28 years of PKK ban in Germany

Call for a nationwide demonstration and week of action in November

Lift the ban of PKK!

End the war – promote a political solution!

In November, 28 years will have passed since the German government of this time imposed the ban on the activities of the “Kurdistan Workers’ Party” (PKK). Since then, German policy has not only continued this ban, but has constantly tightened it. Currently, 10 Kurdish activists are being held as political prisoners in German custody. In general, from 2016 to 2020, there were a total of 786 preliminary proceedings for membership of the PKK and support of the movement.

The dimension of the political, cultural, but also physical and psychological consequences of this repression against Kurds, which has been going on for decades, is unprecedented and now affects several generations, who know no other reality without persecution. This period is marked by: Thousands of court cases, hundreds of arrests, countless raids on associations and private residences, refusals of naturalisation, threats of deportation, revocation of asylum status, instrumentalisation of Kurds as key witnesses in so-called terror trials.

This exemplary enumeration is an excerpt of the bitter reality of the local population, which is placed under general suspicion and has been instrumentalised for a long time, for a constantly tightening “security architecture”. Ultimately, all those who oppose the prevailing policy and who persistently put their fingers in the wounds are affected – be it the German arms deliveries to the Turkish state, the silent consent of the German government to Turkey’s attacks on Rojava/Northeast Syria and South Kurdistan/North Iraq, which violate international law, the lack of reaction to the dramatic persecution of the democratic opposition critical of Erdoḡan, or the inhumane treaty policy with Ankara to seal off refugees.

The Kurdish movement has proven to be an important factor of stability in the Middle East region throughout the last decades. It represents a bulwark against the terror of the so-called “Islamic State” (IS) and is at the same time an organiser of grassroots democratic, pluralistic self-government structures in which women and women’s rights play a central role. Kurds living in Germany also defend this progressive policy and through their activities support the PKK’s democratic and peace policy aspirations as a way to solve the Kurdish question.

To accuse the PKK of “terrorism” for this, to sabotage its political work and to defame solidarity with its legitimate concerns must no longer remain state dogma. A clear change of course in the relationship with the Kurdish movement on the part of the German government is therefore urgently needed. In recent years, there have been the first positive decisions in Europe in this regard. On 28 January 2020, the Court of Cassation in Brussels confirmed the decision of the Court of Appeal of March 2019, according to which the PKK is not a “terrorist organisation” but a party in an armed conflict. Furthermore, the PKK was wrongly included on the EU terror list between 2014 and 2017. This was decided by the ECJ in November 2018. These first small steps are important and necessary changes in European jurisprudence towards the PKK. They recognise the Kurdish question as the result of a historically grown, social problem and break with the dogma of being able to use the so-called “war against terrorism” for any political interest unchallenged. These are minimal conditions for finding a political solution to the Kurdish question and finally ending the war in Kurdistan.

The lifting of the PKK ban in the Federal Republic of Germany, as well as the deletion of the PKK from the terror list of the EU would be further important steps on the way of dialogue and conflict resolution for the Kurdish question. Based on this, we will demonstrate in Berlin on 27 November 2021. We call for a broad civil society solidarity for the decriminalisation of the PKK.

Come and join us on the nationwide demonstration on 27 November 2021 in Berlin. This will take place as part of a nationwide week of action (22-27 November) against the PKK ban. Find out what other actions are taking place in your cities as part of the action week and support them.

For any questions you can contact us under: info@verbot-aufheben.de