This Conference notes that
- Since June 2015 when President Erdogan lost his parliamentary majority, the conflict in the Kurdish majority South-East of Turkey has been re-ignited, with the loss of 2000 lives and the displacement of up to 500,000 people, including numerous cases of excessive use of force; killings; enforced disappearances; torture; destruction of housing and cultural heritage; incitement to hatred; prevention of access to emergency medical care, food, water and livelihoods; violence against women.
- During 2015 and 2016 Turkish security forces shelled densely populated Kurdish areas with heavy artillery and tanks , including an incident when up to 189 men, women and children who were trapped in basements of buildings were subjected to shelling by security forces and burnt to death.
- Since 2015 the UK has sold Turkey £330 million worth of arms, including £26m-worth of ML13 licences, which relate to exports of armoured plate, body armour and helmets. In addition, the UK has sold Turkey £8.5m-worth of ML10 licences, for aircraft, helicopters and drones, and almost £4m-worth of ML4 licences, for missiles, bombs and “counter-measures” and is a priority market for British arms exports.
- The OSCE election observers reported that the Turkish Referendum of 16th April 2017 did not meet Council of Europe standards, was not a genuinely democratic process and that the mass arrests of journalists and the closure of media outlets denied the Turkish people a real choice.
- The achievements of the Rojava Cantons set up by Kurds in Northern Syria are genuine examples of radical democracy and efforts of establishing an egalitarian, ecological and democratic society.
This conference therefore resolves to
- Call for an end to all British arms sales to Turkey, particularly in the context of Turkish weapons being used against Kurdish people.
2. Condemn the grievous and systematic human rights violations perpetrated against the Kurdish people by the Turkish State.
3. Condemn the UK government’s failure to criticise Turkish human rights violations and to defend democracy in the run up to the Referendum of 16th April 2016.
4.Condemns the Turkish military aggression into the area as it believes that the peaceful resolution on Syrian war is to respect the rights of peoples to exist and determine their future without any external aggression.
Resolution by Kurdish Community Centre
London N4 1HU