The Democratic Society Congress (DTK) announced their decisions after a two-day meeting in Diyarbakır, a Kurdish-majority city in south-eastern Turkey. DTK Co-Chair Ahmet Türk read out the results on behalf of the congress.
He conveyed the following issues:
Military operations should be stopped: We believe that the ceasefire announced by the PKK [the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party] provides a historic opportunity for social peace. After this we have to communicate our demands to the government. Once more we urge to de facto stop military and political operations.
A response should be given to the ceasefire: It is clear which road to follow since the regional non-governmental organizations compel the state and the government to take according steps. We urge the Turkish people to stake their claim for peace just like the Kurdish people do in order not to shed the blood of their brothers and sisters. If there will be no response to the ceasefire and if the deaths are continuing, then we would not have the heart to call for a ceasefire once more.
Agenda for a solution of the Kurdish question
Türk also put forward the necessary prerequisites for starting negotiations to resolve the Kurdish question. He emphasized that the negotiations should be on the Turkish agenda for the referendum on the constitutional reform package on 12 September and also afterwards. "Reassuring steps must be taken to initiate the negotiations", Türk indicated and considered five issues to be included in the process:
* The necessary conditions have to be provided to be able to ensure imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan’s participation in the negotiations.
* A new and democratic constitution should to be worked out.
* Detained members of the peace groups and Kurdish politicians should be released.
* The national election threshold of 10 percent stipulated in the Elections Law must be lifted.
* Anti-democratic legal regulations have to be eliminated, first of all the Anti-Terror Law.
"Democratic autonomy unites"
"Democratic Turkey, autonomic Kurdistan" is the heading of a democratic autonomy project called the "life in unity project" by Türk.
"The permanent council bases a democratic Turkey on the proposal for an autonomic Kurdistan. This project is not based on separation but on a volunteer unity. A workshop will be held on the project of democratic autonomy and the results will be announced to the public".
Supporting the boycott
Türk also highlighted the DTK’s support for the boycott of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) against the referendum on the constitutional reform package.
"Nobody is patient anymore"
"Our demand is to make the weapons fall silent", Türk said. "This is the demand of democrats and intellectuals. We contribute to the solution of the problem in a time of mutual understanding".
Türk stated that they would take efforts to talk to state officials and all parties involved in the process, including the PKK and Öcalan. "Neither the Turkish nor the Kurdish people have any patience left in this process. Everybody holds the responsibility to take an effort for resolving this issue", he said.
The DTK furthermore condemned the closing of the Kurdish Azadiya Welat newspaper. "We condemn the closure of a Kurdish newspaper in a time when we strove to strengthen democratic policies" Türk said and assessed the closure as a means to silence the press and democracy. (TK/VK)

– BİA News Center
24 August 2010, Tuesday