‘Our People Will Never Accept Slavery’

Rebwar Reshid

By Rebwar Rashed, Co-chairman of the Kurdistan National Congress:

Speech to the EUTCC (EU Turkey Civic Commission) Conference, Brussels, 26 January 2016

Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me, on behalf of the Kurdistan National Congress; thank all of you for your great contribution, for your engagement and your support for a peaceful Middle East!

In this brief speech I would like to bring to your attention the bitter fact that, whenever the Kurdish people have stood up for themselves, we’ve been labeled as “separatists” and “terrorists”.

Turkey has been successful in labeling Kurdish people as terrorists due to all kinds of support it has got and still gets from NATO and the Western democracies.

Ladies and Gentlemen, in only a few months, it will be 100 years ago, when the Sykes-Picot Agreement which officially known as the Asia Minor Agreement signed on 16 May 1916, tore apart Kurdish lands and artificial countries created without taking indigenous people, as Kurds, into consideration. It has been a century of extermination, deportation, displacement, persecution, imprisonment, harassment, exploitation and confiscating the wealth of Kurdish people.

The colonialist mentality demands that Kurds abandon their own identity and accept assimilation and total surrender. Thus Turkish colonialism is unlike classical European colonialism because Turkish colonialism is based on total denial.

Kurdish resistance and struggle for democratic autonomy therefore has not only a democratic liberation character, but also a perspective of strong humanism.

Our people will never accept slavery. We demand a fair and sustainable solution. We will not look back. We will continue to take steps forward toward a better future.

Our fight against dark and reactionary forces in Rojawa continues. Rojawa is the only proven and workable platform for a peaceful and democratic Syria. Peace, democracy and stability can’t be brought there from Turkey. Reactionary forces can’t contribute to stability and democracy.

The Kurdish people’s struggle in Turkey goes back to the very first days of the establishment of the Turkish state. We have fought alone and we have suffered.

Now, Turkey’s most highly-trained military forces, which have access to the best of NATO’s sophisticated weapons, have surrounded Kurdish cities such as Sur, Cizre and Silopi. Sur has been under a military siege which Turkey calls a “curfew” for 56 days now. According to neutral sources children, women and the elderly are among the civilian casualties.

Turkey continues with its fabricated lies and psychological propaganda, while Europe behaves like the blackmail victim of Turkey. Turkey threatens that, unless Europe complies with its wishes, it will open its gates for Syrian refugees. As a matter of fact the Turkish state is largely the mastermind behind the Syrian refugee crisis. Turkey encourages Syrians to leave their homes through propaganda about “promised lands” outside Syria and “Heavens in Europe” and also through helping ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra and other extremist groups. These groups are spreading the fear of death across Syria.

The aim of Turkey is to destabilize Syria through its proxy wars. Turkey is a smuggler-state which has gained a lot by destroying and devastating Syria.

Turkey’s war against the Kurdish people knows no limits. Turkey is now doing everything to crush the Kurdish resistance in Botan and Amed. Turkey has succeeded before in implementing atrocities and genocides and will try to do the same again if it is not stopped.

The Turkish state aims to starve the people, especially by stopping electricity, water and other basic necessities to the besieged areas while using sophisticated weapons to kill those who resist.

It wants to enforce total destruction in silence. The aim of Turkey is to kill all in these areas in order to terrify the Kurdish people in Northern Kurdistan and all over Turkey.

As you are aware, Turkey has stationed its military in Bashiqe, near the city of Mosul, despite the pleas of Kurds, the Iraqi Federal government and International actors for it to withdraw back to Turkey.

Turkey has fallen into the habit of harming the stability and coexistence in the Middle East. The EU’s refugee problem will remain unresolved as long as the EU continues turning a blind eye to an increasingly totalitarian government in Ankara which not only contravenes the Copenhagen criteria and democratic values every day, but also demands total silence and a license to exterminate Kurdish people. The EU should never allow Turkey to make it a partner in criminalizing Kurdish people.

The EU’s refugee problem can be solved through a wider solution to the Kurdish problem which contributes to a lasting stability in the area. The European democracies, and also the US, can be a third party in a negotiation process between Turks and Kurds. To encourage the Turks to go back to the negotiations table, to give Mr. Ocalan a chance to break a deal and to give the PKK leadership a chance to mobilize the masses for a peaceful coexistence based on mutual interest and mutual respect: these are the right steps toward a true solution to the refugee crisis.

The EU must understand that the Turkish blackmail policy will haunt Europe for ever. A stable Rojawa can definitely embrace a couple of million of the displaced refugees: a model that doesn’t involve Syrian homelessness and doesn’t cost Europe and the International Community so much risk and resources as we are now witnessing.

We do believe that our people’s struggle is not just against tyranny and colonialism but it’s also against totalitarianism and dictatorship; it strengthens the struggle for democracy in Turkey and the area.

We therefore ask the democratic opinion, the democratic forces and countries, liberals, social democrats, anarchists, feminists and all who believe in peace and democracy to support the Kurdish people.

We ask the friends of the Kurdish people to put pressure on Turkey to go back to the negotiations table with the PKK. Mr. Ocalan’s doctrine for a pluralistic, democratic, and secular and gender equal society with women’s empowerment based on the decentralization of power in Kurdistan and the Middle East give the peoples a chance to enjoy a peaceful coexistence.

As we struggle for freedom, one hundred years after the Sykes-Picot, the new maps will be redrawn, it’s our right to struggle for the right of self-determination. We are building a nation based on democratic values, secularism and pluralism.

We know that we are contributing to a better Middle East. Kindly help and support us.


One Response to ‘Our People Will Never Accept Slavery’
  1. […] Our People Will Never Accept Slavery Speech By Rebwar Rashed, Co-chairman of the Kurdistan National Congress, at the EUTCC Conference Brussels, 26 January 2016 January 31st/The Kurdish Tribune In this brief speech I would like to bring to your attention the bitter fact that, whenever the Kurdish people have stood up for themselves, we’ve been labelled as “separatists” and “terrorists”. Turkey has been successful in labelling Kurdish people as terrorists due to all kinds of support it has got and still gets from NATO and the Western democracies. http://kurdistantribune.com/2016/our-people-will-never-accept-slavery/ […]

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