By Peace in Kurdistan Campaign:
Join us for a demonstration outside 10 Downing Street!
- Wednesday 23rd September, 4pm
“Help build peace with the Kurds, rather than extend the war.”
On Wednesday 23rd September at 4pm, a delegation of women will deliver an open letter signed by a coalition of prominent women’s rights activists to 10 Downing Street. The letter urgently calls on David Cameron to use his influence with the Turkish government to stop the violence being perpetrated against Kurdish civilians in the south east of the country.
The delegation includes Michelle Allison (Kurdistan National Congress), Evrim Yilmaz (Roj Women Assembly) and human rights barrister Melanie Gingell, who has just returned from a fact-finding mission to Cizre, south east Turkey, which has been under curfew for several days and which has been a flashpoint of violence between Turkish security forces and Kurdish civilians in recent weeks.
Cameron has long insisted that Turkey, a NATO partner, is a strong friend to the UK. On his last official visit to Ankara, Cameron stated that Britain and Turkey would work “hand-in-glove” to combat ISIS. And yet he has turned away as the Turkish government used their apparent entry into the anti-ISIS coalition as a veil to break the ceasefire with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and attack Kurdish towns and villages.
The letter states: “In recent weeks more than 1,500 Kurdish civilians, including elected politicians, have been arrested by the Turkish authorities, resulting in Turkey being condemned by both Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch for such “unlawful acts” and for abusing and torturing many detainees. The shocking siege of Cizre, a town of 100,000 people, sealed off by the Turkish army for more than a week, is another case in point.”
It calls for the British government to make a stand for the Kurdish people, to recognise the emerging democratic self-administration of Rojava as a legitimate entity and take steps to remove the PKK from the UK’s list of terrorist organisations. It calls unequivocally for and end to attacks on the PKK and YPG/YPJ. Without these basic steps being taken, the conflict raging in Turkey could have grave implications for the whole region.
We need our government to know that staying silent makes it complicit in the oppression of the Kurdish people in Turkey. We call on all women who stand in solidarity with the Kurdish Women’s Movement, which has been organising for justice tirelessly in Turkey and in the diaspora for decades, to join our demonstration outside 10 Downing Street and make our voices heard.
Raise your voices for the Kurdish people!
FOR INTERVIEWS AND FURTHER INFORMATION: Please contact –
Melanie Sirinathsingh – 07800 545607
Michelle Allison – 07915 094961
Evrim Yilmaz – 07984 674516
Patrons: Lord Avebury, Lord Rea, Lord Dholakia, Baroness Sarah Ludford, Jill Evans MEP, Jean Lambert MEP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Hywel Williams MP, Kate Osamor MP, Elfyn Llwyd, Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy, John Austin, Bruce Kent, Gareth Peirce, Julie Christie, Noam Chomsky, John Berger, Edward Albee, Margaret Owen OBE, Prof Mary Davis, Mark Thomas, Nick Hildyard, Stephen Smellie, Derek Wall