Kurds in Europe and their friends gathered in front of the International Court of Justice and marched to the headquarters of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague on Wednesday.
The demonstration was an action of protest against the Turkish army's use of chemical weapons in its ongoing military campaign in the guerrilla-held Medya Defense Zones in southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq).
In a statement before the launch of the protest march, Fatoş Göksungur, co-chair of the Kurdish Democratic Society Congress in Europe (KCDK-E), said that their protest was directed at the silence of the International Court of Justice and the international institutions in Europe.
Göksungur stated that this silence encouraged the Turkish state to massacre the Kurds using chemical weapons.
Ahmet Karamus, co-chair of the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK), appealed to the Court, saying, “Kurdish people also need justice.”
Karamus stated that the Kurdish people were massacred with weapons purchased from Europe, adding, “Dictator Erdoğan uses the most advanced weapons against the Kurdish people, without a distinction of women, children and the elderly.”
The demonstrators were dressed in white, wearing masks, as an expression of their reaction against the use of chemical weapons against the Kurdish people.
The activists were surrounded by the police as they blocked the road after reaching the headquarters of the OPCW.
Addressing the crowd here, Kongra Gel co-chair Remzi Kartal said the following:
“The Turkish state uses chemical gas and banned weapons in Zap, Metîna, Avaşîn. During the past months, since the Turkish state launched an operation in the region, chemical weapons have been used against guerrillas a total for 325 times. 33 guerrillas, most of them being women, fell during this process.
HPG General Command and KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) officials have appealed to the world and called for silence to be broken as the Turkish state commits a crime against humanity. The issue has been brought up in foreign parliaments, the European Parliament and the European Council. The relevant authorities were asked if they would take any action or why they remained silent as Kurds were killed with chemical weapons. Yet, the truth is that the world is blind, deaf and dumb. The truth is that the injustice perpetrated against the people of Kurdistan for a century endures, and the international conspiracy continues. The Turkish state has pursued a policy of denial and annihilation against the Kurdish people. This policy has been implemented for a hundred years now but silence endures, because those silent today are those who carried out the international plot.
This is the very reason why we as the Kurdish citizens and institutions in Europe, in the name of the Kurdish people, gathered in front of the International Court of Justice and OPCW today and demanded an end to the injustice done to the Kurdish people. We want our voice heard. We want an end to the silence on the atrocities and massacres suffered by the Kurdish people. We want the relevant bodies to conduct an examination on site, to reveal the truth and to announce it to the public. We thank all the participants and we state that our actions in Europe will continue until the truth on Turkey’s use of chemical weapons is revealed and silence is broken.”