Left-wingers all over in Europe are in solidarity with the Kurdish freedom movement and its struggle for rights and self-determination, said British politician Jeremy Corbyn this weekend.
“I am speaking today at the European Left Congress in Vienna. And there are many comrades from Kurdistan here in solidarity and huge support from all across the left, all across Europe. We are here to support the Kurdish people for their struggle, for their rights, for their self-determination,” said the former leader of the British Labour Party.
Corbyn said that above all, Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) who has been in jail in Turkey since 1999, should be freed and should be provided conditions to negotiate for the future of the Kurdish people.
The politician also saluted the Kurdish-led administration of Rojava, northeastern Syria, currently being targeted by the airstrikes of the Turkish military.
“The Kurdish people have been living under oppression for a long time, especially after their country was divided at the end of the First World War, they have been struggling against the oppression of every nation state they are living in,” Corbyn said.
Adding that as an MP from north London he was proud of representing a strong Kurdish community, Corbyn concluded: “I once again convey my feelings of solidarity. Kurdish people aren’t alone!”
Corbyn was not the only European politician to express support for the Kurdish struggle during the Congress of the Party of the European Left, which gathered from December 9-11 under the slogan “Peace, Bread and Roses”.
Austrian economist and politician Walter Baier, the newly elected leader of the Congress, also shared a message of solidarity with the Kurdish people.
“First of all, I want to say today that, with me being elected as president in this congress, you now have someone who is a great friend of the Kurdish freedom movement leading the European left,” Baier said. “During my term as the president of the Austrian Communist Party, I was very close to the struggle of the Kurdish people and my heart is always with you,” he added.
The politician added that the democratic struggle of the Kurdish people has a profound political and strategic importance, and called for an end to the Turkish aggression against Rojova, that violates international law.
Baier stressed that the European left will support the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and the Kurdish people against the current government in Turkey in the coming 2023 elections.
The Italian politician Maurizio Acerbo also expressed contining support to the Kurdish movement.
“As Italian communists, we are supporting the struggle of Kurdish people both in our country and in Europe,” said the current Secretary of the Communist Refoundation Party. “We are working for PKK to be removed from the list of terrorist organisations,” Acerbo said, adding that the decision of NATO countries to link the PKK with terrorism was illegal and absurd.
“We believe the peoples of the world need the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan. The communities in the Middle East and all peoples of the world need his perspective of democratic confederalism to build up a new life in peace, democracy and solidarity,” he said.
Acerbo, like his peers, condemned Turkey’s attacks against Rojova, as well as Ankara’s cross-border operations against the PKK in northern Iraq.
“We want to note that the Turkish state and the fascist regime of Erdoğan is posing a big threat against not only Kurds, but for the Middle East, Europe and the whole world,” the politician said, referring to Turkey’s president.