International condemnation mounts against Turkey’s war on the Kurds

November 30, 2022
The aftermath of a Turkish airstrike in North East Syria that targeted civilian infrastructure. Image: Rojava Information Centre

Turkey’s bombing of cities in North East Syria has continued for more than ten days.

The Syrian Democratic Forces announced on November 27 that Turkey has struck more than 90 villages and towns in North East Syria with ground and aerial bombardment since November 19. Meanwhile, international voices of condemnation are growing.

The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party representation in Europe published a compilation of statements from across Europe, which have been released since Turkey’s attacks began on November 19.

In the compilation, Özlem Alev Demirel, Member of the European Parliament (MEP), from the Left in the European Parliament (GUE/NGL) group and Vice-Chair of its Turkey Delegation, said: “The bombings take place in the areas where Russia and the USA control the airspace. So both countries must have given the green light for this aggression. So it must not have been a coincidence that Erdoğan gave the order for this attack on the return flight of his Asia trip, where he met US President Biden among others.”

Demetris Papadakis, MEP, Socialists and Democrats Group (S&D), said: “Turkey bombs Kurdish militants and Kobani which defeated ISIS in 2014. This is how international community expresses its gratitude to the liberators of Kobani from ISIS? It should not remain silent towards such violations of international law.”

Nikolaj Villumsen, MEP and Vice-chair GUE/NGL, said: “Erdogan must not get away with this blatant violation of international law that will weaken the fight against IS and terrorism. Denmark, NATO and the EU must speak out!”

The GUE/EUL – Unified European Left Group – at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe said: “Mobilizing people around another attack on the Kurds in Syria may help Erdoğan to consolidate his nationalist base in the run up to the upcoming elections, and maybe even increase his votes, but these attacks are further destroying the already fragile stability in Syria and the broader region, also providing ISIS with fresh air.

“The people of Kobane defeated ISIS in 2014 with the sacrifice of thousands of human lives. Many of those who died in the battle of Kobanê were women, who revolutionized their society with the motto of Jin, Jiyan, Azadi!

“We understand that Turkey wishes to complete the mission that ISIS failed to accomplish then. This is utterly unacceptable and should be opposed by the whole international community. We were with the people of Kobanê in 2014 and we are fully with them now. We will support them in any way we can in their struggle for the values that we also share: freedom, justice, democracy, and dignity.”

The European Union’s Turkey Civic Commission said: “Turkey’s war crimes must not remain without consequences. Toughest sanctions and an immediate no-fly zone are essential. The international community is now called upon to act and especially the United Nations, the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, the European Union and the United States to force their partner to comply with its legal obligations. There must be no hesitation.”

In France, the French Communist Party released a statement denouncing the Turkish state’s attacks on Rojava.

Danielle Simonnet, Member of the Constituent Assembly in France for the Left Party, called on the United Nations, the anti-EI [anti-Islamic State] coalition, the EU and France to “demand an end to Turkish military aggression against the Kurdish people”.

Laurence Patrice, Deputy Mayor of Paris, said: “Full support to our Kurdish friends who are again targeted by Turkish attacks in Rojava. The international community must react urgently!”

In Germany, Ricarda Lang, Member of the Bundestag (parliament) and Green Party Chairperson, said: “We cannot accept that a NATO state reacts to a terrible crime with military attacks that violate international law”. These attacks “also seem to be motivated primarily by domestic politics”, said Lang.

Janine Wissler, Chairperson of Die Linke and Member of the Bundestag, said: “The German government must not look away, but must clearly condemn these criminal attacks by NATO partner Turkey and stop arms exports.”

The German Green Youth said: “Today is a black day: We strongly condemn the attacks of the Islamist Iranian regime on the people of Mahabad and the attacks of Turkey on the Kurds in Rojava!”

The Red Party in Norway called on the Norwegian government to “take active measures to stop Turkey’s war of aggression … If we remain silent when our NATO ally breaks the UN’s ban on war of aggression, both international law and Norway’s credibility as a defender of international law are undermined.”

In the Spanish state, left party Podemos called for “an independent investigation of the facts and accountability for possible war crimes and crimes against humanity”.

Eulàlia Reguant Cura, Member of the Parliament of Catalonia for Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP), said: “Once again, the Turkish state is launching an offensive against the Kurds to distract attention from the problems of two decades of uncontrolled regime by Erdogan and the AKP. Turkey is the second power of NATO, therefore, it acts with the connivance of the international community. The Kurdish movement makes a call to mobilize and denounce once again Erdogan’s violence against the Kurdish people and specifically, against the Rojava revolution, and the administration of North and East Syria. Today more than ever with the Kurdish people. #TurkeyAttacksRojava + #NoFlyZone4Rojava”

Eva Miguel Gascón, Tarragona City Council of the CUP, said: “Erdogan bombs Kobani thus starting what will be an electoral campaign stained with Kurdish blood. Maximum solidarity!”

In the Basque homeland, Durango mayor Ima Garrastatxu and deputy mayor Julián Ríos said: “On 21 Nov., the mayor of Durango, Ima Garrastatxu, and the deputy mayor, Julián Ríos, met online with Rewsan Khalil Abdi, co-mayor of Kobane and Roisin Mahmud, responsible for all the municipalities of the canton of Kobane, to convey the solidarity of the Durango people in the face of the Turkish attacks.”

Gorka Elejabarrieta Diaz, Basque Senator in Madrid and Director of International Relations Department EH Bildu, said: “The international community and, in particular, the European Union as well as the Spanish state, should firmly condemn these attacks. Tomorrow, Monday, we will bring the issue to the Senate. Likewise, EH Bildu will organize initiatives to denounce the attacks in the institutions of the Basque Country.”

Fabian Molina, National Councillor for the Social Democratic Party of Switzerland, said: “President Erdogan has wrecked Turkey economically. Now he is trying to deflect. The criminal attacks on Rojava and other Kurdish areas must have consequences. Freedom and the international legal order must be protected — always!”

Andreas Schieder, MEP, Social Democratic Party of Austria and Head of Delegation in the European Parliament S&D, said: “This Turkish bombing of the ‘safe’ areas of northern Syria threatens the whole region. We call for an immediate stop of this hostilities.”

Katrin Langensiepen, German MEP and member of the Greens/EFA, said: “I was in the Rojava region about 14 days ago. The local people are living in poverty, but they are also trying to build democratic structures. The development and stabilisation of the region is being destroyed by such attacks by Turkey.”

In Italy, Nicola Fratoianni, National Secretary of Italian Left, said: “A violent aggression in the silence of the international community that pretends not to see the atrocities of #Erdogan. Italy, the EU and the US must have a jolt of dignity, with the same attention with which they are following Putin’s aggression against Ukraine”

Maurizio Acerbo, national secretary of Communist Refoundation Party – European Left, said: “We call on the Italian government and the European Union to condemn the Turkish aggression and demand the immediate cessation of the Turkish attacks.

“Eleven thousand Kurdish fighters fell to stop Isis and Al Qaeda who had the support of Turkey and Qatar. Now Erdogan is using the massacre in Istanbul, probably the work of the Turkish secret services themselves, as a justification for bombing the free territories of Rojava and erasing an experience of self-government and coexistence among peoples which is an example for the peoples of the whole area.”

Giuliano Granato, spokesperson for Italian left party Power to the People, said: “Turkey is bombing Kobane, a city symbolic of the fight against ISIS. This is how Erdogan starts his election campaign, killing and destroying. And our governments keep quiet.”

In Sweden, Håkan Svenneling, MP for the Left Party and spokesperson on foreign affairs, said: “Sweden has now clearly ended up on the wrong side of history. Instead of praising and supporting those who fight for democracy and people’s freedom, we now militarily support the aggressor Turkey with weapons.

Parties in the Asia-Pacific and across Latin America have added their voices of condemnation. In Brazil, the Party of Solidarity and Liberation (PSOL) denounced Erdogan’s regime as “anti-democratic and oppressive” and said: “We add our voice to the statements of the international left which have been calling ‘to avoid another humanitarian catastrophe in the region’. PSOL condemns the bombings and calls on the Brazilian left to express their solidarity with the Kurdish cause.”

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