Gáspár Miklós Tamás, philosopher, academic and one of the most prominent Hungarian intellectuals to support Kurds, died aged 74 on Sunday.
Born in Cluj (Romania), Tamás moved to Hungary in 1978, and became a member of Parliament as a representative of the Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ), from 1989 to 1994.
Throughout his academic life Tamás was a pioneering supporter of Kurdish people. In his column entitled “The Importance of what is happening to the Kurds” he discussed the ongoing plight of the ethnic minority.
“The Kurds are – like the Armenians and the Jews were then – a stateless people. Kurds are scattered in Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria and other countries where they constitute a distinct, autonomous minority, with its own complex politics and culture, but without the protection even the worst states are extending to their denizens,” he said.
He opposed the visit of Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan to his country on 7 November 2019, and called for support for the Kurdish cause. “We all know Erdoğan and his Turkish army is launching the murderous attack against the Syrian Kurds,” he said.
The author of Antitezis (“Antithesis”) was one of over 1000 prominent activists and writers, who signed a statement calling for the PKK to be delisted from the EU’s list of terrorist organisations.
Tamás also supported Kurdish politician Leyla Güven and other prisoners when they launched a hunger strike against the isolation imposed on the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan. “Germany and the EU must act as a requirement of equality, peace and democracy and ensure Abdullah Öcalan’s freedom,” he said.
The Marxist-anarcho-syndicalist philosopher also wrote for Mérce and OpenDemocracy.