Yanis Varoufakis: I just pulled out of a conference in Turkey in protest at the invasion of Northern Syria’s Kurdish region

It is with profound regret, and after much reflection, that I am pulling out as a speaker at an interesting and worthy international conference organised by TRT World in Istanbul on October 21. I do so in protest of the Turkish armed forces’ invasion of Northern Syria. The ongoing invasion is not only an assault on Syria’s Kurdish forces that almost single-handedly, and heroically, defeated ISIS on the ground but, also, an assault on Turkish democrats and their campaign to check the creeping authoritarianism of the Turkish government.

This is a conference I was looking forward to for two reasons. First, because I would have shared a platform with Dilma Rousseff, former President of Brazil, to discuss globalisation and its discontents. Secondly, and more importantly, because of an urgent need to forge close links with Turkish democrats, academics and journalists in a bid to strengthen the bonds binding progressives in Greece and in Turkey. For these reasons, I wish to thank TRT World for inviting me.

However, TRT World’s enthusiastic support of the recent invasion of Northern Syria makes it impossible for me to attend. After conversations with many Turkish friends, I decided to cancel my appearance in solidarity with them – with democrats in Turkey who are appalled at the invasion of the Turkish armed forces in Northern Syria’s Kurdish-held areas and who see this as a further departure from the rapprochement between Ankara and the Kurdish people. Turkish democrats know well that this invasion undermines further the prospects of peace and democracy within Turkey itself.

While I am cancelling this appearance, together with Turkish friends, colleagues and comrades we are planning a visit to Istanbul, and a series of meetings, that will give us an opportunity to promote the progressive internationalism that our countries, our peoples and our democracies so desperately need.

Do you want to be informed of DiEM25's actions? Sign up here

Fixing the Climate Capitalism Broke (Jan 25, 7PM CET) — feat. Yanis Varoufakis, Brian Eno, Ece Temelkuan, Roger Waters and more!

Tonight at 7PM, with Ece Temelkuran, Roger Waters, Brian Eno, Yanis Varoufakis, Frank Barat, Dipti Bhatnagar and Asad Rehman.

Read more

Statement on the UK High Court’s ruling on Julian Assange

Today marks a small – but crucial – step in the fight for Julian’s life, and his appeal will now be sent to the UK Supreme Court.

Read more

Greek government’s market fundamentalism undermines Greece’s vaccination drive

Market fundamentalism is pushing the Mitsotakis government to adopt a measure that undermines its own vaccination drive.

Read more

DiEM25 steps up efforts in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden

As a bottom-up, internationalist movement, we’re counting on grassroots support to power our bid to transform Europe.

Read more