Istanbul – BİA News Center
17 August 2010,
After the PKK’s decision for a temporary ceasefire, members of political parties and NGOs urge the government to take concrete steps towards permanent peace.
After the decision for a ceasefire until 20 September taken by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the Istanbul Platform for a Peaceful and Democratic Solution called upon the government to stop military operations and provide permanent peace.
A group of around 50 people gathered on Istanbul’s Galatasaray Square on Monday (16 August), namely members of the Workers Movement Party (EHP), the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), the Democratic Free Women’s Movement (DÖKH), and the Movement for Democracy and Freedom. With their slogans they urged the government to stop military operations and to create peace.
The president of the Human Rights Association (İHD) Istanbul Branch, Abdülbaki Boğa, read out a statement as the spokesman for the platform. "The KCK [Democratic Confederation of Kurdistan (KCK), the umbrella organisation that includes the PKK] announced a ceasefire until 20 September on 13 August. This decision bears a historic opportunity. The state and the AKP [Justice and Development Party] should reply by stopping the military operations by entering a permanent ceasefire and peace".
Boğa continued, "The deaths will stop once the operations have been stopped. Recognize this opportunity for a conflict-free, permanent peace. Listen to the representatives of the Kurdish people. Talk. Listen. Get in touch".
"The logic of treating the Kurdish question as a problem of public order and perceiving violence as a means of solution is the reason for the deaths of tens of thousands of young people. Tens of thousands of deaths, outcries at the funerals of soldiers, the mourning of Kurdish mothers and fathers, hundreds of thousands of people disappeared in detention, thousands of villages were emptied, three million people were displaced, an inhumane life in the slums of the cities, children filling up prisons, lynch attacks in eastern provinces – all this shows that the military operations did not bear a solution".
Tuncel: PKK answered our call, the state has to take steps
The demonstration was attended, inter alia, by the BDP Istanbul Provincial Chair Mustafa Avcı, BDP deputy Sebahat Tuncel and Leman Yurtsever from the İHD. Also Tuncel addressed the crowd:
"The PKK answered our call. This is an important step but it is not enough. Also the state has to take a step. We expect a certain attitude of the political power and the members of parliament to answer our call. We cannot speak of peace where people die. We cannot speak of a solution where there is grief".
"If the AKP really wants a solution and wants to be taken to account on 12 September [the date of the referendum on the constitutional reform package] as they claim, the Kurdish question has to be solved first. The solution is up to the Prime Minister. Neither the Prime Minister nor the opposition party did utter a single word about the PKK’s decision for a peace fire".
"The government has no time to lose"
bianet talked to Galip Ensarıoğlu, President of the Diyarbakır Chamber of Trade and Industry. He assessed the PKK’s decision for a ceasefire as "a very important opportunity for permanent peace". He said, "The government has no time to lose to take concrete steps".
"The demands for democratic rights of the Kurdish people have to be put on the agenda to reach permanent peace. Once the circumstances have normalized, a democratic autonomy has to be discussed", Ensarıoğlu emphasized. (BT/BB/VK)

Istanbul – BİA News Center
17 August 2010, Tuesday
Berivan Tapan – Burçin Belge