We, the undersigned academics and human rights activists, insist that the leaders of Russia, Iran, and the U.S. ensure that the sovereignty of Syrian borders is not breached by Turkey and that the people of Afrin in Syria, be allowed to live in peace.

 Afrin, whose population is predominantly Kurdish, is one of the most stable and secure regions in Syria. With very little international aid, Afrin has taken in so many Syrian refugees in the last five years that its population has doubled to more than 400,000. Afrin is now surrounded by enemies: Turkish-supported jihadi groups, al Qaeda, and Turkey.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has​​ begun to attack the U.S. military’s Kurdish partners – the Kurdish YPG or People’s Protection Units – with which the US has been allied against ISIS. Turkey accuses the YPG of being “terrorists” despite the YPG’s long track record of setting up local democratic governing councils in each of the towns it has liberated from ISIS and its repeated statements that it has no interest in Turkey and wishes to function only as a defense force for Syrian Kurds and other ethnicities living in the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (DFNS), also known as “Rojava,” which includes Afrin.

Turkey has massed an enormous military force on the Afrin border and President Erdogan has promised to attack the Kurdish-controlled canton with full force, annihilating a peaceful enclave, and putting thousands of civilians and refugees at risk, all in pursuit of its vendetta against the Kurds.

An attack of this kind against the peaceful citizens of Afrin is a blatant act of aggression against a peaceful and democratically-governed region and population. Turkey cannot carry out such an attack without the approval of Russia, Iran and Syria – and inaction by the U.S. to stop it. The Kurdish people have endured the loss of thousands of young men and women who joined the YPG, and YPJ women’s force, to rid the world of ISIS. The U.S and international community have a moral obligation to stand behind the Kurdish people now. We call on U.S. officials and the international community to guarantee Afrin’s stability and security and prevent further Turkish aggression from within Syria and across the Syrian border.


Noam Chomsky, MIT Professor Emeritus

Michael Walzer, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University, Professor Emeritus

Charlotte Bunch, Distinguished Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, Rutgers University

Todd Gitlin, sociologist and Chair, PhD Program in Communications, Columbia University

David Graeber, Professor of Anthropology, London School of Economics UK

Nadje Al-Ali, Professor of Gender Studies, SOAS University of London UK

David Harvey, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Geography, CUNY Graduate Center

Michael Hardt, political philosopher and Professor of Literature, Duke University

Marina Sitrin, Assistant Professor of Sociology, SUNY Binghamton

Ann Snitow, activist and Associate Professor, New School

Bill Fletcher, Jr., former President of TransAfrica Forum

David L. Phillips, Director, Program on Peace-building and Rights, Columbia University

Joey Lawrence, photographer and filmmaker

Meredith Tax, writer and organizer, North America Rojava Alliance

Debbie Bookchin, journalist and author, NARA


Co-signed by:


Ada Colau, Mayor, Barcelona, Spain

Gerardo Pisarello, First Deputy Mayor of the City of Barcelona

Laura Pérez, Councilor for Feminisms, LGBTI and International Relations of the City of Barcelona

Sónia Farré, Deputy Spokesperson, Foreign Affairs Committee of the Spanish Congress of Deputies

Dr. Thomas Siebert, Medico International Human Rights Coordinator

Judith Butler, philosopher and Professor, University of California, Berkeley

Adem Uzun, Executive Committee Member of the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK)

Lisa Mazzone, Member of Parliament, Green Party, Switzerland      

Hon. Silvia Giacoppo, National Senator, Argentina 

Julie Ward, Member of the European Parliament, UK

Abdullah Demirbas, former Major Diyarbakir Sur district, founding member of Council of Forty

Fernanda Gil Lozano, Parliamentary Vice President of Budget Committee, Mercosur,

Emily Clancy, City Councilor, Bologna Italy (Coalizione Civica per Bologna)

Brunella Guida, City Councilor, Bologna, Italy (Coalizione Civica per Bologna)

Margret Kiener Nellen, Swiss Parliament V.P. AP OSCE, Member of IPU Executive Committee

Dr. Kamran Matin, Senior Lecturer in International Relations, Sussex University, UK

Dr. Daniel Bendix, University of Kassel, Germany

Prof. Jens Wissel, Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, Germany

Muriel Gonźalez, historian, assistant profesor, Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB)

Prof. Dr. Aram Ziai Heisenberg-Professorship, University of Kassel, Germany

Prof Dr. Reinhart Kössler, former Director, Arnold Bergstraesser Institut, Freiburg, Germany

Benedikt Krüger, M.A. in Literature and Philosophy, Frankfurt (Oder) / Berlin, Germany

Joel Whitebook, PhD., faculty of the Columbia University Psychoanalytic Center, US

Rabbi Michael Lerner, Editor, Tikkun Magazine, Berkeley, CA

Michael Korbmacher, on behalf of the magazine Peripherie, Münster, Germany

Elena Gagliasso, associate professor, La Sapienza University, Rome, Italy

Andrej Grubacic, Chair of the Anthropology and Social Change Department, CIIS San Francisco

Dr. Tobias Schmitt, Institute for Geography, University of Hamburg, Germany

Doug Nicholls, General Secretary, General Federation of Trade Unions, UK

Stephen Smellie, Deputy Convenor, UNISON Scotland

Bert Schouwenburg, International Officer, GMB

Christine Blower, International Secretary, National Union of Teachers, UK

Dr. Annette Lawson, Chair of the Judith Trust, UK

Dr. Radha D’Souza, author and Reader in Law, Westminster University and India Matters, UK

Bernd Belina, Professor of Human Geography, Goethe Universiät, Frankfurt am Main

Jonathan Steele, International Affairs commentator, UK

Margaret Owen OBE, international human rights lawyer, UK

Richard Norton-Taylor, editor, journalist and playwright, UK

Tariq Ali, writer, journalist and political activist, UK

Marco Celentano, researcher, Università di Cassino e del Lazio Meridionale, Terni, Italy

Karl-Ludwig Schibel, Practical Utopias Agency, region of Perugia, Italy

James Kelman, writer, Scotland

Maxine Peake, Actor, UK

Rahila Gupta, writer and journalist, UK

Dr. Thomas Jeffrey Miley, Lecturer, Fellow of Darwin College, The University of Cambridge, UK

Dr. Andy Higginbottom,  Associate Professor, Senior Fellow, Kingston University, UK

Trevor Rawnsley, Widening participation fellow City University London, UK

Brian Tokar, on behalf of the Institute for Social Ecology, Vermont, US

Stan Newens, President of “Liberation,” former Member of Parliament, UK

Aziz Choudry, Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair, McGill University, Canada

Nick Hildyard, policy advisor, UK

Dr. Tom Wakeford, Coventry University, UK

Steve Sweeney, journalist, UK

Kariane Westrheim, Professor, Faculty of Psychology, University of Bergen, Norway

Les Levidow, Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC) UK

Martin Mair, master of engineering, Academy of Applied Unemployment, Vienna

Dario Azzellini, Visiting Research Fellow at the ILR School, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

Dr. Friederike Habermann, economist and historian, Germany

Michael Baron, writer, UK

Barry White, journalist, UK

John Hunt, journalist, UK

Jane Reid, trustee of various charities, UK

Lucy Carter, art historian, UK

Chris den Hond, filmmaker, France

Prof Jacky Jones, UWU Bristol, European Women Lawyers Association, UK

Lindsey German, convenor, Stop the War Coalition, UK

Dr. Federico Venturini, independent activist-researcher, Italy

Dr. John Rees, visiting research fellow, Goldsmiths University of London

Steve Cushion, secretary, University and College Union (UCU) London Retired Members Branch

David Morgan, journalist, UK

Melanie Gingell, barrister, UK

Charlotte Onslow, conflict conciliation and international relations advisor, UK

Tony Simpson, Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, UK

Pep Puig i Boix, PhD engineer, Alternativa Verda – Green Alternative, Catalonia

Colm Massey, Solidarity Economy Association Ltd., UK

Dr. Amy Bartholomew, Assoc. Professor, Law and Legal Studies, Carleton University, Canada

Ned Parish, Plaid Cymru, Cardiff Central, Cardiff Wales

Fatih Seyhanoglu, Kurdish Interfaith Council, US

Anna Rebrii, CUNY student, NYC, US

Bianca Bagatourian, Playwright, Activist, US

Eleanor Finley, PhD Student, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, US

Cora Roelofs, Assistant Professor, Tufts University, Friends of Rojava in North America, US

Zaher Arif, writer, activist, UK

Jo Magpie, journalist, writer, UK

Rachel Chapman, PhD Student, The Graduate Center, CUNY, US

Elif Sarican, Kurdish Students Union, UK

Estella Schmid, Peace in Kurdistan Campaign, UK

Mehmet Ugur, Professor of Economics and Institutions, University of Greenwich, UK

Dirk Campbell ARCM, Composer, Lewes UK

Ruken Isik, PhD Student, University of Maryland, US

Huseyin Tunc, researcher, Institute for the Study of Human Rights, Columbia University

Vincent Gerber, journalist and author, Geneva, Switzerland

Dr. Peter Archard, historian, London, UK

Dr Bengi Akbulut, Assistant Professor, Concordia University, Montreal

Akif Wan, Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) UK representative

Shahrzad Mojab, University of Toronto, Canada

Mustafa Ali, Engineer, Calgary, Canada

Gulay Kilicaslan, PhD Candidate, York University, UK

Sardar Saadi, PhD Candidate, Anthropology, University of Toronto, Canada

Antonio Negri, philosopher, Paris

Martino Seniga, journalist, Rome, Italy

Tanja Scheiterbauer, Research Associate, Dept. of Political Science, Goethe Universität, Frankfurt a.M.

Necibe Qeredaxi, Jineolojî Center, Brussels (Belgium)

Dr. Alan Asman, writer, UK

Azad Dewani, PhD researcher of Peace Studies, and human rights advocate, UK.

Janet Biehl, writer, activist, translator, Vermont, US

Leandro Vergara-Camus, Senior Lecturer in Development Studies, SOAS University of London

Manjeet Ramgotra, Sr. Teaching Fellow, Dept. Politics and International Studies, University of London

Prof. Dr. Richard Sorg, D-20144 Hamburg (Germany), Hansastr. 36.

Susanne Spindler, Professor of Social Work and Migration, University of Applied Sciences, Düsseldorf

Anna Krämer, political scientist and civic education trainer, Frankfurt, Germany

John Faulkner, Administrator SOAS, University of London UK

Dr. Patrick Neveling, Senior Researcher, Dept. of Social Anthropology, University of Bergen, Norway

Prof. Yair Wallach, SOAS, University of London

Dr. Paul O’Connell, Associate Dean for Research, Law and Social Sciences, SOAS, University of London

​Sheila Mosley, Support Kurds in Syria – SKS/ Leicester Kurdish Solidarity Campaign, UK

Cemalettin Cinkilic, painter, fine art student at Middlesex University London, UK

Kit Ashton, PhD student, Goldsmiths College, University of London

Dr Dara Salam, teaching fellow, SOAS University of London, UK

Tom Armstrong, UCU Branch President, SOAS, University of London, UK

Dr. Gina Heathcote SOAS University of London, UK

Alfredo Saad Filho, Professor of Political Economy, SOAS University of London, UK

Professor Machiko Nissanke, SOAS, University of London, UK

Chris Nickolay, storyteller, UK

Elif Genc, PhD student, Adjunct Professor Manhattan Marymount College, New York, USA

Laurin Mackowitz, philosopher, Activist, Research Assistant University of Alberta, CA

Svante Malmström, activist and organizer, Transnational Institute of Social Ecology, Finland

Yavor Tarinski, TRISE, Athens, Greece

Amin Othman , journalist, Community Rojava Vancouver,Canada

Eva Mayr, peace activist, Austria

Jenny Künkel, geographer, Humboldt University Berlin

Professor Eva Jablonka, Tel-Aviv University Tel-Aviv, Israel

Sarah Parker, retired, London UK

Pierre Wyrsch, bookseller, Geneva, Switzerland

Cliff Ashcroft, writer, UK

Ahmet Tari, physicist, UK

Monika Vogel, Chair, Green Party of Maintal, Germany

Fritz Koch, AG der Sozialdemokraten, of the Social Democratic Party, Sachsenhausen, Frankfurt a. M.