We ask the Turkish authorities and the European leaders to do justice to the Kurds in Turkey by acceding to their legitimate demands in order to ensure regional peace and stability, and to consider the fulfilment of those demands to be an essential criterion by which to measure Turkey’s progress along the road to membership of the European Union.
The Kurds make up about a quarter of the population of Turkey, numbering between 15 and 20 million, according to the October 2004 Report of the European Commission. Like all historically constituted human communities, they have the right to live in dignity in the land of their ancestors, and to preserve their identity, culture and language and hand them down freely to their children.
Having been victims of great injustice throughout the 20th century, the Kurds now pin their hopes for a better future on the process Turkey must undergo to become a member of the European Union, which they perceive as being, above all, a multicultural area of peace, democracy and pluralism. To join this family of democracies, Turkey itself must become a true democracy, with respect for its own cultural diversity and political pluralism. In particular, it must guarantee its Kurdish citizens the same rights that the Basques, Catalans, Scots, Lapps, South Tyrolean’s and Walloons enjoy in the democratic countries of Europe – and which it is itself demanding for the Turkish minority in Cyprus.
Public conscience will not abide a policy of double standards, which would eventually undermine the moral credibility of the European Union and tarnish the image of the Turkish government in European public opinion.
The European process offers both Turks and Kurds new and promising prospects, and gives them a chance for reconciliation on the basis of a peaceful settlement of the Kurdish question, with due respect for existing borders. This opportunity must be appreciated at its true value.
We the undersigned, representing Kurdish society in all its political and cultural diversity, consider that such a settlement calls for:
* a new and democratic Constitution, recognising the existence of the Kurdish people, and guaranteeing it the right to a public school system and media in its own language and the right to form its own organisations, institutions and parties with the aim of contributing to the free expression of its culture and its political aspirations;
* a general amnesty in order to establish a climate of confidence and reconciliation and, once and for all, to turn the page on violence and armed conflict;
* the implementation, with European support, of a vast programme of economic development of the Kurdish region, particularly including rebuilding the more than 3,400 Kurdish villages destroyed in the 1990s, and incentives for the three million displaced Kurds to return to their homes.
Mehmet ABBASOGLU, Former President of the People’s Democratic Party (Dehap), Songul Erol ABDIL, Mayor of Tunceli; Nesimi ADAY, Poet, writer; Muslum AKALIN, barrister, President of the Bar at Urfa (Edessa); Nilufer AKBAL, musician; Abdullah AKENGIN, Mayor of Dicle; Abdullah AKIN, former Mayor of Batman; Ibrahim AKSOY, Former Mayor of Malatya; Ihsan AKSOY, writer; Haci AKYOL, barrister, former Mayor of the Yazihan, Malayata; Yusuf ALATAS, barrister, President of the Human Rights AssociatÃ(r)on of Turkey; Mahmut ALINAK, barrister, former Member of Parliament for Sirnak; Suleyman ANIK, Mayor of Dargecit, Mardin; Firat ANLI, Mayor of Yenisehir, Diyarbakir; M. Nezir ARAS, Mayor of Bulanik; Rusen ARSLAN, lawyer, writer; Ismail ARSLAN, Mayor of Ceylanpinar; Mehmet Ali ASLAN, barrister, former President of the Workers’ Party of Turkey; Naci ASLAN, Member of Parliament for Agri; Sedat ASLANTAS, barrister, General Secretary of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey; Fahrettin ASTAN, Mayor of Besiri, Batman; Nuran ATLI, Mayor of Mazidag; Mustafa AVCI, General Secretary of the Confedaration of Public Service employees (KESK); Eshat AYATA, writer, publisher; Sukran AYDIN, Mayor of Bismil; Behrun AYGOREN, former Mayor of Dicle; Huseyin AYYILDIZ, Secretary General of Tum-Belsen; Ihsan BABAOGLU, Spokesman for the Democratic Platform, Diyarbakir; Tuncer BAKIRHAN, President of the Democratic People’s Party (Dehap); Murat BATGI, actor, Osman BAYDEMIR, Mayor of Diyarbakir; Seyhmus BAYHAN, Mayor of Lice; Mehmet Celal BAYKARA, barrister, President of the Foundation for Research on Kurdish Culture (KURTKAV); Sefik BEYAZ, President of the Istanbul Kurdish Institute; Ekrem BILEK, former Mayor of Siirt; Nevzat BINGOL, journalist, writer; Nadir BINGOL, Mayor of Ergani; Kemal BIRLIK, former Member of Parliament for Sirnak; Murat BOZLAK, Former President of People’s Democratic Party (Hadep); Ali BUCAK, barrister, President of the Urfa Cultural Centre; Aydin BUDAK, Mayor of Cizre; Feridun CELIK, former Mayor of Diyarbakir; Demir CELIK, Mayor of Varto (Mus); Omer CETIN, co-foun-der of the Research Foundation on Social Issues (TOSAV); Yusuf CETIN, President of free contemporary Actors Association (Casod); Murat CEYLAN, Mayor of Kurtalan; Emnullah CIN, Mayor of Viransehir; Muzaffer DEMIR, Former member of Parlement for Mus; Selim DEMIR, Mayor of Kozluk; Cafer DEMIR, President of Elazig Chapter of Human Rights Association; Ahmet Turan DEMIR, President of the Free Society Party (OTP); Abdullah DEMIRTAS, Mayor of Surici, Diyarbakir; Hatip DICLE, former Member of Parliament for Diyarbakir, former President of the Demoeracy Party {DEP); Ilhan DIKEN, President of the Diyarbakir Medical Assocoation; Seyhmus DIKEN, writer; Orhan DOGAN, former Member of Parliament for Sirnak; Faik DURSUN, Mayor of Beytulsebap; Tarik Ziya EKINCI, former Member of Parliament for Diyarbakir, former General Secretary of the Workers Party of Turkey (TIP); Tahsin EKINCI, lawyer; Adnan EKMEN, former Minister, former Member of Parliament for Batman; Serafettin ELCI, former Minister, former Member of Parliament for Mardin; Nuretttin ELHUSEYNI, writer, translator; Giyasettin EMRE, former Member of Parliament for Mus; Hamit ENGIN, Mayor of Hazro; Mehmet Ali EREN, barister, former Member of Parliament for Istanbul; Ahmet ERTAK, Mayor of Sirnak; Enver ETE, Spoksman for the Democratic Platform, Mardin; Mehmet Fuat FIRAT, former Member of Parliament for Erzurum; Umit FIRAT, publisher, writer; Ibrahim GUCLU, lawyer, writer; Nezir GULCAN, former Mayor of Kurtalan (Siirt); Ahmet GUMUSTEKIN, painter; Hasim HASIMI, former Member of Parliament for Diyarbakir, former Mayor of Cizre; Necdet IPEKYUZ, former President of the Diyarbakir Medical Association; M. Tahir KAHAMANER, Mayor of Malazgirt; Hüseyin KALKAN, Mayor of Batman; Ramazan KAPAN, Mayor of Derik; Hasip KAPLAN, barrister; Seyhmus KARAHAN, former President of the Urfa Association of Civil Engineers; Zulkuf KARATEKIN, Mayor of Karapinar, Diyarbakir: Selahattin KAYA, former Mayor of Bingöl; Hasan KAYA, former President of the Istanbul Kurdish Institute; Ferzende KAYA, journalist; Mehmet KAYA, Mayor of Kocaköy, Diyarbakir; Fikret KAYA, Mayor of Silvan; Gulten KAYA, music publisher; Eren KESKIN, Former President of Istanbul Chapter of Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD); Abdullah KESKIN, publisher; Abdullah KIRAN, writer; Muhsin KIZILKAYA, writer; Servet KOCA-KAYA, musician; Muhsin KONUR, Mayor of Silopi; Burhan KORHAN, Mayor of Besiri; Mukkades KUBILAY, Mayor of Dogubeyazid; Cabbar LEYGARA, barrister, former Mayor of Baglar, Diyarbakir; Ahmet MELIK, former Member of Parliament for Urfa; Yilmaz ODABASI, poet, writer; Husnu OKCUOGLU, former Member of Parliament for Istanbul; Selim OLCER , former President of the Union of Medical Associations of Turkey; Eyup Sabri ONCEL, barrister, former President of the Urfa Bar; Esat ONER, Mayor of Gercus, Batman; Mahmut ORTAKAYA, former President of the Diyarbakir; Medical Association; Selim OZALP, former Mayor of Siirt: Sahabettin OZARSLANER, former Mayor of Van; Mustafa OZER, barrister, former President of the Diyarbakir Bar; Hicri OZGOREN, poet; Osman OZGUVEN, Mayor of Dikili, Izmir; Yurdusev OZSOKMENLER, Mayor of Baglar, Diyarbakir; Mesut OZTURK, former Mayor of Van; Fadil OZTURK, poet; Kemal PARLAK, spokesman of the Democratic Consensus and Initiative for a solution to the Kurdish Question (DEMOS); Selim SADAK, former Member of Parliament for Sirnak; Resul SADAL, Mayor of Idil; Ethem SAHIN, Mayor of Suruc; Sirri SAKIK, former Member of Parliament for Mus,; Rahmi SALTUK, musician; Suzan SAMANCI, writer; Menderes SAMANCILAR, actor; Mehmet SANRI, publisher; Naci SAPAN, President of the Association of Journalists of the South-East; Mehmet Emin SEVER, former Member of Parliament for Mus; Yasar SEYMAN, President of the Press Trade Union of Turkey (BAS-SEN). Former vice-President of People’s Republican Party (CHP); Enver SEZGIN, writer; Emir Ali SIMSEK, General Secretary of the Teachers’ Union (Egitim-Sen); Cihan SINCAR, Mayor of Kiziltepe; Malmut SONMEZ, former Member of Parliament for Bingöl; Mehmet TANHAN, Mayor of Nusaybin; Sezgin TANRIKULU, barrister, President of the Diyarbakir Bar; Nimet TANRIKULU, President of Tunceli Cultural Genler; Metin TEKCE, Mayor of Hakkari; Hursit TEKIN, Mayor of Semdinli; Deniz TOPKAN, Spokesman for the Democratic Platform, Batman; Ahmet TULGAR, journalist; Ferhat TUNc, musician; Sehnaz TURAN, barrister, President of the Foundation for Research into Society and the Law (TOHAV); Ahmet TURK, former Member of Parliament for Mardin; Sehmus ULEK, barrister, Viee-President of the MAZLUM-DER (Association for Human Rights); Rojin ULKER, singer; Mehmet UZUN, writer; Behlul YAVUZ, former General Secretary of the Diyarbakir small shopkeepers and artisans Union; Feridun YAZAR, barrister, former Mayor of Urfa, former President of the People’s Labour Party (HEP); Canip YILDIRIM, Publisher; M. Salih YILDIZ, Mayor of Yuksekova; Sedat YURTDAS, former Member of Parliament for Diyarbakir; Leyla ZANA, Former member of Parliament for Diyarbakir, winner of the European Parliaments Sakharov Prize; Mehdi ZANA, Former Mayor of Diyarbakir; Veysi ZEYDANLIOGLU, lawyer.
Aso AGACE, Director of the Women’s Training Centre, Germany; Salih AKIN, Lecturer at Rouen University, France; Haci AKMAN, University Professor of Bergen, Norway; Rohat ALAKOM, writer; STOCKHOLM, Foundation for Kurdish Culture, Sweden; Faruk ARAS, essayist, Sweden; Nizamettin ARIC, musician and film director, Germany; Gunay ASLAN, journalist, Germany; Mustafa AYDOGAN, writer, Sweden; Kazim BABA, Politician, Germany; Halin Evrim BABA, member of the Berlin Regional Parliament, Germany; Kurdo BAKSI, journalist, winner of the Olof Palme Peace Prize, Sweden; Riza BARAN, President of the Friedrichhein-Kreuzberg, local Council, Germany; Rojen BARNAS, writer and poet, Sweden; Hamit BOZARSLAN, Lecturer at the School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences, France; Sermün BOZARSLAN, President of the Federation of the Kurdish associations in Sweden; Serhat BUCAK, Lawyer, Germany; Yilmaz CAMLIBEL, writer, Germany; Firat CEWERJ, writer and publisher, Sweden; Ali CIFTCI, publisher, Sweden; Murad CIVAN, research worker, Sweden; Faysal DASLI, Journalist, Germany; Seyhus DAGTEKIN, poet and novelist, winner of the International Prize for Poetry in the French Language, Franee; Mehmet DEMIR, President of the Federation of Kurdish Associations (YEKKOM), Germany; Abdulrahman DURRE, former Mufti of Diyarbakir, Germany; ELISHER, writer, Sweden; Hasan Basri ELMAS, Lecturer at Paris-VIII University, France; Derwich FERHO, President of the Brussels Kurdish Institute, Belgium; FOUNDATION of Kurds from Anatolia, Sweden; Gülistan GURBAY, Researcher, Germany; Metin INCESU, Director of the Center for Kurdish Studies (Navend), Germany; Haydar ISIK, journalist, Germany; Ahmet KAHRAMAN, Journalist, Germany; Yasar KAYA, Former President of the Democracy Party (DEP), Germany; Cahit MERVAN, Journalist, Germany; HfisenS METE, Writer, Sweden; Kendal NEZAN, President of the Paris Kurdish Institute, France; Ozz NUJEN, actor, Sweden; Nihal OTURAN, Research Engineer, France; Mehmet Ali OTURAN, University Professor, France; Nalin PEKGUL, President of the National Federation of Women Social-Democrats of Sweden, former Member of the Swedish Parliament; Sivan PERWER, musician, Prise-winner of the Charles Cross Academy for the Music of the World. Germany; REMZI, painter, Paris; Serdar ROSHAN, writer, Sweden; Mehmet SAHIN, Coordinator of the Dialog-Kreis, Germany; Giyasettin SAYAN, member of the Berlin Regional Parliament, Germany; Abubekir SAYDAN, President of the International Centre for Kurdish Human Rights, Germany; Nizamettin TOGUC, Former member of Parliament for Batman. Holland; Feleknas UCA, member of the European Parliament, Germany; Ali YIGIT, Former member of Parliament for Mardin, President of the Union of Democratic Kurdish Federations in Europe (KONKURD), Holland; Kerim YILDIZ, Executive Director at the Kurdish Human Rights Project, London; Kotan YILDIZ, Researcher at the Technical University of Berlin, Reso ZILAN, Linguist, Sweden; Ahmed ZIREK, actor, France.