Within hours of the commemoration of the 106th anniversary of the start of the Ottoman Empire’s genocide of the Armenian people on 24 April 1915, the Turkish state launched a large-scale military invasion of territory in northern Iraq. The mainly mountainous territory is administered by the Kurdistan Regional Government. The Turkish government states that its intention is to remove the PKK from the area. It uses the designation of the PKK as a terrorist organisation to justify a policy intended to eradicate any expression of Kurdish rights or democratic aspiration. There are reports of poisonous gas being used by the Turkish invaders. Their forces have established several dozen bases inside Iraq, as they have in Syria. This military adventure could not have taken place without the agreement of local regional governments, including that in Baghadad, and the major powers of the USA, European Union and the United Kingdom.
The Kurdish guerrilla fighters, whose sacrifices were critical to the defeat of Islamic State jihadists, are now battling the Turkish army and its bands of jihadi auxiliaries. The PKK and the guerrilla units are critical for the defence of Kurds everywhere and are now waging a battle that is vital not just for the Kurds but for democracy and human rights throughout the Middle East. The PKK and the Kurdish people are the main barrier to Turkish President Erdogan and his AKP/MHP alliance government’s neo-Ottoman ambitions to restore to Turkey lands that were taken back after the First World War. For these expansionist ambitions to be realised, the PKK and Kurdish resistance must be vanquished. The numbers of people who are being sacrificed, displaced, and turned into refugees to crush the Kurds and to subjugate them testifies to the determination of ruling group in Turkey, and to their racism, their sectarianism and utterly reactionary nature.
All who value democracy, peace and human rights must oppose the Turkish invasion of Iraq. The designation of the PKK as a terrorist organisation is nothing but a propaganda cover for the disposal of unwanted people and any who oppose or are critical of the Turkish government. The British government must review and rescind this terrorist designation. By adhering to the Turkish state’s designation, the British government directly facilitates Turkey’s neo-Ottoman expansionist wars. Peace in Kurdistan will begin when negotiations are begun with the imprisoned leader of the PKK, Abdullah Ocalan, negotiations which Ocalan and the PKK have repeatedly called for. Until these talks commence and a solution to the Kurdish question is sought there will be chaos and war. We call for full support for the resistance being waged in the Zagros Mountains.
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, 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, 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.