Prominent women’s rights campaigner in solidarity visit to Rojava

Margaret Owen, a well-known human rights lawyer and women’s rights advocate has returned from a solidarity visit with women’s groups in Rojava, northern Syria.

Source: Peace in Kurdistan Campaign

Ms Owen spent eight days in the region, which is also known as Western Kurdistan and is currently under the administration of a broad coalition of civil society and political organisations led by the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD). The region was largely peaceful until clashes with Al Qaeda affiliated groups began this year, and has seen a massive influx of Syrian internal refugees fleeing violence elsewhere in the country.

During her visit Ms Owen visited local initiatives, projects and programs led by women calling for peace, Kurdish self-determination and women’s rights. Among them were humanitarian groups, looking after nearly 200,000 internally displaced people (IPDs) without any international aid assistance.

Owen with Kurdish women in Rojava_Dec 2013

Ms Owen said: “The killing must stop. Humanitarian aid must go directly to Rojava. And all UN member states must stop providing arms to the regime, or the opposition, now so deeply infiltrated by Al Qaida militias.” Continue reading


Who are the Saturday Mothers?

The first meeting of the Saturday Mothers was 16 years ago

Source: ANF

Seventeen years ago, on 28 May 1995, a group of mostly women from different age groups met in Galatasaray Square, in the central Taksim area of Istanbul and sat down in front of the Galatasaray School. They were holding pictures of mostly men, from different age groups. On the picture the name of the man and a word which was to become known also to foreigners, kayip, disappeared. Continue reading

Saturday Mothers in 347th Istanbul sit in

Saturday Mothers were on the streets for the 347th time today to ask to know the fate of their loved ones who forcibly disappeared and to punish those responsible for their disappearance.


They carried the banner saying “Perpetrators are known, where are the disappeared people,” in front of Galatasaray High School, in the center of Taksim and Istanbul as well. Continue reading

German Sociologist Found in Mass Grave in Van

After the investigation of a mass grave in Çatak/Van, it was reported that the remains of German Sociologist Wolf were found among the approximately 40 bodies in the cave.

Source: Kurdishinfo

A mass grave found in a cave in the district of Çatak (south-eastern Kurdish-majority city of Van) is supposed to contain the remains of German sociologist Andrea Wolf among a total of about 40 bodies. An investigation revealed that the people buried in the mass grave were killed with bullets.
This was the first investigation about the Çatak mass grave. Sami Görendağı, Branch Secretary of the Human Rights Association (İHD), was part of the delegation and talked to bianet about what they encountered in the cave. Continue reading

Remembering the 12 September 1980 military coup

1 million 683 thousand people investigated, 517 death penalty executed, 98,400 people sentenced for being  member of an illegal organization, 30,000 people were forced to go into exile, 171 people died as a result of torture, 299 people died in prison, 400 journalists were sentenced to a total of four thousand years in prison.

Source: ANF

On 12 September 1980, a National Security Council which brings together the chief of General Staff, general Kenan  Evren , and chiefs of staff of army and security forces took power by proclaiming a state of siege throughout the country. Politicians, from Ecevit to Demirel, Erbakan, Turkes are arrested, the National Assembly is dissolved and the activities of associations and trade unions are banned. The junta extends to a retired admiral, who became Prime Minister, Bulent Ulusu. Continue reading

Prisoners burnt alive until turned to charcoal

A soldier who was on duty at the Bayrampaşa prison during the “Return to Life” operation confessed  11 years later, “The detainees wanted to get out of the burning cells and surrender but the doors were not opened, the fire brigade did not intervene”.

Source: BIA

For the first time, Special Gendarmerie Sergeant Altan Sabsız talked about what happened during the “Return to Life” operation in the Bayrampaşa Prison in Istanbul on 19 January 2000.

The “Return to Life” operation was carried out eleven years ago in several prisons in order to solve the so-called “prison problem” in Turkey and end the death fast of prisoners who protested against their transfer to F type prisons with smaller cells. The operation started in the early morning on 19 December 2000 in 20 prisons simultaneously and involved thousands of convicts and ten thousands of security personnel. 32 people died in the operation, among them two soldiers. Continue reading

Stop the bloodshed in Kurdistan!!

Call for action from Kurdish Women

Stop the bloodshed in Kurdistan!!

13th August 2011

Press release: for immediate release


Roj Women’s Assembly and Iranian Kurdish Women Initiative, condemns Iran’s bombardments of Kurdistan. The Islamic Republic of Iran’s shocking and appalling records for gross human rights violations, well-known to the international community. Despite that the international community is silent, but Iranian perpetuation of crimes should not go unnoticed.

Iran’s bombardments have killed and injured many civilians, as well as displaced hundreds of Kurdish families in the last twenty days.  Many villages have been hit and the residents of the villages fled their homes, without hope. Iran has no right to shell Kurdistan’s border villages and its action is illegitimate. Therefore, UN must protect Iraqi Kurdistan from Iranian encroachments. Continue reading

Human Rights violations and the Kurdish question in Iran

Since 2010 Iranian regime has hanged eight Kurdish human rights and political activists who were members of the Free Life party of Kurdistan, including one woman: Shireen Alam Hoye.

Source: ANF

On 30th of June a conference was held in Rome, at the Italian parliament, with regards to democracy, human rights violations and the Kurdish question in Iran.

In the conference some Italian  Senators, Deputy and political activists whom were present expressed their grave concerns over the violations of human rights in Iran, particularly in Kurdish regions of the country.

The Islamic regime systematically executes Kurdish political and Human Rights activists with the aim of spreading fear and of terrorizing the society in order to oblige them to accept its Islamic ideological policies. Kurds, Arab and Baloch national minorities also were present at the conference and presented valuable information about the Islamic regime’s policies against the national, religious and linguistic minorities in Iran. Continue reading

Kurdish woman died after being hit by police tear gas

Fifty four year-old Kurdish woman Hatice Idin, who was said to be brain dead on Thursday after being hit by Turkish police tear gas, died at 5 am this morning in Batman World Hospital where she had been recovered since 12 June.

Source: Rojhelat

The woman was taken to hospital after being hit by police tear gas on June 12 in Sirnak while she was celebrating the results of the elections.

Her funeral will take place in Sirnak.

Only a month ago a retired teacher, Metin Lokumcu, lost his life due to intense tear gas thrown by police to disperse a protest demonstration against Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan in Hopa, a district of Artvin, on May 31. Continue reading

15,200 Files against Turkey Pending at ECHR

In 2010, a total of 15,200 applications filed against Turkey were pending before the European Court of Human Rights. Only Russia has more files pending. Turkey is the country with the highest number of convictions regarding violations of rights at the ECHR.

Source: BIA

15,200 files from Turkey were pending at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in 2010. The only country that outnumbers Turkey in this aspect is Russia with 40,300 files pending.

The total number of applications submitted to the ECHR amounts to 139,560. From Turkey, 5,821 applications were filed in 2010 only.

According to the data, the number of applications filed from Turkey and Russia makes up for 40 percent of all applications submitted to the international court. Continue reading