Tuesday, May 25 2010
20 thousand of people marched against operations in Van. The march was organized by the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP). Banned Kurdish politician and co-chair of former Democratic Society Party (DTP) Ahmet Turk addressed the mass meeting. Many mayors from BDP, peace keepers, members and representatives of NGOs, BDP deputies and residents of Van joined the march.Turk warned the government to be honest about the democratic opening policy instead of practicing a policy of destruction and negation against the Kurds. “We are ready for dialogue and negotiation as long as there are no more deaths,” said Ahmet Turk.The people chanted slogans such as: “We are waiting for Mr. Ocalan’s road map”, “Iran is not Republic of Islam but Republic of execution”, “Negotiations instead of operations”, “No silence against deaths in prisons”, “Salute to fighters of peace”, “Yesterday Aydin, today Serzan. Killers have to account”, “Long live Apo”.The march took place amid widespread security measures. There was a silent vigil for miners who had lost their lives as a result of cave-in, following the 2km march.Ahmet Turk underlined Kurds’ efforts for peace; “Serzan Kurt’s family wanted to donate his organs and his father particularly pointed out that the organs might save some Turk’s life. And he said that, the important thing for us was to save people’s lives, anyone even a Turk. This approach shows our effort for peace. Serzan Kurt died because of an ultra-nationalist attack but his father is thinking to donate his organs. This is very significant example of what we have to do in advance. We are going to support peace to save more lives.”Turk also called for amendments to articles 66 and 42 of the Constitution saying that they need to be changed to show that Kurds’ demands are being recognized by administration.Under article 42 “Citizens of Turkey are considered as Turks" and under 66" No language is allowed other than Turkish” says article 66th.