HRW: Turkey: Academics Jailed For Signing Petition

(Istanbul) – In the latest attack on free speech in Turkey, three academics who signed a peace petition in January 2016 have been jailed by an Istanbul court on suspicion of “making terrorist propaganda.” The three were jailed on March 15, 2016, pending the completion of a criminal investigation. At least 30 other academics have been dismissed and 27 suspended by their universities pending investigation. The Istanbul prosecutor responsible for terrorism crimes is conducting a criminal investigation into all the academics who signed the petition and many local investigations are taking place.…

NYTimes: Syrian Kurds Hope to Establish a Federal Region in Country’s North

By ANNE BARNARDMARCH 16, 2016 BEIRUT, Lebanon — Syrian Kurdish parties are working on a plan to declare a federal region across much of northern Syria, several of their representatives said on Wednesday. They said their aim was to formalize the semiautonomous zone they have established during five years of war and to create a model for decentralized government throughout the country. If they move ahead with the plan, they will be dipping a toe into the roiling waters of debate over two proposals to redraw the Middle East, each…

OSW: Redukcja rosyjskiego kontyngentu w Syrii

Wycofanie części sił i zmniejszenie intensywności działań wojskowych sugeruje, iż strona rosyjska nie jest zainteresowana szybkim doprowadzeniem do politycznego uregulowania konfliktu w Syrii. Rosjanie zdają sobie bowiem sprawę, że zmniejszając presję wojskową na antyasadowską opozycję, osłabiają jej motywację do osiągnięcia porozumienia z reżimem. Rosja nie osiągnęła też szeregu deklarowanych wcześniej celów, m.in. doprowadzenia do udziału w rokowaniach genewskich partii syryjskich Kurdów (PYD) oraz odcięcia opozycji zbrojnej od kanałów zaopatrzenia z zagranicy. Oznacza to, że celem Rosji jest utrzymywanie niestabilności i przeciąganie rozmów politycznych, w których zamierza odgrywać rolę języczka u…

Euronews: Turkey expels British academic over invite to Kurdish New Year celebrations

A British academic has been expelled from Turkey after being found with invitations to Kurdish New Year celebrations. Demonstrations have been held in support of Chris Stephenson, a well-known lecturer at Bilgi University in Istanbul. Całość: www.euronews.com/2016/03/17/turkey-expels-british-academic-over-invite-to-kurdish-new-year-celebrations/

DW: Kurds make ends meet in the ruins of Cizre

Residents of Cizre, in Turkey’s volatile southeast, have slowly been returning to the city which has been laid waste by a protracted military campaign targeting Kurdish militants. Tom Stevenson and Murat Bayram report. The smell of burned flesh permeated the basement, but inside there was little that could be identified as human at all. The walls were blackened by flames and only some small bone fragments remained; the smell was still thick, clinging to clothes and body alike. Całość: http://www.dw.com/en/kurds-make-ends-meet-in-the-ruins-of-cizre/a-19115774

BBC: Islamic State ‚committed genocide’ says US

The US says the Islamic State (IS) group has committed genocide against Yazidis, Christians and Shia Muslims. US Secretary of State John Kerry said IS was „genocidal by self-proclamation, by ideology and by actions”. He also said the group was responsible for crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing in areas it controls in Syria and Iraq. „Naming these crimes is important, but what is essential is to stop them,” Mr Kerry said. Mr Kerry admitted that a lack of access to IS areas meant the US did not have a…

Reuters: Turkey’s bid to lift immunity of pro-Kurdish MPs gathers pace

Turkey’s prime minister applied to parliament on Wednesday to lift the immunity of senior pro-Kurdish opposition deputies to prosecute them on charges of belonging to an armed terrorist group.Such a step could further inflame tensions in the mainly Kurdish southeast which has been hit by the worst violence in two decades since a two-year Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) ceasefire collapsed in July.