“5 minutes to election: What happened during 20 days of PKK inaction in Turkey?”

The Kurdistan Communities of Women (KJK) has published a new information file called 5 minutes to election: What happened during 20 days of PKK inaction in Turkey? which provides a useful summary of events in Kurdistan since the PKK declared a unilateral ceasefire on 10 October. The report details an alarming number of state-sponsored attacks on the AKP’s political opposition, including curfews in Kurdish districts, raids on HDP offices and military strikes against the PKK.

The report begins with this statement below and is available to download in full here (pdf).

To the press and public,

On Sunday, November 1, new elections will take place in Turkey. On June 7, for the first time in Turkish history a pro-Kurdish leftist party – the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) – managed to break through the 10% mark by getting 13.1% of the votes. This result destroyed the dreams of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which aimed to form the government on its own. After unsuccessful pro-forma coalition talks with the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the President of Turkey and former Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declared on August 21 that “With the will of Allah, new elections will be hold on 1 November”.

3 days ago, on Monday (26 October 2015), the AKP deputy chair Mehmet Ali Şahin said “I’m afraid that if the outcome of the vote turns out like it did on June 7, there is going to be talk of another election”. This statement of a high official shows that AKP is considering to let people vote until it gets the desired result. But while waiting for the desired result – absolute power – AKP is plunging the country into chaos and trying to eliminate all opposition – especially the Kurdish Political Movement.

In this regard the AKP ruled interim government started an unprecedented campaign against Kurds in Turkey: extensive military operations, curfews in Kurdish cities, killing of civilians, cross-border airstrikes, mass arrests, systematic destruction of cemeteries, removal and imprisonment of Kurdish mayors, desecration of corps etc.

Although AKP is legitimating this campaign with the killing of two Turkish policemen in Ceylanpinar on July 22, it is obvious that Erdogan and his party want to take revenge for the lost elections.

After the intensification of the clashes between PKK guerrilla fighters and Turkish army and security forces, different international forces, like United Nations, European Union, United States of America, called both – the Kurdish liberation movement and the Turkish state – to stop fighting and return to the dialogue table.

As an answer to these calls and also for providing security to the electoral process, the KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) Executive Council Co-Presidency declared inaction on condition that no attacks are carried out against the Kurdish movement, people and guerrilla forces on October 10. The same day, a bomb killed 102 people – most of them Kurds and leftists – attending a rally for peace in Ankara.

In its statement KCK underlined that all the international forces, states and forces in Turkey that have called for a ceasefire in order for the realization of elections in a healthy environment, must follow this process closely and play their roles, manifest the necessary sensibility and make an intervention when necessary.

However none of the states or international forces that have called both, PKK and the Turkish state to stop fighting and start peace talks, asked the AKP why they are continuing military operations against Kurdish fighters despite their inaction. Moreover the Turkish army started to attack Kurdish forces, which resist IS in Northern Syria, too.

The ongoing conflict between Kurds and the Turkish state has regional and international dimensions, too. It has a lot to do with the developments in Syria and the Middle East in general.

Those forces that aim a democratic future for the people in the Middle East must act now. Especially those who called for negotiations between the Kurdish political movement, represented by the imprisoned and isolated PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, and the Turkish state, must shoulder their responsibility and call the Turkish government to immediately stop its military attacks and end its disastrous policies, which have a disastrous impact on the whole region.

The silence towards the increasing crimes against humanity and war crimes by the Turkish government does not serve the democratic and peaceful coexistence of the people in Turkey and the Middle East. In contrary. In this regard we strongly criticize the European Commission for holding back its report in Turkey until after next Sunday’s election.

In this information file you will find a summary of the happenings in Turkey since the declaration of the unilateral ceasefire by the PKK on October 10. One look at the last 20 days should give a clear indication about the seriousness of the political process in Turkey.

The longer the number of serious crimes committed by official and paramilitary forces of the Turkish state increases, the difficult a real reconciliation process will be in future. Let’s do not allow any more crimes against humanity. It’s time to act.

Kurdistan Communities of Women (KJK)

Umbrella organization of the Kurdish Women’s Liberation Movement

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