The peace vision of Abdullah Ocalan, our Kurdish Leader, has been scuppered today by the ruling party of the Turkish Government, the AKP, which has refused to grant visas to the 15 members of the European Kurdish peace group due to fly to Turkey shortly. There they were due to meet up with the 34 members of the Kurdish peace group who came from Maxmur and Qandil on November 19th 2009.Our leader saw it as his responsibility to write the “Road Map” that sets out a solution to the Kurdish issue and to further the democratisation process. However, precisely because the “Road Map” was not released by the authorities to our Movement and put in the public domain, discussions concerning the resolution of the Kurdish issue have become repetitive to the extent that they were not leading anywhere and have in fact stalled.  Our Leader called on our Movement to unblock the political path and create a new and historical opportunity for a solution to this problem. Our Movement interpreted our Leader’s appeal as an order and so sent the peace groups composed of 34 people from Maxmur and Qandil to Turkey on November 19th 2009, expecting that they would meet up with the 15 members of the European peace group later in the month.
Our leader has persistently, over the last decade, advocated a peaceful solution of the Kurdish issue, based on dialogue and diplomacy and not the gun. He has argued for a non-violent resolution of the conflict so that real democracy, justice and enjoyment of human rights will be enjoyed by the Kurdish population, and violence will cease. It was hoped that Turkey was now ready to find a peaceful solution. This is why he has once again called for peace groups to be sent to Turkey. This refusal of visas is dashing many hopes.
The AKP has demonstrated today that it rejects such ideas and does not believe in peace brought about through dialogue.  It has reverted to the position of the Turkish government ten years ago, when, in November 1999, the Kurdish leader arranged a similar mission for two groups, one from Europe and one from Qandil to go to Turkey. Members of these groups were arrested and spent 10 years in prison; two of the mission members arrested are still in prison today.The 34 members of the peace groups from Maxmur and Qandil already in Turkey were received with great jubilation, and their reception by the Kurdish people demonstrates that this peace mission is no mere “showing off” as the AKP has claimed, but reflects the genuine yearning of the Kurds for an end to conflict and a time when they can enjoy to the full their human rights, their culture, their language and look forward to a new life where equality and justice applies to all the citizens of Turkey. This decision of the AKP frustrates all efforts towards achieving this state. Therefore we have no alternative but to postpone indefinitely the departure of the European peace group.Nevertheless, the planned meeting on 27th November at 11:30am will still take place in the international press centre in Brussels and will be attended by all the members of the Europe peace group. The group will disclose its objectives, mission and stance in a more detailed manner. However the meeting organised in Dusseldorf to greet and send off the peace group has been cancelled.

We would like to thank all those who support our cause and will help us to persuade the Turkish government to waive its regrettable decision on the visas and instead grant them to the European peace group and welcome this initiative of the Kurdish Leader.
European Peace Group Organisation Committee

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