Kurdish party to press Turkish government

2013-06-28 17:06
A protester holds a flag depicting jailed Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan as a van burns during clashes at the Taksim Square in Istanbul earlier this month. (File, AP)

A protester holds a flag depicting jailed Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan as a van burns during clashes at the Taksim Square in Istanbul earlier this month. (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Istanbul - Turkey's main pro-Kurdish party called on Friday for marches in three major cities this weekend to launch months of protests aimed at raising pressure on the government to carry out reforms under a peace process with Kurdish militants.

Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants began withdrawing from Turkish territory to bases in northern Iraq last month as part of a deal between the state and the group's jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan to end a conflict which has killed 40 000.

There has been little evidence of progress this month with public attention focused instead on weeks of broader and often violent anti-government demonstrations in cities across Turkey.

But the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) said the withdrawal was continuing successfully and the process had entered a second stage during which Ankara needed to boost the rights of Kurds, who make up about 20% of the 76-million-strong population.

"The government must urgently take the necessary democratic steps, listen to the demands of the people and fulfil the requirements of the second stage," the BDP said in a statement declaring a summer of protest action.

It said it would start with marches on Sunday in Diyarbakir, Mersin and Adana, which were likely to attract thousands of demonstrators. Diyarbakir is the main city in the mainly Kurdish southeast. Mersin and Adana, in the eastern Mediterranean region, have large populations of Kurdish migrants.

Proposal package

Turkish authorities have already had to deal with three weeks of street unrest in cities including Ankara and Istanbul this month in which riot police fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse demonstrators night after night.

The BDP campaign will call for a halt to the construction of military outposts in southeast Turkey, the release of political prisoners, education in Kurdish, lowering of the threshold of 10 electoral support required to enter parliament, and the release of Ocalan.

It has presented to the government a 25-article package of proposals on which action needed to be taken urgently, the BDP said.

Turkish media said Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan told a commission of "wise people" advising on the peace process this week that the peace process had still not entered the second stage as only 15% of PKK fighters had so far left Turkey.

BDP leader Selahattin Demirtas responded by saying that at least 80% of the militants had either left Turkey or were en route to their bases in northern Iraq.

The BDP's concern about the lack of headway on reforms is heightened by the prospect of parliament entering its three-month summer recess early in July.

The PKK, designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and European Union, took up arms against the state in 1984 with the aim of carving out a Kurdish state, but subsequently moderated its goal to autonomy.

Conflict between the PKK and the Turkish state has come to a virtual standstill since Ocalan declared a ceasefire in March.

Read more on:    recep tayyip erdogan  |  turkey  |  turkey protests
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!
This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!
This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be emotionally defensive or reserved today. You need to step up today as there may be extra responsibilities to deal with....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.