A global day of action against an imminent invasion of Kurdish held territory by Turkey

by The Region    

 

Kurdish campaigners, and various academics, union officials, parliamentarians and even members of the UK's House of Lords have announced a call for a global day of action against what they call the "Turkish invasion in Kurdistan." 

The call is scheduled on the 26th of May 2018. 

The day of action seeks to protest the recent invasion of Afrin by the Turkish Armed Forces and Turkey-backed FSA forces. The signatories of the campaign also condemn Erdogan's expressed plans to invade Iraqi-Kurdish territory. "Turkish state policy against the Kurds today is all-out-war, destruction and occupation," a statement they produced reads.  

 The statement, which also calls for the freedom of the imprisoned co-founder of the PKK,  Abdullah Ocalan asks political parties, human rights organisations, trade unions, activists and international institutions to resist attempts by Turkey to invade Iraq. 

In late March last year, Erdogan announced his plans for the Turkish military to advance further to Kobane (Ayn al-Arab), Manbij, Ras al-Ain, Tel Abyad and the Sinjar region in Iraq. It was his attempt, he said, to demonstrate that Turkey "fights terrorists at home and abroad." 

It was the resistance of Kobane, spearheaded by the Kurdish YPG, however, which caused the defeat of the so-called Islamic State in that region. Most countries in the world have officially stated that the Islamic State, the YPG's opponents in the Syrian battlefield, are designated terrorists. The fight against IS has also led Syria's Kurds to become the leading partner of the US-backed coalition in the fight against IS.    

"The heroic resistance of Kobane against the thugs of ISIS was a historic turning point. It brought to the worlds attention the Kurdish Freedom Movement's tenacious will to struggle for its democratic confederalism project. This offers the only viable alternative to the ongoing spiral of violence and tyranny that continues to engulf the Middle East." The statement, produced by the Peace in Kurdistan campaign reads. "The Turkish state has responded with fury to the spread of the democratic-confederal flame." 

Democratic Confederalism is the official policy of the Kurdish PYD in northern Syria, which seeks to build grassroots and radically democratic institutions for the various peoples' of the Middle East.

Also in late March, Iraq's currently outgoing prime minister, Haider al-Abadi ordered the Iraqi military to position itself along the country's borders in response to escalating threats by Turkey. The move took place about a week after Erdogan said that he "may suddenly arrive in Sinjar one night", a place where the PKK had taken root to protect the Yezidi population that was threatened by IS at the time. 

 In a telephone conversation afterwards, Binali Yildirim of Turkey reassured Abadi that Turkey wouldn't "launch operations without Iraqi government consent." 

Fuad Masum, the president of Iraq, reiterated that at that moment, Iraq would not allow for Turkey to invade. "We hope they do not take that step" he warned to London based al-Hayat. 

Nonetheless, in late April, Metin Gurcan reported for Al-Monitor that Turkey was "quietly putting up military outposts in the mountainous Sidekan area of Iraq, north of Hakurk, which is adjacent to the Qandil Mountains, where the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) has its main headquarters." He also argued that the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq (a foe of the PKK) has largely tolerated these moves by Turkey, while the central government has only occasionally criticised them. By late April, there were already six military posts in Iraqi territory. That number has possibly grown in the past month. 

"There are increasing signs of an imminent full-scale invasion of Iraqi Kurdish territory, in an attempt to further encircle and strangle the only space of freedom in the region" the statement by the Peace in Kurdistan campaign argued.  

"We call upon all international governments and alliances (the UN, NATO, the EU, the Arab League) as well as the world's democratic peoples, to oppose the Turkish aggression." 

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