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

“Nothing will be the same” for Turkish press after recent elections

ANKARA, Turkey , Dec 1 2015 (IPS) – Days after the 1 November general elections in Turkey, Beyza Kural, a reporter with the independent press agency Bianet, rushed to Istanbul University to cover a stand-off between protesting students and the police. At the scene, Kural was harassed and manhandled by a group of civil police for no apparent reason. She was handcuffed and only narrowly … Continue reading “Nothing will be the same” for Turkish press after recent elections

Democracy as collateral damage in Turkey’s war on journalism

With the arrest of two prominent journalists, the Turkish government’s attempts at silencing the press shows no signs of abating, raising fears about the future of its democracy. “Freedom of the press, if it means anything at all, means the freedom to criticize and oppose,” wrote George Orwell in 1946, criticizing the climate of repression and censorship that had taken hold of the United Kingdom … Continue reading Democracy as collateral damage in Turkey’s war on journalism

Desperate EU begs Turkey’s help in dealing with refugee crisis

After the Paris attacks, European countries are desperate to stem the flow of refugees. Turkey’s aid is requested, but will this do any good? The AKP’s electoral victory in Turkey was received with a sigh of relief by European governments. The victory restored the 13-year long tradition of single-party rule, after a brief hiatus following the June elections. According to the European Commission, the general … Continue reading Desperate EU begs Turkey’s help in dealing with refugee crisis