Özdemir, Besikci, Toprak, Aymaz & Laschet at the KGD Conference. ©Kurdische Gemeinde

Kurdish Congress in Germany awards Politicians and Academics

Mainz, Germany – Hundreds of People gathered on Friday, to take part in the Federal Congress Event of the Kurdish Community in Germany (KGD). Many high-ranking politicians and academics from Germany and the Middle East attended the event and two of them were awarded for their commitment to democracy and human rights and their extraordinary work for the Kurdish people.

Cem Preis KGD

Cem Özdemir awarded with Kurdish Community's Prize

On Friday German politician Cem Ozdemir was awarded with the honorary prize of the Kurdish Community in Germany. The KGD’s statement says, that the head of the German Green Party had always a “consistent stance in issues of democratization, human rights and minority rights.”
It also says: “Despite decades of polarization between Kurds and Turks Cem Ozdemir never gave up and always advocated vehemently for a peaceful solution to the so-called Kurdish Question.

During his speech Ozdemir said: “We should talk to everybody during the crisis, but negotiations with the Turkish government, while it clearly takes the wrong path, is awry.”

Another awardee was Turkish academic Ismail Besikci, who advocated Kurdish rights for decades. Because of his work in support of the Kurdish people and an independent Kurdistan sociologist Besikci served 17 years in Turkish prisons.
Walking up on the stage on Friday the whole congress hall lauded and praised him, standing ovations were ongoing for several minutes.

“We have to call the problem by its right name: A divided Kurdistan,” said Besikci in his speech.
“On the one hand the UNO talks about peace and stability, but on the other hand they simply ignore the Kurdish people. On the one hand they want Palestine to be the 23 Arab country, but on the other hand Kurdistan (the Kurdish people) is being negated and removed in history books.”

While the event was ongoing, many people checked their smartphones and tablets to get the current news on the situation in Shingal and all orators congratulated “the Kurdish people on this victorious day.”

Armin Laschet KGD Bundeskongress

Armin Laschet (CDU) speaking to the audience at the Kurdish Community's Federal Congress

Herbert Schmalstieg, former Mayor of Hannover, also attended the event. In regards to the refugee crisis and the concerning EU-Turkey deal, which makes refugees stay in Turkey, he says: “It is plainly unreasonable and indecent to say that Turkey is a safe third country. You can only talk of a safe third country, if it doesn’t wage a war against its own population.”

Schmalstieg started his speech with the Kurdish slogan “Biji Kurdistan”, w hich means “Long Live Kurdistan” and ended it with: “Kurdistan, I love you!”

Shilan Baban, a 20-year-old Kurdish woman who attended the congress, says: “It makes me so happy to see all this support for Kurdistan. Just a few years ago people didn’t know who we were or they just labeled us terrorists, due to the Turkish or Iranian lobby. But today, thanks to the brave Peshmerga, everybody acknowledges our fight for freedom and human rights.”

Germany is home to approximately one million Kurds, the second largest immigrant community in the country. Since the war against ISIL started last year, Germany provided the Kurdish army with logistics, arms and military training for its soldiers.

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