Öcalan informed the Kurdish parliamentarians for the ongoing dialogue process between Turkey and the Kurds and warned both sides to avoid provocations and to build a constructive spirit for solution of the Kurdish conflict. Öcalan has been isolated from his lawyers in the prison since July 2011, but the visit has been permitted by the Turkish Government and state.
Turkish and Kurdish sources confirmed to Ararat News (ANP) that among the negotiation issues are the disarmament of PKK and the guaranteeing of the Kurdish fundamental rights in the new Turkish constitution, general amnesty for more than ten thousand Kurdish political prisoners, including Ocalan.
All the Kurdish political parties from four parts of Kurdistan, including the Kurdish diaspora, as well as Kurdish NGOs and intellectuals support the encouraging developments for solution of the Kurdish question.
Massoud Barzani, President of Kurdistan Region, has expressed hope that ongoing talks between Turkish state officials and PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan will help solve Turkey’s Kurdish problem through peaceful methods: “Esteemed Massoud Barzani is happy and hopeful about the talks between Turkey and Öcalan and he believes the talks are a major step for the solution of the Kurdish problem. He expects the talks to kick off a serious and effective start for the peaceful solution of the Kurdish problem,” says a statement issued by the Kurdish Presidency.
Talking to Ararat News (ANP), Remzi Kartal, former Kurdish MP in Turkish Parliament and President of Kurdish Kongra-Gel, which is one of the most powerful front organisation, welcomed the ongoing negotiation process between Turkey and the Kurds: “We have always said that Ocalan is the real partner in the dialogue process with Turkey for establishing a long term solution, because he represents the interests of millions of Kurds. Ocalan has also authority over hundreds of Kurdish legal and civil organisations, millions of supporters and Kurdish guerrilla forces.”
Mr. Kartal pointed out the importance for Turkey in the current peace talks not to concentrate in eliminating PKK’s military organisations, but in solving the real problems in the country regarding Kurdish fundamental human rights: “Turkey should face its past and current problems related to the situation of the Kurds and minorities in general and find long term solution in this respect, because this is the main issue of disagreement”.
Kurdish demands in the present peace talks, as well as in the past have included a constitutional guarantee for the fundamental human rights of the minorities, education in Kurdish language, local self governance, improvement of the life conditions of the imprisoned Kurdish leader Ocalan, general amnesty for the Kurdish political prisoners and activists. “All the Kurdish political parties and organisations in four parts of Kurdistan are united and stand behind these demands”, underlined Remzi Kartal.
Zubeyir Aydar, also former Kurdish MP in Turkish Parliament and Executive Council Member of Union of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK), who was earlier involved in Oslo negotiations process between Turkey and Kurds strongly criticised some Turkish sources claiming that PKK is divided in several different groups, which can destabilize the peace process: “We don’t know about the existence of such groups inside of the PKK. All mentioned organisations are concentrated round the same demands and there are no risks from Kurdish side to mislead the peace process, if the counter part is honest for a long term solution”.
Tahir Kemalizade, President of Kurdistan National Congress (KNK), also commented the recent developments in Turkey, mentioning that “Our main work in KNK is dedicated to peace and dialogue to stop the war in Turkey and in other parts of Kurdistan. I believe that Kurds will win from a peaceful solution, but Turkey, which has close relations with EU and the West will win four times more from peace and stability. To be an enemy of 40 million Kurds in the Middle East is not in the interest of Turkey and the West.”
Ismet Kem, Co-Chairman of Confederation of Kurdish Associations in Europe (KON-KURD which has 165 associations and between 150-200 000 supporters in EU countries, declared to ANP: “As voice of nearly two million Kurds in EU, we will do our best to support the dialogue and the peace process to stop the war.”
Important message to US, UN and EU
However, Mr. Kartal, Mr. Aydar, Mr. Kemalizade and Mr. Kem regretted “The negative role played by Western countries as USA and some EU states in supporting Turkey’s policies against the Kurds, selling guns and providing intelligent services’ information. The criminalisation of Kurds, the existence of Kurdish organisation in the US-EU terror list is playing very destructive role. If US, UN and EU want stability and democratisation in Turkey, they should stop their criminalisation policies against Kurds and help for establishing a peaceful solution. Everyone has to realise that the road of peace and stability in Middle East is going through a justice solution of Kurdish question”. (ANP, Roni Alasor and Lorin Sarkisian, 6th January 2013)