European Parliament – Kobanê conference

Brussels November 04, 2014

Syrian Democratic Union Party's Salih Muslim speaks at EU ParliamentThe European Parliament hosted a conference organized under the leadership of the Kurdish Friendship Group in the EP, entitled “DAESH attacks on Kobanê and their effects on the region”.

The conference, chaired by Marie-Christine Vergiat, MEP for the United Left Group in the EP and president of the Kurdish Firendship Group, began with a presentation by Adem Uzun, a member of the Council of the KNK (Kurdish National Congress) on the current situation in Kobanê. He said Kurdish fighters had been continuously fighting against the gangs DAESH for the two last years. He also noted that DAESH and regressive forces in the region had targeted the democratic system that was created in Rojava: The struggle today against the gangs of DAESH is indescribable. It’s been two years since the Kurdish people lead the fight against Islamist groups. These regressive forces have been attacking the Kurds unabated for two years. Kurds live under the permanent and relentless attacks of the gangs of DAESH both in Iraq and Rojava. Not only Kurds, but the Armenians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs, Turkmen and Yezidis live under these constant attacks”. Explaining that the Kurds wanted to live together with the other peoples of the region, he said that various groups of belief  living in Sinjâr and Mosul were right now a target of these gangs. He therefore considered urgent the necessity for a more active deployment of the international coalition in the region. 

President of the European Left Party Gabriele Zimmer took the floor and stated that Kobanê had become a symbol worldwide.

“We had the opportunity to see it on the global day of solidarity with Kobanê this November 1st. Hundreds of thousands of people showed their support by taking to the streets. The European and global States should support the Kurds as well in their fight against the gangs of DAESH. “She also said that the situation in which Turkey found itself was unacceptable:
“Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia support DAESH. Despite that Turkey is a NATO member. This needs to be questioned and should be criticized. The European Parliament should play a positive role in this regard. It should have a more consistent power of decision on the resolution of the Kurdish issue and on its position against the organization of DAESH. The European Parliament should also put a political pressure on Turkey. “

A presentation entitled “Why Kobanêwas then presented by MP Bodil Ceballos (Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance), who drew attention to the importance of the Model of freedom that was developed by the Kurdish people in Rojava: “Many people live in the area, such a model is fundamental to enable the coexistence of all these peoples. DAESH attacks are not only dangerous for these people, but also for the whole world. This must be avoided and the struggles of YPG and YPJ forces should be supported.”

The conference  followed with a presentation of the academician and lecturer Kamran Matin from the University of Sussex, entitled “International forces in the region and the role of Turkey”, in which he expounded the need to put pression on Turkey and the urgency to discuss seriously the situation and seek to resolve it. “

Assessing the negative effects of the role played by Turkey in the context of this conflict, Dr. Matin, said: “Turkey has a critical role today as a member of NATO and a country bordering Syria and Iraq. Unfortunately, this country is in a negative position. It does not want the freedom of Kurds on the one hand and support strongly the gangs of DAESH on the other. Turkey is not alone in this project. Qatar and Saudi Arabia are also taking part in this project. “

He also underlined the need to open a humanitarian corridor from Turkey for the delivery of humanitarian aid: “Turkey must open a corridor. It must also take serious steps to solve the Kurdish problem. Turkey always considers the PKK as a terrorist organization but in the same time, the country is in talks with the PKK and its leader Abdullah Ocalan. This is a contradiction and has to be clarified. The PKK must be removed from the list of terrorist organizations. The United States and the European Union should press Turkey on this issue. Today, the only forces to fight against DAESH are the Kurds. “The conference concluded with an assessment of the overall situation in Kobanê by the Co-Chair of the PYD (Democratic Union Party) Saleh Muslim.Judging the attacks against Kobanê as attacks against democracy and freedom, he added: “The gangs who flock from Africa and many countries around the world are attacking the Kurdish people today. Measures should be taken to prevent this phenomenon. These gangs are not just a nuisance for the Kurdish people, but for all humanity. Kurds must receive all kind of help to stop this scourge. More effective aid must be provided to ensure the defense of Kobanê.”Recalling that the Syrian Kurds have lived under pressure for many years, Saleh Muslim drew attention to this:In recent years, terrorist groups have attacked the Kurds with the aim of destroying the democratic system of freedom created by the Kurds by massacring them. And Turkey provides direct support to these groups in order to prevent the Kurds to get a status. Europe must absolutely develop a firm strategy towards these terrorists and towards those who support those groups”.In conclusion, he added: “We are trying, together with Arab, Assyrian, Syriac, Chaldean and all other peoples of Rojava and of the region, to create and maintain a system. This system is based on principles of democracy and freedom. A system in which everyone will feel free to express himself openly. This system will be applied to Syria in general. Then problems and conflicts will end.”
Belgian journalists Toon Lambrechts and Roël Pulinx have showed during the conference a documentary they filmed on the city of Kobanê and the clashes that took place.