No to the Turkish invasion in South Kurdistan (Iraq)

On April 23, 2021, the Turkish army launched a new full-scale invasion of Southern Kurdistan. Thousands of soldiers are using warplanes and drones to attack the mountainous area, which has been controlled by the Kurdish People’s Defense Forces (HPG) for decades. The daily battles have killed hundreds of people on both sides so far. Targeted villages and cultivated areas are also being attacked by the Turkish military. Several civilians are dead, many thousands of people are on the run. The Turkish army has forests cut down – thousands of hectares so far – and new military posts built in the previously occupied areas. The criticism of the weak Iraqi government against this invasion and especially of the people of Southern Kurdistan are ignored by Turkey. With this protest we would like to draw your attention to the use of chemical weapons by Turkey. The use of these weapons, which are banned by your institution, clearly violates the standards, norms and agreements of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). We know that many states, including Turkey, have signed treaties such as the Chemical Weapons Convention, committing not to use chemical or other banned weapons. Through the silence of the international community and the OPCW, Turkey has been encouraged to use chemical weapons against Kurdish resistance forces and civilians in southern Kurdistan since April 23, 2021. Since the beginning of the Turkish invasion of South Kurdistan, the Turkish army has been systematically using chemical weapons to destroy the guerrillas and drive civilians from their homes. The invasion, launched on the eve of the 106th anniversary of the genocide of Armenians and Assyrians, does not aim at crushing the Kurdish resistance but at a longterm occupation of Southern Kurdistan. It is part of Turkey’s neo-Ottoman expansionism in the Middle East. Turkey has not discussed a peaceful solution to the Kurdish question since 2015. At that time, it unilaterally stopped negotiations with the Kurds and ended the ceasefire, which also leads to the suppression of democratic left forces in Turkey. Since 2016, Turkey has also been carrying out invasions against the Kurds and allied forces in Rojava/Northern and Eastern Syria. For example, in 2018 and 2019, Afrîn, Serekaniye and Tel Abyad areas were occupied and more than 400,000 people were displaced.

We call on international civil society to protest everywhere against the use of chemical weapons against the guerrillas and to bring the Turkish state to justice for its crimes against humanity. The international community and the OPCW are called to action to put the Turkish government in the dock for its use of chemical weapons.

Let’s stop the Turkish invasion of Southern Kurdistan together!

More information at:

European Kurdish Democratic Societies Congress (KCDK-E)