Co-chairs of DTK (Democratic Society Congress), HDK (Peoples’ Democratic Congress), DBP (Party of Democratic Regions) and HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) held a joint press conference in Amed regarding the growing conflict in the Kurdish region of Turkey.
The press conference was attended by DTK co-chairs Hatip Dicle and Selma Irmak, HDK co-spokesperson Ertuğrul Kürkçü, DBP co-chair Kamuran Yüksek, HDP co-chairs Figen Yüksekdağ and Selahattin Demirtaş.
DTK co-chair Hatip Dicle pointed to democratic autonomy as their resolution for the ongoing conflict which -he said- will be discussed at a DTK congress to be held in Amed on 26-27 December.
Dicle recalled that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan turned town the negotiation table and rejected the Dolmabahçe Agreement between two sides after two years of talks and dialogue, while Öcalan was about to call the PKK to hold an extraordinary congress for disarmament.
Dicle stressed that today’s causes for the conflict- self-rule and trenches- could easily be discussed and treated at the table of negotiations during that process of talks.
“The process ended soon after Öcalan had decided to replace the word of democratic autonomy with local democracy, and trenches had been filled following an agreement made by both sides at the table. This proved that every problem could be resolved through mutual talk and agreement.”
DTK co-chair said that in their point of view there are three reasons that forced to state to leave the negotiation table; developments in Rojava and PYD’s growing legitimacy; unification of two cantons in Rojava; AKP’s defeat and HDP’s accomplishment. He noted that the present conflict wouldn’t be taking place if the process achieved with Dolmabahçe Agreement had continued.
“At this stage, the problem goes beyond a trench issue as the state aims a total elimination of the Kurdish people’s growing demand of freedom. Self-rule is a legitimate right guaranteed by international conventions, and we as DTK and all our organisations own this struggle. The government pursues an immoral and unlawful war concept which would normally be put into action with a parliamentary resolution for a state of emergency or siege. Unlawful for excluding the parliament from this decision, the government is committing a crime that disregards human life. This is an immoral war conducted by tanks and artillery weapons against 15 towns and cities, which causes great pains and destruction. Yet, those staging this coup will never be able to suppress Kurdish people’s democratic rights and demand of self-rule.”
In a following statement in Kurdish, DTK co-chair Selma Irmak underlined that massacres have never helped to resolve the Kurdish question so far, and pointed out that the only way to a resolution is to answer the people’s demands through talks and negotiations.
Irmak noted that they will discuss the people’s demand, the state’s atrocity and a resolution for the conflict at the extraordinary DTK meeting to take place next weekend.
“We are at the parting of the ways now. We will surely find a new way out with the hope that all the ways to democracy and negotiation have not been blocked. Our people’s demands are also demands of us who represent them”, she added.
DBP co-chair Kamuran Yüksek said they as they organise bodies of the Kurdish people and Turkey’s democracy forces will shoulder the fair cause of the Kurdish people in this heavy process of bloodshed.
“This problem which is manipulated on Turkey society as a trench and barricade issue is the Kurdish question itself that remains unresolved for a hundred years. Kurds have been labelled terrorists and elements needed to be suppressed every time they demanded their rights.” he added.
Yüksek emphasised that the people’s demand of democratic autonomy and self-rule is rightful, adding;
“People have the right to defend themselves as long as the oppressive approach of the state is maintained. Resistance is a right, especially if the state is killing the people one by one or in mass”.
HDK co-chair Ertuğrul Kürkçü said they will discuss the people’s demand at the general assembly of DTK and build a common policy of Turkey and Kurdistan.
“Every single government that came to the power over the past 30 years have firstly tired to come up with a solution to the Kurdish question but ended up in saying “There is no Kurdish question”, which was their last moment. This rule of Erdoğan will also experience the same end. We undertake responsibility, as DTK, HDK and all citizens.”
Kürkçü continued by criticizing CHP’s rhetoric “there can be no self-rule in a republic regime”, describing it as the very words desired by Erdoğan. “Soldiers, whose work is to kill, cannot resolve this question. Death and mobilization of troops is not a solution. This is rather a method used by the ISIS.”
Kürkçü called upon the peoples of Turkey to stand by the Kurdish people as they voice their demand and are confronted by soldiers in response.
“Either stand by your brothers and sisters now, or do not ever talk about fraternity anymore. If not today, when will fraternity be displayed?”, he said.
HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş said it was actually the state’s helplessness to send 2 generals and 10 thousand soldiers to bomb Kurdish people and cities.
Demirtaş stressed that people in the areas under attack have no fear or panic, and are confronting the operations with resistance and determination to win. He said the followings addressing to AKP and Erdoğan;
“You are bombing houses by tanks, spreading fabricated reports on TV channels that Kurds burn mosques. Half of Turkey might be supporting you, even if you engage in theft and corruption, but what about the other half? There are millions”
HDP co-chair remarked that they will not allow another atrocity, and said;
“These people also resisted the tanks sent by Kenan Evren. Thank God thousands of people are resisting today’s coup as well. Should they have rather begged for a solution from Erdoğan? If tens of thousands of soldiers are being sent to Kurdish cities and towns today, this means it is not about trenches but people themselves there. People resist everywhere and they will keep resisting.”
Demirtaş continued by addressing the following remarks to state officials;
“You had better not speak with exclamations of victory because you are in a shameful situation. You still have no single resolution plan, you have deployed tanks in cities, and yet you are talking about a new constitution and democracy.”
Demirtaş said it is the state atrocity and military operations that make people suffer problems, noting that the historical Kurşunlu Mosque in Amed was also set on fire by state forces.
“This atrocity will not last long or forever. Together with our people, we are discussing on resolution mechanisms and we will step up the resistance in order for this atrocity to end. The extended DTK meeting next weekend will witness a high participation for the discussion of self-rule. We will make significant decisions and put them all into practice. If they think they can suppress us by showing us tank barrels, they are wrong. We have already gone beyond the fear of death, which is God’s will and should be an honorable one. We are right and we will win by joining hands with everyone of us. Fascism cannot be hindered by a request and gratitude but by resistance. We call on our people to enhance this honorable resistance everywhere they are.”
Demirtaş remarked that taking a step backwards wouldn’t befit the dignity of this historic process, stressing that;
“We didn’t steal from anybody, invade or usurp anybody’s land, burn anybody’s village or forbid anybody’s tongue. We want to live as a free and dignified people in our own land. None of the practices of the government is lawful, like the governor imposing a curfew. The state itself, its police and military forces are all acting beyond the means of law. What should this people do instead? The youths are being criticised for digging trenches. Is there anything else they can but don’t do?”
Demirtaş called on everyone to provide any contribution they can to this struggle, at least to “pray for those resisting if there is nothing else to do, at least for the history to say that you sided with those who resisted”.