Exert Pressure on Your Governments in order to Prevent a Massacre in Kobani and a Re-escalation of the Civil War in Turkey!
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With 500,000 inhabitants mostly fled from other parts of Syria, Kobanê town in the Kurdish region of Syria (“Rojava”) is under siege of terrorist organization ISIS since mid-September. Kobanê is under attack from East, West, and South fronts. Just a few kilometers in the North is the border with Turkey.
ISIS has massacred civilians in the regions it occupies, sold many women as slaves in markets. Escaping a possible massacre, around 65,000 people from Kobanê fled to Suruc town in Turkey and the villages nearby. Some of them took refuge in the homes of their relatives in Turkey; others were placed in town halls, empty building sites, and tents provided by local municipalities, without any help from the Turkish central government. As the winter approaches, a humanitarian disaster is inevitable.
Kobanê is one of the three cantons in Rojova which declared democratic autonomy in Syria. The other two cantons are Efrîn and Cezirê. These three cantons are self-governed by local assemblies composed by the representatives of the ethnic and religious groups like Arabs, Turkmens, Checens, Yezidis, and Christians, as well as Kurds. As such, Rojova is a beacon of hope in Middle East for an experience of self-governance that is based on secular pluralism, gender equality and democratic autonomy, as well as solidarity of peoples.
There are serious claims that the Turkish state is aiding ISIS organization by providing training, weapons, and logistic support. Many eyewitnesses express that Turkish military is clandestinely providing ammunition to ISIS and the wounded ISIS militants are given medical care in the hospitals in the Turkish side of the border. It is also claimed that there are camps in Turkey that provide military training to ISIS militants.
Turkish military and police have intervened brutally and repeatedly to peaceful Kurdish protesters from Turkey and political party representatives that protest ISIS along the border.
Fall of Kobanê to ISIS will result in a massacre of the civilians in the town. Fall of Kobanê, at the same time, means serious weakening, or even collapse of the experience of Rojova canton system as an example of self-governance of various ethnic and religious groups.
Fall of Kobanê will even have more extensive humanitarian consequences. For the last two years peace talks have been carried out in Turkey between PKK (Kurdistan Worker’s Party) leader Abdullah Ocalan and Turkish state officials. During this period, both sides pledged not to resort to arms, eventually no causalities took place for the first time, for such a long period during the 30-year civil war that caused around 40,000 lives.
Everybody monitoring the peace process closely knows that the fall of Kobanê will end the truce. Most probably PKK will hold Turkey responsible for collapse of the canton system in Rojava by aiding ISIS and the civil war in Turkey will re-escalate, causing thousands of more causalities. In Turkey, the civil disobedience protests all over Kurdish cities and towns have already resulted in 35 causalities so far in two days, most of which are caused by police brutality and fascist gangs supporting ISIS firing on protesters.
We think that the primary concern should be preventing a likely massacre in Kobanê and the re-escalation of the civil war, new causalities, and new pains that comes with it.
In order to prevent all these consequences, we ask the international community to insist on the following demands and urge their governments and international organizations to take action for their realization:
- Turkey should, not aid the terrorist ISIS organization in any way, and stop its alleged military and logistic support. Turkey’s policy of preventing the Syrian Kurds to establish self-autonomy will result in new massacres and massive immigration. We ask the international community to exert pressure on their governments and international organizations to force Turkish government to come to terms to its pledge to take action against ISIS and acknowledge the democratic autonomy of Syrian Kurds.
- The people of Kobanê are demanding a few things: First they are in desperate need of heavy weaponry to defend their town against the ISIS tanks and artillery that ISIS captured after the fall of Mosul and now are using against Kobanê. They also demand Turkey to open a corridor in its soil to transfer Kurdish forces from other cantons in Rojava that are also isolated. We ask the international community to exert pressure on their governments to give military support to Syrian Kurds that is the only force on the ground fighting against ISIS.
- Considering that the winter is approaching, tens of thousands of immigrants that fled from possible ISIS massacre in Kobanê and even more Yezidis that fled from actual massacre in Shengal are in desperate need of humanitarian aid. Turkish state is not providing sufficient humanitarian aid to either hundreds of thousands of Arab refugees that had previously fled from Syria and the Yezidi refugees from Shengal or Kurdish refugees now fleeing from Kobanê. We ask the international community to demand from their governments and United Nations to provide humanitarian aid that will alleviate the suffering of all these immigrants.
Citizens Defending Peace in Turkey
Some useful articles and opinions pieces for detailed information about Kobanê:
“Kobane, Turkey, Peace, Justice?”, Taylan Tosun, https://znetwork.org/znetarticle/kobane-turkey-peace-justice/
“Isis on the verge of victory in Kobani”, Patrick Cockburn, https://znetwork.org/znetarticle/isis-on-the-verge-of-victory-in-kobani/
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