Kurds

Top US general visits Syrian Kurds with focus on al-Raqqa campaign

A top US general visited Syrian Kurdish forces and their allies in northern Syria this week, amid signs the US military was increasing its support for anti-Islamic State forces, despite risks that such a move could anger neighbouring Turkey. 

Turkey detains 834 over links to Kurdish militants

Turkish forces have carried out simultaneous raids in 37 provinces and detained 834 people over alleged links to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), the Dogan news agency reported Tuesday, citing the security services.

Turkey demands more access to German military imagery on Syria

Turkey stepped up demands Monday for access to high-resolution imagery from Syria taken by German army aerial reconnaissance, as Ankara seeks more information on a Kurdish militia.

US sends first 'up-armoured' vehicles to Kurdish-led Syria forces

The US military Tuesday said that it had provided reinforced vehicles for the first time to forces fighting in a Kurdish-led coalition against Islamic State in northern Syria.

Turkish prosecutor seeks up to 142 years in jail for Kurdish leader

A Turkish prosecutor is seeking up to 142 years behind bars for Selahattin Demirtas, the leader of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), the third-largest party in parliament, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported Tuesday.

Iraqi Kurdistan closes group helping Yezidi victims of Islamic State

An organization that has assisted members of the Yezidi religious minority victimized by the Islamic State extremist group said on Wednesday that Iraqi Kurdish security forces had closed its main office in the region.

Kurds enjoy their gains in Iraq, Syria, but eye Turkey nervously

The year 2016 brought a swirling tide of mixed fortune for the Kurds. They enabled the West to fight Islamic State forces in Syria, and grew stronger through their part in offensives in neighbouring Iraq. But those wins came as Turkey made life tough at home for its Kurds.

Turkish police detain more than 1,000 in raids on suspected militants

Turkish police detained more than 1,000 people in operations targeting alleged Kurdish militants and Islamic State activists in the past week, according to a statement from the Interior Minister on Monday.

Report: Turkish spy arrested in Germany involved in killing of Kurds

A man arrested in Hamburg on suspicion of espionage on behalf of the Turkish government may have been involved in the assassination of two Kurds, German tabloid Bild reported on Sunday.

Suspected Turkish spy arrested in Hamburg

The German Federal Prosecutor's Office has had a suspected agent arrested for spying on Kurds in Germany on behalf of the Turkish government.

Pro-Kurdish former mayor of Mardin arrested in Turkey

A Turkish court has arrested Ahmet Turk, the pro-Kurdish former mayor of Mardin, on terror charges.

Turkey issues arrest warrant for Syrian Kurdish political leader

Turkey has issued arrest warrants for a number of Kurdish leaders, including Salih Muslim, head of the main Kurdish party in Syria, and top figures in the armed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), the state-run Anadolu news agency reported Tuesday.

Turkish government takes over four additional Kurdish municipalities

Turkey's central government took control over four additional Kurdish municipalities in the restive south-east of the country on Thursday, raising to 34 the number of local governments in the region under Ankara's rule.

Turkey keeps pro-Kurdish party leader jailed, detains more officials

A Turkish court ruled Wednesday against releasing the co-leader of the country's main pro-Kurdish party, who was arrested this month, as more officials affiliated with the movement were placed under detention.

At least 12 killed in blast in Syrian Kurdish enclave, monitor says

At least 12 people were killed on Sunday in a powerful explosion in a Kurdish area in northern Syria, a monitoring group reported.

HRW: Iraq Kurds demolish homes in areas retaken from Islamic State

Iraq’s Kurdish forces have unlawfully destroyed large numbers of Arab homes in areas once ruled by the Islamic State extremist militia, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Sunday.

25,000 Alevis and Kurds demonstrate against Erdogan in Cologne

Some 25,000 followers of the Alevi branch of Islam and ethnic Kurds took to the streets of the western German city of Cologne on Saturday to protest the policies of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Report: Germany granting few Turks asylum amid crackdown

Turkish citizens fleeing the post-coup purge and crackdown on Kurds in their country this year have had slim chances receiving asylum in Germany, migration officials said on Saturday.

Monitor: Kurdish-led forces advance on Islamic State capital in Syria

Kurdish-led forces have made territorial gains in a campaign they launched last week to retake al-Raqqa, the Islamic State extremist militia's de facto capital in Syria, a monitoring group reported on Friday.

Iraqi Kurds "capture" Islamic State-held town of Bashiqa, near Mosul

Iraqi Kurdish troops Monday said they had captured the Islamic State-held town of Bashiqa near Mosul, two weeks after they surrounded it and cut off its jihadist defenders.

Pro-Kurdish party to boycott Turkish parliament after arrests

Turkey's pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) on Sunday said it would boycott parliamentary meetings following the arrests of its lawmakers.

Kurds protesting in Germany call for resistance to Erdogan

Kurdish demonstrators gathered in Cologne Saturday to protest the policies of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, just one day after a group of pro-Kurdish politicians were arrested in Turkey.

West slams arrest of Turkish opposition leaders

Western countries on Friday condemned the arrest of nine parliamentarians from Turkey's main pro-Kurdish opposition party, as the government continues its crackdown on dissent.

Parliamentarians arrested as Turkey targets main pro-Kurdish party

Istanbul (dpa) - Eight members of parliament from the main pro-Kurdish opposition party were arrested pending trial in Turkey on Friday, following overnight raids by police, sparking a strong condemnation by the European Union and several Western governments.

Ankara: Eight killed in car bombing after arrests of pro-Kurdish MPs

The Turkish government said at least eight people were killed in the Kurdish-majority city of Diyarbakir on Friday in a car-bomb attack that came hours after the arrests of pro-Kurdish legislators.

Turkey appoints trustee to run Kurdish city amid new detentions

An unelected Turkish bureaucrat will run the affairs of the south-eastern Kurdish city of Diyarbakir, the government announced Tuesday, taking the place of a pair of elected mayors arrested on terrorism charges this week.

Kurds fend off Islamic State attacks as Baghdad-Ankara spat continues

Kurdish forces on Monday said they fended off two attacks by Islamic State fighters in northern Iraq as Turkish and Iraqi officials again issued contradictory statements about whether Turkish forces were involved in the campaign to take Mosul.

Kurdish Peshmerga forces liberate seven villages near Mosul

Kurdish Peshmerga forces liberated seven villages bordering Mosul Monday, as the battle to reclaim Iraq's second city from Islamic State forces draws ever closer to its borders.

Erdogan slams Clinton's "political dilettantism" for Kurd comments

Turkey's president has criticized US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's "political inexperience" for her comments on arming Kurdish rebels in the fight against Islamic State.

Kurdish rebels claim killing of Turkish ruling party official

Turkey's outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) on Tuesday claimed responsibility for the killing of a local politician from the ruling Justice and Development (AKP) party in the restive south-east of the country.

Monitor: 19 dead in suspected Turkish strike on Syrian Kurds

Airstrikes by suspected Turkish jets on a Kurdish village in northern Syria killed at least 19 civilians, a monitoring group and Kurds said on Wednesday.

22 killed in suicide attack on wedding in Kurdish-held Syria

At least 22 people were killed in a suicide attack on a wedding in Kurdish-held north-eastern Syria, near the city of al-Hassakeh, a monitoring group says.

Turkey will not cooperate with Kurds to take Raqqa from Islamic State

Turkey will not cooperate with the main Kurdish militia in Syria to attack the Islamic State's de-facto capital, al-Raqqa, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman said Thursday.

"Only voters can remove us," says defiant Kurdish mayor in Turkey

The Turkish government has fired 24 pro-Kurdish district mayors in the south-east, alleging that they were aiding the banned PKK, and replaced them with trustees loyal to Ankara. The move has triggered defiance and anger. But there is also some support from the war-weary locals.

Rights group: Turkey killed 24 civilians in strike on Kurds in Syria

A Turkish strike on Kurdish positions in Syria killed 24 civilians, including six children, last month, Human Rights Watch said Thursday, warning that ordinary citizens were bearing the brunt of the conflict.

Protests as Turkey assumes control of pro-Kurdish municipalities

Turkish security forces used tear gas on protesters in the south-eastern province of Hakkari on Sunday after Turkish authorities dismissed dozens of pro-Kurdish mayors and councils.

Turkey assumes control of local authorities suspected of PKK support

Turkey has assumed control of local authorities in 28 municipalities, the Interior Ministry announced on Sunday, effectively overriding the power of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) in parts of the south-east.

Turkey grants access to imprisoned PKK chief after hunger strike

The imprisoned head of Turkey's outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) is to receive visitors again after a long period in isolation, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Saturday.

Deputy pro-Kurdish party leader arrested during raid in Ankara

The deputy chairman of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), Alp Altinors, has been arrested during a raid by Turkish police, the party said Friday.

Turkey suspends 11,000 teachers in Kurdish south east

More than 11,000 teachers in Turkey's south east have been suspended over suspected support of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), state new agency Anadolu reported Thursday, just over a week before the start of a new school year.

Hunger strikers in Turkey show support for imprisoned PKK leader

Fifty pro-Kurdish politicians and activists have begun a hunger strike in Turkey in support of Abdullah Ocalan, who leads the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), an opposition party spokeswoman told dpa on Monday.

Turkey says it will pump billions in stimulus money to Kurdish east

The eastern provinces of Turkey that are hurting economically from the ongoing clashes between Turkish forces and Kurdish fighters will receive 10 billion lira (3.3 billion dollars) in aid, the prime minister said Sunday.

Turkey sends more tanks into Syria as rebels advance on Islamic State

Turkey sent more tanks into northern Syria on Saturday, Syrian opposition sources said, as rebels backed by Ankara said they were moving to seize the last stretch of territory held by Islamic State on the Syrian side of the border.

30,000 Kurds march against Erdogan in Cologne

Some 30,000 Kurds protested the politics of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and demanded the release of jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan at a demonstration in the German city of Cologne on Saturday

Monitor: Turkish tanks roll back into restive Syrian Kurdish city

Turkish tanks returned to a Kurdish city in Syria on Saturday, a day after local protesters forced them to retreat, a monitoring group reported.

Fifteen Turkish soldiers killed in clashes with Kurdish militants

Eight Turkish soldiers have been killed in clashes with Kurdish militants in the east of the country, local officials said Saturday.

Casualties reported in Turkish shooting at Syrian Kurd protesters

A Kurdish child was killed and dozens of people were injured on Friday when Turkish troops fired at Kurdish protesters in the Syrian city of Kobane near the border with Turkey, a monitoring group and Kurdish officials said.

Syrian Kurds seek humanitarian and political support from EU

Syrian Kurdish leader Saleh Muslim called Thursday on the European Union for humanitarian and political support, after he said a ground offensive by Turkey into northern Syria was cutting off their supplies.

Turkey threatens further action against Syrian Kurds despite calm

Turkey on Wednesday denied reaching a ceasefire with Kurdish-led forces in northern Syria and threatened further action against them, although the Kurds said both sides were continuing to abide by a truce.

Kurdish spokesman: Turkey, Kurdish-linked fighters "abiding by truce"

Both Turkey and Kurdish-linked fighters are abiding by a truce in northern Syria and the situation is calm today, the spokesman for a powerful Kurdish militia tells dpa.

Turkish minister denies ceasefire with Kurdish forces

Turkey rejected claims Wednesday that a ceasefire had been reached between the country and Kurdish forces in northern Syria, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Kurdish-linked Syrian forces say ceasefire is in place with Turkey

Kurdish-aligned forces in northern Syria said Tuesday that a ceasefire had been reached with Turkey, after clashes that saw the main US ground ally against the Islamic State group pushed back by Syrian rebels backed by Turkish armour and airstrikes.

Pro-Kurdish television channel taken off the air in Turkey

The pro-Kurdish Ozgur Gun news channel said Tuesday it was taken off the air in Turkey, though it continues to operate in the country and broadcasts online.

Syrian Kurds accuse Turkish forces of cleansing local population

A spokesman for the Kurdish-led forces in northern Syria says Turkish invading forces are displacing local populations in northern Syria.

Turkey hammers Kurds in Syria, prompting rebel gains

Syrian rebels backed by the Turkish army took control of 11 villages from Kurdish-led forces in the north of the country in the past two days, while capturing only two new villages from Islamic State extremists, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported Monday.

35 civilians killed as Turkey, Syrian rebels press on against Kurds

Syrian rebels backed by Turkish tanks and jets pushed deeper into territory held by Kurdish-led forces in northern Syria on Sunday, leaving some 35 civilians dead in two separate attacks, a monitoring group said.

Turkish air raids, shelling reported on Kurdish-held area in Syria

Turkish warplanes and artillery hit a Syrian village held by Kurdish-led forces early on Saturday, a monitoring group and Kurdish sources said, as Turkey continued an offensive inside northern Syria. 

Car bomb attack kills 11 Turkish police at Cizre checkpoint

Eleven Turkish police officers were killed Friday in a suicide truck bombing at a security checkpoint in the restive south-eastern town of Cizre, government officials said, blaming the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Syrian Kurds: An oppressed minority trying to carve out a homeland

The civil war in Syria has seen the Kurds, the country's long-oppressed minority, emerging as a powerful force, led by a leftist political party and its armed wing which have managed to get the support of the United States for the past two years.

Turkey-backed rebels and US-supported Syrian Kurds clash in Syria

Syrian rebels supported by Turkey and US-backed Syrian Kurdish forces clashed Thursday in the north of the country, activists and Kurdish officials said, raising fears of a new confrontation over territory amid a Turkish led intervention.

Biden says Syrian Kurds must retreat over Euphrates River

US Vice President Joe Biden says the Syrian Kurdish forces his country backs must go back across the Euphrates River to the east bank.

Syrian Kurds, government forces reach ceasefire in north

Syrian Kurdish forces and militias loyal to President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday reached a ceasefire deal after more than a week of heavy clashes in al-Hassakeh that claimed dozens of lives.

Turkish-Syrian cross-border violence intensifies ahead of Biden visit

Multiple cross-border attacks - by Turkey, Islamic State forces and others - along the line dividing Syria from Turkey were reported Tuesday, just a day ahead of a planned visit to Ankara by US Vice President Joe Biden.

Syrian Kurdish-led forces say Turkey shells their positions

Kurdish-led forces who recently captured the northern Syrian city of Minbij from Islamic State jihadists said Monday they had come under artillery shelling from the Turkish military.

Report: Iraq Kurds capture child suicide bomber en route to attack

Iraqi Kurdish forces say they have captured a young boy wearing a suicide explosive vest who was sent to blow up a Shiite mosque in Kirkuk, in the north of the country, broadcaster Rudaw reported Monday, releasing a video of the incident.

Syrian Kurds urge al-Assad loyalists to surrender in north-east

Kurdish forces in north-eastern Syria called on fighters loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to lay down their arms and surrender, amid an advance in al-Hassakeh city.

Turkey says al-Assad starting to view Kurds as a "threat"

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Saturday he believes Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is beginning to view as a "threat" Kurdish forces in the north who are backed by the United States and battling Islamic State.

Turkey arrests novelist, journalist Asli Erdogan on terrorism charges

A Turkish court arrested novelist and journalist Asli Erdogan for alleged links to the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Hurriyet daily reported on Saturday, after she was questioned by prosecutors. 

Kurds claim advances against Syrian government amid fresh airstrikes

Kurdish forces backed by the United States made gains against militias loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the pro-Kurdish Firat news agency reported Friday, amid renewed clashes and a fresh wave of airstrikes.

Turkish prosecutor seeks 15 years for co-leader of pro-Kurdish party

A Turkish prosecutor is seeking 15 years in prison for the co-leader of the main pro-Kurdish party for her remarks in support of US-backed Syrian Kurds fighting Islamic State, a party official confirmed Friday.

Turkish court closes key pro-Kurdish newspaper in Turkey

A Turkish court has ordered the closure of newspaper Ozgur Gundem, charging that it spreads terrorist propaganda for the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), according to a copy of the decision circulated by activists.

Red Cross: Aleppo "one of the most devastating urban conflicts"

The fight for the Syrian city of Aleppo "is beyond doubt one of the most devastating urban conflicts of modern times," the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Monday.

Six killed by car bomb targeting police in south-east Turkey

Four police officers and two civilians were killed by a car bomb in south-eastern Turkey Monday, broadcaster NTV reported, as conflict in the area shows no signs of abating

Kurdish-led Syrian group plans to retake key town from Islamic State

A US-backed Syrian alliance, which dealt a major setback to Islamic State this week, announced on Sunday the formation of a military council to capture a strategic northern town from the extremist militia.

Monitor: Islamic State frees Minbij civilians taken during retreat

Islamic State fighters have released most of the civilians they took with them while retreating from the northern Syrian city of Minbij, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told dpa on Saturday.

Islamic State abducts 2,000 civilians while fleeing Syria border city

Islamic State militants abducted about 2,000 civilians from Minbij shortly after they were forced to retreat from the strategic Syrian city near the Turkish border, Kurdish officials said Friday.

Syrian Kurdish forces declare Minbij "liberated" from Islamic State

Syrian Kurdish-led forces, backed by US airstrikes, announced Friday the "liberation" of the key northern Syrian city of Minbij, saying only mine-clearing operations are ongoing, according to a statement carried by the pro-Kurdish Firat news agency.

Turkish prosecutor wants Kurdish politicians jailed for PKK support

A Turkish prosecutor is seeking a five-year prison sentence for two leaders of Turkey's main pro-Kurdish political party who spread "terrorist group propaganda" three years ago, the Dogan news agency reported Friday.

At least seven killed, 54 injured in two explosions in Turkey

At least seven people were killed and 54 wounded in two explosions in south-eastern Turkey allegedly carried out by the Kurdistan Workers' party (PKK), media reports and government sources said Wednesday.

Centre of Minbij captured from Islamic State, Kurdish-led forces say

Kurdish-led forces say they have captured the centre of Minbij city in northern Syria from the Islamic State extremist group.

Extradition of German Kurd to Turkey won't be easy, his Croatian lawyer says

A 52-year-old German citizen of Kurdish origin, who was arrested on an Interpol warrant on Wednesday in Kostanje, southern Croatia, inland from the coastal town of Omis, has been placed in custody in Split pending extradition to Turkey.

67 killed, 185 wounded in attack on Syrian town near Turkish border

At least 67 people were killed and 185 wounded on Wednesday in an attack claimed by Islamic State in Qamishli, north-eastern Syria, medical sources in the Kurdish-controlled town said.

Islamic State ignores ultimatum, fights Kurds in Syrian town Minbij

Islamic State fighters were locked in battle with US-backed Syrian forces in Minbij on Saturday, disregarding an ultimatum from the advancing Kurdish-led forces to leave the northern Syrian town.

Reports: 22 killed in clashes between Turkish forces and PKK

A car bombing in south-eastern Turkey left three people dead, two members of the security forces and a civilian, while 19 militants died in clashes with government troops, according to media reports on Saturday.

Turkey frees journalist arrested for supporting pro-Kurdish paper

Turkish authorities have freed journalist and writer Ahmet Aziz Nesin, who was arrested with two rights activists for supporting a pro-Kurdish newspaper, broadcaster CNN Turk reported Saturday.

Several killed, injured in car bombing and shoot-out in Turkey

A shootout Monday between security forces and suspected Kurdish fighters left three militants dead and a police officer injured in Turkey's far eastern Van province, the Dogan news agency reported.

Several injured in car bombing in eastern Turkey

A car bomb Monday injured nine people in Tunceli province, a mostly Kurdish province in eastern Turkey, in the latest such blast amid the ongoing unrest in the country.

Watchdog: Kurds close in on jihadist stronghold in northern Syria

Kurdish-led Syrian forces were closing in on the city of Minbij, the centre of the Islamic State extremist group's last stretch of territory along the Turkish border, a monitoring group said on Sunday.

US-backed Syrian Kurds launch fresh offensive against Islamic State

Syrian Kurdish-led insurgents seized territory on Wednesday from Islamic State in northern Syria as they launched a US-backed offensive against the extremist militia, the second front opened against the jihadist group in a week.

Syrian Kurds accuse Turkey of shelling their positions

Kurdish forces who have become the main ally of the United States in the fight against Islamic State in Syria on Monday accused Turkish forces of shelling their positions near frontlines in the north of the country.

Erdogan condemns US support for Syrian Kurdish militia

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday slammed the United States over Washington's support for a Syrian-Kurdish militia that is fighting Islamic State.

Turkish minister slams US over support for Syrian Kurds, insignia

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu slams Washington after photos emerged of US soldiers in northern Syria wearing the insignia of the main Kurdish militia in the country, as they jointly move to attack Islamic State.

Syrian Kurds launch campaign against Islamic State's de facto capital

 Powerful Kurdish-led forces in northern Syria on Tuesday announced a push towards the Islamic State extremist group's de facto Syrian capital of al-Raqqa.

Turkish parliament strips immunity of lawmakers; Kurds concerned

The Turkish parliament voted by a two-thirds majority Friday in favour of a constitutional amendment lifting the immunity from prosecution of 138 members of parliament, including nearly all the pro-Kurdish legislators.

Immunity vote passes round one in Turkey as Kurds cry foul

Turkish lawmakers passed Tuesday a motion that would lead to more than 130 members of parliament losing their legal immunity, a measure that the country's pro-Kurdish party called an attack on its deputies.

Kurds cry foul as Turkish bill lifting lawmaker immunity moves ahead

The first round of a vote that could lead to more than 130 members of the Turkish legislature losing their legal immunity began Tuesday, with the country's pro-Kurdish party calling the push an attack on its deputies.

Car bomb targets police in south-east Turkey: 3 killed, 34 injured

A car bombing targeted a police unit on Tuesday in Diyarbakir, a major city in south-eastern Turkey, killing three people and injuring 34, broadcaster CNN Turk reported.

Turkey takes step towards stripping Kurdish lawmakers of immunity

A commission in the Turkish parliament approved a bill overnight Tuesday that would remove the legal immunity of numerous lawmakers, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.

Turkey detains journalist over tweets about Kurdish conflict

Turkish police raided Saturday the home of a journalist and arrested him, apparently over posts he made on Twitter last year about to the ongoing conflict between the state and Kurdish militants in the south-east.

EU asks Turkey to restart peace talks with Kurds after deadly bombing

The European Union (EU) is urging Turkey to restart the peace process with the Kurds after an attack in the south-eastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir killed at least seven police officers.