The peace of afrin is also threatened by german politics

The peace of Afrin is also threatened by German politics

Solidarity demonstration for Afrin in Berlin. Image: ANF

Apparently in the interest of German politics, repressive measures are increasingly being taken against symbols and events of Kurdish organizations

Peace doves are rarely used today as a means of political agitation. Hardly anyone today can imagine that in the 1950s, when Picasso created them for the world peace movement, they were considered subversive. In many countries with right-wing governments, the peace dove was banned as a communist symbol. Today it is often ridiculed and dismissed as naive by younger leftists.

But in recent weeks, posters with the dove of peace and the slogan "Peace for Afrin" have been seen again "Peace for Afrin" on house walls. The call was made by a committee in solidarity with the northern Syrian city besieged by Turkish militaries and their Islamist auxiliaries, where Kurdish confederalists have introduced an alternative council model with the support of large parts of the population.

The call for demonstrations refers to this:

"Afrin is one of the three democratically self-governing areas that comprise the Democratic Foderation of Northern Syria. Since 2012, the project of democratic confederation has been built here despite the war and the embargo. The Kurdish government is a political entity that strives for equal self-governance and democratic self-determination of ethnic groups, religions and genders.

Under the leadership of women, an awakening is taking place that could point the way forward for the entire region and provide a model for resolving decades-old conflicts. This project, which gives hope for a peaceful and democratic Syria and can have a positive effect on the entire region, deserves our support.

The Turkish attacks, however, undermine the chances of an early resolution to the Syrian conflict, further destabilize the entire region, lead to more suffering and flight. Especially the different ethnic and religious groups in Afrin are seriously confronted with the danger of a genocide."

During the demonstration 36 defenders of Afrin died

The motif of the peace dove, naive at first sight, has already been used in recent weeks in solidarity demonstrations with Afrin in other cities. That the call "Peace for Afrin" was very urgent for the demonstrators, many of whom have friends and relatives in the area, was shown by the reports that 36 Afrin defenders died just in this period as a result of bombardments by the Turkish army. How many civilians perished was not disclosed.

"I can think of nothing better to do on Sundays and holidays

Than a talk of war and war cries,

When behind, far, in Turkey,

The people beat on each other."

But it is not about a conflict somewhere in the world. Goethe’s Biedermeier idyll was always reactionary. But never was such a way of thinking more anachronistic than in times when German arms deliveries flourished even in the times when the official German-Turkish relationship was at a low point. After the German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel was released from Turkish hostage-taking, the German-Turkish arms partnership could be intensified even further.

Whether there was a deal and a junket between German and Turkish politicians is of secondary importance. What is important is that politicians in both countries want the arms deals and are glad that they can now openly declare their support for them.

The debate about an alleged deal once again implies that German politicians had to extract something from the Erdogan regime. German politicians had to make concessions. In this way, the story of Erdogan’s supremacy, which imposes demands on German politics, is handed down.

This conceals the fact that here only demands are being implemented that are also being pushed by important circles of German business and politics. They could not expect at all to be able to continue their Turkeigeschaft now again completely offensively.

Democracy restrictions of Kurdish and Turkic activists in Germany

This interest of the German and Turkic politics also concerns the repression against symbols of Kurdish and Turkic organizations, which are in the target of the Turkic militaries. Rougher debates occurred only when German citizens were also affected.

For example, the State Security Service is investigating Munich musician Johannes Konig because he shared via Facebook a comment from Bayerischer Rundfunk about a police raid on two Munich apartments involving the posting of flags belonging to the Syrian Kurdish YPG, the very organization that the Turkish military is destroying along with the Islamists.

The Bavarian Radio had attached the incriminated flag for illustration in a photo in the Internet offer. Because Konig also shared this photo, he is now also under investigation.

But sometimes it does not need symbols for police and state security to become active. Thus on 20. February, a police detachment broke into the left-wing conference center Meuchefitz in the Wendland region and confiscated a banner with the inscription "Afrin hold out! Turkic troops and German weapons murder in Rojava. Long live the YPG!" For many in the meeting house, it was not the first raid and therefore had no deterrent effect.

Repression against Kurds less noticed

It has hardly been reported, however, that the State Security Service has been approaching some Kurdish families in the Wendland region who wanted to join the solidarity committee for Afrin, warning them not to get involved with German left-wing radicals "left-wing radicals" . They have withdrawn for the time being for fear of possible consequences.

It is not only in the Wendland region that the restriction of fundamental rights for Kurds makes few headlines. The constant bans on demonstrations also attract little attention. At the beginning of February, for example, a demonstration against the Turkish attack on Afrin, which was largely supported by Kurds, was banned on the grounds that there might be disturbances because of the carnival events that were also taking place in the city on that day. The lawyer Jaspar Prigge commented on the demonstration ban thus:

The decision of the police is highly questionable in view of the high value placed on the freedom of assembly. It is not comprehensible what dangers the police sees, the reasoning is quite dark. The fact that it was carnival could hardly justify a ban.

Lawyer Jasper Prigge, Neues Deutschland

In fact, the bans on demonstrations continued even after the end of the carnival. For example, the Kurdish association Nav-Dem reported in a press release that it was generally banned from organizing demonstrations:

In the above-mentioned decrees, the ban on demonstrations is justified by the fact that the Kurdish umbrella organization in Germany, NAV-DEM, is a successor organization of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which was banned in Germany, and thus the right to "organize and hold public meetings and demonstrations" is forfeited.

Nav-Dem

Association spokeswoman Ayten Kaplan saw here only a high point of the repression against Kurdish activists in Germany:

Since the beginning of the war of occupation on Afrin, protests and demonstrations have been taking place with large participation all over Germany. These protests condemn not only the war waged by the Turkish army and its jihadist allies against the people of Afrin, but also Germany’s arms support for Turkey. The use of German tanks in the attack on Afrin is well known. The German government seems to be bothered by the fact that we openly draw attention to the German-Turkish brotherhood in arms. That is why we are to be silenced. The prohibition orders from Koln do not only represent the abrogation of the freedom of assembly for Kurds living here. They also amount to a political ban on the second largest migrant group in Germany.

Nav Dem chairwoman Ayten Kaplan

She also drew attention to the fact that this is not about the overzealous behavior of the police and the State Security Service. Koln police had told Nav Dem that the bans were based on a decree of the Federal Ministry of the Interior. Ayten Kaplan had also been told by the police that she no longer needed to register demonstrations. They were banned anyway.

It can be considered a success that only a few incriminated symbols were confiscated at the rough demonstration in Berlin on Saturday. But it also becomes clear that this is not only about a war in western Syria, that it is also not only about the influence of Erdogan on German politics.

It is about the German-Turkish cooperation in the arms trade as well as in the restrictions of basic democratic rights for Turkish and Kurdish opposition members in both countries.

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