“Why do the international powers remain silent about the chemical weapons used against the Kurds?”

Stating that Turkey has been committing a crime against humanity by using chemical weapons against the Kurds, PYD member İlham Mihemed emphasizes that the international powers remain silent against this crime for their own interests.


Shahba- According to the international law which is binding on all States and on all parties to an armed conflict, the use of biological and chemical weapons is prohibited. However, many reports say that Turkey has used chemical weapons in Kurdistan, against the Kurdish people, in recent years. The reports also say that Turkey and Turkish-backed factions have carried out inhumane practices and used chemical weapons in the occupied regions such as Afrin, Girê Spî (Tell Abyad), Serê Kaniyê (Ras al-Ayn), Bab and Idlib. Democratic Union Party (PYD) member Îlham Mihemed spoke to NuJINHA about the prohibition of chemical weapons and the silence of the international community against the use of chemical weapons.

“Extermination policies are not new”

Starting her speech by saying that Turkey has carried out inhuman practices throughout history, Îlham Mihemed continued to talk as follow:

“Throughout history, the occupying Turkish state has used inhuman practices to exterminate the Kurdish people. When we look at history, we see that dozens of massacres have been carried out by the fascist Turkish state against civilians, particularly the Kurdish people. The occupying Turkish state uses all kinds of brutal methods, such as special, psychological, political, cultural and technical warfare, to commit genocide against the Kurdish people. The Turkish state is trying to annihilate the Kurdish people in order to maintain its existence. This is not the first attack carried out by Turkish fascism against the Kurds. It has used chemical weapons against the Kurds many times. For instance, it carried out the Dersim Massacre in 1937. More than 14,000 Kurdish people were killed in the massacre. And millions had to leave their homes, homeland due to the effects of the chemical weapons. After the massacre, Turkish fascism tried to change the demographic structure of the region. In order to do it, the Turkish state tried to change the name of Dersim many times in order to replace the Kurdish people with the Turkmen people.”

“It never gives up on the use of chemicals”

Pointing to the chemical weapons used by Turkey against the Kurdish people, Îlham Mihemed said, “We shouldn’t forget the use of chemical weapons by the Turkish state in Afrin, Serê Kaniyê and Sheikh Maqsoud ( a neighborhood of Aleppo). During the offensive in Afrin, we went to hospitals and saw the situations of the people, who were injured due to the use of the chemical weapons. The Turkish state attacks the Kurdish people by all means, but cannot break the will of the Kurdish people. That's why it continues to attack by using the prohibited chemical weapons. The Turkish state also uses chemical weapons against the fighters of freedom in the mountains. The bodies of the martyrs were examined many times and it was proved the use of chemical weapons. The use of chemical weapons caused the martyrdom of dozens of our fighters.”

“Their plans failed and will fail”

Speaking about the ongoing Turkish attacks in the Kurdistan Region, Îlham Mihemed said, “The occupying Turkish state has intensified its attacks in the mountains of the Kurdistan Region again. Since the Turkish army has not been able to annihilate the Kurdish people who have been fighting for freedom for years, it also uses chemical weapons in these attacks. The Turkish state has been attacking Zap, Avaşîn and Metîna regions of the Kurdistan Region with the support of the KDP. The aim of the Turkish state is to break the will of the peoples in NE Syria and destroy the Democratic Nation project. It also tries to build borders between Shengal and Rojava by building a wall. The Turkish state attacks the people, civilians but it cannot break their will. Therefore, it attacks the Kandil Mountains, which hold the key to the solution. The key to the solution is leader Apo, who has been held in Imralı prison. The Turkish state makes every effort to break and defeat the Kurdish cause, but the plans of Turkish fascism failed, have failed and will fail.”

Silence of the international dynamics

Underlining that the use of chemical weapons affects not only humans but also all living creatures on earth, Îlham Mihemed said, “Chemical gas negatively affects society, children, plants, nature and many other things. There is no life in where the chemical weapons are used. There are many international organizations defending the human rights, children’s rights and the rights of nature. However, everyone remains silent while the Turkish state is openly committing crimes against humanity.  All organizations defending human rights remain silent and don’t fulfill their responsibilities. The Netherlands produces chemical weapons and it prohibits the use of chemical weapons. However, when chemical weapons are used against the Kurdish people, all States cooperate for their own interests and remain silent.”

“Kurds should unite”

Îlham Mihemed called on the international organizations and community to fulfill their responsibilities, “Don’t remain silent against the crimes committed by the Turkish state. Now is the time to rise up against the occupiers. The Turkish state should be punished for its crimes against civilians and the use of chemical weapons. As the Kurdish people, we will not accept defeat against the attacks and crimes of the fascist Turkish state. We will always resist and struggle. The Kurds should unite to destroy and defeat the occupying Turkish state's Ottoman dreams.”