Is Turkey a democracy?

Is Turkey a democracy?

Is Turkey a democracy? Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Nobel Prize for Peace recipient,  Nora Cortinas, Mother of the Plaza de Mayo and Beverly Keene, Coordinator of Dialogo 2000, Argentina have issued a joint statement condemning the arrests of more than 500 in Turkey. Many are asking, is Turkey a democracy? After the Turkish President Erdogan arrested hundreds of political opponents and overturned huge democratic mandates to remove Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Mayors, Council Members and employees in Diyarbakir, Mardin and Vans South and Eastern Turkey on Monday 19th of August 2019. The arrest of political leaders from HDP is unacceptable This…
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Trade unionists’ letter to the Home Secretary: Don’t Criminalise International Solidarity – Border Security Act 2019

Trade unionists’ letter to the Home Secretary: Don’t Criminalise International Solidarity – Border Security Act 2019

In a joint letter to the Home Secretary, Priti Patel MP, senior trade union officials oppose any Home Office decision to make Kurdish-run North-East Syria a “designated area” under the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019. Under such a designation, anyone visiting the region could face up to 10 years imprisonment, a fine or both. They urge the Homes Secretary "Don't criminalise international solidarity." Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019 - No precedent for such outrageous powers This law was enacted amidst alarm that UK citizens who had travelled to join Daesh in Iraq or Syria might return home. As…
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Trade union general secretary uses the platform of Durham Miners Gala 2019 to call for Ocalan’s release

Trade union general secretary uses the platform of Durham Miners Gala 2019 to call for Ocalan’s release

Doug Nicholls, General Secretary of the General Federation of Trade Unions, has renewed calls for the release of imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan at the Durham Miners Gala 2019 an event attended by 200,000 trade unionists, socialists and activists. Durham Miners Gala 2019 The Durham Miners Gala or Big Meeting, now in its 135th year, is attended by senior trade unionists and Labour Party politicians including Lader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn and Laura Pidcock as well as hundreds of thousands of organised working-class people from up and down the country. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YISF_AB0gAA International solidarity theme The Durham Miners Gala…
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The Mandela of the Middle East

The Mandela of the Middle East

First of all thanks to everyone who has taken part in or supported the work our unions are undertaking in the campaign to win freedom for Abdullah Öcalan who is a political prisoner in Turkey and who we have rightly described as “the Nelson Mandela of the Middle East”. UK Labour movement working hard for Öcalan’s freedom The UK Trade Union movement is working hard to win freedom for Öcalan and Unite has been proud to play a key role in this campaign and I believe has been instrumental in securing some improvements in regard to Öcalan’s incarceration. Having been…
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MSP blasts censorship of pro-Kurdish Instagram posts

MSP blasts censorship of pro-Kurdish Instagram posts

Ross Greer MSP has demanded answers from Facebook-owned social media giant Instagram after its censorship of pro-Kurdish Instagram posts. Two of his posts referring to imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan were censored, despite the content of the posts supporting recommendations of the Council of Europe’s Committee on Torture, recommendations which were recently implemented by the Turkish government. Censorship of pro-Kurdish Instagram posts Mr Greer’s first post was of a photo he had taken featuring a mural dedicated to Mr Ocalan by the Falls Road in West Belfast. The mural calls for the Kurdish leader’s release features a quote in which…
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Kurdish Struggle for Democracy in Turkey- UPCOMING EVENT

Kurdish Struggle for Democracy in Turkey- UPCOMING EVENT

We are excited to invite you the next panel discussion titled ‘Kurdish Struggle for Democracy in Turkey’ organised by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Kurds and the Kurdish Peoples Assembly. We will discuss the latest developments about the imprisoned Kurdish Leader Abdullah Ocalan and results of the mass Kurdish hunger strikes. The unlawful decisions against elected Mayors and MP’s will be explored including the upcoming Istanbul local elections and the HDP electoral strategy. Speakers will present on the prospect of mutual dialogue paths and the ways to lasting Peace in Turkey and the wider Middle East. This event is…
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The struggle against isolation continues as the hunger strike ends

The struggle against isolation continues as the hunger strike ends

The historic hunger strike by Kurdish politicians and activists around the world has ended on its 200th day at the request of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan, in a statement presented by the Asrin Law Office, after their second visit with Mr Öcalan in eight years. Resistance has prevailed Leyla Güven, Democratic Society Congress (DTK) Co-chair and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) MP for Hakkari, who began the strike in November 2018 as part of the struggle against isolation was joined by over 7,000 activists worldwide. Ending her hunger strike after 200 days and shortly before being rushed to a nearby hospital for…
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The legal team and campaigners ask – Is the isolation of Öcalan over?

The legal team and campaigners ask – Is the isolation of Öcalan over?

Is the isolation of Öcalan over? The Minister of Justice of Turkey, Abdulhamit Gül made a statement on the 16th of May 2019, declaring that the ban on lawyers being allowed to visit with their client Mr Abdullah Öcalan had been lifted after a one hour visit was allowed to go ahead on the 2nd of May. However as of the time of writing we have had no confirmation of Turkish courts authorising further access for either Mr Öcalan’s legal team or family despite further applications being made. An expression of what needs to be done Following the declaration of…
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2019 International Peace Delegation to İmralı meets with Council of Europe

2019 International Peace Delegation to İmralı meets with Council of Europe

On Tuesday, 07 May 2019, representatives of the 2019 International Peace Delegation to İmralı travelled to Strasbourg, France to meet with representatives of the office of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland and the Executive Secretariat of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT). Representing the 2019 International Peace delegation to İmralı were Ögmundur Jónasson, former Minister of Justice of Iceland, and Connor Hayes, a student of Philosophy. International Peace Delegation to Imrali Earlier this year, from 11-16 February 2019, the 2019 International Peace Delegation to İmralı travelled to Turkey and the Turkish region of…
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Freedom for Ocalan campaign reiterates call for the release of Abdullah Ocalan

Freedom for Ocalan campaign reiterates call for the release of Abdullah Ocalan

The co-chairs of the Freedom for Ocalan campaign, Christine Blower of NEU and Simon Dubbins of Unite, have issued the following statement on this week's events and restated the call for the release of Mr Ocalan. This has been a vitally important week for the campaign to release Abdullah Ocalan. For the first time in 8 years, Mr Ocalan has finally been able to meet with representatives of his legal team and to issue a short public statement. Although this development is highly significant, and we hope will be followed by further regular visits and meetings, it remains an appalling…
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