In Kurdistan, which is one of the regions of the world where war and humanitarian crisis are at their most critical, the Turkish state continues its genocidal policies of violence, denial and assimilation. The Turkish government headed by Erdogan is implementing all kinds of state violence in Turkey/Bakur, Syria/Rojava and Iraq/Bashur under the pretext of the “fight against terrorism”.
The Turkish state, which refuses to recognize the inalienable and legitimate rights of the Kurdish people, accuses Kurdish political parties, deputies and mayors that engage in legal political activities in the country’s parliament, of “membership of a terrorist organization”. In addition, as part of its campaign against the Kurds, Turkey has taken the following actions:
- 3,000 academics who criticized the state’s Kurdish policy were expelled from their posts at universities on charges of “supporting a terrorist organization”.
- Hundreds of journalists were put on trial and imprisoned on charges of “membership of a terrorist organization and making propaganda”.
- In Rojava, the PYD, SDF, YPG and YPJ, which are part of the international coalition that defeated the enemies of humanity, ISIS, are accused of “partnership with the PKK” and of “terrorism”.
- The Turkish state occupied Rojava on the grounds of the “fight against terrorism”; The Turkish army and ISIS members have occupied Afrin, Serekaniye and Gire Spi.
- The Erdogan government has repeatedly bombed the UN-controlled Mahmur refugee camp, causing the deaths of many people in the camp.
- Turkey claims that this camp, where 15,000 civilians live, is a “terrorist camp”.
- Likewise, Yazidi Kurds in Shengal (Sinjar) are systematically bombed by Turkish planes.
In view of these relentless attacks by the Turkish state and the Erdogan government, 29 well-known writers and politicians from around the world established the “International Initiative for Justice for the Kurds” with the aim of opposing these attacks and standing in solidarity with the Kurdish people.
This initiative issued a public statement on 5 November 2021 calling on the world’s intellectuals to oppose terrorism and terrorism accusations and to remove the PKK from the lists of terrorist organizations.
Among the founders of this “International Initiative for Justice for the Kurds” are Austrian Nobel Prize Winner Elfriede Jelinek; Slovenian Philosopher Slavoj Žižek; US editor and artist Janet Biehl; Selay Ghaffar, spokesperson of the Afghanistan Solidarity Party; Miguel Urbán Crespo, Member of the European Parliament from Spain; Philosopher Srećko Horvat from Croatia; David R. K. Adler, Director-General of the Progressive International; Roberto Rampi Member of the Council of Europe and Italian Senator; Paolo Ferrero, Former Minister of Italy; Spanish Senator Gorka Elejabarrieta Díaz from the Basque country; International Law Specialist Prof. Norman Paech; President of the European Union-Turkey Citizens’ Commission (EUTCC) / Norway Prof. Kariane Westrheim; writer and editor Nils Andersson from France; French Kurdistan Solidarity Coordination Member, Joel Dutto; Nora Cortinas, founding member of the Argentine Plaza de Mayo Mothers Organization; well-known peace activist from India, Prof. Achin Vanaik; The Secretary General of the European Union-Turkey Citizens’ Commission (EUTCC) Prof. Michael M. Gunter; German jurist Berthold Fresenius; Bolivian scientist Prof. Raúl Prada Alcoreza; Roland Denis, former Planning Minister of Venezuela; former Copenhagen Mayor Villo Sigurdsson; Pernille Frahm, former MEP from Denmark; Benny Gustavsson, human rights campaigner in Sweden; Erling Folkvord, former Norwegian MP; Norwegian theatre artist and director Pia Maria Roll; Swedish Left Party MP Håkan Svenneling; the founder of the New World Summit, Dutch Dr. Jonas Staal; One of Germany’s renowned lawyers, Dr. Rolf Gossner; Ludo de Brabander, spokesperson of the Belgian Peace Movement.
Following the initial declaration, joining the call are MEPs in the European Parliament; national and local assembly deputies; senators, heads of political parties, mayors, trade unions, union representatives, academics, journalists, lawyers, managers and representatives of human rights organizations, managers and representatives of women’s organizations; 1,000 people, including artists and peace organizations, priests from various countries, environmentalists, declared “No to the PKK ban” and demanded that the party be removed from the EU terrorism list.
As of 13 December 2021, 1,000 prominent names representing people from Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and in total 30 countries, have supported the declaration, “For peace, democracy and human rights, to support the PKK”. They are calling for the PKK’s removal from the list of proscribed terrorist organizations in this signature campaign.
Among the 1,000 signatories of the appeal, “We call for the PKK to be removed from the EU’s List of Terrorist Organizations” are Ken Loach, film director known for his progressive views; Pakistani Nuclear Physics professor and political defence analyst Prof. Pervez Hoodbhoy; US writer Lucina Kathmann; Mexican poet writer and editor Judith Hill; Hungarian philosopher G.M. Tamas; Yanis Varoufakis, professor of economics and Greek MP, founding member of organizations such as Me Ra25 and DiEM 25, which includes many leading Western thinkers; renowned Scottish writers James Kelman and Paul Laverty; French Senators Pierre Laurent and Laurence Cohen; founding member of the Left Party in Germany, Dr. Gregor Gysi; Presidential candidate for the French 2022 elections, Philippe Poutou; President of the European Left Prof. Dr. Heinz Bierbaum; and Italian cartoonist Michele Rech known as Zerocalcare.