The International Initiative for Justice for Kurds has collected the signatures of more than 1000 figures, among them artists, academics and philosophers, from many different countries for their declaration urging the European Union to delist the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, the PKK, from its list of “terrorist groups”, according to ANF.
The initiative was launched by 29 notable names, including Nobel Prize winner Elfriede Jelineck and philosopher Slavoj Žižek, and issued a statement on 5 November, calling on intellectuals from around the world to oppose arbitrary charges of terrorism and to say no to PKK’s listing as a “terrorist organisation” in the EU’s list of terrorist groups.
“In Kurdistan, one of the places in the world where war and humanitarian suffering are most intense, the Turkish state continues its attempts of genocide, denial and assimilation. The Turkish state under Erdoğan’s government legitimises all kinds of state violence in Turkey/Bakur (Northern Kurdistan), Syria/Rojava (Western Kurdistan) and Iraq/Başûr (Southern Kurdistan) in the name of the fight against terrorism,” the declaration issued by the Initiative read.
Campaigners said that thousands Kurdish politicians, mayors and activists, three thousand academics who criticised the Turkish government’s Kurdish policy who were expelled from universities on the grounds that they supported terrorism and hundreds of journalists have been tried and even imprisoned on charges of “terrorism” as the Erdoğan regime turned the “fight against terrorism” into a crackdown on the opposition.
Reminding of Turkey’s aggressive offensive policies in Syria and Iraqi Kurdistan, campaigners said in their call: “In Rojava, the Syrian Democratic Party, PYD, the Syrian Democratic Forces, the SDF, the People’s and Women’s Defence Units, YPG and YPJ, all of which participated in the international coalition that defeated ISIS, the enemy of humanity, are accused of partnering with the PKK and of terrorism.”
As of Monday, the initiative announced that the 1003 names from different countries including Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Catalonia, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Norway, Pakistan, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain and the UK, have signed the declaration appealing for the delisting of the PKK from EU’s list of terrorist groups.
Among more than a thousand people there are members of the European Parliament, members of national and local assemblies, senators, party leaders and mayors, trade union leaders and representatives, artists, philosophers, academics, journalists and lawyers as well as leaders and representatives of human rights, women’s and peace organisations.
The names of the signatories include artists such as film makers Ken Loach and Paul Laverty; American author and activist Lucina Kathmann; Mexican poet, writer and editor Judyth Hill; Hungarian philosopher Gáspár Miklós Tamás; Scottish novelist James Kelman; Italian cartoonist Michele Rech known as Zerocalcare.
Among the politicians who signed the declaration there are French senators Pierre Laurent and Laurence Cohen; founding member of the German Left Party Dr. Gregor Gysi; French presidential candidate Philippe Poutou and Jean-Luc Mélenchon; President of the European Left Prof. Dr. Heinz Bierbaum and Greek MP and economics professor Yanis Varoufakis.