Archbishop Desmond Tutu, symbol of the struggle against apartheid South Africa, dies in Cape Town
Desmond Tutu, a symbol of the struggle against apartheid South Africa, has died aged 90. Tutu was a friend of the Kurdish people.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the cleric and social activist who fought against apartheid in South Africa, has died, aged 90.
Tutu, described by foreign observers and his countrymen as the moral conscience of his nation, died in Cape Town on Boxing Day.
“The passing of archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu is another chapter of bereavement in our nation’s farewell to a generation of outstanding South Africans who have bequeathed us a liberated South Africa,” president Cyril Ramaphosa said.
The president added: “From the pavements of resistance in South Africa to the pulpits of the world’s great cathedrals and places of worship, and the prestigious setting of the Nobel peace prize ceremony, the Arch distinguished himself as a non-sectarian, inclusive champion of universal human rights.”
A friend of the Kurdish people
The 1999 Nobel Peace Prize-winning archbishop Tutu was also known for his support for the Kurdistan freedom struggle.
Tutu announced the establishment of the International Peace Initiative in November 2012 to restart dialogue for a solution to the Kurdish problem. Among the first signatories were Tibet's Spiritual Leader, the Dalai Lama, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams, and former US President Jimmy Carter.
Tutu, who sided with the Kurds when the invasion attacks against Kobanê occurred in 2014, also attended the Kurdish conferences held in the European Parliament. Desmond Tutu, who is also among the pioneers of these conferences, led the International Tribunal in 2018, where the Turkish state was tried. While Tutu was one of the important actors of the "Time has come" campaign for the freedom of Kurdish people's leader Abdullah Öcalan, he was one of the 50 Nobel Prize winners who called for the end of the isolation in 2019.
The following statements were included in this call: "We, the Nobel Prize winners in various fields, call on the Turkish government in particular and the international community in general to take urgent steps to end the isolation of Abdullah Öcalan and all political prisoners in Turkey at this critical stage."
He last signed the letter written to Kurdish people's leader Abdullah Öcalan on behalf of the Kurdistan Peace Campaign in April 2021.