The Freedom Socialist Party, U.S. and Australia, condemns Turkey’s military assault against Kurdish-controlled territories in Syria. At the same time, we are quite aware that the U.S. government’s objective in Syria has been based on imperialist self-interest, not helping the Kurdish people — as the military’s hasty exit has proven. Now the fate of Syrian Kurds rests in the hands of the world.
The Kurds number about 40 million people in four countries: Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey (which has 15-20 million Kurdish citizens). They constitute the largest landless, indigenous group in the world. Their fight for self-determination has been ongoing for centuries, over which time they have allied with many varied forces, so far without success, to achieve their goal.
For decades, the Turkish government has labeled the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a Kurdish militia, a terrorist organization and has taken its revenge against the Kurdish people as a whole by engaging in collective punishment. Various Turkish regimes have burned their villages, killed and imprisoned their leaders and supporters, and openly advocated genocide. Under the Geneva Accords, collective punishment is a war crime, which makes Turkish President Erdogan a war criminal.
The Turkish invasion is already raining down massive destruction on civilians in areas controlled by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces. Refugees are clogging the highways of northeast Syria in a desperate attempt to flee the first wave of the Turkish assault. They are without food, shelter, or fuel and blocked from crossing the border into Turkey by its military. An enormous humanitarian crisis is brewing unless the invasion is halted by the mobilization of an international anti-war movement.
As socialists and feminists, we stand with the Kurdish people and their fighting forces, including the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Women’s Protection Units (YPJ). They have bravely defended the multi-national communities they helped to set up in northeast Syria during the seven-year civil war, often under the leadership of women fighters.
Therefore we urge international human rights advocates to:
Call on President Erdogan to immediately halt the bombing of Syria and withdraw his forces back to the border with Syria. No to the Turkish occupation. Open the Turkish border to all refugees fleeing from the fighting in Syria.
Organize protests against President Erdogan wherever he travels, including the U.S. and Australia.
We call on both the Australian and U.S. governments to:
Welcome refugees displaced by the fighting in Syria.Take the PKK off the terrorist list so that humanitarian aid can reach those in need.