PKK rejects placement of Syrian Arab refugees in Turkish Kurdistan

QANDIL,— MESOP – 8 July 2016 – The Co-President of the KCK (Kurdistan Communities’ Union), the political wing of the PKK, Cemil Bayik stated that Turkish president Erdogan would go down in history as the biggest enemy of Kurdish people. He recalled that Erdogan wants to place Syrian refugees in Turkish Kurdistan [the Kurdish region in Turkey’s southeast], and described this initiative as the de-Kurdification of Kurdistan.

Bayik noted that Kurds would reject the placement of Syrian refugees in Turkish Kurdistan, and said that accepting this initiative would mean suicide for Kurdish people. Cemil Bayik dedicated his most recent article in Azadiya Welat and Yeni Özgür Politika newspapers to this topic, and called upon Syrian refugees to reject Erdogan’s plan. Below is Cemil Bayik’s most recent article in Azadiya Welat and Yeni Özgür Politika newspapers, translated by ANF English service:

“I wish a happy Ramadan to Kurdish and other Muslim peoples, and hope that these holidays bring peace and stability.

With this holiday, I emphasize the need for questioning the ISIS mentality and social structures that kill women, children and old people with suicide attacks and murder civilians in the name of Islam. Everyone must particularly question powers that use Islam for their colonialist interests. ISIS and AKP are the main examples of such powers. These two political powers use religion for their interests and make it a tool of war.

Tayyip Erdogan uses the concept of martyrdom, which is used in Islam in the context of resistance against injustice and occupation, in order to legitimize the dirty war he is waging against Kurds and the killing of Kurdish people. We can say that in the history of the Republic of Turkey, no state official has ever expressed such enmity towards Kurdish people. In the 1990s, Çiller had said that “the pasha says, I do it,” but Tayyip Erdogan’s enmity towards Kurdish people has surpassed that of Çiller or Ünal Erkan; the State of Emergency governor in Kurdistan at the time. In the 1990s, a dirty war was waged in order to crush the Kurdish Freedom Movement, but now the war is waged in order to put Kurds through genocide. Tayyip Erdogan will go down in history as the biggest enemy of Kurdish people.

Everyone will remember how he implements genocide policies as he says ‘one nation, one country.’ Tayyip Erdogan now wants to place Syrian refugees in the Kurdish cities that he has destroyed. The placement of Syrian refugees in Kurdistan [southeast Turkey] means the de-Kurdification of Kurdistan and a genocide of Kurdish people. This initiative will add a new dimension to the war Tayyip Erdogan and state forces wage in Kurdistan. Those that have set up refugee camps in the midst of Alevi Kurdish villages in Pazarcik, Maraş, would also try doing something like this.

The placement of refugees in lands populated by Kurdish people is malevolent and implies the tightening of the noose of genocide around the neck of Kurdish people. Kurdistan’s population has been altered through the century-old displacement of Kurds and the placement of non-Kurds in the region. The intensification of this process and the removal of Kurds from their lands is simply genocide. Placing refugees in Kurdistan in addition to the destruction of cities and the implementation of genocide policies is an open threat of annihilation against Kurdish people. Which Kurd could accept such a thing? Any Kurd that accepts this plan as opposed to rising up is complicit in the genocide.

Placing refugees in Kurdistan differs from placing them in anywhere in Turkey, because Kurds and Kurdistan are under the treat of genocide. The Turkish state has already been trying to reduce the population of Kurdish people in Kurdistan, and the placement of Syrian refugees in the region would mean the intensification of this process of genocide. In this sense, saying that there are refugees in different parts of Turkey cannot cover up the policies of genocide.

No matter what their political views are, all Kurdish people should reject the de-Kurdification of Kurdistan because it aims the destruction of Kurdishness. Not only the Kurds in North [Turkish] Kurdistan but also those in the South, West, and East as well the Kurds in other countries should object to this policy of the Turkish state. The government of South Kurdistan and the parties in the South should warn the AKP government on this genocidal policy. KDP, PUK, Goran, Yekgurti İslami, Komelê İslam and all other parties should reject the placement of Arab refugees from Syria in Kurdistan.

Such a placement would not only constitute an attack on Kurds in the north but all Kurds worldwide. Accepting the placement of Arab refugees in Kurdistan would mean suicide for Kurdish people. Kurds should be able to say to the AKP government “If you really want, place the refugees in the Black Sea, Thrace, Aegean, Mediterranean and Central Anatolian regions.” The placement of the refugees in Kurdistan would mean a genocidal attack on Kurdish people, who would resist this attempt no matter what. Nobody can question why Kurds do not accept refugees because of the policies of genocide that surround Kurdish people.We believe that Syrian refugees would also reject a policy that would pit them against Kurdish people. Kurds in Rojava have hosted nearly a million Arabs in their towns and villages because of the on-going war. With its initiative, Turkey makes refugees complicit in its genocidal policies. Syrian refugees must say “we won’t take part in this crime.”

If Turkey wants to remove the status of refugees, then it should allow them to settle wherever they want as opposed to forcing them to settle in particular locations. Turkey’s act of placing refugees in the midst of Kurds and Alevis is unacceptable.”