Barış ve Demokrasi Partisi

Negotiations Need to be Among Equals

Posted on: 07/12/2012

s demirtaş apNegotiations Need to be Among Equals

Speaking at the 9th International Kurdish conference at the European Parliament in Brussels, our co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş underlined that negotiations between the Turkish state and the Kurdish people should be carried out on the basis of equality.

Referring to the speech by KNK (Kurdistan National Conference) executive council member Zübeyir Aydar at the conference, Demirtaş said that; “What Mr. Aydar has repeated here at this conference is an official declaration: one of the parties to this conflict is ready for negotiations. As this party has clearly stated what it is expecting from the negotiation process, it is now the Turkish government that needs to be brought to the negotiation table. A negotiation table to which the BDP intends to bring its contribution and play a role.” Aydar had once again reiterated that PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan should be allowed to play his role in the future negotiations.

Pointing out that the AKP government doesn’t appear willing to negotiate with the Kurdish people, Mr Demirtaş said that “The government avoids negotiations which will force it to recognize the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) and the Kurdish people and to sit to the table with them. The government thinks it will have to give in on basic rights of the Kurdish people and be subjected to questions about its legitimacy should it agree on negotiations. The AKP government is therefore insisting on war for it is yet not ready to recognize Kurds as a people nor to stop seeing PKK as a terrorist organization and thus legitimate this conflict as a war against terrorism.”

The co-chair pointed out that Kurds need to convince the Turkish state to re-start negotiations interrupted in Oslo and noted that the 68-day hunger strike by Kurdish political prisoners has played a significant role in this respect by directing the pressure on the government. Mr Demirtaş added that “The government, which is supposed to carry out negotiatons not a war, has now brought forward debates on the removal of parliamentary immunity of BDP deputies in order to break away from the demands highlighted by prisoners on hunger strike.”

Mr Demirtaş also had words of self-criticism. The BDP, he said, had made a mistake by leaving the negotiators alone in the Oslo-talks and added; “However, in the midst of all this, the BDP made a sacrifice to strengthen democratic politics still greatly restrained by the election threshold, denial of freedom of expression, anti-democratic practices which enable party leaders to impose authoritarianism, the allocation of treasury grants to three parties alone, ongoing imprisonment of eight thousand Kurdish politicians and the lack of free press in Turkey.”

Remarking that future negotiatons might fail to come up with a solution to all issues. “Talks will fail to reach a result unless we take precuations to avoid the risk of a conflict environment in the future and guarantee the process of negotiations and the process which will follow them.”


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