Statements

Defend Kurdistan Against Turkish Occupation

Allies of the Kurdish people gather in Erbil today to call for solidarity in defense of Kurdistan against Erdoğan’s attacks.
As Turkey’s attacks on South Kurdistan escalate, the Kurdish people and their allies from across Europe meet today in Erbil. Together, they proclaim a new international initiative to defend Kurdistan from Turkish occupation. These are their demands.
As Turkey’s attacks on South Kurdistan escalate, the Kurdish people and their allies from across Europe meet today in Erbil. Together, they proclaim a new international initiative to defend Kurdistan from Turkish occupation. These are their demands.

We – politicians, human rights advocates, journalists, academics, members of parliaments, political activists, ecologists, and feminists from all over Europe – have been closely following the dangerous developments resulting from Turkey’s attacks on South Kurdistan (North Iraq) since the 23rd of April, 2021. As a result, we have gathered in Erbil today and decided that we must speak out.

So, it is with one united voice of moral clarity, that we wish to unequivocally condemn the Turkish Military’s ongoing occupation of South Kurdistan and stand in solidarity with the people of South Kurdistan and Kurdish resistance forces in the protection of their homeland.

In April, the Turkish state initiated a new, wide-ranging military campaign in South Kurdistan in the regions of Matina, Zap and Avashin. Heavy battles continue in these regions, with the Kurdish guerrilla forces fiercely resisting this illegal invasion. These large-scale attacks target not only the Kurdish guerrilla forces, but also the achievements of the Kurdish people, with the aim of occupying South Kurdistan. To date, the response to these attacks on the international level has unfortunately been muted. Seizing on this silence, the Turkish regime has put in place their plan to occupy all of Rojava (the region of North and East Syria) alongside South Kurdistan. In so doing, Turkey is determined to ethnically cleanse this vast area – 1400 km long – from North-West Syria to the Iraqi-Iranian border. At the same time, Turkey is waging a drone war against the Maxmur refugee camp, a gross violation of international law. Connected to this policy of ethnic cleansing, the Turkish military also hopes to depopulate the Sinjar region, home of the Yazidis—and thereby achieve what ISIS could not.

Since the summer of 2012, the Kurds of Rojava and North East Syria have been working hand-in-hand with local communities of Arabs, Assyrians, Turkmens, and Armenians, having led a revolution together that established an Autonomous Administration that is democratic and empowers women. In response, Turkey has used jihadist militants to directly attack these areas of Rojava including Afrin, Azaz, Jarablus, Sere Kaniye, and Gire Spi (Tal Abyad), in the hopes of occupying and destroying the achievements of this women’s-led Administration. During these ongoing occupations, Turkey has engineered demographic change, systematic rape, and enslavement of women, causing mass displacement of the large Kurdish and other civilian populations, as part of their strategy to Turkify and eventually annex these lands.

And the issues are not only abroad. In fact, the latest example of Erdoğan’s unrelenting hostility towards Kurdish political and social gains derives from within Turkey itself, and his attempt to shut down the People’s Democratic Party (HDP). This is the latest step in a years-long campaign against the HDP – a progressive alliance of Kurdish, Turkish and many other democratic parties, organizations, and individuals – which has led to the imprisonment of over ten thousand HDP members.

Unfortunately, the Kurdistan Region (KRG) and the Iraqi government have done little to stop Turkey’s occupation attempt. In particular, it has been disappointing for us to see how Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) officials have even tried to legitimize the Turkish occupation. Whatever Ankara’s economic pressure might be, the KDP must not allow itself to be turned into a Turkish proxy, as the consequences of this war can be grave for all of Kurdistan and the region.

The world must also recognize that Turkey is attempting to carry out a genocide against the Kurdish people. And it is only the Kurdish resistance movement which is preventing the full occupation of Kurdistan and annihilation of the Kurds’ political rights. The current armed resistance in Zap, Avashin and Metina has turned Kurdistan into a stronghold of defiance, not just for the Kurds, but for all the people in the wider region threatened by Turkish neo-Ottoman expansionism. To this end, Turkish President Erdoğan has made no secret of his ambition to restore the lost glory of the Ottoman Empire by reconquering its former territory.

As such, parallel to Turkish military campaigns against the Kurds in Syria, Turkey, and Iraq, Erdoğan has meddled in various conflict areas, including Libya, Artsakh/Azerbaijan, Yemen, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, Somalia, and Lebanon. Connected to this are his threats against many nations, such Greece, Cyprus, Armenia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and France.

We must also recognize that Erdoğan’s regime has a long track record of funding, arming, and supporting the Islamic State (ISIS) and various other similar violent jihadist groups, using them officially and unofficially as proxy forces to augment the Turkish state’s reach abroad. During the recent conflict in Artsakh involving Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey, Erdoğan sent hundreds of jihadist proxy fighters from Syria to support Azerbaijan and has also sent these fighters to Libya to participate in the country’s protracted conflict. Through these actions, Turkey is violating the sovereignty of other countries, and spreading its mercenary terrorism throughout the globe.

Erdoğan is well aware of Turkey’s unique geopolitical position and exploits it to his advantage. He knows that his military, the second largest in NATO, is a formidable force and bulwark for the ‘West’. So, the Turkish state, under his rule, continues to openly and systematically defy international law and violate human rights conventions. Turkey continuously violates the sovereignty of many countries. Meanwhile, NATO, the United Nations, the European Union, and the Council of Europe all respond with deafening silence. But the international community must be driven by morality not geo-strategy. And their failure to challenge Erdoğan’s authoritarianism and war crimes, effectively gives him permission to continue his military aggression. In turn, it also makes them a partly responsible conspirator in his ongoing destruction.

We therefore proclaim an international initiative to DEFEND KURDISTAN Against Turkish Occupation!

In order to achieve an immediate stop of the Turkish attacks on South Kurdistan and a withdrawal of all Turkish troops and Islamist mercenaries we demand the following:

  • Stop the Turkish occupation, demographic change, instability, and ethnic cleansing campaign in South Kurdistan.
  • Stop the destruction and exploitation of Kurdistan’s nature.
  • No complicity of international and regional powers in the Kurdish genocide.
  • Support for all Kurdish parties, institutions, and people for the guerrilla’s resistance and their united stance against the Turkish occupation.
  • No to Erdoğan’s neo-Ottoman expansionist project throughout the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean.

Signatories:

Massimiliano Smeriglio, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) of S&D

Malin Björk, Member of the European Parliament of the Swedish Left Party, Sweden

Lotta Johnsson Fornarve, Member of Parliament for the Left Party and Deputy Speaker of the Swedish Parliament, Sweden

Villo Sigurdsson, Former Kopenhag Mayor

Pernille Frahm, Former MP, Socialist Peoples Party SF,Danmark

Ilona Szatmari Waldau, Member of Parliament for the Left Party, Sweden

Lorena Delgado Varas, Member of Parliament for the Left Party, Sweden

Tony Haddou, Member of Parliament for the Left Party, Sweden

Malcolm Momodou Jallow, Member of Parliament for the Left Party, Sweden

Jean Tschopp, Member of Parliament, Switzerland

Conni Moehring, Member of the Parliament, Die Linke, Germany

Cornelia Moehring, Member of the Parliament, Die Linke, Germany

Ilona Szatmari Waldau, Member of Parliament for the Left Party, Sweden

Lorena Delgado Varas Member of Parliament for the Left Party, Sweden

Nicola Fratoianni, Secretary of the Left Party, Member of the Parliament, Italy

Tony Haddou, Member of Parliament for the Left Party, Sweden

Jean Tschopp, Member of Parliament, Switzerland

Raúl Zibechi, Journalist, Uruguay

Alberto Colin Huizar, Anthropologist, Mexico,

Alirio Uribe, Lawyer, Human Rights Defender, Colombia

Ana María Verá Smith, Professor, Mexico

Armando Wauriyu, National Organisation of Indigenous Peoples, Colombia

Celia Pacheco, Metropolitan Autonomous University Mexico,

Daniele Fini, Physician, Italy,

Dr. Gilberto López y Rivas, Professor, Researcher, Anthropologist at INAH Institute of Morales, Columnist for La Jornada

Fernando Matamoros, Professor of Sociology, Mexico,

Gilberto Conde, Professor, Mexico,

Héctor Valadez George, National Coordinating Committee of Peoples Resistance (CONUR), Mexico

Heriberto Cairo, Professor, Complutense University, Spain

Inés Duran Matute, Researcher, Mexico

Jose Santos Cordinador, Federation of the Afro Communities of Colombia

Kemal Soleimani, Professor at the Colmex Institute, Mexico

Margara Millan, Professor, Mexico,

Marylen Serna Salinas, Antropolog, People’s Congress, Colombia

Oliver Gabriel Hernández Lara, Sociologist, Mexico

Rafael Enciso, Economist, Mexico.

Raquel Gutiérrez, Professor, Mexico,

Rocío Martínez / Ts'ujul, Professor, Mexico

Rodrigo Camarena González, Researcher, Mexico

Sergio Tischler, Professor, Mexico

Beatriu Cardona coordinator Intersindical of women, spain

Vicent, spokesperson of Intersindical Valenciana, spain

Vicenç, political party Mas senator for Mallorca, spain

Daniel Lobato , PCE Communist Party of Spain

Prof. Dr. Ueli Mäder, Sociologist, Switzerland

Edibe Gölgeli, Member of the Grand Councillor, Socialist Party, Switzerland

Stefanie Prezioso, Member of the Council of Geneva, Switzerland

Anina Jendreyko, Artist, Switzerland B

Vincent Keller, Member of the Grand Council of Vaud, POP

Elisabetta Gualmini, MEP, S&D

Giuliano Pisapia, MEP, S&D

Patrizia Toia, MEP, S&D

Luigi Vinci, Former MEP

Paolo Ferrero, Vice President of the European Left Party, former Minister of the Italian Republic

Fausto Bertinotti, Former president of the Chamber of Deputies in Italy

Alfonso Gianni, former parliamentarian and undersecretary, co-editor of the magazine "Alternative per il Socialismo"

Maurizio Acerbo, National secretary of the Communist Refoundation Party

Albert Scherfig, Chef Editor of Antifascistisk Forum" Journal, Danmark

Allgemeinen Dresdener Syndikat der Freien Arbeiter*innen Union (FAU)

Allt åt Alla Association, Sweden

Jonas Eika, writer, Denmark

Andreas Buderus, Freelance Author

Anja Kerstin Lercher, Member of the District Council Marburg-Biedenkopf, Germany

Annette Mørk, President of the Horserød- Stutthof Association and Editorial Board of the "Antifascistisk Forum" Journal, Danmark

Antifaschistische Aktion Lüneburg / Uelzen, Germany

Anuradha Chenoy, Professor, retd. Jawaharlal Nehru University, India

Associazioni, Sindacati, partiti politici

Baran Topal, Mitglied im Kreisvorstand Bündnis 90/Die Grünen, Kreisverband Karlsruhe

Barbara Muraca, Barbara Muraca, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Environmental Philosophy, University of Oregon

Sinistra Italia, the political party

Moni Ovadia, actor, singer, musician and writer

Nicola Fratoianni, secretary of the left Italy party and deputy of the parliament in Italy

Domenico Gallo, Magistrate of the Court of Cassation of Rome

Silvana Barbieri, Cultural Association Punto Rosso

Manolo Luppichini, Documentarist

Vincenzo Vita, President of the Association for the Renewal of the Left

Mario Agostinelli, former secretary of the Lombardy trade union CGIL, President of the Happy Energy Association

Marco Bersani, Attac-Italy

Maso Notarianni, Maso Notarianni, President of ARCI (cultural and social association, 4401 clubs) of Milan

Left Italy political party

CUB, Basic Unitary Confederation of workers

CRED/GIGI , The Center for Research and Development for Democracy/International Legal Intervention Group

Association for the Left for another Europe, Massimo Torelli and Giulia Rodan

Domenico Gallo, magistrate of the Court of Cassation of Rome

Silvana Barbieri, Punto Rosso Cultural Association

Manolo Luppichini, Documentarist

Vincenzo Vita, President of the Association for the Renewal of the Left

Mario Agostinelli, Former Secretary of the Lombardy CGIL, President of the Happy Energy Association

Marco Bersani, Attac-Italy

Maso Notarianni, President of ARCI, Milan

Associazioni, Sindacati, partiti politici;

Sinistra Italia-Left Party of Italy

CUB, Confederazione Unitaria di Base

CRED/GIGI The Center for Research and Development for Democracy/International Legal Intervention Group

Massimo Torelli, Left Association for Another Europe, Italy

Giulia Rodano, Left Association for Another Europe, Italy

Anuradha Chenoy, Professor, retd. Jawaharlal Nehru University, India

Kamal Chenoy, Professor, retd. Jawaharlal Nehru University, India

Prof. Rajeev Bhargava, Director, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, India

Zoya Hasan, Professor Emeritus, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Professor Achin Vanaik, Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace, India

Pamela Philipose, Public Editor, The Wire, news and opinion portal, India

Mihir Desai, Senior Advocate, Vice President Peoples Union of Civil Liberties, India

Irfan Engineer, All India Secular Forum

Pradip Kumar Datta, Retd. Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Kunal Chattopadhyay, Professor, Jadavpur University, West Bengal, India

Ditte Bjerregaard, antropolog, Center for Magtanalyse, Danmark

Minna Katz, Antropolog, Danmark

Jesper Brandt, Professor Emeritus, Roskilde University

Annette Mørk, President of the Horserød- Stutthof Association and Editorial Board of the "Antifascistisk Forum" Journal, Danmark

Albert Scherfig, Chef Editor of Antifascistisk Forum" Journal, Danmark

Emil Olsen, Chief Editor of Antifascistisk Forum" Journal, Danmark

Håkan Svenneling, The Left Party's Foreign Policy Spokesperson, Sweden

Benny Gustavsson, Chairman of the Kurdistan Support Committee, Sweden

Söderham Kurdistan Solidarty Association, Sweden

Allt åt Alla Association, Sweden

Yekbun Alp, Second Vice Chairman The Left International Forum, Sweden

Abbas Mansouran, Epidemiologist

Hosein Moghadam, Political Activist

Bahram Rahmani, Writer, Political Activist

Prof. Dr. Ueli Mäder, Sociologist, Switzerland

Edibe Gölgeli, Member of the Grand Councillor, Socialist Party, Switzerland

Stefanie Prezioso, Member of the Council of Geneva, Switzerland

Anina Jendreyko, Artist, Switzerland B

Vincent Keller, Member of the Grand Council of Vaud, POP

Benny Gustavsson, Chairman of the Kurdistan Support Committee, Sweden

Berlin Migrant Strikers

Chris Trinh, Photojournalist and Researcher, Ecology and Migration

Christof Buerkler

Claudio Cattaneo, Contract Professor Ecological Economics, Autonomous University of Barcelona

CRED/GIGI , The Center for Research and Development for Democracy/International Legal Intervention Group

CUB, Basic Unitary Confederation of workers

DIE LINKE, District Association, Neumünster

Susanne Schaper und Stefan Hartmann, Chairpersons of DIE LINKE, Sachsen

Ditte Bjerregaard, Antropolog, Center for Magtanalyse, Danmark

Domenico Gallo, Magistrate of the Court of Cassation of Rome

Dr Sidney Luckett , Cape Town, South Africa

Dr. Dario Azzellini, Political Scientist and Sociologist, Ithaca (USA) and Berlin

Dr. Federico Venturini, Researcher University of Udine - Italy

Dr. Laurence Davis, Director of the BSc Government and Political Science, Department of Government and Politics University College Cork, Ireland

Dr. Mechthild Exo, University, Emden/Leer / Jineolojî Committe Germany

Dziewuchy Berlin

Edith Bartelmus-Scholich, National Executive Board Member, Die Linke, NRW

Edo Schmidt, Sociologist, Münster,

Elisabetta Gualmini, MEP, S&D

ELYN (European Left Youth Network)

Emanzipatorisch-Ökologischen Plattform

Emil Olsen, Chief Editor of Antifascistisk Forum" Journal, Danmark

Ende Gelände Leipzig

Ende Gelände München

Ende Gelände Ortsgruppe Hamburg

FAU Aachen

FAU Bonn

FAU International Committee, Germany

Fausto Bertinotti, Former president of the Chamber of Deputies in Italy

Feministische Partei DIE FRAUEN

Franz Klein

Frauen*Streik Bonn

Gabriela Cabaña, PhD researcher at the London School of Economics and Political Science

Gegenstrom Hamburg

Gemeinsam Kämpfen

Giuliano Pisapia, MEP, S&D

GRÜNE JUGEND Dresden

Gruppo Diffuso, Verein zur Förderung alternativer Medien e.V. Erlangen

Håkan Svenneling, The Left Party's Foreign Policy Spokesperson, Sweden

Heike Geisweid, Lawyer, Bochum

Interventionistische Linke

Irfan Engineer All India Secular Forum

Jesper Brandt, Professor Emeritus, Roskilde University

Jineoloji Committee Germany

Josef Danzer

Youth Commune (Jugendkommune Ş. Sara Dorşîn)

Jürgen Amend

Kamal Chenoy, Professor, retd. Jawaharlal Nehru University, India

Karl Nümmes

Kerem Schamberger, Kommunikationswissenschaftler und Bundestagsdirektkandidat der Linken München-Süd

Kira Sawilla, National Executive Board Members, Die Linke, NRW

Klima Aktion Thüringen

KOMintern, Communist Trade Union Initiative-International, Vienna/Austria

Communist Student Union

Kreisvereinigung Hannover der VVN/BdA

Kunal Chattopadhyay Professor, Jadavpur University, West Bengal, India

Kurdistan Soli Plenum Marburg

Kurdistan Solidarity Committee, Kiel, Germany

Left Party, Italy

Left Youth (Linksjugend ['solid]), Germany

Left Youth (Linksjugend ['solid]) Bayern, Germany

Luigi Vinci, Former MEP

Manolo Luppichini, Documentarist

Marco Bersani Attac-Italy

Marcus M. "Nizar" Erpenbach

Mario Agostinelli, Former Secretary of the Lombardy CGIL, President of the Happy Energy Association

Marta Conde Puigmal Autonomous University Barcelona

Martina Siehoff, Landesvorstand Die Linke.NRW

Maso Notarianni, Maso Notarianni, President of ARCI (cultural and social association, 4401 clubs) of Milan

Massimo Torelli and Giulia Rodano, Association for the Left for another Europe

Maurizio Acerbo, National secretary of the Communist Refoundation Party

Michael Löwy social scientist, Paris, France

Michaela Gincel-Reinhardt, Landesvorstand die Linke NRW

Mihir Desai, Senior Advocate, Vice President Peoples Union of Civil Liberties, India

Minna Katz, Antropolog, Danmark

Mizgin Ciftci, Candidate for the German Bundestag (DIE LINKE)

Moni Ovadia, Actor, Singer, Musician and Writer

Niklas Haupt, Councillor, DIE LINKE, Fürth

Nina Eumann, Spokesperson for Die Linke, NRW

Our House OM10

Pamela Philipose, Public Editor, The Wire, news and opinion portal, India

Paolo Ferrero, Vice President of the European Left Party, former Minister of the Italian Republic

Patrizia Toia, MEP, S&D

Pernille Frahm Former MP, Socialist Peoples Party SF, Danmark

Peter Schindler, Member of the Trade Union for Education and Science (GEW)

Pierre Bance, Doctor of Laws, France

Pradip Kumar Datta, Retd. Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Prof. Dr. Peter Sommerfeld, Institute of Social Work and Health, University of Social Work FHNW

Prof. Dr. Werner Ruf, Peace and Conflict Researcher

Prof. Rajeev Bhargava, Director, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, India

Prof. Dr. med.Ulrich Gottstein, IPPNW Founding and Honorary Board Member

Professor Achin Vanaik, Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace, India

Rainer Hahn, Vors. SPD-Ortvereins Meckesheim-Mönchzell

Ralf Dreis, FAU-Frankfurt

Regionalvernetzung München des Netzes der Rebellion

Research & Degrowth

Rheinmetall Entwaffnen

Rudolf Bürgel Präsidium Landesausschuss DIE LINKE Baden-Württemberg

Ruth Luschnat, Alternative Practitioner, Berlin

Sascha Wegmer, Ortsvereinsvorsitzender SPD Birkenfeld-Gräfenhausen

Schwarzroten Bergsteiger_innen, SRB, AG der FAU Dresden

SDS. Sozialistischer Deutscher Studentenbund

Seebrücke, BRD

Seebrücke Wiesbaden

Seebrücke Witzenhausen

Shawn Hattingh, International Labour Research and Information Group (ILRIG), South Africa

Silvana Barbieri, Cultural Association Punto Rosso

Simone Barrientos, MdB Die Linke

Sinistra Italia-Left Party of Italy

Söderham Kurdistan Solidarty Association, Sweden

Solidaritätsnetz Bern

Sören Sossong IG Metall Saarbrücken

Studiengruppe (in)visible borders der Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften Landshut

Systemchange Not Climate Change, Austria

Thies Gleiss, Executive Committee Member of Die Linke

Tomasz Konicz, Author and Journalist, Germany

Urs Köllhofer DIE LINKE Marburg

Viktoria Schindler

Villo Sigurdsson, Former Major of Kopenhagen

Vincenzo Vita President of the Association for the Renewal of the Left, Italy

VVN/BdA, Kreisvereinigung Oldenburg/Friesland

Ya-Basta-Network for Solidarity and Rebellion, Germany

Yavor Tarinski, Author and Activist, member of the Transnational Institute of Social Ecology (TRISE)

Zerocalcare, Cartoonist, Italy

Zoya Hasan, Professor Emeritus, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

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Date
14.06.2021

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