ASLEF statement of support for the Kurdish people

09 July 2020

ASLEF has a proud history of support for the Kurdish people and their demands for self-determination. Recent events have been of great concern as the threat to the Kurdish people from an authoritarian regime in Turkey is increasing.


The recent repression of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) including the arrest of MPs Leyla Guven and Musa Farisogullari on trumped up terror charges, is the latest in a long line of attempts to destroy the legitimacy of the party. The removals and arrest of HDP mayors and MPs tramples on the rights of the 1.8 million people who voted for them.


There is long list of repressive actions and measures brought in to attack the Kurdish population of Turkey and the Erdogan government continues to suppress journalistic integrity and free speech. Turkey has more journalists in jail than in any other country in the world - a third of the world's total.


Despite this, Turkey remains among the 'priority markets' for UK arms sales whilst the Conservative government has ignored Turkey's increasing hostility towards the Kurdish population of the country.


The UK government must act and freeze arms sales to Turkey while Erdogan's brutal regime is in place. We call on the Labour movement to work with the Kurdish solidarity movement to push for an end to this repression.


ASLEF is a longstanding supporter and affiliate of the Freedom for Öcalan Campaign calling for the release of Abdullah Öcalan, a political prisoner, who has been fighting oppression from the Turkish state for many decades and as a consequence has been imprisoned and held in solitary confinement for 21 years.


ASLEF stands in solidarity with the Kurdish people and in their fight for self-determination.

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