Tommy Sheppard MP attends Scottish solidarity demo

This weekend Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan held a demonstration in central Edinburgh to protest continuing attacks by the Turkish military on Kurdish cities and civilians.

The group delivered a letter to the Turkish Consul, which expresses concern for the women and children killed since last summer and calls for the Turkish government to end the curfews in Kurdish towns. The letter was signed by several other union members, Scottish Green party members and activists.  Continue reading

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Scottish delegation to Kurdistan calls for peace process to be renewed

Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan, led by Peace in Kurdistan Campaign’s trade union liaison officer Stephen Smellie and student activists Roza Salih organised a fact-finding delegation to north Kurdistan in September to speak with representatives of the HDP, IHD, KESK and DISK trade unions among others. Here are their findings and recommendations.

Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan

Delegation visit to Diyarbakir, North Kurdistan/South East Turkey September 2015.

The delegation consisted of Sarah Collins, Viv Thompson and Stephen Smellie of UNISON and Roza Salih and Paul Toner of Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan. We were in Diyarbakir from 21 to 25 September and met with a number of organisations and individuals. These included the Human Rights Association, Free Women’s Assembly, Rojava Association, KESK (public sector trade unions), DISK (private sector trade unions), Democratic Society Congress, HDP MPs, Ezidi refugees from Shengal and the refugee camp organisers. We spoke to people who had been at the HDP rally in Diyarbakir in June which had been bombed, including one woman who had lost both legs in the bomb blast. We also spoke to trade unionists who were organising and attending the ‘Labour, Peace and Democracy’ demonstration in Ankara on 10 June which was targeted by 2 suicide bombers and where over 100 people were killed. Continue reading

UNISON delegation visits Diyarbakir amidst ongoing violence and intimidation

PRESS RELEASE BY THE UNISON SCOTLAND DELEGATION WHO VISITED THE KURDISH REGION IN TURKEY

29 September 2015

A delegation of four trade unionists from Scotland: Stephen Smellie, deputy convenor of Unison Scotland; Viv Thomson, Chaiperson of UNISON’s national women’s commitee; Sarah Collins, UNISON East Ayrshire branch; and Paul Smellie, young member of Unite the Union, along with”Glasgow girl” Roza Salih*)  visited Diyarbakir in southern Turkey last week following news reports of military curfews in the predominantly Kurdish region. Continue reading

International Initiative reps speaks at award ceremony for Ocalan in Scotland

Reimar Heider text of speech (short version)
International Initiative “Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan – Peace in Kurdistan”
Glasgow, 20 June 2015

As much as I am happy to be here, I am very sorry to be here. I am sorry to be here, because the reason that I am here is that the person who has been granted Honorary Life Membership in the University of Strathclyde Student’s Association, Abdullah Öcalan, cannot come and thank you all in person. He has been held under strict isolation on a Turkish prison Island  for more than 16 years now.
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University of Strathclyde Students’ Association grants Honorary Life Membership to Kurdish Leader Abdullah Ocalan

June 19th 2015

Ocalan flagAbdullah Ocalan, imprisoned Kurdish leader, will be granted honorary life membership of the USSA at a ceremony on Saturday 20 June at the University of Strathclyde Students Association in Vertigo at 5pm.

Joining the students at the ceremony will be award winning prominent Scottish writer and cultural and political campaigner James Kelman and Reimer Heider, spokesperson of the International Initiative “Freedom for Ocalan-Peace in Kurdistan”.

  Continue reading

PiK sends congratulations message to the SNP

Peace in Kurdistan Campaign today sent this message to the SNP congratulating them on their landslide victory in Scotland in last week’s election:

Nicola Sturgeon MSP
Leader of the Scottish National Party
First Minister of Scotland

10 May 2015

Dear Nicola Sturgeon,

We send our congratulations to your party and the Scottish people on the news of your historic victory in the British general election.
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Kurdish activists celebrate victory in Kobane and call for further support in the struggle against ISIS

MEDIA RELEASE
29 January 2015

For immediate use

Kurdish activists in Scotland and their supporters gather in Glasgow on Saturday to celebrate the success of the Kurdish defence of Kobane where ISIS forces have been pushed out.

The gathering in the UNISON offices in Glasgow brings together Kurds living in Scotland along with political and trade union activists supportive of the struggle against ISIS and the struggle for Kurdish rights.

They will be joined by the Rebar Hajo, UK representative of the main Kurdish party in Syria, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and Michelle Allison and Akif Wan of the Kurdish National Congress (KNK). Continue reading

Kurds for an independent Scotland

JOINT STATEMENT BY THE KURDISH COMMUNITY OF THE UK

30 May 2014

 

KURDS FOR AN INDEPENDENT SCOTLAND

 

On 18 September 2014, the Scottish people have an opportunity to determine their own future as an independent country in a free vote. The choice that they make in this independence referendum will influence the lives of future generations. Furthermore, the result will have a profound impact on the fortunes of peoples throughout the world – the Kurds included – who hold similar aspirations to take greater control of their own lives and who are seeking to determine their own futures.

 

At stake are not borders, national flags or emblems, but whether free people have the right to decide their own futures in a democratic state. It is for this reason that the Kurds will be watching closely the vitally important developments unfolding in Scotland over the next few months.

 

The Kurds, involved in their own historic national struggle for respect and recognition as a people, see democratic autonomy as forming the basis of a new relationship between themselves and their neighbours whereby all peoples in their region are treated as equals.

 

The Kurds in Kurdistan have been expressing a resounding ‘Yes’ in increasing numbers to the strategy of deepening democratisation. In Southeast Turkey and in Rojava in Syria in particular the Kurds have been taking greater control of their destinies in a democratic process that they regard as ultimately unstoppable.

The Scottish people have the right to choose independence and build a strong, new relationship between Scotland and the rest of the UK. This is what a ‘Yes’ vote essentially means; the alternative is to remain within the old structure of the centralised British state where all key decisions influencing their lives and livelihoods are taken in the Westminster Parliament. If the Scottish people have the courage to vote ‘Yes’ they will start to construct a new partnership of equals with the rest of the British Isles.

 

The Kurdish community in Britain, through their representative civil society organisations across the UK, recognise the historic significance of the coming referendum in Scotland. As such, we would like to express support for ‘Yes’ vote and believe that an independent Scotland will improve the lives of the people considerably.

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