Protest march at KRI border denounces the KDP attack on guerrillas

A protest march was staged in the border area with South Kurdistan in protest at the KDP's attacks against the guerrillas.

A protest march was staged in the Silopi district of Şırnak province on Saturday in protest at the attacks by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), the ruling party in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), against the Kurdish freedom movement. Deployed to the town of Sîdekan, north-east of Hewlêr (Erbil), KDP troops attacked guerrilla positions in Gewriya Zînê on Thursday. After the attack, fighting broke out and the situation remained tense.

The protest march in the border town of Tilqebîn was organized by the Democratic Society Congress (DTK) and Democratic Regions’ Party (DBP), and attended by hundreds of people including DTK Co-Chair Berdan Öztürk, DBP Co-Chairs Keskin Bayındır and Saliha Aydeniz, deputies of the Green Left Party, members of the Free Women’s Movement (Tevgera Jinên Azad-TJA), Peace Mothers Assembly, MED-TUHAD FED (Federation of Law and Solidarity Associations for the Families of Detainees and Convicts), MEBYA-DER (Association for Assistance, Solidarity and Culture with Families Who Lost Their Relatives in the Cradle of Civilizations), political parties and non-governmental organizations.

People from surrounding cities and towns gathered in the town before marching to the Khabour Border Crossing. After starting to march, the crowd was attacked by the police and soldiers with pressure water, tear gas and rubber bullets that left many injured. DBP Co-Chair Keskin Bayındır was also injured in the brutal crackdown and taken to Silopi State Hospital.

A military commander threatened the DBP Co-Chair Saliha Aydeniz with death and attempted to punch her, after which tensions escalated and soldiers attacked the advisers of the deputies.

Speaking here, Aydeniz denounced the violent crackdown, which, she said, proves very well how the Kurdish people have been under attack for a hundred years. “Still, the attacks have not been able to intimidate any of us. Today, we have witnessed, once again, the state’s approach towards the Kurds. Still, people do not step back. The state has attacked us today to avoid our reactions to the KDP. We appeal to the KDP once again from here; these attacks and collaborations do not serve the future of Kurdistan, but only for the interests of the Barzani family. To preserve the Kurdish gains, the interests of Kurdistan must be prioritized and protected. We have seen how the latest wave of attacks started after Hakan Fidan’s visit to Southern Kurdistan (Northern Iraq). We warn the KDP once again; it should not forget about the Turkish state’s position in Afrin and Serekaniye after the independence referendum. The Kurds should form unity in the same way they did during the times of the Kirkuk and Kobanê battles. We call on Massoud Barzani to uphold his role and mission. He stated that he did not want birakujî (fratricidal war). There is no birakujî at the moment, but a unilateral attitude of the KDP.”

The demonstrators were once again attacked by the Turkish forces as Aydeniz continued her speech, after which the crowd regathered in the neighborhoods.