Kurdish Association of Ireland Protested Lausanne Treaty


Dublin, Ireland: In an attempt to send a loud and clear message to the general public and politicians alike, the Kurdish Association of Ireland staged an indefinite hunger strike to protest the 88th anniversary of the Treaty of Lausanne.

The Treaty of Lausanne was signed on July 24th, 1923 to settle part of the partitioning of the Ottomon empire. It replaced the Treaty of Sèvres which made explicit accommodations for the creation of an independent Kurdish state. By neglecting to mention the status of Kurds, the Treaty of Lausanne paved the way for the newly created states of Turkey, Iraq, and Syria to neglect, co-opt, and ethnically cleanse millions of Kurds across the region.

In protest of the decades of havoc that the Treaty of Lausanne has wrecked on the Kurds, the Kurdish Association of Ireland staged its hunger strike outside the European Union House from 20 July 2011 until it was called off on its tenth day on 29 July 2011, upon receiving letters of awareness of the issue from Irish Members of the European Parliament.

The Kurdish Association of Ireland issued the following demands:

  • We demand the revocation Lausanne Treaty or its replacement by another pact where the rights of the Kurds are recognised.
  • We demand that the right of Kurdish people to self-determination as enshrined by the international laws must be recognised.
  • While Middle East is going through change there is an opportunity for EU to support the Kurds to find a democratic solution to the Kurdish issue.

Upon the cessation of the hunger strike, the Kurdish Association of Ireland launched a Facebook campaign to revoke the Lausanne Treaty and support Kurdish self-determination.

The hunger strike occured within the interesting context of increased trade and business relations between Northern Ireland and the Kurdistan Regional Government. The KRG has defied Baghdad and continued granting new oil contracts, including to the Irish Petroceltic oil company. Ireland has thus expressed its willingness to economically support a viable and sustainable Kurdish state.

Video: 7th day of Kurds’ hunger strike in Dublin, 26/07/2011