August 12, 2022
Politicians, academics and artists from several countries are calling for an end of Turkey’s attacks on Kurdish settlements
In the shadow of the war in Ukraine, the Turkish army has once again intensified its attacks on Kurdish settlements, which violate international law. This time, mainly Kurdish settlements in northern Iraq are being attacked. In one of the attacks by the Turkish army, 9 Arab tourists were recently killed. Furthermore, there are clear signs that the Turkish army is currently preparing for further attacks on Kurdish areas in northern Syria.
More than 70 politicians, academics and cultural workers from several countries, who have joined together to form an International Kurdish Solidarity Collective, demand an end to the Turkish attacks on Kurdish areas, which are contrary to international law, in a joint declaration published 10 August 2022 in Brussels. Among the signatories are Shirin Ebadi, Human Rights Lawyer, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2003, Iran; Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 1997, USA; Elfriede Jelinek, Nobel Prize in Literature 2004, Austria; Yanis Varoufakis, professor of economics, Member of Greek Parliament and MeRA25 leader, DiEM25 co-founder; David Adler, General Coordinator, Progressive International, USA; Jeremy Corbyn, MP for Islington North, Former Leader of the British Labour Party, UK; Srecko Horvat, Philosopher, co-founder DiEM25, Croatian; Massimo D'Alema, Former President of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic, Italy; Gregor Gysi, MP Germany, former Co-Chair of Die Linke and former Chair of the European Left, Germany; Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President of the Parliament of the German-speaking Community of Belgium; Zingiswa Losi, President of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), S-Africa; Amineh Kakabaveh, Member of the Sweden Parliament, Sweden; Ögmundur Jónasson, Former Minister of Justice, Iceland; Pierre Laurent, Vice-President of the Senat, President of the National Council of PCF, France; Jonas Staal, Artist, Founder New World Summit, Netherlands; Ken Loach, Film Director and Screenwriter, UK; Robert Daza, Senator of the Republic of Colombia; Vincenç Vidal, Member of Senate of Spain; Leo Gabriel, Anthropologist and Member of the Inernational Council of WSF, Austria; Paolo Ferrero, Former Minister, Vice President of the European Left party, Italy; Debbie Bookchin, Journalist and Author, USA.
The group's co-spokesperson, South African activist and women's rights activist Fazela Mahomed said, "We want to support the Kurds with this action and we stand with them against NATO's support for the Erdogan regime\'s policy of occupation and annihilation. Above all, we condemn the Turkish operations in Iraq, which are contrary to international law and murderous, and which aim to kill those who defended the world against IS in 2014, when no one else responded to the calls for help."
Another point of criticism in the statement is that Sweden and Finland have given in to the demands of Nato member Turkey with regard to female clients and Kurds in the context of Nato accession negotiations. "We therefore demand," says Jürgen Klute, a former MEP from Germany and co-spokesperson of the group, "that Sweden and Finland do not submit to Erdoğan's anti-democratic policies and reject the illegitimate demands for the extradition of citizens of Kurdish origin. Our central concern is to defend democratic principles – our democracy matters!"
On the other hand, Mahomed and Klute took a positive view of the fact that German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, during her recent visit to Turkey, sharply criticised Turkey's actions against the Kurds, which are contrary to international law. "We call on Ms Baerbock," they continued, "to stick to this foreign policy line and to put pressure on Turkey to withdraw its military forces from Southern Kurdistan and Rojava.
Similarly, both welcomed the Iraqi government's intention to use the killing of the 9 Arab tourists in the northern Iraqi town of Zakho as an opportunity for taking the Turkish army's abuses to the UN Security Council. "We hope", say Mahomed and Klute, "that the political pressure on Turkey will continue to increase and that the killings will finally come to an end. Our joint declaration should also contribute to this.