We received this press release from our friends in Ottawa, Canada, who gathered today in Parliament Hill to protest the atrocities taking place in the Kurdish regions of Turkey:

To the Canadian Press and General Public:

Ottawa –

The Kurdish Community will gather in Parliament Hill at 11:00 am on Monday January 18th, 2016 to demonstrate against the Turkish State atrocities in North Kurdistan (Turkey). 

When the ruling AKP government and its leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, came into power in Turkey they promised for peace and stability.What has followed instead has been an ethnic cleansing and systematic massacre of the Kurdish people. In the aftermath of the November 1st elections, in an attempt to prevent the Kurds from making any gains or achieving any status, unlawful curfews have been declared in the districts of Cizre, Silopi, Sur and many other parts of North Kurdistan. As a result, there have been more than 162 reported deaths, including women, children, and elderly people. In all areas under curfew, the people have been deprived of basic needs such as water, food, and electricity. Residents in need of medical care have been unable to access such care, as they fear leaving their homes. Furthermore, ambulances have been unable to enter these areas due to the situation. Majority of the district’s population is reported to have left to neighbouring areas as a consequence of this war waged on the Kurdish people.

Protests and vigils taking place throughout the country have been suppressed by the police using tear gas and water cannons resulting in injuries, arrests and even deaths.

Turkey’s war on the Kurds will only strengthen the will of the Kurdish people and the democratic forces, their resistance, and their determination for self-rule.

We condemn the policies of ethnic cleansing and massacre against the Kurdish people and we ask the Canadian public and the international community to not turn a blind eye and remain silent. We demand that the sieges, curfews and deportations come to an end. We also demand that those responsible are punished for human rights violations and for negotiations to resume.