PEACE IN KURDISTAN
Solidarity Greetings on Newroz, the National Day of the Kurds
Newroz is the ancient national festival shared by Kurds everywhere which over the centuries has been the occasion for joyful communal celebrations and expressions of national solidarity.
The collective experience of the occasion has helped shape the national consciousness of the people of Kurdistan and in modern times this special day has taken on a critical political significance in the face of continued hardship, struggle and conflict.
This year the celebrations will have an added poignancy and trepidation for the Kurds as a result of a combination of challenging circumstances.
The enormous privations suffered by the victims of the recent earthquake, the desperate struggle to bring emergency aid and the coming battles for reconstruction will not be far from the thoughts of everyone even as they join in the festivities.
The detention and isolation of Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan amid concerns about the state of his health will remain in sharp focus among the people along with the legal machinations against the HDP, the Turkish state’s war of aggression against Rojava, the popular uprising against clerical rule in Iran and the fate of those detained.
To this formidable array of challenges must be added the criminalisation of Kurdish organisations in Europe under punitive anti-terrorism legislation and attempts to silence voices of resistance to state repression in Kurdistan, reflecting the complicity of European powers with Ankara in particular.
In all these various fields of battle the Kurdish people demonstrate tremendous courage, resilience and resourcefulness.
Historically, Newroz has been an opportunity for expressions of popular solidarity and for reinvigorating the spirit of collective resistance among the people. This year’s Newroz will be no different. Newroz which means rebirth will see the energies of the Kurds refreshed for the inevitable struggles that lie ahead.
Peace in Kurdistan want to pay tribute to the great resilience of the Kurds, and we draw inspiration from their undiminished hopes for better times and for a free Kurdistan whose day draws ever nearer.
We stand in solidarity with the Kurdish people in the darkest and brightest of times, sharing in the necessary struggles while enjoying the respite of Newroz and its joyful collective festivities.
21 March 2023
Peace in Kurdistan
Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question
Contacts Estella Schmid: 07846 666 804 & Melanie Gingell: 07572 430903
Patrons: John Austin, Baroness Blower of Starch Green, former GS NUT, Prof Bill Bowring, Julie Christie, Noam Chomsky, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Maggie Cook, UNISON women activist; Prof Mary Davis, Lord Dholakia, Simon Dubbins, UNITE International Director, Dr Radha D’Souza, writer, Desmond Fernandes, Lindsey German, Convenor STWC, Melanie Gingell, Christopher Gingell, Prof Dr. Michael Gunter, Secretary-General, EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC), Rahila Gupta, journalist, Lord Hylton, Nick Hildyard, policy advisor, Dafydd Iwan, Former President Plaid Cymru: Doug Jewell, GFTU General Secretary, James Kelman, novelist, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Jean Lambert, former MEP, Dr Les Levidow, Open University, Elfyn Llwyd; John McDonnell MP, Mike Mansfield QC, David Morgan, journalist, Doug Nicholls, General Secretary, GFTU, Dr. Jessica Ayesha Northey, Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy, Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley, Kate Osamor MP, Margaret Owen OBE, Ali Gul Ozbek, Former Councillor and Mayor of Haringey; Gareth Peirce, Dr Felix Padel, anthropologist, Maxine Peake, actor, Dr Thomas Phillips, Liverpool John Moores University, Father Joe Ryan; Dr Thomas Schmidt, ELDH Europe, Bert Schouwenburg, International Trade Union Adviser, Tony Simpson, Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, Stephen Smellie, PIK Trade Union Liaison Officer, Jonathan Steele, journalist, Chris Stephens SNP MP, Steve Sweeney, journalist, Gianni Tognoni, General Secretary Permanent People’s Tribunal, Dr Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, Dr Federico Venturini, Associate Researcher, University of Udine, Italy; Dr Tom Wakeford, Dr Derek Wall, Julie Ward, former MEP, Kariane Westrheim, Chair, EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC); Hywel Williams MP.