PEACE IN KURDISTAN
It is our duty to support the Kurds!
A major military operation by the armed forces of Turkey on the Kurds in Syria looks imminent.
Reports of the build up of Turkish forces to intervene in Kurdish run Afrin Canton come at a time amid renewed tensions across Syria.
The decision of the US to back a border force in cooperation with the Kurds has enraged Turkey provoking President Erdogan to threaten to “drown” the “army of terror”.
Erdogan has claimed that Turkey is acting with the support of Syrian rebel forces, by which he means the extreme Islamist factions with whom Ankara has long been aligned.
Fears are growing that the world will remain silent while Turkey carries out yet another atrocity against the Kurds. A Pentagon spokesman has been reported as stating that the US would not oppose a Turkish military action against Afrin.
Make no mistake, an attack on Afrin would amount to a gross betrayal of the Kurds and must be prevented.
Afrin forms part of Rojava where the Kurds have established a democratic alternative to the imposition of oppressive centralised state rule from Damascus and the brutal sectarianism of the likes of Islamic State and the numerous Al Qaeda offshoots active in the Syrian conflict.
The Rojava model provides for an inclusive, non-sectarian form of popular grassroots democracy where men and woman have equal rights and all ethnic groups are equally represented. It is a model that should be emulated, not suppressed.
It is by no means a Utopian dream for the Kurds to seek to live in a society where basic freedoms and civil rights are assured because these rights are fully in line with the principles of human rights that are enshrined in international law. These principles also, of course, constitute the basis for the rhetoric of freedom and democracy espoused by all governments.
Action must be taken urgently to prevent this huge escalation by Erdogan in Afrin.
The imminent intervention will not stop at Afrin. Turkey feels threatened by the gains achieved by the Kurds and wants to suppress the democratic autonomy model that has flourished against all the odds in the liberated cantons of Syria.
Rojava has become a symbol not exclusively of Kurdish emancipation but of the dream of a more human centred approach to political organisation shared by people all over the world and has inspired many courageous acts of international solidarity.
The existence of Rojava poses a challenge to the oppression that they have endured for far too long under the Turkish nationalist and Islamist regime. This is why Erdogan is desperate to eradicate it. In this he must not be allowed to succeed.
Peace in Kurdistan demands that immediate action is taken by the UK government, the EU and UN to prevent Turkey’s escalation of its war on the Kurds.
The Kurdish people fought valiantly alongside international forces to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS) and must not be betrayed now.
The people of Afrin must not be sacrificed for the sake of opportunistic alliances or diplomatic intrigue.
We call on the foreign secretary and foreign affairs spokespersons of the leading parties to urgently voice their opposition to Turkey’s latest plans which threaten to inflame the conflict still unresolved in Syria.
The world has a duty to defend the people of Afrin from Turkish aggression. Our governments must act.
17 January 2018
Peace in Kurdistan
Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question