KNK Executive Council Statement

3 April 2013




Whilst on his way to the World Social Forum in Tunisia, the vice-president of KONKURD and KNK member, Mr Yilmaz Orkan was arrested at Brussels Airport following instructions from the Spanish government, 24th March 2013.

As the public are also aware, Mr Adem Uzun, representative of KNK’s Executive Council and Kurdish diplomat was entrapped and arrested in France, October 2012.

It has been a commonplace in Europe to witness the victimisation and targeting of Kurdish politicians, executives and diplomats. This has become an area of concern for us. Such actions are causing on the one hand, the criminalisation of legitimate organisations like KNK and KONKURD in Europe, whilst narrowing and preventing the development of Kurdish diplomatic relations.

We believe that the existence of these unfair proceedings against Kurdish organisations and individuals in Europe is related to the anti-democratic economic ties between the Turkish government and Europe. The formations of new contracts are at the expense of imprisoningKurdish individuals.

9th January 2013, marked the date of an insidious attack upon our friends Fidan Dogan (KNK member), Sakina Cansiz and Leyla Saylemez (Kurdish Woman’s Movement executives) in Paris. This attack was targeted at Kurdish organisations and Kurdish diplomatic relations. Never before had the Kurdish community in Europe witnessed such an attack, marking 2013 as the first time a physical annihilation like this has taken place.

Whilst all of these events were taking place in Europe, Turkey and Kurdistan were also experiencing significant developments. Abdullah Ocalan, the leader of the Kurdish people who has been denied his freedom for the last fourteen years, stated on the 21st March 2013 that a new era in Kurdish history was about to begin and called for the Turkish-Kurdish conflict to come to an end. The Kurdish Movement which declared a ceasefire following Ocalan’s statement, has allowed for further dialogue to take place between the AKP Government and Mr Ocalan. Much attention from both Turkey and the outside world has been given to the peace negotiations and support is expected from European countries. However, the victimisation of Kurdish politicians in Europe and their arrests will not help the negotiations process but instead will impede any potential developments.

The arrests of our friends Mr Adem Uzun and Mr Yilmaz Orkan will not assist in the peace negotiations and are political acts aimed at hindering the process. We are deeply concerned with these arrests. Our friends have only ever been involved in diplomatic activities and lobbying. They have not been involved with criminal matters. They have been arrested unfairly and under false pretences. We call on all those countries who are concerned with these unfair arrests to stop further arrests and to free those who have been a victim of false imprisonment.

We call for solidarity and support, and hope to get our voice heard by all those who care about peace, dialogue and human rights.


KNK Executive Council.