NGO’s Call for Peace Pumped up Volume

NGO’s Call for Peace Pumped up Volume

Almost 700 NGOs issued a declaration addressing the government on the Kurdish question. They called for steps towards more democracy and to evaluate the PKK’s decision for an extended ceasefire positively.

693 non-governmental organizations from 21 provinces urged the government in a joint statement to take steps for a solution of the Kurdish question. Among the signatories are also members of the Democratic Society Congress. The congress convened for the first time in 2007 and is run by representatives of the Kurdish people to tackle the Kurdish question. ?dris Ekmen, Branch President of the Diyarbak?r Chamber of Electrical Engineers, read out the “Regional Declaration” in a press conference held in Diyarbak?r on Tuesday (9 November). The declaration included the following demands:
  * Obstacles before the use of the mother tongue should be removed for the solution of the Kurdish question. Tried Kurdish politicians must be granted the right to a defence in their mother tongue and the detained defendants should be released.
  * Military and political operations should be stopped. The Anti-Terror Law should be lifted and provisions of the Turkish Criminal Law opposing universal law should be amended together with similar anti-democratic laws.
  * The dialogue with Abdullah Öcalan, imprisoned leader of the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), and with other dynamic elements should be continued. Suitable conditions should be established for them to participate in the process as a whole.
  * The election threshold of 10 percent should be lifted.
  * The past has to be faced to reveal the facts. For a bright future, a Facts Research Commission should be established as soon as possible.

* The work on a democratic, liberal, egalitarian and pluralistic constitution should be initiated immediately to replace the current constitution which emerged from the military coup in 1980.
  * The PKK’s decision for a “no-action period” should not be wasted.
  Subsequent to intensified armed clashes, 649 NGOs had called to “make the weapons fall silent” in July 2009. Later on, the PKK declared that they had also considered the demands of the social foreces when they decided for the ceasefire and extended the “no-action period” several times. (EÜ/EÖ/VK)

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