13 February 2018

Peace in Kurdistan Campaign

Contact Estella Schmid: 020 7586 5892 estella24@tiscali.co.uk

Peace in Kurdistan Campaign has today sent a petition signed by leading academics, trade unionists and activists from across the world, to Staffan de Mistura, UN Special Envoy for Syria, calling on him to ensure there is proper representation of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (DFNS) at the UN sponsored peace talks.

To date the Kurdish-led DFNS has been excluded from the talks despite the fact they administer approximately one third of all territory in Syria under a democratic system. This exclusion delegitimises the talks and has emboldened Turkey to invade Afrin. It also makes a lasting political solution significantly less likely. The process of a Syria-wide peace resolution requires at the very minimum a Syria-wide representation of all the communities whose future depends on the outcome.

The DFNS has established a radical form of direct democracy based on principles of gender, class and race equality and ecological sustainability. It is their defence forces, YPG and the women-only YPJ, with the help of US Coalition air cover, which have won the battle against ISIS in Raqqa.

This northern region has, until the recent military offensive in Afrin by Turkish forces, been one of the most peaceful parts of Syria. The social model in operation there, one that provides an accommodation for all groups, could serve as a template for the whole of Syria. It has come to stand for fundamental principles of rights and humanity that offer hope of lasting peace and a better future for all the peoples. The DFNS has demonstrated that the people of the Middle East can live together in mutual respect rather than perpetuated animosities and sectarian hatreds.

It is of fundamental importance that the DFNS are represented at all future rounds of UN sponsored talks. The future of the DFNS is also threatened by Turkey’s invasion of Afrin and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s intention to ‘strangle it before it is even born’. The UN must use its authority to get Turkey to desist from all aggression towards DFNS.

If the world hopes to consolidate the peace post-ISIS, the model of democracy developed by the Kurds and implemented in Afrin, Kobane and elsewhere by the DFNS deserves recognition and our unfailing support.


Peace in Kurdistan
Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question
44 Ainger Road, London NW3 3AT
Email: estella24@tiscali.co.uk www.peaceinkurdistancampaign.comContacts Estella Schmid 020 7586 5892 Gingell – Tel: 020 7272 7890
Fax: 020 7263 0596

Patrons: John Austin, Christine Blower, NUT International Secretary, Prof Bill Bowring, Julie Christie, Noam Chomsky, Jeremy Corbyn MP,  Prof Mary Davis, Lord Dholakia, Simon Dubbins, UNITE International Director,  Jill Evans MEP, Lindsey German, Convenor STWC, Melanie Gingell, Rahila Gupta, Nick Hildyard, Dafydd Iwan, Former President Plaid Cymru, James Kelman, Bruce Kent, Jean Lambert MEP, Elfyn Llwyd, Aonghas MacNeacail, Scottish Gaelic poet, Mike Mansfield QC, Doug Nicholls, General Secretary, GFTU, Dr. Jessica Ayesha Northey, International Coordinator, Green Party of England and Wales;; Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy, Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley, Kate Osamor MP, Margaret Owen OBE, Gareth Peirce, Maxine Peake, Lord Rea, Joe Ryan, Stephen Smellie, Steve Sweeney, Dr Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, Dr Tom Wakeford, Dr Derek Wall, Julie Ward MEP, Hywel Williams MP.