What does this have to do with you? If attacks on the Kurds stopped, the Middle East would settle down, people could rebuild their lives and the world will be a better place to live – for everyone.
Syria: Syria is disintegrating but Kurds are successfully defending their area in the north – Rojava – from attacks by ISIS with minimal help from the outside. They also have a remarkable setup that is based on democracy and this protects Kurds and others in the area and maintains a working society in the midst of this terrible war.
The Turkish State’s ruling AKP Government brands the Kurds in Syria as terrorists saying they are worse than ISIS, and it gives ISIS access to Syria across the border to do its dirty work (it also buys stolen oil from ISIS – there is money in this relationship too), it disrupts the Kurdish supply routes and sometimes bombs them directly. The Kurds need support. Instead the UK Government and other international Governments are bowing to the demands of the Turkish State, with an unworkable deal about returning people seeking asylum, quicker access to Europe, and progress in becoming a member of EU.
Turkey: The Turkish State was given historical Kurdish land in the Sykes Picot agreement of 1916 (look it up on Wiki) when Britain, France and Russia drew some fairly straight lines on a map to carve up the area dividing the Kurds into four countries, and many were in the new ‘Turkey’ (previously the Ottoman Empire). The Turkish State has been trying to make these families give up their Kurdish-ness and accept a Turkish identity ever since. Kurds have only recently been allowed to talk and sing in Kurdish without being taken to prison. There has been horrific abuse towards the Kurds, which reached a height in the 1990s when many Kurds died and their villages were burned to the ground.
More recently the situation calmed down but in 2015, Kurds finally won seats in the Turkish Parliament despite all the odds, and so the State locked up the Kurdish political leaders, and ran the elections again, and in the last few months it has also been consistently bombing and killing the Kurds – families included – in villages and towns, such that some places now look like Syria. Many, but not all Kurds in Turkey support PKK (which is a ‘proscribed’ organisation in the West); they feel protected by these armed Kurds who are trained in the mountains. PKK is conveniently blamed for suicide bombings by the Turkish State. In fact, the first big bombing in 2015 killed 100+ Kurds and the bombers are likely to have been ISIS, supported by the Turkish State.
Why has this been allowed to happen? This has a lot to do with the UK and others wanting power & control, and with deals around global financial systems including the sale of weapons – big money there. It is not about protecting human beings, justice, helping communities to thrive. At best the UK Government is naïvely clinging to the past colonial power that set the ground for the conflict in the Middle East.
What can you do? Kurds are abused directly – Turkey; used as a political football – everyone especially Russia and America now; and excluded/ denied a voice – all the above + UK, UN and others for example in the talks about Syria. We need to ensure that Kurds have a real voice on the international stage.
Read up about what is happening, find out more, ask questions
- ANF News agency http://anfenglish.com/ ANF News agency
- Support Kurds in Syria – Leicester based organisation concentrating on the Syria situation http://supportkurds.org
- Peace in Kurdistan – London based organisation concentrating on the Turkey situation http://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/
- Kurdish question: http://kurdishquestion.com/
Join us in our activities: We launched ourselves on 24 March 2016. We have a Facebook page – Leicester Kurdish Solidarity Campaign, and there will be news on this webpage: http://leicesterkurdishsolidaritycampaign.org.uk/. We welcome ideas, organisers etc. etc.
Latest News will follow below:
There is a gathering of Leicester Against War every Friday 5.30-6.30pm at the Leicester Clock Tower, sometimes with a theme. This coming Friday the theme is Stop the War on Kurds around the issue of what Governments are doing to the Kurds by abusing them directly – Turkey/Syria; using them as a political football – everyone especially Russia and America now; and excluding them/ denying them a voice – all the above + UK, UN and others for example in the talks about Syria. We need to ensure that Kurds have a real voice on the international stage
Maybe people could offer suggestions for posters, and bring some music for some Kurdish dancing – maybe wear Kurdish clothes
‘Stop the War on Kurds’ ‘By Turkish State’ ‘By Syrian regime’ ‘Give Kurds a Voice’ ‘UK Government must support Kurds’.