29 renowned individuals from around the world today, on 5 November, announced that they had established the International Initiative for Justice for the Kurds.
The International Initiative for Justice for the Kurds consists of many well-known figures, such as Nobel prizewinner Elfriede Jelinek, Nora Cortinas, founding member of the Plaza de Mayo, contemporary philosopher Slavoj Žižek, international law expert Prof. Norman Paech and the Secretary-General of the EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC), Michael M. Gunter.
The International Initiative launched its first campaign, which calls for the removal of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) from the EU’s list of ‘terrorist groups.’
The campaigners, in a written statement, said that the listing of the PKK as a ‘terrorist’ group constitutes an obstacle against the peaceful resolution of the Kurdish question, based on negotiation and dialogue in Turkey, where there is an ongoing state of war between the Turkish state and the Kurds.
“Having organised itself in the four parts of Kurdistan, the PKK represents the most powerful people’s movement among the Kurds living in the Middle East and living in the diaspora. Whilst it advocates a multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-cultural life, the PKK movement is based on an ecological-political-moral social life based on women’s liberation,” the International Initiative stated.
Campaigners also warned against the negative outcomes of the listing of the PKK within the EU’s list of ‘terrorist groups’: “The ban on the PKK and the inclusion of the PKK on the list of ‘terrorist groups’ means providing support for all the anti-democratic and unlawful practices of the Turkish government in the Middle East. (…)
“The fact that the PKK is on the list of ‘terrorist groups’ not only causes pressure on the Kurdish people, but also results in the repression, detention and the imprisonment of human rights defenders, peace-seeking academics, media workers and journalists as well as critics of Tayyip Erdoğan in Turkey. (…)
“The USA, the UK, the European Union and the Council of Europe also endorse and support this tyrannical regime developed by the Turkish state under the pretext of the ‘War on Terror.’ These lists are still effectively used to cover up the attacks of the Erdogan dictatorship.”
Drawing attention to the 2020 decision of the Belgian Court of Cassation, approving the previous ruling by the Court of Appeal in Brussels that the PKK should not be classified as a ‘terrorist organisation,’ the campaigners said: “As is well known, the PKK was placed on the ‘EU terror list’ in 2002 at the request of NATO member Turkey.”
“However, in the 2018 ruling of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg, it was also stated that the PKK was wrongfully included in the EU ‘terror list’ between 2014 and 2017.
“For all these reasons and grounds, we, the signatories, as people who demand peace, democracy, equality, justice and freedom, demand that the PKK be removed from the list of terrorist groups immediately.”
The full list of the people, who signed the campaign can be found in this link.