Press release, 14th of June 2021

+++ Press conference of the Delegation for Peace and Freedom in Kurdistan parallel to the
NATO Summit in Brussels +++ Strong criticism of the Turkish war of aggression +++
Initiative “Defend Kurdistan – Against the Turkish Occupation!” announced +++

14.06.2021, Erbil, Brussels:
On the occasion of the NATO summit in Brussels, the Delegation for Peace and Freedom in
Kurdistan, which has been in Erbil for several days, announces the initiative “Defend Kurdistan –
Against Turkish Occupation!”. For the past six weeks, Turkey has been carrying out a military
offensive in areas of Southern Kurdistan/Northern Iraq. This operation on foreign territory is illegal
under international law. There are also multiple reports of the use of poison gas by the Turkish
military. The delegation is on the ground to draw attention to the effects of the war and to stand up
for peace.

“Both NATO and the EU are aware of the illegality of these attacks under international law. Now is
the time for them to live up to the values they espouse and stop looking the other way. Anything
else would be hypocrisy and would seal another massacre of the Kurdish people.” Pierre Laurent,
vice president of the Senat of France, MP of the French Parliament, Parti Communiste Français.

On April 24, the Turkish state began a far-reaching military operation against the Kurdish
population in southern Kurdistan. In the process, more than 1,500 people have already been driven
from their villages and deprived of their livelihoods through massive destruction of nature.
So far, there has been no reaction to these attacks at the international level. NATO is letting
Erdogan have his way and the United Nations is silent on the violations of international law.

“In conversations with different groups of the Kurdish population it has become clear that the
Kurdish people long for unity and peace. We appeal to all Kurds to repel external aggression
through internal brotherhood,” says Clara Schuhmann of Cenî – Kurdish Women’s Office for Peace.

The large-scale attacks are directed not only against the Kurdish population, but also against the
achievements of Kurdish society. Since the summer of 2012, Kurds in northern and eastern Syria
have been building a democratic self-government with a wide variety of local communities. This
has received much international attention for its ecological, feminist and grassroots democratic
principles. In response, Turkey, with the help of jihadist fighters, is waging a war of aggression with
the aim of destroying the achievements of this women-led self-government.

“We as young people want to live up to our responsibility beyond the existing state borders to
stand up against fascism and to draw attention to this war. We want to thank this delegation, which
gives us the opportunity to come together in an exchange about the diversity of our struggles and
to bring the Turkish attacks to the public. As we draw hope from the Kurdish struggle for freedom
and peace, we can bring it back to our countries” says Luise Schelcher from the delegation.

“The attack on the Kurdish people affects all of us who identify with grassroots democratic, feminist
and ecological values. Destruction of nature is used as a weapon of war. NATO is supporting
Turkey’s neo-ottoman aspirations in this war instead of siding with democratic forces. This is a
scandal,” says Sina Reisch, activist of Ende Gelände.

Link to the livestream of the press conference on Twitter: @defendkurd
Time: 9 a.m. CET

Whatsapp/Signal: +964 751 214 5989