In Lausanne, Switzerland, Kurds are discussing the implications of the Treaty of Lausanne, which was adopted a hundred years ago. A common strategy is to be defined at the conference.

One hundred years ago, the Treaty of Lausanne decided on the quadripartition of Kurdistan. In this context, a two-day conference is taking place in Lausanne’s Beaulieu Congress Hall, attended by more than 600 delegates from all parts of Kurdistan. On the fringes of the conference, ANF spoke with participants from different parts of the country about their assessments.

Blesa Jahar Forman: The PUK fights for the freedom of the Kurdish people

Blesa Jahar Forman, who is participating in the conference on behalf of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), emphasised that her party is fighting for the freedom of the Kurdish people and for this reason is participating in the discussion on the effects of the Lausanne Treaty. The conference was organised by representatives from all Kurdish parts of the country and is therefore important for the future of Kurdistan, she said.

Fikret İğrek: We will define a common strategy

Fikret İğrek, member of the KNK (Kurdistan National Congress) Committee for Diplomacy, stated that the Turkish AKP/MHP regime wants to completely destroy all Kurdish achievements in the second century after the Treaty of Lausanne and is pursuing neo-Ottoman plans: “The Turkish state especially wants to destroy the achievements made in Rojava and Bashur (North Iraq) by expanding the borders of Misak-ı Milli [the Ottoman National Pact]. The Shengal Treaty of 2020 and the occupation of Serêkaniyê and Afrin were in line with these goals. The attacks in Bashur and the intensified isolation of Mr Abdullah Öcalan are also carried out within the framework of the Turkish state’s goals for a second Lausanne.”

The conference taking place in Lausanne aims at defining a common strategy against the colonialist Turkish state, İğrek said and continued: “The people of Kurdistan have achieved important successes with their resistance and struggle despite the destruction caused by the Lausanne Treaty. From now on, they will defend themselves with resistance against all kinds of attacks. In addition, a political strategy must also be developed. This will become apparent after the discussions we will have at this conference.”

Musa Farisoğulları: The conference expresses rejection of the Treaty of Lausanne

Kurdish politician Musa Farisoğulları, former HDP MP and political prisoner in Turkey, described the Treaty of Lausanne as a document of the extermination of the Kurdish people and said: “This conference organised here expresses the rejection of the Treaty of Lausanne. The assessments of the participants from the four parts of Kurdistan are historic. We have the ambition to transform the discussions that have taken place here into a decision. According to the Treaty of Lausanne, the genocide of the Kurds was put into practice. We evaluate Lausanne as a treaty based on the rejection and denial of the Kurds and their physical extermination. With the acceptance of this treaty, great massacres took place in the four parts of Kurdistan.”

The fifty-year struggle of the Kurdish freedom movement has created important values and the Kurdish people will no longer accept the Treaty of Lausanne, said Farisoğulları and added: “This is the point on which the delegates are united. It was expressed concretely that there will never again be a concept like Lausanne. Important decisions will be announced in the final declaration to be published. In this sense, the conference here is historic for us. If we want to determine our future, our freedom, we must realise it with our own strength and protect the achievements of the last fifty years. We must transform the new century into an era of freedom for Kurdistan and the Kurdish people, and I believe that we must put a status in place.”

Berdan Öztürk: Lausanne ushered in physical and cultural genocide

Berdan Öztürk, Green Left Party deputy in the Turkish National Assembly and co-chair of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK), said that the Lausanne Treaty was a turning point for the Kurds and that the decisions taken were a disgrace to humanity. The main aim of the conference, he said, was to annul the Treaty of Lausanne and make the next century free for the Kurdish people and Kurdistan: “In the coming period, we must wage a serious struggle against the Treaty of Lausanne and its signatories in all fields. With Lausanne, the physical and cultural genocide of the Kurds was initiated. This genocide continues until today. If we look at the occupation of Southern Kurdistan, the attacks on Rojava, the relentless arrests in Northern Kurdistan for eight years and the extermination plan carried out in every dimension, we know very well that the Lausanne Treaty is the basis for all this. In this sense, this conference is historic and of great importance for the further process. The decisions taken here will shed light on the process to come. The attacks are directed against the existence of all four parts of Kurdistan as a whole. In this sense, we will work together with all our people.

Abdulkarim Omar: The Kurdish people are organised today

Abdulkarim Omar, the European representative of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), pointed out the achievements that the Kurds have won despite the heavy consequences of the Treaty of Lausanne: “Despite Lausanne, the successes achieved in Rojava and in the south are a hope for all of Kurdistan. The women-led developments in Rojhilat and the resistance in Bakur are also important developments. The Turkish state wants to destroy all these achievements with a second Lausanne. In this context, the Turkish state is continuing all kinds of attacks to commit genocide. But a hundred years have passed and the Kurdish people could not be destroyed. The Kurds will never be destroyed. They are no longer the Kurds of a hundred years ago, they are organised and now they have many friends. The decisions taken at this conference will serve the unity and future of Kurdistan.”



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