Demonstrations against Turkey’s recent military airstrikes in Kurdish regions of Syria and Iraq were held all over Europe between 30 November (UN Day of Remembrance for All Victims of Chemical Warfare) and 3 December, in response to a call from the Defend Kurdistan Initiative.
Thousands of Kurdish and European demonstrators came out in protest against Turkey’s aerial attacks in northern Syria and Iraq, calling for an independent international investigation into Turkey’s alleged use of chemical weapons against Kurdish fighters.
Protesters from many European cities, including Paris, Rome, Turin, Pisa, Bremen, Livorno, Berlin and Frankfurt, called on governments not to remain silent in the face of Turkey’s attacks on Kurdish regions, under the slogan: “We see your crimes!”
Turkey’s airstrikes started on 20 November and a week later Turkish officials said that a new ground operation could soon begin in North and East Syria.
While Turkey’s aggression against the Syrian Kurds continues to intensify with each passing day, reactions to it are also increasing.
The Kurdish slogan “Jin, Jiyan, Azadî” (Woman, Life, Freedom), which has spread across the world from Iran, was prominent in the Defend Kurdistan demonstrations. The demonstrators also protested against the intense and violent actions of the Iranian security forces in the country’s Kurdish-populated western provinces, known as Rojhilat in Kurdish.
Calls for an investigation into Turkey’s alleged chemical attacks increased after the release by the People’s Defence Forces (HPG) on 18 September of video footage showing a group of soldiers at the mouth of a cave with a device the HPG says is being used to deliver chemical weapons into the cave.