Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
Press Release 25 February 2010
Green Party calls for political freedom in Turkey
Peace in Kurdistan Campaign welcomes the Green Party’s emergency resolution on political freedom in Turkey. Tabled at the the Green Party’s Spring Conference in London, the resolution was passed almost unanimously.
The motion which can be seen in full below, catalogues the increasing repression in Turkey, in particular the arrests of DTP and BDP party officials, and calls on the ‘Green Party Executive, local Green parties and representatives in office to urge the UK Government to exert pressure on Turkey to fully abide by the international conventions and democratic norms to which it is a signatory’.
As the Minister for Europe, Chris Bryant MP, said in the debate on Kurdistan in the House on 12th January 2010, ‘…it must be possible to distinguish between nationalism that depends on the use of violence and terrorism and believes in violent overthrow and the legitimate aspirations of individuals who want to see a different political outlook’. The systematic closure of the DTP and previous pro-Kurdish parties leaves very little space for those seeking this ‘different political outlook’ and appears to give lie to the Turkish State’s proclaimed desire for peace.
We thank the Green Party for their continued support and wish them all the best in the upcoming elections.
Rachel Bird - Tel: 020 7272 4131
Estella Schmid - Tel: 020 7586 5892
Peace in Kurdistan Campaign: Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish question
44 Ainger Road, London, NW3 3AT
Patrons: Lord Avebury, John Austin MP, Lord Rea, Lord Dholakia, Baroness Sarah Ludford MEP, Jean Lambert MEP, Alyn Smith MEP, Hywel Williams MP, Elfyn Llwyd MP, Gareth Peirce, Julie Christie, Noam Chomsky, Edward Albee, Mark Thomas, Bairbre de Brún MEP
GREEN PARTY SPRING CONFERENCE 2010: EMERGENCY RESOLUTION
POLITICAL FREEDOM IN TURKEY
Noting that Turkey’s Constitutional Court closed down the pro-Kurdish DTP (Democratic Society Party) in December 2009, despite the support of millions of Kurdish voters and with 21 elected MPs.
Noting that the ex-DTP MPs returned to Parliament as the BDP (Peace and Democracy Party) and there were mass arrests of some 80 leading members of the new BDP on Christmas Eve 2009.
Noting that in the latest wave of arrests on 14th February 2010, 131 members of the BDP were arrested including party council members, executives from the women and youth councils, county commissioners and district executives.
Noting that the systematic closure of the BDP, DTP and previous pro-Kurdish parties leaves very little space for those seeking this ‘different political outlook’ and appears to give lie to the Turkish State’s proclaimed desire for peace.
Conference believes that in taking this course of action Turkey is reverting to an extremely regressive approach to the Kurdish question which appears to contradict the much-promoted reform process of Prime Minister Erdogan and will not bring about the peace that constructive forces in Turkey desire.
Conference therefore calls upon Green Party Executive, local Green parties and representatives in office to urge the UK Government to exert pressure on Turkey to fully abide by the international conventions and democratic norms to which it is a signatory.