The government of the Catalan Council wishes to express its deep concern regarding the NATO-Turkey agreement to unlock Sweden and Finland’s accession to the military alliance


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Press Release of the government of the Catalan Council, July 5, 2022

The agreement validates once again the autocratic leadership of Turkey, which has been tried and convicted on many occasions by international courts for human rights violations, including freedom of speech and association, and for crushing the opposition’s political rights and national minorities. With this agreement, NATO is placing pragmatism before the values and principles that should inspire international security.

On its 8th section, the agreement commits Sweden and Finland to address Turkey’s pending applications for deportation or extradition of alleged terrorists “in a fast and complete manner” in exchange for lifting the ban on the Nordic countries’ accession.

The statement was discussed in a face-to-face meeting between the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the president of the United States, Joe Biden. The meeting alone therefore contributes to legitimize Erdogan’s regime and to imprint the Atlantic alliance’s agenda with the sort of fear-inducing terrorism rhetoric used to justify the repression and systemic oppression to the Kurdish people, who are fighting to exercise their right to self-determination.

We believe it is of the utmost importance to alert about the risk that this agreement might end up sacrificing the human rights of Kurdish activists and leaders from the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) and People’s Defense Units (YPG) who are exiled in Sweden and Finland, and who have been indiscriminately labeled as “terrorists” by Erdogan’s regime. We wish to remind NATO that Kurdish militias have been crucial allies of the US and the EU in the fight against the Islamic state, and that the extradition of their fighters, considered terrorists by Turkey, would be tantamount to a
betrayal of the legitimate Kurdish cause.

We wish to express our trust that Sweden and Finland will nevertheless maintain in their adherence to NATO the strict conception of democracy that guides politics in these countries and that includes full respect to all human rights international covenants.

Lastly, we wish to express all of our solidarity with the Kurdish people, our support for the peaceful fight for their self-determination, and to condemn the sacrifice of their rights in order to achieve the political objectives of other countries.


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