Askapena penned a letter of internationalist support for Shengal, sharing details of the dirty KDP-Turkey agreements which have given way to the conflict situations being created in both Shengal and Qandil, amongst other places. The letter shared by the Internationalist Organization of Euskal Herria is as follows:
“In 1991, some kind of autonomy was established in Bashur, under the command of KDP. Since then, the KDP party, subordinated to the Barzani clan, has constantly abused and violated the rights of Kurdish people, in the interest of that clan. Until 1998, KDP waged a six-year-long civil war against the PKK and other factions of the organized Kurdish people.
Since 2003, the monopolization of power has been even more evident in all aspects of the political, economic and social spheres. Not only has there been corruption, nepotism, rise of poverty and promotion of emigration, but also criminalization, kidnapping, imprisonment and murder of political dissents. What is more, the country’s parliament’s activity was stopped for proposing a political reform of the system. Those interests are detrimental to people, while the bourgeoisie of the country (Barzani’s clan in this case) is receiving constant allowances.
Due to the PDK government’s trade relations with Turkey, KRG sells half a million barrels of oil to the latter every year. And the obtained money from that sale is sent to foreign banks, so they can buy property for the Barzani’s clan. Meanwhile, since August 2020, more than 2080 people have been arrested by KDP police, most of whom have had to sign under torture pledges not to take part in any more protests, otherwise the conditions of parole would be violated, and they would be imprisoned. In this situation, of course, Turkey has its bit too. Among its agreements with the KDP, the latter has allowed the construction of 50 bases of the Turkish army, including the establishment of bases of the MIT Turkish intelligence services. In return, Turkey has carried out airstrikes and other oppressions –in Qandil, Shengal and more– under the pretext of fighting the PKK to increase and strengthen Turkish hegemony and Barzani’s power.
An agreement between the KDP and the Baghdad governments was signed the 9th of October, as part of a dialogue process backed and built by the USA. Among other issues, it specified that the Peshmergas would retreat from Shengal (Sinjar) region and a road would be opened from Shengal to Duhok. In addition, due to the agreement, the KDP and other Kurdish parties may have their own representation in the Shengal region. As for a better assessment of the situation, two other elements need to be added.
On the one hand, these agreements of October include the Ovaköy Border Gate project in Turkey, a railway and highway project from Turkey to Mosul and Kirkuk. In light of the above, it is easy to make connections if we say that there are important oil wells in Mosul and Kirkuk. Just recall the conflicts in Iraq back in 2014-2015 in order to understand the strategic importance of these two locations. We have often denounced Turkey’s imperialist interests and the neo-Ottoman project, as well as being one of the promoters of DAES. What is happening now is yet another indicator that confirms us in this denunciation.
Another element to consider is the organization of the people of Shengal within the framework of Democratic Confederalism. In August 2014, DAES carried out a massacre against Yazidis in Shengal, and only YPG, YPJ and PKK Kurdish liberation forces responded to this attack by opening a corridor to help Yazidis escape and confronting DAES. Peshmerga fled in the midst of the massacre. After this, the Yazidis and other citizens of Shengal began to build the Shengal Autonomous Council to reclaim their land and people and implement a policy and action aimed at the benefit of the people. To this end, they joined the system of Democratic Confederalism within the KCK and created the YBŞ Armed Forces for the Defense of Autonomy. As a result, we denounce that the October 9 agreement also aims to abolish the system implemented by and for the people and to establish a political system that will act in the interests of capitalists.
In this context, on the 23rd of November, Baghdad began implementing the agreement and 3,000 troops were sent to Shengal. The Shengal Autonomous Council suspects that this step will immediately lead to an attack on its autonomy by the Turkish, KDP, and Baghdad governments. In response to this, the KCDK-E, European Council of Kurdish Democratic Societies, has called for a day of action today. We want to join this liberation day of action and encourage the agents of the Basque Country to denounce this new attack.
It is unacceptable to oppress and kidnap the freedom of people for capitalist interests. What is more, we must not look so far for these capitalist interests, because there are many which are in the Basque Country: ITP, SAPA, Petronor, Iberdrola, CAF… It is also time to denounce their responsibility.
We will respond to this new attack by internationalism. Whenever they oppress any people, they will have us face to face, next to the peoples of the world, with internationalist solidarity. Because solidarity is the tenderness between peoples.
Berxwedan jiyan e! Bizitza erresistentzia da!”