Prominent Advocates for Kurdish Rights Publish NY Times Ad Urging Break With Turkey’s Erdogan
Marking the first anniversary of Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria, the advocacy group Justice for Kurds (JFK) ran a double-page advertisement in Friday’s print edition of The New York Times urging the severing of links with Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erodgan.
Published under the banner “It’s Time to Break With Erdogan,” the ad noted that over the last year, “the Kurds’ daily reality remains one of darkness.”
Numbering almost 30 million, the Kurds are the largest stateless minority in the Middle East. About 14 million Kurds live in Turkey, where the PKK Kurdish militia has fought a war against the government in Ankara since the 1970s.
Last year’s Turkish incursion over the border into northern Syria, which is home to more than 2 million Kurds, was intended to crush Kurdish aspirations for self-determination in that region.
“Nowhere has such a tragic plight been more strongly evidenced than by the aggressive and murderous offensive carried out by the Turkish government against the Kurds of Syria,” the Times ad declared.
It concluded with the assertion that Erdogan, who is closely allied with the wealthy Gulf emirate of Qatar, “constitutes a threat to the region on a par with Iran.”
The leadership of Justice for Kurds includes the French-Jewish writer and philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy, who serves as its president, and Thomas Kaplan, an investor and conservationist who is the group’s chairman.
The group’s aim is to “raise awareness of this people [the Kurds] — of its history, culture and aspirations — among friends of freedom in the United States, France and throughout the world.”