Turkey

No “safety” for Kurds in Syria

Published on: Wed, 30/10/2019 - 11:03
Author

Pete Boggs

As far as the foreign powers involved are concerned, the ceasefire in northern Syria has shakily held up for the most part. For people on the ground, it is a very different story.

In the talks between Russia and Turkey last week, Putin agreed to preside over the withdrawal of the Syrian Democratic Forces from northern Syria, allowing Erdoğan to establish a Turkish “safe zone” between Ras al-Ain and Tal Abyad.

This was agreed in Sochi without any representatives of the Kurdish forces present, demonstrating clearly how Russia sees its role in the region, and the nature of the “protection” they

Why we don’t look to “the international community” to defend the Kurds

Published on: Wed, 23/10/2019 - 09:24
Author

Duncan Morrison

“The policy that attempts to place upon the proletariat the insoluble task of warding off all dangers engendered by the bourgeoisie and its policy of war is vain, false, mortally dangerous.

“’But fascism might be victorious!’ ‘But the USSR is menaced!’ ‘But Hitler’s invasion would signify the slaughter of workers!’

And so on, without end.

“Of course, the dangers are many, very many. It is impossible not only to ward them all off, but even to foresee all of them. Should the proletariat attempt at the expense of the clarity and irreconcilability of its fundamental policy to chase after each

Self-determination for the Kurds!

Published on: Wed, 23/10/2019 - 07:19
Author

Pete Boggs

A temporary ceasefire for five days in Turkey’s invasion of majority-Kurdish areas of Syria was negotiated by the USA on 17 October.

The American delegation to Ankara, headed by Vice President Mike Pence, agreed a 120-hour period for the Syrian Democratic Forces (the Kurdish-led forces in the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria) to withdraw from a 20-mile deep area which Turkish president Erdoğan has decreed as a “safe zone”. In reality, this is a zone which has been designated for occupation and ethnic cleansing.

Even the temporary halt to the violence is good. According to the

Turkey: the poverty of “anti-imperialism”

Published on: Wed, 16/10/2019 - 10:48
Author

Jim Denham

In a letter to prime minister Boris Johnson leading figures from 13 UK unions have urged the UK government to condemn outright the Turkish aggression against the Kurds, triggered by Trump’s precipitate decision to withdraw all US troops from Syria.

They describe Trump’s move as “a green-light to a Turkish military invasion of North and East Syria, which, as we have already seen in Afrin, will undoubtedly lead to ethnic cleansing and genocide of the Kurds as well as a resurgence of ISIS.

“We therefore call on the UK government to immediately condemn Turkey’s threats of invasion and to work with

The island, the refugees, and the yachts

Published on: Wed, 16/10/2019 - 09:05
Author

Jean Lane

I started coming to Symi, a tiny Greek island in the Aegean, closer geographically to Turkey than the Greek mainland, 30 years ago.

Missing a few years in the middle, I resumed coming five years ago. In these five years, the island has seen many refugees being washed up on its harbour side; mainly from Syria plus some from Afghanistan, Iraq, and sub-Saharan Africa arriving from Turkey just across the water.

Although there was consternation on the island from residents who themselves were suffering the effects of the collapse of the Greek economy, the response to the refugees was (and

Turkish troops out of Syria!

Published on: Wed, 16/10/2019 - 07:21
Author

Pete Boggs

Since the Turkish invasion of Kurdish-controlled northern Syria started on 9 October, over 160,000 civilians have been displaced, with at least fifty civilian deaths already.

The invasion immediately followed the announcement by Donald Trump that US troops would be withdrawn from northern Syria.

Trump’s “America First” policy is confused and totally inconsistent. Attempts by the White House to portray Trump’s move as a step in disengaging the US from overseas conflicts were shown to be a scam when Trump also announced sending 2,000 soldiers to Saudi Arabia in a move against Iran.

The decision

Trump’s shift puts Rojava at risk

Published on: Wed, 09/10/2019 - 09:14
Author

Pete Boggs

Donald Trump has announced the withdrawal of American troops from Northern Syria, and given effective consent to President Erdoğan’s plan to invade.

This marks a slight shift from Trump’s previous stated position. Back in December he announced that American troops would leave Northern Syria within the medium-term future, but that it was conditional on guarantees from Turkey regarding the safety of the Kurds.

Those guarantees have now ceased to be a consideration, and the United States is perfectly content to leave Rojava to the mercy, or lack thereof, of the Turkish army.

This new announcement

Erdoğan setback in polls

Published on: Wed, 03/04/2019 - 12:08
Author

Pete Boggs

Recep Erdoğan’s ruling AKP (Justice and Development Party) has suffered a number of significant blows in Turkey’s local government elections, which were largely seen as a referendum on his rule.

The two major cities in Turkey both fell out of the AKP’s hands, with their concession of defeat in Ankara to the CHP (Republican People’s Party), and what seems at the time of writing to be a slim victory for the CHP in Istanbul as well. Istanbul had been held by Erdoğan’s forces since 1994, when Erdoğan was elected mayor as the now defunct Welfare Party candidate.

In the last year, inflation has

Trump’s bluster, Assad’s strength

Published on: Wed, 09/01/2019 - 09:24
Author

Simon Nelson

On 19 December, US president Donald Trump announced a snap decision to withdraw US troops from Syria. At first he said the troops would be out within 30 days, but now it looks like several months at least. The plan is now conditional on assurances from Turkey regarding the safety of the Kurds in Northern Syria.

Trump’s move outraged the “common sense” of bourgeois foreign policy. US Defence Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis and Trump’s special envoy for anti-Daesh work, Brett McGurk, both resigned. Mattis was angered by Trump criticising American allies and other NATO members regarding

Khashoggi murder shows Saudi state under pressure

Published on: Wed, 24/10/2018 - 09:18
Author

Dan Katz

Saudi Arabia’s regime is a stain on the modern world.

And the Saudi state’s decades-old campaign to export an extreme, fundamentalist version of political Islam, funded by vast amounts of oil money, is a world-wide political pollutant.

All political and workers’ rights are severely restricted in Saudi Arabia. All public gatherings, including peaceful demonstrations, are prohibited under a 2011 order made by the Ministry of the Interior. The country’s significant Shiite minority, based in the oil-rich East, is seriously repressed. Women’s rights are restricted by segregation and a male-guardian

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