Reactions to PM May’s remarks on Kurds

Activists in the UK held a press conference at the British Parliament to condemn PM May’s remarks labelling the Kurdish people "terrorists".

The Kurdish People’s Assembly held a press conference in response to the remarks by British Prime Minister Theresa May on “Kurdish Terrorism”.

The conference was held at Committee Room in the British Parliament.

On the 15th of May 2018, Theresa May, following an official meeting, attended a press conference with the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who was ending his official 3-days visit to the UK.

At the press conference the British Prime Minister confirmed her country’s support to the Turkish State while at the same time announcing a new arms-trade deal.

What prompted the Kurdish People’s Assembly press conference though, were the remarks PM May when reiterating her support for Turkey.

“It is important - she said - that in defense of democracy, which has been facing extraordinary pressures from the failed coup, instability across the border from Syria and from Kurdish terrorism, Turkey does not lose sight of the values it is seeking to defend”.

Turkey’s constant denial of Kurds

At the press conference representatives of the Kurdish People’s Assembly as well as of Peace in Kurdistan Campaign and other organisations expressed their “unequivocal condemnation of the remarks by Theresa May”.

Elif Sarican from the Kurdish People’s Democratic Assembly said: “On behalf of the Kurdish community across this nation, I express our deep hurt and worry about the recent comment of the prime minister. Theresa May has once again demonstrated the racist attitude of the government by demonising the hundreds of thousands of Kurds in Britain and labelling us terrorists”.

Mark Campbell from the Kurdish Solidarity Campaign said: “Give us one example of how the Kurdish freedom movement are terrorists. We have so much evidence of state terrorism against the Kurds”.

Kurdish Community in the UK fears the racist remark of PM May will further encourage and give ground to racist attacks by extremist Turkish groups in the UK.

May’s comment is an unfortunate extension of Turkish President Erdogan’s rhetoric he uses to justify his massacres of thousands of Kurdish civilians in Turkey and beyond. It was this exact language he used to legitimise his invasion of the peaceful city of Afrin which has resulted in the murder of hundreds of civilians and forced hundreds-of-thousands to flee.

Kurds are fighting ISIS

Kurdish forces have been the most important and effective allies of the international coalition in the fight against and defeat of ISIS in Syria and Iraq. The YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces heroically defeated ISIS in their capital, Raqqa just 7 months ago and continue to defend humanity in their fight in Deir ez-Zor, while trying to defend the people of Afrin and assisting the people of Syria build a pluralist, democratic, ecological and gender-equal governance system.

Melanie Gingell from Peace in Kurdistan Campaign spoke about the human rights violations committed between July 2015 and December 2016 in the majority-Kurdish regions of southeast Turkey.

Peace in Kurdistan Campaign also recalled that “the Kurdish community have been a crucial part of the vibrant migrant communities across the United Kingdom and with our local business, community centres and important cultural activities, have not just made important contributions to the richness of this country but are also a key contributor to the strength of our national economy”.

The activists also underlined that “many Kurdish people are proud to serve the people of this country as doctors, nurses, lawyers, engineers, teachers, activists, politicians, community leaders and academics”.

Detention during protest against Erdogan

At the demonstration outside Downing Street on the 15th of May, 11 Kurdish people were arrested for simply protesting Erdogan’s visit.

These arrests were as a result of deliberate provocations by fascist (they were continuously doing the fascist grey-wolf sign) Turkish demonstrators who were facilitated by the police on duty by being paraded past the Kurdish and Turkish demonstrators who were there to protest in the name of peace, freedom and democracy.