By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International League of Peoples’ Struggle
The International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) condemns in the strongest terms the continuing military offensive being waged by the Turkish army against the Kurdish towns of Cizre, Sirnak, Silvan, Silopi and Amed-Sur in North Kurdistan supported by ISIS and other fascist gangs armed by the Erdogan regime. The main targets of this offensive are the Kurdish people and the PKK revolutionaries who are fighting for national self-determination. While the eyes of the world are focused on the war in Syria, the fascist Erdogan regime has embarked on this military offensive to crush the Kurdish liberation movement.
The brutal offensive that started in the summer of 2015 has killed and injured thousands of women, children, elderly and youth people. Most of the victims have been civilians. The injured are prevented from being rescued or taken to hospitals. In Cizre more than 60 have died and 28 injured civilians trapped in a cellar are prevented from being rescued by troops on tanks. The injured and trapped face death if not given medical attention. Funerals are attacked and the people are prevented from burying their dead.
Kurdish villages, cemeteries, historical and cultural sites are being bombed from the air and from the ground, population centers are being surrounded by tanks to terrorize the people, houses are being set on fire. These brutal methods are in vain aimed at bringing the Kurdish people and the PKK revolutionaries to their knees. But the Kurdish people and the PKK are resolutely and militantly fighting back in defense of their national and democratic rights.
Those who oppose the repressive policies of the Erdogan fascist clique are harrassed, arrested and slapped with trumped up charges of libel, rebellion and treason. Thirty-two journalists have been imprisoned. Opposition politicians and members of parliament, academics and artists protesting the actions of the Erdogan clique have been subjected to harassment, threats and violence.
Having failed in its war against the PKK guerrillas in the mountains, the Erdogan fascist clique has turned its guns on the Kurdish population in the cities and villages. It wants to sow terror and cause the displacement of the Kurdish population in these cities and villages. It ridiculously tries to justify its military offensives by saying that it is fighting PKK guerrillas in these population centers. But the people have stayed put and set up barricades and put up a determined resistance.
Thousands of Kurds living in the big cities like Istanbul and Ankara have risen up and organized protest actions. These protests have been met with brutal force using armored vehicles, tanks, tear gas and live bullets.
But the brutal response of the Erdogan fascist regime has not cowed the people into submission. The opposition to the regime has broadened getting the support of the Kurdish people and progressive Turkish organizations and individuals.
More than 1,000 academics have come out with a declaration condemning the crimes of the Erdogan regime and calling for the unity and solidarity of the Kurdish and Turkish peoples in the struggle against the fascist regime. DBP, the Kurdish parliamentary opposition Party, has called for a march from Amed to Botan. Thousands of political prisoners have gone on hunger strike to express their solidarity with the resistance to the AKP and Erdogan regime. Thousands of youth from the universities and neighborhoods have responded to the call for mobilizations and come out into the streets and engaged the police in skirmishes.
The Erdogan regime is increasingly becoming exposed and isolated in the eyes of the international community because of its blatantly brutal methods and criminal policies. But western powers led by the US have remained silent and continued to support the Erdogan regime because Turkey a NATO member plays a special role in ensuring US dominance in the resource-rich region of the Middle East.
Turkey is the main conduit of supplies to ISIS and the other jihadist armed gangs being used by the western powers led by the US to overthrow the Assad government. Because of their common interest in overthrowing Assad, Turkey is allowed by the western powers to use ISIS to attack the PKK forces in Syria, Iraq and Turkey.
We call on all member organizations of ILPS to conduct informative meetings on the Kurdish people’s struggle and barbarities of the Erdogan regime and to carry out protest actions in front of the foreign missions of Turkey in the different countries to further expose and isolate the fascist Erdogan regime. We call on all people of goodwill around the world to condemn the Erdogan regime and express their solidarity and support to the Kurdish people in their just struggle for democracy and national self-determination.