The Road to Hakkâri

After leaving Van, the bus slowly crawls up the road, winding its way through the majestic mountains immediately south of town. Soon you arrive at a brown and barren plateau marked with a few towns and scattered villages. The houses are all of the same type: square, single-floor, with corrugated iron roofs and gray, concrete walls. A modern-age caricature of the mud-brick dwellings that once … Continue reading The Road to Hakkâri

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

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

Kurdish struggle continues, with a smile and a shrug

After the AKP booked an unexpected victory in Turkey’s elections, the country’s Kurdish population looks ahead, determined to continue the struggle. Just days before last week’s elections in Turkey, the people of the small village of Kocaköy, at an hour’s drive from Diyarbakir, had gathered to commemorate the death of one of their sons. Renaz Karaz had been his nom de guerre, but his mother … Continue reading Kurdish struggle continues, with a smile and a shrug

Kurds fight ISIS as Russia enters Syrian war

The Syrian Kurds are seen as IS’ most formidable enemy. Now that Russia has joined the Syrian war, its competing with the US for the Kurds’ attention. Last weekend, the US announced it had dropped 50 tons of ammunition to rebel groups in northern Syria. Despite it’s public announcements proclaiming the contrary, most, if not all, of the ammunition ended up in the hands of … Continue reading Kurds fight ISIS as Russia enters Syrian war

Cizre cries for help: “Turkey’s Kobane” under siege

As the conflict in Turkey spirals out of control, dozens of people have reportedly been killed in Cizre and the army shows no signs of lifting the siege. Tanks shelling the city center. No-one allowed in or out. Electricity and water have been cut, as well as phone lines and internet access. The people have dug trenches to stop armored vehicles from entering their neighborhoods … Continue reading Cizre cries for help: “Turkey’s Kobane” under siege

US shows it real face inchoosing Turkey over the Kurds

In its choice of allies in the battle against IS, the US is showing that defeating the jihadists might in fact not be its number one priority. When waging war, picking the right allies is a careful business. You must make concessions, without giving in too much. You need to rely on someone else, without becoming too dependent. You need to stand firm, and be … Continue reading US shows it real face inchoosing Turkey over the Kurds

The HDP’s victory is a barrier against autocracy in Turkey

For the first time, a pro-Kurdish party has entered into the Turkish parliament, throwing a spanner in the works of Erdoğan’s autocratic ambitions. Turkey must be one of the few countries in the world where the supporters of the smallest party in parliament celebrate as if they are the masters of the universe. On Sunday evening, when the results of the parliamentary elections started coming … Continue reading The HDP’s victory is a barrier against autocracy in Turkey

Flooding history: the local fight against the Ilisu Dam in Turkey

Spring has started, and the small town of Hasankeyf in Turkey’s unruly southeast is buzzing with activity. Young men are busy building a new pavilion on the Tigris river bank while across the water a man is planting saplings together with his family. A local hotel owner recently built a couple of new bungalows, and one of the ruined pillars of a 12th century bridge … Continue reading Flooding history: the local fight against the Ilisu Dam in Turkey