Dear Turkish PM: It’s Time to Act to Save Kobani’s Kurds

bahman-iranIf Kobani falls, it will be a humanitarian disaster—one Kurds will never forget or forgive. Turkey would do well to remember that as it weighs its strategic options.

 
Acclaimed Kurdish director Bahman Ghobani (“No One Knows About Persian Cats”) penned an open letter two days ago to Turkish Prime Minister Ahmed Davutoglu, urging Turkish action against ISIS in Kobani, which is poised to fall to the militants. A largely Kurdish town, it is also a strategic target for ISIS, Syria and Turkey, which has largely abandoned the Kurds there to their fate. Ghobani has kindly allowed The Daily Beast to publish his letter in the hopes that help will come before it’s too late.

To Mr. Ahmet Davutoğlu, Prime Minister of Turkey,

Just a few steps from the borders of your country, one of the worst disasters of this decade is taking place at the same time that you have accepted your position as prime minister in Turkey. There is no doubt that your political future will be tied with this tragedy.

Certainly, this tragedy has an influence in Turkey’s—and your—political destiny, which led you to announce just a few days ago that the Turkish government will never let Kobani fall into the hands of ISIS.

Yes, it is about Kobani and its oppressed Kurds, and at the time that I am writing this letter to you, hundreds of Kurdish men and women are taking their pride into their own hands and defending Kobani metre by metre. Sir, Mr. Davutoğlu, in the meantime, with its inhumane actions, ISIS commits atrocities. They turn Kobani into a heap of dirt and take many lives.

These people need military equipment to defend their land. Your army is only a few steps away from the city, fully armed, and merely watching. Do not forget that the consequences of Kobani being taken by ISIS are greater than you can measure. And certainly, the effects will be on the area including Turkey. What are your forces waiting for? Waiting for a total massacre of Kobani’s men and all of the women to be taken as slaves? In the end, will they shoot a few bullets and say that they tried their best?

Your political future is being formed in this moment, and will be interpreted with this in mind. Remember that your delay in helping Kobani’s Kurds will have terrible and irreversible results. In this case, you are responsible not only to the world but also to the Kurds of Turkey and the Turkish people who love humanity and are at peace with Kurds beyond concepts of borders in your country. And you should reply to those people.

I am sure that this spirit of defending the roots of the same tribes also exists in you and the Turkish people. That is why I believe that you feel the value of this ethical and humane togetherness. Do not forget that the Kurds might not have a united land geographically, and they might be far from each other, but they have one soul and each part of this soul is left in one place. Kobani’s Kurds are human, and they are your neighbours, their future is not separate from yours and others. Helping Kobani is helping humanity, and it is helping yourself.

In the not-so-distant future, an independent country, which belongs to Kurds, will rise from these wants, pains, fire and ashes. That day, they will remember the people who suffered, those who helped, those who bandaged their wounds, those who did not help them, and those who just pretended to help. Now, for all of us, it is time to act upon what we have said before. Later may be too late. If you have even a little bit of sadness in your heart for innocent Kurds’ suffering, at least open your borders for the fervent Kurds who are ready to go to Kobani to fight, even with their bare hands, to show the world for the thousandth time that they will go to defend their lands.

Sir, Mr. Davutoğlu, tomorrow might be very late for Kobani, for you, and the world,

Bahman Ghobadi

 

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