Ozan KiliçThe Kurdish struggle is committed against identity denial, assimilation and total annihilation. Since the foundation of the Turkish state, many languages, cultures, religions and peoples have been denied and have completely disappeared. The politics of the state have so far been carried out in this way.

One of the peoples in danger are the Kurdish people. They have known genocide, denial and repression. But these people have always conducted a serious struggle for survival. This struggle is still going on.

The Turkish state has given no opportunity for a democratic struggle. All the demands of the Kurds for basic rights have been denied. Since the 1990s the Kurdish struggle has been brutally repressed under the guise of being part of “the fight against terrorism”.

Kurdish politicians were arrested in various operations, imprisoned and punished. Many political, social, cultural and professional organizations have been litigated, prosecuted and closed.

On the 25th May 2016, Mr. Ozan Kiliç, the co-chairman of Kurdî-Der ​​(Center for Research and Promotion of the Kurdish language), our partner for the project “Ez Mafen xwe dizanim” (within the framework of Erasmus+, funded by the European Commission), was arrested. Kurdî Der is a legitimate and respected organization dedicated to the promotion of Kurdish language. The arrest of Mr. Ozan Kiliç demonstrates the nature of the situation when it comes to Kurdish language. It shows that the Turkish state is unwilling to recognize its own reality and that it is going to pursue the same state policy that was followed in its founding years, that is one of denial, assimilation and eradication.

The Turkish state must urgently change its policy with respect to the other ethnic and religious groups in the country. To build a good democratic society, we need a process of democratization. So far the state has not been able to completely eradicate the Kurds, and it will never succeed in this.

The international community also bears responsibility for keeping silent about the crimes of the Turkish state with respect to non-Turks in the country. The fact that Turkey is a member of NATO, that it is at the door of the EU and that it has signed many treaties to respect human and peoples’ rights, does not mean that it can continue to carry out its aggressive, genocidal politics.

We call on the Turkish authorities to stop the criminalization of Kurdish politicians, human rights activists, journalists and writers.

We ask the international community to condemn the violence of the Turkish state and to take concrete steps so that there are visible results.

All forms of oppression against the Kurdish language, culture, religion and identity must stop. We can only speak of a democratic society if there is equality and tolerance in all aspects of society.

We, of the Kurdish Institute in Brussels, declare our solidarity with Kurdî Der, our partner organization (along with Pro Humanitate, Germany and the University of Krakow, Poland), and its Co-Chair Mr. Ozan Kiliç. We will continue to work towards the democratization of Turkey, where differences are to be respected. We are convinced that these differences are precisely what makes the country beautiful.

 

Derwich M. Ferho,

Chairman Koerdisch Instituut vzw

Brussels, 27/05/2016

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