PEACE IN KURDISTAN
Statement in support of Defend Kurdistan against Turkish occupation
Peace in Kurdistan sends its solidarity greetings on 1 September 2021 World Peace Day to all who call for an end to the Turkish occupation of Kurdistan. The latest escalation of the Turkish state’s war against the Kurds came with the 23 April invasion of northern Iraq/South Kurdistan. This invasion is itself a violation of international law, being the occupation of a sovereign nation. As Kurdish-led resistance to the occupation army and its auxiliaries remains unbroken, the Turkish forces have resorted to the use of chemical weapons and to bombing medical facilities and health staff. These are both breaches of international law. Villages have been attacked, terrain set on fire and a campaign of forced population removal has been employed. That the invasion and the barbaric methods of conflict employed have gone without condemnation by the European Union, the US and British governments is a moral disgrace and a warning to all who value peace and democracy.
Everyday more Turkish soldiers are killed by the resistance. They themselves were sent into Kurdistan to kill people and are treated as disposable by the AKP/MHP government of President Erdogan. Precisely at the time when the popularity of the government in Turkey is declining and its legitimacy is questioned, that government’s campaign against the Kurds in Iraq, Syria, Turkey and everywhere else that Kurds live is increased. The invasion coincides with the orchestrated racist attacks on and murder of Kurds in Turkey and the intended criminalisation of Turkey’s third largest political party, the HDP.
None of this could be done without the acquiescence of the European Union and NATO countries, an organisation of which Turkey is a member. None of it could be done without the weapons and credits that Europe, the US and Britain supply Turkey. Unless they speak out and oppose the Turkish occupation and war, they are complicit in the Turkish state’s crimes. There can be no peace in the Middle East without peace in Kurdistan.
All the while, the Kurdish movement remains committed to reaching a peaceful, political resolution of the conflict. By refusing to negotiate with the imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan, the Turkish government demonstrates not only its desire to wage a war of annihilation against the Kurds, but its own weakness and lack of legitimacy, fearing that if it were to open up for reconciliation with the Kurdish population, Erdogan’s government would lose its authoritarian grip on power. Without such a reconciliation, there can never be peace within Turkey, or the surrounding region. The people of Europe must oppose this war. Defend Kurdistan against Turkish occupation.
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.