Topic: 2023-Definition of Genocide
Delegate Name: Megan Sims
Honorable Chair and Fellow Delegates, we must come together and call out groups that engage in unprovoked terror attacks against innocent citizens. We must acknowledge that a country has the responsibility to protect itself and its citizens against such atrocities. When we globally fail to recognize the violent actions of certain groups and classify them as the terrorists they are, we fall short on our sacred duty to protect our people and preserve our country. As long as certain countries turn a blind eye and keep providing support to these terrorists, we will never rid ourselves of this plague. As Türkiye, we condemn these unprovoked acts of violence against our people and as a country, asserting that we have the right to defend ourselves against those who wish to do us harm. However, our efforts to eliminate these threats are undermined by our fellow countries who provide financial and military support to such groups. Most notably, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, known as the PKK, and other Kurdish militants in Syria and Iraq continue to pose threat to the safety and wellbeing of our people and government. As a delegate for Türkiye, our country supports the idea of declaring the People’s Defense Units, known as the YPG, as a terrorist organization because of a shared ideology and organization with the terrorist group PKK. It is imperative that the countries we call allies cease supporting groups like the YPG who are known to be closely aligned with the PKK.
The PKK is a recognized terrorist group by the countries of the European Union (EU) and The United States since 1984 (Republic of Türkiye, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2022; Ismail and Masri, 2023). As described by the Office of the United States Director of National Intelligence, the PKK is a “militant Marxist-Leninist Kurdish separatist group established in 1978 with the goal of creating a unified, independent Kurdistan.” (2023) To achieve their objectives, the PKK has an extensive history of violent attacks against the Turkish people including bombings (Hoffman, 2019). Since July 20, 2015, the Crisis Group Fatality Tally reported that over 2,000 people have died by terror attacks committed by the PKK, with over 600 of those civilians (2023). We cannot ignore the obvious. The YPG comprised of Kurdish militants in Syria shares a similar ideology, organization, and resources with the PKK (Avodogan, 2022).
Known United States support of the YPG “legitimizes” the violent group’s purpose (Aydogan, 2022). Associating with the YPG gives tacit support for the PKK and their treachery. Though the PKK claims to want to establish an independent nation for Kurds, they are not freedom fighters they claim to be. Their repeated attempts to overthrow the legitimately elected government of Türkiye through violence and intimidation against civilians (Gumrucku, 2023) threatens our democratic ideals and our existence. In order to protect our people and ensure the security of our nation, we must cannot mince words and it is imperative that we call a terrorist a terrorist. We seek your support in labeling the YPG exactly the terrorist group it is.