Tuesday, March 12, 2013

PKK 9 Demands from 2009 Peace Opening - Same List 4 Years Later

On Oct 20, 2009 a "peace group" of 34 Kurds accused of PKK membership crossed the border from Iraq to Turkey as part of PM Erdogan's "Democratic Opening" peace process with the Kurds. Five out of 34 of them were arrested at the Harbur Border crossing.

After many hours of hearings by a judge called especially to the border, the five were released. Reportedly 3000 cars and buses were waiting at the border to transport the returnees to Diyarbakir, and thousands of people had gathered along the route to cheer them on.

These events contributed to the derailment of the 2009 peace process. Millions of citizens in Turkey and international supporters hope the peace process in 2013 will be successful and Kurdish rights will be realized in Turkey. In order for peace and a resolution to the Kurdish issue to succeed, the military must stop the bombing missions on the PKK at the same time it states it is engaged in peace negotiations with Ocalan, PKK leader imprisoned since 1999 on Imrali Island.

We hope the 8 Turkish hostages scheduled for release by the PKK on March 12, 2013, will soon be reunited with their families and that the release of students, journalists, and politicians in Turkey, accused of supporting or associating with a terrorist organization will soon follow. The names of those being released are Zihni Koç , Abdullah Söpçeler, Kemal Ekinci, Nadir Özgen, Kenan Erenoğlu, Reşat Çaçan, Ramazan Başaran ve Hadi Gizli.

The nine demands stated in 2009 by the PKK peace group are as follows:

  • The road map Ocalan created should be referred to the authorities of concern and should be made public.
  • Military operations should be terminated. Peaceful and democratic ways to solve the Kurdish issue in the political sphere should be developed.
  • The Kurdish identity should be protected under equal terms in the Constitution.
  • We should be able to freely speak our mother tongue (Kurdish). We should be free to learn it, promote it, and live our values, our culture, and geography within our language.
  • We should be able to freely name our children with Kurdish names, educate them in Kurdish, and raise them in that environment.
  • We should be able to freely live our history, culture, and literature and protect them.
  • We should be able to develop a democratic social organization established under our own identity. We should be able to freely engage in politics. We should be able to express ourselves freely.
  • We should be able to safely live in the villages, towns, and cities of Kurdistan under sufficiently developed conditions far from the oppression of special team members, village guards, and the police.
  • We demand more democratization in Turkey and we would like to have a more democratic Constitution.

Read more at US Embassy Ankara cables from 2009 posted by Wikileaks:


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