From ANF News, published on Wednesday, 10 Aug 2022 (See article)
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 contrary to international law.
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.”
Here beneath the joint declaration and list of signatories
International Kurdish Solidarity Collective
With support from NATO, the regime of the dictatorial Turkish president Erdogan is not only continuing its war against the Kurdish people and their allies inside Turkey’s borders but is expanding it to Syria and Iraq, even to Sweden and Finland. We recognize in the Kurdish struggle for genuine democracy, gender liberation, and ecology is a struggle that concerns all of us in a time of rising authoritarianism across the globe. Today standing in solidarity with the Kurds means standing in defense of democratic futures for everyone.
The international state system’s support for the regime’s attacks on the Kurdish people is becoming permanent. Most recently, at NATO’s Madrid Summit, when Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO, Erdogan blocked those countries’ accession, demanding approval for his policies of massacre against the Kurds. To lift Turkey’s veto, NATO made a dirty deal revolving around the Kurds, in effect giving Erdogan permission to carry out ethnic cleansing. The autocrat thus succeeded in exploiting the situation, and the Kurdish people’s struggle for freedom and democracy was once again sacrificed for economic, military and diplomatic benefits.
Only a few years ago the situation was far different: in the war against ISIS, the Global Coalition was forced to recognize and support the Kurdish peoples and their allies as the most effective defense forces of their homeland. Tens of thousands of Kurdish women and men lost their lives in that fight, as well as many of their allies, but the whole world recognized their bravery and heroism. That Erdogan enabled and assisted ISIS during that war is no secret, and his regime continues to occupy parts of Rojava (Northern Syria) to this day, with terrible reports of forced deportation, torture and murder of its inhabitants as a result.
Yet now, as the Turkish president blackmails and criminalizes Kurdish efforts to achieve even the most basic human rights, the international system has left the Kurdish people to his mercy. The NATO summit in effect gave Turkey a green light to attack the Kurds, which amounts to nothing less than backstabbing, and to violate the human rights of Kurds in Turkey, throughout Kurdistan, and beyond.
The Turkish state today is ultra-nationalist, assimilationist, and authoritarian, imprisoning thousands of politicians, journalists, academics, and activists of both Turkish and Kurdish descent. The international order sanctions Turkey’s war against the Kurds within its borders, which only further radicalizes Erdogan’s annexation ambitions. Indeed, since the 1980s, international support for the Turkish state has emboldened it to seek violent solutions to the Kurdish question, violence that has recently spilled over into Syria and Iraq. Only both parties’ participation at a negotiating table can resolve this issue peacefully.
The Kurdish struggle, for its part, is a struggle for democracy, gender liberation, and ecology, all of which are significantly threatened around the world in the twenty-first century. In contrast to the rising tide of right-wing politics based on nationalism, misogyny and racism, the Kurds and their allies in Rojava (Northern Syria) and throughout Syria have established an inclusive model of governance known as “democratic confederalism” and so have become a beacon of hope for democratic struggles around the world.
We stand with the Kurds against NATO’s enabling of the Erdogan regime’s policy of occupation and annihilation. We oppose the murderous Turkish operations in Iraq that aim to kill those who defended the world against ISIS when no one else responded to calls for help.
We demand that Sweden and Finland decline to implement Erdogan’s antidemocratic and illegitimate demands for the extradition of their citizens of Kurdish descent—neither we nor the peoples of these countries will tolerate it. Those of us who struggle for freedom, democracy and the right to self-determination derive our righteousness from the conscience of the peoples of the world, and we are much stronger than dictatorships.
We will unite against Turkey’s duplicitous actions that terrorize the legitimate representatives of the Kurdish people and their allies.
We stand for democracy and human rights and against war, expansionism, genocide, femicide, and ecocide. We call all who share that view to support this International Kurdish Solidarity Collective. Together we can defeat policies of endless war and ensure that what is happening to the Kurds today does not continue and does not happen to any other vulnerable groups across the globe, now or in the future.
Just as we struggle against oppressive politics and structures in our home countries, we are joining together today to support the Kurdish people, who defeated ISIS but currently face renewed threats of ethnic cleansing from Erdogan. We now ask all to support the Kurdish movement at this critical time—to stand with us in support of freedom, democracy, and peace, for the Kurdish and for all peoples.
- 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
- Zingiswa Losi, President of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), S-Africa
- Otmar Steinbicker,Editor of Aachener Friedensmagazin, Germany
- 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
- Daniel Riazat, Member of the Sweden Parliament, Sweden
- Kariane Westrheim, Chairperson of the EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC), Norway
- Jürgen Klute, Former MEP and former Chairperson of the Kurdish Friendship Group in European Parliament, The Left
- Ken Loach, Film Director and Screenwriter, UK
- Gabi Zimmer, Former MEP and former president of the GUE/NGL (now: The Left) in the EP, Germany
- Elisabeth Decrey, Former President ofteh Parliament of the Republic and Canton of Geneva, Switzerland
- Stefanie Prezioso, National Councilor (MP), Together on the Left-Geneva, Switzerland
- Laurence Fehlmann Rielle, National Councilor PS/Geneva or member of the Swiss Parliament (National Council), France
- Franco Cavalli, Former president of the international anti-cancer and Socialist group Swiss Federal Parliamentarian, Switzerland
- Raúl Prada Alcoreza,Philosopher and Sociologist, a docent-researcher at the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, Bolivia
- Cristian Delgado, Representant of the ethnical, peasant and popular summit Colombia
- Leonor Yonda, Representant of the ethnical, peasant and popular summit Colombia
- Jose Santos, Representant of the ethnical, peasant and popular summit Colombia
- Robert Daza, Senator of the Republic of Colombia
- Milena Ochoa, Director of CEDINS, Member of the Council of the PI, Peoples ‘Congress, Colobmia
- Radha D’Souza, Writer, Academic, Prof at the Uninesity of Westminister, UK
- Kim Johnson, MP, British Labour Party, UK
- Mick Whitley, MP, British Labour Party, UK
- John McDonnell, MP, British Labour Party, UK
- Zarah Sultana, MP, British Labour Party, UK
- Uffe Elbæk, Member of the Danish Parliament and former Minister of Culture, Danmark
- Eva Flyvholm, Member of the Danish Parliament, Denmark
- Pernille Frahm, Former Member of the European Parliament, Denmark
- Christian Juhl, Member of the Danish Parliament, Danmark
- Søren Søndergaard, Former Member of the European Parliament and MP Danmark
- Villo Sigurdsson, Former Mayor of Copenhag, Denmark
- Bjørnar Moxnes, Rødt Party Leader and Member of the Norway Parliament, Norway
- Anton Gomez-Reino, MP Podemos, Galicia en Comun, Congreso Diputados, Spain
- Vincenç Vidal, Member of Senate of Spain
- Anna Miranda, PE-BNG, Spain
- Rebekka Timmer, BIJ1 Party President, Netherlands
- Fatima Faïd Haagse, Staats Party President, Netherland
- Håkan Svenneling, Member of Parliament for the Left Party, Spokesperson on foreign affairs, Sweden
- Leo Gabriel, Anthropologist and Member of the Inernational Council of WSF, Austria
- Stellan Vinthagen, University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA
- Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President of the Parliament of the German-speaking Community of Belgium
- Antonios Antoniadis, Vice minister-president of the German speaking Community of Belgium
- Matthias Zimmermann, Präsident SP Ostbelgien, Belgium
- Paolo Ferrero,Former Minister, Vice President of the European Left party, Italy
- Massimiliano Smeriglio, Member of the European Parliament, S&D, Italy
- Zerrin Baratay, The Greens, Regional Councilor, Auvergne-Rhone Alpes, France
- Benjamin Joyeux, The Greens, Regional Councilor, Auvergne-Rhone Alpes, France
- François ALFONSI, MEP, Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance (EELV). France
- Benoît Biteau, MEP, EELV, France
- Damien CARÊME ,MEP, EELV, France
- David Cormand, MEP, EELV, France
- Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, MEP, ELLV, France
- Claude Gruffat, MEP, EELV
- Caroline Rosse, MEP, EELV, France
- Mounir Satouri, MEP, EELV, France
- Gary Diderich, Co-chair of Déi Lénk (The Left), Luxembourg
- Carole Thoma, Co-chair of Déi Lénk (The Left), Luxembourg
- Debbie Bookchin, Journalist and Author, USA
- Matt Meyer, Secretary-General, International Peace Research Association
- Gökay Akbulut, MP of Die Linke, Germany