Calls mount for removal of Kurdish communist party from EU terror list

This article is available in PilipinoBisayaHiligaynon

An international campaign is underway to seek the removal of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) from the European Union (EU) list of “terrorist organizations.” This call is carried in a statement that has been signed by more than 6,000 personalities who believe that such removal is in the interest of peace, democracy and human rights. The International League of Peoples’ Struggle has expressed support to this international campaign.

“A peaceful solution to the Kurdish Question is a prerequisite for a healthy democracy and for stability in Turkey and the wider Middle East,” according to the statement. “Turkey and its large Kurdish community will be able to achieve that peaceful solution only through negotiations. Such negotiations need to involve all parties, including the PKK.” Treating the PKK as a terrorist organization is a hindrance to the path to peace, they say.

There are so many practical and legal reasons to remove the PKK from such a list. It was first put on the terror list in 2002 at the behest of the Turkish state. In 2018, the Court of Justice, the EU’s highest court, said that it was unjust to put it on the list between 2014 and 2017. In 2020, Belgium courts also proved that the PKK could not be considered a terrorist organization since it is a party to a civil war, making the matter subject to the laws of war and not to criminal laws.

“Under the global war on terror, states have used the designation ‘terrorist’ as a political weapon to de-legitimize opposition and repress efforts for human rights and freedom,” the statement said. The designation has been used to suppress freedom of expression and deny the civil liberties of the Kurds. In recent years, it has been an instrument of the Erdogan regime to suppress rival parties and the masses. This has led to the imprisonment of political leaders, members of the parliament, elected officials and critics on the pretext that they are involved in “terrorism.” It was used to launch a brutal war against the people. Due to the designation, the European Union is effectively being used to whitewash the attacks of authoritarian regimes, the statement said.

Calls mount for removal of Kurdish communist party from EU terror list