- After the killing of two Kurdish Kolbars (porters) by Iran’s border guards, thousands of Kurds protested the Iranian regime in Baneh city of Kurdistan Province for two days. The government’s intelligence services arrested hundreds of Kurdish activists in the Kurdish cities in an attempt to prevent further protests in the country. The Iranian revolutionary guards also surrounded the protests and later broke apart the gathering by firing shots in the air and arresting people. On September 5, Baneh city business owners shut down their stores in solidarity with the demands of the Kurdish protesters. The two victims were identified as a 41 year old with four kids and a 22 year old.
- On September 10, The High Committee for Independence Referendum held a meeting and reaffirmed that the process of the Independence Referendum will take place as scheduled on September 25 without postponing. In the meeting, the representatives of the political parties also agreed to reactivate the parliament. Meanwhile the Democratic Party of Kurdistan (KDP) has agreed to the “7 points solution” of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) to reactivate the parliament and reach political agreements among the counterparts. After the KDP-PUK agreement, PUK held meetings with both the Islamic parties of Islamic Union (Yekgirto) and the Islamic Group (Komal) which ended in semi agreement to PUK’s points. A three-way meeting will also take place on Tuesday between KDP, PUK, and the Change party (Gorran). The Kurdish political parties agreed to have a parliamentary session either on the 14th or 15th of September, depending on a decision among the counterparts. PUK’s 7 points solution includes: activation of the parliament, ending the system of the cut of salaries of the government employes due to the financial crises, amend Kurdistan’s Presidency law, pass a legislation for the upcoming referendum, approval of the new constitution for Kurdistan, and passing a law for disputed territories to be able to elect their representatives in the Kurdistan parliament.
- According to a commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) 70% of Raqqa city has been liberated. In an interview, the female commander Rojda Felat also noted the high morals among the fighters as they are near concluding the operation to liberate Raqqa of ISIS. Last week, the U.S. backed-SDF was able to retake al-Meroor neighborhood west of the city. “Wrath of Euphrates,” a military campaign to liberate Raqqa, started on June 6, 2017 and the city of Raqqa has been surrounded since July. The SDF also formed a new force to take Deir al Zour, the last stronghold of ISIS in eastern Syria. Deir ez-Zor Military Council announced launching the campaign of “al-Jazeera Tempest” to liberate the city as the Syrian regime forces with Russia’s support are racing to take the city from ISIS.
- In preparation for the local elections, the Northern Syria region announced that 11,881 people submitted applications for 3,947 communes in the region. The elections will take place in three stages to include the Cantons of Kobani, Al Jazeera, and Afrin. The High Electoral Commission has distributed electoral cards to the citizens in several areas.
- The Speaker of the Turkish Parliament Ismail Kahraman requested to strip five lawmakers of the opposition parties in the upcoming session of the Parliament when it resumes its duties on October 1 after summer recess. If the voting passes, four pro-Kurdish lawmakers of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and one of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmakers will be stripped from their parliamentarian status. The Speaker is a member of the ruling party of Justice and Development (AKP) with 258 seats out of the 550. The AKP block stripped two Kurdish lawmakers in July before the recess, as eleven of the HDP lawmakers including both co-chairs remain in Turkish jails.
- After campaigns of “Vigil of Conscience and Justice” in Diyarbakır, Istanbul and Izmir, the HDP launched the campaign in Turkey’s Capital Ankara. The gathering took place in Ahlatlibel Park near the Constitutional Court of Turkey. Representatives of non-government organizations, members of HDP and Kurdish lawmakers attended the first day. In a speech, the HDP spokesperson Osman Baydamir described the process of prosecuting 11 HDP lawmakers as “a lie”. Baydamir reminded the attendance that the co-chair of the HDP Selahattin Demirtsh has been in jail for more than 300 days. “Why HDP’s co-chair Selahattin Demirtas’s case didn’t start for 307 days? There were no court sessions on Demirtas’s file,” Baydamir said. “Vigil of Conscience and Justice” is a campaign launched by the HDP to raise awareness for the Turkish government’s purge against the Kurdish lawmakers and Turkey’s opposition voices.
- On September 8, the Turkish authorities released the former spokesperson of the HDP Ayhan Bilgen after spending 7 months in jail. Bilgen is accused of “membership to a terrorist organization” for a speech he gave back in 2014 calling to support the Kurdish fighters in Syria against ISIS. Bilgen’s case is still ongoing in the court as the prosecutor is seeking 12-25 year time in prison.
- A Kurdish woman lost her life due to an armed attack by a Turkish nationalist on a tent that belongs to Kurdish farm workers in Samsun city. Another woman is wounded due to the shots on the tents. Due to lack of job and opportunities, a large population of the Kurds work outside of their towns and cities as laborers.