Former PMs sign appeal for dialogue in Turkey

Arch. Desmond Tutu launched appeal and initiative for peace in Turkey with many former head of states
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu launched today an important new initiative for peace in Turkey, called the International Peace Initiative (IPI). The initiative was presented in Brussels during a press conference.

The press conference was opened with a video message from Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, who was followed by Ms. Rigzin C. Genkhang on behalf of the Brussels Representative of H.H. the Dalai Lama. Judge Essa Moosa, formerly a Judge of the High Court of South Africa and appointed by Archbishop Tutu to represent him at the press conference, also provided a short statement about the Initiative.

The object of the International Peace Initiative is to appeal to the international community to support the call of Archbishop Tutu for the Resumption of Dialogue by placing the issue on the international agenda; assisting the parties to gain trust and respect and negotiating a peaceful resolution of the Kurdish Question in Turkey.
In a timing appeal Archbishop Tutu called on all parties involved to “to take the necessary steps to restart the talks in good faith with the aim of giving democracy and peace a new chance for the sake of all the people of Turkey”. And he asked other people to join him in his call.

The appeal by Arch. Tutu was received and endorsed by many eminent people: Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams, former US president Jimmy Carter, the Dalai Lama, former East Timor president Jose Ramos-Horta, former Norway PM Kjell Magne Bondevik, former Sweden PM Ingvar Carlsson, former Finland PM Paavo Lipponen, former Danish PM Anker Jørgensen and former Danish foreign minister Kjeld Olesen.

Archibishop Tutu has penned a simple but direct appeal.

“Talks which started at the beginning of 2009 between the Turkish Government and the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan have broken down for reasons insignificant to the conflict itself. In our opinion a dialogue needs to be reopened – reads the appeal which adds – For any talks to succeed it has to be recognized that the Kurdish people are a permanent feature of the land they share with their fellow citizens. The fundamental realities cannot be denied forever, and genuine dialogue towards a lasting peace seems the only proper way forward”.

The appeal also underlines that “Dialogue between the parties is the only way to secure a peaceful resolution to the conflict and peace is a precondition for establishing a democratic Turkey. Successful dialogue will make all other methods unnecessary” and adds that “Peace talks will bring hope to the Kurdish and Turkish people who have been living under the shadow of a protracted conflict with no apparent end in sight.

It is never too late to act for a better future. Now is the time to seize the moment to break the deadlock and lay the basis for a lasting peace”.

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