11 November 2012

Call from the Peace and Democracy Party’s elected mayors to the public in relation the non-alternate and indefinite hunger strike, which is in its 60th day (11/10/2012)

Dear Press Members,

We, as the members of the Peace and Democracy Party and as those elected by people’s free will, would like to announce that our society has come to a decisive crossroads. This is a result of the fact that public conscience has not responded to the urgent call made by Kurdish politicians in prison.

These hunger strikes, which have come to a very critical point, cannot be evaluated separately from Kurdish people’s demands of freedom and the resolution of the Kurdish issue with peaceful means.

Since 2009 under the rubric of KCK operations –which are in fact attacks against the Peace and Democracy Party – more than 9 thousand politicians, NGO workers, activists, lawyers, journalists, elected mayors, city councilors, provincial assembly members, parliamentarians and students; in short, men, women, children, elderly and people from all walks of life, have been put in prison. These arrests are aimed at disenfranchising Kurds from legal politics and have caused great suffering among our people.

By arresting elected members of the Kurdish opposition and escalating military operations the government has opted once again for 90 year-old state policies of security and destruction. This goes entirely against the Kurdish people’s expectations of a fair solution to the Kurdish question based on the principles of justice and freedom. Turkish government has further intensified its strategy of conflict over negotiation by holding Mr. Abdullah Öcalan in solitary confinement for 16 months on İmralı Island.

‪Turkish government’s policy of exclusion, isolation and conflict has claimed the lives of at least a thousand people since last year. It is in such an atmosphere that thousands of unjustly and unlawfully imprisoned political hostages have laid down their bodies to death on the condition of three basic demands.

‪We would like to announce to the public that the demands prisoners are voicing belong to all of us. These demands are that Abdullah Öcalan’s isolation be removed so that peace negotiations can be resumed and that the right of education and defense in Kurdish be officially recognized.

‪Isolation is against domestic and international law and it is essentially a legal violation.   Therefore, the fact that Öcalan has not been allowed to see anyone in the last 16 months is a crime. Additionally, this strategy aims to intensify the conflict and is part of a military logic. ‪The only consequence of this policy is conflict and death. ‪It is the architects and executors of the isolation policy who are primarily responsible for the suspension of negotiations, resumption of military clashes and increased number of deaths.

‪The Kurdish problem stems from the fact that the Kurdish people as a nation are not able to use their linguistic or cultural rights, nor is their identity and status recognised. ‪Education and legal defense in mother-tongue, and living and developing the Kurdish language in every aspect of life, are the most natural rights of Kurdish people.  ‪The denial, usurpation and even negotiation of this right can only be explained by the racism and fascism of the existing government.  ‪A Kurd values his/her language and identity as much as a Turk, a Persian, an Arab, a French or a German does. ‪We are neither asking for more than these other nations have nor settling for less.

To put it more clearly, the only reason that people have laid their bodies to death in prisons and died in combat outside of prison is that the government keeps repressing Kurdish people’s demands for freedom, and uses the conventional 90-years old policies of denial, conflict and destruction.

‪Turkish and Kurdish people should be well aware that people, who are in prison and who are laying their bodies to death, are doing so in order to prevent further lives from being lost in combat and so that the channels for negotiation will re-open.  The position taken by the Turkish public, primarily that of the government, suggests that the conscience of people is blunted and our society has come to a crossroad.  ‪The public should also be aware that the position the government takes from now on, and the way in which it resolves the hunger strikes will be crucial for our future.

Here is our call to Mr. Prime Minister, the government and the Turkish people: any provocative, derogatory and contemptuous statement and position is an invitation to death. ‪We do not have one second to lose in our struggle to achieve an equal and free life, to open the doors to the solution of our problems through negotiations and in a conflict-free manner.

We are worried that the loss of a single life amongst our people who are on hunger strike will be the start of an irreparable rupture and a deepened conflict. As such, the isolation of Abdullah Öcalan must be removed and the negotiations should start immediately. ‪We would like to declare to the public that in order to achieve our common goals, we, as elected mayors and provincial general assembly presidents together with our assemblies, are ready for all kinds of duties and contributions, asked from us by the BDP Head Office.

‪With our kindest regards.

‪Mehmet ÇALĞAN Adıyaman – Çelikhan –  Pınarbaşı Mayor

‪Yusuf YILMAZ – Ağrı – Patnos Mayor

‪Serhat TEMEL – Batman Deputy Mayor

‪Selahattin BULUT – Batman – Kozluk – Bekirhan Mayor

Esat ÖNER – Batman – Gercüş Mayor

Mehmet Raşit HAŞİMİ – Batman –  Kozluk Mayor

‪Reşit ÖZEN – Bingöl – Karlıova Deputy Mayor

‪Mehmet Emin ÖZKAN – Bitlis – Güroymak Mayor

‪Lezgin BİNGÖL – Bitlis – Hizan – Kolludere Mayor

‪Mehmet DEMİR – Bitlis – Ahlat – Ovakışla Mayor

‪Abdullah OK – Bitlis – Tatvan Mayor

‪Metin DİNDAR – Diyarbakır – Kulp – Ağaçlı Mayor

‪Yüksel BARAN – Diyarbakır – Bağlar Mayor

‪Jamila EMİNOĞLU – Diyarbakir – Bismil Mayor

‪Osman BAYDEMİR – Diyarbakır Mayor

‪Ahmet CENGİZ – Diyarbakır  – Çınar Mayor

‪Nusret AKBAŞ – Diyarbakır – Dicle Deputy Mayor

‪Petek Elyuse ÇAPANOĞLU – Diyarbakır – Eğil Mayor

‪Fesih YALÇIN – Diyarbakır – Ergani Mayor

‪Abdurrahman ZORLU – Diyarbakır – Hani Mayor

‪Mahmut DAĞ – Diyarbakır – Kayapınar Deputy Mayor

‪Mehmet SALIK – Diyarbakır – Kaygısız Mayor

‪Remzi ÇALİ – Diyarbakır – Kocaköy Mayor

‪M. Nesim ŞİMŞEK – Diyarbakır – Kulp Mayor

‪Seyit NARİN – Diyarbakir – Hani – Kuyular Mayor

‪Fikriye AYTİN – Diyarbakır – Lice Mayor

‪Fadıl ERDEDE – Diyarbakır – Silvan Mayor

‪Abdullah DEMİRBAŞ – Diyarbakir – Sur Mayor

‪Selim KURBANOĞLU – Diyarbakır – Yenişehir Mayor

‪Mehmet KANAR – Hakkari – Çukurca Mayor

‪Tacettin SAFALI – Hakkari – Yüksekova – Esendere Deputy Mayor

‪Fadıl BEDİRHANOĞLU – Hakkari Mayor

‪Sedat TÖRE – Hakkari – Şemdinli Mayor

‪Ercan BORA – Hakkari – Yüksekova Mayor V.

‪Ömer AKSU – Iğdır – Halfeli Mayor

‪Hüseyin MALK – Iğdır Deputy Mayor

‪Hüsnü ANCI – Kars – Digor – Dağpınar Deputy Mayor

‪Muzaffer KUTAY – Kars – Digor Mayor

‪Mehmet ALKAN – Kars – Kağızman Mayor

‪Lokman FINDIK – Mardin – Nusaybin – Akarsu Mayor

‪Süleyman ASAN – Mardin – Dargeçit Mayor

‪Doğan ÖZBAHÇECİ – Mardin – Derik Deputy Mayor

‪Zeki KAVAK – Mardin – Nusaybin – Duruca Mayor

‪Ömer ALTUN – Mardin – Nusaybin – Girmeli Mayor

‪Ahmet İNCİ – Mardin – Dargeçit – Kılavuz Mayor

‪Haşim BADAY – Mardin – Kızıltepe Deputy Mayor

‪Hasip AKTAŞ – Mardin – Mazıdağı Mayor

‪Ayse GÖKKAN – Mardin – Nusaybin Mayor

‪Abdülkadir DAĞ – Mardin – Savur – Pınardere Mayor

‪Fikri ÖKMEN – Mardin – Savur – Sürgücü Mayor

‪Abdulkerim ADAM – Mardin – Yalım Mayor

‪Gülbeyaz GÜNEŞ – Mardin – Savur – Yeşilalan Mayor

‪Bahattin BAHADIR – Muş – Korkut – Altınova Mayor

‪Ziya AKKAYA – Muş – Bulanık Mayor

‪Mustafa ORHAN – Muş – Bulanık – Elmakaya Mayor

‪Mehmet YAŞIK – Muş – Bulanık – Erentepe Mayor

‪Kemal ÇETİN – Muş – Malazgirt – Konakkuran Mayor

‪Nuri BALCI – Muş – Malazgirt Mayor

‪Mashar YILMAZ – Muş – Bulanık – Mollakent Mayor

‪Resul YÜCA- Muş – Malazgirt – Rüstemgedik Mayor

‪Cemil YÜNAÇTI – Muş – Bulanık – Sarıpınar Mayor

‪Gülşen DEĞER – Muş – Varto Mayor

‪A. ‪Haydar AYDIN – Muş – Bulanık – Yemişen Mayor

‪M. ‪Melih OKTAY – Siirt – Eruh Mayor

‪Necdet YILMAZ – Siirt – Kurtalan Mayor

‪Selim SADAK – Siirt Mayor

‪İsmail ARSLAN – Şanlıurfa – Ceylanpınar Mayor

‪İbrahim PARILDAR – Şanlıurfa – Suruç – Onbirnisan Mayor

‪Ethem ŞAHİN – Şanlıurfa – Suruç Mayor

‪Leyla GÜVEN – Şanlıurfa – Viranşehir Mayor

‪Bazo YILMAZ – Şanlıurfa – Halfeti – Yükarı Göklü Mayor

‪Abdulrezzak YILMAZ – Şırnak – Balveren Mayor

‪Sinan UYSAL – Şırnak – Silopi – Başverimli Mayor

‪Yusuf TEMEL – Şırnak – Beytüşşebap Mayor

‪Mustafa GÜNGÖR – Şırnak – Cizre Mayor

‪Resul SADAK – Şırnak – İdil Mayor

‪Abid DURAK – Şırnak – Kumçatı Mayor

‪Nuri AKMAN – Şırnak – İdil – Sırtköy Mayor

‪Emin TOĞURLU – Şırnak – Silopi Mayor

‪Şükran SİNCAR – Şırnak – Uludere Mayor

‪Ali BAYRAM – Şırnak – Uludere – Uzungeçit Mayor

‪Faik SALTAN – Şırnak Deputy Mayor

‪Edibe ŞAHİN – Tunceli Mayor

‪Bekir KAYA – Van Mayor

‪İhsan GÜLER – Van – Başkale Mayor

‪Nezahat ERGÜNEŞ – Van – Bostaniçi Mayor

‪Veysel KESER – Van – Erciş – Çelebibağ Mayor

‪İzzet ÇELİK – Van – Muradiye Mayor

‪Murat DURMAZ- Van – Özalp Mayor

‪Fazıl TÜRK – Mersin – Akdeniz Mayor

‪Muzaffer YÖNDEMLİ – Aydın – Ovaeymir Mayor

‪Ahmet ÖLÇER – Aydın Söke Savuca Mayor

‪Molla Ali ŞİMŞEK – Konya Cihanbeyli Gölyazı Mayor

‪Semra AZİZOĞLU – Diyarbakır Provincial General Assembly President

‪Leyla BİRLİK – Şırnak Provincial General Assembly President

‪Serdar ERDOGAN – Tunceli Provincial General Assembly President

‪Semire VARLI – Van Provincial General Assembly President

‪Abdulbaki ALP – Muş Provincial General Assembly President

‪Ferzende YILMAZ – Hakkari Provincial General Assembly President

‪Idris AKKUŞ – Iğdır Provincial General Assembly President

‪Salih AKTAN – Batman Provincial General Assembly President

‪Mesut GÜMÜŞ – Mardin Provincial General Assembly President