An operation in Turkey targeting Union of Kurdistan Communities (KCK) members and supporters has been carried out in several districts of Istanbul on 4 October.
In all 92 people have been taken into police custody on the basis of alleged membership in the KCK, the umbrella organisation that includes the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) among many other Kurdish civil society and cultural organisations.
This latest wave of arrests against leading Kurdish activists, politicians and community leaders can only inflame an already tense situation that will ultimately need to be resolved through dialogue and negotiation as steps towards an enduring peace settlement, which is exactly what Kurdish spokespeople have consistently demanded.
Turkey has adopted an extremely aggressive stance towards the Kurdish movement over recent months, which it has ratcheted up in the wake of the June general election when Kurdish backed candidates made significant gains.
The AKP government, with the support of its international allies, is attempting to combine repression at home with military action across the border aimed at eliminating the Kurdish guerrillas. It believes that this “more of the same” approach will solve the decades-long conflict with its Kurdish citizens.
But, as Peace in Kurdistan has repeatedly stated, the Kurdish issue is not a problem of terrorism but is a conflict whose roots lie deep in Turkish history and in the constitutional recognition of a people denied their fundamental legal, social, cultural and political rights. Indeed, Turkey still refuses even to acknowledge their distinct identity or language as a people. Until these fundamental anomalies are addressed, Turkey will not be able to achieve a solution and peace will remain elusive.
In the course of the latest operations against the KCK over the past month 771 people have been detained. With these latest arrests the figure rises to 908 people, according to Dicle News Agency.
This latest wave of arrests comes at a time when Turkey’s parliament has voted to extend by another year a mandate allowing the Turkish military to carry out cross-border operations against Kurdish camps in northern Iraq (south Kurdistan). This will mark the fourth successive extension of the mandate for military operations.
PIK reiterates its call for all those who want to see an end to the conflict to exert their influence to ensure that Turkey changes course before its aggressive manoeuvres engulf the country in a full-scale and an ever more bloody conflict. The Kurds want peace; at the moment, it seems quite clear that Turkey’s leaders have chosen war in a futile bid to eliminate every manifestation of independent Kurdish activity.
For further information contact
Peace in Kurdistan
Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question
Email: [email protected]
Contacts Estella Schmid 020 7586 5892 & Melanie Sirinathsingh – Tel: 020 7272 4131
Patrons: Lord Avebury, Lord Rea, Lord Dholakia, Baroness Sarah Ludford MEP, Jean Lambert MEP, Alyn Smith MEP, Hywel Williams MP, Elfyn Llwyd MP, John Austin, Gareth Peirce, Julie Christie, Noam Chomsky, Edward Albee, Margaret Owen OBE, Mark Thomas, Bairbre de Brún MEP