Kurdish protest in Haringey calls for 'basic rights' in Turkey

Kurdish activists camping at entrance to Finsbury Park in support of fellow activists in Turkey. Left to right: Sarra Keles, Akif Wan and Turkan Ozcan

Kurdish activists camping at entrance to Finsbury Park in support of fellow activists in Turkey. Left to right: Sarra Keles, Akif Wan and Turkan Ozcan

First published in News Haringey Independent: Photograph of the Author by

KURDISH protesters are marching through Haringey today calling for basic rights of their countrymen in Turkey.

The march will head from Wood Green Civic Centre to the Manor House entrance of Finsbury Park where campaigners have been camped all week in an act of solidarity for Kurds.

The occupation, which is due to end tonight, set up on Saturday, April 16, in solidarity with Kurds in Turkey who they believe they are being denied democratic representation and want the right to be educated in Kurdish.

One protester, who gave his name as Hevi, said: “There are more than 2,000 Kurdish political prisoners, we want their release to represent us in central and local government.

“We also want the ten per cent election threshold eradicated because this is a huge obstacle preventing our representatives from expressing our views.

“We are here to show that we do agree with these demands. There have been acts of civil disobedience to show that we won't give up, and if these valuable rights are not given, then we are not going to be obedient.”

The camp, at the junction of Seven Sisters Road and Green Lanes, has been occupied 24-hours a day, with daily evening gatherings involving speeches, Kurdish music, and dancing on the pavements.

Hevi said the protesters want to see action from the British government to help his people's plight.

He said: “The Turkish government is going through the process of accession to the European Union, but the treatment of Kurds have not improved and the treatment of the Kurdish people does not match the EU criteria.

“We would appreciate the British government highlighting the needs of Kurds, that they should be given basic rights.

“The British government could put political pressure on the Turkish government, encouraging them to take brave and courageous steps towards solving the Kurdish question peacefully and democratically.”

An estimated 12m Kurds living in Turkey, comprising a significant proportion of the country's population.

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