A group of Kurdish party leaders recently called on the international community and governments in the Middle East to respect the Kurdistan Region’s referendum on independence from Iraq.
In a written statement sent to Kurdistan 24 on Friday, leaders of the Kurdistan Socialist Party (PSK), Kurdistan Democratic Party - North (PDK-Bakur), Kurdistan Freedom Party (PAK), Freedom and Socialism Party (OSP), and Azadi Movement reiterated support for the Sep. 25 referendum.
“It is a natural right for every people to be independent and sovereign in their own country, achieving coexistence under egalitarian, just, and democratic conditions,” their statement read.
The relatively small parties with no parliamentary or local representation formed a joint platform in July to inform Kurds in Turkey about their Iraqi brethren’s right to self-determination.
They commended Kurdish efforts in democratizing and federalizing Iraq but stated the union has failed to work with a “sectarian” government in Baghdad, echoing remarks by Kurdistan’s President Masoud Barzani who this week said the Iraqi state was now a religious one.
The Kurdistan Region “displays a good example of co-existence of different ethnicities and religious communities in peace and security,” the platform stated, highlighting Kurdish aspirations for a pluralistic and democratic statehood.
“In the face of attacks by [the Islamic State] and other terror organizations, Kurdistan has become a safe haven for Muslims and non-Muslims,” they added.
Despite opposition from Turkey, Iran, and the United States, President Barzani said there was no turning back from the decision to hold the historic event.
To soothe the Ankara government’s fears, the Kurdish parties said Kurdistan’s peaceful path to independence was “a guarantee for peace and stability.”
“The Kurdistan [Region] is an important friend and neighbor of Turkey and shall continue to be so,” they said.
All Kurdish parties in Turkey of diverse ideological positions, including the country’s second largest the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), have unanimously expressed support for the Region in its steps for independence.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany