Languages: Kurdî ‏سۆرانی‎

Heartfelt condolences on the passing of anti-apartheid leader Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a dear friend of the Kurdish people

It is with great sadness that we have learned of the passing of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a tireless fighter for global human rights and a hero of the victorious struggle against apartheid in South Africa. We send our deepest condolences to his family, his comrades, and all of the peoples of South Africa.

Archbishop Tutu became acquainted with the struggle of the Kurdish people in the early 1990s when the Turkish state waged a scorched earth campaign throughout northern Kurdistan and committed systematic crimes against the Kurdish people, and his solidarity with the Kurds would span decades. He shared his experience in the struggle against his homeland’s apartheid regime with us and took every opportunity to advocate for justice for the Kurdish people and a dignified peace for Kurdistan. He personally participated in many prominent global initiatives for peace in Kurdistan and Turkey and, along with the late judge Essa Moosa, Archbishop Tutu was a leading voice for the Kurds not only in South Africa, but on the international stage as well.

In addition to his political commitment to justice, he also prayed for the freedom of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan. His dedication to human rights and freedom knew no bounds, and long after helping bring an end to apartheid in his homeland, he remained a determined voice for the oppressed all over the world.

Archbishop Tutu was not only a hero of the South African struggle against apartheid, but also an icon of the universal struggle against racism and oppression. His passing is a great loss for the peoples of South Africa and many others, including the Kurds.

We will always be thankful for Archbishop Tutu’s personal contributions to our cause, and we will remain guided by his lifetime of work for the oppressed and as we continue our struggle for justice and peace in Kurdistan and beyond.

Executive Council of the Kurdistan National Congress