Solidarity greetings on 15 August 2021

Peace in Kurdistan sends greetings to Kurdish people everywhere on the 37th anniversary of the launch of the guerrilla struggle for a peaceful and democratic Kurdistan. That the struggle has survived and grown is testimony to its just cause, its creativity and potential. Above all, the Kurdish people’s ability to sustain armed resistance against enemies backed by NATO, the US and Europe demonstrates that the Kurds have vision, consciousness and a determination to win. That determination was demonstrated with the first shots that were fired on 15 August 1984.

It is worth recalling the context in which the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), led by Abdullah Ocalan prepared for and then opened the offensive. It was a situation of brutal oppression with parallels to today. On 12 September 1980, Turkish General Kenan Evren and the Turkish Army mounted a coup d’detat. A regime of disappearances, mass imprisonment, torture, execution and murder was installed. Hundreds of thousands of people were imprisoned, journalists were gaoled and shot, newspapers shut down, prisoners died on hunger strikes. The Kurdish language was banned in Turkey, thousands of Kurdish villages were renamed, even Kurdish children were forcibly renamed. In Kurdish areas rapes, torture and executions were even carried out in public to try and terrorise the opposition into submission. A West German parliamentary delegation visited and reported that there was ‘no dictatorial regime’ in Turkey and ‘no systematic application of torture’. This was used by the West German government to reject many asylum requests from refugees. It was into this horrific situation that Mahsum Korkmaz led a small guerrilla unit to attack a Turkish gendarmerie station. This act of defiance lit up the route to an unbreakable resistance.

Not all the atrocities visited by the Turkish racists upon the Kurds have broken their will. Wave after wave of repression, armed assaults and invasions have not subdued the Kurds. Their resistance has evolved and grown with exemplary creativity: women’s emancipation, ecology, democratic confederalism and an end to ethnic and religious sectarianism are now at the centre of the Kurdish struggle for self-determination. They have won the right to respect by all who want a better more peaceful and democratic world. Abdullah Ocalan continues to lead the resistance – he must be freed. Self-determination for the Kurdish people, Peace in Kurdistan. Such unbreakable resistance will triumph!


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.