To : Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland
Secretary General of the Council of Europe
Avenue de l’Europe, 67075 Strasbourg
Subject: Hear the call for help of the Kurds from Turkey
Mr. Secretary General,
Since 2009, in absolute violation of the most basic democratic rights and freedoms, the Turkish government has jailed nearly 9,000 Kurds, including 6 Members of Parliament, 31 mayors, 96 journalists, 36 lawyers, 183 leaders of the BDP (Party for Peace and Democracy), trade unionists, human rights defenders, students and nearly 2,000 children, known as „stone throwing children“.
Moreover, the Turkish army conducted military operations beyond the border with Iraq, in violation of international law. 41 civilians have been killed in these operations and chemical weapons were used.
To make things even worse, the Turkish authorities, who had started to negotiate with the recognised Kurdish leader, Mr. Abdullah Oçalan (jailed since 1999 on the island of Imrali), have stopped the negotiations and have put him in an unprecedented and total isolation since the 27th of July 2011, in violation of all international laws.
These serious and recurrent violations of human rights committed by the Turkish government are unjustifiable.
Demanding the end of such violations of human rights, 400 Kurdish political prisoners in Turkey are on unlimited hunger strike since the 15th of February 2012 at the peril of their lives.
For the same reason, 15 European Kurds have begun an unlimited hunger strike in Strasbourg since the 1st of March 2012.
They demand justice, the release of Mr. Abdullah Oçalan as well as all political prisoners and a fair and democratic resolution of the Kurdish question.
Mr. Secretary General, we urge you to listen to the cry for help of these men and women. You must call on the Turkish government to stop its repeated attacks on human rights and to engage in peaceful negotiations with Mr. Oçalan, to solve the Kurdish question.
Without this, the question could be raised as to the membership of Turkey within the Council of Europe.
For our part, we consider that the Kurdish problem is not simply the one of Turkey, but also one of the Council of Europe, especially since some member states, namely France and Germany, do not hesitate to sell weapons to the Turkish government.
Therefore, we ask you to put in the agenda of the Parliamentary Assembly the question of the Kurdish problem; refusing to do so would mean nothing less than to endorse the undemocratic practices and which contravene the most basic freedoms that have been referred to above mentioned.
Be assured, of our active vigilance for the respect of human rights around the world in general and in the territory within the field of action of Council of Europe in particular.
Comité de soutien aux grévistes de la faim kurdes