Kurds

Turkey’s authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won 53% of the vote in the June 24 presidential election.

This extends his rule until at least 2023 — but now with the sweeping executive powers narrowly endorsed in a referendum last year.

On the 28th anniversary of the Halabja genocide, about 120 people held a candlelight vigil in Sydney's Parramatta Mall. The vigil was organised by the Sydney Kurdish Youth Society.

The massacre was carried out against the Kurdish people on March 16, 1988, in the closing days of the Iran–Iraq War in the Kurdish-dominated city of Halabja in Southern Kurdistan (Iraq).

The attack took place as thousands of Kurds were fleeing attacks by the Saddam Hussein regime.

The following statement was released by the Australian Kurdish Association on December 22.

Let's Stand Against the Massacre in Kurdistan, Support the Kurdish People's Struggle for Freedom!

Emergency protests were held in Sydney and Melbourne on November 14 against the Turkish government's military bombardment and siege of the Kurdish city of Silvan.

Since November 2 parts of the town of Silvan have been occupied by the Turkish military. There is a 24-hour curfew and civilians are not allowed to leave for basic necessities, to take the wounded to hospital or bury the dead. Armoured cars and helicopters have been machine gunning parts of the city.

The Turkish government has declared all-out war against the residents of the Kurdish-majority town of Silvan (Farqin) in Diyarbakir (Amed) province. The town has been under curfew and siege since November 2.

Artillery and military aircraft have been deployed by Turkish military and paramilitary forces. Residents have reported Arabic-speaking bearded terrorists — presumed to be ISIS — taking part in the attacks.

Hopes that such government violence would end after the November 1 Turkish elections have been shattered.

Students of the Australian National University have launched a campaign to raise awareness about the current situation in Rojava, in northern Syria. The campaign, “Stand With Kobane” aims to raise money to help rebuild the Kurdish city of Kobane.

Kobane made headlines this year when it was the first Kurdish city to successfully break Islamic State's siege. A successful counter-attack resulted in the expulsion of all the IS fighters from the Kobane canton.

The struggle by oppressed nations for their liberation remains a burning issue today and for those of us in the First World — in a position to organise international solidarity — it remains important to understand.

The Palestinian’s struggle for justice, the Catalan's people for a seperate state and the Kurdish people’s struggle for democratic confederalism in northern Syria — although different — are critical reminders.

Subscribe to Kurds