Swedish MP: International public opinion needed against isolation

Swedish Left Party MP Daniel Riazat protested the isolation imposed upon Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan and said it is “outrageous”. Riazat said there is a need to form international public opinion against the isolation.

Swedish Left Party MP Daniel Riazat spoke about the Turkish state’s ongoing genocidal operations against Kurdistan, the arrests of intellectuals and politicians and the isolation imposed upon Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan, as well as the stance Sweden and European countries are taking in the face of all this.

Riazat said the issue essentially stems from the wrongful branding of the PKK as a “terrorist organization” and pointed out that many people have been arrested on arbitrary and baseless allegations of “membership to a terrorist organization” or aiding and abetting.


Riazat said Turkey arresting opposition members without concrete evidence and imposing an isolation upon Öcalan is unlawful: “All these go against democratic values and principles. Even those who can’t take a clear stand against the Kurdish issue won’t accept the isolation of a leader who represents millions of Kurds. This is outrageous.” Riazat said the isolation must be lifted at once.

Riazat said the Turkish state attacks Rojava, Southern Kurdistan and Northern Kurdistan, arrests HDP officials and continues the isolation against Öcalan because they know Europe and other Western countries won’t react: “The Turkish state has extensive financial ties with the US and Europe. There is an agreement between Turkey and the European Union to prevent refugees from reaching European countries. For these reasons, Europe doesn’t want the relationship with Turkey to deteriorate, and stays silent in the face of violations and attacks.”

Riazat said people in Sweden and many European countries don’t have enough information on the Turkish state attacks against Kurds and the arrests: “In many European countries, the media has a publication policy in line with their government policies. This varies from country to country but most of the media doesn’t speak of the violations seen in Kurdistan. The European public doesn’t have enough information on the isolation imposed upon Öcalan. Many people are not aware of the isolation.”


Riazat spoke about the importance of Kurds in Europe and in the diaspora in general to participate in political parties and NGOs in their countries of residence and voice the developments in Kurdistan, and listed what needs to be done to that end: “There are many Kurds in Sweden. They should voice their demands to the political parties. If enough people voice the demands of the Kurds, political parties and the parliament can engage with the issue. Lessons must be drawn from the South Africa experience. The people who exposed the Apartheid regime in South Africa the most in Sweden were the Africans who migrated here. They built close relationships with political parties and NGOs here. After all that, the Swedish government took a stand against the racist regime and demanded the release of Nelson Mandela.”

Riazat stressed that there is an extensive slander campaign against the PKK and Kurdish organizations, led by Erdogan and the Turkish government: “Protests and hunger strikes are important in opposing the Turkish state’s slander campaign and attacks. But to achieve results, this must be appropriated to Swedish politics. Kurdish MPs in the parliament must push their parties to take a stand. They must voice the issue in the parliament. Kurdish associations here should organize events and actions on the developments in Kurdistan together with NGOs and political parties. In short, they need to form public opinion.”

Riazat said many in revolutionary or progressive organizations and parties in Sweden don’t know about the oppression in Kurdistan: “This is not easy, but it is also not impossible. If the work is put in, support can be garnered from these groups.”


Riazat said the following on Erdogan’s increased threats and pressure against Rojava recently: “Erdogan’s goal is to destroy the gains made by Kurds in Rojava and to weaken the Kurdish Freedom Movement. He doesn’t want an autonomous region or a federation in the region. He knows Western countries won’t take a serious stand, so he increases his threats. Kurdish forces in Rojava have done a great service to the world. They have ended ISIS for the most part. But Turkey attacks these forces. Turkey invades Afrin. This is a crime that goes against internatinal conventions. They do this in Rojava, and they continue the extensive arrest campaigns in Northern Kurdistan and Turkey against the HDP.”

Riazat said it’s not just the imperialist countries and that governments in Iraq, Syria and Iran are also not objecting to Erdogan’s attacks against Kurds: “These countries also see the democratic system in Rojava as a threat against themselves. They don’t want the democratization of their countries.”


Riazat said the following on the Turkish government and courts not implementing the ECHR ruling:

“Demirtas shouldn’t have been arrested. Looking at the indictment, there is no reason for his arrest. We as the Left Party have objected to his arrest from the start. We demanded that he be released. Our Chairperson Jonas Sjöstedt visited Turkey along with other leftist and social democratic parties’ administrations, demanding the release of Demirtas and HDP officials. The refusal to implement the ECHR ruling shows Turkey slipping into a dictatorial regime. Erdogan is strenghtening his hold. This is a horrible situation.”

Riazat pointed out that the European Union and the Swedish government should stop calling the events “concerning” and take concrete steps, listing the necessary steps as: “First, the refugee deal must be voided. All financial aid to Turkey must be stopped. All arms sales to Turkey must end. The Council of Europe must openly condemn Turkey.”