ITI: “Stop Turkey's war of aggression in North-East Syria”

"Immediate action with tangible consequences is needed to stop this madness!  We call on all cultural workers to actively and loudly oppose the war in north-eastern Syria," said ITI representatives.

The present representatives of the various European ITI Centers (International Theatre Institute - World Organisation for Performing Arts) have signed the following call at their Europe Council meeting 19-21 October 2019 in Maribor/Slovenia and will distribute it in their countries and on their own websites.

As cultural creators/theatre creators, we repeatedly deal in our work with the history of German fascism and other fascist regimes and the consequences. A question that arises above all with the younger generation is - why could the responsible persons not be stopped? The machinations of the Turkish president Erdogan - the current war against the population in northeast Syria, the persecution of the Kurdish movement and all progressive forces in Turkey, let the associations emerge to the national fascism. We want to intervene and not watch how daily crimes are committed against the people. Immediate action with tangible consequences is needed to stop this madness!  We call on all cultural workers to actively and loudly oppose the war in north-eastern Syria!

Full text of the representatives of the International Theatre Institute centers reads as follows;

Stop Turkey's war of aggression in North-East Syria

“In Northeast Syria, better known as Rojava, a unique multi-ethnic and multi-religious democratic project has grown up in recent years. It guarantees the peaceful coexistence of millions of Kurds*, Arabs* and Christians*.

Thanks to the peoples living there, it developed into the most peaceful region in all of Syria. On no day did it pose a threat to Turkey. Hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons as well as displaced persons and persons seeking protection from Iraq and Shengal were admitted. They have never been used as leverage or misused for political interests. The Democratic Federation of Northeast Syria (Rojava) exemplifies the vision of a peaceful and democratic Middle East. Surrounded by countries that oppress women, a society was developed in Rojava that implements equal rights for men and women. Since 2012, cities and villages destroyed by the war have been rebuilt and civil society has been able to develop again despite the war in Syria.

This is now to be destroyed.

The announcement of the USA under Trump to withdraw the US army only made the attack of Turkey possible. The Turkish army commits war crimes hourly by bombing civilian infrastructure, such as hospitals, water supply, power supply, and targeted civilian* attacks. The number of civilian casualties and injuries caused by the war in Turkey increases hourly. To date, more than 150,000 people have been displaced. It is obvious that these attacks are carried out with the aim of ethnic cleansing and demographic change.

A resurgence of the ISIS through the attacks of Turkey no longer threatens; it is already strengthened (reality). With this war the ISIS threatens to become a danger again - not only for Rojava, but also for Europe. It was the Democratic Forces of Syria (SDF) and the local self-defence forces (YPG and YPJ) from Rojava that defeated the IS and its caliphate state. 11,000 courageous women and men lost their lives.

Erdogan and his state are not concerned with securing the borders, but with the expulsion of the Kurds* and other peoples from the border region and the destruction of the self-governing Rojava region. The planned establishment of a so-called "protection zone" means an ethnic cleansing and resettlement policy of the area. Invasion contrary to international law and occupation of further Kurdish territories in Syria create new streams of refugees.

With the threat to open the borders to Europe for refugees Erdogan wants to force the agreement of the EU states to this war.

It must be the task of all EU countries to take a clear stand against war and any further escalation. Economic interests and the isolation from refugees created by the refugee agreement must finally come to an end.

What is needed is immediate action with tangible consequences!

-The immediate establishment of a no-fly zone over Northern Syria for Turkish war planes

- Stop the war of aggression of Turkey in Northern Syria.

- Stop arms deliveries to Turkey.

- Stop economic and military cooperation with Turkey.

- A peaceful solution to the war in Syria with the participation of Kurdish actors and the autonomy of Northern Syria.

Let us stand up for human rights, democracy and peace!

SDF/ Foreign Relations Officer Rêdûr Xelîl 12 October 2019

"In our fight against ISIS we had many allies. According to our socio-cultural and ethical principles, we have always been sincere and loyal to them.

We have fulfilled our duties and responsibilities to the world at all times. We have implemented the obligations arising from all international agreements. As a result of the trilateral agreements reached with our allies and Turkey, we have removed all the ramparts from the border strip. Our allies guaranteed us protection against threats from Turkey. But it was these allies who cruelly decided to withdraw their forces from the border strip and did not even consider it necessary to inform us. This attitude means nothing more than letting one's ally go to the waste.”

ITI Center Swiss Daniel Bausch& Anina Jendreyko,

ITI Centre Spain - Luis Mauel Llerena Diaz

ITI Centre Belgium/Flandern - Jean-Henri Dreze

ITI Center France - Jean-Charles Birotheau

ITI Center Estonia - Anu Lamp ITI Center Israel - Gad Kaynar

ITI Center Germany - Thomas Engel

ITI Centre Slovenia Tatjana Azman & Staša Mihelcic

ITI Centre Sweden Ulricha Johnson

ITI Center Slovakia Lenka Čepkova,

ITI Center Montenegro Jelena Marcovic

ITI Center North Macedonia Ivanka Apostolova

ITI Center Czech Republic - Kristian Volny

ITI Center UK - Fin Ross Russell

ITI Center Italy Fabio Tolledi & Roberta Quarta

ITI Center Finland Hanna Helavuori

ITI Center Romania Doina Lupu & Aura Corbeanu

ITI Center Hungary Anna Lakos 

ITI Center Russian - Alfira Arslanova,

Tobias Biancone - Director of the

ITI Worldwide - Headquarters in Shanghai

Minas Tigilis Theatre Director - Cyprus -

Olga Pozeli Theatre Director Athens/Greece"