While the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan poses as a mediator in the Russian war against Ukraine and EU- and NATO-states rightfully express their horror at the dictatorial measures in Russia and the terror against the Ukrainian population, yet another war of aggression of the NATO-state Turkey remains all but unnoticed and hardly receives any commentary.
The International Committee of the Free Workers Union (FAU) condemns this renewed aggression and calls for all internationalist workers and unions to protest against these atrocities and to take counter measures.
Since April 17th, the Turkish military attacks villages and cities in North-Iraq and North-East-Syria with airstrikes, drones, artillery, and infantry again. These attacks target the communalist structures of self-administration and self-defense in that area. Over the last days, the city of Kobanê, known across the world for its fight against the Daesh (also known as “Islamic State,” IS), was affected by the attacks amongst others. Alongside regular Turkish troops, the Turkish state collaborates time and again with Islamist groups, some of whom have previously fought for the Daesh. During former offensives, these “partners” of the NATO-army published, among other things, videos that depicted the rape and murder of female Kurdish fighters and the mutilation of their corpses. The Turkish regime tries to justify its operation as a deterrence of threats originating from the socialist organization PKK and its allies in North-East-Syria. The existence of such a threat, however, has even been doubted in 2021 by the scientific services of the German government—despite manifold economic and military entanglements between the Federal Republic and Turkey. According to the appraisal of many observers, the military offensive aims rather at the extermination of political opposition, access to raw materials, and a distraction from enormous economic and domestic problems in Turkey by means of a politics of aggressive expansion.
Besides the Kurdish militias in North-Iraq and the autonomous self-administration in North-East-Syria, self-defense units of Yezidi people in North-Iraq are currently affected. These are hard-pressed not only by the Turkish state, but also by the allied government of the autonomous region of Kurdistan and the Iraqi central government. Time and again, the religious and ethnic minority of the Yezidi people has become the victim of massacres and genocides committed by people from Iraq and Kurdistan and by the Daesh. After massive displacements, rapes, and mass murders by the Daesh, the PKK and the forces of North-East-Syria had helped to build these independent Yezid forces and the capacity for self-help. The Yezidi people are threatened up to this day with discrimination and especially by the presence of the Daesh and its terror attacks.
Amidst these military operations, the Turkish regime relentlessly continues its domestic campaign against every internal opposition. On April 25th, the life sentence of the activist Osman Kavala caused international furor. But Kavala’s is not an isolated case: With the knowledge of the Federal Republic of Germany, tens of thousands of human beings are incarcerated in Turkey for political reasons, where they are frequently victims of torture and murder. Nevertheless, the German government drastically intensified the deportation of political refugees to Turkey in 2021, while the volume of German arms exports increased for the third time the same year with Turkey still being one of the main recipients of German arms.
As International Committee of the FAU we thus extend this call: Take part in demonstrations against this war, inform yourself, denounce the double-standard in the evaluation of human rights violations and aggressive wars, sabotage the support for the authoritarian Erdogan-regime from the Federal Republic of Germany! Support our efforts to build a powerful workers movement that transcends national borders!
Finally, we want to use this appeal to point to the central demonstration against Turkish aggression in Düsseldorf on April 30th.
International Committee of FAU