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In a statement about BDP (Peace and Democracy Party) deputies' joining the HDP (Peoples' Democratic Party), HDP co-chair Ertuğrul Kürkçü said the merging of the two parties had actually been decided before the local elections on 30 March.

Kürkçü explained that the merge will happen only now, after the elections, because some deputies of the BDP wanted to take part in the elections in Kurdistan within their party as they believed it would be difficult to have masses adopt a new emblem, a new logo and a new party identity in the electoral campaigning process.

“A path has been opened to the HDP in the west. We faced many problems in the election process, and we are still facing many troubles. […]

Releasing a written message to mark the 99th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, Democratic Society Congress (DTK) called on the Turkish state to face the history, to shed light on massacres and to apologize from the people.

DTK underlined that; “In the Middle East territory- the cradle of humanity and civilization- peoples, identities, beliefs and cultures lived together in complaisance, love, respect and peace for centuries. For the benefit of the governments, the dominant monist mindset that has been developed for the last two centuries has tried to justify massacres by making peoples confront others with whom they had been living in peace, bearing their own colors and identities. […]

Basque journalist Karlos Zurutuza has interviewed Zeki Shengali, chief executive member of the Kurdish umbrella organization KCK about the ongoing process with the Turkish state. In the interview, published in Deutsche Welle, Shengali said that "There has been dialogue but we have not yet turned it into negotiations. We took every single agreed step toward a peaceful settlement; we declared a ceasefire, we started pulling out our troops, our prisoners ceased their hunger strike and we released theirs … Turkey did not lift a finger for the peaceful settlement when it was in a strong position so, given its current weakness, it's unlikely it will. Ankara has been trying to gain time through words, and not tangible moves, so we believe the process is reaching a dead end". […]

Two suicide attacks have been carried out in the Serêkaniyê city and Til Xelef district in West Kurdistan on Thursday.

The first suicide attack was carried out with a bomb-laden car which was detonated near a primary school in  Serêkaniyê. Many people including children have reportedly suffered an injury in the explosion.

The second explosion which was also reported to be a suicide attack took place in Til Xelef four km to  Serêkaniyê short after the first attack. Many have been reported killed and wounded in the explosion while the number of casualties isn't clear yet. YPG (People's Defense Units) and public security forces have taken intense security measures in the area. […]

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that almost 3.5 million civilians in Syria have virtually no access to humanitarian aid and people are dying needlessly every day as violence and extremism escalate and the risk of sectarian violence grows. 

In a report to the Security Council, the U.N. chief criticized both the Syrian government and rebel forces for their failure to implement a U.N. resolution adopted in February. The resolution is aimed at eliminating obstacles to deliver food, medicine and other essentials to millions of civilians caught up in the three-year civil war that has killed more than 150,000 people. […]

The speech President of Armenia Serj Sarkisian will hold to mark the 99th anniversary of the Armenian genocide today has been published on the official website of the Armenian presidency.

President Serj Sarkisian pointed out that the Turkish State still continued to deny the Armenian genocide altogether today, adding that; “We are confident that this denial means a direct follow-up of this crime. Further similar crimes can be prevented from taking place in the future only by admitting and condemning this crime.”

The Armenian president said they wanted to confirm before everyone once again that Armenians didn't see the Turkish society as an enemy. […]

Releasing a written message to mark the 99th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, Democratic Society Congress (DTK) called on the Turkish state to face the history, to shed light on massacres and to apologize from the people.

DTK underlined that; “In the Middle East territory- the cradle of humanity and civilization- peoples, identities, beliefs and cultures lived together in complaisance, love, respect and peace for centuries. For the benefit of the governments, the dominant monist mindset that has been developed for the last two centuries has tried to justify massacres by making peoples confront others with whom they had been living in peace, bearing their own colors and identities. […]

Portraits of 99 people who survived the Armenian genocide in 1915 will be exhibited in the main Kurdish city Amed today.

The exhibition which is led by Armen Ghazarian, representative of the Yerkır Europe French-Armenian Civil Society Organization, has been organized with the contributions of Yerkır Europe, Repaır, Aram Association and Amed Metropolitan Municipality. It will take place at the common life area of the Sümerpark today.

A press release was issued before the exhibition which is titled “Portraits of Armenian refugees in France”.

Speaking here, Armen Ghazarian said the exhibition will involve the portraits of Armenians who managed to survive the genocide by fleeing to France and later started to live there. […]

France-based Tamil Associations have started to stage weekly demo outside the French Ministry of the Interior between 2 and 4 pm every Wednesday.

During the demos, protestors demand that light be shed on the murder in France of three Tamil woman militants,  Nathan, Kayan and Paruthu.

This week's demo outside the ministry office was also supported by Kurdish people who demanded justice for three Kurdish women, Sakine Cansız, Fidan Doğan and Leyla Şaylemez, who were murdered in the French capital Paris on 9 January 2013. Sakine Cansız was a co-founder of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), Fidan Doğan representative of the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) in Paris, and Leyla Şaylemez member of the Kurdish youth movement. […]

Today Armenians around the world remember their dead.

Adolf Hitler is quoted as saying, eight days before invading Poland in 1939, “Who today, after all, speaks of the annihilation of the Armenians?” He was speaking of being inspired by the 1915 genocide of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire as he began his own systematic campaign of destruction. Today, the Armenian genocide remains fresh and relevant in the minds of Armenians around the world.

On the night of April 24, 1915, the Turkish government placed under arrest over 200 Armenian community leaders in Constantinople. Hundreds more were apprehended soon after. They were all sent to prison in the interior of Anatolia, where most were summarily executed. […]

Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç returned on the prohibition to use Taksim Square as venue for the May Day celebrations. 

Journalists asked vice PM Arınç on what measures the government will take as "especially unions are insisting to be in Taksim Square on May Day".

Arınç underlined that "The topic didn’t come up during our meeting. I personally asked our Internal Affairs Minister about the current situation on this issue. DİSK and unions tied to them would like to create an argument atmosphere, a battle and a scene which would remind past years’ Taksim experiences with disappointing examples."

The vice PM once again made it clear that "There will be no tolerance on major crowds’ demonstrations. […]

Mountain of impunity looms over Kurdistan journalists

A CPJ special report by Namo Abdulla reveals as Iraqi Kurdistan may seem calm compared with much of the Middle East, but the media are vulnerable whenever internal political tensions flare.

Amid impunity for anti-press attacks, including murder and arson, journalists say they must self-censor on topics like religion, social inequality, and corruption associated with powerful officials.

Namo Abdulla tells the story of 32-year-old Rayel editor-in-chief Kawa Garmyane, who had published several reports alleging corruption among Kurdish politicians, particularly those in the powerful political party, Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). […]

The Turkish Ministry of Labor and Social Security has answered the parliamentary question presented by BDP's (Peace and Democracy Party) Batman MP Ayla Akat Ata on a landslide at Darkale at an underground coal mine in Soma district of Manisa on 20 October 2013.

According to the figures of work accidents released by the Ministry, 293 workers lost their life in Turkey between 2010 and 2012. The majority of the cases of workers' deaths was witnessed in the sectors of coal and lignite drawing.

The figures reveal that a total of 130 workers were killed on work in 2010, 119 in 2011 and 44 in 2012. Most of the cases of deaths were lived in Zonguldak province of the Black Sea Region. […]

Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş spoke about the course of the democratic resolution process for the Kurdish question in Turkey at the last parliamentary meeting of the party whose all deputies will enter the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).

Clarifying the merging of the BDP with the HDP, Demirtaş said the BDP will not terminate itself but will continue its political struggle as a party focusing on local problems. He underlined that “we must get the HDP growing and make it a party of peoples and a common front of all those oppressed”. […]

Today is Children's Day in Turkey, but as the Human Rights Association (IHD) Amed Branch pointed out, for mani kids there is nothing to celebrate. 

The IHD latest figures showed 575 children have lost their life in the conflict environment since 1988, and 205 children have been murdered in the last twelve years since the AKP came to the power.

Four children lost their life as a result of mine explosions in the first ten months of 2013, IHD report said and noted that four children suspiciously died in the same period during which also twelve children committed suicide and five others were murdered as a result of domestic and social violence. […]

Police detained four minors who have opened a banner reading “Berkin Elvan is immortal” and chanted slogans during the events held to mark the April 23 National Sovereignty and Children's Day in Eyüp district of Istanbul today.

High school students were assaulted and detained by police as they opened the banner and started to chant slogans when Istanbul Governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu took the stage to award a prize to students. Two among the students were forcibly taken to a closed space in Feshane. Police closed the doors and allows nobody inside the closed space.

Two more minors were assaulted and detained by police when they chanted slogan as the ceremony continued. […]

Lawyers for Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan have been seen their application to vist their client rejected once again. 

This time the reason given for the refusal was the "state holiday". Today is National Sovereignity Day, therefore authorities in Bursa said a meeting could not be organized.

Lawyers Cengiz Çiçek, Cengiz Yürekli, İbrahim Bilmez and Ömer Güneş applied to Bursa Public Prosecutor’s Office for their ordinary weekly meeting which has been rejected since 27 July 2011.

A number of reasons have been given to justify the refusal, from bad weather to problems with the boat to Imrali. […]

The digging of ditches on the West Kurdistan border has ended on 22 April.

A trench dividing South and Rojava Kurdistan, three meters in depth, two meters in breadth and 20-25 kilometres in length, has been dug at the border by Federal Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani's party KDP (Kurdistan Democratic Party).

The vigil promoted by people from the Cizîre Canton of Rojava at the South and West (Başûr-Rojava) Kurdistan border which started on 16 April has also ended yesterday.

Protestors had pitched 10 tents where they began a permanent vigil along the border in an area between the village of Girê Sor of Dêrik and the village of Sihêla in South Kurdistan. The trench has been dug between the two villages. […]

25-year-old Arab citizen Hesen Eli Tirkiye was wounded as a result of fire opened by Turkish soldiers at Rojava border on 21 April.

Tirkiye who was wounded at the border with Hecimetre town of Dêrik in Cizîre Canton was hospitalized after the incident. He is reported to be in good state of health now.
On the other hand, the Turkish army is reported to be drawing a 400 meter long wire fence in the mentioned area. Villagers will reportedly stage a demo to protest against the wire fence.

On 18 April, Turkish soldiers opened fire on a group of Rojava citizens as they attempted to cross into North Kurdistan from Efrin. […]

A documentary produced some years ago tells the story of activist, author and one of the earliest modern Armenian feminists, Zabel Yesayan.
Yesayan was the only woman to be blacklisted amongst the group of 300 Armenian intellectuals arrested on April 24th 1915.

She was born on 4 February 1878 in the Silahdar neighbourhood of Scutari (today's Üsküdar in Istanbul). In 1895 she moved to Paris, where she studied literature and philosophy  and she returned to Costantinople after the Young Turk Revolution in 1908. In 1909 she went to Cilicia and published a series of articles in connection with the Adana massacre in April 1909. Between 20 and 30 thousands Armenian Christians were killed in the city. […]

201 days left to the November 9th when Catalan people will vote in a referendum to say whether they want Catalunya to be independent. On Sunday DiploCAT launched its new website, CataloniaVOTES.eu, in English, French, and German, in order to explain the Catalan sovereignty process abroad.

The site offers a calendar that counts down until the morning of November 9th, when the referendum is to be held and an ample collection of documentation and videos that explain the process, including one with the President of the Catalan government himself. […]

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said at a parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday that he would not allow May Day gatherings at Istanbul's central Taksim Square, and urged parties and unions to celebrate the May Day at certain areas eligible for public rallies designated by his government.

Responding to unionists who have recently called for May Day gatherings at Taksim Square and put emphasis on the square's importance in the social and political history of Turkey, Erdoğan defended that any persistent push for Taksim cannot be reconciled with goodwill or good intentions.  

According to Erdoğan, "Those who insist on celebrating it here [in Taksim Square] are just saying: 'I am ready for clashes". […]

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