Norman Paech: listing PKK as terrorist a political decision in favor of Turkey.

 Professor Norman Paech says there is a widespread solidarity with the resistance put up by the Kurdistan Workers' Party, in the struggle for dignity and freedom.

In an ANHA interview with Norman Paech it went as follows:

This organization, consisting of Kurds and children of peoples, is adopting a great struggle against the occupation of Kurdistan. How do you evaluate this struggle of the peoples and the PKK?

The social, economic, cultural and political situation of the Kurdish people has changed considerably in the last 40 years, but it is still characterized by discrimination, oppression, violence and war. It is not much different from the situation of the colonized peoples of Africa before their liberation. The struggle of the Kurdish people is therefore also comparable to the struggle of these peoples at all levels of society, both civilian and military, when it comes to defending themselves against the attacks of the Turkish army.

This organization, consisting of Kurds and children of peoples, is adopting a great struggle against the occupation of Kurdistan. How do you evaluate this struggle of the peoples and the PKK?

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization on the lists of most EU countries and the EU itself. It was not different in the struggles against the old colonial powers. Liberation movements were accused of terror to divert attention from their own terror of occupation and oppression. Only recently, the Supreme Court of Belgium correctly recognized that the PKK is not a terrorist organization. It is fighting for the right of self-determination of its people, which is now a mandatory right in international law. Unlike Turkey, the PKK has submitted to the rules of international humanitarian law. The military branch of the PKK, the guerrillas, have retreated to the Kandil Mountains in Iraq, where they are being attacked by the Turkish army in violation of international law.

What should be done to remove the PKK from the terrorist list?

The listing of the PKK as a terrorist organization is a purely political decision in favor of NATO partner Turkey. Turkey is waging war in violation of international law not only in Iraq, but also in northern Syria and in its own country. The governments of the EU must be persuaded to change their cooperation with Turkey, which is contrary to international law, into cooperation based on law and morality. This includes respecting the rights of the Kurds and accepting their liberation organization.

What kind of call do you have for the PKK to be removed from the terrorist list?

There should be a joint initiative of all Kurdish and European solidarity organizations to confront their government with the demand to remove the PKK from the terrorist list and to promote education about the PKK's goals and activities.

While many gang organizations are still not included in the terrorist list, the PKK, which fights against ISIS, has been included in the terrorist list. How do you handle this contradiction?

It is a perversion of concepts when the organization that was the only one to fight against ISIS, an undoubtedly terrorist organization, is itself accused of terrorism.

Some actions are being taken to remove the PKK from the terrorist list. No steps have been taken so far for this demand of the people. How do you handle these calls?

The previous appeals to remove the PKK from the list have been rejected. The common interests with Turkey are too strong and the politics too unscrupulous to refrain from this harmful cooperation. It must be made clear to governments what damage is being done to human rights and general political rights in order to persuade them to put pressure on the Turkish government.

The Turkish state uses chemical weapons against PKK guerrillas. However, until now, the Turkish state has not been tried for the crime it committed. What would you like to say about this crime?

Two years ago, there was a "Tribunal of the Peoples" in Paris against Erdoğan and his war against the Kurds. He was found guilty of numerous crimes and violations of human and international rights. This tribunal took place because until then it had not been possible to hold the Turkish government accountable in state courts. The tribunal's verdict is symbolic in showing national courts and the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague what crimes they leave unpunished. Above all, the use of chemical weapons constitutes a serious crime. All the evidences should be collected in order to bring a charge before the ICC with them.

Finally, what would you like to say to the PKK guerrillas, who resist tirelessly despite all the wars?

For the PKK and the guerrillas, there is only one thing: continue. Without resistance and struggle, the fate of the Kurds will not change. It should be assured that there is great solidarity in the world with this struggle for freedom and human dignity



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