Nobel Peace Prize Laureates call for peace in Turkey
by Roni Alasor
Brussels, 27 January 2016 - Middle East Diplomatic (MED) - Speaking at the European Parliament, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and former President of East Timor José Ramos Horta and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi from Iran call Turkey to end the war and insure peace and respect for fundamental human rights of Kurdish people.
Mrs. Ebadi and Mr. Horta were among the speakers at the 12th EUTCC Conference on “The EU, Turkey and the Kurds” hosted by the EU Parliament’s United Left – Nordic Green Left (GUE/ NGL) and the European Union Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC).
The two-day conference has been opened by Kariane Westrheim, Chair of the "European Union - Turkey Civic Commission" (EUTCC) and EU Parliament’s Left Group Chair Gabi Zimmer.
Kariane Westrheim said that Kurdistan has been divided in four parts 100 years ago according the Sykes-Picot agreement, but Kurds don’t accept and respect this situation, which was imposed on them against their wish. A peaceful solution of the Kurdish question will not only bring peace and stability, but also more effective fight against ISIS.
Mrs. Westrheim asked EU and USA to not support Turkey in their war against Kurds: “What Turkey is doing today is not less than what ISIS did in Kobani”
EU Parliament’s Left Group Chair Gabi Zimmer drew the attention on the urgent and dramatic humanitarian situation in Kurdistan region in Turkey where many hundreds of thousands people are suffering.
Former President of East Timor José Ramos Horta shared his experience in the leadership of the East Timor liberation movement and the work on reaching peaceful solution in the interest of both East Timor and Indonesia. Mr. Horta hoped that Turkey and other countries in the region can also learn from the past and from other countries and to choose the negotiation means for reaching peace, tolerance and respect instead of continuing war.
Mr. Horta also praised the developments in Federal Kurdistan and its progress to become independent: “It is time for Kurdish people to have their independency. They will not lose this right. Now it is time for Bagdad to give their peaceful and friendly hand to Kurds. Tolerance, peace and respect is in the interest of all people in the region”.
Mr. Horta has been influenced on the Kurdish case by Daniela Mitterand and said that Kurds are the biggest nation of the world who is deprived of its rights, but he admires the Kurdish people`s struggle today.
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi from Iran regretted the disastrous situation in Kurdistan Region in Turkey where people are living in besieged towns and intellectuals are persecuted for asking peace.
“To ask for peace is not a crime” stressed Mrs. Ebadi and underlined that the Turkish state must respect freedom of speech and cultural rights of the Kurdish people.
“In my country Iran, all the minorities as discriminated, but Kurds suffer more than the others. They are badly treated as ethnic and religious minority and cannot have even cultural rights”, said Shirin Ebadi.
In her speech, Leyla Zana, laureate of Sakharov and Rafto prized, asked which ethic of the war and international rules accept that newborn babies are murdered, mothers cannot burry their killed children, ladies are tortured and humiliated in the streets...
“We lost 100 years of violence, war, killing and massacres. For long more we will continue losing human life? They pushed Lausanne to be our destiny without our wish. Now they oush us for second Lausanne, but we will never accept”, said Leyla Zana.
Speaking at the second session titled "From Model To Problem", Peter Galbraith, former US Ambassador to the Republic of Croatia, underlined the important role of Kurds against ISIS and other Islamic terrorist groups, especially Kurdish Peshmerga and Kurdish Rojava forces, but Kurds need more effective help in the war against terror.
According Galbraith, one of the important roots of the problem between Turkey and the Kurds is Rojava. “Kurds deserve participation in Geneva-3 Conference the most because it was them who fought terror the most”, concluded the former US Ambassador.
The well-known Turkish Journalist Cengiz Çandar noted that in his 60-years active political and journalist life he sees for first time so dramatic situation happening: "We are facing the darkest time in Turkey, the country is transforming from totalitarian to fascist regime”.
Çandar underlined that the AKP ruling party receives support from EU and if the West continues to remain silent for the crimes committed against Kurdish people and don’t stop Turkish war against Kurdish people, the situation will worsen.
Takis Hadjigeorgiou, Vice Chair of the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, also criticized the passive reaction of EU. In a letter exchange with the EU Institutions, Mr. Hadjigeorgiou received a reply that the EU Commission / EU leadership is not competent on the happening in Turkey, but Mrs. Mogherini should intervene on the case.
Prof. Susan Breau said that Turkey should stop mixing ISIS and Kurds who fight against it. She added that Kurds have full right to participate in the peace talks on Syria.
HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş said that we are witnessing the most disastrous period in the history of Turkey: “Since Sykos-Picot agreement, many things have changed in the world, everything has changed, but one thing remained the same: mentality and brutal policy of Turkey and other countries against Kurds. This mentality is trying to resist against all developments in the world and in nature”.
“EU and the world should not remain silent; they have to act now to put an end to this disaster”, concluded Demirtas.
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