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kurdish protest

Kurdish Protest in London. Photo: David Holt/Youtube

Western governments have ignored the breaches of human rights by the current government of Turkey

You may have noticed that there are an increasing number of demonstrations staged across the United Kingdom by the Kurdish people and pro-peace and pro-democracy activists from a wide range of backgrounds to condemn the tumultuous and horrific developments in Turkey. It is curious and worrisome that the mainstream media in the UK, local and national, have largely ignored these peaceful condemnations and cries for help by the Kurdish people.

So what is the fuss all about?

It is about the Turkish state, a NATO member with the second-largest army after the United States, massacring its own people under the guise of counter-terrorism.

The ruling AKP government is undertaking deeply divisive military action in the South East of Turkey, which involves imposing curfews and blockades on predominantly Kurdish cities and towns, attacking innocent Kurdish civilians with tanks and snipers, shooting at civilians seeking to collect their dead from the streets, letting people die of hunger and cold in basements because of the ongoing curfews and internal blockades, denying ambulances entry to tend to injured men, women and children, and censoring doctors and academics wanting to speak out.

Since the curfews and military operations started hundreds of innocent civilians have lost their lives as a result. The Turkish State is responsible for these deaths but refuses to allow the truth about the scale of civilian casualties to be known. 56 curfews have been declared in at least 19 districts of 7 cities since July 2015. Resultantly, 460 civilians (84 children, 79 women) were killed. Curfews and military operations are still going on in the districts of Cizre, Sur and Silopi. Moreover, those who speak out against the massacre and ongoing bombardment of the region are being gagged and imprisoned.

Academics calling for an end to this war have lost their jobs

In the past few months, over a thousand academics attempted to break the silence and censorship by signing a petition against the curfews, blockades and killing of civilians in the South East as well as demanding the visit of independent monitoring bodies to this region. Many of these academics have subsequently lost their jobs, been arrested in the middle of the night from their homes and incarcerated with no evidence of any wrongdoing being present. Anybody critical of the government's actions, that calls for peace or an end to the killing of children is immediately labelled a "terrorist" regardless of who they are. This is not limited to academics but includes singers, artists, actors and even footballers.

Why does David Cameron condone the brutality in the South East of Turkey?

The AKP government has brutally attacked and marginalised those calling for peace and an end to targeting children. The president of Turkey has been on a witch-hunt on individuals and organisations who refuse to sing from the same hymn sheet as the government.

So far, to the dismay and anger of pro-peace and pro-democracy forces, the Western governments have refused to condemn or highlight the breaches of human rights and brutality by the current government of Turkey. The silence by the West is unacceptable as it helps Turkey to get away with such heinous crimes committed in the South East of Turkey. The prime minister of Turkey recently visited Britain on two occasions and met with David Cameron in relation to “resolving” terrorist activities in Syria. However, the state terrorism imposed by Turkey on the Kurdish people has not been discussed and it appears that both parties condone the killings in South East of Turkey.

It is our duty to stand up against this brutality

Many progressive forces in Turkey have been on the streets to protest the mass killing of Kurdish people in Cizre, Sur and Silopi but have been dispersed by security forces and subject to police brutality. The Kurdish people and their friends have also been on the streets in London and have taken many steps to draw the British government’s attention to this issue with the aim of forcing it to make a public statement.

To put an end to this brutality Turkish and Kurdish Community living and working in UK will take action. 

There will be a series of protests in London calling for the British government to condemn the attacks and brutality in the South East of Turkey. The protests will be outside 10 Downing Street and will take place as follows:

Date:   10, 11, 12 and 13 February

Time:   12.00 – 14.00

Place: 10 Downing Street

We are also calling on all progressive forces in the UK including academics, trade unions, political parties, MPs, Councillors and MEPs to attend a national demonstration on 6 March calling an end to the siege and mass murder of the Kurdish people in Turkey. The demonstration is called by the Kurdish National Congress (KNK) UK, Peace In Kurdistan and London Kurdish Solidarity. Details of this demonstration is as follows:

Stop Turkey’s War on Kurds! Break the Silence!

Date: 6 March 2016

Time: Assemble at 12 noon

Place: BBC Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London, W1A 1AA

Rally at Trafalgar Square at 2pm

If you would like to find out more about these developments, please contact us on either [email protected].

Tagged under: NATO Middle East Turkey Kurds

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