Source > Peace in Kurdistan
Just as everyone was getting ready to enjoy the extended family holiday of Christmas and the new year, the Kurdish community of Paris was dealt a devastating blow as three of their members were slain in an ugly unprovoked terrorist attack.
An alleged assailant with a record of racist violence was quickly detained and the attack was even more quickly described as a random act aimed at “foreigners” not specifically targeting Kurds.
Rightly the Kurds did not believe this. Shocked and angered by another murderous attack on their community, protests were spontaneously organised where demands were voiced for justice for the victims and wider demands for political rights.
The French authorities were regarded with suspicion because of their close relationship with Turkey. The timing of the incidence was seen as too much of a coincidence coming almost exactly ten years after the murder of the three Kurdish women activists, Sakine Cansiz, Fidan Dogan and Leyla Soylemez, whose case is still unresolved with the perpetrators remaining unpunished.
Kurdish suspicions that Turkey somehow has a hand in the latest killings are rational fears and not unfounded allegations. What is required is a totally thorough, impartial, fair, open and transparent investigation and judicial process to allay all suspicions and bring justice for the victims. Nothing less is acceptable.
Turkey has complained to the French authorities that little has been done to check anti-Turkish sentiments during the protests held in the wake of the killings. Turkey’s efforts to influence European policy only adds to the suspicions of the Kurds, who have suffered unceasing repression during the years of Erdogan’s reign of power. Ankara has been lobbying hard to compel its European allies to clampdown on Kurdish organisations and has sought to have Kurdish activists extradited. All the while, repression of Kurds inside Turkey has continued unabated as the regime has waged war against the Kurds in Syria and Iraq.
Tensions have been inflamed as a result of the latest killings in Paris. Feelings are inevitably fraught. Kurds feel that they are not being listened to and that their demands are being ignored.
It should be remembered that the Kurdish community in Paris are not economic migrants but political refugees who simply are unable to live freely as Kurds in their own country. At present there is little prospect of peace and no serious effort is being made to mediate a peace process. If anything, the political situation in Turkey is worsening by the day. The Kurds are all too aware of the threats they face. They now fear that they can no longer live at peace in their place of exile. The murder of Ermine Kara, Sirin Aydin and Abdurrahman Kizil in Paris on 23 December has provoked fear and consternation among the Kurds across Europe. But the deaths have also galvanised the Kurds into action to seek a solution and to ensure that their voices are heard.
Peace in Kurdistan extends its deepest sympathies to all those who are grieving the loss of their friends and we demand justice for the victims and for all the Kurds. It is time for political leaders in Europe to listen to the Kurds and seriously address their demands.
Peace in Kurdistan
Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question
Contacts Estella Schmid: 07846 666 804 & Melanie Gingell: 07572 430903
Patrons: John Austin, Baroness Blower of Starch Green, former GS NUT, Prof Bill Bowring, Julie Christie, Noam Chomsky, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Maggie Cook, UNISON women activist; Prof Mary Davis, Lord Dholakia, Simon Dubbins, UNITE International Director, Jill Evans, former MEP, Desmond Fernandes, Lindsey German, Convenor STWC, Melanie Gingell, Christopher Gingell, Prof Dr. Michael Gunter, Secretary-General, EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC), Rahila Gupta, journalist, Nick Hildyard, policy advisor, Dafydd Iwan, Former President Plaid Cymru, James Kelman, Bruce Kent, Jean Lambert, former MEP, Dr Les Levidow, Open University, Elfyn Llwyd, John McDonnell MP; Aonghas MacNeacail, Scottish Gaelic poet, Mike Mansfield QC, David Morgan, journalist, Doug Nicholls, General Secretary, GFTU, Dr. Jessica Ayesha Northey, Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy, Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley, Kate Osamor MP, Margaret Owen OBE, Ali Gul Ozbek, Former Councillor and Mayor of Haringey; Gareth Peirce, Dr Felix Padel, Maxine Peake, actor, Dr Thomas Phillips, Liverpool John Moores University, Trevor Rayne, writer, Joe Ryan, Bert Schouwenburg, International Trade Union Adviser; Tony Simpson, Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, Stephen Smellie, PIK Trade Union Liaison Officer, Jonathan Steele, journalist, Steve Sweeney, journalist, Gianni Tognoni, General Secretary Permanent People’s Tribunal, Dr Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, Dr Federico Venturini, Associate Researcher, University of Udine, Italy; Dr Tom Wakeford, Dr Derek Wall, Julie Ward, former MEP, Kariane Westrheim, Chair, EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC); Hywel Williams MP.
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