On September 12, hundreds of people marched in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth against the Turkish state under president Recep Tayyip Erdogan waging war on the Kurdish people. In the last month, severe clashes have taken place in many Kurdish cities, including Silopi, Lice, Şemdinli, Silvan, Yuksekova and Cizre, where civilians have been targeted by state forces. Tens of civilians, guerrillas and members of state security forces have died in the ensuing clashes. Socialist Alliance’s Dave Holmes gave this speech at the Melbourne rally. * * *
Turkish president Recip Tayyip Erdogan
The federal government relisted the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) as a terrorist organisation on August 11. This means it is illegal for Australian citizens to belong to it, actively support it or raise funds for it. The PKK was first placed on Australia’s list of terrorist groups in December 2005 by John Howard’s government after Turkey’s then Prime Minister — now president — Recip Tayyip Erdogan visited Australia. It was relisted by Howard in 2007, by Labor under Kevin Rudd in 2009 and by Julia Gillard in 2012.