EUTCC conference at European Parliament issues final declaration

After two days of discussion, the EUTCC conference at the European Parliament in Brussels adopted a position paper with current demands for a solution to the Kurdish question.

The EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC), in cooperation with the Kurdish Institute Brussels, held the 17th International Conference titled “The European Union, Turkey, the Middle East and the Kurds” at the European Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday and Thursday.

At the end of the two-day conference, a joint position paper with current demands was adopted. The final declaration stated that the conference was a success.

The following are the main demands listed by participants:

Remembering the earthquake victims

In early February, a devastating earthquake shook Turkey, Kurdistan and Syria. Tens of thousands of people lost their lives, entire cities were reduced to rubble and ashes. The violent scale of the disaster is not only the result of plate movements, but of a monistic state policy combined with greed for profit. The EUTCC conference commemorates the victims of the earthquake and calls on Turkey to stop its attacks on northern Syria immediately and lift the embargo on humanitarian aid.

Bilateral ceasefire

The conference underlined the importance of the military inaction demanded by the PKK because of the earthquake and said that it should have come from both sides. The military inaction and the earthquake catastrophe are not only a consequence, but also an opportunity for the Republic of Turkey to overcome 100 years of monistic state mentality and to become a democratic republic. In this context, the upcoming elections are a historic option that must be seized by the opposition.

Clear signal from Europe against HDP ban

The EUTCC conference calls on the opposition to unite for democracy and peace and to mobilize together against the ban on the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP). The international community, in particular the European Union and the Council of Europe, must send out clear signals that they will under no circumstances accept the ban on the second largest opposition party.

Ending the isolation of Abdullah Öcalan

A long overdue historical necessity is the opening of the gates to Imrali prison, a lawless space that was the starting point for the worst human rights abuses. The European Union, the Council of Europe and in particular the Anti-Torture Committee CPT are called upon to use all mechanisms to end illegality on Imrali and to allow lawyers unhindered access to the island.

Dialogue between the Turkish state and the PKK

The EUTCC conference called for the release of Abdullah Öcalan and the resumption of dialogue between the Turkish state and the PKK for a sustainable solution.

Autonomous administration must be recognised

This dialogue is also crucial for the future of Syria and the Middle East. The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), with its social contract based on the concept of democratic autonomy, is the only alternative for a pluralistic democratic Middle East. In this way, ethnic and sectarian lines of conflict, war crimes - ecocide, genocide, femicide, violations of international law - can be stopped and overcome together.

An important step would be for the international community to recognize the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria. In this context, the EUTCC conference also points to the obligation of states to bring back and prosecute imprisoned ISIS fighters. A local tribunal is also necessary.

Drone attacks must be stopped

The destabilizing foreign policy impact of the current Turkish government is also hampering the development of stability and security in the Kurdish region of Iraq. The massacres of Kurdish politicians, especially women, by Turkish drones in both South Kurdistan Region and the AANES region (Northern and East Syria) must be prosecuted.

Yazidi Genocide

Many states recognized the attacks against the Yazidis as genocide. The EU should mobilize all diplomatic and political mechanisms to prevent further attacks by Turkish drones on the Yazidis. The Yazidis are suffering from the consequences of the 2014 genocide.

Use of chemical weapons must be investigated

The EUTCC conference called on the UN, the OPCW and the International Criminal Court to address Turkey's war crimes and launch independent investigations. OPCW member states should use the possibilities provided for in the regulations to investigate the alleged use of chemical weapons by Turkey. The international community, in particular the European Union, is called upon to fully uphold international law in connection with Turkey and to sanction violations.

The PKK should be removed from the list of terrorist organizations

The European Union and Europe also bear responsibility within the framework of the Treaty of Lausanne, which was signed 100 years ago. The EUTCC conference called on the European Union and the European institutions and states to take all measures to prevent an anti-Kurdish war on European soil. The attack on 23 December 2022 in Paris must be fully investigated. An important contribution of the European Union for the Kurdish community in Europe and above all to a political solution of the Kurdish question would be the lifting of the PKK from the list of terrorist organizations.

Jin, Jiyan, Azadi

All of these demands are also part of the slogan Jin,Jiyan,Azadi (Woman-Life-Freedom), which has spread worldwide with the Iranian protests. The EUTCC conference said it stands in solidarity with the Iranian people who are rebelling against a tyrannical regime. There can be no alternative if the country's diversity cannot fully participate in the processes of political reconstruction. The EUTCC called on the international community to claim this slogan.