Ken Loach in corresponds with Peace in Kurdistan and raises the Turkish invasion of Rojava on Question Time.

Dear Estella

 Thanks for writing. I’m very pleased to sign the call for a cultural and academic boycott.  This accompanying letter amply justifies the need for this action in clear and measured language.

 I’m afraid my capacity to organise supporting events is limited, but I’ll do what I can.

 Thanks for organising this. Clearly the situation is desperate.

 With warmest good wishes,


Segment starts 55 minutes in, starts talking about the Kurds at 56 minutes in.


Ken Loach (in answer to a question about border controls after the lorry deaths earlier this week): We know people trying to seek asylum from many other countries, war torn countries. I think we have to be much more intolerant of countries that abuse human rights. China is certainly one of them and there are many other countries as well I mean we don’t need to list them all but I think we need a United Nations. We need a UN that can actually impose some sense of morality on these self seeking warring nations. What’s happened in this instance is appalling but also what’s happened to the Kurds is appalling, I mean I’m surprised the Kurds aren’t trying to cross- they’re approaching genocide there Continue reading “Ken Loach in corresponds with Peace in Kurdistan and raises the Turkish invasion of Rojava on Question Time.”

Syrian Democratic Council statement regarding Turkish violation of ceasefire agreement

18 October 2019|The Syrian Democratic Council


Upon the request and approval of the SDF, and with the mediation of the United States, an immediate ceasefire agreement was reached last night between the SDF and the Turkish state along the distance between Sri Kaniye / Ras al-Ain and Tal Abyad / Gre Spi. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) abided by it from yesterday night at 22:00 Syrian local time until this moment, while the Turkish state forces and the militias affiliated with it did not abide by this decision, but this morning they targeted the village of Bab al-Khair, southeast of Ras al-Ain . The bombing caused five martyrs from SDF and a number of civilians. The shelling is still continuing , hindering access to the wounded and helping the civilians.

Continue reading “Syrian Democratic Council statement regarding Turkish violation of ceasefire agreement”

Heyva Sor (Kurdish Red Crescent) Report: Turkish and Islamic groups military invasion in Northeast Syria 9 – 12 Oct

12.10.2019 (edited for clarity)
9 – 12 October 2019

Civilian casualties since the 9th of October– the start of the Turkish invasion- recorded by KRC team

Dead: 7, between the age of 22-71, male and female, in Kobane, Ras Al Ain, Qamishli, Derek, M4


Injured and shocked: 8, between the age of 11-40, male and female, in Qamishli, Ras Al Ain, Derek.

Continue reading “Heyva Sor (Kurdish Red Crescent) Report: Turkish and Islamic groups military invasion in Northeast Syria 9 – 12 Oct”

Turkey’s planned attack on Rojava/North-East Syria must be stopped

Turkey’s armed forces are massed along the border with north-east Syria awaiting the order to invade. President Erdogan intends to use military force to establish a so-called ‘safe-zone’ 30km deep and 480km long (19 miles by 300 miles) inside Syria, on land that is home to over three-quarters of a million mainly Kurdish people. These people are to be killed or evicted from their towns and villages and replaced with over one million of the 3.5 million Syrian refugees living in Turkey. Such a plan, if carried out, will result in enormous violence and will drive the Middle East deeper into chaos and destruction. President Erdogan and his AKP-MHP government are a danger to us all.

Following a telephone conversation between US President Trump and Erdogan on 6 October the White House issued this statement: ‘Turkey will soon be moving forward with it long- planned operation in Northern Syria. The United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operations, and United States’ forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial “Caliphate”, will no longer be in the immediate area.’ President Erdogan understood that this was the signal from the US that he had asked for and long been preparing for, saying on 7 October: ‘We made a decision. We said, “One night we could come suddenly”. We continue with our determination…It is absolutely out of the question for us to further tolerate the threats from these terrorist groups.’

President Erdogan brands any manifestation of Kurdish political representation or aspiration to democratic rights as terrorism, be it in Turkey, Syria or elsewhere. The Kurdish people in Syria, their political representation in the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and their military defence in the form of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), have made no threat or challenge to the territorial integrity of either Turkey or Syria. They have complied with US-led mechanisms to ensure that Turkey’s border is secure and in doing so have dismantled defences near to Turkey’s border. No military actions against Turkey have come from Rojava/north-east Syria. However, the Kurdish people, along with the different ethnic communities that live in the area that is now threatened, have insisted they have the right to defend themselves if they are attacked. An SDF spokesperson said, ‘We will not hesitate to turn any unprovoked attack by Turkey into an all-out war on the entire border to defend ourselves and our people.’ The PYD calls for ‘a democratic dialogue and negotiation process inclusive of all parties towards ending the civil war in [Syria]’ and points out that a Turkish military incursion with enforced demographic change are crimes against humanity according to international law.

In July 2012, the Kurdish people and others in Rojava rose up and established a democratic, gender equal, secular, ecological and non-sectarian administration with inter-ethnic cooperation. It became and remains a beacon of hope for the Middle East – a beacon that Turkey and others want to extinguish. In January 2018 the Turkish state and it auxiliaries attacked Afrin, the western-most canton of Rojava, and occupied it. Since then Afrin has been subject to terror and ethnic cleansing. Erdogan has spoken of his ambition to reclaim territories lost to the Ottoman Empire after the First World War. The attack on Afrin and an invasion of Rojava would be part of realising that ambition.

Under President Trump’s agreement with Erdogan, Turkey will take responsibility for all ISIS fighters in the area captured over the past few years. This is diabolical; it is well documented that the Turkish state has collaborated with and armed ISIS, and sought to use the jihadis against both Syrians and the Kurds. Some 11,000 SDF young men and women have been killed fighting ISIS. The Kurds and their allies are guarding thousands of ISIS captives, including about 2,500 from Europe and elsewhere and 10,000 and more from Iraq and Syria. Al Hol camp in north-east Syria holds approximately 70,000 people. There remain ISIS sleeper cells across the region. If Turkey invades, the ISIS captives will not be secure or detained.  Senior former US and British national security professionals have recently warned of the threat of a resurgent ISIS. That threat, the threat to the peoples of the entire Middle East, and the threat of repetitions of atrocities like September 11, 2001 in the US, of the Madrid commuter rail system, of the Bataclan theatre in Paris, and the Manchester Arena, will become all the more real and apparent as a consequence of permitting a Turkish invasion.

The British, European and US governments must tell President Erdogan and Turkey clearly and with one voice, ‘No, you must not invade,’ and they must back this demand with real and immediate sanctions if Turkey continues its threats.

8 October 2019

Peace in Kurdistan

Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question

Email: [email protected]

Contacts Estella Schmid 020 7586 5892 & Melanie Gingell – Tel: 020 7272 7890

Patrons: John Austin, Christine Blower, NEU International Secretary, Prof Bill Bowring, Julie Christie, Noam Chomsky, Dr Cynthia Cockburn, Jeremy Corbyn MP,  Prof Mary Davis, Lord Dholakia, Simon Dubbins, UNITE International Director,  Jill Evans MEP, Lindsey German, Convenor STWC, Melanie Gingell, Christopher Gingell, Rahila Gupta, Nick Hildyard, Dafydd Iwan, Former President Plaid Cymru, James Kelman, Bruce Kent, Jean Lambert, Elfyn Llwyd, Aonghas MacNeacail, Scottish Gaelic poet, Mike Mansfield QC, Doug Nicholls, General Secretary, GFTU, Dr. Jessica Ayesha Northey, Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy, Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley, Kate Osamor MP, Margaret Owen OBE, Ali Gul Ozbek, Former Councillor and Mayor of Haringey; Gareth Peirce, Dr Felix Padel, Maxine Peake, actor, Trevor Rayne, writer, Lord Rea, Joe Ryan, Tony Simpson, Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, Stephen Smellie, Jonathan Steele, Steve Sweeney, Gianni Tognoni, General Secretary Permanent People’s Tribunal, Dr Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, Dr Tom Wakeford, Dr Derek Wall, Julie Ward MEP, Hywel Williams MP.



Defend Maxmur Camp from Turkish Aggression

We call on the UN, its member states and all its institutions and agencies to fulfil their duties and take action to enforce the law by holding Turkey to account for its actions.


Statement, 23 July 2019
Last Friday, it was reported that Turkey had launched air strikes on the Maxmur refugee camp, located in the Kurdish region of Iraq, over which the UN flag flies. This brutal military action targeted civilians but was met with total silence and utter inaction from the international community. This is an outrage as is the fact that the liberal media turned a collective blind eye. The lack of response from Iraq and the Kurdish regional authorities is equally an outrage. Continue reading “Defend Maxmur Camp from Turkish Aggression”

Turkey and the Armenian Genocide: A Genocide Committed, a Genocide Denied


 With the 104th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide on 24 April 2019, the world is once again reminded of the mass murder of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, and the systematic denial of this crime by successive Turkish governments.

The Armenian Genocide entailed the methodical vilification and destruction of Armenian communities across the Ottoman Empire from Van and Erzurum to Rodosto (Tekirdag) and Edirne. With very few exceptions, over 3,000 Armenian communities were destroyed with the loss of one and a half million lives. The genocide of Assyrian and Greeks followed suit, until the declaration of the Republic of Turkey in 1923. Continue reading “Turkey and the Armenian Genocide: A Genocide Committed, a Genocide Denied”