Söderhamn Municipality wrote to Turkish government

The municipality of Söderhamn protested the occupation of Nusaybin Municipality and the arrest of co-mayor Sara Kaya.

Söderhamn Municipality has written to the Turkish government demanding the release of its twin municipality’s mayor, Sara Kaya and to demand the end of the isolation imposed on Öcalan.

The municipality of Nusaybin (Mardin) and the municipality of Söderhamn had signed a twin municipality protocol in 2011.

Both municipalities have carried out many joint projects until the AKP stripped the municipality of its elected representatives and appointed a trustee.

The municipality of Söderhamn protested the occupation of Nusaybin Municipality and the arrest of co-mayor Sara Kaya.

“Sara Kaya must be free”

Söderhamn Mayor, Sven-Erik Lindestam, sent a letter to the Turkish government in the last days of 2018 saying that he was deeply concerned about the health of co-mayor Sara Kaya and asked for her release.

Lindestam, reminding the long and mutually beneficial cooperation with Nusaybin and Kaya, said: “As the mayor is imprisoned, it is not possible to develop this cooperation. We are naturally very concerned about her health. If possible, we would like our warm greetings to be conveyed to her.”

Lindestam, reiterating his concern for her health, demanded the release of Sara Kaya.

“Isolation imposed on Öcalan must be lifted”

In a second letter to the Turkish government written together with the Kurdistan Solidarity Committee in Söderhamn, Lindstam asked the Turkish government to accept the demand of HDP deputy Leyla Güven, who is on a hunger strike since November 8 demanding the lifting of the isolation regime imposed on Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan.

The President of the Kurdistan Solidarity Committee, Benny Gustafsson, said that in the joint letter they expressed concern for Leyla Güven health, as she appeared to have reached a critical stage.

Gustafsson said that they share Leyla Güven's demand to remove the isolation regime imposed on Öcalan, and added that the HDP Hakkari MP should be released. “To end the clashes and ensure peace first the isolation imposed on Öcalan should be removed," he said.

Gustafsson pointed out that the AKP increased the attacks in North and South Kurdistan and prepared to invade Rojava. “We came together to oppose the attacks against the Kurdish people and decided to set up a new organization in Söderhamn,” said Gustafsson.

Explaining more about this new organisation, Gustafsson said: “It is going to be a fairly large organization. It will bring together different segments of society. The Söderhamn Initiative, as we have called it, will include trade unions, political parties, and student associations.”

After stressing the importance of creating public opinion against a possible invasion, Gustafsson said: “As we will oppose the attacks on Kurds and the invasion of Rojava, we will also fight for the removal of the isolation regime imposed on Öcalan. In addition, we will ask the removal of the PKK from the list of terrorist organizations.”

Alexandra Gard, head of the Social Democratic Labor Party Group of the Municipality of Söderhamn, said that the Municipality of Nusaybin has been twinned with the Municipality of Söderhamn for 8 years, so they cannot be indifferent to the repression against the municipality and its administrators.

“There is intense pressure on Kurds right now”, said Gard adding: “This must end. We are concerned about Leyla Güven's health. We ask the Turkish government to meet the demands of Güven and to make changes in the policy towards the Kurds.”