Demirtas and Kisanak write to members of the EP

As members of the European Parliament gather today to debate the 2011 Progress Report on Turkey and EU Enlargement, we reproduce below a letter written by BDP Co-Chairs Selahattin Demitas and Gultan Kışanak to members of the EP:

28 March 2012

TO MEMBERS OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

Honorable members of the parliament,

First of all, we would like to let you know that, we have written this letter for the purpose of to contribute to the debates regarding Turkey in European Parliament. As you know, Turkey has sophisticated and traumatic issues such as Kurdish Issue, debates on the constitution, from centralization to decentralization and of course the fundamental rights. It is very clear that all the concerned issues directly related each other. Up until today, collective and political problems which based on relations with the power and claimant people are evaluated at the heart of security oriented mentality by the governments in Turkey. We are sorry to say that, Turkey’s governments are continuing to pressures against the civil society including press, trade unions and opposite political parties and their supporters with the international actors’ indirect contribution. It is clear that, AKP Government’s unilateral and patronizing approach prevents dialogue and the negotiation process which the key method for the solution.

According to our observations, international community has not deep knowledge or interest about Kurdish People’s sensitivities and demands. Besides, debates on Turkey are not focused on main principles and collective rights. Therefore, AKP Government doesn’t care to develop the freedom of expression, freedom of press, freedom of belief and freedom of organization. Contrary to the universal law principles, legal opposite organizations and newspapers should be banned by the inconsistent legislation. To be honest, none of the legislative amendments in EU harmonization process are reflected to democratization in Turkey. When you look at the statistics on human rights violations, social developments and number of the prisoners, you can easily see the Turkey’s sliding to a political chaos.

In the circumstances, BDP aims for a democratic solution to the Kurdish Issue in Turkey. Unfortunately, our facilitative efforts were not considered by the AKP Government. According to the Anti-Terror Law and the Criminal Code in Turkey, all speeches about the Kurdish Identity are regarding as a crime of “supporting terrorism”. Therefore, more than 7000 members of our party including 6 parliamentarians, 16 current and 11 former mayors, hundreds of elected city council members are arrested. Besides at least 102 journalist are in prisons. Majority of them are arrested in reason of the Kurdish Issue. Actually, because of the ongoing police raids and countrywide arrestment operations, we are unable to inform you about the statistics and the exact number of the arrested politicians. We would like to underline the reality of the arrestments. None of our members are charged with being a part of violence. All of the arrested politicians were charged because of the speeches on Kurdish Issue. Nevertheless, BDP will insist for dialogue and comprehensive negotiations and ready for contribution to the new democratic constitution and the peaceful solution to the Kurdish Issue.

Honorable members,

Kurdish Issue is not only a domestic problem but also an international issue which inhold the human rights abuses, conflicts, peoples’ demands and political actors. It is clear that, Mr. Ocalan is a political actor and He is regarded as a political will by the Kurdish People in Turkey. This reality shouldn’t be ignored. We believe that, international community should play a key role for encouraging the sides to starting negotiations. Therefore, your positive contribution and constructive approach will be great opportunity for peace in Turkey.

Respectfully yours,

Selahattin Demirtaş Gültan Kışanak

BDP Eş Başkanı BDP Eş Başkanı

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