In the context of the closure case of the Democratic Society Party (DTP) tried before the Constitutional Court, the Human Rights Association (İHD) warned that the government’s "democratic initiative" would not be able to advance without DTP.

"Stop violent actions"

In yesterday’s (8 December) press release, İHD president Öztürk Türkdoğan first of all commemorated 17-year-old Serap Eser, who died on 7 December of her injuries received from a Molotov cocktail thrown at a municipality bus in Istanbul in the beginning of November. "Attacks with Molotov cocktails must be stopped immediately. Acts of violence must especially not be applied to harm the right to life and damage property", Türkdoğan said.

The İHD president also commemorated Aydın Erdem, who was allegedly shot dead by the police in a demonstration in Diyarbakır in eastern Turkey, "I condemn the police’s use of excessive force against a democratic event and their attack on the demonstrators’ right to life".

3 important steps

Türkdoğan argued that 3 crucial steps have to be taken during the process of solving the Kurdish question. That is to say the "lifting of legal barriers for freedom of expression", "keeping the doors towards dialogue open" and "stopping armed clashes".

Read some of the İHD’s claims and items of ascertainment as follows:

The Constitutional Court should consider the "general public interest": One should be aware of the fact that there is no way to advance with this process without the DTP and its MPs in particular. It is clear that it is a benefit for the advancement of the democratic initiative that the Constitutional Court considers the "general public opinion" in the closure case. This decision is a huge responsibility for the court and also bears historic significance.

Party closures should be made more difficult: Turkey is a senior partner if it comes to closing down parties. The Turkish National Assembly (TBMM) should take the initiative and end the judiciary’s guardianship.

Dialogue with DTP is essential: The natural counterpart for the Kurdish question in the TBMM is the DTP. It is crucial to sustain a healthy and trustful dialogue with the DTP. This is the reason why the DTP must not be closed down. The DTP should declare that they will not refrain from civil politics under any circumstances and the other parties should take the initiative.

CHP and MHP should not be spectators: The Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) should not remain passively. Despite their opposing views, these parties should convey the idea of co-existence and show their commitment to democracy.

New peace groups: Peace groups should be ensured to arrive in order to bring the armed clashes to an end. The government should initiate dialogue via middlemen or indirect channels.

Open İmralı for inspections: The implementations in İmralı Prison should be opened to public inspection and rights organizations should be allowed to observe. İmralı is the prison island in the Sea of Marmara where PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan is kept since 1999. A significant part of the Kurdish society is watching the İmralı developments very closely.

Awareness for lynch attempts: Incidents such as the groundless mob attack on a DTP convoy in Izmir, the following unfortunate description of the incident made by members of the government or the lynch attempt because of an ordinary legal issue in Çanakkale (south-western coast of the Sea of Marmara) – all these incidents led to provocation. Officials from CHP and MHP and especially AKP have to anticipate the danger of lynch attempts and show responsibility in their announcements. (TK/VK)


Ankara – BİA News Center

09 December 2009, Wednesday