“Often stated but never truer, ‘Your struggle is our struggle’. Through solidarity action, guided by clear thinking, our cause must and will prevail.
Solidarity with the Kurds, peace for Kurdistan, victory can be the only end.”
PEACE IN KURDISTAN SOLIDARITY MESSAGE FOR 15 AUGUST 1984
Today we remember with honour those Kurds who initiated the new era of resistance for the Kurdish people. 15 August 1984 began a new chapter in the history of the Kurdish struggle whose end is nowhere in sight and whose future is unresolved.
A peace settlement, long fought for and campaigned for, remains elusive despite all the efforts of the Kurdish movement, the leadership of Abdullah Ocalan and the contributions of those who campaign in solidarity with this just cause.
The Kurdish movement today has been shaped and built up through its daily resistance and by waging a necessary struggle against the enormous odds of the Turkish state whose army is one of the strongest in NATO and which receives logistical support from that NATO alliance. Against this stands the power of the people inspired by their party and by their leader, Abdullah Ocalan, an outstanding personality whose ideas have transformed the political landscape of the Middle East.
Under this leadership the Kurdish movement is now a mass national liberation movement that inspires the allegiance of millions and whose example transcends borders, cultures and peoples and is a force that can be felt right across the world.
Peace in Kurdistan
As a campaigning organisation, founded to support the Kurdish struggle, Peace in Kurdistan has itself stood in solidarity with the Kurds for approaching three decades, although as individuals we have been working for the Kurdish cause for even longer than this.
Peace in Kurdistan’s efforts in support of the legitimate Kurdish demands have helped provide a clear voice for the Kurds and brought understanding and awareness of their demands for peace and justice, especially in respect of Abdullah Ocalan’s repeated peace proposals, to the attention of the UK Government, European policy makers, strategic professions such as lawyers, academics, media, the trade unions and the wider public, and never forgetting the cultural workers and activists of the women’s movement.
Our work reflects the rich diversity of today’s Kurdish movement, whose strands and strengths have burgeoned at every level over recent decades, thanks in large part to the imagination and resolve of Abdullah Ocalan, whose influence has grown despite his captivity and Turkey’s attempts to silence him.
It seems appropriate to quote briefly from the founding statement of Peace in Kurdistan, from October 1994.
“The time has come for a political solution to the eleven year war between the Turkish state and the Kurdish people.
“Since 1984, an increasingly destructive war has been raging between the Turkish state and the armed Kurdish opposition in the southeast, where the majority of the inhabitants are Kurds. As many as three million people have been displaced from their homes, some to become refugees in Europe, and others to live in poverty or destitution in the cities of western Turkey, or the shanty towns of Diyarbakir.
“This war has been accompanied by the endemic torture, extra-judicial killings, disappearances and arbitrary imprisonment of tens of thousands of people suspected of ‘separatism’, including MPs, writers, journalists, trade unionists, lawyers and human rights activists.”
Conflict continues, resistance continues
Much sadly remains unchanged, and, tragically, this conflict continues to this day, as we are all too well aware as we witness President Erdogan’s current military offensive, which is receiving far too little publicity in the world’s media. Faced with intolerable conditions and unremitting cruelties, the Kurdish resistance inevitably goes on, taking different forms and emerging in different arenas.
But the need for a lasting settlement is still urgent and critical. The search for a resolution is a fundamental precondition for a future based on freedom and justice that have long eluded the Kurdish people, whose losses and suffering are hard to comprehend. That is why the demands for peace must be widened and stepped up, and why our solidarity work remains unfinished.
Peace in Kurdistan remains steadfast in its solidarity with the Kurds in their struggle and our efforts to achieve peace are undiminished. We are inspired by the determination, creativity and essential humanity of the Kurdish people whose hopes and dreams of a better future epitomise and encapsulate the fundamental needs of all humanity.
Delist the PKK
We demand the delisting of the PKK as a terrorist organisation, in line with the decision of the Belgian Supreme Court which in 2020 determined that the PKK should not be designated as a terrorist group. The ban is not only unjust; it enables Turkey to control the narrative and shield itself from criticism as it wages its brutal war against the Kurds, committing unconscionable atrocities in the process.
The ban also permits Turkey’s UK, EU and US allies to sit on the side-lines as it conducts its abuses unrestrained and refrain from reining in Ankara using the excuse that Turkey is only combating terrorists. Getting the ban on the PKK lifted will remain a priority of our campaigns as it is a fundamental precondition for achieving peace.
Often stated but never truer, ‘Your struggle is our struggle’. Through solidarity action, guided by clear thinking, our cause must and will prevail.
Solidarity with the Kurds, peace for Kurdistan, victory can be the only end.
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, Jill Evans, former MEP, Desmond Fernandes, Lindsey German, Convenor STWC, Melanie Gingell, Christopher Gingell, Prof Dr. Michael Gunter, Secretary-General, EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC), Rahila Gupta, journalist, Nick Hildyard, policy advisor, Dafydd Iwan, Former President Plaid Cymru, James Kelman, Bruce Kent, Jean Lambert, former MEP, Dr Les Levidow, Open University, Elfyn Llwyd, John McDonnell MP; Aonghas MacNeacail, Scottish Gaelic poet, 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, Maxine Peake, actor, Dr Thomas Phillips, Liverpool John Moores University, Trevor Rayne, writer, Joe Ryan, Bert Schouwenburg, International Trade Union Adviser; Tony Simpson, Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, Stephen Smellie, PIK Trade Union Liaison Officer, Jonathan Steele, journalist, 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.