Dear Mrs. Angela Merkel,
The Society for Threatened Peoples urgently appeals to you to address the situation of Kurds and Christians in need to the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan when meeting with him on Tuesday February 4th, 2014. Please ask him to open up the borders to the Kurdish regions of Jazeera, Kobani (Ain al-Arab) and Afrin in Northern Syria so that humanitarian aid can reach the distressed population. Additionally, we would like to ask you to campaign for the release of the two Syrian bishops, who were kidnapped by Syrian Islamists on April 22nd 2013.
We receive pleas for help from Northern Syria on a daily basis. There is barely any living necessities, such as food or medicaments, left, especially infants can not be nurtured. Around four million Kurds, Assyro-Arameans, and other ethnic minorities in Jazeera, Kobani and Afrin live in an increasingly deteriorating humanitarian situation. Refugees from other parts of Syria, being Kurds but also Christians and Arabs, seek shelter in these regions. Providing for them is not possible, especially since access to the regions from the South is blocked by Syrian regime and opposition fighters and from the North by Turkish troops. Humanitarian aid is not granted access to the people.
We do not know a lot about the situation of the two archbishops that were kidnapped in April 2013. Yohanna Ibrahim, archbishop of the Syrian-orthodox church, and Boulos Yazigi, of the Greek-orthodox church, were stopped by an armed Islamist group on their way to talks on the release of another kidnapped bishop. Close to Aleppo they were ambushed, their driver, a deacon, was immediately shot and the two priests have been missing ever since.
The bloody conflict in Syria has been going on for nearly three years by now. At least 130.000 people have paid with their lives. Millions are refugees. Vast parts of the country are destroyed. The Society for Threatened Peoples is convinced that peace in Syria can only be successful if the interests of all parts of the Syrian population are included. The minorities, especially the approximately four million Kurds and Christians, have to be considered when talking about the future of Syria.
For this reason, we strongly appeal to you to address the situation of the Syrian people, fearing their lives right now, to the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan during your meeting. We would be happy to be informed about your efforts.
General Secretary of the STP