The assassination of the three highly valued female politicians is a coup against the organised negotiation talks taking place on Imrali between the Turkish state and the PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan. The Paris-tragedy shows that the “deep dark forces”, the enemies of peace, are opposing the new political process to such a degree that they found it necessary to assassinate three Kurdish female politicians who were working for a solution and for peace.
French authorities should immediately stop the criminalisation of Kurds working for a peaceful settlement to the Kurdish problem. The Kurds in France and in the rest of Europe constitute no threat to the authorities in the countries they live. On the contrary, they are working firmly towards a solution to the problems in Turkey and should be rewarded instead of being criminalised, persecuted, incarcerated as the Kurdish diplomat Adem Uzun, or killed. The reason of the killings and the forces behind are still to be unveiled – and they will be. These people should know that such killings or whatever provocation they might conduct in the future will not stop the ongoing peace process. Even the deaths of Sakine, Fidan and Leyla will NOT scare other Kurds to continue on the hopeful road to peace.
The EUTCC hereby send their sincere and deep-felt condolences to the families of Sakine, Fidan and Leyla, and extend it to the Kurdish people all over the world. Evil forces in whatever shape it takes; will never defeat the Kurdish people’s genuine will to freedom – it only empowers them to work harder to obtain it.
Sakine Canziz, Fidan Dogan and Leyla Söylemez’s tireless work for the Kurdish people will forever stand as a monument of their memory.
Kariane Westrheim Michael Gunter Hans Brancheidt Judge Essa Moosa
Chair of EUTCC Secretary general Board of Directors Board of Directors
The EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC) was established in November 2004 by the Bar Human Rights Committee (UK), the Kurdish Human Rights Project (UK), medico international (Germany) and the Rafto Foundation (Norway), and supported by members of the European Parliament. It originated as a result of the first international conference at the European Parliament on ‘The EU, Turkey and the Kurds’.
The work of the EUTCC
The mandate of the EUTCC is to promote the accession of Turkey as a member of the EU, and to help to guarantee respect for human and minority rights and a peaceful, democratic and long-term solution to the Kurdish situation. It achieves this by bringing together leading academics, writers, legal experts, human rights institutions and prominent Turkish and Kurdish intellectuals from all over the world to discuss and debate key issues and obstacles to accession.
The EUTCC monitors and conducts regular audits of Turkey’s compliance with the accession criteria, as defined within the meaning of the accession agreements. It also makes recommendations, act as a point of contact, and exchanges information with the institutions of the EU and other governmental and non-governmental organizations, and disseminates accurate, objective information both in Turkey and Europe about the progress made by Turkey, but also about any shortcomings which may still persist.
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, South Africa
Dr. Shirin Ebadi Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Iran
Leyla Zana European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, Rafto Prize Laureate, Turkey
Bianca Jagger Council of Europe Goodwill Ambassador Chair of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, UK
Professor Noam Chomsky Writer, USA
Yasar Kemal Writer, Turkey
Vedat Turkali Writer, Turkey
Board of Directors
Chair: Kariane Westrheim, PhD, Chairperson (Rafto Foundation Norway)
Secretary General: Michael Gunter, Professor, (United States)
Member: Hans Branscheidt, Journalist and Writer, (medico International Germany)
Member: Essa Moosa, Judge, Board of Directors (South Africa)
John Austin, MP Labour, UK; Estella Schmidt, human rights activist, England; Dogu Ergil, Professor of Sociology, Turkey; Conny Fredriksson, Chairman of Socialist International Working Group on Kurdish issues, Sweden; Stuart Kerr, Solicitor, UK; Jean Lambert, MEP Green Party, UK; Sarah Ludford, MEP Liberal Democrat UK; Konrad Melchers, Dr., Editor of “Zeitschrift for Entwicklungspolitik”, Germany; Margaret Owen, Women and Children’s Advocate for the Kurdish Human Rights Project and Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales UK; Denzil Potgieter, Senior Counsel, Cape Bar, South Africa; Jon Rud, Human Rights Lawyer, Spain; Prof. Wolf Dieter Narr, Lawyer and Adviser, Germany; Raimund Rütten, Professor, German Attac, European Social Forum, Germany; Alyn Smith, MEP Scottish Socialist Party UK; Reyhan Yalcindag, Vice-President of HRA, Turkey; Andrew Duff, MEP Liberal Democrat UK; Nicholas Hildyard, Policy Analyst, UK; Mark Thomas, Comedian and Broadcaster, UK; Lord Rea, House of Lords, UK; Hywel Williams, MP Plaid Cymru, Wales; Jill Evans, MEP Plaid Cymru, Wales; Hugo Charlton, Chair Green Party, UK; Desmond Fernandes, Political scientist, UK; Dogan Ozguden, Editor, Info-Turk, Belgium; Tove Skutnabb Kangas, Professor, Roskilde University, Dept. of Languages and Culture, Denmark; Robert Phillipson, Professor, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark; Stuart Kerr, human rights lawyer, England.