"The PKK is a terrorist organisation. They’re an enemy of Turkey, they’re an enemy of Iraq and they’re an enemy of the United States."
~ George W. Bush.
~ George W. Bush.
KCK Executive Council and Kongra-Gel Governing Council
30th November 2007
DECLARATION CALLING FOR A DEMOCRATIC SOLUTION
The Kurdistan issue is one of the most deeply rooted issues in the Middle East. Although this problem has social, political and national roots, it is yet to be afforded an accurate and just approach by all concerned powers. This deficient situation is not bringing peace and stability. Instead, despite the Kurdish people’s wishes, the problem is being treated as a mere security and terrorism issue among two or three powers within the global arena, and is also being made a tool for political gains.
On the 5th of November during G. W. Bush’s meeting with R. T. Erdogan in the USA, the representatives of the Kurdish people’s struggle for freedom, the PKK, were declared a joint enemy and an organization that needed to be quashed, and yet no reference was made about how to resolve the actual problem which resulted in the founding of the PKK. As for the EU, its recent approval of the annihilation operations that the Turkish state wants to carry out has done nothing but encourage more Kurdish massacres. This kind of approach has been adopted for a long time and yet it is extremely clear and evident that it has not yielded a potential solution or even hinted towards a solution.
In this atmosphere there have been calls, especially from the Turkish side, for our movement to declare a unilateral ceasefire. On the one hand there are rigorous efforts to demolish the achievements of the Kurdish people’s thirty-year struggle for freedom, which has given them an organized and institutionalized movement. On the other hand however, there are messages conveyed through certain channels that the state is trying to resolve this problem peacefully. The Turkish Prime Minister R.T. Erdogan makes ambiguous and therefore unreliable statements to the public that there is a project regarding this matter. As a reply to certain statements made by the Prime Minister in August 2005 and October 2006, our organisation declared unlimited ceasefires, which in both cases were answered by military attacks, giving rise to serious doubts as to the sincerity of the Turkish state. In the present circumstances it should be accepted that the Kurdish people cannot have trust without seeing practical steps taken. Primarily there should be clarity regarding which forces support a real solution and which forces are merely using this rhetoric to pacify the Kurdish people and our movement with a view to complete nullification.
Even with all of this, instead of efforts to deescalate the situation, plans on how to attack, isolate and nullify our organisation are constantly being drawn up and presented to the public. The Turkish state is, with increasing intensity, attacking the Kurdish people’s military, political and social cohesion and principles.
It is increasingly evident that the Kurdish problem is going through a critical and sensitive period. As a movement struggling for freedom, we see it as our duty, at a time like this, and as a reply to the calls from the Turkish side, to propose a project for a peaceful solution to this problem. It is well known that for the past 15 years our leader and our movement have aimed to solve this problem peacefully. Since 1993 our movement has declared 5 ceasefires on different occasions as a signal for the start of a democratic process in which this problem can be solved peacefully. However, we regret to say that on each of these occasions the Turkish state has replied by increasing military activity against our movement. As the Kurdish side we showed our integrity in our enthusiasm for a peaceful and democratic solution by sending peace envoys on two occasions. One of these envoys consisted of a group of guerrillas and the other of political representatives. During the same period, in spite of heavy losses, our movement had pulled back its forces from the battlefields. Each of these one sided concessions, granted by our movement in order to pave the way towards a peaceful solution, was interpreted by the Turkish state as a sign of weakness and thus all possible means of dialogue were closed.
As the public is aware, the USA, EU and other international organisations, along with the People’s Democratic Party and other political bodies in Turkey, some intellectuals and writers, the Iraqi government and Southern Kurdistan’s regional government made a call to our organisation a year ago regarding a unilateral ceasefire. As a result of our leader’s calls we announced an unlimited ceasefire on the 1st of October 2006. The Turkish state however, rather than attaching any positive significance to this action, instead claimed it was an action taken to divide Turkey. For this reason the Turkish state doubled its military operations on a force which was on ceasefire. Thus since 1 October 2006 the Turkish army has carried out no fewer than 579 operations against our forces; 460 of these resulted in some sort of clash as a result of which both sides have suffered losses of more than a thousand each.
In this period, the Turkish army generals have not hidden from the public their strategy of fighting until not one single guerrilla remains. Of course there are significant negative consequences arising from this ranging from the economic to the moral. Together with all of this, the Turkish state is using every strategy, including psychological warfare, to hinder the development of a Kurdish political platform. These attacks are not only limited to the Kurdish people and the guerrillas but are also directed at the democratically elected representatives of the Kurdish people. Alongside the increase in the intensity of the solitary confinement to which the Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Ocalan is being subjected, there has also been a direct attempt at ending his life.
After a continuous but unsuccessful campaign attacking every single Kurdish dynamic within Turkey, Turkey has adopted the idea that the roots of the problem are external and therefore has placed a cross border attack into Iraq onto the agenda. With this aim, a bill was passed in the Turkish parliament creating the potential for instability and war. The AKP government is using this bill as a tool for negotiating with the USA and Southern Kurdistan. This holds similarities with the kind of military and diplomatic pressure applied by Turkey to the Syrian government in 1998. The thinking behind it is to provoke the USA and the Southern Kurdish forces to attack our movement and by doing this to cause the Kurds to turn against each other. Although initially this plan is aimed at nullifying our movement, the second phase of the plan aims to weaken the Kurdish dynamics of all other parts of Kurdistan.
Although it is the Turkish side that is planning all the attacks, they are portraying themselves as being under attack and hence the victims. All diplomatic efforts are channelled to this end. It is upsetting however, that certain global powers are allowing themselves to be manipulated in this way for economic and political interests. The unethical nature of such an approach is self-evident.
In fact the situation is completely the opposite. The real victims are the Kurdish people and their legitimate and rightful representatives. The number and scope of the operations, together with the speeches of the generals, are a clear indication of this. The guerrilla forces are not in attack mode, rather they are in a mode of self-defence. The force in attack mode is without a doubt the Turkish Armed Forces and the losses it has suffered are due to this.
The quarters who were calling upon us to declare a ceasefire have remained largely indifferent to the continuous attacks of the Turkish military and have not shown a great deal of effort in redirecting this violent tendency towards a path for a peaceful solution. At present, these very quarters are once again calling upon us to declare another ceasefire. We in all integrity respect all calls for a peaceful and democratic platform for the solution of this problem. We would like to announce that we are willing to take responsibility for playing our part in ensuring the guns remain silent in order to pave the way for a peaceful solution. Our declaration of a ceasefire in October 2006 still stands in theory although it should be noted that the increased intensity of the attacks from the Turkish military have all but made it impossible for the ceasefire to prevail. If the Turkish state ceases its attacks on our forces, our leader, our people, our values and our democratic institutions then we can confidently say that the current violent atmosphere will vanish and a peaceful atmosphere will ensue. This will mean the practical silence of the guns.
To this end, the quarters who are calling for us to declare a ceasefire will do more good by ensuring that the Turkish state accept the terms of the ceasefire our movement declared back in October 2006. If the Turkish state accepts the ceasefire of October 2006 then no guns will be firing and the sought-after atmosphere will be achieved. As a result of this a project by which the use of guns can be completely nullified can be easily achieved. We believe that this political project can be introduced through the democratic autonomy which the DTP also recently suggested. A permanent voluntary unity can be achieved through the acceptance of a democratically autonomous Kurdistan within a unified democratic Turkey.
The details of this proposal can be found within the following articles:
1. The recognition of Kurdish identity, and the constitutional protection of all identities under the citizenship of Turkey as a super-ordinate identity.
2. The removal of all obstacles constraining the development of the Kurdish language and culture; the recognition of the right to an education in the mother tongue; the acceptance of Kurdish as the joint official language of the Kurdistan area; respect for the cultural rights of ethnic minorities.
3. The recognition of the right to free association based around freedom of thought and expression, and the removal of all inequalities not least of gender.
4. The development of a social project for compromise between the two peoples, through forgiveness, to achieve peace and freedom by freeing all political prisoners including Abdullah Ocalan and ensuring the swift assimilation of political prisoners into legitimate social status.
5. The retreat of all forces of the war from Kurdistan; the abolishment of the village guard system; the development of an economic and social project to facilitate Kurds’ return to their villages.
6. A rearrangement of the law to strengthen and widen the powers of local government.
7. And parallel to the above-mentioned articles, a timetable agreed by both sides for the inclusion of guerrillas into a democratic social set-up through the abandonment of arms.
Resolving the Kurdish problem without altering the borders would be possible on this basis. Creating a democratic environment in which the Kurdish people are able to live freely is what is important. This project will in effect lay the foundations for the most sustainable resolution which will not only reinforce the basis for free alliance but also merge both sides’ gains. The freedom and existence of the Kurdish people is not a threat to the development of any people or state. Our people want only the natural rights they, as a people, are entitled to; this is possible solely through the democratization of the sovereign forces over Kurdistan. Therefore, the resolution of the Kurdish problem will also serve to build consistency and democracy in the region.
We call upon all democratic forces in Turkey, all quarters who want peace and support the brotherhood of the people, democratic intellectuals and writers to take ownership of their responsibilities towards a resolution to the Kurdish problem through peaceful democratic means. Standing up against the terrorizing and race-orientated policies of the Turkish state against the Kurds is currently a fundamental duty of being democratic. The AKP Party’s false, deceptive and religiously motivated approach and their manipulation of the Kurds through this is not a solution to the problem and is also a line of policy that could lead to bloodshed. We call on all democratic quarters to stand before the AKP party’s dangerous policies and strive towards the development of a solution to the problem through the brotherhood of the people.
We call upon the Turkish state and the AKP government to abandon the denial and eradication policy, which, despite being implemented for the past 84 years, has not produced any solutions. We invite them to discuss our presented project so as to resolve the problem through free alliance based on recognition of the will of the Kurdish people. The government of the Turkish Republic must not search outside for the solution but inside of Turkey and through peaceful dialogue with the legitimate representatives of the Kurdish people. The state must accept this as a problem of Turkey and assess it on this basis.
Kurdistan may have been divided into four parts against its will but the latest developments have demonstrated once again that the fate of the Kurds is very much tied. In light of this, therefore, all Kurdistan powers, especially the Kurdistan Regional Government, must take ownership of their responsibilities by working towards a peaceful solution. It must be known that the futures of all parts of Kurdistan are connected to a peaceful resolution to the Kurdish problem.
International forces, primarily the U.S, declaring the Kurdish freedom movement as an enemy is not going to solve the problem.
The source of the problem, contrary to the Turkish state’s claims, is not our movement but the state’s denial policy. A democratic solution to the Kurdish problem is an important contribution to security, peace and stability in the region and to world peace. From this perspective we wish to state that we are open and willing to discuss a fair solution with international and regional powers in the event of their presenting such plans. The revival of the hopes for a solution without Mr. Ocalan and the PKK will only waste valuable time and cause to deepen the issue; the dismissal of powers that represent the will of the Kurdish people will not be deemed acceptable by the Kurdish people.
As representation of the Kurdish side we have developed and provided all necessary propositions and comparable suggestions for resolution but have been answered with a persistently driven concept of eradication through armed force; we will naturally resist this with great will and determination. The people of Kurdistan, irrelevant of which part they are from, want to resolve the issue through peaceful dialogue, not violence. We value the efforts of all powers in the region who support democracy, peace and consistency in working towards a solution to this problem. The governing states and international forces in Kurdistan must relinquish the view of the Kurdish problem being a factor of instability, a view which leads to their develop of strategies to suppress it through two/three-party alliances. They must develop a conference platform wherein all parties are represented, based on objectives of regional collaboration, brotherhood between people, stability, trust and a general aim for resolution. The realization of the above objectives will strengthen the foundation for a sustainable solution.
Instead of steps that would serve to create stability and resolution, the creation of tension and contradiction between Kurdish political forces and the development of policies which cause internal fighting is most certainly an ill-intentioned approach. No friend of the Kurdish people supports this line of politics. The period of Kurds fighting amongst each other has passed; Kurdish political forces must now not give that period a chance of revival. All Kurdistan powers should adopt an attitude of national-democratic unity and accept patriotism as their minimum prerequisite for success. At this juncture in history, taking optimum advantage of opportunities for the success of our people’s struggle for freedom depends on the materialization of this political stance. Therefore it is vital that no Kurdish power leads a policy which would entertain the denial and eradication policy. They must focus their priorities on the unity and solidarity of the Kurds.
The patriotic people of Kurdistan, be it women, children, young or old must demonstrate awareness and compassion towards maintaining a national-democratic line of unity throughout this period. Furthermore, they must stand firm against all attitudes attempting to frustrate this.
This Kurdish problem is nearer to a resolution than ever before. Sovereign states that identify a resolution as a threat to their interests are in a state of anxiety and panic. They are attempting every manner of tactic to contain the situation. The denial and eradication policy being implemented within the concept of weakening and eliminating the Kurdish people and their will is destined to fail. Any attempt aiming at elimination will bring about not resolution, peace and stability but impasse, fighting and instability.
It should be well noted that the national-democratic dynamics and rich experience in resistance the Kurds have attained through the rationalization of the PKK leadership is strong enough to continue to demonstrate a desire and will for struggle for many years to come. Our people, friends and powers concerned should have no doubts regarding this. Therefore the sole true method for a conclusive solution is through dialogue, not elimination through violence. The alternative is that a catastrophic period of fighting and chaos will ensue from which everyone will lose.
We, as a movement, do not wish for such a phase to develop and with this declaration, as a reply to calls made to us by concerned powers and so that a period of peaceful democratic solution may develop, henceforth officially declare and state that we are open to discussion for a resolution. We call upon all powers to take ownership of their responsibilities and make efforts towards a democratic-peaceful solution to the Kurdish problem.
This recent statement should be compared to the Declaration for the Democratic Resolution of the Kurdish Question of August 2006. The principles are the same. There is no change from the Kurdish side.
These are the same principles that were rejected outright by the US through Lockheed Martin salesman, Joseph Ralston.