As Kurdish and Turkish migrants living in Britain, we are proud to endorse the Labour Party’s manifesto

As Kurdish and Turkish migrants living in Britain, we are proud to endorse the Labour Party’s manifesto
  • 05.12.2019

”As Kurdish and Turkish migrants living in Britain, we are proud to endorse the Labour Party’s manifesto and work towards electing a Labour government on 12th December.

The UK has been a safe haven for Kurds and Turks during decades of political instability in Turkey and the Middle East, and hundreds of thousands have established a life and family in this country. As migrants, we have faced the worst of austerity over the last ten years, particularly the inner-city areas where many of our community live. As austerity deepens and inequality widens, Kurds and Turks, like all ethnic minorities, are scapegoated, and have been subject to vicious racist attacks. In 2017 Kurdish teenager Reker Ahmed was violently attacked in Croydon. Police cuts have caused a spike in violent crime including the murder of Barış Küçük, a member of the Kurdish community in Haringey, North London who was tragically stabbed to death this year.

Over the last few decades as the Kurdish and Turkish diaspora has become more established in North London, Jeremy Corbyn has been a strong friend and ally, a frequent visitor to Kurdish and Turkish community centres and a keen participator in celebrating Kurdish and Turkish culture in Britain. Since the 1980s, Jeremy Corbyn has shown unwavering solidarity with Kurds across the Middle East facing heavy repression, genocide and ethnic cleansing, and with Turkish leftists and dissidents resisting an increasingly repressive and theocratic government under President Erdogan. Jeremy Corbyn’s credentials go back far: in 1988 he protested outside the Iraqi Embassy about the use of chemical weapons by Saddam Hussein against Kurds in Iraq. He stood up in parliament to oppose Saddam Hussein’s cultural and military genocide of Kurds, whilst the UK government was selling weapons to Iraq. He spoke out against the brutality of Ayatollah Khomeini’s treatment of Kurds and human rights abuses in Iran. He  has visited all four constituent parts of Kurdistan (Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria) and has met numerous Kurdish politicians fighting for justice, including the Turkish HDP, Labour’s sister party, which has had 16,300 of its members detained and 3,500 imprisoned since 2015 including its leaders, MPs and Mayors. In 2014 when ISIS were taking swathes of land in northern Syria and committing genocide against the Yazidis in Sinjar, Jeremy Corbyn took to the streets with the Kurdish community in Britain once more to demand a humanitarian corridor and practical aid and assistance for the YPG, the Kurdish forces resisting the ISIS invasion. The following year he met with Salih Muslim, the co-chair of the Kurdish party PYD who govern northern Syria and the family of the young British man Kosta Scurfield who lost his life fighting ISIS with the Kurdish YPG. Jeremy Corbyn understands that there won’t be peace in Syria until there is a United Nations political settlement involving all parties including the Kurds who have been blocked from participation by Turkey. He has supported the Kurds’ demands for political and cultural rights across the region, and opposed the Conservative government’s billion-pound arms deal with President Erdogan which has meant that British-made weapons are used to attack the same Kurdish forces that have been on the frontline of the fight against ISIS.

Jeremy Corbyn’s record lies in stark contrast to that of the Conservative government and Boris Johnson. When Turkey invaded northern Syria in October, President Erdogan gave explicit warning of his plan to undertake ethnic cleansing of Kurds, putting at risk hundreds of thousands of civilians in a war-ravaged region and undermining the Kurds’ ability to fight ISIS cells and contain ISIS prisoners. Turkey’s links with ISIS are long established, and yet the UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace supported Turkey’s invasion as “self-defence”. The consequences of this have already been felt as ISIS attacks and prison breaks have increased – this is not only a human rights issue for Kurds in Syria but a reckless act that could have grave consequences in Europe too. By siding with Turkey, Boris Johnson’s government is giving political and military support to a state which is aiding and abetting jihadis in Syria and elsewhere and presiding over the violent repression of the Kurdish minority in Turkey. If a Conservative government is re-elected next week, the consequences will be bleak for Kurds in Britain and in the Middle East; Labour are the only party prepared to stand up to Turkey’s authoritarianism, its war on Kurds and its support of jihadi proxies in Syria.

Anyone who wants to see a political settlement in Syria, who wants to stop the re-birth of ISIS under Turkey’s watch, who wants peace and solidarity between oppressed peoples across the world should back Labour on 12th December and prevent another Conservative government bringing us more war, more poverty, more racist attacks on refugees displaced by those wars.”


Canan Sagar – Musician

Akın Olgun – Journalist – Writer

Deniz Ciftci – Academic

Alaettin Siyanic – Journalist

Ahmet Guven – Writer

Mizgin Müjde Arslan -Film Maker

Tugba Ozcivan -Music Teacher, Singer

Baran Duran -musician

Suna Alan – Singer

Özkan Orman- Artist

Gulseren Tas – Actress

Cemi Salih – DJ

Berguzar Erdogan / Singer

Hikmet Erden– Journalist

Kamil Küpeli – Poet

Zafer Armutlu – Solicitor

Ali Has – Solicitor

Sibel Gungor – solicitor

Suna Tiskaya – Solicitor

Ilkay Timur Aydemir – Solicitor-Advocate

Sevcan Kaygun – Solicitor

Saim Basbaydar – Solicitor

Guven Ates – Solicitor

Suna Tiskaya – Solicitor

Sefaret Yaman – Solicitor

Vesile Tekas – Solicitor

Onder Karpuz – Solicitor

Suna Derinkursun – Solicitor

Rauf Khalilov – Solicitor

Bektas Cetin – Solicitor

Sevim Tombul – Solicitor-Advocate

Silan Has – Solicitor

Dogan Dogus – Solicitor

Aynur Celik – Solicitor

Cilem Dogus – Solicitor

Yagmur Hanim Bulut – Solicitor

Aycan Misir – Solicitor

Berivan Coskun – Solicitor

Hasan Yildirim – Solicitor

Mahmut Dogan – Musician

Sevgi Ulcay – Activist

Kenan Hudaverdi -Director

Sultan Karatas– Poet

Ruhi Karadag – Film Director

Feyzullah Cinpolat – Day-Mer Community Activist

İbrahim Avcil – Gik-Der – Community Activist

Kalender Ülger – Kirkisrak Community Centre Organiser

Sultan Cakir – Teacher

Deniz Engin – Teacher

Guner Aydın– CLLR

Yusuf Kul – Accountant

Dr Mehmet Kurt– London School of Economics and Political Science

Argun Cakir – University of Bristol, Department of Music, postdoctoral research assistant

Meryem Kaya – Medical Doctor

Srwa Mustafa (Nérgiz) – Civil Service

Ata Mufty – Journalist and Activist

Elif Gun – Graduate and Activist

Elif Sarican – Anthropologist and Organiser

Kumru Baser – Journalist

Sibel Gungor – Councelor

Ferhan Yetisal -Councelor

Aysel Kirmizikan – Councelor

Rabia Cinar – Propreitor

Rana Aksac –  Psychotherapist

Banu Aydin – Therapist

Macide Yuksel- Senior CBT Psychotherapist

Hanim Akdemir – Optic Manager

Olcay Aniker – Solicitor

Zuhal Borucu Kocadag – Manager

Meral Halkaci – Community Activist

Memet Kardu – Kurdish People’s Assembly Community Activist

Nejla Coskun – Kurdish People’s Assembly  Community Activist

Fatma Can – IT Consultant

Sevgi Ulcay – Finance

Fatma Aydin – Chartered Accountant

Dilek Gungor – Nurse/ Senior psychotherapist

Nuran Donmez – Mental Health Social Worker

Firat Karaboyun – Accountant

Rojda Sipan – Accountant

Ilker Yadirgi – Accountant

Ala Hassan -Kurdish Student Movement

Ari Murad – Television producer

Bavil Ahmad -kurdish refugee from South Kurdistan

Ayca Cubukcu – Associate Professor in Human Rights, LSE

Fezile Ozbaran – Flight Attendant

Mustafa Ozbaran – Medical student

Tijen Beligh -interpreter/ translator

Dilek Gungor -Nafsiyat Intercultural Therapy Centre

Feride Kumbasar – Consultant and Research Student

Ali Dogan – Medical doctor

Ozlem Pekbas – IDVA IDVA- Independent Domestic Violence Advocate

Eylem Dogan – Phlebotomist

Sema Atessal Ugur – Freelance

Belgin Koc – Freelance

Tulay Gulsen – Advisor

Esengul Ozdemir – Nursery Teacher

Dr Zeynep Kurban – Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult

Oktay sahbaz– Teacher

Ufuk Uyanik – Artist

Baris Celiloglu – Stage Director

Mehmet Ugur – Professor of Economics and institutions.  University of Greenwich.

Tahir Palali– Musician/ Entrepreneur

Av. Serpil Ersan – Solicitor

Savaş Yadirgi -Yazar

Cemo – Artist

Dr Duygu Cantekin– Psychologist

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