Activists in Lausanne protest Turkey's use of chemical weapons
Protest in Lausanne, Switzerland against Turkey’s ongoing chemical weapons attacks and the isolation of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan on the prison island of Imralı where he has been held since 1999.
For weeks, Kurdish organizations in Europe and beyond have been protesting the Turkish state's use of banned chemical weapons in Kurdistan. In the course of the occupation operation launched in April in the Medya defense areas in southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq), the Turkish army has used chemical weapons hundreds of times against the guerrillas. Various poisonous gases have been used, resulting in the immediate death of guerrilla fighters in dozens of cases. Survivors report various substances affecting the nervous system or causing asphyxiation. According to the People's Defense Forces (HPG) statement published on October 24, 38 fighters have died from poison gas since the beginning of the year, and 323 chemical weapons attacks have taken place up to this point.
Kurdish organizations demand intervention against Turkish war crimes and an independent investigation on the ground. The Turkish government denies the use of chemical weapons and wants to prevent an investigation. The world public is silent on the accusations.
Against this background, Kurdish youth organizations in Europe, Tevgera Ciwanên Têkoşer (TCŞ) and Jinên Têkoşer (TekoJIN), organised a demonstration in Lausanne, Switzerland in protest at Turkey’s ongoing chemical weapons attacks and the isolation of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan on the prison island of Imralı where he has been held since 1999.
Activists joining the protest action in front of St. Laurent Church wore white aprons exposing the Turkish attacks with chemical and poisonous gas and displayed posters of Öcalan and flags of the PKK.
A statement made by the activists here said the following:
“The Turkish state aims for a Kurdish genocide as it wages a dirty war against the Kurdish people that extends beyond its borders. Your silence on Turkey’s use of chemical weapons is because of your complicity. In response to these genocidal attacks against the Kurdish people and their land Kurdistan with the support of NATO and Europe, we as Kurdish youth will claim guerrilla resistance and continue to expose the genocidal character of the Turkish state in a state of all-out struggle and based on the freedom of our leader.”
Following the speeches, activists handed out leaflets on Turkey’s use of chemical weapons and read out messages in French.