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…

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/ [logged_in] Stephenson says he was detained on Tuesday at a courthouse where he went to support three scholars accused of terrorism propaganda. It is reported Stephenson decided to leave Turkey after being told about a deportation order against him, and before officers turned up to physically remove him. Speaking in Turkish before flying…

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 [logged_in] Residents of Cizre, in Turkey’s volatile southeast, have slowly…

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. [logged_in] President Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly called for Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) deputies to face prosecution, accusing them of being an extension of the PKK. Lawmakers in Turkey…

The Nation: Turkey Is Fighting a Dirty War Against Its Own Kurdish Population

A report from behind the lines, as PKK rebels resist a ferocious government campaign to crush their uprising. By Jesse Rosenfeld [logged_in] Cizre, Turkey – The streets here are almost desolate, except for the armored personnel carriers that patrol this war-wrecked Kurdish city. The few children who have recently returned or withstood two and a half months of curfew and intense fighting kick around a ball, while their parents salvage the remnants of their homes, scorched black and blown apart by intense shelling. Pavement ripped up by tank tracks is…

Balkanist: Turkey’s Mysterious Disappearing Refugees

Official refugee estimates by the United Nations and the Turkish government are calculated by registration instead of tracking, thereby including hundreds of thousands who have found refuge in Europe or returned home. By John Butler and S. Keleşoğlu. [logged_in] Over 2015, Europe experienced a refugee influx of historical proportions. The relative trickle of Mediterranean boat people became a flood, with EU border management agency Frontex counting 880,000 asylum seekers taking the dangerous sea route to Greece. Meanwhile, mass migration along the land route from Turkey to Europe became a practical…

Sputnik: Turkey’s 'Hidden War' Against Kurds May Be Deadlier Than Syria

According to numbers supplied by Turkey’s Human Rights Association, Turkey’s military operation against Kurds in the country has been deadlier than the opening of the Syrian conflict. Turkey’s operations in Kurdish areas have turned into an all-out was with hundreds of dead, head of Turkey’s Human Rights Association Öztürk Türkdoğan told Sputnik Turkiye. [logged_in] The intensity of the violence reported by Türkdoğan can be compared to the opening months of the Syrian conflict in terms of both the scope of violence and civilian deaths reported by human rights bodies. Turkey’s violence is somewhat more local when compared to Syria, although attacks on Turkish soldiers have taken…

RT: Turkish military bombs ISIS positions in Syria – local media

The Turkish military struck Islamic State positions inside Syria on Monday, local media reported. It came as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that he would be in favor of a Syrian ceasefire that encompasses the whole of the country. Fifty artillery rounds were fired by the Turkish military on targets north of Aleppo on Monday as part of the US-led coalition’s offensive against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), Turkish broadcaster NTV reported. [logged_in] On Sunday, a Russian TV crew managed to obtain video proof of Turkey’s increased military presence on…