Turkey has a major problem with Kurds.
Kurds are not the problem, but Turkey is making them the their problem. Turkey is jailing mayors and councilors.
With a bit of history from Wikipedia...
The Kurds (Kurdish: کورد, Kurd), also the Kurdish people (Kurdish: گەلی کورد, Gelê Kurd), are a Northwestern Iranic ethnic group in the Middle East. They have historically inhabited the mountainous areas to the South of Lake Van and Lake Urmia, a geographical area collectively referred to as Kurdistan. Most Kurds speak Northern Kurdish (Kurmanji) or Sorani, which both belong to the Kurdish languages. (end of excerpt)
I didn't know that Turkey was fighting with Iran. Kurds are from the Iranic ethnic group. This is a religious battle. Turkey is mainly Sunnis and Iran is mainly Shia.
I'm sure oil plays a bit part of the script. Russia's already tapped into Kurdistan.
Wikipedia: Most Muslims in Turkey are Sunnis forming about 65%, and Shia denominations form about 4% of the Muslim population. Among Shia Muslim presence in Turkey there is a small but considerable minority of Muslims with Ismaili heritage and affiliation.
Wikipedia: Indonesia has the largest number of Sunni Muslims, while Iran has the largest number of Shia Muslims (Twelver) in the world. Pakistan has the second-largest Sunni population in the world, while India has the second-largest Shia Muslim (Twelver) population.
THE KURDISTAN TRIBUNE
Solidarity with jailed Kurdish
Mayors and Councillors
Written on February 25, 2018 by Editor in HDP, Kurd news, Kurdistan, Turkey
Monday 26th February, 18:00-21:00 hrs
Committee Room 2, City Hall, London SE1 2AA
Julie Ward MEP, North West England
Jennette Arnold OBE AM, London Assembly member for North East London
Margaret Owen OBE, human rights lawyer who has attended many trials of Kurdish politicians
Representative from the HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party)
John Hunt, journalist, attended recent trial of Diyarbakir co-mayor Gultan Kisanak
Unmesh Desai, London Assembly member
Cllr Ayfer Orhan, London Borough of Enfield
More than 100 elected mayors have been imprisoned in the mainly Kurdish south-east of Turkey.
It’s part of an attack on the rights of local people, in a region of more than 6 million, to democratically control their local authorities: a right enshrined in the European Charter of Local Self-Government, to which Turkey is a signatory.
This usurpation of democracy was not even approved by the Turkish Parliament. Instead President Erdogan used emergency powers to issue Decree No 674, amounting to a de-facto annulment of the 2014 local elections:
In each of 94 municipalities (out of 103 in the region), the powers of the mayor, municipal assembly and municipal board have been taken over by a state-appointed “trustee”.
106 Kurdish co-mayors have been arrested, along with thousands of councillors.
The powers of elected councils have been suspended; city councils are not allowed to meet.
Tens of thousands of municipal employees have been sacked.
All women’s departments and facilities have been closed in the trustee-governed municipalities
Many of the detained mayors face very long jail sentences – for example, prosecutors have demanded 230 years imprisonment for Gultan Kisanak, co-mayor of the city of Dyarbakir and an outstanding champion of women’s rights in Turkey. “Without local democracy, there can be no democracy”, she says.
These attacks, along with the arrests of HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) MPs, reflect the repressive trajectory of the Turkish state which has devastated the mainly Kurdish region since the end of the peace process in 2015.
Co-Mayors in Prison, Kurdish Region of Turkey as of 14/02/2018
List of State Commissioners Appointed to Democratic Regions Party Municipalities as of 12/02/2018
Report On Women and State Commissioner In Local Governments
WHAT CAN WE DO?
This meeting will discuss how to respond to the urgent call for help by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in Turkey and its sister party the Democratic Regions Party (DBP). We want to launch a national campaign of solidarity involving mayors, councillors, Assembly Members of all UK parties and others. By supporting our Kurdish sisters and brothers we can also learn from their inspiring initiatives, in difficult conditions, to develop local democracy and inclusion.
MEETING CALLED BY THE CENTRE FOR KURDISH PROGRESS IN ASSOCIATION WITH DEFEND KURDISH MAYORS AND COUNCILLORS CAMPAIGN AND PEACE IN KURDISTAN CAMPAIGN