The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[casi] Turkey vs. Kurdish self-rule and Iraqi federalism

Dear All,
Anxiety, determination and exasperation are mounting rapidly in the
Iraqi Kurdistan region. This is only partially reflected by the Kurdish
diaspora in many places all over the world. Allow me to share two papers
related to the broadly cross party based rally at Brussels on Saturday.

Hands off Iraqi Kurdistan
Turkey Stay Home
Prevent Turkish Intervention And Invasion In Iraqi Kurdistan

The Kurdish community in Europe and their friends all over the world in
great anxiety are following Turkey's attempt and plans to disrupt and
annihilate the Kurdish regime of self-rule, the institutions and
infrastructure of the Kurdistan Regional Government and the democratic
experiment in Iraqi Kurdistan in its entirety by reviving, in the course
of the Iraq crisis, old Turkish hegemonial and expansionist designs.
These Turkish intentions aim at the prevention of the emergence of a
free, united, democratic and federalist Iraq.

The envisaged invasion of Iraqi Kurdistan by some 60 000 Turkish troops
would inevitably lead to grave armed clashes within Iraqi Kurdistan.
Furthermore, it would create considerable, dangerous and incalculable
regional tensions. This would dramatically add further to the
destabilization of the entire region.

The Kurdish community in Europe is expressively supporting the motion
voted unanimously by the elected Kurdistan National Assembly
(parliament) of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, stipulating to reject and
to resist any interference by outside regional forces.

We call upon the European and World community, to protect and support
the democratic development in Iraqi Kurdistan being the nucleus and
bright example for a future free and democratic Iraq. Europe and the
World are called upon to stand against any Turkish intervention in Iraqi
Kurdistan and to actually prevent it.

The Kurdish issue stands for one of the most important problems of the
Near and Middle East. Without a peaceful and democratic solution within
the framework of the right to self-determination within a federative
Iraq, peace and stability of this region will continue to be at
permanent risk.

The Kurdish community in Europe

Central European Rally/demonstration in Brussels
Saturday, March 08, 2003, 13.00 hours
Van Maerlantstraap
Rue Maerlant
1040 St Joost (Brussels)
[near Metro station Schumann]

Letter to be delivered to the European Parliament and European
Institutions on March 8, 2003

Brussels, March 8, 2003

Dear Members of the European Parliament,
Dear Members of the European Commission,
Distinguished Members of the Council,

Several thousand members of the Kurdish communities from Iraqi Kurdistan
in the European countries, and their Kurdish compatriots from Turkey,
Syria, Iran and the Caucasus and many of their friends have come
together at the seat of the distinguished European institutions in
Brussels today, - to voice their deep anxiety and anger over obvious
attempts and designs by Turkey to lay hand on the democratic experiment
undertaken successfully since 12 years by the Kurds of Iraqi Kurdistan,
to disrupt their regime of Kurdish self rule, to annihilate the
institutions and the infrastructure of the Kurdistan Regional
Governments and to end violently the flourishing pluralistic democracy
of Iraqi Kurdistan in its entirety.

Under the cover of various pretexts Turkey seems to hope to be able to
revive  and realize - , in the course of the current Iraq crisis, old
Turkish hegemonial and expansionist designs. In a first step, these
Turkish intentions aim at taking complete control of the Kurdish
self-rule area of the past decade, paralysing and obliterating it, and,
in a further step, at the prevention of the emergence of a free, united,
democratic and federalist Iraq, of which the Kurdistan region would be
the experienced, solid and powerful core.

1. Turkey declares it to be imperative that its armed forces intervene
in order to prevent a refugee crisis as in 1991 along its borders.

Turkey deliberately ignores the fact, that now, 12 years later, the Kurd
have build up an infrastructure and a solid regime of governance that
enables them to handle any occurring refugee phenomenon in such a way as
to keep it away efficiently from the Turkish borders. All necessary
precautions to this effect have already been taken by the Kurdish
administration. Disinterested humanitarian aid to eventual internally
displaced persons, of course, is highly welcome and necessary.

2. Turkey pretends that it must protect the existence of the ethnic
Turkoman group in the Region by military presence of Turkish armed forces.

True is, that there is a Turkoman ethnic minority in the Kurdish region
administered by the Kurds themselves numbering a little more than 9
thousand families, mainly concentrated in the city of Erbil, that is a
total Turkoman population of approximately 45 thousand persons. The
truth is, furthermore, that this tiny minority enjoys  at the cost
mainly of the Kurdish administrations budget  several dozens of
Turkoman schools, three high schools of which one international college,
dozens of Turkoman parties, associations and organizations, numerous
newspapers and radio stations, two TV-stations, one minister in the
cabinet, etc. pp., and legally enjoys, in some educational fields even
more rights than the ordinary Kurdistani citizen. All talk by the
Turkish side about a discrimination or even about persecution of the
Turkoman population in the Kurdistan region is outright humbug and
simply serves as pretext to justify what cannot be justified.

3. Turkey upholds, that in the event of an American or allied military
campaign through the territory of the Kurdistan region of Iraq, it is
obliged to intervene militarily within the region in order to cope with
an alleged power vacuum, which eventually could also be used by remnants
of the former PKK/KADEK militants to mount new attempts at the security
of Turkey out of this imaginary vacuum. Which vacuum is Turkey talking
about? There are no administrations in the whole region more solidly
installed and more publicly supported than the two Kurdish
administrations in Northern Iraq. Only outside interference by regional
neighbouring powers, be it Turkey or other, would eventually destabilize
the Kurdish administrations and eventually lead to chaos and power
vacuum. As to the remnants of the PKK, the Iraqi Kurds have done more
than their share, even in co-operation with Turkey, to contain the group
and to see very efficiently to it that they cannot endanger the security
of Turkey and of Iraqi Kurdistan itself anymore.

4. Turkey's fourth argument is that it must intervene militarily, in
order to prevent that the Kurds of Northern Iraq take advantage of the
opportunities offered by war to proclaim an independent state, and that
Turkey must disarm the potential Kurdish groups in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Turkey deliberately chooses to ignore that all responsible Kurdish
political leaders of the region, namely President Barzani and Secretary
General Talabani, have repeatedly and expressively declared, that they
do not aim at establishing an independent state, and that, on the
contrary, they are ready to sacrifice part of the present de facto
independent status for the sake of a secured autonomy status within a
unified federal Iraq.

Although Turkey knows very well that none of its arguments for
intervention short of its own designs and narrow nationalistic
interests, is valid, it has been treating the world public and
especially its European allies and Nato partners with these pretexts.
Repetition does not make them more valid.

The half-hearted assurances given so far by the Turkish side publicly
concerning the Iraqi Kurds cannot be trusted, seen the handling by
Turkey of its obligations from the Copenhagen criteria for its
membership in the European Union and seen the handling of the Cyprus
issue by Turkey.

Turkey, by its extremist demands, creates exactly the situation it
pretends to want to avoid and prevent. It would invite further
intervention by regional neighbouring powers. It would create chaos and
an uncontrollable situation in the entire region, and it definitely
would invite armed clashes between its armed forces and the local
population. It would destroy the disciplinary and ordering function so
far exerted for the entire region by the two Kurdish administrations and
their forces of order. - The Kurdistan National Assembly, the elected
legitimate parliament of the Kurdish self-rule area in Iraqi Kurdistan,
on 25 March, therefore unanimously passed a motion to resist any Turkish
intervention by any available and appropriate means.

The immediate and long term dangers emanating from these Turkish designs
are real and concrete. We urge the European Parliament and the
distinguished European institutions to raise these matters with the
relevant governments of the European Union, with the government of
Turkey and with the U.S. administration, and to use their good offices
to make all necessary representations as to protect the well being of
the populations of Iraqi Kurdistan and the achievements of the
democratically elected Kurdish self-rule regime in Iraqi Kurdistan from
any infringements and intervention by Turkey.

Yours sincerely,
For the Kurdish Communities, Parties, Organizations and Associations
present in Brussels this March 8th, 2003

Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To unsubscribe, visit
To contact the list manager, email
All postings are archived on CASI's website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]