Eluned Morgan AM (Labour), the Welsh Government Minister for International Relations & Welsh Language, has sent a letter to Jeremy Hunt (see letter in slideshow below) urging him to contact the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) re: the isolation of Öcalan, in light of the deteriorating condition of Imam Sis (on day 138 of his hunger strike today).
There is also a cross-party letter, organised by Plaid Cymru, which should surface Tuesday 7 May 2019.
This, combined with the motion passed by the Welsh Assembly, is an incredibly significant political achievement.
Jessica Morden MP (Labour) has also reportedly written to the foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt.
This comes the day after Plaid Cymru issued an urgent appeal to the UK Government to take action on the hunger strikes and contact the CPT: https://www.partyof.wales/hunger_striker_imam_sis_s_condition_critical?fbclid=IwAR1alqcV6NuQJ0qV0e7Jq1SM23Rbsdb81L8ARBlEsUy2eytvyM1hicm-IfQ
On 14 December, the Rojava Solidarity group in Bristol hosted an event at the Malcolm X Centre on the origins and politics of the Rojava Revolution:
“Caught between the expansionist ISIS and escalating oppression by the Turkish state is one of the largest and most interesting revolutionary struggles of our times. Rojava, comprising three regions of northern Syria, is home to 2 million people while across the border in South-Eastern Turkey an increasing number of villages and neighbourhoods are declaring themselves autonomous and committed to self defence. Within these areas is a social experiment that incorporates feminism, ecology, has survived four years of military assaults. For much of this time they have been the only successful opposition to ISIS.”
Watch the meeting below:
Peace in Kurdistan Campaign patron Kate Osamor MP asked a series of questions of the the UK government last week, in an attempt to gauge whether Turkey’s obvious duplicity – bombing PKK targets and Kurdish civilians in recent months apparently in the name of fighting ISIS while covertly supporting ISIS and affiliated groups – is at all an issue for the UK’s relationship with it NATO ally.
The written responses she received were, frankly, quite incredible, for two reasons. First, they reveal the UK appears to have no intention of questioning Turkey, even as documented evidence mounts of their support for ISIS on the one hand and of major human rights abuses in military operations against the Kurds on the other. Secondly, they represent a callous disregard for the concerns being raised by issuing a stock answer, identical word-for-word, for each question asked. In fact, it is the exact same answer given by FCO representative Baroness Anelay when questioned about the Turkish military hitting more PKK targets than ISIS positions and arresting more Kurdish activists that ISIS members. The answer was simply this:
The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) continues to kill Turkish police and security forces. The PKK must cease its violence and the peace process needs to be resumed. We support Turkey’s right to defend itself against all forms of terrorism.
The Government continues to monitor closely Turkey’s democratic reforms, including as part of the EU accession process, focusing particularly on freedom of expression, respect for the rule of law and minority rights.
We welcome Turkey’s invaluable contribution to the international campaign against Daesh, particularly its agreement for the use of its airspace and airbases, as a member of the Global Coalition committed to defeating it. Turkey has been carrying out strikes against Daesh since July 2015, and have detained over 2,500 Daesh suspects since 2013, of whom one third are foreigners. Turkey recognises the role that Syrian Kurds have to play in the fight against Daesh, and accepts that Syrian Kurds receive Coalition support.
It was David Lidington MP, Minster for Europe, who answered each of Kate Osamor’s questions – 4 in total – with the same answer above. We can only speculate as to how and why this stock answer has been issued by the Government.
They were also asked about whether concerns had been raised about the use of curfews in Silva, CIzre and elsewhere, which has led to the deaths of nearly 100 civilians. Once again, the answer shows disregard for the severity of the violence or the lives of the civilians on the receiving end of it. And once again, the same answer was given twice:
We welcome the visit on 15-16 October of Turkey’s national human rights body to Cizre and Sirnak to conduct analysis and research on the recent events there.
We continue to monitor the human rights situation in Turkey closely and raise concerns regularly with the Turkish authorities.
Yesterday, Peace in Kurdistan Campaign sent this letter to Prime Minister David Cameron. It was drafted in response to the Ankara bombing and the UK government’s continued support for President Erdogan, despite all evidence of his divisive and dangerous politics that has threatened the very stability of Turkey – and Syria. We call on him to urge Turkey to heed the PKK’s ceasefire and return to the peace process immediately.
In just a few days, the letter was signed by 95 of our campaign’s long-time supporters, as well as friends of the Kurdish movement from across the world. We have published the letter and signatories below in full.
Rt Hon David Cameron MP
21 October 2015
Open letter to David Cameron on UK policy towards Turkey
PRESS RELEASE BY THE UNISON SCOTLAND DELEGATION WHO VISITED THE KURDISH REGION IN TURKEY
29 September 2015
A delegation of four trade unionists from Scotland: Stephen Smellie, deputy convenor of Unison Scotland; Viv Thomson, Chaiperson of UNISON’s national women’s commitee; Sarah Collins, UNISON East Ayrshire branch; and Paul Smellie, young member of Unite the Union, along with”Glasgow girl” Roza Salih*) visited Diyarbakir in southern Turkey last week following news reports of military curfews in the predominantly Kurdish region. Continue reading “UNISON delegation visits Diyarbakir amidst ongoing violence and intimidation”
On Wednesday 23rd September at 4pm, a delegation of women delivered an open letter signed by a coalition of prominent women’s rights activists to 10 Downing Street. The letter urgently calls on David Cameron to use his influence with the Turkish government to stop the violence being perpetrated against Kurdish civilians in the south east of the country.
The delegation includes Michelle Allison (Kurdistan National Congress), Evrim Yilmaz (Roj Women Assembly) and human rights barrister Melanie Gingell, who has just returned from a fact-finding mission to Cizre, south east Turkey, which has been under curfew for several days and which has been a flashpoint of violence between Turkish security forces and Kurdish civilians in recent weeks.
Cameron has long insisted that Turkey, a NATO partner, is a strong friend to the UK. On his last official visit to Ankara, Cameron stated that Britain and Turkey would work “hand-in-glove” to combat ISIS. And yet he has turned away as the Turkish government used their apparent entry into the anti-ISIS coalition as a veil to break the ceasefire with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and attack Kurdish towns and villages. Continue reading “Women warn UK government of dangers to Kurds”
Wednesday 23rd September, 4pm
Join us for a demonstration outside 10 Downing Street!
“Help build peace with the Kurds, rather than extend the war.”
On Wednesday 23rd September at 4pm, a delegation of women will deliver an open letter signed by a coalition of prominent women’s rights activists to 10 Downing Street. The letter urgently calls on David Cameron to use his influence with the Turkish government to stop the violence being perpetrated against Kurdish civilians in the south east of the country.
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Leader of the Labour Party
Peace in Kurdistan would like to send its warm congratulations to you on the gre
at news of your victory in the Labour leadership contest.
Your election will be greeted with enthusiasm as excellent news by all who believe in a better world. The Kurdish people, who are proud to count you as a friend, certainly share in the celebrations of your election victory.
This successful result is a real tribute to your tireless campaigning for social justice and the rights of peoples at home and abroad.
We take the opportunity to pay tribute to you for your staunch and consistent support in Parliament and your solidarity with the Kurdish community in London.
We wish to thank you for all your support over the years for our campaigns on behalf of the Kurds and in particular for the peace process in Turkey which seeks to resolve the conflict in that country.
We would like to wish you well in your new role as you lead your party onto electoral success in coming months and years.
Peace in Kurdistan looks forward to working with you in the future as Labour’s new leader.
Peace in Kurdistan
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
London, 14th September 2015
Kurds are being massacred by the Turkish State and the world is watching…
The ‘International Partner’ of the Arms Fair is the Turkish government’s Defence and Aerospace Industry Exporter’s Association.
Right now London is hosting one of the biggest arms fairs in the world, with tanks, guns, drones and missiles being showcased at the DSEI Arms Fair in the EXCEL Centre. Since Monday, protesters have been successfully blocking the vehicles that are transporting the weapons, and even gate-crashing the set-up inside the EXCEL building.