The ruling coalition and other parties in the Catalan parliament have condemned the European Union’s ties with Turkey and called on Spain to stop supplying military equipment to the country over its operation in northern Iraq.
Spokespersons from the ruling coalition Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) and Together for Catalonia (JxCat), the Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) which gives external support to the government, and opposition party Catalonia in Common-We Can (CatECP) signed the joint declaration 3 May, and the President of the Catalan Parliament Laura Borras read the declaration out in a parliamentary session on the following Tuesday, 10 May.
“The policy of denial and war on the Kurdish people is a central principle of the Turkish state and Erdoğan’s leadership,” the Board of Spokespersons said, calling the Turkish president’s role in the Middle East “destructive”.
Turkey’s use of heavy weapons and ground forces in the operation is a serious threat to the whole region, they said.
According to the spokespersons, 10 million Kurds’ message to Erdoğan on national holiday Newroz celebrations on 21st of March was that they would not bow down to policies of annihilation.
The board called on Turkey’s western allies to take urgent action, and on international human rights organisations to oppose what they called Turkish aggression. They also expressed support for Kurdish political parties and called on Turkey to uphold European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) rulings on the unlawful imprisonment of businessman Osman Kavala.
The full statement follows.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, while he tries to mediate the Ukrainian conflict and aims to present himself as a peacemaker, has launched a new large-scale military offensive against Southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq), another campaign by the Turkish armed forces to invade, depopulate and then occupy the area.
Policies of denial and war against Kurdish people are a central principle of the Turkish state and its leader Erdoğan. His efforts to act as a mediator in the foreign stage also aim to distract from the destructive role he continues to play in Turkey, Kurdistan, and the region as a whole.
On 17 April, the Turkish state launched a new military operation to occupy the areas of Sikefta Birîndara, Kurêjaro and Çiyayê Res in the Zap region of southern Kurdistan. In this illegal cross-border campaign, Turkish armed forces have used heavy artillery, fighter jets, drones and helicopters, transporting ground forces to the region by helicopter in a parallel ground offensive. From Zap, Turkish forces intend to extend their occupation towards the Metina and Avaşîn/Başyan regions. The use of heavy weapons and ground forces poses a serious threat to the entire region. The answer to this aggression is unity among Kurds throughout Kurdistan and the diaspora.
The recent Newroz celebrations on 21 March included a proclamation of the position of Kurdish national unity, and more than 10 million Kurds in northern Kurdistan and Turkey sent a clear message to Erdoğan: That they will not bow down in the face of his brutality and policy of annihilation. Since Newroz, Kurdish political prisoners have seen increased torture and death, while the progressive Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) offices have seen increased numbers of attacks. Many have been arrested for attending Newroz celebrations, while in Rojava and northern and eastern Syria, Turkish aerial attacks against Kurds have intensified.
Millions of Kurds have paved the way for peace in Turkey, and expressed to the peoples of Turkey and the world that the freedom of Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan would pave the way for peace in Turkey and beyond, as would the release of the many political prisoners, such as the case of Osman Kavala.
Erdoğan currently faces multiple domestic crises, including a negative economic situation, and aims to sustain and strengthen himself by intensifying Turkey’s war against Kurds to garner nationalist support, while working to strengthen Turkey’s position in the international diplomacy arena as he acts as a mediator in the Ukraine crisis to claim a unique geostrategic position between NATO and Russia. If the world continues to turn a blind eye to Erdoğan’s aggression, there will be more bloodshed, displacement and instability in Kurdistan and the Middle East.
For all these reasons, the Board of Spokespersons of the Parliament of Catalonia:
-Calls on all governments and international organisations, including the United Nations, NATO, European Union, Council of Europe and the Arab League, to take urgent action against violations of international law seen in the military action in the areas of Sikefta Birîndara, Kurêjaro and Çiyayê Res, in the Zap region of southern Kurdistan.
-Demands that the supply of military equipment from Spain to the Turkish state be stopped, while denouncing political alliances between Turkey and the EU and its member states.
-Unambiguously condemns the aggression and demands that Turkey withdraw its troops from southern Kurdistan.
-Calls on political parties, human rights organisations, peace organisations, trade unions and activists to oppose Turkish aggression and occupation.
-Defends the legitimacy of Kurdish parties that pursue a democratic struggle to defend the interests, rights and freedoms of Kurdish citizens.
-Rejects the life sentence issued to Osman Kavala and demands his release, in accordance with the ECHR ruling on December 10, 2019.
Palace of the Parliament, May 4, 2022
CUP Spokeswoman Eulàlia Reguant i Cura
ERC Spokeswoman Marta Vilalta i Torres
JxCat Spokeswoman Mònica Sales de la Cruz
ECP Spokesman David Cid Colomer