Rojava under threat, Turkey must end ISIS support -- statement by People's Democratic Party (HDP)

October 6, 2014
People's Protection Units (YPG), which is fighting ISIS forces, in Rojava.

The statement below was released by the foreign affairs committe of the Turkish left-wing People's Democratic Party (HDP) on October 3. The HDP is a strong support of Kurdish rights. HDP presidential candidate, Kurdish activist Selahattin Demirtas, won almost 10% o0f the vote in Turkey's presidential elections in August. The statement is reprinted from and has been edited for clarity.


Today, the peoples of the Middle East face the threat of a large-scale massacre. Peoples of the region, and particularly Syria and Iraqi peoples, are carrying out a historical resistance against ISIS terror.

These heavy attacks of ISIS, especially on the Kobane Canton of Rojava [a Kurdish area in Syria] , are meeting with big resistance and struggle by Kobane people and the People's Protection Units (YPG) forces. This resistance in Kobane is under the siege from four sides, yet increasingly continues.

It is widely accepted by all sensitive parties that there are some states of the region and their Western allies have responsibility for strengthening of ISIS and the brutal attacks and massacres it has carried out before the whole world.

Hegemonic forces have been playing games in the region, by all kinds of cultural, political and economic means, shaping the lands and peoples of the Middle East since World War I. These forces have to face up to the horror of the ISIS monster that the Kurds and other democratic forces are seeking to destroy today.

This situation also offers an opportunity to sovereign states with historical interests in the region to reconsider their Middle East policies.


Turkey is one of the countries who have primary responsibility for the existence, growth and spread of ISIS. The AKP government’s offensive, based on a sectarian and discriminatory foreign policy, is criticised by almost the entire world today. This policy’s role in the total war against ISIS in Kobane is quite noteworthy.

This foreign policy has mainly shaped by the initiatives toward Assad regime’s collapse and preventing an autonomous Kurdish area in the region. The mobility of ISIS members at the borders of Turkey, and global jihadist reinforcements coming from Turkey's borders, lead the expansion of the threa for the peoples of Middle East.

The peace process in Turkey, which there are attempts to advance, has a direct relationship with developments in Rojava and Kobane. In this regard, Turkey government’s warlike and aggressive attitude towards Rojava and Kobane negativel affects the process, which is already fragile.

In this context, Turkey’s policy must change immediately for both the peace and tranquility in the Middle East and the advance of peace process in Turkey. The democratic world community should put pressure on the government in this direction.

The Kurdish people and YPG forces, which are fighting against such a wild organisation like ISIS not only for Kurds but also for all humanity, should not be left alone by international community.

International forces should not refrain from military aid to these resisters. The democratic autonomous system in Rojava, which is a guarantee for the whole democratic future of the Middle East, should be supported. Today, Kurds are on the scene of the history with all their power and any policy which excludes Kurds has already expired.

Urgent situation

Kobane Canton, which is governed by Kurdish, Assyrian, Armenian and Arab peoples in the form of a legitimate assembly, has been under siege and military attack since September 15 by heavy weaponry and by thousands of ISIS fighters in a bid to diminish the peoples’ common will.

The attempts to capture the Kobane Canton by ISIS have been tried many times. Due to Kobane Canton’s strategic importance and its logistic possibilities from Turkey’s border to Syria and Iraq, ISIS has concentrated on seizing Kobane. Because of previous ISIS attacks in the region, tens of thousands civilians had to migrate to Kobane Canton as a safe region for all civilians.

The international community must urgently take necessary steps against this ongoing ISIS military siege on Kobane in order to prevent new massacres, as happened in Shengal [in Iraqi Kurdistan]. Therefore, a military aid program for Kobane should be organised as soon as possible.

In this context, Turkey must stop directly or indirectly supporting ISIS. According to the last evidence, weapons and military equipment have been transported for ISIS by Turkish state’s railways. It is clear that ISIS commits serious crimes against humanity and paradoxically the Turkish government is part of this crime.

Turkey’s shortsighted policy in regards to ISIS causes instability and a chaotic situation in the Middle East. On the other hand, Turkish government’s buffer zone plan may expand the violence to Turkey.

Therefore, it is necessary for international political actors to constrain Turkey from sabotaging the Kurdish people’s struggle bysupporting ISIS.

We urgently call upon international public opinion to provide open political/diplomatic, military, economic and humanitarian support for Kurdish Cantons in Syria, which can be a model for a democratic Syria.

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