NDM6999 Plaid Cymru debate - The Kurds in Turkey

NDM6999 Rhun ap Iorwerth (Ynys Môn)

To propose that the National Assembly for Wales:

1. Notes that, whilst foreign affairs is a matter currently reserved to the UK Government and Parliament, Section 62 of the Government of Wales Act 2006 provides that “The Welsh Ministers, the First Minister and the Counsel General may make appropriate representations about any matter affecting Wales”.

2. Recognises the substantial Kurdish community in Wales.

3. Notes that a resident of Wales - İmam Sis, a young Kurdish man - is on an indefinite, non-alternating hunger strike as of 17 December 2018, which was initiated to protest the isolation of the Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan who has been imprisoned by Turkey since 1999 under conditions which are understood to contravene the Turkish state’s legal obligations in relation to human rights.

4. Notes that hunger strikes are taking place across Europe and the world, including by Leyla Güven, an elected member of the Turkish Parliament.

5. Notes that Turkey is a signatory to several international human rights treaties, including the European Convention of Human Rights as a member of the Council of Europe.

6. Expresses its concern at the reasons behind the hunger strikes.

7. Recognises that the ultimate aim of the hunger strikes is to see a peaceful, political solution to the Kurdish question in Turkey.

8. Affirms the importance that human rights obligations are upheld in Turkey.

9. Calls on the Welsh Government, on behalf of the National Assembly for Wales, to write to the Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment calling for the committee to visit Imrali Prison to assess the conditions of Abdullah Öcalan.

Government of Wales Act 2006


The following amendments were tabled:

Amendment 1 - Darren Millar (Clwyd West)

In point 3, after ‘isolation of the Kurdish’, insert ‘PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party)’.

Amendment 2 - Darren Millar (Clwyd West)

Insert new points after point 3 and renumber accordingly:

Notes that the PKK is a proscribed terrorist organisation in the UK, the European Union, and the United States of America.

Condemns all terrorist acts perpetrated by the PKK and acknowledges the victims and civilians killed and caught up in their attacks.

Acknowledges the right of Turkey to defend itself against terrorist attacks by the PKK.

Amendment 3 - Darren Millar (Clwyd West)

Delete point 7 and replace with:

Recognises that the aim of the hunger strikers is to enable Abdullah Öcalan access to legal representation and contact with his family.

Amendment 4 - Darren Millar (Clwyd West)

Insert new point after point 8 and renumber accordingly:

Notes that the UK Government’s Foreign Secretary and Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Turkey have emphasised to the Turkish government the need to respect human rights, avoid civilian casualties and return to the peace process.

Amendment 5 - Darren Millar (Clwyd West)

Add as new point at end of motion:

Calls upon the PKK to abandon terrorism as a means to furthering its aims and return to the peace process.


Business type: Debate

Reason considered: Senedd Business;

Status: Complete

First published: 09/06/2021

Decision due: 20 Mar 2019 by Plenary - Fifth Senedd

Lead member: Rhun ap Iorwerth MS