Open letter signed by a group of academics, artists and journalists to Canada’s PM

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The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P.
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2

Dear Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,

On October 9, the Turkish military began its assault, pummeling Kurdish-held territory on Rojava (North-East Syria), with artillery and airstrikes. Turkey and its allies have previously unlawfully killed, arbitrarily arrested, and wrongfully displaced civilians. Close to a half-million people have been displaced.

Moreover, Erdogan must be charged with war crimes for intentionally torturing and killing civilians, destroying civilians’ properties, taking hostages, committing perfidy, and above all "supporting ISIS" by making Turkey a safe transit for their Jihadists, hospitalizing their wounded in Ankara and providing weapons and logistical support to ISIS.

Turkey and Canada are both NATO members. In Article 4 of NATO’s founding treaty, members can bring any issue of concern, especially related to the security of a member country, to the table for discussion within the North Atlantic Council. And, in Article 5 / Collective Defense: “An attack against any member state will be considered an attack against all member states.” These statements can put all NATO members on "collective responsibility." The way Turkey’s latest offensive is being conducted – indiscriminate attacks causing the displacement and death of vulnerable civilians, preventing humanitarian aid from reaching civilians in need, and other violations of international humanitarian law - are the responsibility of all NATO members, including Canada.

Therefore, as Canadian academics, artists, journalists and intellectuals, we demand that:

·        - Arms shipments to Turkey immediately cease.

·         - The Government of Canada call for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation                  Council to immediately begin proceedings to formally remove Turkey from                 NATO.

·         - The Government of Canada call on the international community to                               implement a no-fly zone to punish Turkey for violating international law.

·        - The Government of Canada call for the NATO member states to recall their                ambassadors from Ankara.

We also urge Canada’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to review the Turkish regime’s support for ISIS and its belligerence and aggression against the people of the region, including the people of Turkey, and adjust its relationship with Turkey accordingly.

Sincerely,

Rzgar Hama Rashed

Marvin Westwood

Heidi Taylor

Marcus Youssef

Kathleen Flaherty

Christopher Cook

Melanie Yeats

Aryo Khakpour

Belinda Bruce

Farid Rohani

Timothy Carlson

Jarus, Tal

Brenda Leadlay

Scott Jacobsen

Charlie Demers

Seth Klein