(10 October 2019) As Turkish forces bombarded positions and towns mainly occupied by Kurdish people in North-Syria, first reports of casualties have come in. Images of the population fleeing the area fill the media. Concerns are raised about the impact on the camps that hold people that fought for ISIS. EPSU is concerned on the effect it will have on the working people and their communities in Turkey and (North-) Syria and broader in the region. The Turkish government has attempted to silence critical voices speaking out against war in the past, like those of doctors, the Academics for Peace and union and civil society leaders. People were arrested for their critique. And critical voices can be among the first casualties. Further, the economic situation in the region, and including in Turkey where growth has slowed down, is precarious. Workers are faced with many daily concerns for employment, health and safety and wages. This invasion does not address this and possibly will make the situation worse by diverting resources from public services like health and education.
“This is a recipe for a humanitarian disaster in the making” says EPSU’s General Secretary. “The EU, Russia and other governments should do their utmost to stop this now before our screens will be filled with all too familiar images of suffering. The governments concerned should focus on finding political solutions that bring peace, democracy and stability. This will offer a perspective to all and allow Syrian refugees in Turkey or displaced internally to return and build up their lives again.
We recognise the situation is complex with safety and security concerns for many countries, peoples and communities in the region. Adding more violence, occupation and displacements to the mix by Turkish armed forced invading North-Syria does not bring solutions closer for years to come.