Posted by: hevallo | August 25, 2009

Letter to UK Prime Minister from Kurdish Federation in UK.

Dated 1st June 2009.

Dear Prime Minister,

I am writing to you today regarding the Kurdish Question in Turkey.

For many years our community in London has suffered, as a result of a policy of criminalisation of the Kurdish Freedom Movement in Turkey. The Kurds in Turkey have been struggling for their basic human and political rights since the establishment of the modern Turkish state in 1923.

Repression on genocidal proportions has been heaped upon Kurdish people who resisted the official policy of the Turkish state to ‘Turkify’ the Kurds by means of banning their culture, language and history.

In recent years this resistance of the Kurdish population of Turkey has been continued by the Partiya Karkerin Kurdistan or PKK.

25 years of a low intensity conflict has followed and over 40,000, mostly Kurds, have died. Millions of Kurdish refugees have been forcibly displaced and over 5,000 Kurdish towns, villages and hamlets burnt and ‘ethnically cleansed’.

Indeed, at the time of the Bosnian ‘ethnic cleansing’ the Turkish army was in full flow displacing the Kurdish villages in SE Turkey, yet not a word from the International Community.

Despite these systematic and gross human rights abuses by the Turkish State, which continue, the Kurdish side has always called for a peaceful resolution to the Kurdish Question, which have fell on deaf ears as the Turkish State believed that they could defeat the Kurds militarily and politically.

This has proven to be a misguided policy as the Kurdish Freedom Movement, won a resounding historic election victory on March 29, 2009, widely seen as a referendum on the Kurdish Question.

On April 13th 2009, the Kurdish side announced a unilateral ceasefire to pave the way for peaceful initiatives exploring the possibilities of a peaceful resolution to the Kurdish issue.

Today, 1st June, that ceasefire ends. However, the Kurdish leadership has today extended the ceasefire to the 15th July 2009 with a possibility of further extensions to Sept 1st, 2009 if there is a meaningful response from the Turkish side.

There is great excitement in Kurdish and Turkish circles that peace can be achieved and we are at an historic moment where there is a window of opportunity.

However, any meaningful solution would have to include the PKK, as recognised by many Turkish intellectuals and political scientists.

We ask you therefore, to please recognise the Kurdish reality; that the PKK represent the hopes and aspirations of the Kurdish people, like the ANC did in South Africa and unban this organisation so they may take part in the transition to peace in Turkey.

And to offer the Turkish government your advice gained through your experiences in conflict resolution in Ireland.

You are perfectly placed to offer that support as you have friendly relations and support Turkey’s entry into the EU.

Continuing a failed policy of criminalising an oppressed people struggling for basic human and political rights does not serve the way of peace and justice.

The Kurdish people have suffered enough and have great hopes for a peaceful resolution but without the participation of the representatives of the Kurds any initiative is doomed to fail.

Please, we ask your help in the profoundly important issue.

Kindest regards,

Kurdish Federation in UK.

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