Massoud Barzani’s Controversial Presidency

By Harem Karem and Kamal Chomani:

President Barzani

President Barzani

President Barzani’s two terms in office ended in 2013, although he has managed to cling on for two more years after striking a shady deal, exploiting a loophole in the system, with his so-called strategic partner, the PUK (Patriotic Union of Kurdistan). Barzani’s presidency was revived by Hero Ibrahim Ahmed – in the absence of her severely ill husband, and PUK secretary general, Jalal Talabani – in an act that can only be defined as a ‘desperate measure’ to protect Talabani’s interests. In recent months, however, Barzani’s post has again sparked controversy, as his tenure fast approaches its expiration date (19 August 2015).

To make sense of all this, we shall briefly explain the foundations on which the presidential system stands:

Lost Armenian History: Unknown Island in Lake Van

By Dr. Amy L. Beam: The popular tourist attraction of Akdamar Island with its famous 10th century Armenian church is not the only island in Lake Van, Turkey.  There is a tiny island with a dark, lost history along the northeast coast.  Road signs show it is 40 km north of Van and 60 km…

Radicalising Democracy: Power, Politics, People and the PKK

By Assistant Professor Joost Jongerden, Wageningen University: This article was first published by Radical Turkey – Centre for Policy and Research on Turkey Abstract In 2005, the Partiya Karkêren Kurdistani (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) (PKK) announced that it considered the nation-state a hindrance on the road to freedom, and that its strategic objective was not the…

South of Kurdistan Needs Strong Parliamentary System, Not Presidential Rule

By Arian Mufid: In August it will be time to elect the President of Kurdistan. Back in 2013 all the parties in the Kurdistan parliament passed a vote of confidence in Masud Barzani, re-electing him as President. The issue of whether Barzani should once again be re-elected, after his term expires, is hot topic of…

BêjeBêje: New Kurdish Lyrics Site Tackles An Elusive Dream

beje
KT Report: BêjeBêje (‘Sing Sing’) is an ambitious new Kurdish cultural initiative: a community-driven archive that aims to become the world’s central online resource for Kurdish lyrics. Currently the website features lyrics by almost 100 artists and the founder says the database is growing steadily. Ciwan Xelef, a web developer living in the UK, told…

Democratic Union Party’s Response to UK Government Report 2015

By Saleh Muslim: In March 2015, the UK Government published a report in response to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee (titled: UK Government Policy on the Kurdistan Region of Iraq). In this report, the Government outlined its policies towards Iraqi Kurdistan and Syrian Kurds. The report (paragraph 15) unfairly criticised our party, the…

Kurdistan – A Place Where Leaders are Made

British Expertise International Awards Press Release: Kurdistan Leadership Project awarded the British Expertise International Awards Finalist for 2015 The not for profit leadership development project, ‘Kurdistan – A Place Where Leaders are Made’, recently became a finalist for the British Expertise International Awards 2015, in a new category called: ‘Outstanding International Leadership’ sponsored by The Leadership…

Turkish Army Kills Civilian during Arbor Day Activities

By Dr. Amy L. Beam: On April 11, 2015, the Turkish army shot from a helicopter and killed Cezmi Budak, former co-chair of the HDP party in Diyadin in eastern Turkey. Local Kurdish residents were going to the outskirts of Yukari Tütek village in the Tendurek Mountains for their annual Arbor Day activities on Saturday…

KRG Must Promote Kurdish Language in Kurdistan

By Scherco R. Baban: We, the People of South Kurdistan, the Land of the Warriors and Poets, resting place of the martyrs for freedom, cradle of civilizations, birthplace of the Tigris and Euphrates, land of the Hurrians and the Kingdom of Mitanni. In our land Mem û Zîn, the story of Love and Freedom, was born.…

First-Ever Online Courses in Kurdish Launched

Raber Aziz
By Raber Y. Aziz:  Alison, an Ireland-based online learning provider, has launched the first ever online courses in the Kurdish language to provide free online education for Kurdish speaking individuals. The courses are live now. (more…)

Dutch Journalist Should Never Have Been Put on Trial

By Reporters Without Borders: Reporters Without Borders travelled to the southeastern city of Diyarbakır for the start of Dutch journalist Frederike Geerdink’s trial (yesterday - KT) on a charge of propaganda in support for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). She is among the first foreign journalists to be tried in Turkey since 1995. Geerdink…

No End in Sight to Violence and Persecution: Iraq 12 Years after the Fall of Saddam Hussein

Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights Press Release: Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights calls on Iraqi government to ensure access to rehabilitation for survivors of the Ba'ath regime and victims of recent human rights abuses. Erbil, 9 April 2015 – On the occasion of the 12th anniversary of the fall of the Ba'ath regime, the Jiyan…

Turkey’s Future: Erdoğan, Elections and the Kurds

By Nora Fisher Onar: This article was first published by Open Democracy Turkey is gearing up for pivotal elections on 7 June. At their heart is a complex interplay between presidential ambitions, party fissures, and Kurdish aspirations. Turkey's election campaign began to the sound of fireworks. The first flash came in late January when the pro-Kurdish…

Are Kurds Following Other Rentier States?

Hanar Azad
By Hanar Marouf: What sort of society are we going to produce by only paving an easy economic development? In light of the new global force, gloabalization, with its far-reaching impact on the future of nation-states, it is important to look at how Kurdistan is affected by taking the easy path in developing its economic situation…

Will it be Winning the Battles and Losing the War for the Kurds?

By Dr. Rashid Karadaghi: I fear for Kurdistan. I fear for the future of my people --- the Kurds. Given past experiences and current indications, I fear that, in the end, when this bloody war with ISIS is over -- and it will be over some day -- we will come away empty-handed despite the…