PEACE IN KURDISTAN
Turkey’s Bid to Exterminate the Kurds Cannot Succeed
Peace Remains to Only Option
While President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey parades himself on the world stage in the guise of a peace maker vis-à-vis the Ukraine-Russia conflict, the Turkish armed forces have been conducting a brutal military operation against the Kurds in Southern Kurdistan and Rojava.
Since the start of its full-blown air and ground operation, codenamed Operation Claw Lock, Turkey has attacked dozens of Kurdish targets across the border in Southern Kurdistan (the Kurdish region of Iraq).
The Turkish Defence Ministry claims that its offensive is being carried out in coordination with the country’s “friends and allies”. It is known that Erdogan had met on the eve of launching the military action with Masrour Barzani, prime minister of the Kurdistan regional government.
In blood-curdling comments, the Turkish Defence Minister, Hulusi Akar, stated that the strikes would continue “until the last terrorist was dead”.
Erdogan also threatened Syrian Kurds that Rojava would not be exempt from this military assault which is targeting Kurdish bases in the Qandil Mountains on the Iraq-Iran border and in Syrian territory.
The Kurds are warning that the scale of Turkey’s renewed attack amounts to a move to exterminate them. Peace in Kurdistan shares the fears of the Kurds and demands that Erdogan be brought to heal.
Unfortunately, Turkey’s war is receiving scant attention from the international media and Western politicians who seem able to issue round the clock commentary on the conflict in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, a cascade of Turkish shells bombarded the city of Kobani including artillery and drone strikes on Kurdish units in Syria. These same units have put up heroic resistance to the onslaught from the Islamic State group (ISIS) and won the admiration of the world.
PIK reminds the world that the Kurds are still a key partner in the international military coalition in the fight against ISIS. As such, we find it to be distinctly odd, and indeed alarming, that Turkey’s latest attacks on this resistance to ISIS have hardly provoked a word of criticism from Washington, Brussels or London. That silence is shameful.
The assault on Kurdish positions in Syria are a clear violation of the ceasefire brokered by the United States in October 2019, which the Kurdish side remains pledged to fully upholding.
Peace in Kurdistan totally condemns Turkey’s military operation which is in breach of an agreed international ceasefire.
Peace in Kurdistan shares the opinions of those who warn that Erdogan is using the global media and political focus on Ukraine as a cover to conduct its latest war against the Kurds. The Turkish government also stands accused of opportunistically stepping up the war in order to divert public anxieties about the mounting economic crisis inside the country.
PIK reiterates its position that negotiations between Turkey and the Kurds remain the only realistic option for resolving the historic conflict and bringing about a lasting peace between the Turkish state and the Kurdish movement led by the PKK.
Turkey is inflicting yet more death and misery on the Kurdish people, including civilian casualties. The action increases tensions between Ankara and Baghdad and will destabilise the region with untold consequences.
By attacking and seeking to weaken Kurdish democratic forces in Syria, in particular, the Turkish operation will be welcomed as a gift by ISIS, assisting in the terrorist group’s resurgence and leading to a renewal of its menace to the people of the region and the world.
Turkey must be forced to halt its military intervention immediately. Ankara must not be allowed to get away with this brutal war against the Kurds.
We call upon political leaders in Washington, Westminster, Paris, Berlin and Brussels to act for peace by speaking out clearly and strongly against Turkey’s rogue operations.
The Kurds continue to stand full square for peace. They are pledged wholeheartedly to achieving peace through reconciliation. The search for justice for the Kurdish people is a perfectly legitimate, reasonable and achievable demand. In fact, this offers the only way forward. Peace in Kurdistan calls on all political parties to redouble efforts and work for that end. Ankara’s attempt to eliminate the Kurds is futile and cannot succeed.
24 April 2022
Download the statement as a word document here: PIK on Turkey’s invasion 24 4 22
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.