Kurdish Studies Scholars’ Statement of Solidarity and Call for Action to Support Kobani

Source: Reuters

The humanitarian crisis caused by the Islamic State (IS) continues to terrorize and displace hundreds of thousands of people in the Middle East. The autonomous canton of Kobani is now bearing the brunt of the IS’s attacks as the international community has mostly been watching. The city has been under siege for three weeks. Despite fierce resistance by the defenders of the town, the advance of the IS forces towards Kobani is threatening to set off another massacre similar to that of Shengal. As scholars working on issues related to the Kurds and other peoples of Kurdistan, we are profoundly concerned about yet another imminent humanitarian crisis and stand in solidarity with the people of Kobani. We urgently call on the coalition forces against the IS and the broader international community to take immediate action to prevent an impending disaster by supporting the Kurds in their fight for self-defense.

We view the situation in Kobani as one of self-defense against the military aggression of the IS, notorious for its macabre forms of violence against ethnic and religious minorities. The defenders of the city of Kobani have repeatedly and desperately tried to bring their predicament to the attention of the world community and called for more focused and effective air strikes against IS targets around Kobani in coordination with the political authorities and resistance fighters of Rojava (Western Kurdistan). They are once again asking for diplomatic and political recognition, weapons of self-defense, and humanitarian aid to protect themselves against the relentless onslaught of IS. They are too ill-equipped to be able to fend off the most advanced American and Russian arsenals used by the IS. If global support is not provided immediately, they may not be able to withstand the IS’s incessant bombardments; tomorrow may be too late.

We fully support Kobani’s demands and spirit of self-defense and call on the international coalition forces and the broader international community to support Kobani immediately. In expressing our solidarity, we need to stress the fact this statement is not a call for any military aggression or occupation, including that of the Turkish military. We encourage the Turkish government to negotiate with the Kurdish representatives in good faith to ensure the ongoing peace process, which holds much promise. As Kurdish political representatives of Rojava have repeatedly declared, if they are recognized as a legitimate authority and provided with the needed weaponry, humanitarian aid and other forms of support, they are capable of driving away the threat of the IS.
Ultimately our appeal for extending the necessary support to Kobani has as much to do with the survival of a pluralistic city and its residents, as it has to do with the defense of freedom everywhere else.

List of Signatories

1. Gulan Abuzeyit, Brock University
2. Yasemin Acar, Claremont Graduate University
3. Dr. Necla Acik, University of Manchester
4. Asst. Prof. Salih Can Aciksoz, University of Arizona
5. Yılmaz Adal, Koc University
6. Maria Chiara Addis,
7. Dr. Hashem Ahmadzadeh, Institute for Research and Development-Kurdistan
8. Assoc. Prof. Ananth Aiyer, University of Michigan-Flint
9. Ahmet Hamdi Akkaya, Ghent University
10. Asst. Prof. Elçin Aktoprak, Ankara University
11. Prof. Nadje Al-Ali, University of London
12. Taimoor Aliassi, Association for Human Rights in Kurdistan of Iran-Geneva
13. Sacha Alsancakli, Université La Sorbonne nouvelle, Paris
14. Assoc. Prof. Jennifer Alvey, University of Michigan-Flint
15. Asst. Prof. Seda Altug, Bogazici University, ATA Institute
16. Asst. Prof. Ali Ashouri, California State University, San Diego
17. Delal Aydin, Binghamton University
18. Dr. Yavuz Aykan, Université Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne)
19. Azad Aziz, Manchester Academic Health Sciences Centre
20. Sonay Ban, Temple University
21. Hanifi Baris, University of Aberdeen
22. Asst. Prof. Felek Baran, Hakkari University
23. Dr. Derya Bayir, Queen Mary, University of London
24. Carol Benedict, Winona State University
25. Dr. Bahar Baser, University of Warwick
26. Dr. Daria Bocharnikova, Harvard University
27. Dr. Joanna Bocheńska, Jagiellonian University
28. Firat Bozcali, Stanford University
29. N. Argun Cakir, University of Exeter
30. Prof. Antonio Callari, Franklin and Marshall College
31. Eray Cayli, University College London
32. Omer Celebi, Yildiz Technical University
33. Adnan Celik, Paris EHESS
34. Filiz Celik, University of London, Birkbeck
35. Onder Celik, Johns Hopkins University
36. Dr. Behrooz Chamanaram, Georg-August-University, Goettingen
37. Abdul Haque Chang, University of Texas at Austin
38. Faculty Emeritus Jeff Clark, James Madison University
39. Lynne Colley, Exeter and Soran Universities
40. Assoc. Prof. Vahap Coşkun, Dicle University
41. Prof. Hamid Dabashi, Columbia University
42. Asst. Prof. Mahiye Secil Dagtas, University of Waterloo
43. Cevat Dargin, New York University
44. Engin Emre Deger, Istanbul Sehir University
45. Dilara Demir, Rutgers University
46. Yunus Demir, Istanbul Bilgi University
47. Davide Denti, University of Trento, Italy
48. Yasemin Dildar, University of Massachusetts Amherst
49. Dr. Dilsah Deniz,
50. Dogan Dogan, Canadian Kurdish Federation
51. Dr. Adis Duderija, University of Malaya
52. Deniz Duruiz, Columbia University
53. Esin Duzel, UC San Diego
54. Dr. Vera Eccarius-Kelly, Siena College
55. Asst. Prof. Ozge Ejder, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University
56. Deniz Ekici, independent Researcher
57. Baban Eliassi, Geneva University
58. Dr. Turgut Ercetin, Stanford University
59. Ilgin Erdem, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
60. Dr. Umut Erel, Open University
61. Lara Fresko, Cornell University
62. Resul Geyik, Mardin Artuklu University
63. Dr. Maria Giedz, Gdansk School of Banking
64. William Gourlay, Monash University
65. Onur Gunay, Princeton University
66. Asst. Prof. Azat Zana Gundoğan, University of Michigan-Flint
67. Aziz Guzel, York University
68. Serra Hakyemez, Johns Hopkins University
69. Emad Hamedi, University of St Andrews
70. Wendelmoet Hamelink, Leiden University
71. Prof. Katharine Hodgkin, University of East London
72. Susan Jahoda, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
73. Dr. Karolina Jaworska, University of Silesia
74. Maruf Kabi, University of St Andrews
75. Karol Kaczorowski, Jagiellonian University
76. Erkan Karacay, University of Exeter
77. Fethi Karakecili, York University
78. Emine Rezzan Karaman, UC Los Angeles
79. Seref Kavak, Keele University
80. Dr. Serap A. Kayatekin, The American College of Thessaloniki
81. Dr. Janroj Keles, Middlesex University
82. Pinar Dinc Kenanoglu, London School of Economics
83. K. Mehmet Kentel, University of Washington, Seattle
84. Dr. Mehmet Rauf Kesici, Kocaeli Universtiy and Regent’s University
85. Mina Khanlarzadeh, Columbia University
86. Ugur Kocak, University of Chicago
87. Prof. Anna Krasnowolska, Jagiellonian University
88. Asst. Prof. Bulent Kucuk, Bogazici University
89. Mehmet Barış Kuymulu, City University of New York
90. Benjamin Kweskin, Independent Scholar
91. Patrick Lewis, University of Chicago
92. Andrew Littlejohn, Harvard Univesity
93. Assoc. Prof. Yahya M. Madra, Bogazici University
94. Assoc. Prof. Kamran Matin, Sussex University
95. Caroline McKusick, University of California, Davis
96. Fatma Derya Mentes, Duke University
97. Dr. Sabah Mofidi,
98. Della Murad, Gulan
99. Prof. Leyla Neyzi, Sabanci University
100. Assoc. Prof. Bruce Norton, San Antonio College
101. Francis O’Connor, European University Institute – COSMOS
102. Dilan Okcuoglu, Queen’s University
103. Dr. Ahmet Feyyad Oncel
104. Dr. Ergin Opengin, University of Bamberg
105. Prof. Emeritus Baskin Oran, Ankara University
106. Omer Ozcan, University of Texas at Austin
107. H. Ege Ozen, Binghamton University (SUNY)
108. Prof. Umut Ozkirimli, Lund University
109. Asst. Prof. Ceren Ozselcuk, Bogazici University
110. Asst. Prof. Hisyar Ozsoy, Univesity of Michigan-Flint
111. Assoc. Prof. Ayse Parla, Sabanci University
112. Zozan Pehlivan, Queen’s University
113. Naomí Ramírez Díaz, Autónoma University of Madrid
114. Asst. Prof. Renata Rusek-Kowalska, Jagiellonian University
115. Sardar Saadi, University of Toronto
116. Prof. George Saliba, Columbia University
117. Berivan Kutlay Sarikaya, University of Toronto
118. Cafer Sarikaya, Bogazici University
119. Marlene Schäfers, University of Cambridge
120. Dr. Thomas Schmidinger, University of Vienna, Austria
121. Ceren Sengul, University of Edinburgh
122. Dr. Serap Ruken Sengul, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
123. Dr. Amir Sharifi, California State University, Long Beach
124. Assoc. Prof. Said Shems, Soran University
125. Assoc. Prof. Jaffer Sheyholislami, Carleton University
126. Mushtaq Ul Haq Ahmad Sikander, Kashmir University
127. Dr. Spyros A. Sofos, Lund University, Sweden
128. Asst. Prof. Kamal Soleimani, Mardin Artuklu University
129. Rina Srabonian, University of Manchester
130. Dr. Latif Tas, Oxford University
131. Assoc. Prof. Kumru Toktamis, Pratt Institute Brooklyn, NY
132. Asst. Prof. Hakan Topa, SUNY Purchase College
133. Vedat Toprak, Anadolu University
134. Zenonas Tziarras, University of Warwick
135. Secil Uluisik, University of Arizona
136. Laura Unger, Independent Researcher
137. Kerem Ussakli, Stanford University
138. Asst. Prof. Nazan Ustundag, Bogazici University
139. Prof. Abbas Vali, Bogazici University
140. Dr. Anand Vaidya, Harvard University
141. Prof. Nicole F. Watts, San Francisco State University
142. Dr. Nerina Weiss, Fafo Institute for Applied International Studies
143. Assoc. Prof. Kamala Visweswaran, University of Texas at Austin
144. Assoc. Prof. Aziz Yagan, Dicle University
145. Prof. Mesut Yegen, Istanbul Sehir University
146. Ismail Yigit, Mississippi State University
147. Dilan Yildirim, Harvard University
148. Emrah Yildiz, Harvard University
149. Yesim Yaprak Yildiz, University of Cambridge
150. Asst. Prof. Zeynep Turkyilmaz, Dartmouth College
151. Asst. Prof. Zehra Yilmaz, Van Yuzuncuyil University
152. Cagri Yoltar, Duke University
153. Dr. Deniz Yonucu,
154. Asst. Prof. Zafer Yoruk, Izmir University of Economics
155. Assoc. Prof. Grazyna Zajac, Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland
156. Dr. Goran A.S. Zangana, Health Policy Research Organization, Kurdistan/Iraq
157. Dr. Asli Zengin, York University
158. Dr. Charlotta Zettervall, Malmö University, Sweden
159. Welat Zeydanlioglu, Kurdish Studies Journal Editor
160. Prof. Zvi Zohar, Bar-Ilan University

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