Dear friends, the Kurds from Antwerpen, 21.11.2007 The situation of the Kurds in Turkey is very much like the one of the Flemish in Belgium in the period of the foundation of Belgium.When Flanders was occupied by the French, the French language prevailedWhen the French got kicked out by Dutch troupes, the Dutch language played an important role in public life. This leaded to protest from the French-speaking population and no less from the Catholics. Belgian Catholics experienced Dutch Protestants as a threat to their own religion.When, in their own turn, the Dutch got kicked out of Belgium, an artificial country was founded by an international community in which, although the constitution was the most liberal on the continent, the Flemish would be suppressed in every possible way. An important aspect of a population’s identity is it’s language, education and culture, this was denied in the unitary state of Belgium. The Flemish, for example, don’t obtain a Dutch speaking university until 1930! Gradually also the social, economic and financial discrimination ended. It’s clearly understandable that the Flemish are affected by the problems of Kurds in Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria in a special way. The period of “one state, one population, one leader” is, fortunately,  far behind us.Kurds have a right to express their identity, they have a right to have an education in their own language and they should have the possibility to express their own needs into laws.Turkey has to work out a policy to enhance social economic development of Kurdish territory. Turkey has to respect the ethnic-cultural diversity of the population and guarantee cultural rights of the Kurdish community amongst others by assuring official education and real access to radio television and written press in the Kurdish language.The European Community has to take the necessary concrete steps so this can be accomplished. It is desirable to involve the Kurds in all initiatives. In Iraq we desire the democracy to be restored completely. Iraq has to become a country in the Middle East where all populations and religion minorities are equal.We salute the Region Kurdistan and wish for better education social provisions and political policy. The delayed referendum based on article 140 about the faith of the disputed region such as Kirkuk, Mosul, has to take place as soon as possible.It’s also our desire that Flanders and free Kurdistan develop relations on many different territories. We also have a strong appeal to the Kurds not to turn against each other for whatever reason or circumstance. All internal violent conflicts will only  weaken the position of the Kurds against the enormous power of the surrounding countries. At the same time we make a plea for the Kurdish population to obtain its justified demands in a democratic way.  Turkey as well as Iran and Syria has to make this possible.

 

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