In the early hours of 10 February 2021, Turkish armed forces launched an attack on the area surrounding Gare, to the north of Erbil in northern Iraq. Warplanes have been bombed and Turkey’s soldiers have been dropped into the area by Cobra and Sikorsky helicopters. Fighting with guerrillas associated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has ensued.
This latest aggression follows a pattern of bellicosity from the Erdogan-led government which has demonstrated neo-Ottoman expansionist ambitions in Iraq, Syria, North Africa, the Caucasus and the Mediterranean. In each case, the Turkish state has used its armed forces and willingness to employ violence. This takes place in a context of mounting protest inside Turkey at the repressive, sectarian and racially intolerant policies of the government. The main target of the latest military deployment is the Kurdish population who inhabit northern Iraq. The Turkish government intends to destroy every manifestation of the Kurds until they are either totally subdued or they are annihilated. President Erdogan has rejected every attempt to find a peaceful solution to the Kurdish question in Turkey and the Middle East, choosing to undertake a military answer instead. The consequence is suffering and an enormous toll of lives.
Turkey’s military expansionism cannot take place without the acquiescence of Europe, NATO, the US and Britain. The governments of Britain, Europe and the USA are sustaining a Turkish state policy that brings death and destruction to the Kurds and the people of the Middle East. This tacit support will undoubtedly rebound on the citizens of Europe themselves, as we have seen through Turkish support for jihadists, including Islamic State, and fascist organisations which it uses as auxiliaries to commit terrorist attacks and wage war. We have seen the consequences on the streets of European cities. The British government recently signed a trade deal with Turkey. Erdogan’s government treats such a deal as an embrace and acceptance of its legitimacy and status.
There must be political, diplomatic and economic measures taken against the Turkish government to stop its relentless and escalating violence; the first step must be forcing the Turkish government to negotiate with the Kurds and their imprisoned leader, Abdullah Ocalan. The UK, Europe, the US and NATO should have acted years ago before this monstrosity could grow and inflict the damage it has done – act now.
10 February 2021
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.