Peace in Kurdistan Campaign writes open letter to UK Home Secretary on Kurds and refugee crisis

Peace in Kurdistan Campaign wrote an open letter to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel on the Kurds and the refugee crisis.

Peace in Kurdistan Campaign wrote an urgent open letter to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel on the Kurds and the refugee crisis.

The letter said: "We write to demand that Her Majesty’s Government consider and act on the causes of the crisis concerning would-be refugees at the Port of Calais, in the English Channel and on the Polish-Belarus border. Unless the causes are addressed, it is most likely that the personal tragedies for the people concerned and the consequent effects and the difficulties being caused to Her Majesty’s Government will continue."

Peace in Kurdistan said that "to locate the problem with criminal gangs and inadequate policing, as is frequently the case, is to focus on the effect and not the cause of the political and humanitarian crisis. From news broadcasts, personal statements made by those gathered in Calais and at the Polish-Belarus border and from reports made by delegations visiting those sites, we know that many of the people are originally Kurds from Syria, Iraq and Iran. The circumstances driving these people away from these countries have been deliberately engineered, primarily by the Turkish government, which is applying a policy of forced population removal and ethnic cleansing directed primarily at the Kurdish people living in Syria and Iraq. The Kurdish population in Iran has also been specifically persecuted for many decades."

Peace in Kurdistan also reminded that "while Turkey’s President Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party government suppress any manifestation of Kurdish representation and aspiration in Turkey, they are waging war on the Kurdish populations of Syria and Iraq. We have heard deeply concerning allegations of the repeated use of chemical weapons, cutting off water supplies, aerial bombardments, destruction of villages, burning of forests and crops and the killing of animals kept for farming purposes, the bombing of refugee camps and deployment of jihadist auxiliaries, all intended to terrorise the local inhabitants and force them to leave. The Turkish government then uses the displaced persons and refugees that result from its actions as a means of threatening European and other countries. Her Majesty’s Government has not addressed this at all. It has continued to provide Turkey with military and diplomatic support. The result is thousands of refugees."

The letter continued: "Many of those seeking to arrive in the United Kingdom are from predominantly Kurdish areas in Iraq. They are leaving areas under the administration of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). The Kurdistan Democratic Party, controlled by the Barzani family, is preeminent in the KRG and has increasingly been acting as an adjunct to the Turkish government. As it has done so, it has accelerated its policies of imprisoning opponents, including journalists, and more recently the abduction of students. It is beginning to replicate conditions imposed on the Kurdish population of Turkey. Instead of condemning this repression, Her Majesty’s Government has continued to provide military training to forces controlled by the Kurdish Democratic Party and provide it with diplomatic support."

Peace in Kurdistan said that "until the Home Office acts on the understanding that domestic policy related to refugees is inextricably tied to British foreign policy, the crisis will not be solved. We urge and demand from the government an assessment of Turkey’s war on the Kurds and about the deaths that have now even reached our shores. There must be a reorientation of Her Majesty’s Government’s policy towards the Kurds, which has been one of hostility for a century and more and resulted in their partition with the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, to which the United Kingdom was a main signatory."