PEACE IN KURDISTAN
Statement in solidarity with World Kobane Day on 1 November 2021
Seven years ago, the struggle of the Kurdish people in Kobane was on the front line of the struggle for all of humanity. They were not just fighting the Islamic State; they were fighting the forces of barbarism, of ignorance and intolerance, the forces of mass murder and misogyny and those who, like the Turkish state, would excuse them and use them to further their own selfish interests.
People in Britain have a particular responsibility for the fate of the Kurdish people. At the end of the First World War there were two great losers when the British and French imperialists carved up the old Ottoman Empire; the Palestinians and the Kurds. Their suffering endures down to the present day. Enough! It must end, it must be stopped.
The Kurdish people’s struggle for rights stands at the heart of any movement towards democracy in the Middle East, it is inextricably intertwined with its fate.
The Turkish state tried to set a trap for the Kurds in Kobane and Rojava. It intended to use ISIS to destroy the Kurdish people’s struggle for freedom and self-determination. Turkey blockaded Rojava, West Kurdistan, prevented people from travelling to Kobane to defend it but allowed ISIS to travel across its border to enter Syria to fight the Kurds. The resistance defeated them. Now Turkey wages war on the Kurds and other peoples who live northern Iraq. It uses chemical weapons and acts with impunity, defended as it is by NATO and the great powers. The Turkish state and President Erdogan must be branded as international pariahs and criminals. They continue to imprison the Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan and to isolate and persecute him, again in defiance of the law. Abdullah Ocalan must be freed.
In Kobane the people have fought against sectarianism, ethnic and religious intolerance and for women’s emancipation – they provided the world with a pinnacle of resistance and the world saluted their heroism. New victories will arise. The Kurds will ultimately win their rights and freedom and a democratic and peaceful Middle East will be secured. Peace in Kurdistan sends its greetings and solidarity for World Kobane Day.
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.