Oktober 17, 2019

End the Killing.

For a European Policy of Human Rights

German Version – Deutsche Version via medico International

The Turkish army’s invasion of northern Syria is not only Erdoğan’s war against Rojava, but also the latest expression of the total failure of European migration and foreign policy. Rather than helping to solve the causes of global flight, these policies instead serve to systematically exacerbate them. They do not help to create ‘order’, as their strategists claim, but instead sow a million times despair, fuel chaos in the refugee camps of Europe and further violence like that currently being witnessed in Syria. The Turkish war to enforce the alleged protection zone, into which one million Syrian refugees are to be forcibly expelled, is beyond any reason, the end of politics. It simply ceases dealing with global problems. Moria, Idlib, Rojava – European migration policy has tied its fate to that of Turkey, to the fate of millions of people, as a pledge of chattels for a European truce.

The abandonment of a responsible politics, capable of framing and steering developments, is nothing new. The end of politics, has been dragging on for some time now. It began four years ago with the EU-Turkey deal, with which the European Union hired Turkey as a border guard and created a bulwark against the desire merely for a better life. At the same time, the Greek islands were transformed into special legal zones in which basic asylum standards no longer apply; they were turned into open-air prisons for those who had, regardless, managed to cross the Aegean Sea and reach European soil. Only a week ago – after another fire broke out in the EU refugee camp Moria on Lesvos, with multiple ensuing fatalities – the German interior minister travelled to Athens and Ankara to persuade Greece and Turkey to implement the deal more effectively.

For years, the end of politics has also been apparent in the undignified yet relentless scramble to create a European distribution mechanism for arrivals – while the thousands of deaths in the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas that have taken place in the meantime are taken in the continent’s stride. The overlooked issue of refugees is now returning to the European agenda with full force – specifically to that of an EU that has made itself susceptible to blackmail, with its policy of doing dirty deals. The EU’s organised contempt for humanity has long served as a blank cheque for the Erdoğan government to suppress democratic opposition and civil society in their own country. Now, it also serves as a standstill agreement on the invasion of Syria by Turkish troops.

The EU looks on while the basic requirements of international asylum law concerning refoulement are violated: refugees from Greece are being deported to Turkey and, on a massive scale, onwards to warzones like Idlib. The EU looks on as Turkey completely abandons even its already precarious asylum and protection system, with the country forcibly deporting masses of Syrian refugees back to Syria. However the EU is more than just an onlooker, in fact; it is party to an evil game that threatens hundreds of thousands of people with death.

The EU–Turkey deal, the mass disenfranchisement of migrants, the support for Erdoğan’s war, the consistent turning of a blind eye to the situation in Syria, the continued ignorance of the precarious fate of millions of people on the edge of Europe: these are some of the biggest scandals in recent European history. They bear witness to political bankruptcy, to foreign policy unscrupulousness and to an EU that criticises the wickedness of the Donald Trump administration at every turn, yet which itself has given up on even the most fundamental of human rights.

The alternative is clear: a human rights-based foreign and migration policy assuming global responsibility. What ‘must not be repeated’ is not, in fact, the ‘summer of migration’ of 2015, as German Interior Minister Seehofer likes to repeatedly emphasise. What must never be repeated, rather, is the extradition of millions of people to dictatorial regimes; expulsion and war. Let us not kid ourselves here: anyone who today opposes the admission of migrants to Europe is, simply put, in favour of their death.

We call on the European Council and the EU governments to:

– End the EU–Turkey deal.

– End the partnership with Erdoğan’s government, cease arms supplies and make use of all possible avenues to halt at once the war against Rojava in northern Syria.

– Immediately evacuate the migrant camps on the Greek islands, and allow their inhabitants freedom of movement in Europe and their reception by Solidarity Cities.

– Lay new political foundations for migration and asylum in Europe, with policies committed to protecting the human rights of refugees and migrants in Syria, the Mediterranean and in Europe itself.


Antonio Negri, Philosopher, Paris

Etienne Balibar, Philosopher, Paris/London

Jean Ziegler, Consultant Human Rights Council UN, Geneva

Carola Rackete, Sea Watch Captain,

Ilija Troianov, Author, Wien

H. Pınar Şenoguz, Academics for Peace, Göttingen

Claude Calame, Cultural Anthropologist, Paris

Micha Brumlik, Educational scientist and publicist, Frankfurt

Rada Iveković, Philosopher and Author, Paris

Doğan Akhanlı, Author, Köln

Teresa Pullano, Political Scientist, Basel

Ferda Ataman, Journalist, Berlin

Deniz Yonucu, Academics for Peace, Munich

Lorraine Leete, Legal Center Lesbos, Mytilene

Norma Jullien Cravotta, Lawyer, Paris

Arjun Appadurai, Cultural Anthropologist, Berlin

Ulrike Guérot, Political Scientist und Publicist, Berlin

Monique Chemillier-Gendreau, Political Scientist and Jurist, Paris

Sandro Mezzadra, Political Scientist, Bologna

Kerem Schamberger, Communication Scientist, München

Jean-Marc Lévy-Leblond, Physician, Nizza

Nazan Üstündağ, Academics for Peace, Berlin

Dimitris Christopoulos, Political Scientist, Athens

Kalypso Nicolaïdis, Economist and Political Scientist, Oxford

Paul Mecheril, Educational scientist, Bielefeld

Frieder Otto Wolf, Philosopher, Berlin

Vicky Skoumbi , Journalist, Athens

Diogo Sardinha, Philosopher, Lisbon

Maria Rosaria Marella, Jurist, Perugia

Stephan Lessenich, Sociologist, Munich

Karl Kopp, Pro Asyl, Frankfurt

Günter Burkhardt, Director Pro Asyl, Frankfurt

Newroz Duman, Activist We’ll Come United, Hanau

Maurice Stierl, Alarm Phone, London

Milo Rau, Theatre Director, Gent

Niccolo Milanese, Activist European Alternatives, Paris

Pia Klemp, Captain Iuventa10, Bonn

Paolo Cuttitta, Social Scientist, Paris

Daniel Bendix, Political Scientist, Friedenau

Thomas Berns, Philosopher, Brussels

Teresa Pullano , Political Scientist, Basel

Shahram Khosravi, Social Anthropologist, Stockholm

Orcun Ulusoy, Jurist, Amsterdam

Alina Lyapina, Activist Seebrücke, Berlin

Amelie Deuflhard , Theater Producer and  Director, Hamburg

Oliver Marchart, Political Philosopher und Sociologist, Wien

Sven Taddicken, Director, Berlin

Mario Bayer, Activist Welcome2Europe, Hanau

Jan Plewka, Musician, Ahrensburg

Bernadette La Hengst, Musician und Theater Producer, Berlin

Boran Burchardt, Artist, Hamburg

Darioush Shirvani, Film maker und Composer, München

Muzaffer Kaya, Historian, Potsdam

Latife Akyüz, Academics for Peace, Frankfurt

Habibe Şentürk, Academics for Peace, Göttingen

Sevil Çakır, Sociologist, Göttingen

Deniz Kılınçoğlu, Historian, Göttingen

Rauf Kesici, Economist, Duisburg

Tolga Tören, Scientist, Kassel

Nevra Akdemir, Social Scientist, Osnabrück

Fatma Karakaş-Doğan, Jurist, Bremen

Emilija Mitrovic, ver.di- Migration committee, Hamburg

Peter Bremme, Union Employee verdi , Hamburg

Jan Georg Schütte, Film Maker, Hamburg

Helen Schwenken, Migration Researcher, Osnabrück

Sabine Hess, Cultural Anthropologist,  Migration Research, Göttingen

Thomas Gebauer, Foundation medico international, Frankfurt

Christian Weis, Director medico international, Frankfurt

Ramona Lenz, Speaker medico international, Frankfurt

Alex Demirovic, Political Scientist, Frankfurt

Gisela Notz, Social Scientist, Berlin

Michal Kozlowski, Philosopher, Warsaw

Thomas Sablowski, Social Scientist, Berlin

Ismail Küpeli, Political Scientist und Historian, Berlin

Willem Schinkel,  Social Scientist,  Rotterdam

Shermin Langhoff, Intentandin, Berlin