To Our Peoples and the Public!
The Co-chairs of the KCK Executive Council on Geneve II
Press Release of the KCK
On the 22nd of January the second Geneva conference on the future of Syria will take place. It has been claimed that this meeting will shape the future of the country. It does seem that a probable agreement between the USA, Russia and France will lead to a compromise. It is, however, also well known that the positions of the current regime and the opposition are almost irreconcilable. Both sides are engaged in a battle for power, which makes it very difficult for any sort of reconciliation. The only force in Syria that is not battling for power and hegemony is the Kurds; the Kurds only demand democratisation and the empowerment of society. However, the organisers do not want to accept the Kurds at the meeting as an independent group. This reality has damaged hopes for the Geneva meeting to bring about a significant process of democratisation and peace.
The peoples of Syria have risen up for freedom and democracy. However, the only force currently struggling for freedom and democracy, and who have in part achieved this through a revolution of its own are the Kurds. This revolution, widely known as the Rojava Revolution, with its libertarian and democratic character, offers hope for all the peoples of Syria. The revolution of the Kurds in Rojava, prefigures a democratic system in which all peoples and religious groups can live freely. This precise characteristic makes the Rojava Revolution a model for a solution to all social and political problems in the Middle East.
In today’s world democracy is defined by the ability of communities to govern themselves. This is how real democracy is implemented. Syria comprises many different ethnicities and religious communities. These groups have a right to govern themselves and construct their own free and democratic institutions. Syria can no longer govern itself centrally. Even at the present, Rojava has become a place where different ethnic and religious communities are able to govern themselves.
The Kurds are the fourth largest people of the Middle East. In the four constituent parts of Kurdistan 45 million people live. The Kurds want to live freely and democratically alongside all the other peoples, without changing any of the existing borders. This aspiration is currently being implemented in Rojava. They want to be an active component of a democratic Syria. With a population of three million, the Kurds of Syria are the third biggest community in the country; they have stated their desire to live in a democratic Syria alongside the peoples of the country by organising themselves in the form of three cantons.
However, the current opposition does not accept the will of the Kurds. The approach of the current opposition does not differ from that of the Baath regime. They have adopted the stance of Turkey, which in any case is always against the achievements of the Kurdish people, by undermining the Kurdish people and saying that "we can start talking only after a regime change in Syria". The Kurdish people can no longer be party to anything that does not recognise their will. This is why the Kurds demand to be part of the Geneva II conference as an independent and democratic opposition. The Kurdish people deserve that their rightful democratic demands are heard. It is only natural for a people whose existence has been denied and subjected to cultural genocide, but is nevertheless demanding a democratic Syria, to want to take its place at the Geneva II meeting.
Unfortunately, those same countries that are making calls to all sides to join Geneva II are turning a blind eye to the demands of the Kurds. The will of more than three million people who have organised themselves across three cantons is being rejected. As a result, the Geneva II meeting has undermined itself in the sense that it no longer represents the will of the whole population. By rejecting the will of the Kurds, who are only demanding a democratic Syria, Geneva II has damaged its legitimacy.
The Kurds have suffered from the Lausanne Treaty for almost a hundred years. For this reason, the Kurds will not allow Geneva II to become a new Lausanne. A meeting that does not recognise the will of the Kurds will itself not be recognised by the Kurds. The Kurds will not implement and recognise the decisions of those that can be so irresponsible about the key issue of the democratisation of Syria.
We demand that the states that are considering invitations to Geneva II rethink their decisions and invite the Kurdish people to attend and by so doing enable Geneva II to gain in strength and legitimacy.
The presence of the Kurds at the Geneva II meeting will give it depth; however, the absence of the Kurds at Geneva II will throw in to doubt the will and legitimacy of the meeting. The absence of one of the main forces for democratisation in Syria from the Geneva II meeting will immediately raise doubt about its potential to contribute to the democratisation of Syria. Those responsible for this will be the forces that exclude the Kurdish people.