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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Members of the EP: We shouldn't remain silent on the massacre of Kurds.

Members of the EP: We shouldn't remain silent on the massacre of Kurds. (ANF).

During yesterday's plenary session on "the situation in Southeast Turkey” at the European Parliament, MEPs called attention to the “deliberate massacre” perpetrated by the Turkish state against civilians in the Kurdish region.

Members of the EP underlined that it went contrary to EU values to connive at the Turkish state's attacks on Kurds due to the refugee deal. MEPs remarked that Turkey waged a genocidal war against the Kurdish people under the name of “anti-ISIS fight”, and strongly criticized the European Union's silence on the ongoing onslaught by Turkish state forces across North Kurdistan territory.

The first speech at the session was held by Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn who voiced concerns over the situation in the Kurdish region, noting that they followed the developments closely. Putting emphasis on the importance of a joint effort to come up with a solution to the problems in the region, including the ISIS, Hahn said; "The situation in Southeast Turkey shouldn't have any influence on this matter. We call for a cease-fire and return to peace talks, which stands as the best way to a resolution for the present problem. PKK also should stop its attacks on Turkey and turn back to the dialogue process.”


Speaking after, Renate Sommer on behalf of the Christian Democrats recalled that the extraordinary situation in Turkey's Kurdish region continued for weeks now as Turkish state forces attack civilians with heavy arms, killing women, children and elderly all alike. Sommer said; "It is not possible for people to move freely while every single living being is targeted and shot once they move. This is what is happening in a total of 17 Kurdish towns at the moment. People are deprived of food and water as well as phone and internet services, yet they do not want to leave home. The state of siege affects one million citizens but only 250 thousand of these have left their houses. The state is targeting the Kurdish people under the name of "anti-PKK fight".
Sommer stressed that it was unacceptable to remain silent on the Turkish state's atrocity against the Kurdish people due to the deals made on the matter of refugees. "We have responsibilities and we need to take action. In addition, we will face a fresh flow of Kurdish immigrants unless we intervene the situation now."
EP Rapporteur on Turkey Kati Piri warned that the situation in the Kurdish region is getting severer as the people of Silopi and Cizre are openly being forced to evacuation amid the ongoing fighting between state forces and Kurdish militia. Piri also criticized the humiliation of the local people by Turkish security forces, and death of a 16-year-old from blood loss.


Mark Demesmaeker on behalf of the Conservatives underlined that Turkey has made Kurdistan a war zone and blood bath for the war has spread across all Kurdish towns by now as civilian settlements are being devastated and bodies of slain people are being held on streets. Describing the current situation as a consequence of the policy pursued by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling party, Demesmaeker emphasised that Erdoğan and AKP didn't fight the ISIS but Kurds. He continued; "And we remain silent on all these, for which I feel ashamed now that the European Union doesn't support and defend the Kurdish people, the only dignified folk in the region and the only alliance of ours in the fight against ISIS."
Alexander Graf Lambsdorff for the Liberal Group said Turkey's watch for an opportunity to cease peace talks revealed itself after the murder of two policemen last year. "The AKP government made good use of this opportunity by re-escalating clashes in order to regain the votes it had lost in June election", said Lambsdorff who underlined that the resolution of the Kurdish question can be achieved only through political ways. He added that Ankara has no justification in rejecting the Kurdish people's demand for autonomy.


Marietje Schaake from the Liberal Group criticized the European silence on the onslaught in Kurdistan because of the refugee deal with Turkey, and put emphasis on the essentiality of warning Turkey on protection of human rights and acting on a state of law. "We need to be careful and we cannot turn a blind eye to the murder of civilians under the name of "anti-terror fight", she added.


Josu Juaristi Abaunz for EH Bildu pointed out that EU member states turned a deaf ear to the massacre of Kurdish civilians by the Turkish state, and left the Kurdish people to their fat under an unacceptable onslaught.
Josef Wiedenholzer called on both the government and the Kurdish movement to declare truce and embark on a resolution process like the one in North Ireland.
Miltiadis Kyrkos stated that Turkish President Erdoğan deprived the Kurdish civilians of their basic rights and sentenced them to hunger under an embargo in Kurdish towns that are being devastated by heavy artillery.

Describing the onslaught of Turkish state forces as a violation of human rights, international conventions and a planned massacre, Kyrkos underlined that the European Union contradicted with its values by shutting its eyes to this situation. Greek MEP said it was essential to put economic and political pressure on Turkey.


Barbara Spinelli for Confederal Group of the European United Left - Nordic Green Left said the heavy aggression on the Kurdish people constituted a violation of the Turkish constitution and international rights, stressing that the Kurds were facing a growing pressure for demanding recognition.

Javi Lopez from the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats remarked that the Turkish state pursued a collective punishment policy against the Kurdish people, adding that the European Union must call for truce and a return to suspended negotiations for peace.

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