The Turkish state has recently intensified its aggression and occupation of Southern Kurdistan (Iraqi Kurdistan) in blatant violation of international law, human rights norms, and basic principles of sovereignty. Over the last year, the Turkish military has significantly increased its military presence within Iraq’s borders in Southern Kurdistan, and one month ago the Turkish Armed Forces initiated their most recent cross-border military operation, invading Iraqi territory once again. As in the past, the Turkish military is indiscriminately using deadly force in Southern Kurdistan. On Thursday, 27 June, Turkish warplanes bombed Mount Kortek in Southern Kurdistan, killing 3 civilians and injuring 5 others.
The recent campaign of increased military aggression against Southern Kurdistan represents a continuation of the Turkish state’s longstanding policies against the Kurdish people. The ultimate aim is to occupy Kurdish land, change its demographics, and silence expressions of Kurdish identity. This is the same objective pursued by the Turkish state in Northern Kurdistan, within Turkey’s own borders, through mass detentions and intimidation of democratically-elected politicians and activists who demand basic rights for Kurdish citizens, and is the goal of the Turkish state’s military intervention in Rojava and across North and East Syria, where the Turkish Armed Forces work hand in hand with jihadist groups to fight the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), who recently defeated the Islamic State (ISIS) with the support of the US-led global coalition and now strive to protect liberated regions of Syria and allow the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria to serve the peoples of the region.
We condemn the Turkish state’s brutal campaign of war and occupation in Southern Kurdistan, and ask the international community and defenders of human rights worldwide to call for an end to this aggression and demand that the people of Southern Kurdistan, who have been subject to countless atrocities over the last few decades, be allowed to live in peace, free from Turkish military occupation and attacks.
Executive Council of Kurdistan National Congress