Dr. Exo: Germany backs Turkey's dirty policies

Dr. Mechthild Exo, a member of the Defend Kurdistan Initiative, said that Germany supports Turkey's dirty policies, adding, “The German state does not want the issue to be discussed in political terms and becomes part of the war against the Kurds.”

Conflict and peace researcher, anti-militarist activist Dr. Mechthild Exo is a scientist who focuses on decolonizing research methods and modes of presentation. Dr. Exo works through the feminist-colonial critique of the main theories and concepts of world politics and conducts scientific studies on “democratic self-organization from below” and “new models for peaceful orders.”

A lecturer at Emden University of Applied Sciences, Dr. Exo is also a member of the Defend Kurdistan Initiative. She was one of the members of the peace delegation that went to Hewlêr (Erbil) in South Kurdistan (North Iraq) last year on behalf of the initiative. Dr. Exo spoke to ANF about the Turkish invasion attacks, the KDP's position, the activities of the Defend Kurdistan Peace Initiative and the German state's obstructions to peaceful activities.


Explaining the background of the peace delegation’s trip to Hewler in June 2021, Dr. Exo stated, “There was a military attack launched by the Turkish army in April last year. Civilian settlements were bombed, people were forced to leave their villages. A serious war broke out and banned chemical weapons were used. However, nobody addressed the conflict, so we had to go there and bring up the subject for public opinion. We also wanted to know what the civil society and political parties in South Kurdistan thought about the issue.”

Dr. Exo pointed out that the members of the peace delegation observed the Barzani family's close relations with Turkey and the enrichment of the family and their followers. “This family wants to get stronger and lead the party and maintains a partnership with the Turkish government. The Barzani family wants to sell all underground resources, including oil, to Turkey,” she said. Dr. Exo, adding that all the organizations and political parties they met in Hewler stand against Turkish attacks.

“We met with war victims, political parties, non-governmental organizations, academics, artists, writers, peace organizations, representatives of women's and ecology movements. In short, we came together with many segments of society from different circles. They appreciated the activities of internationalists from 40 countries and the fact that we were there for peace rather than for war. However, the KDP adopted a different stance. They were controlling the security forces and they blocked half of those who came to join our delegation.”


Dr. Exo recalled that the German government and police prevented the activists from going to Hewlêr on the grounds that "Turkish-German relations would be damaged". Pointing out that people's right to travel was openly violated, she emphasized that Germany supported the illegal policies of the Turkish state and criticized the Kurdish policy of the Berlin administration. “Kurdish institutions in Germany are oppressed, and the Kurdish community in exile is not allowed to organize. The German state does not want the issue to be discussed in political terms and becomes part of the Turkish government's war against the Kurds.”


Dr. Exo remarked that everyone would actively fight Turkish President Erdogan's new invasion plans and threats against North and East Syria. She expressed concern over the attacks carried out by the Turkish state in South Kurdistan and Rojava, saying, “Chemical weapons are used again, and people are killed by drones. The Turkish state now wants to invade and annex the region through imperial methods, and we need to put an end to this.”

Turkey should withdraw from the regions it has occupied in North-East Syria, including Afrin, Serêkaniyê and Girê Sipî, and European countries and international powers have important duties to protect the model established in Rojava, according to Dr. Exo. She called for governments, especially European ones, to support the democratic struggle based on women's freedom and ecological foundations in North and East Syria.

“This illegal attack of the Turkish state is against human rights and self-determination. We should talk about this issue by using all methods possible, taking to the streets and talking to politicians, and communicating with everyone. We should organize marches, inform the media in our countries, and encourage people to join peace delegations and go to Bashur (South Kurdistan) and Rojava. We must stop Erdogan. Occupation of this region does not only concern the people living there; it is also important for all of us who promote more democracy, right to life, freedom, women's rights and gender freedom and anti-patriarchal life in society. I believe that what the Kurdish people have already built in Rojava is an example of an alternative life that we need, and this should spread to all countries.”