Final resolution of the 18th EUTCC Conference

The international EUTCC conference “The European Union, Turkey, the Middle East and the Kurds” was held in the European Parliament for the 18th time on 6-7 December.

The Annual International Conference on the EU, Turkey, the Middle East and the Kurds was hosted by the EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC) in cooperation with the The Left Group, the Greens-European Free Alliance (GREENS/EFA), the Groups of the Free Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) and the Kurdish Institute Brussels.

The Turkish Republic, which celebrate its 100th founding anniversary in 2023, has confirmed and even intensified its militaristic and anti-democratic course with the parliamentary and presidential elections. As in the past, Kurds and the Kurdish regions are particularly affected by this. Waves of arrests against Kurdish politicians are not abating. For the local elections next year, it is to be feared that Ankara will once again appoint forced administrators in the Kurdish regions.

The solitary confinement of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan continues unabated. For three years, his lawyers and family have been denied any visits to the prison island, contrary to all legal requirements, both Turkish and international (UN and ECtHR resolutions).

The rise in gender-based violence since the AKP / Erdoğan came to power has reached a peak with the country's withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention.

The expansionist foreign policy by the Turkish state is increasing daily which cause crimes against humanity and violates international law. Since the beginning of October, there has been an increase in airstrikes on northern Syria, destroying a significant part of the infrastructure. Drone attacks, both in northern Syria and in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, are killing civilians on an almost daily basis. These attacks, and in particular the ongoing active support for fundamentalist, Islamist groups, are threatening peace and deepening instability in the Middle East and changing the demography.

Against the backdrop of all these developments, a political solution to the Kurdish question, a central issue in Turkey and the Middle East, is not in sight.

The EUTCC Conference therefore demands

• the European Union to act in accordance with the demands of the European Parliament's report on Turkey, also against the background of the responsibility arising from the Treaty of Lausanne.

• the CPT to immediately publish the report on the last visit to the island in September 2022. The CPT is urgently asked to put pressure on Turkey to act and to secure the lifting of the isolation, which is against its commitments.

• the Council of Europe to take all measures resulting from the disregard of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights which Turkey is refusing to flow.

• the immediate lifting of the incommunicado detention of Abdullah Öcalan, his release according to the ´Right of Hope` legislation. Here we refer to the worldwide campaign launched in October for his freedom and a political solution to the Kurdish question, which deserves international resonance so that democracy and peace in Turkey and the Middle East have a chance.

The EUTCC Conference

• Welcomes the decision of the European Parliament to award the Sakharov Peace Prize to  the Kurdish woman Jina Amini as a symbol of the maxim ‘Jin, Jiyan, Azadi’ (Woman, Life, Freedom) post hum and declares its solidarity with the Kurdish women’s resistance.