This week, after more than 120 days of the Islamic State laying siege to the city of Kobane in Western Kurdistan, YPG-YPG militias, with the help of Southern Kurdistan Peshamergas and Northern Kurdistan PKK (Party of Workers of Kurdistan) combatants, have almost the city.

The Kurdish troops have tirelessly fought against IS terrorists, who have been secretly supported by the Gulf monarchies with the consent of Turkey. The latter has virtually closed its border with Kobane has and provided health assistance to IS fundamentalist fighters. Fortunately, those states that list PKK as a terrorist force have helped the Kurdish fighters with air strikes and aid drops.

The Party of Workers of Kurdistan is mainly listed as a terrorist organization by the EU, USA and NATO (despite the European Court of First Instance ruling that the PKK should be dropped from the EU terror list on 3 April 2008, on the grounds that the EU failed to give a proper justification for listing it in the first place). However, given its heroism in the fight against IS, and the international support to the Kurdish cause, the voices asking for PKK’s removal from the list have rapidly grown.

Since 1984, the PKK has been involved in an armed struggle fighting for the right to the self determination for the Kurds in Turkey, who make up between 10% and 25% of the state’s population. The Kurds have been subjected to official repression for decades. Its main leader, Abdullah Öcalan, was arrested in 1999 by CIA agents. He was originally sentenced to death, but this sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. Nowadays, despite repeated calls by Human Rights NGOs, the European Court of Human Rights ruling that his imprisonment violates the European Convention of Human Right, and the ceasefire between PKK and Turkey in 2013, Öcalan is still in jail.

This is why the European Free Alliance Youth (EFAy), as a European youth organization who fully supports the right to the self-determination and the rights of minorities, declares:

  • That the PKK must be removed from the EU terrorist list. Europe cannot simultaneously list the PKK as a terrorist organization and deliver weapons to them in Kobane in order to fight the IS.
  • That the EU must mediate a solution between Turkey and PKK to achieve a peace agreement and to gain rights for the population of North Kurdistan.

Due to its history, The European Union must be a champion of world peace, democracy and human rights. That is why, in a century where fundamentalism is spreading across the Islamic world, (partially because of Occidental colonialist acts), Kurdistan must be taken seriously as a fortress of tolerance, progressivism and as a model for the region.