Kurdish Institute of Paris Threatened with Closure – The director of the Kurdish Institute in Paris has pleaded for public support,
Basnews – 20.02.2015 – PARIS – The director of the Kurdish Institute in Paris, Kendal Nezan, has pleaded for public support, after the French and Kurdish governments withdrew funding.
In a letter to French newspaper Le Monde, the French-Kurdish nuclear physicist has appealed to the public for solidarity and support. The institute is home to one of the largest Kurdish libraries in the world. The survival of the institute is threatened after both the French and Kurdish governments ended their financial support. The Kurdish Institute was established in February 1983 with the support of the French government and former President François Mitterand.
Funding was reduced year after year under the presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy, who argued that the government of Kurdistan should be funding the Institute. However the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is facing an economic and humanitarian crisis due to the refugee situation and the war against Islamic State. The KRG needs an estimated $1.4 billion this year to stabilize its economy, the World Bank has said in a recent report. Nezan believes the French government should continue to support the Institute, since it annually gives €12.8 million to the Institute for the Arab World. “This is an unfair and absurd position of the French government against the Kurds. As a last resort we call on French citizens, who throughout these three decades, in difficult times, have showed a magnificent solidarity with the Kurdish people,” he wrote.