ON Sunday night, a Nato member sent 20 jets to drop bombs on a neighbouring country, and the world hardly blinked. Turkey’s determination to extinguish Kurdish identity and existence has taken the form of increasingly brutal aggression both within Turkey’s borders and beyond.

Even while the UN has called for a stop to all active combat because of Covid-19 – which is entrenched in the region – Turkey is pressing on with occupation and ethnic cleansing in northern Syria, and they are bombing Kurdish areas in Iraq.

Sunday night’s targets included the area round Maxmur refugee camp, which houses Kurds who fled persecution in Turkey in the 1990s and is under the official protection of the UN; and the Yazidi area of Sinjar. The Yazidi Exile Council of Sinjar stated: “In one night Turkey bombed the survivors of a genocide eight times. It is likely that a hospital was deliberately hit. How many of our people is Turkey allowed to kill before this finally ends? Will the US and EU Members stop Turkey killing us? What use did it have to end ISIS if Turkey is allowed to kill us anyway?”

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It is no coincidence that this attack coincides with a major march in Turkey by the pro-Kurdish Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) to protest about the crushing of democracy and the sacking and imprisonment of its elected mayors and MPs.

The Turkish Government are making it clear that they have no time for constitutional politics and peace negotiations and are only interested in imposing their will by force. Turkey is getting away with this because other nations do nothing. They could impose a no-fly zone – but instead they make trade deals and send Turkey more weapons.

We call on the governments in Westminster and Holyrood to take a stand for democracy and against aggression.

Sarah Glynn and Stephen Smellie (co-conveyors),
on behalf of Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan