Languages: Kurdî ‏سۆرانی‎

NATO Approves Erdoğan’s Genocidal Strategy on the 100th Anniversary of the Treaty of Lausanne

At the 2023 NATO Summit in Lithuania, world leaders accepted the demands of authoritarian Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, transforming the event into a high-level diplomatic session sanctioning the oppression of the Kurdish people and promising continued bloodshed and displacement throughout Kurdistan.

Before the summit, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and Erdoğan released a 7-point agreement, showing deference to the impositions of the Turkish state and wholesale disregard for the laws and democratic traditions of Sweden and international human rights conventions. Once again, Turkey used its NATO membership to blackmail democratic nations and obtain a green light for its dictatorial policies and campaigns of military aggression and genocide targeting the Kurdish people.

Just four years ago, many NATO member states thanked the Kurds, and particularly the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) in Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan), for saving humanity from catastrophe by fighting and defeating the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group, which then posed a major threat to global security. Furthermore, all NATO member states know that ISIS was founded and supported by NATO member Turkey. Erdoğan’s ongoing targeting of the YPG and YPJ is a continuation of the ISIS proxy war against the Kurds. NATO, and any alliance committed to democracy and international stability, should be mindful of this recent history and important regional dynamic.

Days before the 100th anniversary of the Treaty of Lausanne, which divided Kurdistan and left the Kurdish people voiceless without even mentioning the Kurds in its text, NATO’s compromise with the Turkish state and its public embrace of Erdoğan’s violent anti-Kurdish policies show that the alliance is once again willing to commit serious violations of international law and human rights. For over 40 years, NATO has legitimized the Turkish state’s attacks on the Kurds and has approved and covered for the war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Turkish State. The Turkish Armed Forces, the second largest NATO army, uses chemical weapons against the guerrilla forces of Kurdistan who are fighting to save the Kurdish people from elimination and uses armed drones against Kurdish civilians.

100 years after the Treaty of Lausanne opened a new chapter of suffering for the Kurdish people, NATO and Sweden have sanctioned Erdoğan’s anti-Kurdish aggression aimed at displacing and destroying the Kurdish nation – effectively renewing the commitment of world powers to eliminate the Kurdish people at a time when Kurds throughout Kurdistan and worldwide observe this dark centennial by commemorating their heroes who were martyred resisting a century years of genocide, plunder, exploitation and occupation.

We strongly condemn the acquiescence of NATO and Sweden to Erdoğan’s demands and their complicity in the Turkish state’s attacks against the Kurdish people.

KNK Executive Council