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.

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.


Kurdish party to press Turkish government

28 June 2013, 17:32

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.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...