Dossier: Stop the political genocide and femicide against the Kurds in Turkey! Freedom for Abdullah Ocalan!

Produced by:

KURDISTAN NATIONAL CONGRESS (KNK) UK
11 Goodwin Street, N4
Tel 020 7272 4131
E-mail: knklondon@gn.apc.org

CENÎ
Kurdisches Frauenbüro für Frieden e.V.
Kurdish Women’s Office for Peace
Corneliusstrasse 125
D- 40215 Düsseldorf
Tel.: 0049 (0) 211 598 92 51
Fax: 0049 (0) 211 598 92 53
E-mail: ceni_frauen@gmx.de
Web:    www.ceni-kurdistan.de

February 2012

Contents

1. Political Genocide and Femicide – the AKP Regime
a. Background to the political genocide in Turkey
b. Mass arrests and show trials
c. Escalation of the war: Use of chemical weapons and civilian massacre
d. Violence against women – Femicide

2.The war against the Kurds manifests itself in the State’s attitude towards Ocalan
a. Significance of Abdullah Ocalan for the Kurds
b. Abduction and arrest of Abdullah Ocalan
c. Abdullah Ocalan’s plan for a resolution
d. Abdullah Ocalan: Prisoner without rights and status
e. Those in power evade their responsibilities

3. International dimension of the Kurdish question and the responsibility of the international community
a. Treaty of Lausanne as the historical foundation for the anti-Kurdish policy
b. The role of the US and the EU
c. Peace in Kurdistan requires the freedom of Ocalan
d. Long-lasting peace requires international recognition of the Kurds

4. Our demands

 

 

When the Nazis came for the Communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a Communist.
When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

 

1. Political Genocide and Femicide – the AKP Regime

a.  Background to the political genocide in Turkey

The AKP government under Prime Minister Erdogan had made efforts to create the illusion, inside Turkey and on the international level, that it strives for a “democratic opening” and for reforms. In reality, however, the party has installed a regime, since their entry into government in 2002, in which all sectors of the state are controlled: gradually the state bureaucracy, the military, and the judiciary have been occupied by civil servants loyal to the AKP. The police have been reconstructed and given wide-reaching powers under “Anti—Terror Laws”. The press has been similarly reconstructed. The “division of powers” has been literally abolished. Since the AKP government has an absolute majority in the Turkish parliament, it can get every new anti-democratic measure passed, so that injustice becomes “justice”. Political and social opposition are silenced by state repression, arrests, and bans – whether it is the Kurdish movement for democracy or the women’s movement, whether it is the progressive actions of intellectuals, or the Turkish nationalist forces of the former elite.

Since the national elections on 22nd June 2011, where the Kurdish BDP, in coalition with Turkish democrats, achieved a notable success, the repressive policies of the AKP have escalated. They take ever more dangerous forms, which will not only radically destabilise Turkey, but also the whole Middle East. This is because the AKP government is currently pursuing an expansionist foreign policy, which could become a new version of the Ottoman Empire. The legitimate demands of the Kurds for the recognition of their democratic rights, of their national, cultural and political identity; for the establishment of basic democracy, and self-governing social structures within the framework of democratic autonomy, is answered by the AKP government through total political genocide, the escalation of war and racism.

Fethullah Gülen calls for the destruction of the Kurds

The eminence grise and ideological leader of the AKP, Fethullah Gülen, who leads an Islamic sect in the USA, announced a “Fatwa” (holy message) in October 2011 in a video message, in which he gave the instruction: “Find them, surround them […] annihilate their groups, let fire rain down on their homes, replace their plaintive cries with cries of pain, cut them down by their roots and put an end to them!” As a consequence, fascist groups in various cities in Turkey initiated racist pogroms and attacks against the Kurds. Even in Europe Turkish nationalist groups mobilised.

b. Mass arrests and show trials

Since 14th April 2009 mass arrests have taken place in Turkey. The waves of arrests are similar in manner to the arrests conducted under National Socialism, which is referred to in the quotation by Pastor Niemöller. Everyday dozens of arrests, attacks, and mass trials are taking place, which will extend to ever wider social circles.

Over 8,190 Kurdish politicians, human rights and peace activists, trade unionists, activists from women’s and youth movements, have been arrested in the past year and a half. Around 4,000 of them are still in custody. Among them there are 6 members of the Kurdish parliament and 15 current mayors and mayoresses, several former mayors, numerous council and party members of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP). Turkish academics and intellectuals, who have engaged with Kurds about a peaceful political resolution, have also been arrested, such as, for example, the publisher and human rights activist, Ragip Zarakolu, and the university lecturer and constitutional expert, Büsra Ersanli. In December 33 lawyers from Abdullah Ocalan’s defence team as well as 35 journalists and people cooperating with Kurdish and progressive media, were also arrested in targeted operations.

Attacks on the press and freedom of expression

With 97 imprisoned journalists in total, Turkey is the country with the most journalists in prison. While Prime Minister Erdogan regularly allows for closed gatherings with media representatives, where the guidelines of reporting are set out by him, there exists around 4,000 criminal proceedings against media representatives as a result of publishing articles critical of the government.

The KCK-proceedings

The main legal proceedings, which have been carried out under the name of the KCK-proceedings since October 2010 against 152 Kurdish politicians before the 6th High Court in Diyarbakir, is a show trial. 104 of the accused are in prison, the majority since 14th April 2009, without having faced trial. Furthermore, the prisoners are forbidden to defend themselves in their native Kurdish language. Turkish judges describe Kurdish as an “unknown language”, and as soon as one Kurdish word is spoken their microphone is switched off. Even the lawyers and international observers involved in the proceedings describe the trial, which restricts the right to defence, as scandalous.

All accusations are fabricated out of thin air. None of the prisoners are charged with violent acts but they are only accused of “membership of” or “support for” the KCK. They have been brought to trial because they have committed themselves to the establishment of self-administrative structures in local councils and to a political solution to the Kurdish question through dialogue between all involved.

The mayoress of Nusaybin, Ayse Gökhan, explained in a letter “on behalf of the 14 mayoresses of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), who have been arrested as part of the so-called KCK-proceedings, or who could be arrested at any moment”:

“We are 14 elected mayoresses of the BDP in South-West Turkey. Each one of us was elected by an average rate of 80% of the vote in our region. At the same time we are advocates of the women’s movement towards establishing the equality of women. Since our elections we have been threatened and watched by state security forces. Every individual associated with us is watched by the security forces. As women, we have for thousands of years always stood on the lowest rung in a male-dominated state system. We are now making efforts to represent our wishes, to implement our right to have a voice and to decisive participation in the local councils. (…) Everywhere in the world today is arguing the case for the notion of a decentralized administration. We are in accordance with this notion and defend it. Because we represent and practice this form of administration, we are listed in the files of the “KCK-proceedings” and accused of being “KCK-members”.

Turkish Home Secretary makes it clear: KCK-operations are political operations

In a television interview on 18 December 2011, the Turkish Home Secretary Besir Atalay made it clear that the waves of arrests, framed as the KCK-operations, were political operations on the part of the government. Previously, the AKP government had pushed the responsibility for the arrests on the Turkish justice system, which pursued its task independently. Atalay contradicted the earlier official explanations and held the government to be the source of the operations in the following words: “For the PKK and their terrorist units, domestic land, foreign lands, the mountains and everywhere else have become dangerous zones. We will continue our work in precisely these areas. […] Our security precautions will be continued. Even in winter the operations will run continuously. Some speak of some sort of talks etc., but there can be nothing of the sort. The border-crossing operations, exactly like the KCK-operations are coordinated, they were planned, decided upon, and are implemented.” Even Erdogan has declared accordingly that he welcomes and supports the KCK-operations.

c. Escalation of the war: Use of chemical weapons and civilian massacre

With the logistical support and the political backing of the USA and other NATO states, the Turkish air force have ceaselessly bombarded Kurdish areas in the border regions of Turkey, Iran and Iraq since 16th August 2011. Nearly every day the federal Kurdish areas in Iraqi territory have been bombarded and in North Kurdistan (Turkey) long running military operations and attacks are being carried out. In these bombardments people are killed, their livelihoods lost, forests are set on fire, and nature destroyed.

The constant protests of the Kurdish population against the war are answered by the AKP government with police brutality and mass arrests. During protests six demonstrators in total have been murdered in different states by gun and tear-gas grenades.

Massacre of a family of seven

On 21 August 2011, seven civilians were murdered during a bombardment from Turkish F-16 fighter jets. Two civilian vehicles were on the road in the area of Kortek in the Kandil region when they were hit by targeted bombs. The cars were completely destroyed. The passengers, three adults and four children, were killed in the attack: Hasan Mustafa Hasan (father), Mer Haci Mam (mother), Solin Şemal Hasan (6 months), Sonya Şemal Hasan (4), Oskar Hüseyin (10), Zana Hüseyin Mustafa (11) and Rezan Hüseyin Mustafa (34). Instead of explaining this massacre or apologizing for the attack, the Turkish air force resumed bombing the area of the massacre one again.

Use of chemical weapons

It is documented that the Turkish military has trained with and used, amongst other things, chemical weapons that were prohibited in 1999 and which have been ordered by the leadership of the military. In addition, it is documented that Turkey also recently (in 2010) stored chemical weapons and offered them for sale.

On 22 October 2011 the Turkish army, on the orders of AKP politicians and the Turkish President Abdullah Gül, used chemical weapons prohibited by international law. In the chemical weapon attacks in the Cele/Cukurca region, 36 Kurdish freedom fighters were brutally killed, their bodies mutilated in an unrecognisable state. The leader of the Berlin Information Centre for Transatlantic Security, Otfried Nassauer, told the news agency Firat that the bombs that were used were GPS manoeuvred bombs from NATO. Nassauer, to whom the codes from the bombs were brought forward, could specify that they were NATO bombs, which were manufactured in the USA.

In November 2011, lawyers in Germany brought a criminal complaint forward against the Turkish Prime Minister and several Chiefs of Staff for war crimes against the Kurdish population and violations of human rights. With documentary evidence and “10 exemplary cases” cited, it was concerned with extra-legal executions, the killing of fighters after arrest, persecution, mutilation of corpses, and the use of prohibited chemical weapons.

The Qileban Massacre

In the night of 28 December 2011, Turkish fighter planes bombed a civilian group near the village of Roboski in Qileban (Uludere), Sirnex (Sirnak) province, Turkey. In the massacre 38 people, amongst them many young people between 15 and 20, were murdered. Their bodies were found in fragmented and disfigured states. A villager, who survived the attack with injuries, explained that the bombs gave off a bitter smell, which shortened one’s breath and burned. Another reported that soldiers first made them stand still. After the soldiers then distanced themselves, the bombs came and hit the group.

A report from a delegation of representatives from Germany, who visited the area of the massacre between 31 December 2011 and 4 January 2012, established: “With regard to the massacre in Uludere-Roboski, it is clear that it was no mistake, rather a conscious attack. It is another fact that this war in Kurdistan, and this attack in Uludere, is being carried out with the support of NATO. Turkey is resourced with all the most modern weapons and technology of NATO. Interestingly, the USA ambassador in Ankara explained, in relation to the massacre, that he absolutely supports the Turkish government’s line of action in the fight against terrorism.”

d. Violence against women – Femicide

Violence against women and the murder of women, which can be called femicide by the extent to which it has reached, is another area where the consequences of AKP policy are manifested. In Turkey five women are killed every day on average. The increasing suicide rate amongst women is also alarming. During the AKP’s term, official figures show that violence against women has risen by 1400-1500%! At the same time, the number of women in paid work has fallen from 39% to 24%.

Instead of putting forward effective measures for the fight against gender-specific violence, the AKP promotes its concept of “political Islam”, with sexist and misogynistic tendencies. After the elections in June 2011 the Ministry for Women’s Affairs was reduced to the “Ministry for Family Affairs”. The Prime Minister and leading politicians support the model of woman who is “nationalist, wears a veil, supports her husband, and bears at least three children”. Violence against women, which does not correspond to this model, is legitimised. Above all, it is political activists who are exposed to enormous state attacks. Women who fight violence in Turkey and who fight for freedom and democracy are persecuted and must be silenced in this way. While the AKP mayor in Rize, Halil Bakird, publicly called for Turkish men to take a second wife from the Kurdish provinces, many Kurdish activists of the Democratic Free Women’s Movement (DOKH) have been arrested in the past two-and-a-half years, since they are committed to a gender-liberated society and are active in politics.

The Kurdish Women’s Movement is a thorn in the AKP’s side

Kurdish women have become the most important political actors in social and political life in the last decade. By organising under the name of the DOKH, by building women’s councils, parks and institutions in local councils, by leading campaigns against all forms of violence against women, by working towards the establishment of alternative ways of life and production, and by mobilising in support of peace, democracy and human rights, Kurdish women have successfully broken through the patriarchal norms and taboos. The confidence of Kurdish society towards the political activity of women is clear in the fact that those female BDP representatives and mayoresses elected by 70-80% of the vote were in Kurdish constituencies. On every executive board of the BDP there are two leaders, one woman and one man. Also in the party councils and on the regional boards, women represent nearly half the positions.

As a result of their leading influence in the social and political system, Kurdish women are seen as a “serious danger” by the neo-conservative AKP government. Therefore the AKP government has employed their concept of political Islam as a weapon in the front line against basic democratic organisation. 12,000 Imams and 400 prayer leaders were sent to Kurdistan to convince the masses in the mosques that women belong in the home and in the kitchen, and that they must bear at least three children. With this background, it is clear that it is no accident that women make up 40% of those accused in the “KCK-proceedings”. Even less of an accident was the confrontation of female parliamentary representatives of the BDP with a smear campaign in the press and their harming by police attacks during demonstrations. In spite of everything, they remain committed to a democratic, ecological and gender-equal society, as well as a political solution to the Kurdish question.

2. The war against the Kurds manifests itself in the State’s attitude towards Ocalan

The AKP government escalated the policy of political genocide, the attacks, and the war against the Kurdish population and their freedom movements at a point when the political solution to the Kurdish question was, for the first time, tangibly close, and when a dialogue between the conflicting parties had begun.

Abdullah Ocalan, who millions of Kurds see as their legitimate political representative, had, since 1993, actively made efforts towards a friendly, democratic solution to the Kurdish question. Although a delegation from the Turkish state did seek talks with Abdullah Ocalan on the prison island and elsewhere, and did signal certain agreements in July 2011 regarding the necessary steps towards a peace process, these efforts were all ignored by the AKP government and were thwarted with new anti-democratic attacks and war. This dialogue, which was conducted indirectly from 2006, and then more directly until July 2011, had reached a stage where the government had to accept its responsibility and make concrete steps forward. The government was not ready for this. It seemed more likely that the AKP government used the dialogue as a delaying tactic. Whereas the Kurdish guerrilla forces had stuck to their unilateral ceasefire and a phase of inactivity, the Turkish government organised mass arrests of Kurdish politicians and destructive military operations. With that it was clear that the government had not held talks with the aim of securing a political solution. As a consequence of this policy, the state imposed a total isolation of Abdullah Ocalan on 27 July 2011, which meant all visits from lawyers as well as his right to defence were prevented.

For Kurds, the stance of the Turkish state towards Ocalan is tantamount to the stance towards their demands for the recognition of their identity and the respect for their democratic and cultural rights. Even wider circles of the public in Turkey and of the state are aware that Abdullah Ocalan plays a key role in the peace process and democratisation of Turkey. The AKP government tries to prevent this by all means.

In this dossier we cover once again the importance of Abdullah Ocalan and the circumstances of his arrest, since the media often spreads false information, in order to stir up prejudices, and to prevent public and international support for the legitimate concerns of Abdullah Ocalan and the Kurdish freedom movement.

a. Significance of Abdullah Ocalan for Kurds

It is not only recently that Abdullah Ocalan has been held as a leading figure of Kurdish society and is, for millions, the representative of their political will. Abdullah Ocalan is the only Kurdish politician who has succeeded in over three decades of intensive political engagement to unite Kurds in all four parts of the borders between Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria, and to represent the interests of the suppressed, stateless people.  Also the Kurds in the diaspora (Europe, Australia, USA, Canada, former Soviet territories) see in his politics and philosophy a perspective out towards a life of dignity and freedom. Therefore, the Kurds understand every attack on the person, the life, and the health of Abdullah Ocalan as an attack on the Kurdish population as a whole.

In his political work, the Kurdish leader, Abdullah Ocalan, tackled the question of women’s oppression and sought ways towards women’s liberation, especially in the 1980s. He opposed male, patriarchal forms of rule in society and in his own environment. By all the means available to him, as a representative of the PKK at the time, he tried to create open spaces for women. Through his solid support, he contributed to the establishment and the development of Kurdish women’s organisations. He tirelessly encouraged women, through arguments and ideas, to become independent and self-conscious in the political arena. Abdullah Ocalan’s conviction that women’s liberation is a precondition and presumption for democratic society, and that it is an inseparable part of the solution to the Kurdish question, has today led to a radical social change within Kurdish society. Therefore, Kurdish women of all generations and the Kurdish women’s movements feel a strong connection to Abdullah Ocalan and to the goals of his struggle.

b. Abduction and Arrest of Abdullah Ocalan

The abduction and imprisonment of Abdullah Ocalan has both international and specifically Middle-Eastern dimensions. Since the First World War the Kurds have always been manipulated by different powers for their political and strategic interests, and sacrificed under the imperialist policy of “divide and conquer”. Since Abdullah Ocalan’s politics and demands for the recognition of the Kurdish right to self-determination in the framework of a democratic federation of peoples in the Middle East conflicted with the interests of the international and regional hegemonic powers, he was persecuted and defamed as a political enemy not only by Turkey but also by Western states.

On 15 February 1999 Abdullah Ocalan was abducted in Nairobi and brought to Turkey, restrained in the plane of a Turkish businessman. The abduction was a joint operation conducted by the secret services of the USA, Turkey and Israel. This was an act of piracy, preceded by a week-long journey between Damascus, Moscow, Amsterdam, Rome, and Athens, as no government dared to give Abdullah Ocalan political asylum, and thereby none gave the political solution to the Kurdish question a chance. The political and economic interests of the EU and its member states were more important than human rights. That goes also for the special prison conditions under which Abdullah Ocalan has been held in isolation on the prison island Imrali, where he has been since 16 February 1999. The first European Guantanamo was built on Imrali for Abdullah Ocalan. As a result of many years in isolation Abdullah Ocalan’s state of health has been heavily affected.

c. Abdullah Ocalan’s plan for a resolution

Despite the heavy restrictions on the prison island of Imrali, Abdullah Ocalan maintains his efforts for a democratic solution to the Kurdish question and for a new democratic-confederation model for the people of the Middle East. In his 15 August 2011 Roadmap for the democratisation of Turkey and the solution to the Kurdish Question, Abdullah Ocalan put forward a three-stage democratic plan for a resolution: While the PKK declares a long-term ceasefire and both sides avoid provocation, the Turkish government should establish a “Truth and Justice Commission” in cooperation with the parliament. In this phase, there would be the release of political prisoners of the PKK as well as the return of the armed forces of the PKK on the other side of the border with Turkey. With the drafting and implementation of a democratic constitution, the politics should then succeed on the whole in the framework of legal, democratic-political, social, economic and cultural activities.

The Turkish state, with the knowledge of the AKP, has held talks with Abdullah Ocalan on the prison island Imrali since 2006, which then formed three protocols. These protocols were briefly put forward to the Prime Minister Erdogan. He reacted to this during his election campaign with the words: “If I was in power in 1999, I would have executed Ocalan!” This was a clear signal of the AKP’s policy on the Kurds to come.

d. Abdullah Ocalan: prisoner without rights and status

Since 27 July 2011, a total isolation against Abdullah Ocalan has been imposed. Legal consultations have been systematically prevented by spurious reasons, such as “the boat is not working” or “bad weather conditions”. Even visits from relatives – apart from one single -hour visit from his brother on 12 October 2011 – have been refused. Another prisoner on the island told his lawyer that additionally at the end of November 2011, an even more intense isolation was imposed on him as a disciplinary punishment for 20 days.

Under the pretence that the representative of the Kurdish people Abdullah Ocalan was communicating with the KCK (Union of Communities in Kurdistan) through his lawyers, 42 of his legal team were arrested on 22 November 2011. The chairman of the KCK, Murat Karayilan, explained that the KCK had been given ten hand-written letters from Abdullah Ocalan not by lawyers, but by a delegation from the Turkish state.

The AKP government worked out a draft law, which drastically restricted the rights for visitation of a political prisoner. These legal initiatives were initiated by Prime Minister Erdogan with the objective of legalising the de facto communication ban imposed on Abdullah Ocalan. As a consequence lawyers were refused visitation rights for six months, if “there was a suspicion that the prisoner would lead an organisation or give orders through the talks”.

e. Those responsible evade their duty

Although the Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) of the European Council has indicated in earlier reports, the dangers to one’s health and body and the consequences of continued isolated imprisonment, the CPT has so far remained inactive in response to the present arbitrary isolation. Although various Kurdish organisations and politicians, as well as human rights organisations have exposed these violations, neither the European Council nor the CPT, nor international bodies have adhered to their own legal norms in this case until now. Universal human rights must no longer be sacrificed for political and economic regulations.

3. International dimension of the Kurdish question and the responsibility of the international community

a. Treaty of Lausanne as historical foundation for anti-Kurdish policy

Since the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, where the division of Kurdistan was politically fixed, the Kurds have become the target and victim of international conflicts of interests. The refusal to recognise the Kurdish people and their rights led to Kurdish revolts as well as to the manipulation of the Kurds by the Western hegemonic powers and in conflicts between Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria. The consequences were repeated massacres of the Kurdish people such as the revolts in Kocgiri 1920, Piran 1925, Ararat 1926-1930, Dersim 1938, at the counter-insurgency of the republic of Mahabad in 1946, in the Iran-Iraq War, during the Anfal Operation and the Halabja massacre in 1988.

The continuing status quo

The Turkish state continues to keep the old status quo for the Kurds. That is, the negation and elimination of all legitimate cultural and political rights to exist. With this background the AKP government introduced an escalation of the policy of political genocide, of war, and the most recent massacre of the Kurdish people in Qileban. This policy of the AKP is however not only a domestic question in Turkey. It is also internationally protected, so that the Treaty of Lausanne, that is the treaty that stripped away the rights of the Kurdish people, can be maintained.

b. The role of the USA and the EU

Turkey is in the process of admission into the EU and is therefore an important factor for the political and economic expansion of Europe into the Middle East. The country has an important geo-strategic situation and thereby gains significance on the international political level, especially with regards to the developments in the neighbour states Iran, Iraq, and Syria. For their own political and economic interests, the AKP government understands that they must highlight their strategically significant geographical situation.

The USA makes efforts in its own political and economic interests to maintain the AKP as a reliable partner for their “Greater Middle East Project”, which began to be implemented with the Iraq War in 2003. Through the so-called “Turkish version of moderate Islam”, namely the AKP government, the Obama Administration strives to spread the influence of the USA in the Middle East. Therefore the US government encourages this model for the “countries of the Arab Spring”, and the AKP are thereby promoted, directed and supported domestically and internationally by the USA. Also in terms of the military, important tasks are handed over to their NATO partner Turkey: so in the autumn of 2011 a NATO missile defence system, directed against Iran and Russia, was stationed in the vicinity of the Kurdish city of Malatya. In return, Turkey can hope for further provisions of “modern” military technology, strategic information, and weapons from the USA and Europe, for fighting the Kurdish freedom movement. These developments lead to the presumption that further massacres and poison gas attacks against the Kurds will follow, that is if the Western powers do not decide to enforce a weapons embargo and sanctions against the anti-human rights and anti-democratic politics of the AKP.

c. Peace in Kurdistan requires the freedom of Ocalan

The role of Abdullah Ocalan is of decisive significance to the solution of the Kurdish question. He was the person who would put forward proposals and concepts for peace in talks with state delegations, and who arranged for the unilateral ceasefire of the Kurdish guerrilla forces. As he has been silenced by the AKP since 27 July 2011, the violence and war in Kurdistan has escalated.

By demanding the freedom of Abdullah Ocalan, the Kurdish population are resisting the political genocide and war carried out by the AKP regime. At the same time this demand establishes the first step towards setting up democratic autonomy and fighting for international recognition as a nation in Turkey, Iran, and Syria.

Democratic autonomy means establishing a federation of self-administrative communities in Kurdistan through the principles of basic democracy, ecology, and gender-equality. It guarantees for its citizens fundamental rights to political and social participation, to cultural diversity, to the recognition of one’s identity and native language. At the same time, the democratic efforts by Kurds in Turkey, Iran, Syria and their wish to resolve the Kurdish question within the existing borders on the way to democracy, is an important pillar for long-lasting peace and the co-existence of nations in the Middle East.

For a resolution to the Kurdish question and a sustained peace in the Middle East, Abdullah Ocalan’s safety, health, and freedom of movement are a precondition and a key question.

d. Long-lasting peace requires international recognition of the Kurds

The UN, the European Council, and also the USA must no longer sacrifice human rights for profit interests. With regards to present developments, it is long overdue for the international community to put a stop to the constant violation of human rights by the Turkish state, as well as to accept its historical responsibility for a political solution to the Kurdish question.

What the Kurdish people demand and what they deserve is clearly anchored in the UN charter:

“All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”

4. Our demands

In light of the developments and dangers of escalating war and genocide in Kurdistan presented in this dossier, we urge all civil societies and political institutions, all governments and bodies of the European Union, the European Council, and the United Nations, to campaign for the implementation of the following demands:

  • the immediate guarantee of Abdullah Ocalan’s freedom of movement, health and security
  • the recognition of the democratic autonomy of Kurds in Turkey, Iran, and Syria in accordance with the UN charter
  • the immediate ending of the political and cultural genocide and femicide of the AKP regime
  • the cessation of all political, military, and economic support for the AKP regime and an immediate weapons embargo against Turkey
  • the clarification and judgement of all war crimes and violations of human rights.

For the implementation of these steps, we ask for the appointment of a special envoy for the Kurdish question in Turkey and for the examination of Abdullah Ocalan’s conditions, as well as the establishment of a UN special committee for the Kurdish question.

Download a pdf of the dossier.