As concerned Australians, we condemn Turkey’s invasion of the mainly Kurdish canton of Afrin in northern Syria, and demand that the Australian Government do all in its power to protest and stop Turkey’s brazen criminal aggression.
Turkish dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan claims that Kurdish forces in northern Syria are terrorists and pose a threat to Turkey. In fact the Syrian Kurds and their allies were instrumental in crushing the Islamic State, repulsing the real terrorists at Kobanê and more recently liberating Raqqa, at the cost of the lives of thousands of young YPG and YPJ fighters. Theirs was a victory for all humanity, and the world owes them a huge debt of gratitude.
Afrin has been one of the most stable and secure regions in Syria, taking in enormous numbers of refugees from the war with very little international aid. It has established a strong system of democratic and pluralist government and implemented very real freedoms for women. It poses no threat whatsoever to Turkey, except in the example it gives to the world on how democracy, tolerance and women’s’ rights can be achieved in the Middle East.
We therefore call on the Australian Government to:
- Immediately recall its Ambassador from Ankara until such time as Turkey ceases all military action and withdraws its own and all proxy forces.
- Summon the Turkish Ambassador in Canberra to express its concerns in the strongest possible terms.
- Establish an immediate ban on all contact and cooperation between Australian and Turkish military and security personnel.
- Encourage its Western allies to protest Turkey’s illegal military action and to take immediate, concrete and effective steps to guarantee Afrin’s stability and security.
- Use all means available to it at the United Nations to ensure the world body fulfils its mandate of peace, stability and protection for all people in the Middle East
Sue Bolton, Councillor, City of Moreland, VIC
David Bridie, Wantok Musik Foundation, VIC
Dorothy Bruck, Emeritus professor, PT psychologist, VIC
Sam Castro, Whistle Blowers, Activists & Citizens Alliance, VIC
Pamela Curr, Refugee advocate, VIC
Phillip Deery, Emeritus professor, Academic, VIC
James Doughney, Emeritus professor, Victoria University, VIC
Carole Ferrier, Professor, University of Qld, QLD
Hall Greenland, Journalist, NSW
Stephen Jolly, Socialist councillor, City of Yarra, VIC
Mahmut Kahraman, Kurdish Democratic Community Centre of Victoria, VIC
Michael Leach, Professor, Swinburne University of Technology, VIC
Gina Lennox, Co-chair, Kurdish Lobby Australia, Researcher & writer, NSW
Colin Long, Victorian secretary, National Tertiary Education Union, VIC
Kirsty Mac, Feminist activist & comedian, VIC
Maritime Union of Australia (Sydney branch), NSW
Roger Markwick, Professor, University of Newcastle, NSW
Grahame McCulloch, General Secretary, NTEU, VIC
Stuart Munckton, Co-editor, Green Left Weekly, NSW
Alex Bainbridge, National co-convenor, Socialist Alliance, QLD
Anitra Nelson, Associate professor, RMIT University, Academic researcher, VIC
Jamie Parker, Greens NSW, State member for Balmain, NSW
Susan Price, National co-convenor, Socialist Alliance, NSW
Lee Rhiannon, Senator, Australian Greens, NSW
Rob Stary, Civil liberties lawyer, VIC
Ismet Tastan, Democratic Kurdish Community Centre of NSW, NSW
John Tully, Emeritus professor, Victoria University, VIC
Sam Wainright, Socialist Alliance councillor, Fremantle City, WA
Brian Walters, Barrister, VIC
Jacinda Woodhead, Editor, Overland magazine, VIC