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Home » Countries » Kurdistan » Campaign Page - Familie Ay

The Terror against the Ay family must stop!

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The Ay family was headline news last year because the four children were kept in a detention center in Scotland. Incarcerating innocent children in a prison for an year shocked many people in Scotland and Britain and the family gained much sympathy and support. Despite this the family was deported to Germany in August 2003. The British Home Office justified the deportation on the basis that the Kurdish family had applied for asylum in Germany before coming to Britain, and that Germany is a ‘safe third country’ where the case will receive a just hearing.


In mid February this year a rejection by a German court meant that the family is now facing deportation to Turkey.

The Ay parents fled persecution in Kurdistan and applied for political asylum in Germany in 1988. In 1999, facing imminent deportation they risked their lives to hide in a truck to escape to Britain.

1999 was a terrible year for Kurdish refugees as it was the year that Abdullah Ocalan the leader of the PKK was abducted and handed over to the Turkish authorities. Apart from being a shock for all Kurds, specially in Germany there was massive media campaign against the Kurds. The argument was that the Kurdish refugees in Germany will participate in violent actions in Germany and Europe because of Europe’s duplicity in Ocalans capture. Guilty conscience on the part of Europe’s rulers no doubt. Despite the fact that the massive demonstrations all over Europe were peaceful and disciplined – Germany the country with the largest number of Kurds in Europe initiated a massive drive to deport tens of thousands of politically active Kurds – at this time when Kurds faced unprecedented danger in Turkey. An expression of the terrible hysteria against the Kurds during 1999 was the killing of four protesters outsider the Israeli embassy. The Embassy admitted subsequently that although they had at the time thought the there was a danger from the Kurdish protesters, later they realised that in fact there was no real danger. It was during this period that the Ay family felt it necessary to embark on the dangerous trip to Britain.


Beriwan (15) her sisters, Newroz, (13), and Medya (9), and brother Dilowan, (11) is to be ‘sent back’ to a country that they have never seen. The most concrete attachment they have to country where their parents were born is the Kurdish language – which is unacceptable in Turkey the country that they forced to go ‘back’ to. The children have been socialised in Europe – and what a socialisation. Every time they make human bonds of friendship and struggle to live a normal life, the authorities, whether German or British, lash out viciously to break these bonds and replace it with anxiety and terror.

The vibrant campaign in Britain and Scotland to win the families right to stay in Britain was clearly crucial for the children as they can recognise some humanity in a part of European society. But now the goal posts have changed again.  – the campaign in Britain and Scotland for the family to be brought back must be mobilised quickly to put pressure on the German authorities to stop the deportation to Turkey.

Letters protesting against the planned deportation of the Ay family should be sent to us, the IMRV, which we will forward  the relevant authorities.

Fax: 0049 421 4987276, or email: ay@humanrights.de