Escalation in Southern Kurdistan: Ismail Özen appeals to Barzani

Another war between PKK and KDP threatens in Southern Kurdistan. Professional boxer Ismail Özen from Hamburg appeals to KDP chairman Masoud Barzani to keep his promise and not allow another "fratricidal war”.

Professional boxer Ismail Özen from Hamburg has published an appeal against the threatening "fratricidal war" in Southern Kurdistan. The appeal is directed at the entire Kurdish public, but especially at the KDP chairman Masoud Barzani. Barzani has the means to prevent an internal Kurdish war, Özen wrote on Twitter.

The background to the appeal is the concern over a renewed war between the PKK and the KDP. In the autonomous region of Southern Kurdistan, the conflict with the Kurdish liberation movement is coming to a head again after special units of the Peshmerga were transferred to the guerrilla-controlled Medya Defense Zones.

In his appeal, Ismail Özen said the following:

"As an athlete I observe the developments in Southern Kurdistan with concern and regret. There is a risk of conflict with the PKK due to the deployment of KDP’s military forces to guerrilla territory. As in the past, fighting among the Kurds is only of benefit to Turkey today. If this happens, all Kurds will lose out.

Erdogan pursues the goal of starting an inter-Kurdish war and destroying all Kurdish achievements. Turkey is against Kurds getting equal rights somewhere. What counts today, however, are not the wishes of Erdogan, but those of Kurdish society and parties. The Kurdish political parties must solve their problems through dialogue. All participants have the necessary political maturity and experience to do so. If this path is not taken, the Kurds will lose not only their hard-won achievements, but another century.

The Kurdish community cannot afford the luxury of losing another century and missing historically significant opportunities. The coming generations should not be left with a legacy that they will regret and be ashamed of.

I find Murat Karayilan's call for dialogue to solve the problems valuable. Masoud Barzani once swore at an earlier time that he would not allow another birakujî [fratricide]. I appeal to him to prevent an impending war. He has the necessary strength and means to do so. This responsibility is also incumbent on the entire Kurdish society and all political circles. If we remain silent, we make ourselves jointly responsible.”