The Twelfth Congress:
With the exception of the Kurdish Students' Society in Europe's Second Congress, which was held in London at the end of December 1957, all other congresses have been held in summer, and mostly in August. The Twelfth Congress was also to take place from 17th to 22nd August of this year. While everything in Vienna was set and delegates from all over Europe were preparing for departure, the Austrian authorities announced on August 10th 1967 that the Kurdish Students' Society in Europe Congress was not going to be allowed in Vienna, and measures would be taken by various Austrian Embassies in Europe not to grant entry visas to the Kurds. This sudden and surprise action by the Austrian Government, at such short notice, caused understandably numerous problems and inconvenience for us. According to some Austrian papers the Iraqi Government had exerted pressure on the Austrians and threatened them with a break in diplomatic relations. The same papers have later published a Government Communique stating that the action was taken by the Austrians alone and under no pressure whatever. The Executive Committee of the K.S.S.E. had promptly sent a letter to the Austrian Ministry of Internal Affairs deploring their action, which was considered unfair, to say the least. In a very long letter, dated November 1967, to the K.S.S.E. Secretariat the Austrian Government tries to defend its action and gives its neutrality and good relations with the countries dividing Kurdistan as main reasons behind that stand. We do not wish to go into details of how wide a country's neutrality can be interpreted, but we do wish to point out that there have been in Austria, since 1955, various activities from different organisations which have not always pleased some governments with whom Austria has good relations.
The Kurdish Students, in their divided land, are deprived of all academic rights, let alone the right to meet and form their own organisations openly, and they see the Austrian Government's action as an indirect support to the fascist and narrow-minded policies of the governments in Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria in their desperate attempt to silence the ever-rising voices of the Kurdish students and people will condemn the action of their government in forbidding our Congress in such a manner.
The Congress had to be postponed. Now, thanks to the efforts of Yugoslav students and the authorities concerned, our Twelfth Congress will be held in Belgrade from 27th to 31st December 1967.
Holding the Kurdish Students' Society in Europe's Annual Congress this syear in Yugosslavia has a great significance: it is the first time for a general Kurdish Students' Congress in Europe to take place in a socialist country; it proves that the world is much wider than Austrian territories and shows that the Kurds are not, after all, entirely alone, friendless and without sympathies in this wide world. In the name of all Kurdish students in fifteen European countries, the Executive Committee of the Kurdish Students' Society in Europe expresses its profound thanks and gratitude to the Yugoslav students and Government.
Towards the end of June 1966, a twelve-point agreement was reached between the Kurds and the Iraqi Government in order to " end the bloodshed and guarantee the equal rights of the Kurds and Arabs". The Kurdish Students in Europe, at the conclusion of the Eleventh Congress in August 1966, in West Berlin, found these point insufficient and unanimously adopted a resolution calling for a speedy implementation of the twelve points which were regarded as a step towards achieving the Kurdish revolution's main objectives, viz. Autonomy for Kurdistan within the framework of a democratic Iraq.
Eighteen months have passed since the agreement was announced, and each of the four government which came to power during this period endorsed the " Peace Plan " without taking any serious action to apply it. The present government forms, now and then, committees and subcommittees to " deal with the Kurdish problem ", but these committees have had no effective say and even their authorities are vaguely defined, therefore they, in effect, only help to prolong the present state of stalemate in Kurdistan, which could before long become' explosive again. The rulers in Baghdad do not seem to realise that the Kurdish question is the most important problem facing Iraq today, and without a just and honourable solution to it there can be no stability and peace in the country. It is high time for the present government in Baghdad to learn, even a little, from the events of the past six years. Leaving the Kurdish question unresolved, continuing the policy of previous governments in detailing a large number of political prisoners, Kurds and Arabs, and denying the Iraqi people all democratic rights will undoubtedly result in no better end for this government than that of the numerous government which have come and gone since 1961. This policy would leave Iraq continuing to struggle between survival and complete destruction.
While the cause of present anarchy in Iraq is well known to the world in general and neighbouring countries in particular, the short-sighted leaders of Turkey, Iran and Syria have renewed their activities in oppressing the Kurdish people. Governments of Turkey and Iran have recently intensified the persecution of the Kurds. There have been talks in Iran of armed resistance to these measures. These governments should at long last realize that the policies of force can actually be substituted by reason and logic in solving the Kurdish question.
The ruling Syrian Ba'athists, who claim to be progressive and true socialists, are busy carrying out their "Arab Belt" plan, whereby nearly 150,000 Kurdish peasants living on a strip of land seven miles deep, adjacent to the Iraqi and Turkish frontiers, are to be removed southwards to the desert and to be replaced by Arabs and Bedouins from elsewhere. Another 150,000 Kurds have been, as a result of a new population census, deprived of their Syrian nationality. The Kurds in Syria are being persecuted in a most ugly manner, their land and properties are being confiscated and they have become victims of the reactionary fascist policy, no matter how loud the Ba'athists in Damascus may boast of their socialism and "progressive policies", t is quite a paradox when 100 square miles of Syrian territory is under Israeli occupation...