Turkish intellectuals call for help to Kobane

Hurriyet Daily News reports: Two hundred Turkish academics, writers and civil society activists issued a statement on Sept. 27, calling on the Turkish people as well as all international organizations, especially the United Nations, to take a strong position in defense of Kobane, which has been under siege of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants.

The statement is as follows:

“We believe that joining our voices to loudly condemn the atrocities committed by ISIL has become a requirement for peace and democracy in our region. The fact that ISIL receives support from some Muslims within and outside the region does not render this entity legitimate. In fact, for the overwhelming majority of Muslims the main concern should be the fact that ISIL is using religious values and symbols in its barbaric acts. ISIL, which emerged in the environment of social and political chaos in Iraq and Syria and extended it territorial control with the claims of establishing a caliphate order, is imposing a cruel fundamentalism and commits a myriad of crimes against humanity. It is massacring Shiites, Christians, Ezidis, all who do not accept to be subordinated to its own primitive creed. Its practices include raping women and selling them as slaves.

Through the power struggles in the Middle East, sectarian and radical Islam was tolerated and at times even supported. ISIL is a product of these political processes. Against the expressions of sectarianism, discrimination and violence in the name of any religion or sect, it is therefore all the more significant to embrace and defend secular political norms defined by the respect for peace and freedom for all.

We should not forget that a democratic political outlook that promotes the values of democracy and freedom is the only guarantee for the peaceful coexistence of different communities practicing their own religion. [Continue reading…]

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