This weekend Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan held a demonstration in central Edinburgh to protest continuing attacks by the Turkish military on Kurdish cities and civilians.
The group delivered a letter to the Turkish Consul, which expresses concern for the women and children killed since last summer and calls for the Turkish government to end the curfews in Kurdish towns. The letter was signed by several other union members, Scottish Green party members and activists.
Around 100 people showed up to support the delivery of the letter, including Tommy Sheppard MP, SNP member for Edinburgh East. Read the letter in full below.
In addition, Scottish Solidarity activist Roza Salih attended a Unite Scottish policy conference, where a motion was passed which condemns the attacks, use of curfews and the killing of civilians in the southeast of the country. You can download the motion in full: Motion for Unite conference_180116.
c/o UNISON South Lanarkshire
21 Beckford Street
Hamilton ML3 7YH
93 George Street
16 January 2016
We are sending you this letter to request that you convey to the Turkish government our concerns regarding the actions of state forces in the Kurdish areas such as Cizre, Silvan, Sur and others.
The number of deaths at the hands of the Turkish police and soldiers is very disturbing, as is the destruction of homes, public buildings and public areas. We are particularly concerned with the number of children who have been killed and wounded in recent months.
The Turkish President, Mr Erdogan, states that he is fighting the PKK terrorists. Even after the suicide bombing in Istanbul this week by Daesh/ISIS he equated that terrorism with the PKK. We do not accept this position at all. Daesh do not want peace whereas the PKK, Abdullah Ocalan and the wider Kurdish movement including the HDP and other political parties, have wish only for peace.
We urge the Turkish government to end the curfews of towns and allow people to attend work, school and access hospital and other medical care as well as see to the burial of their loved ones who have been victims of this conflict.
We urge the Turkish government to end its campaign of violence and intimidation.
We urge the Turkish government to seek a peaceful resolution to the conflict by engaging in peaceful and democratic discussions with Kurdish leaders in Turkey.
Yours in friendship,
Stephen Smellie, Depute Convenor UNISON Scotland
Unite Scotland; Chris Stephens MP (SNP); Maggie Chapman Co-convenor Scottish Green Party; Sam Macartney, Chair UNISON Scotland International Committee; Councillor Ed Archer South Lanarkshire Council; Colin Turbet, Social Work writer and RISE parliamentary candidate; John Stevenson, President City of Edinburgh UNISON; Clare Williams Convenor, Northern Region UNISON; Reverend Derek Pope; Peter McKinlay UNISON Health and Safety Representative Lanarkshire NHS; Hugh Gaffney Secretary North Lanarkshire Trades Union Council; Jennifer McCarey Chair Glasgow Trades Union Council; Amy McNeese-Mechan, UNISON International Relations, City of Edinburgh; Dr Hernando Fernandez, retired academic; Vicky Grandon, Branch secretary, vice-chair UNITE Scottish Region Labour Party Liaison Committee; Stan Crooke, Branch chair, member UNITE Scottish Region Labour Party Liaison Committee; Bob Thomson, Convener, Reid Foundation, Past Chairman, Scottish Labour Party; Bert Schowenberg GMB International Officer; Anni Pues, Human Rights Lawyer and International Committee Scottish Green Party; Arthur West chair of Scottish CND; Derek Wall, International Coordinator of the Green Party of England and Wales; Bill Ramsay Secretary South Lanarkshire EIS; Stephen Whitelaw-Kirk UNISON shop steward