Author: usr1

If Iraqi Kurdistan leaders are serious about transparency, publish tax returns

Iraqi Kurdish Prime Minister Masrour Barzani likes to promise transparency. In a December 2019 speech marking his first hundred days in office, he declared, “Kurdistan is stronger, more transparent and more secure today than it was when I spoke to you at my inauguration. Dear citizens, first of all, a government that serves the people […]

The Turkish justice system is overwhelmed with thousands in prison for such dubious crimes as texting about weddings.

Amberin Zaman Justice remains elusive for Metin Kilicaslan, a wedding singer from the mainly Kurdish province of Siirt in southeast Turkey who’s been languishing in a Turkish prison since 2015 on charges of membership of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). He tracks his days spent in jail by his daughter’s birthdays. She was newly […]

Stockholm’s failure to recognize SDF links to YPG, PKK

BY KLAUS JURGENS What makes highly experienced politicians who travel and know the world think terrorists are freedom fighters? How come after decades in the business of politics members of banned terrorist gangs and their offshoots continuously manage to fool them? What happened to political due diligence? Or could it be that certain holders of public […]

Iraq: New UN report shines light on ‘deeply worrying’ pattern of restrictions in Kurdistan

Over the past year, freedom of expression in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq has been increasingly curtailed, according to a UN report issued on Wednesday. Criticizing the authorities publicly has led to intimidation, movement restrictions and arbitrary arrests, while some citizens there have been charged with defamation and others prosecuted under national security laws. From […]

PKK Abducts Six Civilians, Forces Families to Speak Against Their Children

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has abducted six civilians in the Qandil area of Kurdistan Region and now forces their families to speak against the abductees. PKK-affiliated media outlets have published statements from several people who commend the PKK for abducting their children on alleged spy charges. In the statements, a woman, said to be […]

The Gara Affair: How Not to Rescue Hostages

By Burak Bekdil EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan needed a military success story, and the rescue of 13 hostages held by the PKK in northern Iraq would have fit the bill. Unfortunately, the operation was a tragic failure. Erdoğan now accuses the Kurds, Kurdish political parties, opposition parties, and even the Biden administration […]

Turkey has the largest presence in Iraq and is occupying more lands

In the past two weeks, Turkish forces have occupied new areas in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). The new Turkish military campaign is part of the Turkish expansion plan led by the country’s authoritarian president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The new campaign began with the same old pretext – to “end” the presence of the […]

Iranian bodyguard of PKK leader Murad Karayilan: Killing confirmed

In a special news item, the Iranian Kurdistan Human Rights Watch (IKHRW) announced in April 2021 that “Turkish security forces had killed a former bodyguard of Murad Karayilan, commander of the PKK’s armed wing”. The Turkish Interior Ministry said in a statement that the terrorist, Horam Awiyer, whose real name was Hassan Mahmoudi, had been […]

International duty of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region in the fight against terrorist groups

According to international law, the countries, as a duty, must not allow their territories to be used against the national security of neighboring countries. According to the Declaration of Principles for Friendly Relations in International Law, no country should be a host nor a refuge place for terrorist groups. The 1944 Declaration on the Eradication […]

Water as a Weapon: Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and the Water Wars yet to come

The first time I’ve ever personally experienced the weaponization of water in conflict was at the end of the summer, in North-East Syria, 2015. As Turkey decreased the water flow of the Euphrates river entering Syria, the local water committee would have to spread rations of water to the different cities and villages it served. […]
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