Members of Victoria’s Kurdish community and their supporters will protest in the CBD this Saturday, 11 June 2022, adding their voices to a declared Global Day of Action protesting Turkey’s invasion of southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq).
This latest aggression was launched in April 2022 and has involved aerial and artillery bombardments, drone strikes and chemical weapons – the use of which is banned worldwide in all circumstances. The Turkish state has violated international borders and is seeking to establish permanent military bases in Iraq. In addition Turkey has stepped up its attacks against North and East Syria, known as Rojava or western Kurdistan to the Kurds, and is now threatening a full-scale invasion of the region along its entire border.
“The eyes of the world are focused on conflict in the Ukraine. President Erdogan has used this as cover for yet more brutal attacks against the Kurds”, said Spokesperson Heval Herki. “The Kurds have suffered genocidal wars for decades – now yet again we face bloodshed, displacement and the destruction of Kurdish villages. When will the world say enough is enough and insist that Turkey take the alternative road to peace?”
Members of the Kurdish community will be joined in their protest by supporters from the broader Australian community. Solidarity groups Australians for Kurdistan (AFK) and North and East Syria Solidarity (NESS) are helping to organise the protest and call on all Victorians to show their support for the Kurds at this critical hour.
“It’s outrageous that Turkey can launch these blatant and unjustified attacks with virtually no scrutiny or criticism from the international community or the media”, NESS Co-Chair Fionn Skiotis said. “If we can unite in condemning Russia for its invasion Ukraine, and take concerted action against Putin and his henchmen, why can’t we do the same in the case of Turkey and the Erdogan regime?”
“One of the most disturbing aspects of this aggression is Turkey’s attacks on the Yazidi people in their homeland of Shengal in northern Iraq. The Yazidis were subjected to an horrendous genocide at the hands of Islamic State in 2014. They deserve the world’s support – yet Turkey is bringing more murder and displacement to a traumatised people.”
This Saturday’s rally will start at 2.00pm at the Old GPO (corner of Bourke St Mall and Elizabeth St). It will be addressed by Victorian Senator Janet Rice (Greens), a representative of the Victorian trade unions and other community leaders.