Appeal to reason - No to the criminalisation of the kurdish people

Internationale Initiative
Freedom for Abdullah Ocalan - Peace in Kurdistan (Ger)

Peace in Kurdistan Campaign (UK)

Kurdish Student Association (UK)

After 11 September the world political situation changed irreversibly. The global anti-terrorism campaign led by the United States was seized on as an opportunity by many countries to gain wider acceptance for the measures they were taking to resolve their internal conflicts.

One such country was Turkey who has been trying everything to isolate politically its opponent in the Turkish-Kurdish conflict. Turkey has been pressing very hard for the inclusion of the PKK on the terrorism list of the European Union.

In 1999 the PKK unilaterally ended its military struggle and withdrew its armed forces from Turkey in order to enable a solution of the Kurdish question to be found based exclusively on politics. After its Congress of 4-10 April, the party announced it s dissolution and the foundation of the Kurdistan Freedom and Democracy Congress (KADEK). But Turkey has continued to reject all the peace offers of the Kurdish side.

An appalling human rights situation prevails in Turkey where the basic demands of the Kurds for recognition of their cultural and political rights are met simply with repression.

Some hopeful signs came with the announcement in 1999 at Helsinki of conditions for allowing Turkey into membership of the EU. It now appears that the member states of the EU have succumbed to the pressures that Turkey has been exerting and signs are increasing that the PKK and KADEK, which are supported by masses of Kurds, are to be included on the EU terrorism list.

An action such as this can only embolden those forces in Turkey opposed to any peaceful resolution of the Kurdish question and we consider it to be an extremely dangerous development.

A ensuing renewal of the war would have unforeseeable consequences and add to the instability of the Middle East. This must not happen. The opportunity for dialogue and a political solution to the Kurdish question must not be missed.

Criminalisation and exclusion will only deepen the existing problems. That is why we are appealing to the European political leaders to see reason. Europe must not be made into the tool of Turkish denial policy towards the Kurds.

No to criminalisation - Peace now


Uri Avnery (former member of the Knesset, winner of the Alternative Peace Nobel Prize 2001, Israel), Prof. Dr. Norman Paech (International Law, Hamburg University), Hans Branscheidt ( Hannover Appeal e.V), R. Ahues (lawyer), Lord Avebury (GB), John Austin (MP,GB), Lord Rea (GB), Lord Dholakia (GB), Baroness Sarah Ludford (MEP, GB) John Bowis (MEP, GB) , Julie Christie (GB), Harold Pinter , Noam Chomsky, Arthur Miller, Edward Albee, Naguib Mahfouz Lord Rea, Lord Hylton, Kevin McNamara MP, Tony Benn, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Cynog Dafis AM (National Assembly of Wales), Lloyd Quinan MSP (Scottish Parliament), James Kelman (novelist, Booker Prize winner), Julie Christie (actress), Eurig Wyn MEP, Dr. G. Siddiqui (Leader of Muslim Parliament, UK), Gareth Peirce (lawyer), Stephanie Harrison (barrister), Frances Webber (barrister), Hugo Charlton (Green Party, Human Rights Spokesperson), Maggie Ronayne (Lecturer, National University of Ireland, Galway), Liz Fekete (CARF), Martin Hogbin (Campaign Against the Arms Trade), David Morgan (Socialist History Society), Sarah Parker (KSC/Socialist Solidarity Network), Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CACC), Les Levidow, Anne Gray, Andrew Kendle (Index on Censorship), Alex Fitch (University of Wales), Rachel Bird, Steve Dawe (Ashford Peace Group and East Kent Green Party), De Cesaris Romina, Marta Bivand, Rochelle Harris, Hewa Jaff (Kurdistan National Congress), Ibrahim Dogus (Halkevi Kurdish-Turkish Community Centre), Seyhan Yuksel (student), Sevkan Yuksel (student), Bayham Yuksel (student), Zohre Yuksel, Hasan Yuksel, Gulseren Das (student), James D Curry, Ilyan Thomas (Plebs College Wales), Beate Rudolph (Womens Initiative Freedom for Leyla Zana, Germany) Lord Dholakia (President of Liberal Democrat Party), Desmond Fernandes (Lecturer, De Montford University, Bedford), Louis Charalambous (lawyer), Robin Llwellyn (Unversity of Wales, Aberystwyth), Christopher Keene (Anti-Globalisation Network), Hratche Koundarjian (Campaign for Recognition of the Armenian Genocide), Mark Campbell, Paddy Monahan, Awat Lewes, Burhan Elturan (Indiana University/USA), Boran Hajo (Librarian, Norway), Diyako Aryan (Kurdish Nationalist Party/Pan-Kurd), Zeyne Mater (Austria)