Friday, December 18, 2009

Kurdish American Community protests Banning of the Democratic Society Party-DTP in Turkey

Los Angeles, CA, Dec 22 –To protest the Turkish crackdown on the Democratic Society Party-DTP, an elected political party in Turkey, members of the Kurdish Community will hold a demonstration in front of the Turkish consulate between the hours of 1:003:00 P.M. to denounce the recent Turkish Constitutional Court ruling of DTP closure, followed by arbitrary arrests and banning of DTP officials and members.

A Turkish Constitutional Court ruling has ordered the closure of the Democratic Society Party, DTP—a Kurdish party in the Turkish parliament in 14 years. The closure has outraged Kurdish Community as an intimidating and repressive military atmosphere prevails in Kurdish areas in Eastern Turkey. DTP party members and officials are being targeted and banned from political life. Mr. Ahmet Türk, the co-chair of the DTP, who met President Barack Obama during his official state visit to Turkey on April 6, 2009, and Aysel Tugluk, DTP Member of Parliament, are among those banned from political participation for five years. Despite parliamentary immunity and authority, both are now facing the threat of being imprisoned as five of their colleagues -Selim Sadak, Ahmet Türk, Leyla Zana, Mehmet Hatip Dicle and Orhan Dogan – who have been sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment merely because they have asserted their Kurdish identity. In violation of all civil and constitutional laws and rights, the Turkish State Treasury will confiscate DTP’s assets.

With the closure of DTP on December 11, 2009 a wave of relentless violence has been unleashed by the security forces in Turkey against not only DTP but the Kurdish minority as a whole. Ironically these threats and acts of violence came in the middle of hopes for a peaceful resolution to the Kurdish question in Turkey. Arbitrary arrests and intimidation of the general population have been on the rise ever since DTP as a legitimate Kurdish political party unequivocally won the Kurdish popular votes in both official parliamentary and municipal elections in March 29, 2009. The actions that are being taken against DTP by state authorities reflect how vulnerable and elusive Kurdish hope for peace and recognition of their very basic rights is in the face of institutionalized racism and the pervasive silence of the world community.

The Turkish government in its habitual defiance of all international and civil laws, is crying wolf again, accusing DTP, of being “too Kurdish or not Turkish enough” thus depriving DTP of its elected legislative assembly. We the Kurdish American Community hereby urge all humanitarian individuals and organizations to condemn these intolerable acts and exert pressure on the Turkish government to immediately halt these flagrant violations of the Kurdish fundamental human rights and freedoms.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Contact: Luqman Barwari, Tel: 805-402-6440, E-mail: