A petition started by UK activists has this week called for the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, to remove the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) from a list of terrorist groups and consider supporting the group’s current efforts in fighting Islamic State militants in Syria.
The group, founded in 1975, became infamous after its attempt to promote Kurdish separatism in Turkey led to a war that lasted nearly 30 years, and ended in a ceasefire agreement in 2013. Turkish authorities have labelled the party and its associate paramilitary groups as terrorist organisations, something that was agreed upon by many international powers.
But now, almost a year after a ceasefire between Turkey and the PKK, the group has begun to support efforts to defend Kurdish people in areas currently under attack by Islamic State militants.
The actions of the group have caused one group to call for British authorities to drop the group’s terrorist classification and consider supporting their efforts against the Islamic State as many European powers scramble to find solutions to the rising threat of ISIS.
The petition, which began yesterday, has already gained hundreds of supporters who are calling for the government to consider cooperating with PKK to defend threatened Kurdish communities.
Under British law if an official petition gains 100,000 signatures it must be debated by politicians, meaning that if the petition continues to gain support Britain and other European states may begin to consider supporting the efforts of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party in fighting Islamic States