Translated from German, Anfdeutsch April 11, 2019 / Azadi

Anfdeutsch talked to Remzi Kartal, Co-Chairperson of the KONGRA-GEL, about the court decisions in Belgium of the last three years and their meaning for the Kurdish movement. Among other things, Kartal said:

“The Kurdish question is an international question in which Europe has been playing a direct role right from the beginning, that is, World War I, until  this very day.”

According to him, this is particularly true “for the support of the policy of rejection and denial on the part of the NATO member state Turkey, the corresponding listing of the PKK as a ‘terrorist organization’ and the policy of bans and repression used against Kurdish institutions in Europe.” This policy, he said, is still continuing. What is needed, he said, is “a change of this discriminating policy of terror lists with regard to the Kurds. Just as the inclusion of the PKK in the list represents a political decision, a political will is also what is behind the recent decisions of the courts.”

Kartal highighted a number of further points: The investigation and the opening of the proceedings had been “a political and no legal decision.” The problems ought to be “solved on the basis of international law.” Because Turkey had not been ready to accept this, it appealed four times against this view. However, it was not able to meet the requirement to supply new evidence for the claim that the PKK is a terrorist organization. “The reasons that have been cited for this in the past are now being  struck down by the courts. Together with our lawyers, we have now wrecked this tactic of the Turkish state. Yes, the PKK is a party to a conflict and must be regarded as such in the framework of international law.”

When asked what the next steps on the legal plane will be, Remzi Kartal announced: “The Kurdish institutions as well as the jurists who are pursuing the Kurdish question will collectively fight for the striking of the PKK from the terror list on the level of the European states and the international institutions, accompanied by a a comprehensive legal struggle in the countries were the PKK is outlawed.” This holds particularly for Germany and the United Kingdom.

According to Kartal, the court decisions in Belgium in March 2019 and by the European Court in Luxembourg in November 2018 have “inaugurated a new phase” for the Kurdish movement, its institutions, and its politicians. “The prohibition of the PKK and its inclusion in the ‘terrorist list’ as well as the undemocratic treatment of individual persons is unacceptable.” It is necessary, said Kartal, “to lead an effective struggle which cites these decisions as a precedent”.

Anfdeutsch April 11, 2019 / Azadi

TRANSLATED into English for Peace in Kurdistan