Kurdish party calls for civil disobedience

Pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) leader Selahatin Demirtaş made an announcement, calling on Turkey’s Kurdish population to stage acts of civil disobedience.

Speaking in a press conference he jointly held with Democratic Society Congress (DTK) leader Ahmet Türk, Demirtaş said the DTK, an organization established by former members of the now-defunct Democratic Society Party (DTP), the BDP’s predecessor, had decided to stage acts of civil disobedience.

Demirtaş said the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government in its eight years in power had missed crucial opportunities to settle the Kurdish question, whereas the DTP and the BDP had made every effort possible to move the issue out of the conflict zone and find a solution through dialogue.

Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) reiterated demands as the right to education in Kurdish, the immediate release of jailed Kurdish politicians, an end to Turkey’s military operations against the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the abolishment of Turkey’s 10 percent election threshold for parliamentary representation.

“These four demands comprise an important key to the solution of the Kurdish question. They will open the door and they will enable us to cover some distance on the road to peace. We will be out there in public squares until a concrete step is taken to address these four demands,” he said.

Demirtaş also said acts of civil disobedience the BDP and the DTK plan will be democratic and peaceful. “Don’t send the security forces against us; if you are going to send someone, send government representatives, send the interior minister. Security forces aren’t our counterpart to talk to; our counterparts are the politicians.” He accused the government of being oblivious to what he termed the “limits of the people’s patience.”

The first act of civil disobedience is planned for Friday at noon in Diyarbakır in the form of a sit-in. He said such demonstrations will continue until they yield results.

World Bulletin / News Desk

March 24, 2011

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