Together against the Turkish attacks on Afrin!
The "Alliance for Democracy and Peace in Afrin" calls for a nationwide mass demonstration in Berlin on 3 March 2018.
We publish the call of the "Alliance for Peace and Democracy in Afrin" at full length:
"Since January 20, 2018, the Turkish military is attacking the Afrin area in Rojava, northern Syria, along with Salafist or jihadist groups. Kurds of Muslim, Alevi and Ezidi faith make up the majority of Afrin's population. In addition, it is home to Christian Assyrians and Syrian Arabs as well as occasionally Armenians. The city of Afrin with its surrounding villages in northwestern Syria has been able to maintain relative stability and peace since the beginning of the war, despite repeated attacks by the Nusra Front, the Islamic State (IS) or other Islamist groups, and the Turkish military. Even more, from 2015, Afrin has been safe haven for hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people from Aleppo and the surrounding areas despite embargo and isolation. The Turkish army and allied Salafists or jihadists under the label of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) not only target refugees, but also cause new displacements currently.
The attacks by the Turkish military from the ground and from the air have so far [as of 6 February 2018] killed 148 civilians, including 17 children. The number of wounded is currently 365. A large proportion of these civilian casualties are Syrian internally displaced persons. Civilian residential areas are bombarded with artillery and bombed from the air, entire villages are razed to the ground and infrastructure is systematically destroyed, such as water treatment plants. Video footage documents war crimes such as torturing of YPJ fighter Barin Kobane's dead body and the torture and ill-treatment of captured Kurdish people's defenders and displaced civilians.
The Turkish military, along with Islamists using the FSA label, is launching a war of aggression against an area within Syrian state borders. The Turkish raid aimed at occupying Afrin and carrying out ethnic cleansing is a clear breach of international law and must be so named and condemned. In addition, the NATO partner Turkey and its Islamist allies commit these crimes with German Leopard II tanks and weapons. These weapons of German production target not only the civilian population, but also those women and men who defeated the IS in their stronghold Raqqa, in Kobanê and other places and thus defended our security in Germany.
Afrin is one of the three democratically self-governing territories that comprise the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria. Since 2012, the project of Democratic Confederalism has been established here despite war and embargo. This strives for equal self-government and democratic self-determination of ethnic groups, religions and genders. Under the leadership of women, an initiative is taking place that can point the way for the entire region and provide a solution for decades-old conflicts. This project, which gives hope for a peaceful and democratic Syria and can have a positive effect on the entire region, deserves our support. The Turkish attacks, however, undermine the chance of a speedy resolution in the Syrian conflict, destabilizing the entire region, leading to more suffering and flight. Above all, the various ethnic and religious groups in Afrin are seriously confronted with the risk of genocide.
In Turkey itself, all people who speak out against this war and for peace are labeled as terrorists and traitors. So far, more than 600 people have been arrested in Turkey because they spoke publicly or on social media against the aggressive war on Afrin. That's why it's so important that we speak out against Erdogan's war.
As the Alliance for Democracy and Peace in Afrin, we call for broad solidarity and call on the Federal Government:
- Immediate action, including at the UN, EU and NATO level, to end the attack on the Afrinans by the Turkish military in violation of international law,
- Immediate end of German armaments exports to Turkey and other autocratic regimes,
- Political and diplomatic commitment to the resumption of the 2015 Kurdish-Turkish peace talks,
- The recognition of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria and support for democratic self-government
- Humanitarian aid for the canton of Afrin, in particular for the wounded and refugees
In order to lend weight to our demands, we urge you to take to the streets together for democracy and peace in Afrin and to protest against the Turkish aggression. All democratic institutions and associations, anti-war, ecology and women's movements, trade unions and individuals are invited to support and disseminate our call. "
The call has so far been supported by the following persons and institutions:
Dr. Hito Steyerl
Dr. Peter Brandt
P Reiner Diederich
Dr. Fabian Kessl
Jan van Aken
Dr. Michael Meyen
Wasilis von Rauch
Dr. Aram Ziai
Dr. Bernhard Siegert
Heinz D. Kappei
Dr. Christian Jooß
Groups and organizations
GEW - Lower Saxony State Committee for Migration, Diversity and Anti-Discrimination
Autonomous Department for Women and Gender Policy of the University of Kassel
Ecumenical Center for Environment, Peace and One World Work - Berlin
Group for Organized Opposition
Forum for peace and democracy
Refugee Council Hamburg
AStA of the University of Hamburg
Alevi community Hamburg
Working Group Peace - Verdi
DIE LINKE Association Berlin
Dialogue Circle "The time is ripe for a political solution in the conflict between Turks and Kurds"
Association début d'histoire
Info Northern Ireland / Basque Country
Women for peace Hessen e.V.
Feminist party THE WOMEN
Oldenburg Peace Alliance
DiEM25 - Berlin
Adopt a revolution
GEWKV Oldenburg city
Nationwide Initiative Ecological Reconstruction in Kobanê / Rojava (Syria)
Bonn youth movement
Bonn Solidarity Committee Kurdistan
Êdî Bese platform - Frankfurt
Working Group Internationalism - IG Metal Berlin