JOINT STATEMENT BY THE KURDISH COMMUNITY OF THE UK
30 May 2014
KURDS FOR AN INDEPENDENT SCOTLAND
On 18 September 2014, the Scottish people have an opportunity to determine their own future as an independent country in a free vote. The choice that they make in this independence referendum will influence the lives of future generations. Furthermore, the result will have a profound impact on the fortunes of peoples throughout the world – the Kurds included – who hold similar aspirations to take greater control of their own lives and who are seeking to determine their own futures.
At stake are not borders, national flags or emblems, but whether free people have the right to decide their own futures in a democratic state. It is for this reason that the Kurds will be watching closely the vitally important developments unfolding in Scotland over the next few months.
The Kurds, involved in their own historic national struggle for respect and recognition as a people, see democratic autonomy as forming the basis of a new relationship between themselves and their neighbours whereby all peoples in their region are treated as equals.
The Kurds in Kurdistan have been expressing a resounding ‘Yes’ in increasing numbers to the strategy of deepening democratisation. In Southeast Turkey and in Rojava in Syria in particular the Kurds have been taking greater control of their destinies in a democratic process that they regard as ultimately unstoppable.
The Scottish people have the right to choose independence and build a strong, new relationship between Scotland and the rest of the UK. This is what a ‘Yes’ vote essentially means; the alternative is to remain within the old structure of the centralised British state where all key decisions influencing their lives and livelihoods are taken in the Westminster Parliament. If the Scottish people have the courage to vote ‘Yes’ they will start to construct a new partnership of equals with the rest of the British Isles.
The Kurdish community in Britain, through their representative civil society organisations across the UK, recognise the historic significance of the coming referendum in Scotland. As such, we would like to express support for ‘Yes’ vote and believe that an independent Scotland will improve the lives of the people considerably.
Independence for Scotland will not only strengthen democracy in Scotland itself but help re-energise the democratic process in the rest of Britain also, where the implementation of neo-liberal economic restructuring, gross social inequalities and an interventionist foreign policy have inflicted great suffering on people everywhere.
Right across the world, nations of people without an independent state to call their own are taking power and asserting their rights to determine their own futures in different ways. In Catalunya and the Basque Country in Spain, in Kurdish Rojava in Syria, and elsewhere in Europe and beyond, the peoples that were long shunned as a ‘minority’ governed by majority rule, are declaring their right to self-rule in ways that are most appropriate for their own specific situations. A ‘Yes’ vote in Scotland will inevitably make a profound contribution towards the successful resolution of this historic process.
Jointly supported by:
Kurdistan National Congress UK (KNK)
Kurdish Community Centre, Haringey
Halkevi Turkish and Kurdish Community Centre
People’s Council of Britain
Sussex Kurdish Community Centre
Peace in Kurdistan Campaign