The Kurdish Red Crescent, Heyva Sor a Kurdistanê, denounced Turkey’s recent decision to freeze assets of Kurdish humanitarian agencies on Friday.
The Turkish government froze the assets of 62 individuals and 20 charitable foundations and associations on Wednesday, accusing them of funding the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Turkey’s move has outraged Kurdish aid organisations, prompting them to speak out against what they see as a continued attempt to criminalise their work.
In their statement, Heyva Sor a Kurdistanê and Roja Sor argued that this was part of a long-standing policy to undermine their efforts. These organisations, which have been active for almost three decades, provide aid to those in need in Kurdish majority areas, particularly in Syria and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), ranging from civilians affected by military attacks to victims of natural disasters and war.
Turkey’s decision, which almost exclusively targets aid organisations and coincides with the intensification of Turkish cross-border military operations, is seen by Kurdish aid organisations as an attempt to uproot the people of Kurdistan and condemn them to poverty and hunger. The statement emphasises that institutions that use the terms ‘Kurd’ or ‘Kurdistan’ worldwide are being targeted by the Turkish government.
The targeted organisations, including branches of Heyva Sor a Kurdistanê in Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, England, Italy, Norway and Japan, as well as branches of Roja Sor in France, Austria and Sweden and Roja Mezopotamya in Denmark, assert that the attempt to criminalise them will not deter their commitment to helping the poor, victims of war and those affected by disasters.