1. SPRING FORBIDDEN / SPRING CONQUERED - Newroz 2012, an historical day for Kurdish people

Sunday, 18th March, we participated, on behalf of European Left, in the commemorations of spring in the Kurdish capital, the very old town of Amed, or Diyarbakir as it is called in Turkish. This is a multi-millennium old tradition, a popular event to welcome the new season that Kurdish call the Newroz - the new days.
But the Kurdish resistance movement of last decades has somehow given a new meaning to this commemoration as a celebration of their will to put an end to the winter days of oppression and see the beginning of new days of spring of freedom.

[ Poster forbiden by the authorities ]

We were welcomed at the hotel by a dear friend, the Kurdish activist Feleknas Uca, German Member of the European Parliament for 10 years, from 1999 to 2009, elected in the lists of Die Linke. Wearing a traditional costume, like many Kurdish women do for this festivity, she briefed us on the situation and the news is not good: the Turkish government has forbidden the commemorations, the site is blocked and police units cut the streets leading to the Newroz Park.

We decide to meet at the headquarters of BDP – Peace and Democracy Party, the party of Kurdish people that is organizing the Newroz commemoration.

Many people were starting to gather there.

With music and dancing, we could already feel the party beginning.

There were two BDP buses to take some leaders and activists of the movement and international guests to the event. These two buses are decorated with slogans and equipped with a powerful sound system playing traditional songs and hymns that make people sing and dance around them. They will show up to be key instruments along the day, as we will see later on this report.

The police, surrounding the square, start attacking the people gathered there with water canons and tear gas. 

[ To be continued on post 2 ]

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