Selahattin Demirtas, co-leader of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party HDP in Turkey. Photo: AFP

Selahattin Demirtas, co-leader of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party HDP in Turkey. Photo: AFP

ISTANBUL,— The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in Turkey is preparing to take its demand for self-governance for Kurds in Turkish Kurdistan, the Kurdish region in the country’s southeastern, to the United Nations (UN) for discussion, according to a report by the Taraf Daily on Wednesday (Jan. 6).

According to the report, the HDP will justify its argument based on three articles of the “Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples,” a UN resolution that Turkey signed in 2001 and ratified on April 3, 2002.

The first article of the resolution begins: “All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”

The Democratic Society Congress (DTK), an umbrella group of Kurdish non-governmental organizations, said in a declaration in December 2015 that the settlement of Turkey’s long-standing Kurdish issue can only be achieved by granting autonomy to Turkey’s Kurdish Southeast.

DTK Co-chair Hatip Dicle also said in December 2015 that Kurds have the right to self-governance and that the DTK supports the demands of Kurds living in Turkey.

“Self-governance is a right and is guaranteed by international conventions. It is a legitimate demand. The DTK and other institutions affiliated with it support the struggle [for self-governance for Turkey’s Kurds]. The war the government is trying to provoke is both unlawful and unethical,” Dicle said in a press conference held jointly by the DTK and three pro-Kurdish parties in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on Dec. 20, 2015.

Taraf also reported on Wednesday that the Turkish Foreign Ministry will defend the government’s actions before the UN with the first articles of Turkish Constitution.

Article 1 of the Constitution says: “The State of Turkey is a republic.” Article 2 says: “The Republic of Turkey is a democratic, secular and social state governed by the rule of law, within the notions of public peace, national solidarity and justice, respecting human rights, loyal to the nationalism of [Mustafa Kemal] Atatürk and based on the fundamental tenets set forth in the preamble.”

Lastly, its third article reads: “The State of Turkey, with its territory and nation, is an indivisible entity. Its language is Turkish. Its flag, the form of which is prescribed by the relevant law, is composed of a white crescent and star on a red background. Its national anthem is the ‘Independence March.’ Its capital is Ankara.”

Commenting on the report by Taraf in a press conference in Parliament on Wednesday, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Trabzon deputy Haluk Peksen said that a possible application by the HDP to the UN would be “funny.”

“Who will go to the UN? Will the [terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party] PKK go to the UN? The possibility of the PKK, which is recognized as a terrorist organization by the UN, [submitting a complaint to the UN] is simply funny, nothing else. What could be funnier than that? What is their intention?” Peksen said mocking the efforts.

Turkish state still denies the constitutional existence of Kurds numbering to 22.5 million of the country’s 78-million population.

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