Press Release 23 June 2014
Initiative for a Democratic Syria
Start of a Kurdish initiative for democratic transformation in Syria on the basis of unity and plurality – Discussions with the Syrian National Council (SNC) in Istanbul – Discussions with representatives of the Assyrians and of the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Transformation of Syrian Forces (CNCD) in Syria – Discussions with the Kurdish National Council of Syria (KNC – ENKS) – further discussions with various opposition groups and individuals from Syria in Europe.
The Initiative, for a democratic transformation on the basis of unity and diversity, was introduced to the public in Qamislo (Al-Qamishli) on 8 May 2014, at a press conference where a foundation text outlining its principles was presented. These principles are the basis for discussions with progressive opposition groups on the future of Syria.
The groups launching the initiative are: the Syrian Democratic Party, the Democratic Unity Party, the Left Democratic Party, the Communist Party of Kurdistan, the Liberal Unity Party, the Green Party of Kurdistan, the Syrian Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party, and the Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV-DEM). As well as a concrete action plan, the foundation text also insists that Syria needs a deep democratic transformation, not just regime change, a precondition for which is a constitution which recognises the rights of all ethnic, cultural and religious population groups in Syria and which counters any tendencies to exclusion or the dominance of one group. One of the foundational principles is a requirement to relinquish the use of force. The text further states that the solution to the Syrian question lies along the road of democracy and politics; Syrian national identity will remain, and at the same time, the various ethnic and religious identities will also be encouraged and protected. This will be achieved through organising Syria on a pluralistic and decentralised basis, and the question of the solution of the rights of all population groups and religious groups will be on the basis of international treaties and human rights conventions and their protocols.
So far the Initiative for a Democratic Syria has held talks in Rojava (Western Kurdistan) with the Kurdish National Council of Syria (KNC, or ENKS in Kurdish), representatives of the Assyrians and of the National Co-ordination Committee for Democratic Change in Syria, and with various Syrian and Kurdish groups in South Kurdistan (Northern Iraq) amongst others. A delegation from Rojava visiting Europe has also met with various opposition groups and introduced the Initiative.
Talks with the Syrian National Council (SNC) in Istanbul
A delegation from Rojava has been in Turkey since 7 June on behalf of the Initiative. The delegation consists of the Co-president of the People’s Council of Rojava Abdusalam Ahmad, the General Secretary of the Kurdish Left Party Mohammad Musa, and Democratic Union Party (PYD) national executive committee member Bashira Darwis. The delegation met a number of journalists, writers and representatives of political parties in Istanbul and introduced the project for a democratic Syria.
In a Firat News Agency (ANF) interview, PYD member Bashira Darwis explained that the delegation was also holding talks with various organisations and individuals belong to the Syrian National Council (SNC) in Istanbul. The aim is to unite the progressive parts of the Syrian opposition under one roof.
One struggle for a free and democratic Syria which upholds equal rights for everyone
Bashira Darwis was asked what a solution for Syria could look like, in view of the attacks by the Islamist organisation “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” (ISIS). She answered: “The only thing that can stop the advance of ISIS in the Middle East is the system that we have put together in Rojava. Once we as communities of Rojava and Syria have made our own borders safe and have ended the presence of ISIS within them, we shall have to wage a joint struggle to create an atmosphere that favours democracy and freedom and equal rights for all in Syria.”
Translated from German original
For further information please contact the Kurdish Press Centre, Civaka Azad (Kurdisches Zentrum für Öffentlichkeitsarbeit e.V.), Bornheimer Landstraße 48, 60316 Frankfurt. Phone: 069-84772084, Mobile: 01573-8485818, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.