Stop Turkey's Dirty War against the Kurds
"The Labour Government will put human rights at the heart of its foreign policy." -- Labour Party's Mission Statement, May 1997
"Labour will not permit the sale of arms to regimes that might use them for internal repression or internal aggression." -- Robin Cook, British Foreign Secretary, 28 July 1997
Turkey spares no expense to attract 7 million tourists annually to all parts of the country bar the Kurdish south-east. Held under savage military control and a State of Emergency, the region is kept off-limits to all but those involved in maintaining the repression of the 15-20 million Kurds who live within the present-day borders of the Republic of Turkey.
Today, as a result of the systematic campaign of repression and extermination, over 3 million Kurds have been made homeless, 4,000 Kurdish villages burnt and razed, livestock killed and orchards and forests which sustain the life of the villagers torched.
Few people visiting Turkey get to see or hear anything of this dirty war which has left over 24,000 people dead in the 13 year struggle of the Kurdish people for their basic rights and fundamental human freedoms. British arms companies are selling weapons to the Turkish Army in its 'Dirty War' against the Kurdish civilian population.
We condemn the complicity of the British government and the UK arms companies, who share responsibility for the repression of the Kurdish people by arming the Turkish regime. The new Labour Government must lead international action to stop Turkey's brutal war against the Kurdish people.
If the British government is serious about 'putting human rights at the heart of foreign policy' then it should immediately ban all arms sales to Turkey and encourage the Turkish government to pursue not a 'military solution', but a peaceful and democratic solution to the Turkish Question.
CAAT Kurdish Information Centre 11 Goodwin Street 10 Glasshouse Yard Finsbury Park London EC1A 4JN London N4 3HQ tel +44-171-250-1315 tel: +44 171 281 0297 fax +44-171-250-1317 fax: +44 171 281 4369 e-mail: email@example.com e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: http://www.gn.apc.org/caat/