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We are trans­lat­ing this arti­cle because it seems most rel­e­vant to us in explain­ing why author­i­ties in a good num­ber of Euro­pean States no longer hes­i­tate in expelling Kur­dish mil­i­tants to Turkey, or in oppos­ing the shel­ter­ing them under the right of asy­lum, via pre­fec­tures in France, for exam­ple, when they are per­se­cut­ed by the regime in Turkey, with all the evi­dence for such being provided.

These cas­es have been on the upsurge recent­ly.

The EU reg­u­lar­ly renews its wish­es for  “good rela­tions” with Turkey and renews at each expiry date the agree­ment on “migrants” along with its finan­cial pay­ments. The fact the Turk­ish regime does not fol­low through on demands from the Euro­pean Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to release Sela­hat­tin Demir­taş or Osman Kavala does not affect good bilat­er­al rela­tions in the least, and notably on mat­ters of inter­na­tion­al polic­ing con­cern­ing oppo­nents to the Erdoğan regime.  Under cov­er of agree­ments on migra­tion, the EU thus agrees to include on its black­lists into the Schen­gen space names point­ed out by the Turk­ish police. When one is aware of the fact that the head­quar­ters for Inter­pol, locat­ed in Turkey, will soon be head­ed by an ex-tor­tur­er from the Emi­rates, the whole pic­ture becomes clear. Red notices and black lists are insured of a long life…

Not con­tent with align­ing them­selves on the Amer­i­can pol­i­cy of aban­don­ing Kurds in Syr­ia, French author­i­ties are zeal­ous when it comes to refus­ing asy­lum to those flee­ing war zones, and leaves them to drown in the Chan­nel when they attempt to find bet­ter luck in Eng­land. While it holds up requests for asy­lum from refugees arriv­ing from Turkey. The extreme swing to the right in French polit­i­cal life on mat­ters of migra­tion does not explain every­thing. A pol­i­cy of police coop­er­a­tion with Turkey, begun under the “social­ist” pres­i­den­cy of François Hol­land, is ongo­ing under that of his suc­ces­sor with the same actors at the helm of “for­eign affairs”.

More than ever then, the Kur­dish dias­po­ra in France should be wary of its false friends.

Also, the fact of main­tain­ing the PKK on the inter­na­tion­al lists of “ter­ror­ist organ­i­sa­tions”, after the Kurds pro­vid­ed mil­i­tary coop­er­a­tion to inter­na­tion­al forces against ISIS, con­tributes to the excus­es for anti-Kur­dish repres­sion, a con­stant of the Turk­ish State.

In the same way, “inter­na­tion­al­ists” who fought against ISIS along­side the Kurds are black­list­ed and thus crim­i­nalised; mean­while while we are still await­ing con­clu­sions to the inves­ti­ga­tions on the crimes spon­sored by Turkey in Paris, for example…

The fol­low­ing arti­cle describes vis­i­ble aspects of these poli­cies of police coop­er­a­tion against mil­i­tants cur­rent­ly defend­ing fun­da­men­tal caus­es while the EU pur­sues its realpoli­tik i.e. its sales of mil­i­tary mate­r­i­al and the clos­ing of its borders.


Jour­nal­ist Matt Broom­field, arrest­ed as an unde­sir­able per­son by the Greeks. Pho­to : Matt Broom­field (CEDIDA)

Arti­cle by Fer­ran Bar­ber pub­lished in Castil­lian in Pub­li­co on Decem­ber 18 2021.

For having supported the Kurds, Germany forbids entry of an English citizen into the Schengen space and expels a Spaniard with a 20 year prohibition on re-entry.

Mil­i­tants linked to Roja­va denounce the fact the Ger­man admin­is­tra­tion has includ­ed them on the black lists and that they are now sub­ject­ed to reprisals. They assume Turkey is behind this persecution.

Nev­er, not even in his worst night­mares, could he have imag­ined a chain of events like the one that caught up with him ear­li­er in the year. British jour­nal­ist Matt Broom­field was attempt­ing to enter Italy from Greece when the Greek police informed him that his name had been includ­ed by Ger­many on the Schen­gen infor­ma­tion sys­tems, as an “unde­sir­able per­son”. At Berlin’s request, the Eng­lish reporter had indeed been for­bid­den entry into the 26 coun­tries of the Schen­gen space for the next ten years. Broom­field was also imme­di­ate­ly arrest­ed and placed in one of the deten­tion cen­ters for migrants. He is the first — and so far, the only — West­ern­er sub­ject­ed to this experience.

Broomfield’s descrip­tion of these migrants’ liv­ing con­di­tions and of his own 2‑month sojourn is ter­ri­fy­ing. The worst part, is that he does not even know why the Ger­mans con­sid­er him an “unde­sir­able”.  “All I was told about what hap­pened was that I had been includ­ed by Ger­many in the Schen­gen infor­ma­tion sys­tem”, the jour­nal­ist declared to this news­pa­per. “We know that anoth­er British doc­tor who was in Roja­va received an iden­ti­cal pro­hi­bi­tion which con­firms that the sanc­tion inflict­ed on me has some rela­tion­ship with my work at the Roja­va Infor­ma­tion Cen­ter.” That organ­i­sa­tion, of which Matt is one of the founders, has been work­ing for years with jour­nal­ists world­wide, pro­vid­ing infor­ma­tion on the evo­lu­tion of the sit­u­a­tion in North­ern and East­ern Syr­ia (NES), the autonomous ter­ri­to­ry con­trolled by the Kurds.

The fact that the Kur­dish author­i­ties gov­ern­ing NES spent years fight­ing ISIS under the ban­ner of a coali­tion also includ­ing Amer­i­cans and Britons them­selves con­sti­tutes an almost insol­u­ble para­dox: that per­sons be pur­sued for col­lab­o­rat­ing with an admin­is­tra­tion with which they own gov­ern­ments were fight­ing hand in hand. “British judges once said, con­cern­ing oth­er sim­i­lar cas­es, ‘how can some­one be accused of ter­ror­ism for actions com­mit­ted with the sup­port of the British Air Force itself’,” empha­sis­es Mr. Broomfield.

Accord­ing to the law then, if a per­son such as myself rep­re­sents a seri­ous secu­ri­ty threat, he or she must be includ­ed in the Schen­gen infor­ma­tion sys­tems. Obvi­ous­ly, I am not a threat. Almost all the ones on the lists are like me. There are hun­dreds of thou­sands of per­sons on these lists and most of them are sim­ply migrants. Some States use these lists as a legal mech­a­nism in order to expel whomev­er they so wish. Oth­ers use them to tar­get human rights activists or lawyers. In Poland, for exam­ple, a Swiss-Turk­ish jour­nal­ist, head of an NGO, was denied entry on its ter­ri­to­ry. Great Britain, Italy, Den­mark, Bel­gium and Ger­many have tak­en mea­sures against per­sons who went to Roja­va or who sup­port­ed the Kur­dish move­ment. In Aus­tralia or in Den­mark, going to Roja­va is a crime, inde­pen­dent­ly of what you did there”, Broom­field explains.

The jour­nal­ist sus­pects Turkey sent Ger­many a list of names it uses in con­duct­ing its own witch hunt, a Ger­man ver­sion of McCarthy’s witch hunt. Just like the Amer­i­can Sen­a­tor, Berlin sup­ports its jihad against Kur­dish sol­i­dar­i­ty move­ments, with its own updat­ed ver­sion of the “red scare”, which, in this case, could be called the “Kur­dish scare”.

There have been six attempts in Great Britain to pros­e­cute for­mer mem­bers of the YPG Kur­dish mili­tia, by var­i­ous legal means, but they have all failed. A boy by the name of Daniel Burke spent 18 months in prison before being released with­out charges”, the British jour­nal­ist details. “They also attempt­ed to charge the father of a mili­tia man by the name of Daniel Newey for send­ing 150 £ to his son. They want­ed to charge him with ter­ror­ism. In my case, it was nev­er a secret that I was in the North and East of Syr­ia, because I was often in the papers.” 

More than 100 Spaniards fought or ful­filled civil­ian duties in North­east­ern Syr­ia. In 2015, a mili­tia man from Gali­cia by the name of Arges Arti­a­ga was indeed accused of mur­der but the nation­al Court reject­ed the accu­sa­tion. How­ev­er, there is a much more recent case of per­se­cu­tion involv­ing a Span­ish feminist.

A Spanish activist repressed

Maria V. Holds the unfortunate honour of being the first militant to be expelled from Germany for her explicit support to the Kurdish movement. The feminist was expelled without due process of law by German authorities, accused of serving as a link “between the radical left and the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party).”

Last Octo­ber, three civ­il offi­cers of the police com­mis­sari­at in Halle informed her of the notice from the immi­gra­tion bureau in Magde­burg, demand­ing that she leave the coun­try with­in 30 days because she had lost “her right to free cir­cu­la­tion in Ger­many as a cit­i­zen of the Euro­pean Union.” 

By virtue of this ordi­nance, the inter­na­tion­al­ist will be for­bid­den entry into Ger­many for 20 days  as of the date when the deci­sion was com­mu­ni­cat­ed to her. Author­i­ties have jus­ti­fied their deci­sion by the fact that Maria rep­re­sents a threat for the secu­ri­ty of the Ger­man Fed­er­al Repub­lic. More­over, she is accused of hav­ing remained too long in the coun­try with­out fam­i­ly ties, employ­ment, insur­ance or sources of rev­enue, from which it con­cludes that she used her time in the coun­try “exclu­sive­ly in order to par­tic­i­pate in and organ­ise polit­i­cal activ­i­ties linked with the Kur­dish lib­er­a­tion move­ment against Turkey.”

Accord­ing to ANF, the Kur­dish press agency, the doc­u­ment inform­ing her of her expul­sion from the coun­try under­lines the fact that, since 2014, Maria took part in assem­blies, protests, demon­stra­tions and oth­er polit­i­cal events in places such as Leipzig, Magde­burg and Berlin. The Spaniard was inter­ro­gat­ed con­cern­ing her com­put­er knowl­edge and knowl­edge of the Kur­dish lan­guage because, accord­ing to the infor­ma­tion site, these allowed her to con­tribute to the con­sti­tu­tion of a net­work “and to serve as a link between the rad­i­cal left in Ger­many and the Kur­dish lib­er­a­tion move­ment”. The pro­hi­bi­tion on re-enter­ing the coun­try for twen­ty years can only be applied in cas­es of war crimes, crimes against human­i­ty or ter­ror­ism, which pro­vides the mea­sure of the harsh­ness of the decision.


In Ger­many, Kurds and Euro­peans protest against Erdogan’s poli­cies. Pho­to: Zinar Ala (CEDIDA)

The Kurds them­selves con­sid­er the deci­sion was tak­en to set an exam­ple. “The State is attempt­ing to open a door to crim­i­nal­is­ing polit­i­cal­ly active per­sons with­out Ger­man pass­ports in order to expel them at will”, declared the ANF in a com­mu­nique. “All the Kurds liv­ing in Ger­many are sus­pect­ed of ter­ror­ism because of the PKK pro­hi­bi­tion. Attempts to crim­i­nalise the Abol­ish Ban ini­tia­tive, call­ing for the decrim­i­nal­i­sa­tion of the PKK and a lift­ing of the pro­hi­bi­tion against the PKK are yet anoth­er exam­ple.” The date of the expul­sion coin­cid­ed with Novem­ber 26, which is also the anniver­sary of the PKK pro­hi­bi­tion Maria V. has trou­ble believ­ing this is noth­ing but a coincidence.

Condemned without trial

The expelled mil­i­tant explained to ANF that she learned of this deci­sion in Octo­ber when she was sum­moned to police head­quar­ters in Halle, in Sax­ony. “I was informed that I had 30 days to leave the coun­try and since this peri­od had expired, I had to leave Ger­many”, she declared on Novem­ber 27. The Span­ish fem­i­nist under­lined the arbi­trary char­ac­ter of the deci­sion that was not reached by any tri­bunal or judi­cia­ry organ. “My knowl­edge of Kur­dish and my par­tic­i­pa­tion in demon­stra­tions are the excus­es they pro­vide in sup­port of the expul­sion order. Because I have no rel­a­tives in Ger­many, they main­tain that I have been liv­ing here for years, while insin­u­at­ing that it is a crime to use my knowl­edge and my expe­ri­ence to the Kurds’ benefit.” 

The expul­sion order makes ref­er­ence also to demon­stra­tions organ­ised on March 8th as part of the inter­na­tion­al day for women work­ers and to events linked to Ham­bach­er Forst, one of the bet­ter known envi­ron­men­tal move­ments. Maria V. drew atten­tion to the fact that this sug­gest­ed there was some­thing crim­i­nal in par­tic­i­pat­ing in per­fect­ly legal and peace­ful demon­stra­tions. “Despite the fact that I nev­er car­ried out any ille­gal activ­i­ties in Ger­many, I was kicked out”, she declared.

The fem­i­nist, who has appealed the deci­sion through her lawyer, is cer­tain her expul­sion is a con­se­quence of her inter­na­tion­al­ist posi­tions and her sup­port for the Kur­dish people’s strug­gle. “I want the Kurds to live free as oth­er peo­ples do. And in Ger­many, it is thus a crime for a Spaniard to pur­sue such objec­tives and to learn the Kur­dish language.” 

Translation from French by Renée Lucie Bourges
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Le petit mag­a­zine qui ne se laisse pas caress­er dans le sens du poil.