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 Open letter to British Police

 Commentary — Opinion
  The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author


Open letter to British Police ‎ 13.10.2012 
By Kulka Kurdayati
Special to

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October 13, 2012

Being aware that the letter may cause problems for me, I still decided to write it, because the issue I would like to cover is much more important than my personal comfort and my piece of mind. I was inspired by the story that one of my friends at work told me few weeks ago.

My friend, a Kurd, went to Kurdistan to visit his family, as he used to do many times before. On his way back, he was stopped by police at Birmingham Airport and asked a lot of questions about PKK (Kurdistan Worker’s Party – the organisation that is struggling for freedom and human rights of Kurdish Nation oppressed and persecuted by Turkish state). His luggage was searched. My friend has nothing to do with PKK, he is just a Kurd, who lives in UK, works here, has a family and kids.

What was the reason of this “investigation”? Why him - just because he is a Kurd? Is really being a Kurd the reason to be “suspected”, to be considered as potential criminal?

In European Union, on the territory where human rights are supposed to be respected, the passenger is stopped and investigated by police for no reason, without any evidence that may be the proof that he is suspected of doing anything illegal. The person is asked the question about the organisation which is NOT on the terrorist list in Europe (A European Union court in 2008 overturned a decision to place the Kurdish rebel group PKK and its political wing on the European Union's terror list) – which means, it is not illegal.

I am human rights Kurdish activist and because of that fact I can understand that police is coming to my house, asking me questions about PKK and Kurdistan – although being human right activist shouldn’t be consider as a crime. But I have absolutely no clue why my friend was stopped by police. Even if he was also Kurdish human right activist – would it be the reason to stop him and to do such an investigation?

PKK has a wide support among Kurdish people and this is my next question: is support for the people who scarifying their lives for the sake of their nation freedom and rights really illegal? Is it really considered as terrorism? So if I support PKK struggle for freedom – am I a terrorist then?

Police all over Europe comes to our houses, stops us on the airports, attacks and arrests us during our peaceful demonstrations. And the only one thing that I would like to know is – why? My question is directed to those who give the order to police officers to do so. And who are those who give the order? Are they British Police Chiefs? UK Government? Wait a minute – maybe it is Turkish government?

Well, probably nobody will ever answer my questions, but at the same time I think we all know the answer. So let me to have a humble request. This is very simple request. All of you, who are working in British Police, from top chiefs to ordinary officers serving on the streets – please, all of you use your best imagination and try to imagine yourselves in the situation where your beloved country is divided and occupied by other states (let’s say by Germany or France – as the example). Try to imagine that your beloved country doesn’t exists on the world’s map. Try to imagine that your native, mother language – English – is illegal and forbidden and you are forced to speak foreign tongue and consider it as your own. Try to imagine that you are no more Brits, no more English, Scottish, Welsh – but “Island Germans” or “Island French” (as Kurds are called “Mountain Turks”). Try to imagine that you are the second class citizens or even slaves on your own land, where you used to live for centuries. Now try to imagine that you are not allowed to give the names John, Jack or Betty to your kids, but you have to call them: Hans, Jacques or Helga. Try to imagine that any attempt to ask for your basic human rights is consider as crime and punished – resulted in thousands of you locked in prisons, including seniors, disabled and kids (who are sexually abused by prison’s guards). Try to imagine that Her Majesty The Queen has to live in exile or is kept in isolation without the possibility to contact with outside world, nor with the family or lawyers.

But it is not all. Try to imagine that you manage to escape from the oppression to other, democratic country, but the police in that country looks at you like at criminal, only because of your origin, only because of your human desire for freedom and inalienable basic rights.
If you are able to imagine all these things, you will have the taste of the life that millions of Kurds experience right now. Although I believe that human imagination is not huge enough to cover this reality.

Maybe some of you still have the parents who remember German bombs falling down on London during II World War. Ask them how they felt that time. If they will tell you, then you will know how thousands of Kurds feel when Turkish bombs are falling down on their villages up to now.

The II World War was the act of terrorism in which millions of civilians (and soldiers) suffered and lost their lives. Turkish war on Kurds is the act of terrorism in which millions of civilians suffer or lose their lives. The only difference between these two wars is that first one was official and the second one is hidden. The first one was commonly condemned, while the second one is approved and supported by entire Western World and International Community.

We didn’t started the war with Turks. We got involved in that. And till now we are subjected to the acts of terrorism that Turkish State is practising on daily basis. So even if our freedom fighters have to kill Turkish soldiers in that unfair, unequal war – it’s only because we have no other choice. Turks attack our civilians (women and kids as well) – even outside the official borders of Turkey. Turks kill our civilians; murder them with cold blood (also women and kids). But we, Kurds don’t do such things. Our freedom fighters don’t do such things. If it happens that civilians lose their lives in this war and it is us who are responsible for that – it always happen by accident or by mistake and PKK leaders always address the apologizes to the families of the victims. Have ever happened that any terrorist group apologizes for the death of innocent people? I don’t think so. But you should notice who for sure never apologize for such things. It’s Turkish state. Family of 7, torn into pieces by Turkish bomb last year on the territory of Kurdistan Autonomous Region, more than 30 teenagers massacred by Turkish jets at the end of last year in Roboski, dozens of Kurdish shepherds in the mountains and civilians (including kids) on peaceful demonstrations wounded or killed – there are a lot of such examples every year. Turkish state hasn’t apologized for anything, even one time. So how do you think now – who are terrorists?

A well-known Soviet dictator, Stalin said: “The death of one person is a tragedy. The death of millions is statistic.” Turks went further. For Turks the death of one Kurd is the achievement and the death of millions is the success. Their hatred is so huge that the common practise in Turkish army is to mutilate the death bodies of killed Kurds and taking pictures with them, which later on are shared on Facebook. We even can’t imagine behaving in such a way.

The flag with the picture of our leader Abdullah Ocalan is consider as illegal. Why – if in none of his many books there is no single word calls to kill others? There is no single word of hatred, but all of them telling about democracy, equality and human rights. Ocalan is kept in Turkish prison on Imrali Island for more than 12 years and in total isolation for more than 440 days now without the possibility to see his relatives or lawyers. And this fact should be the subject of international investigation. The illegal use of forbidden chemical weapon by Turkish army should be the subject of international investigation – not Kurdish activity on Facebook or on peaceful demonstrations.

These are only few of thousands stories that I could tell you, stories in which you would never believe, stories which you wouldn’t find in any books – such unbelievable.

So I appeal to you, who work in British Police, consider all these facts in your minds. Look at the reality, not as Turkish state is trying to show it, but as it really is. If you are looking for real terrorists – turn your eye on Turkey. Say “No” to their brutal acts of terror toward Kurds. You should protect us, you should support us in our legitimate struggle against the oppression and injustice. You should do that, because Great Britain was one of the countries that are responsible for the current situation by signing the shameful Lausanne Treaty that put Kurdistan under brutal regimes control. I think that Great Britain should rather apologize to us and say: “Sorry, our country did something very wrong to your nation”.

I appeal to you, the chiefs and officers of British Police, don’t let Turkish state to use you like a tool in their dirty war against Kurds.

And my last request to all of you – please share my words with everyone, spread the truth about us. Please think about all these facts and decide wisely if you want to support wrong or right. And if any of you – as a human – don’t agree with unfair policy toward Kurds – don’t hesitate and don’t be afraid to speak up in our favour.

As I said at the begging of my letter - I am ready to face any responsibility for my words, because I consider that to be my duty to inform the world what is the truth about Kurds.

We, Kurdish activists who live in Western countries, don’t fight with the weapon; we struggle with our pens and our words. But we struggle for the same things as our sisters and brothers who fight with the weapon in the mountains. We all struggle for the human rights of our nation and freedom of our country. If this struggle and defending human rights is consider as “terrorism” – then yes, I am a terrorist.

With respect and hope

Heval Kulka
Wolverhampton, 13.10.2012

Kulka Kurdayati, a freelance writer and activist from UK, a regular contributing writer for

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  The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author


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