Krefeld City Council condemns Turkey's war of aggression

With the votes of the parliamentary groups of SPD, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen, FDP and the council group DIE LINKE, the city council of Krefeld has condemned Turkey's war of aggression on South Kurdistan and Rojava, which is contrary to international law.

With the votes of the parliamentary groups of SPD, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen and FDP as well as the council group DIE LINKE, the council of the city of Krefeld has condemned Turkey's war of aggression against the areas inhabited by Kurds in northern Iraq and northern Syria, which is contrary to international law, and called on the Turkish government to stop any attacks against the regions. "Krefeld is thus breaking as a municipality the almost total silence in the German public about the Turkish military's attacks, which are contrary to international law," said DIE LINKE Councillor Julia Suermondt.

In a meeting on 11 May, the Krefeld Council group of the Left Party had submitted a motion condemning the attacks of the Turkish army on northern Iraq and northern Syria. In the following weeks, the exchange between the four parties followed to agree on the motion, which was jointly adopted on Tuesday.

Julia Suermondt referred, among other things, to the struggle of the Kurds against the terrorist group "Islamic State" (ISIS) and its strengthening through the war of the "Erdogan regime and its Islamist allies" against the areas inhabited by a majority of Kurds. She called on the Krefeld councillors to set a sign of peace and solidarity, also towards the hundreds of people of Kurdish origin in Krefeld.

"The CDU faction, the 'Freie Wähler', 'WIR' and the 'Partei' had the opportunity to set this sign with us. Unfortunately, the CDU, Freie Wähler and WIR, on the other hand, tried to dismiss the motion, incidentally together with the 'AFD'. A doubly scandalous procedure," criticised Julia Suermondt.

DITIB-affiliated association disturbs council debate

The debate in the Council was sporadically disrupted by members of the "UNION der türkischen und islamischen Vereine in Krefeld und Umgebung e. V." (UNION of Turkish and Islamist Associations in Krefeld and Surroundings). The association is close to the controversial Islamic association DITIB, a foreign extension of the Turkish Religious Authority DIYANET. In the days leading up to the council meeting, the boards of both organisations are said to have tried to persuade the SPD, Green and FDP parliamentary groups to withdraw the motion with unobjective accusations. During a break in the meeting, Salih Tufan Ünal, chairman of the "Islam Union", forced his way out of the guest area among the council members without authorisation and verbally attacked the Greens.

Suermondt: Krefeld council shows backbone by majority

"The majority of the members of the Krefeld council showed backbone. They did not let themselves be intimidated by members and the chairman of the 'Islam Union Krefeld'," Julia Suermondt said after the meeting. "That is why the Krefeld city council has now done what the Kurdish Community of Germany and DIE LINKE, among others, are demanding of the federal government; to finally condemn the war of aggression of the Erdogan regime and to demand its termination and the withdrawal of the Turkish army. We hope more resolutions will follow, at all democratic levels of the Federal Republic."

Motion justified with WD expert opinion

At the meeting on Tuesday, it was made clear that the current Turkish government was also rejected by parts of the Krefeld population of Turkish origin. The condemnation of the war of aggression is clearly directed against the Turkish government, not against parts of the Krefeld population, said Suermondt. The motion is justified by the council majority mainly with the conclusions of a report by the Scientific Service of the German Parliament. In the report entitled "International legal implications of the Turkish military offensive 'Claw-Lock' against Kurdish PKK positions in northern Iraq", the experts of the institution express "very considerable doubts" about the existence of a self-defence situation for Turkey, which could justify the violation of the ban on the use of force against Iraq.

Lars Kinder: An unconscionable procedure!

Since 17 April, the Turkish army has again been carrying out an invasion in northern Iraq and southern Kurdistan. At the same time, the warlike aggression against the self-governed areas in Northern Syria/Rojava has also been intensified. Under the pretext of fighting the PKK, the Turkish army is bombing villages, towns and fields. Airborne troops, ground troops, artillery have been used unabated since then. Lars Kinder, spokesperson for the Krefeld district association of the LEFT, pointed out the strategy of the Turkish government, saying, "The dictatorial President Erdogan and his allies want to create a neo-Ottoman empire at the expense of the people in the Middle East. Erdogan's government also hopes to have a better chance in the 2023 elections in Turkey through its wars. A conscienceless act!"