Newroz reception at the UK Parliament

At the Newroz reception in the UK Parliament, the necessity of the freedom of Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan for the peaceful solution of the Kurdish question was highlighted.


The Kurdish People's Assembly in Britain and the London-based Centre for Kurdish Progress organised a Newroz reception in the Churchill Room in the UK Parliament. The reception was hosted by Labour Party's Kurdish and Alevi MP Feryal Clark Demirci and attended by KNK (Kurdistan National Congress) Co-Chair Ahmet Karamus, Lord Maurice Glasman, Scottish National Party (SNP) MPs Chris Stephens, Alison Thewliss, Allan Dorans, Labour Party MPs, Kurdish politician Osman Baydemir, former HDP MP Serpil Kemalbay and representatives of Kurdish organisations.

The reception was also attended by the former Lord Speaker Baroness De Souza, Lord Kinnock, former British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Party MPs Lloyd Russel-Moyle, Ruqa Haq, Marsha De Cordova, Florence Eshalomi, John Spellar, Virendra Sharma, Matt Western, Conservative MPs Jack Lopresti, Mark Eastwood and Andrea Jenkyns, Independent MP Crispin Blunt.

London Councillor Anne Clarke, Leader of Lambeth Council, Claire Holland, and many municipal officials and councillors also attended the Newroz reception.

During the reception accompanied by a percussion performance, the situation of Kurds in the four parts of Kurdistan was discussed.

Parliamentarian Feryal Clark Demirci, Centre for Kurdish Progress Director İbrahim Doğuş, MP Paul Scully, KNK Co-Chair Ahmed Karamus, Scottish National Party MP Chris Stephens made speeches at the reception.

Celebrating the Newroz of the Kurdish people, the speakers drew attention to the oppression of Kurds and the importance of freedom for Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan.

Feryal Clark Demirci stated that the hundreds of thousands of Kurds living in the UK constitute great wealth both socially and in terms of their achievements in the political, cultural and social fields. Noting that Kurds were forced to migrate from Turkey after the military coup of 1980, Demirci said: "We cannot forget the oppression, violence and racism that the Kurds were subjected to in Kurdistan and the Middle East."

Kurds in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey are still facing repression, Feryal Clark Demirci said and continued: "In parts of Kurdistan, wars are raging and in all four regions of Kurdistan there is still a refusal to recognise Kurdish identity, autonomy or self-determination. We call on Turkey to stop its senseless attacks on the Kurds in Rojava, on Iran to stop its attacks on the Kurdish region of Iraq-Syria and to release political prisoners. Stabilisation in the region will be achieved by supporting the progressive Kurdish people in the region. Britain has done better in recent years, but more must be done." Finally, the parliamentarian congratulated everyone on Newroz, saying that she would work to make the voice of the Kurdish people heard louder.

Scottish National Party (SNP) MP Chris Stephens drew attention to the activities organised by the Kurdish people in Scotland and the enthusiasm of the Newroz celebrations. Stephens stated that he was impressed by the Kurdish people's belief in the struggle and underlined the need to return to the peace process in Turkey. The Scottish MP said that it is important to defend the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan for a peaceful solution to the Kurdish question and added: "Öcalan must be freed and the Kurds must know that not only the mountains are their friends, but we are their friends too."

The Centre for Kurdish Progress Director İbrahim Doğuş drew attention to the academic, political and cultural achievements of Kurds as well as their significant successes in many sectors. Doğuş stated that Newroz is the herald of spring and a path from darkness to light for Kurds and congratulated the participants on Newroz.

KNK Co-Chair Ahmed Karamus stated that the Kurdish people organised glorious Newroz celebrations with millions of people and expressed his satisfaction with the celebration of Newroz with intense participation in the UK Parliament. Karamus recalled how Kurdistan was divided into four parts a hundred years ago with the Treaty of Lausanne and Britain's share in the process: "With this agreement, the Kurdish people could not achieve a status and suffered great pain. Friends of the Kurdish people should endeavour to compensate for this oppression of the Kurds. Britain must stand by the peoples of Kurdistan and the Middle East to compensate for its role and mission in the creation of this persecution in 1923 and its role in Lausanne. We ask you to continue this solidarity with the Kurdish people. Happy Newroz.”

Lord John Mann and Paul Scully also made speeches at the reception and congratulated the Kurds on Newroz.


After the speeches, the reception ended with the performance of the erbane drum group.