Open letter to Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier
No support for his war against the defenders of the Christian and Yezidi minorities in Iraq and Syria!
Our human rights organization welcomes the German government’s decision to terminate the Bundeswehr mission in Turkey and to withdraw the “Patriot”-missiles.
Nevertheless, we are alarmed that you – and other EU-politicians – are planning to continue supporting the Turkish government, and that you even expressed “understanding for the Turkish military offensive against the PKK”.
As you know, the current policy of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is not focused on safety, stability, peace and reconciliation, but on war and escalation. De facto, Erdogan is not only fighting the PKK, but also the Kurds in Turkey, Iraq and Syria. For the last two weeks, the Turkish air force has been carrying out merciless attacks against those who are trying to protect the minorities in Syria and in Iraq from the “Islamic State” (IS), risking their own lives. In both countries, the YPG-fighters – who are allies of the PKK – and the Kurdish Peshmerga are the most important partners in the efforts to stop IS. They are protecting hundreds of thousands of unarmed civilians, Christian Assyrians/Aramaeans/Syrians and Armenian Yezidis.
It is not right for the German Foreign Minister to express understanding for the policy of the Turkish President. Erdogan supports – or at least condones – terrorist militias in the border regions to Syria and Iraq, where they murder Assyrian-Chaldean Christians and Yezidis, commit rape or forced marriage, sell children as slaves and kill the men by shooting or beheading them.
Apart from that, we fully agree with the opinion of the democratically elected pro-Kurdish HDP party concerning the Kurdish question: the issue cannot be solved militarily. The HDP is calling for a federal constitution, similar to the German system, which would give the 15 million Kurds in Turkey an opportunity to establish regional self-government and, thus, put an end to the persecution and oppression of the Kurdish people and other ethnic groups.
Tilman Zülch, Secretary General of the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP)
Göttingen, August 18, 2015