On the basis of the 40-years-old struggle in Kurdistan and the democratic struggle carried out for tens of years in Turkey, Leader Apo and Our Freedom Movement, addressing the public opinion in Kurdistan, the Middle East and world, declared their “Democratic Liberation and the Establishment of Free life” project believing that it would help the democratization of Turkey and ensure the settlement of the Kurdish Question. “The Democratic Liberation Manifesto” declared on the 21st of March, 2013,  was the result of the negotiations carried out in Imrali. Leader APO has held the belief that the circumstances in Kurdistan, the Middle East and the world provide the necessary conditions for the implementation of this project.

From 1993 till the present day, Leader APO has made great endeavors for the peaceful settlement of the Kurdish Question and the democratization of Turkey. These attempts have created a very important ground to achieve those ends. As a result of this approach, many unilateral cease-fires have been declared and non-conflict environments have been created.  The last non-conflict situation characterized by a 9-month-long cease-fire is the result of such a historical process. The majority of the Turkish and international public opinion have observed and appreciated the Kurdish Freedom Movement’s determination and its twenty-year-long efforts for a peaceful settlement.

By ensuring a non-conflict situation, calling for the freedom of Turkish POWs, showing the will and determination to call for the withdrawal of guerrilla forces, Leader APO has presented to the AKP government the grounds and opportunities necessary for settlement. There are now no obstacles in the way of the Turkish government to take steps. Had such an approach and determination been shown in any other part of the world, it would have been seen as a great opportunity for peaceful settlement. Those with the necessary will and determination for peace would demand ensuring such circumstances. The Kurdish Freedom Movement has even provided more than such an environment.

Leader APO and the Kurdish Freedom Movement have taken these steps because they believe that fraternity between the peoples and democratic settlement are the best methods of solution. The Kurdish Freedom Movement does not find true state-partisan approaches and the escalation of violence in the search for a solution to the Kurdish question; for this reason it has for years reiterated the approach for a reasonable and realistic settlement and has shared the belief that the question can be resolved in case Turkey achieves a true democratization.

The non-conflict environment and settlement-oriented proposals developed by Leader APO all originate from such a belief. But, as the Kurdish Freedom Movement has shouldered his mantles, the state and the government have not given any response, and has behaved as such the steps taken by the Kurdish Freedom Movement have no equivalent political response. By giving no response, it has put under question the significance of all those historically great steps taken by the Kurdish Freedom Movement. The government is irresponsibly behaving as so there has been no negotiation in Imrali and there are no steps to be taken on its side.  Nowadays, many democratic circles share the opinion that despite the sincerity of the Kurdish Freedom Movement and the steps it has taken towards peace the AKP has not done anything in response.

Leader APO is regarded as the basic factor initiating the peace process. But he is not given the chances and possibilities for him to lead the process to successful end. While a one-hundred-years-old problem is being dealt with,  imposing solitary confinement on a main factor on the one side of the problem and not making room for him to work on the solution issues is a clear proof that the government is not sincere in settling the problem. While The Prime Minister and his government are free to hold many sessions and share opinions with many circles every day, Leader APO is only permitted to have a two-hour-long meeting in a month; this fact clearly shows that the process is not developing and not being developed on the right course.

Constructing new military posts, building new dams and HES’es are enough to show the ill-willing approach of the government. The government is preparing itself for war, not for peace. During the 9-month-long non-conflict environment, compared to those of the years of conflict, the government has escalated its military preparation more and more. It has taken no steps with regard to the democratization of Turkey. It has not released the KCK detainees – which would have cleared the way for democratic politics – as it has not abolished the Anti-Terror Law. The AKP government is just following the route of its predecessors which merely prepared reform packets and settled no problems. It is the normal course of action that any democratization issue within the society has to be negotiated with its addressees and thereby solved, but with regard to the Kurdish question as the most fundamental problem in Turkey, lack of a settlement-oriented mentality and approach is concretely proved when the leadership and institutions representing the Kurdish People’s will are not conferred to and their views are not taken into account.

Kurdish People’s Leader and Kurdish Freedom Movement have for many times called on the Turkish government and the Turkish state to adopt a responsible approach towards the steps taken by the Freedom Movement. But the government has taken such an irresponsive attitude as though the Kurdish Freedom Movement hasn’t declared its warnings and demands. This attitude clearly means that there is no settlement process. The Prime Minister has already declared: “there is not any process. We are just  busy with our own agenda and works”. When asked about education in the mother tongue, his response showed that they have no serious work and agenda with regard to a lasting solution to the Kurdish Question.

Considering the irresponsible attitude of the government towards the steps taken so far and -leave democratization issues and taking steps for settlement aside – their emphasis on the past mentality and attitudes as reflected in their rhetoric and methods, the management committee along with the other authorized organs of the Freedom Movement decided to halt the withdrawal of those guerilla forces still within the borders of Turkey. The irresponsible attitudes of the AKP government and giving no response to the steps taken made this decision inevitable.  The AKP government, which did not take the non-conflict situation into consideration and paid no importance to our will and determination for the withdrawal and the great extent of withdrawal accomplished so far, is responsible for the present situation as it has not given any response to our steps and has adopted a diversionary approach towards the process and handled it as an opportunity and investment to win the municipality elections.  The basic factor resulting in stopping the withdrawal is that the government made no move to convince the guerrilla forces not to pull back.

Our movement believes in the democratization project initiated by Leader APO in Newroz. The fraternity between the peoples in Turkey, the settlement of the Kurdish Question and the democratic unity of the Middle East can only be ensured via this approach.  We hold onto our attitudes and understandings in this regard. The purpose of halting the withdrawal of guerrillas is to take a more serious approach towards this project and meet the necessities of it.  Our Freedom Movement alongside the guerrilla represent the mentality and power necessary for the democratization of Turkey, Kurdistan, and the Middle East. Those who do not observe the democratization influence of the guerrilla and the Freedom Movement and don’t take a serious approach towards them are those who not only lack the democratic mentality but also possess a hegemonic mentality for cultural genocide.  The approaches and attitudes of the Turkish state and the AKP government has shown that they have such attitudes and positions.

Notwithstanding all their irresponsible approaches, we again call on the AKP government and the Turkish state to take steps towards democratization and the settlement of the Kurdish question. We underline the importance of true appraisal and realization of the settlement project and historical opportunities presented by Leader APO in Newroz 2013. The cease-fire will continue while withdrawal is halted.  By holding onto the cease-fire we offer the opportunity to the AKP government to take steps in line with the project developed by Leader APO.

We call on our people and democratic circles to raise their struggle to force the AKP to leave its irresponsible attitude and take steps towards the solution of the Kurdish Question. We believe that this call will result in a successful end when our people and democratic forces support Leader APO’s historical democratization project and struggle for the materialization of it.

09. 09. 2013

The Co-Presidencey of KCK Executive Council