Our Statements

july 27, 2023

The Freedom of Rêber Apo and the Struggle Against the Treaty of Lausanne are Inseparable Issues

On the centenary of the Treaty of Lausanne, a historically important conference for the Kurdish people and Kurdistan was organized by the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK). Many representatives of Kurdish organizations, intellectuals, historians, politicians, opinion leaders, international friends of the Kurdish people and people from different faiths, identities and ethnicities from Kurdistan participated in this conference. We would like to express that we attach great significance and value to this event.

The Treaty of Lausanne is an agreement that has denied the existence of the Kurdish people, divided their country and has paved the way for a genocide for a century. All massacres that have taken place in Kurdistan carried out by the genocidal colonialist states were legitimized in front of the general public based on this treaty. The fact that the genocide and these massacres are approved or silently welcomed by the international forces, especially by the European states, is due to the promises and commitments made as part of this treaty. The signatories of it did not pursue justice and equity, but political and economic interests. As a result, all the peoples in Kurdistan and the Middle East, especially the Kurdish people, have been divided and subjected to the genocidal colonialist order created by the forces of the hegemonic capitalist system. Having the satellite states and collaborating regimes serving the interests of the signatories of the Treaty of Lausanne seems to be the main importance goal of the treaty.

The Treaty of Lausanne is the result of imperialism’s divide-and-rule policy and serves to ensure the domination of ruling powers over the Middle East. It is the continuation and completion of the treaty known as ‘Sykes-Picot’, which was secretly concluded between the hegemonic powers of the period during the First World War. Therefore, the Treaty of Lausanne has led to nothing else but genocide. It neither liberated the people nor it helped the formation of a political system in favor of the society. On the contrary, it is anti-democratic. Through it the peoples’ struggle for freedom and liberation has been suppressed and the genocidal colonialist mentality and politics have been imposed on the peoples for centuries.

As emphasized during the conference, the Treaty of Lausanne can only be abolished by the unity of the Kurdish people which will then create the basis for a new treaty. This is a very appropriate conclusion and historical necessity. The most fundamental reality that has emerged in the course of the struggle of the Kurdish people against this treaty, is that national unity is the only way to achieve this. We, as the Kurdish Freedom Movement, have been acting in line with this consciousness while fighting against the genocidal colonialist order for half a century. And we continue to be in a constant endeavor for this to happen. The efforts of Rêber Apo [Abdullah Öcalan] to achieve this are well-known. Therefore, we consider the important call for national unity during the conference as the right attitude. The approach to hold such a national conference is very important and we support all the issues mentioned in the final declaration.

On the other hand, we would like to state that we find it very significant that the physical freedom of Rêber Apo was emphasized at the conference and that this was reflected in the final declaration. Rêber Apo’s struggle has a very important place in the liberation of the Kurdish people from extinction and in their struggle for their existence and freedom today. The international conspiracy against Rêber Apo and the establishment of the Imrali isolation and torture regime are directly related to his struggle for freedom of the Kurdish people as they are results of the Treaty of Lausanne. Therefore, it is extremely meaningful to embrace Rêber Apo in such a conference against the Treaty of Lausanne. We express our greetings, love and respect to the participants of the conference who approached it with this awareness and sensitivity.

Labor unions in Europe also held a press conference in Brussels protesting the isolation of Rêber Apo and calling for awareness and struggle against it. This has been an extremely significant and important approach. It is a very noble example of solidarity with the Kurdish people and supporting Rêber Apo. We respectfully greet all the friends who participated in this meeting. The support of workers, laborers, women, intellectuals, writers, artists, academics and those who seek democracy and freedom is very essential for this cause. Rêber Apo has struggled and served not only for the Kurdish people, but for the oppressed and all peoples. His understanding of non-state socialism based on ecology and women’s freedom is a powerful approach to exit from the system of capitalist modernity. The attitude of the forces of capitalist modernity, the international conspiracy and the Imrali isolation are the reaction to this approach of Rêber Apo. Therefore, it is very important that those who represent democratic society and seek a free life have an attitude against this approach of the hegemonic powers. Of course, their approaches towards Kurds and Rêber Apo are unacceptable. We find the attitude of the friends in Brussels, which is the result of such an approach, very significant and we state that this approach should continue until the isolation of Rêber Apo is broken. In this respect, we once again call on the Kurdish people and their international friends to further strengthen the struggle against isolation and to continue it until results are achieved.

KCK Executive Council