EP hosts conference on Faylee and Anatolian Kurds
by Lorin Sarkisian and Roni Alasor
Brussels, 27 April 2017 - Middle East Diplomatic (MED) - European Parliament in Brussels hosted two international conferences on the current situation of Faylee and Anatolian Kurds. The discussions organized by Socialists’ and Democrats’ Group in the European Parliament and Kurdish National Congress (KNK) gathered parliamentarians, experts and researchers from Europe, South and North Kurdistan, Turkey and Iraq. The speakers and experts called Iraqi-Iranian and Turkish states to respect the rights of Faylee and Anatolian Kurds.
The conference on Faylee Kurds was opened by Ms. Zainab Murad Sahrab, Executive Member of KNK, Sweden, who thanked the European hosts and gave the floor to Josef Weidenholzer and Julie Ward from S&D Group. Both Members of the European Parliament (MEP) underlined the responsibility of Europe for the unsolved problems in the Middle East. “The Western civilization started in your region, but Europeans destroyed everything by drawing wrong borders and splitting people. Therefore, now Europeans should work with all of you through cooperation, integration and diplomacy to achieve solutions”, said Mr. Weidenholzer.
MEP Ward encouraged common actions and projects on the ground. “Active politicians should use their networks and possibilities to do active campaigning and make causes as these of Faylee Kurds more known in Europe and in the world”, said Mrs. Ward.
Dr. Thomas Schmidinger from the University of Vienna, Austria, explained the specific place of Faylee Kurds among the other Kurdish groups. Faylee Kurds are Shia Muslims who lived for millennia on both sides of the Iraq-Iran borders. Today they live in both capital cities as well as in the regions from Khanaqin to al-Omara (Iraq) and in the provinces of Ilam and Kirmashan (Iran). During Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship, hundreds of thousands of Faylee Kurds have been deprived of Iraqi citizenship and were deported to Iran where they are also not recognized and don’t have an official statute. Despite the constitutional changes after the fall of Saddam, the new legislation could still not be applied and Faylee Kurds could still not recuperate their belongings or get their citizenship back. “Neglected both from Bagdad and Erbil’s governments, Faylee Kurds are in much more precarious situation that their Kurmanci or Sorani brothers”, said Dr. Schmidinger.
According the Austrian researcher, Faylee Kurds should not only wait help from outside, but should mobilize their forces to fight for human rights. Research and publications about Faylee Kurds should be published in different European languages, so Europe becomes familiar with their problems. “You don’t need to wait for Bagdad or Erbil about that. Kurds in Diaspora can also do it”, concluded Dr. Schmidinger.
Rezan Shex Diler, lawyer and parliamentarian from Suleymania, said Faylee Kurds who are now in Iran following Saddam’s deportations want to return to Iraq, but they cannot get official statute or reclaim their confiscated properties. Therefore, Faylee Kurds should fight for international recognition of the genocide against them, so that victims can go to international courts.
Among the others speakers in the discussion were Dhia Kadhem, Manager and Mentor, UK, Prof. Dr Diearry S. Mageed AL FAILY, Academic and Writer, Ms. Nadheerah Ismael Kareem SHAMAILI, writer and a member in the presidency of Faylee Kurd organization in Sulaimanya, Prof. Khalil Ismail MUHAMMED, Salahaddin University, Erbil, Kurdistan-Iraq.
The second conference hosted by S&D Group and KNK focused on the situation of Kurds from Anatolia. This Kurdish group has lived in Central Anatolia, in the regions of Konya, Ankara, Eskisehir from 12th century, but most of them have been deported by Ottomans and Turks in the last 300-400 years and today living under heavy asimlations
The conference has been opened by Mr. Sevket, and Ms. Dilan BICER, Co-Chairs of PKAN-E who gave the floor to the Members of the European Parliament: MEP Ulrike LUNACEK (Greens) and MEP Costas MAVRIDES (S&D).
MEP Ulrike LUNACEK, EP Vice-President, pointed out that despite all the repression and the tragic history Kurds went through during the centuries, today Kurdish people have strong common values and rich culture. The European Union should cooperate with democratic forces in Turkey and support Kurdish fight for fundamental human rights against the attempts of Erdogan to establish a totalitarian regime. “Erdogan’s totalitarian regime will not be accepted by the civilised world and will not be realised”, said MEP Lunacek.
EP’s Vice-President also stressed the responsibility of Europe in the weapons export: “The last attacks against Kurds in Shengal and Rojava clearly showed that EU member states should not sell weapons to Turkey, while the country is fighting against Kurds and violating their human rights”.
The conference continued with discussion on the history and situation of Anatolian Kurds in past and present. Among the speakers were Kurdish Historian and Writer Mr. Mehmet BAYRAK from Germany, Professor Kadri YILDIRIM, HDP-Deputy from Sêrt, Mr. Sores RESI, Kurdish Writer, Sweden, Ahmet GEZER, PKAN-E spokesperson, Denmark.