(photos by Zuni Zacutti)
Australia, 21.12.15: A demonstration took place today outside the State Library in Melbourne’s CBD to protest against the ongoing massacres and bloodshed caused by the Turkish state in North Kurdistan. The demonstration was organized by the Kurdish Association of Victoria and the Kurdish Women’s League. Many members of Melbourne’s Kurdish community and their supporters were in attendance. There were many banners and signs denouncing the Turkish state’s brutal attacks against the people of North Kurdistan and against the Australian government’s classification of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party as a ‘terrorist’ group. People were also carrying banners of the YPG, the YPJ and of the imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan. A leaflet was distributed by the demonstrators to passers-by to make the general public aware of the situation in North Kurdistan and to break through the media silence in Australia – most media outlets in this country still continue to disseminate Turkish state propaganda that misrepresents attacks against civilians as being ‘operations against terrorists’. Here is the full text of the leaflet that was distributed to the public:
Say NO to AKP Governments’ Massacres Against Kurdish People
Let’s Stand Against the Massacre in Kurdistan, Support the Kurdish People’s Struggle for Freedom!
We, Australian Kurds are deeply affected by recent attacks of Turkish military forces against Kurdish cities and towns where many civilians are losing their lives everyday and major towns are being destroyed by the heavily armed Turkish military forces.
As a result of the attacks of the Turkish state forces, a comprehensive war is ongoing in Kurdistan since July of this year. The people of Kurdistan, just like everyone else in this world, want to live freely and govern themselves in their own country. The Turkish state is rejecting all demands for Kurdish peoples’ rights and is deploying violent suppression. This is the essence and cause of the problem.
In accordance with its own interests, the AKP government put the ongoing dialogue and negotiation process with the Kurdistan Freedom Movement on hold and initialised the war against the Kurds. As a result, the Kurdistan Freedom Forces took up a position of self defence. In many towns and cities, the people of Kurdistan have attempted to establish autonomous local administrations in order to govern themselves without rejecting the state. This action in the towns and cities was a completely civil and democratic affair. However, in an atmosphere in which even the slightest opposition is not tolerated, the AKP government disregarded the rightful demands of the Kurdish people and opted to violently repress this democratic advance. They declared indefinite curfews, targeted civilians and residential areas, killed hundreds of civilians and destroyed towns and cities.
According to statistics from the Human Rights Association and The Human Rights Foundation until the 5th of December (after which attacks have continued killing and injuring many more civilians) 173 people have been killed by the police or military for disobeying a stop warning or from random fire and 226 have been wounded. All of these people were civilians. As a result of suicide attacks (jointly organised by Daesh and the AKP), a total of 138 people were killed, of which 5 died in Diyarkabir, 33 in Suruc and 100 died in the 10 October attacks in Ankara. A total of 929 people were injured in the three attacks. All the targets were either HDP meetings or opposition rallies. In the clashes between the guerrillas and the military there have been hundreds of deaths from both sides. Also in these clashes a total of 157 civilians have been killed as a result of aerial bombardments of civilian residential areas.
Today, the curfews in the Sur Ici district of Central Diyabakir, in the Nusaybin and Keerboran districts of Mardin, and in Cizre and Silopi districts of Sirnak the curfews and attacks are still ongoing as they have been in the past weeks. Kurdish neighborhooods are being bombed by tanks, heavy artillery and helicopters. Kurdish towns are being besieged, entrances are not allowed and water and power supplies have been cut off. Updates of new deaths are frequent and the people are facing the threat of massacre. There is a humanitarian tragedy in Kurdistan.
The Turkish state is undertaking a massacre in front of the eyes of the world.
We Australian Kurds call upon the Australian government, Australian political parties, human rights organisations and international institutions to say;
No to Turkey’s Kurdish Genocide!
No to the AKP and its Collaborator’s Massacres in Kurdistan!
Support the Struggle of the People of Kurdistan for democracy and human rights!