Germany and Other NATO-Countries Should Campaign for a Democratic Solution to the Kurdish Issue

Fighter Jets Against Gaddafi - Free Pass for Turkey?

The Society for Threatened People’s (STP) demands that after Turkey’s parliamentary elections on June 12, Germany and other NATO-Countries ensure that finally a serious dialogue between Kurdish representatives and the Turkish government will take place. The credibility of the alliance is at risk. The human rights organization criticized that while many NATO-countries are willing to support the democratic movement in Lybia, even through the use of Fighter Jets, they are not willing to do the same within their own ranks. For decades, NATO members have allowed Turkey to deny democratic rights to around 14 million Kurds. Due to the uncompromising attitude of Primeminister Recep Tayyip Erdogan regarding the Kurdish issue, the country is on the brink of a bloody civil war. Keeping in mind the 800,000 Kurds living in Germany, the German Federal Government should increase its efforts for a new "Kurdish Policy”.

STP reported that hostilities between Turks and Kurds increased enormously in the run-up to the elections. Again and again bloody skirmishes flared up between the army and the Kurdistan Worker’s Party PKK. Erdogan’s AKP party and the Ultranationalist MHP have led a very aggressive election campaign against the Kurdish ethnic group and also stoked religious hate. Erdogan publicly put in to question the Kurdish belongingness to Islam with the rationale that they belonged to a pre-islamic time of the Zoroastrian religious community. Furthermore, many Kurds boycotted the "state mosques” in the past weeks and performed their Friday prayers in public places. The religous affiliation of individual ethnic groups was also exploited in campaign advertisements on state-run TV.

Since the Kurdish Newroz celebration on March 21, of 2011, the Turkish government has arrested Kurdish politicians, human rights activists, journalists, clergy, teachers and others. In mid-April, the state election commission tried to prevent twelve prominent applicants from their candidacies by pointing out their earlier jail sentences. Among them were the Kurds Leyla Zana, Hatip Dicle (imprisoned) and ?erafettin Elçi. Peaceful protests were supressed by security forces. More than 2,500 Kurds were arrested. 596 Kurds had already been indicted under for poltical reasons in the second half of 2010. In total, they are facing 1,219 years in prison.

The vast majority of the more than 14 million Kurds, the Assyrian-Arameans, Armenians, Laz people, and Yezidi have lost their trust in Erdogan’s reform plans. They want a new and diverse Turkey with a new constitution that guarantees the linguistic, cultural, and political rights of all ethnic groups and religious communities.