Kurdish Congress in Turkey: For Democratic Autonomy

An influential Kurdish group has presented the first comprehensive draft of a model of “democratic autonomy,” a far-reaching proposal that appears to fall just short of independence.

The Democratic Society Congress, or DTK, which describes itself as a local organization of Kurds in eastern Turkey, presented the draft as a text to be debated, saying adoption of the “Democratic Autonomous Kurdistan Model” could be a crucial step in solving the decades-old Kurdish issue.

According to the draft, which was opened up to debate Sunday in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır among participants in a conference of key pro-Kurdish figures that included prominent academics and journalists, the proposed autonomous model would organize itself in “political, economic, cultural, social, diplomatic, legal, ecological and self-defense” branches.

“Democratic autonomy aims to democratize the [Turkish] Republic, changing the rigidity of the nation-state that does not satisfy the needs of the people of Turkey while also eliminating the impediment that the nation-state creates in front of the political, social, economic and cultural development of the people,” the draft read.

Wide participation

Attendees discussing the draft at the conference included daily Hürriyet columnist Nuray Mert; academic Zeynep Gambetti; former National Intelligence Organization, or MİT, Deputy Undersecretary Cevat Öneş; journalists Cengiz Çandar, Kadri Gürsel, Ahmet İnsel and Ayhan Bilgen; and mayors from the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party, or BDP. DTK co-heads Ahmet Türk and Aysel Tuğluk, and BDP President Selahattin Demirtaş were also among the attendees.

Political administration of the autonomous model would be organized from the grassroots level through “village communes, town, district and neighborhood assemblies and city assemblies,” according to the draft, which said these would all be represented within an upper body, named the “Society Congress.”

The draft defined self-defense as “not a military monopoly,” but “social resistance.”

“Democratic autonomy would not cause a changing of borders but within those borders it would make stronger the fraternity and unity of people,” the draft said, adding that it would start a new period for Kurdish-Turkish relations with “a new contract between Turkey and the Kurds.”

The conference took place as a grenade explosion Sunday in Diyarbakır’s Silvan district raised tensions in the region. According to Doğan news agency, a hand grenade exploded during a march against military operations that was attended by thousands of people. Five people, including two girls, were wounded, the agency said. Abdullah Eflatun, the provincial leader of the BDP in Silvan, claimed the hand grenade was thrown into the crowd by police officers. Following the explosion, demonstrators clashed with police, who used pressurized water and teargas to disperse the crowd.


December 19, 2010


DİYARBAKIR – Hürriyet Daily News


2 responses to this post.

  1. Ai wa ri, yasa ri piroz! (This is the fortunate way)
    Belief in yourself and belief in your people.
    The Kurds do not need permission the occupiers; you need just encouragement and association of the Kurds.


  2. Ai wa ri, yasa ri piroz! (This is the fortunate way)
    Belief in yourself and belief in your people.
    The Kurds do not need permission of the occupiers; you need just encouragement and association of the Kurds. See also


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