Dear Friends & colleagues,


Attached please find a highly eloquent letter to the Guardian newspaper by Mr Fionn Skiotis.


Fionn is a Melbourne based Australian solicitor who tried to have PKK de-listed as a terrorist organisation on behalf of Kurdish community members and their friends & supporters.


Please feel free to send Fionn a “Thank you” email. His personal email address is


Kind regards,


Eziz Bawermend

Ilham Ahmed is right in calling for an international presence to protect the predominantly
Kurdish areas of northern Syria (Syrian Kurdish leader: border force needed to protect us from
Turkey,, 19 February). Turkey has for years been threatening the Kurds in Syria,
and in 2018 invaded Afrin with the aid of Islamist proxies, causing bloodshed, displacement and
ethnic cleansing. Turkey’s oft-repeated justification for its stance is that the Kurdish YPG and YPJ
militias are “terrorists”. The falsity of this claim is clear on even a cursory examination.

As the backbone of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the YPG/YPJ have, since 2015, led the
successful fight against Islamic State, with the aid of a US-led coalition. They have been praised
by US generals as a disciplined and e􀀸ective force. At the cost of many casualties, they are now on
the cusp of defeating Isis in its last territorial stronghold. For this alone, the world owes the Kurds
a huge debt of gratitude.

But it is in the liberated areas that the true nature of the SDF is clearly seen. There, refugees have
been sheltered, popular democratic councils established and real pluralism practised. Women
have taken huge strides towards emancipation, and ecological issues given serious attention.
So the YPG/YPJ are democratic, feminist, multicultural and green – hardly qualifying them as
terrorists – and have defeated the region’s worst terrorist threat in cooperation with western
allies. The west should repay the Kurds by standing up to Turkey’s lies and ensuring the
autonomous region is free from aggression.

Fionn Skiotis
Northcote, Victoria, Australia

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