Swiss parliamentarian Christian Dandrès said that “the Turkish state is openly committing a war crime against the Kurdish people. Rojava paid the price in blood to protect us and exist.”
As a result of the huge investments made by the AKP-MHP government in the war of hatred against the Kurds, the peoples of Turkey are experiencing an economic, political and cultural collapse. The isolation, which is the most important part of this war, has been imposed for 24 years on Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan. The isolation policy that started in Imrali F-Type High Security Prison has spread to the smallest hamlets in Turkey and Bakur Kurdistan, while bombs are being rained down on the peoples of Bashur and Rojava.
Knowing that the solution to all these crises is hidden in Öcalan, the government deepens the isolation. Let alone the Kurds, all the peoples who want a solution in the Middle East and are fighting for it often bring up the need to end this isolation policy and give Rojava a status.
While the Turkish State continues its dirty war against the Kurdish people from Rojava to Bashur, from Bakur to the cities of Turkey, the international powers that are responsible for protecting international law are burying their heads in the sand. However, the United Nations institutions and Independent Human Rights Organizations frequently draw attention to the fact that Turkey’s attacks are a violation of international law and war crimes in all of their reports.
Serkan Demirel talked with Swiss Socialist Party National Parliament Member of Parliament, lawyer Christian Dandrès about these contradictions, the isolation policy and the increasing attacks on Rojava, in an interview published in Yeni Özgur Politika.
The defense of rights has become really difficult
Evaluating the AKP-MHP regime as a disaster, Deputy Christian Dandrès said: “We hoped that this regime would fall in the last elections. Unfortunately, that was not the case. I think that with the continuation of the AKP regime, the liberation of the peoples that make up Turkey and the defense of human rights in the country have become really very difficult.”
‘Isolation against the leadership role of Öcalan’
Speaking about the aggravated absolute isolation of Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan, Dandrès underlined that the main reason for isolation is Öcalan’s leadership role. Underlining that Turkey is a member of the Council of Europe and a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights, Dandrès said: “With the isolation policy, this convention is being violated. These practices against Mr. Öcalan is a cry for basic human rights.”
International institutions should speak out
Stating that the campaigns launched to end the isolation of Öcalan are important, Dandrès said: “Öcalan is a political prisoner on whom restrictions are imposed outside the framework determined by the states that signed the European Convention on Human Rights. Lawyers’ organizations in the international arena or institutions such as the Human Rights League should also raise the issue that convicts have a right to a prison system that is not exceptional, as in the case of Mr. Öcalan.”
Central role of Öcalan
Underlining that Öcalan plays a central role in resolving the Kurdish issue, Dandrès said: “Today, if Öcalan is still held in this type of prison system, it is because he remains a powerful figure and an effective leader for a large segment of the Kurdish population. Öcalan plays a central role in resolving the Kurdish question, but this also requires cooperation with Turkish progressive organizations. I believe that part of the solution lies in this unity.”
Public spaces are targeted
Dandrès said that “the Turkish government prefers the war against the Kurds to divert people’s attention from the country’s political and economic problems,” and continued: “Moreover, the war in Kurdistan is a serious war and with this war, Turkey is in serious violation of international humanitarian law. Public infrastructure, such as schools, is targeted in Rojava. Attacks on civilians are on a daily basis. Fields are being bombed, as well as basic food supplies.”
Openly committing war crimes
Dandrès said: “After the first attack, Turkey attacks a second time to neutralize those who came to help the victims, just like the method used by the Russians. These actions can be directly defined as war crimes.”
‘The silence of society is a scandal!’
Dandrès evaluated the silence of the international community against these attacks as a scandalous situation.
Rojava paid the price with blood
Underlining that leaving the Kurds alone after the war against ISIS is a part of the cynical policy of the West, Dandrès said: “The Kurds managed to counter the danger of ISIS and at the same time prevented the US and Europeans from losing their lives. Rojava paid the price in blood to defend its right to exist. Today, this has been forgotten. Therefore, we have a duty to protect Rojava. I think we should underline this with extensive communication and information efforts.”
A new solidarity movement must be started
Dandrès continued: “We have seen that Rojava was successfully fighting against ISIS. Rojava was recognized and promoted as an important actor in the victory over the murderers. Moreover, it fought against the Assad regime for a time. I think that supporting Rojava today should be a minimum of loyalty for all of us. I believe it is essential to restart an international solidarity movement against these attacks by Turkey.”
The important part of the solution is in Turkey
Dandrès added that the chance of Europe and NATO to say ‘stop’ to Turkey’s policies due to the ‘mediator’ role played by the Turkish state in the Russia-Ukraine war, has decreased very much. He said that it is important to work in parliament to support Rojava from an institutional perspective as part of an international solidarity approach and to create a majority against the Erdogan regime. “Actually, I believe we should work on both sides. In addition to institutional international solidarity, it is necessary to create a grassroots international solidarity with trade unionist and progressive parties that are in a position to support a real liberation project for the peoples of Turkey against Erdogan and the business nationalists who rule the country.”
‘Erdogan regime is also a threat to Europe’
Dandrès said that the Erdogan regime poses a threat not only to the peoples of the region but also to Europe, and added that this danger has become less talked about by Europe due to Turkey’s mediating role in the Ukraine war.
Need for international support from the grassroots
Dandrès continued: “Obviously, Europe is trying to cope with Erdogan because of Turkey’s role in the Ukraine war. While doing this, it closely observes that the basic principles of the rule of law and democracy in Turkey, whose membership in the European Union has become debatable once again, are severely violated. However, this is not enough. It should be clearly seen what Erdogan and his regime are. Erdogan is extremely anti-democratic and has ultra-nationalist principles. In my view, the only effective way to combat this trend is to provide grassroots international support for Turkish rights.”