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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. Alexander 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, [AS] 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 http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk