Kurds in Turkey
A draft bill submitted to the Parliament Speaker's Office by the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) on establishing a site to remember the victims of the Zilan massacre was rejected for including "Kurdish geography" and "massacre" remarks. "This is called hypocrisy. There is the understanding of denial and rejection regarding massacres committed against Kurds," HDP deputy Murat Sarısaç said.
Austria pledged on June 29 to find out who was behind clashes between Kurdish and Turkish protesters in the Austrian capital last week. "Austria's ambassador to Ankara will be invited to our ministry and informed of our concern," the Turkish Foreign Ministry said, accusing Austrian security forces of meting out "harsh" treatment to the Turkish protesters.
HDP co-chair Mithat Sancar has said that the calls on the party to distance itself from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) are "unfounded" because the party "has no links" to the militant group. "The issue is not distancing ourselves because we have no relations and there won't be," Sancar said, while asking, "So if the HDP is an extension of the PKK, six million people voted for the PKK. Will you accept that?"
Agricultural lands belonging to Assyrians ‘illegally grabbed by Kurdish family’ in Turkey’s southeast
Agricultural lands belonging to Assyrians were reportedly illegally grabbed by a Kurdish family in the southeastern province of Mardin. The owner of the lands filed a complaint about the incident that took place last year, but no action was taken for the return of them, Syriac Press reported.
Turkey's presidential system blocks a possible solution to the years-long Kurdish issue, Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Mithat Sancar said, adding that opposition parties need to bring democracy forward. "This system blocks a solution. The government makes bringing the discussions on the most basic subjects regarding the Kurdish issue to agenda impossible," Sancar said.
Ayhan Bilgen, the co-mayor of the eastern province of Kars, has received a death threat on social media, with a user sending a picture of bullets, while mentioning JİTEM, a clandestine gendarmerie intelligence unit responsible for dozens of unsolved murders, predominantly in the 1990s.
A court in the eastern province of Kars has ruled for the release of Kurdish politician, writer and lawyer Mahmut Alınak during the first hearing of the case that he was arrested. "My father was released. Hope the same happens to all political prisoners," Bişar Abdi Alınak, his son, said in a tweet on May 13.
A police officer has fired his gun into the air to disperse children playing on the street, before dragging a child with mental disabilities to an armored police vehicle to beat him in the Nusaybin district of the southeastern province of Mardin. The incident prompted outrage on social media, with provincial police forces trying to defend itself by saying that the children were throwing rocks at a group of officers.
PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan has said that no one should build their future plans over him during a phone call with his brother Mehmet Öcalan while commenting on a recent rift between the PKK and the KRG. "Kurds need to solve their problems via dialogue. Those who can manage this are the Barzani and Talabani families and our friends in Qandil," he said.
Opposition deputies from the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) put forward parliamentary questions denouncing the Turkish government’s efforts at demographic engineering to make Kurds a minority in towns where they are the majority. The parliamentary questions also claimed that destroying the demographics of an area constituted a crime against humanity.
HDP co-chairs Pervin Buldan and Mithat Sancar have called on Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Nechirvan Barzani to protect the people of Makhmur, following the recent escalation of tensions that stemmed from airstrikes in the area. "The people of Makhmur are also your people," they said in the letter dated April 19.
HDP deputy Garo Paylan has asked Health Minister Fahrettin Koca the reason for why only 500 tests were carried out in the past 27 days in Diyarbakır. "Is discrimination the case when distributing tests to Diyarbakır and other provinces in the region?" Paylan, who is a Diyarbakır lawmaker, said in his parliamentary question following reports on the issue.
Germany's leftwing political party Die Linke and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (RLS) have hosted a conference on the Kurdish issue in the German Bundestag on March 6, with the participants discussing "the current opportunities and perspectives" with regards to the solution of the Kurdish issue in the Middle East in several panels. From Turkey, CHP Istanbul deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu and HDP co-chair Mithat Sancar attended the conference.