The oppressive Turkish regime attempted to eliminate the Kurdish population: in 1921 at Kocgiri; 1925 at Sex Sait; 1930 at Agri and Zilan by killing more than fifty thousand people. In 1938, at Dersim an estimated seventy thousand children and elderly men and women were killed. Since 1984, more than forty thousand people have lost their lives due to the Kurdish conflict in Turkey. Kurds have not only been deprived of their basic rights and freedoms, they have also been forced into poverty, to migrate to large cities and, the main fabric of their society has been destroyed systematically. However, in past two decades, the nature of antagonism towards the Kurds has taken a new form. Armed conflict started in 1984 between the Turkish government and the PKK. Six times unconditional ceasefires were declared by the Kurds during the past eighteen years with hopes of finding a peaceful solution to the problems. Turkey ’s denial and unwillingness to resolve the issue has escalated the conflict, leaving regions in poverty and deteriotion.
Since 1993, over four thousand Kurdish villages have been destroyed and more than seventeen thousand killings of innocent Kurds have been carried out by The Turkish Special Forces. Following the March 29, 2010 municipal elections, fifteen hundred politicians, intellectuals, elected representatives, mayors and human rights activists have been jailed to date.
As unacceptable as it is, hundreds of Kurdish children have been killed by The Turkish Security Forces since 1993 and today, about three thousand Kurdish children (aged 6 to 17) are in jail. Unjustifiably, these children are being treated as adults and charged with terrorism. Many of them have been sentenced to jail terms of up to twenty-five years for being at demonstrations with their families. Punishing juveniles with such heavy jail terms just for being at demonstrations is not acceptable in any civilized nation. Instead of being in schools and playgrounds, these children are being kept in jails by the Turkish government because of their Kurdish identity. The Turkish Prime Minister remains silent for the crimes that his government continues to commit against Kurdish children. Sadly enough, the Turkish Prime Minister’s silence has never been challenged on the world stage.
This continuing oppression, denial and systematic attempts by the Turkish government to annihilate Kurdish citizens cannot be tolerated in this information age in which the world is a global village.
Canada, a leading nation known for defending human rights and peacekeeping, should encourage other nations to exert pressure on Turkey to stop injustices that it continues to commit against Kurdish people. Denial of these facts can, and has, led to the continuing persecution of people in Turkey.
We ask that you submit the petition below to Prime Minister Stephen Harper so that these issues can be raised at the G20 Summit , in Toronto on June 26-27, 2010.