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Iran, Russia and Turkey examine document on reducing conflict in Syria

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The Islamic Republic of Iran, Russia and Turkey on Thursday examined details of a new document on ‘reduced-conflict districts in Syria’. Delegations from Iran, Russia and Turkey met in Astana on Thursday to study the document. Iranian delegation led by Hossein Jaberi Ansari met delegations from Russia and Turkey in Astana to exchange views on the latest developments in Syria. During the four-hour meeting, the participants examined details of the new document focusing on “reduced-conflict districts in Syria’. These delegations will also study the plan for the last public meeting in Astana. According to the declared timetable, the public meeting on Syrian developments is to be held this afternoon. According to the released information, these four districts have been identified as Idlib, North of Homs, Eastern Ghouta and south of Syria. The fourth Astana talks on Syria hosting Iran, Russia and Turkey kicked off in Astana on Wednesday.

First International Conference of the Kurds in Tokyo.

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The media announced on 1st of May, decisions being made for the first international conference of Kurds in the Japanese capital, Tokyo. The conference confirmed the decisions, with the participation of a number of Kurdish political figures from the four parts of Kurdistan, along with Japanese politicians, which is :

– In order not to diminish the role of the forces fighting against Daesh and other terrorist groups, a no-fly zone should be declared in Rouge-Ava; Western Kurdistan.

– The need to recognize the project of Federal Northern Syria, which will serve to solve the Syrian crisis.

– In the South, the people will decide their destiny through the referendum.

– Stop the arrests of members of the Kurdish political movement in northern Kurdistan, by the government of the Justice and Development Party.

– Japan must assume its responsibilities, so that the AKP will return from its policies against the Kurdish movement and solve the Kurdish issue through democratic political methods.

– The Japanese government should provide assistance to the four parts of Kurdistan.

– Because of the political risks in Turkey, the Kurdish issue turned its attention to Japan to resolve this issue.

 

High Rep. Mogherini says: EU respects results of Turkish referendum

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European Union foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said on April 28 that accession talks with Turkey have not been halted and she still wants it to join, if Ankara can meet necessary conditions. Her remarks, following a EU foreign ministers meeting in Valletta, came after recent calls from some countries that negotiations over Turkey’s potential membership of the bloc should be stopped. Germany urged its EU peers not to end accession talks, saying the country is key to European interests, not least as a NATO ally. The criteria are very clear, well known and if Turkey is interested in joining, as the foreign minister told us today, “it knows very well what that implies, especially in the field of human rights, rule of law, democracy and freedoms”, she said.

Thousands mark May Day in Turkey

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Thousands of people have marked May 1 International Workers’ Day in Turkey, with police detaining dozens of protesters during the events.The official demonstrations in Istanbul were held in the Bakırköy district after the authorities banned celebrations from being held in Taksim Square. The police presence was heavy across the city, with helicopters buzzing overhead. Strict security measures were taken during the event and control points were set on the roads leading to the area. The police searched the demonstrators as well as the banners they carried.

Everyone but Barzani’s KDP opposes Turkey: PUK’s Adel Murad.

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PUK official Adel Murad criticized Turkey’s attacks on Iraq’s Sinjar (Shingal) and Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava) carried out in collaboration with the KDP, and said “The KDP sides with Turkey at a time when the rest of the world opposes it”. Adel Murad, co-founder of Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) who is currently heading the party’s Central Council, spoke to ANF on Turkey’s attacks on the Kurds and the KDP’s policies, and emphasized that “the KDP values Turkey, not us”, an approach that bothers the Kurdish people. Murad recalled that Turkey has several military bases in South (Iraqi) Kurdistan, and continued: “Currently, the Turkish state has 19 military bases in South Kurdistan”. Zakho and surrounding territory has become a Turkish base. They are bombarding Qandil and its surroundings every day. They attacked Qereçox two days ago. This area is part of Rojava. Again, they attacked Shengal. The people in Shengal are Iraqi Êzidîs, not Êzidîs from Syria or Turkey. They are all Iraqi Kurds. YBŞ are not Kurds from Turkey or Syria. They are all Iraqi Kurds.

 

President Erdoğan: Turkey eyes new ties with US under Trump leadership

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Turkey is eyeing new ties with the United States under the administration of President Donald Trump, demanding a strong stance on the Kurdish Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG) and the extradition of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said.Erdoğan and Trump are expected to hold their first face-to-face meeting on May 16 in Washington. “We can’t achieve anything with the logic ‘this terrorist organization is on my side, so it’s good, but the other one is against me, so it’s bad.’ All terrorist organizations are bad. Thus, we need to continue our struggle against terrorist groups in joint solidarity. When we do that, the world will be safe from these gangs and killers”, he also said.

Kurdish MPs show support for release of HDP lawmakers to European Parliament

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Kurdistan Region lawmakers made clear to the European Parliament of their conviction that Turkey must release the jailed co-leaders and lawmakers of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). Barzan Hassan said a Kurdish delegation from the Kurdistan Parliament presented the signatures of 40 lawmakers to officials from the European Parliament on Thursday as a show of support for jailed HDP politicians and co-leaders in Turkey. “We support the release of [Selahattin] Demirtas and his friends because they are Kurds”, lawmaker from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Salar Mahmoud, said. Mahmoud added they will meet with the deputy head of the European Parliament for talks on the same issue. The Kurdish politicians said they hoped that the European Parliament will consider the case of the HDP lawmakers’ detention by Turkey. Since the collapse of a ceasefire between the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Turkey in 2015, the Turkish government has stepped up its campaign against Kurdish officials, including those from the HDP, accusing them of links to the PKK – an allegation the HDP denies.

Iraqi Parliament to vote on draft to ban foreign armed groups

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According to a draft, if passed by the Iraqi parliament, all foreign armed groups that are posing a potential threat to the security of the neighboring countries need to be banned. Shakhawan Abdullah, a Kurdish member of the Iraqi parliament, told BasNews that a draft is expected to be discussed in the Iraqi parliament on Thursday, according to which “no groups or parties are allowed to operate within Iraq and use its soil against another country”. Referring to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah said the presence of the party in Sinjar will constitute major issues for Iraq, Kurdistan Region and Turkey, noting that Turkey may continue its military operations on Sinjar. He continued to say that PKK has turned Sinjar into another Qandil, referring to the party’s main headquarter located in Mount Qandil in northern Kurdistan Region, stating that PKK is using the area against Turkey. He added that PKK has posed a threat to the security of the region

Erdoğan: Turkey won’t wait at Europe’s door forever

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Turkey will not wait at Europe’s door forever and is ready to walk away from EU accession talks if rising Islamophobia and hostility from some member states persist, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told Reuters in a wide-ranging interview on April 25.Speaking at his presidential palace less than two weeks after scoring a tight victory in an April 16 referendum on constitutional amendments, Erdoğan said a decision by a leading European human rights body to put Turkey back on a watch list was “entirely political” and that Ankara did not recognize the move. The Strasbourg-based Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) said it put Turkey back on review over its wave of arrests since the July 2016 coup attempt, rights violations and concerns about Erdoğan’s increased grip on power.

Turkish warplanes bomb Iraqi Kurdistan for third day

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Turkish fighter jets bombarded the district of Amedi in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region on Sunday for the third consecutive day targeting suspected positions of the PKK. Turkish warplanes have targeted several villages in Sangasar and Warte districts, about 130 kilometers east of Erbil. Warte Mayor Muslih Zrar told Rudaw that Turkish fighter jets intensively bombed Bokriskiyan village on Sunday, adding that fortunately it did not result in the loss of lives or material. The two districts are close to areas in Qandil Mountains under the control of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been engaged in a three-decade-long war against the Turkish state.

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