PKK ban: Lift Aust terror listing

 

PKK_header

Open letter to the Australian government

We, the undersigned, note that:

1. Ever since the formation of the republic in 1923, Turkey’s large Kurdish population has endured heavy national oppression. Even today, for instance, they are denied public education in their mother tongue.

2. The reason for the persistence of the ‘Kurdish question’ is the refusal of Turkey’s rulers to fundamentally budge on this and the rejection by the Kurdish people of second-class citizenship.

3. The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) enjoys the support of millions of Kurdish people in Turkey. It is seen as their legitimate representative and their best hope of securing their national rights.

4. The PKK declared a unilateral ceasefire in March 2013 and began withdrawing its armed units to camps in northern Iraq. In a significant concession, it has dropped its call for an independent Kurdish state and instead calls for autonomy within a democratised Turkey.

5. The PKK seeks to enter into direct negotiations with the Turkish government. Its acknowledged leader, Abdullah Öcalan, jailed in Turkey since 1999, will play a key role in any such negotiations and the PKK wants his harsh conditions of imprisonment significantly eased to facilitate this.

6. The PKK has played a key role in the struggle against the inhuman ‘Islamic State’ gangs in both Iraq and Syria. It has also played a fundamental role in mobilising support within Turkey for Kobanê and Rojava (the Kurdish-majority liberated region in northern Syria). It has close fraternal relations with the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the main party in Rojava.

7. Despite this proven anti-terrorist role, the US, European Union and Australian governments continue to proscribe the PKK as a terrorist organisation.

8. Listing an organisation means that it is illegal for Australian citizens to belong to it, raise funds for it or in any way to actively support it. The PKK was first placed on the Australian list of terrorist organisations at the end of 2005 and has remained there ever since. The PKK was re-listed on August 11, 2015.

9. The government’s stated case for this listing is extremely weak. It says absolutely nothing about the severe discrimination faced by the Kurdish population of Turkey. It says nothing about the regime’s crimes against its Kurdish minority. It tries to criminalise its legitimate right to self-defence against oppression. It says nothing about the government’s scrapping of negotiations and return to war against the Kurds.

We therefore argue that:

  • Good-faith negotiations between the Turkish government and the PKK are the only realistic way to resolve this long-running conflict. Australia and the West should use all their influence to push for genuine constructive talks.
  • The PKK’s inclusion on Western terrorist lists is an obstacle to fruitful negotiations. The PKK should be de-listed. In particular, we call on the Australian government to remove the PKK from its list of terrorist organisations.

Selected endorsements
1 3CR, Community Radio, VIC
2 Australian Kurdish Association, NSW
3 Wendy Bacon, Australian Centre for Independent Journalism, Professor, NSW
4 Sue Bolton, Socialist Alliance, City of Moreland councillor, VIC
5 Bob Brown, Bob Brown Foundation, Former Greens senator, TAS
6 Verity Burgmann, Monash University, Professor, VIC
7 Phillip Deery, Victoria University, Professor, VIC
8 Carole Ferrier, University of Queensland, Professor, QLD
9 Tim Gooden, Geelong Trades Hall Council, Secretary, VIC
10 Greens NSW, NSW
11 John Haddad, Beth-Nahrin Cultural Club, Assyrian activist, VIC
12 Sylvia Hale, Former Greens state MP, NSW
13 Stephen Jolly, City of Yarra, Councillor, VIC
14 Anthony Kelly, Flemington Kensington Community Legal Centre, VIC
15 Damien Kingsbury, Deakin University, Professor, VIC
16 Kurdish Association of Victoria, VIC
17 Colin Long, NTEU (Victorian Division), Secretary, VIC
18 Scott Ludlum, Former Australian Greens senator, WA
19 Maritime Union of Australia (Sydney Branch), NSW
20 Helen Meekosha, University of NSW, Social scientist, NSW
21 Aran Mylvaganam, Tamil activist & union organiser, VIC
22 Jamie Parker, Greens NSW, State member for Balmain, NSW
23 Warren Smith, Maritme Union of Australia, Assistant national secretary, NSW
24 Rob Stary, Civil liberties lawyer, VIC
25 Sally Thompson, Adult Learning Centre, CEO, VIC
26 Sam Wainright, Socialist Alliance, City of Fremantle councillor, WA
27 Cam Walker, Friends of the Earth, Environmental activist, VIC
28 Brian Walters QC, Barrister, VIC
29 Andrew Wilkie, Federal MP, Independent member for Denison, TAS
30 Arnold Zable, Writer, VIC

Full list of endorsements
1 3CR, Community Radio, VIC
2 Hazal Acar, Student, VIC
3 Paul Adams, Victoria University, Lecturer, VIC
4 Brusk Aeiveri, AKA, Public relations, NSW
5 Shorsh Ahmad, Kurdish Voice Radio PVFM, Journalist, VIC
6 Murtaza Akdogan, Kurdish Association of Victoria, Builder, VIC
7 Mehmet Akgun, VIC
8 Dawn Albinger, Academic, theatre-maker, QLD
9 Hamish Alcorn, Rojava Solidarity (Brisbane), Bookseller, QLD
10 Abdulla Ali, Student, VIC
11 Peter Allan, VIC
12 Aliriza Altun, Student, VIC
13 Alex Altun, Artist, VIC
14 Ali Altun, Plumber, VIC
15 Mehmet Altun, Plumber, VIC
16 Deniz Altundal, VIC
17 Steven Amies, Union delegate, QLD
18 Anarchist Black Cross (Melbourne), VIC
19 Martin Angus, Student, VIC
20 Kyle Armstrong, Student, NSW
21 Eylem Arpaci, VIC
22 Nail Attundal, VIC
23 Australian Kurdish Association, NSW
24 Dali Aykol, VIC
25 Khaled Azizi, VIC
26 Peshtewan Azzez, Journalist, VIC
27 Wendy Bacon, Australian Centre for Independent Journalism, Professor, NSW
28 Hans Baer, University of Melbourne, Associate professor, VIC
29 Halil Bagdas, Kurdish Association of Victoria, Carpenter, VIC
30 William Bailey, VIC
31 Sibel Bakan, Nurse, VIC
32 Ali Bakhtiarvandi, Photographer & former refugee, VIC
33 Amina Zeyto Bali, Kurdish Association of Victoria, VIC
34 Jan Balli, Plumber, VIC
35 Angus Banks, Student, VIC
36 Raul Bassi, Indigenous Social Justice Association, Driver, NSW
37 William Beattie, IT contractor (retired), VIC
38 Kevin Beinke, SA
39 Bulent Bektas, Engineer, VIC
40 Gulay Bektas, Kurdish Association of Victoria, Social worker, VIC
41 Dave Bell, Vigneron, NSW
42 Lee Bell, Vigneron, NSW
43 Jennie Bennell, VIC
44 Kieran Bennett, Anarchist Affinity, VIC
45 John Bestevaar, Retired, QLD
46 Huseyin Bicer, Anatolian Cultural Centre, Taxi driver, VIC
47 Leslie Bishop, Retired, SA
48 Sue Bolton, Socialist Alliance, City of Moreland councillor, VIC
49 Lionel Bopage, Sri Lanka activist, VIC
50 Peter Boyle, Socialist Alliance, Activist-journalist, NSW
51 Kevin Bracken, MUA, Waterside worker, VIC
52 Bernie Brian, Teacher, NSW
53 Tayce Brown, NSW
54 Bob Brown, Bob Brown Foundation, Former Greens senator, TAS
55 Dorothy Bruck, Victoria University, Professor, VIC
56 Ahmet Bulut, Plumber, VIC
57 Les Bunney, Retired, VIC
58 Verity Burgmann, Monash University, Professor, VIC
59 Dee Cakir, Worker, VIC
60 Ayten Cakmali, VIC
61 Mustafa Canpolat, VIC
62 Hilal Canpolat, VIC
63 Janice Catherall, Radical Women, Retired, VIC
64 Lalitha Chelliah, Radio 3CR, Program presenter, VIC
65 Sam Choy, NSW
66 Simko Cicek, Kurdish Association of Victoria, Renderer, VIC
67 Onur Selçuk Çiftçi, Music teacher, VIC
68 Katie Clark, VIC
69 Tom Clark, Victoria University, Associate professor, VIC
70 Stephanie Clarke, Community development, VIC
71 Phil Connors, Deakin University, Senior lecturer, VIC
72 Nae Convey, Rojava Solidarity Worldwide, VIC
73 Michael Cooke, Writer, VIC
74 Melissa Corbett, VIC
75 Matthew Crossin, Musician, VIC
76 Oliver Crowder, Sailor, NT
77 Paul Cullinan, Railways, Controller, SA
78 Roger Davies, Retired, TAS
79 Paula de Angelis, The Clio Initiative, Historian, SA
80 Phillip Deery, Victoria University, Professor, VIC
81 Tyson Dellaveccia, Student, VIC
82 Gaye Demanuele, Activist, VIC
83 David Deutschmann, Ocean Press, Publisher, VIC
84 Yasar Donmez, Plumber, VIC
85 Tristan Drake, Banker, VIC
86 Carlos Duaso, Student, VIC
87 Peter Duggan, Industrial Workers of the World (Melbourne), Library worker, VIC
88 Julia Dyball, QLD
89 Tony Earls, Lawyer, NSW
90 Mark Edwards, Production Sound Mixer, VIC
91 Kamala Emanuel, Socialist Alliance, Medical practitioner, WA
92 Ayhan Erdogan, Worker, VIC
93 M Erdogan, Australian Kurdish Association, Bricklayer, VIC
94 Emrah Ertas, Worker, VIC
95 Tahir Ertas, Painter, VIC
96 Carole Ferrier, University of Queensland, Professor, QLD
97 Mitchel Fielding, VIC
98 Jenny Forward, Socialist Alliance, Social worker, TAS
99 Thierry Fossemalle, Musician, NSW
100 Greg Frost, Retired, NSW
101 Mike Frost, Education & training consultant, TAS
102 Rohan Gaiswinkler, TAS
103 Elena Garcia, Grazier, QLD
104 Bekhal Garmiany, NSW
105 Bekhal Garmiany, NSW
106 Khanjar Garmiany, Bus driver, NSW
107 Gavin Gatenby, NSW
108 John Gauci, NSW Teachers Federation, Teacher & Federation rep, NSW
109 Taner Gel, Bricklayer, VIC
110 Maria George, Catholic Church, Pastoral Associate, VIC
111 Debra Giles, VIC
112 Margaret Glaubitz, Nurse, VIC
113 Bob Glaubitz, VIC
114 Lisa Gleeson, Socialist Alliance, VIC
115 Tim Gooden, Geelong Trades Hall Council, Secretary, VIC
116 Mark Goudkamp, Solidarity, Teacher & refugee activist, NSW
117 Dylan Green, QLD
118 Hall Greenland, Greens NSW, Convenor, NSW
119 Greens NSW, NSW
120 Gareth Griffiths, Historian, VIC
121 Huseyin Guler, Painter, VIC
122 John Haddad, Beth-Nahrin Cultural Club, Assyrian activist, VIC
123 Michael Hailey, VIC
124 Sylvia Hale, Former Greens state MP, NSW
125 Kade Hamalainen, Student, QLD
126 Diogo Hamatiano, Electrician, VIC
127 Fiona Hamilton, Anthropologist, VIC
128 Wes Hammer, WA
129 Marie Hapke, Refugee Advocacy Network, VIC
130 Keith Harding, QLD
131 Michele Harding, Housewife-carer, QLD
132 Michael Hatrick, Taxidriver, NSW
133 Barry Healy, WA
134 Tristan Hennessy, VIC
135 Nicholas Henry, Deakin University, Lecturer, VIC
136 H Herki, Software engineer, VIC
137 Nicholas Hoare, ANU, PhD Candidate, ACT
138 Dali Hofmann, Student, NSW
139 Christopher Holden, QLD
140 Dave Holmes, Socialist Alliance, VIC
141 Trish Horinishi, TAS
142 James Howard, Refugee Action Collective, Teacher & actor, VIC
143 Martin Hungerford, VIC
144 John Hunter, Social worker (retired), VIC
145 Letina Hutchison, QLD
146 Mark Hyde, Socialist Alliance, NSW
147 Tony Iltis, Green Left Weekly, Journalist, NSW
148 Industrial Workers of the World (Melbourne branch), VIC
149 Terry Irving, University of Wollongong, Historian, NSW
150 Pat Jackson, Registered Nurse, QLD
151 Garry James, Farmer & teacher, QLD
152 Stephen Jolly, City of Yarra, Councillor, VIC
153 Mike Jones, Accountant, SA
154 Chris Joyce, Solicitor, NSW
155 Sertac Kahraman, VIC
156 Haci Kahraman, Taxi driver, VIC
157 Songul Kahraman, Taxi driver, VIC
158 Mahmut Kahraman, Kurdish Association of Victoria, Taxi operator, VIC
159 Filiz Karik, VIC
160 Zerebar Karimi, Union organiser, SA
161 Steven Katsineris, Writer & activist, VIC
162 Klaus Kaulfuss, ISJA, Activist, VIC
163 Kamil Erken Kaya, Forklift driver, VIC
164 Anthony Kelly, Flemington Kensington Community Legal Centre, VIC
165 Tewelde Kidane, Eritrean activist, VIC
166 Damien Kingsbury, Deakin University, Professor, VIC
167 Gemegin Kis, RAC, Teacher, VIC
168 Ellen Kleimaker, Health promotion officer, VIC
169 Wayne Klempel, Socalist Alliance, Boilermaker (retired), VIC
170 Ewen Kloas, Socialist Alliance, Construction worker, VIC
171 Narendra Kommalapati, Socialist Alliance, Teacher (retired), VIC
172 Kurdish Association of Victoria, VIC
173 Kurdistan Women’s League of Australia, VIC
174 Thea Lamaro, Social worker, VIC
175 Silva Landers, Student, VIC
176 Riki Lane, Workers Liberty, Researcher, VIC
177 Liah Lazarou, Socialist Alliance, Student, SA
178 Melanie Lazarow, NAVA, Visual artist, VIC
179 Sue Leigh, Retiree, VIC
180 Andree L’Estrange, Market researcher, VIC
181 Shay Linden, WA
182 Jian Liu, VIC
183 Jake Lloyd Jones, Merja Media, Producer, NSW
184 Lobsang, Student, VIC
185 Colin Long, NTEU (Victorian Division), Secretary, VIC
186 Monica Lopez, Administrative assistant, VIC
187 Scott Ludlum, Former Australian Greens senator, WA
188 Marianne Mackay, Nyoongar tent embassy, WA
189 K Mackenzie, QLD
190 Mohsen Manochehripour, Engineer, VIC
191 Maritime Union of Australia (Sydney Branch), NSW
192 Andrew Martin, AMWU, Mechanical fitter, WA
193 Mark Marusic, NSW
194 Maryam, VIC
195 Terry Mason, Senior lecturer, NSW
196 Beau Mayhew, Socialist Alliance, Freelancer, QLD
197 Robin Mayo, Socialist Alliance, Bank worker, NSW
198 Paul McAleer, MUA (Sydney Branch), Secretary, NSW
199 Robert McDougall, Artist, VIC
200 Robert McEwan, Civil engineer, VIC
201 Diana McGinn, Socialist Alliance, Teacher, WA
202 Darcy-Lee McIdley, Student, VIC
203 John McLaren, Victoria University, Emeritus professor, VIC
204 Ann McVey, VIC
205 Helen Meekosha, University of NSW, Social scientist, NSW
206 Mustafa Mese, Civil engineer, VIC
207 Sarah Moore, Student, VIC
208 Tom Morrison, Brisbane Solidarity Network, QLD
209 Carly Murphy, Nurse, VIC
210 Michael Muzzapappa, Student, NSW
211 Aran Mylvaganam, Tamil activist & union organiser, VIC
212 Jess Naumovic, VIC
213 Zilan Ghafour Nejad, East Kurdistan Patriotic Association of Victoria, Activist, VIC
214 Anitra Nelson, RMIT University, Honorary associate professor, VIC
215 John Neve, Greens, Gardener, VIC
216 Peter Nickell, VIC
217 Kim Nielsen-Greeley, Library technician, TAS
218 Anas bin Norazim, Malaysian Progressives Australia, VIC
219 Jane Oakley, Greens NSW, State secretary, NSW
220 Caroline O’Brien, Customer service, QLD
221 Dylan O’Donnell, TAS
222 Tina Olaussen, QLD
223 Murray Olsen, University of Queensland, Physicist, QLD
224 Tulay Orhan, Student, VIC
225 Devrim Orhan, Builder, VIC
226 Tim O’Shea, TAS
227 Tamara Otello, Social worker (retired), SA
228 Zehra Oztel, Kurdish Association of Victoria, Counsellor, VIC
229 Hulya Ozturk, VIC
230 Jasmine Palamara, Student, VIC
231 Spiros Papadopoulos, VIC
232 Chris Papadopoulos, VIC
233 Gerardo Papalia, Lecturer, VIC
234 Jamie Parker, Greens NSW, State member for Balmain, NSW
235 John Passant, Solidarity, Socialist & academic, ACT
236 Alex Passas, NSW
237 Sherezade Patel, Student, VIC
238 Melissa Perkins, VIC
239 Joshua Phillips, VIC
240 Martin Pileso, VIC
241 Chantelle Prince, WA
242 Ali Rahmani, East Kurdistan Patriotic Association of Victoria, Worker, VIC
243 Jane Ralls, GP, WA
244 Matthew Rayner, Records assistant, NSW
245 Rochelle Rei, Student, VIC
246 Jess Reid, VIC
247 Barry Reynolds, Manager, VIC
248 John Riach, Resort manager, SA
249 Ethan Robinson, University of Queensland, Student, QLD
250 Robert Roest, Seafarer (retired), VIC
251 Luke Rogers, Plumber, VIC
252 William Rose, Taxi driver, VIC
253 Liz Ross, Socialist Alternative, VIC
254 Alexander Ross, Engineer, VIC
255 Hendrik Rost, Tutor, VIC
256 Paul Rubner, Librarian (retired), NSW
257 Peter Russell, SA
258 Jeffery Russell, Down For The Cause Records, Electrician, SA
259 Vahid Salari, Baker, VIC
260 Shiralee Saul, Farmer, VIC
261 Marlon Schloeffel, NSW
262 Stefan Schutt, Victoria University, Academic, VIC
263 Tino Schwarz, VIC
264 Gavin Scolaro, WA
265 Barry Simpson, Teacher (retired), VIC
266 Fionn Skiotis, Community worker, VIC
267 Gail Skipworth, Educator, VIC
268 Josh Skudder, Nurse, QLD
269 Peter Slezak, University of NSW, Associate professor, NSW
270 Scott Smale, Student, VIC
271 Warren Smith, Maritme Union of Australia, Assistant national secretary, NSW
272 Jeremy Smith, Federation University, Senior lecturer, VIC
273 Fern Smith, Artist, VIC
274 Emirhan Solbudak, Manager, NSW
275 Miofaq Sorani, Doctor, NSW
276 Sarp Soysal, SEP, Artist, VIC
277 Rob Stary, Civil liberties lawyer, VIC
278 Aidan Stewart, Swinburne University, PhD candidate, VIC
279 Nalliah Suriyakumaran, Retired public servant, VIC
280 Mark Taylor, Queensland Greens, Environmental scientist, QLD
281 Russ Teimourian, NSW
282 Shane Thomas, Manager, VIC
283 Sally Thompson, Adult Learning Centre, CEO, VIC
284 Tim Thorne, Search Foundation, Writer, TAS
285 John Tomich, Environmental scientist, WA
286 Kirsten Tona, NSW
287 Terry Townsend, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, Editor, NSW
288 Chris Tsiplakis, Archaeologist, VIC
289 H Tudehope, Independent Education Union, Teacher, VIC
290 Ciaran Tully, Student, VIC
291 John Tully, Victoria University, Professor (honorary), VIC
292 Lachlan Type, Nurse, VIC
293 Seval Ulus, Student, VIC
294 Sam Wainright, Socialist Alliance, City of Fremantle councillor, WA
295 Cam Walker, Friends of the Earth, Environmental activist, VIC
296 Alan Walker, VIC
297 Shawn Wallin, Disabled, WA
298 Kieran Walsh, Former TAFE lecturer, QLD
299 Brian Walters QC, Barrister, VIC
300 Liam Ward, RMIT University, Associate lecturer, VIC
301 Warren Wark, GP, QLD
302 Kyle Webster, Socialist Alliance, Driver, QLD
303 Chris White, Retired unionist, VIC
304 Ben Wilburs, Student, WA
305 Andrew Wilkie, Federal MP, Independent member for Denison, TAS
306 Viola Wilkins, Industrial Workers of the World (Melbourne), VIC
307 Jamie Williams, Student, VIC
308 Margarita Windisch, Socialist Alliance, Teacher, VIC
309 Dersim Yildiz, Student, VIC
310 Bedri Yildiz, Kurdish Association of Victoria, Bricklayer, VIC
311 Fatma Yilmaz, Graphic designer, VIC
312 Hasan Yilmaz, Electrician, VIC
313 Suat Yilmaz, ATCA, VIC
314 Huseyin Gazi Yorulmaz, Kurdish Association of Victoria, Volunteer worker, VIC
315 Arnold Zable, Writer, VIC
316 Zuni Zacutti, Rojava Solidarity Worldwide, VIC
317 Zoe Zare, NSW
318 David Zyngier, Monash University, Academic, VIC

Overseas
1 Garry Adams, House husband, UK
2 Sara Aydogdu, UK
3 Arash Azizi, Socialist Appeal, Journalist, UK
4 Evin Bayartan, Academic, France
5 Scott Betton, Analyst, Canada
6 Richard Blake, Retired, USA
7 Narin Celiker, Sweden
8 Sallah Ciziri, Canada
9 James Cloud, USA
10 John Couzin, Retired, UK
11 Samet Dag, Germany
12 Dilba Demirbag, Sweden
13 Natalie Dinham, Princess Noura University, Lecturer, KSA
14 Iker Ezquibela, Photographer, Spain
15 Francesc Ferrero, Spain
16 Gerald Flattery, UK
17 Sardar Garib, Spain
18 Jeevindran Gunarattnam, Socialist Party, General worker, Malaysia
19 Maryam Heydari, Sweden
20 Fatey Ike, Student, Belgium
21 Eva Johansson, Sweden
22 John Johore, Lawyer (retired), UK
23 David Josling, Socialist Aotearoa, Secretary, New Zealand
24 Sherwan Kamal, Medical advisor, Holland
25 Surkew Karim, Builder, UK
26 Osman Kilic, Journalist, Netherlands
27 Esra Kossalan, Sweden
28 Bakr Kurdos, Sweden
29 Mehmet Kuru, UK
30 Peter Leeftink, Netherlands
31 Peter Lindström, Sweden
32 Richard Livermore, Poet, Scotland
33 Skylar Mayo, Cosmetologist, USA
34 Alan Merdin, NHS, Healthcare, UK
35 Kerim Meresene, Journalist, Sweden
36 Roger Mills, Retired, Montserrat
37 Vivian Mitchell, Student, USA
38 Riccardo Orsini, Italy
39 Leyla Ozcaki, UK
40 Turkan Ozcan, Roj Women, Self employed, UK
41 Amelia Pereira, Portugal
42 Christian Pereira, Consultant, UK
43 Emily Pocock, USA
44 Adrian Rokosz, Student, Poland
45 Ferhat Saka, Germany
46 Karvan Salimi, Physical Education Ministry, Coach, Iran
47 Jenifer Smith, USA
48 Kajal Soltanpanah, Norway
49 Gerald Stewart, USA
50 Raldi Stewart, USA
51 Joaquim Viana, Bank worker (retired), Portugal
52 Christopher Wallace, Events, USA
53 Sabah Yassin, Writer & worker, Iraq
54 Yvonne Zimmermann, Historian, Switzerland

[This list is now closed.]