People's Initiative North and East Syria calls for delisting the PKK

The People's Initiative North and East Syria has joined the international campaign for the removal of the PKK from the EU and US "terror lists".

The People's Initiative of North and East Syria demanded the removal of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) from the EU and US "terror lists" and declared its participation in the international campaign launched in December.

"The emergence of the PKK has a direct connection with the policy of the states hostile to the Kurdish people. The policy of annihilation and denial, the attacks on the Kurdish people and Kurdistan, the elimination of Kurdish identity and the physical and cultural genocide are the main reasons for its emergence. The PKK says that Kurdistan is a colony. Its emergence is based on the fundamental right of the Kurdish people to freedom," read the initiative's statement released on Wednesday.

To satisfy the occupiers in Kurdistan

The statement continued, “It is clearly recognisable that the PKK is classified as a terrorist organisation in order to satisfy the occupiers in Kurdistan. Therefore, the PKK is not on the list because it violates existing law, but because of its political ideas and international interest policy. This unjust situation leads to attacks by the Turkish state and other states on the Kurds everywhere and to a physical and cultural genocide. Not only one person, party or movement is affected, but the Kurdish liberation movement as a whole. The friends of the Kurdish people, democratically minded people and international legal standards are also attacked."

"Party in an armed conflict"

The popular initiative pointed out that there are also legal reasons for removing the PKK from the list of terrorist organisations. The PKK was put on the list in 2002 at the request of NATO member Turkey. The EU's highest court, the Court of Justice in Luxembourg, ruled in 2018 that the PKK was wrongly on the EU terrorist list between 2014 and 2017. In addition to procedural errors, the ruling also referred to Abdullah Öcalan's call for peace in 2013. When the validity of the terrorism classification was examined in the Belgian courts, it was determined in 2020 that the PKK cannot legally be considered a terrorist organisation because it is a party to a non-international armed conflict, making it subject to the law of war and not criminal law.

"The PKK is a dynamic mass movement"

The statement went on to say that in the history of Kurdish society, no movement before the PKK has managed to mobilise millions of Kurds for their right to self-determination. “The PKK is not only the strongest mass movement among the Kurds, but also a dynamic force in a global comparison. The PKK bases on a paradigm based on democracy, ecology and the freedom of women for Kurdistan and the whole world. In this context, it has taken many steps. Its initiatives taken for women's freedom and democracy are incomparable worldwide."

Terror term as a weapon: attack on human dignity

The term "terrorism" is being used as a state weapon against a liberation movement with a mass base, the initiative noted and said that this applies in the clearest form to the Turkish state, which tries to legitimise its attacks on Kurdistan with the stamp of terror: "Cross-border military operations take place under this pretext. In Turkey, members of parliament, political figures, journalists, intellectuals and opposition figures from different sections of society are being held hostage in prison. The living and even the dead are attacked as alleged terrorists. Human dignity is under attack."

"The PKK must be removed from the list"

"Against this background, the international initiative Justice for Kurds has launched a campaign for the removal of the PKK from the terror list, which has so far been joined by over 30,000 known individuals from thirty countries. As the People's Initiative of North and East Syria, we are also joining the campaign and will continue our democratic activities in the villages, towns and institutions. In the interest of peace, freedom, democracy, stability and human rights, we demand the immediate removal of the PKK from the terror lists of the EU and the USA," said the initiative.