Kurdish Institute of Brussels
European Armenian Federation
Associations of the Assyrians of Belgium
Enough With This Turkey!
On the occasion of the Dersim Conference held at European Parliament on November 13, 2008, five Brussels organisations belonging to different communities coming out from Turkey have issued the following joint declaration:
For three millennium, Anatolia has been the homeland or have passed through it countless people. It is a land where coexisted and coexist today Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks, Arabs, Kurds, Turks, Jews, Zazas, as well as a number of other minorities such as Lazes, Circassians, Pomaks, Yörüks, and others.
Certain of these people and the majority have adopted the Apostolic Christianity, others have converted to Roman Catholicism or Orthodoxy, some became Nestorians or Chaldeans; while others turned Sunni Muslims, Shiites or Alevi Muslims; and still others remained Yezidis or Mazdeists or kept their shamanic beliefs.
This coexistence naturally led to disputes - sometime very violent - but it led also and above all to a cultural closeness and to an ethnic intermingling which challenge all ideologies that are based on racial or linguistic purity: today, the overwhelming majority of Turkey's inhabitants are of mixed origins.
However, the Ottoman Empire and then after it the Kemalist republic have artificially reshaped the land's multy-ethnic identity by reducing the dominated people into slavery, by denying their identity, and then by promoting the doctrine of the Turkish "race" as the "essential being". This fascist like thinking has led the authorities perpetrate abominable mass murders such as:
- * The Armenian and Assyro-Chaldean Genocide (1915-1916)
- * The Koçkiri massacre of Kurds, Alevis and Kizilbachs (1919-1921)
- * The brutal expulsion of Greeks (1923-1924)
- * Massacres of Kurds and Assyrians after the revolt of Sheikh Said (1925-1928)
- * The Dersim Massacre of Kurds, Alevis and Kizilbachs (1935-1938)
- * The iniquitous laws and the deportations of Armenians, Jews and Greeks (1942)
- * Pogroms of lstanbul and Izmir against Greeks, Armenians and Jews (1955)
- * War against Kurds (since 1984)
It has to be recalled, that since its creation, the Kemalist republic targets and represses all political opponents to the regime, whatever their ethnic origin, including Turkish democrats.
Lastly, the ultranationalist and genocide denial policies of Ankara utilise the Turkish immigrants in the European countries and with the complicity of certain local European political leaders incite them to hatred towards the Armenian, Assyrian and Kurdish communities.
Facing this ideology to hate and its bloody consequences, the peoples of Anatolia:
- * Rebuke the idea of any racial of religious supremacy and reaffirm their indefectible attachment to the individual fundamental rights of all the Turkish citizens as well as to the collective rights of the people living in this State;
- * Reject the fiction of a monolithic Turkey as extolled by the Turkish State and, on the contrary, call upon the State to pride on the ethnic wealth and diversity of the Anatolian people;
- * Ask again the Turkish State to rehabilitate itself in rehabilitating the victims of its past exactions, in committing itself on the path of the political recognition of these exactions and in giving an end to their denial or glorification;
- * Proclaim their conviction that the incapacity of Turkey to progress on the path of democracy, as well as the state of economical and social backwardness of its eastern provinces are closely linked to the war conducted by this State towards its own citizens;
- * Reaffirm their commitment to keep on the political struggle so that Turkey recognize, denounce and disassociate from its past and present crimes; to transform it into a democratic State which would respect its minorities as its various political forces, united in their diversity.