Boycott Turkey – Defend Kurdistan

Following the recent Turkish offensive in Southern Kurdistan (Northern Iraq), the fascist murder of Deniz Poyraz and escalating attacks against the HDP party in Turkey; it is now more than ever important to Defend Kurdistan. That is why we are making a renewed call to Boycott Turkey; targeting specific brands, arms manufacturers and institutions directly linked to the brutality of the Turkish regime. We are calling on people across the UK and beyond to stand in solidarity with Kurdistan and take the fight to the Turkish state. Defend Kurdistan, Boycott Turkey!

The intentions of the Turkish state could not be clearer, its latest offensive in Southern Kurdistan was launched on the anniversary of the 1915 Armenian genocide, and Kurdish and Assyrian villages and refugee camps in the region have been deliberately targeted by the Turkish regime. These genocidal intentions and acts of ethnic cleansing fit into a wider pattern of Turkish state fascism. Ethnic cleansing and targeting of civilians has been a feature of Turkey’s invasion and occupation of Northern Syria, which is why NGOs have issued several genocide warnings regarding Turkey’s actions against Kurds. To further its brutal ambitions the Turkish state has also been actively encouraging conflict within Kurdish communities. The situation in Southern Kurdistan then is critical, we must stand in solidarity with those fighting for democracy and freedom by resisting Turkish state fascism. 

Within Turkey’s borders Turkish fascism has continued to attack democracy and the Kurdish people. Earlier this June, a Turkish fascist with ties to Jihadist groups in Syria was able to murder HDP activist Deniz Poyraz with near impunity. A few days later the Turkish state continued its campaign to destroy the HDP for opposing the regime war against Kurds. For several years the Turkish State has arrested and harassed democratically elected HDP officials. This June the state escalated these attacks against democracy by moving to ban the party. Taking such actions so soon after a fascist terror attack against the HDP, shows exactly where the regime’s sympathies lie. These attacks on democracy within Turkey are clearly part of the state’s broader war against Kurds whether they be in Syria, Iraq or Turkey.

The Turkish state however could not wage this war without the support of its NATO allies, especially the UK, USA and Germany. These states continue to supply diplomatic cover, economic support and crucial weaponry to the regime in Ankara. Since 2013 the UK has approved £1.3 billion in arms export licences to Turkey; including drone technology and parts essential to Turkish military operations. The offensive in Southern Kurdistan began only a few hours after a phone call between President Biden and the Turkish President Erdoğan. Meanwhile, members of a peace delegation to the region were refused entry to the region at airports in Doha, Brussels, Dusseldorf. NATO’s silence speaks to their complicity in Turkey’s latest genocidal assault against democracy. 

Turkey’s reliance on this complicity means we have an opportunity to put the regime on the back-foot. By breaking the international silence and disrupting the flow of capital and arms to Turkey we can make a real difference in the fight against Turkish fascism. The arrival of the Defend Kurdistan peace delegation has already shown how powerful it can be to break the international silence. A concerted boycott of specific brands, arms dealers and institutions linked to the Turkish regime can go even further, making a material difference by cutting the UK’s economic and military ties to the Turkish state. 

We are calling on everyone to take action against the brutality of the Turkish state and stand in solidarity with the peoples of Kurdistan. As the BDS campaigns against South African apartheid have shown, ordinary people can make a real difference in the fight against racist regimes. It will take boycotts, blockades, protests, and people across the world speaking out, but we will break the international silence, boycott Turkey and defend Kurdistan. For the UK, a boycott on tourism to Turkey especially against TUI and Turkish Airlines will be key to cutting economic support to the regime. Similarly, fighting for divestment from arms companies like EDO-MBM and BAE Systems will weaken the Turkish war machine. By taking this message of solidarity to our workplaces, university campuses, local communities and out onto the streets, we can and will defeat Turkish fascism. 

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