued on March 3, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) officially declared the launching of “Operation Avenge of Judi and Elin.” The statement reads: “the terrorist groups, with support from the Turkish state, waged a heavy attack on the area between Serekani and Gire Spi (Tel Avyad). They aimed at seizing that road and occupying the area once again.”
  • With the slogan of “A Lively Is a Natural Society”, People’s Municipality of Afrin managed to plant all those 5,000 saplings despite Turkish military shelling of the city. The saplings were planted in parks, sidewalks, main streets, and central terminal. Among the saplings are “Balîsan”, “Mercan”, “Berkenda”, “Merx”, and some attractive species of flowers. The saplings were planted by 13 employees of the municipality.
  • Gangs supported by Turkey continue their attacks on the mainly Kurdish neighborhood of Sheikh Maqsoud in Syria’s Aleppo city. The death toll in the neighborhood since the current ceasefire began in Syria reached 17.

Iraq (Bashur or South of Kurdistan)

  • On 3 March 2016, Qubad Talabani the Deputy Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) officially opened the first phase of Kobane Bridge Project in Sulaymaniyeh city. In a speech he gave, the DPM Talabani said: “We are all gathering here to open a project named ‘Kobane’ in Sulaymaiyeh, which implies not only a spiritual unity between Bashur and Rojava but also indicates the Kurdish people’s resiliency and determination to continue to move forward despite the threats and challenges they are facing.”
  • Sbeiy: Today March 8, Gorran (Change Party) boycotted the Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament. After the heads of parliamentary factions failed to reach an agreement on re-activating the parliament, Gorran MPs announced their boycotting of the parliament. Since October 12, 2015, the Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament has been paralyzed by the Kurdistan Democratic Party politburo and Dr. Yousif Mohammad the Parliament Speaker, who is a Gorran’s member, has not been allowed to enter Hewler.

Iran (Rojhelat or Eastern Kurdistan)

  • Based on a detailed, statistical report on human rights violations in East Kurdistan in February 2016 prepared by Kurdistan Human Rights Association (KMMK), the Iranian regime unabatedly continued to arrest, torture, imprison, and execute Kurdish activists in Eastern Kurdistan. Due to the Iranian regime’s avoidance to let various human rights organizations have access to the victims, the KHRA claims the report is just a part of the Iranian regime’s systematic violation of human rights in East Kurdistan.
  • In a letter the jailed Kurdish journalist Kamal Sharifi has recently sent to the Kurdistan Human Rights Association (KMMK), he says: “During the whole years of my imprisonment, I have met my family just once during which the prison head, his deputy, security officials, manager of prison’s cultural affairs, and a couple of more officials did not leave us alone. Except for greetings, I was not allowed to speak with my mother in Kurdish, who cannot even speak Persian.”
  • Fouziyeh Hossein Abadi and her brother Awat Hossein Abadi were reportedly arrested by Saqqez’s security forces on February 28, 2016. “Relationship or cooperation with opposition Kurdish parties” is their probable crime. As of now, there is no clear information on their whereabouts.

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