Human rights organisations called on the government in Ankara to abandon its policy of violence and resolve the Kurdish question.

The Human Rights Association (IHD) promoted demonstrations in numerous cities in Turkey and northern Kurdistan to mark the 75th anniversary of the UN Human Rights Charter.

The organisations called on the Turkish government to take a democratic and civilised step to resolve the Kurdish question, the “mother of all problems” in the region, through dialogue and to achieve social peace. They pointed out that the lifting of the isolation of Abdullah Öcalan and a return to the negotiation table with him are indispensable for this.

“As rights defenders, we have always advocated for a democratic, peaceful and just solution to the Kurdish question. We insist on this. Therefore, we want the clashes to stop right now. With the establishment of the environment of non-conflict, it is necessary for all parties to develop sincere and effective programmes in order to strengthen and monitor the state of non-conflict and to ensure social peace,” said a statement read out at meetings organised jointly with organisations such as the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV) and the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) in cities such as Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and Hatay.

According to IHD, the unwillingness to solve the Kurdish question essentially results from the lack of democratisation in Turkey. Instead of insisting on enforcing the state doctrine of “one people, one language, one nation, one religion” to maintain the paradigm of an absolutely homogeneous society, a radical change in “Kurdish policy” is needed. This includes granting the Kurdish people their rights, ending the “terror” stigmatisation, criminalisation, persecution and exclusion of Kurds and entering into a dialogue with them for a peaceful, political and just solution to the Kurdish question. “The still unresolved Kurdish issue, which results from the denial of fundamental and civil rights, is a human rights and democratic challenge for Turkey with far-reaching consequences for an entire region. It must be resolved in order to close the chapter of violence, wars and oppression in this country for good, and to pave the way for a democratic future.”


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