- Middle East -
The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) has been advocating for persecuted ethnic and religious minorities in the Middle East since 1969. In 1970, we started appealing for the recognition of the rights of the Kurds, Christian Assyrians/Aramaeans/Chaldeans, the Yezidis and Alevis. In the 1980s and 90s, we organized several protests against the Turkish army’s attacks against the Kurdish civilian population. In 1997, we started a campaign on behalf of the imprisoned Kurdish politician Leyla Zana, which we continued until she was released in 2004. Further, we have been protesting against the construction of dams in the region of Dersim since 2007, as the project would lead to a mass expulsion of the Dersim Kurds. In 2010, we started a campaign under the motto “Turkey is not ready for Europe!”, based on demands to put an end to the repression of the Kurds and Christians in the country – and we organized a vigil in Tur Abdin (southeast Turkey) in 2011, as an attempt to save the venerable Assyrian Aramaic monastery Mor Gabriel. We also supported the Kurdish victims association “Saturday Mothers” in Diyarbakir, who meet up every week to publicly demand investigations into the concealed killings of approximately 17,000 Kurds. In 2014, we demanded Ankara to stop providing logistical support for terrorist group “Islamic State” (IS).
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Header photo: Joel Carillet via Flickr