PCF Senator Laurent: We want to investigate villages affected by Turkish attacks

The deputy chair of the French Senate, Pierre Laurent, is currently in South Kurdistan as part of the Peace Delegation. "We will show international solidarity," he said.

"Those who applauded the Kurds in their fight against ISIS should not turn their backs on them now, but protest against the attacks by the Turkish state," said Senator Pierre Laurent (Communist Party of France - PCF), who is one of the members of the "International Delegation for Peace and Freedom in Kurdistan” who managed to arrive in the South Kurdish town of Hewlêr (Erbil).

Peace delegations from various European countries had set out for South Kurdistan to protest against the Turkish attacks and to demand the end to internal Kurdish tensions and to investigate the attacks on the South Kurdish civilian population. Dozens of activists in Germany were prevented from leaving the country, and dozens more were deported by the South Kurdish KDP once they arrived in Hewlêr.

Commenting on the delegation's aim, Laurent said: “We are here to protest the press silence in Europe and France regarding these attacks. We came to the scene of the attacks to show our solidarity and to demand that the attacks stop. We want gather information and break the wall of silence in France and Europe."

Laurent recalled the fight of the Kurdish forces against ISIS and continued: “If Turkey attacks the Kurds, we must not look the other way. There is a chance at today's NATO summit that Turkey will be able to expand the attack on the Kurds as it sees fit. In return for negotiations and concessions, Turkey could be allowed to attack as it wishes. We want to draw attention to this and state loudly that this must not happen."

"European states have worked hard to block delegations"

Dozens of activists in Germany were prevented from leaving the country, and dozens more were deported by the South Kurdish KDP, which is collaborating with Turkish fascism. Laurent and his comrades were also affected by similar measures. At Doha airport, they were told that they were not allowed to enter Iraq. While Laurent was able to secure his entry through the Foreign Ministry, his French comrade was sent back. Laurent said: “I know that many peace delegation activists did not make it to Hewlêr. The European states have worked very hard to block these delegations and I call that a scandal."

Series of meetings

In Hewlêr, the politician had already met representatives of the PUK, the Gorran movement and various members of the South Kurdish parliament on Sunday. Among other things, the delegation met with the Foreign Minister as a representative of the KDP. In particular, Laurent assessed the meeting with the Foreign Minister as a positive fact as it means a dialogue with the delegation was actually allowed. This is due in particular to the response from the delegation in public and in the press in Iraq and South Kurdistan. However, the minister did not answer the delegation's questions. After further meetings, a press conference is planned in front of the United Nations office to show international solidarity. Laurent explains: "We want to see the regions affected by the attacks for ourselves." In the morning however, it appeared clear that the KDP would not allow the delegation members to hold the press conference.

"NATO must call for an end of the attacks on Kurds"

Laurent demands that the NATO summit calls on Turkey to stop the attacks on Kurdistan. The politician pointed out that without the struggle of the Kurds, the West would not have been able to win against ISIS. He also appealed to the states: "France, Germany and Europe should make it clear to Turkey that they do not want any attacks against the Kurdish people."

"Nobody is allowed to turn their backs on the Kurds"

Laurent added: “I say to all those who welcomed the courage and resistance of the Kurdish fighters against ISIS, do not turn your back on them now. Today the Turkish state is illegally attacking the Kurdish people, violating international conventions.” Laurent also points out the links between Turkey and ISIS and declares his solidarity with the Kurdish struggle for self-government.