Sign-on statement: ‘Stop Turkey’s war on Afrin and Rojava’

February 2, 2018
Protest against the Turkish attack on Afrin
Sydney's January 28 protest against the Turkish attack on Afrin. Photo: Peter Boyle

The following statement is being circulated by Australians for Kurdistan. You can sign on at the website here.

* * *

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 Kobane 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.

[See the full list of signatories and add your name at Australians for Kurdistan.]

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