Anti-Mining Protests in Turkey Book Temporary Victory

Over the past weeks, thousands of people across Turkey have protested against the planned construction of a gold mine in Cerattepe, close to the town of Artvin in the northeast of the country. Protesters fear that the mine will cause irreparable damage to the unique natural environment of the region. The protests in Artvin started peacefully on February 15, but these quickly escalated after a … Continue reading Anti-Mining Protests in Turkey Book Temporary Victory

Turkey descends into civil war as conflict in southeast continues to escalate

The latest footage to come out of Sur, the historical district in Diyarbakir that has been under total lock down by Turkish armed forces for the past sixty days, shows a level of devastation one would sooner expect in Syria. In more ways than one – empty streets lined with debris, bombed-out buildings, tanks and soldiers shooting at invisible assailants – the situation in Turkey’s … Continue reading Turkey descends into civil war as conflict in southeast continues to escalate

Turkije op de rand van nieuwe burgeroorlog

In het zuidoosten van Turkije –de Koerdische regio– vinden steeds meer gewelddadige operaties van het Turkse leger plaats. Joris Leverink, voor MO* ter plaatse, bericht van op partijcongressen en in schuilkelders over de burgeroorlog die nu al slachtoffers maakt, ook al erkent de wereld de toestand nog niet.  Ze zitten al dagen vast in de kelder van een appartementengebouw in Cizre. Kinderen, bejaarden, mannen en vrouwen; vijfentwintig personen in … Continue reading Turkije op de rand van nieuwe burgeroorlog

Democracy is Turkey’s only road to peace

While the curfews in Turkey’s southeastern region continued unabated, the HDP gathered in Ankara to elect its leadership and reaffirm its dedication to finding a peaceful and democratic solution out of the crisis. Defiant, determined and bellicose; three words capture the general atmosphere at the HDP’s party congress this past Sunday in Ankara, where, for the first time since the party’s inauguration in June 2014, … Continue reading Democracy is Turkey’s only road to peace

Istanbul bombing: Turkish PM tries to put blame on Kurds

A suicide bomber blew himself up in central Istanbul. With no-one claiming the attack, the Turkish government eagerly used it for their own propaganda. On Tuesday, January 12 a big explosion took place in the heart of Istanbul’s tourist district of Sultanahmet. The explosion was caused by a suicide bomber who blew himself up next to a group of mainly German tourists, instantly killing ten … Continue reading Istanbul bombing: Turkish PM tries to put blame on Kurds

Targeting the Islamic State group’s oil trade won’t end terror

Coalition air strikes targeting the Islamic State group’s oil trade are pointless as long as it has other sources of income and regional borders remain porous. It appears that the so-called Islamic State group (IS, or ISIS/ISIL) is following the tradition of so many Middle Eastern regimes in relying heavily on oil revenues to maintain its oppressive rule. A report by the Financial Times shows that oil remains the … Continue reading Targeting the Islamic State group’s oil trade won’t end terror

Turkije: dictatuur in wording

Turkije is niet uit het nieuws weg te slaan. Bij iedere nieuwe crisis die zich aandient lijkt Turkije een vinger in de pap te hebben. Of het gaat om de komst van honderdduizenden vluchtelingen naar Europa, de immer voortslepende oorlog in Syrië en de terreur van Daesh (IS) of de dreigende escalatie tussen Rusland en de landen van het NAVO-blok: Turkije speelt in elk van … Continue reading Turkije: dictatuur in wording

Kurds resist state-imposed curfews in Turkey

Since August, 52 curfews have been declared by the Turkish state in Kurdish towns and neighborhoods. Despite the repression, the resistance is thriving. The scenes of destruction in the Kurdish towns and neighborhoods placed under curfew by the Turkish authorities do not just resemble a war zone – they are a war zone. This is a war of a government against its people. A total war, … Continue reading Kurds resist state-imposed curfews in Turkey

The Source

A long, expensive journey to the source of the Niger River. It’s dark by the time we arrive in Forokonia, a small village in Guinea’s mountainous border region with Sierra Leone. We’re surrounded by dense forest, and the contours of a nearby mountain are clearly visible against the bright, star-lit sky. My driver turns the engine of his motorbike off. The silence is overwhelming. Hushed … Continue reading The Source

Tahir Elci: preaching peace, killed by the gun

This article was originally written in Dutch and appeared in the Groene Amsterdammer on 2 December. I’ve translated it into English for publication on my blog. Please scroll down for the Dutch original. Rarely were someone’s last words so auspicious as those of Kurdish human rights lawyer Tahir Elci. “We don’t want weapons, conflicts and operations around here,” he stated, mere seconds before he lost … Continue reading Tahir Elci: preaching peace, killed by the gun