6-12-2013 – Speaking at the 10th Conference on Europe, Turkey and the Kurds, at the European Parliament, Zübeyir Aydar, Member of the Executive Board of Kurdistan National Congress, remembered that “a year ago, when the 9th conference commenced right here, there was at that time no conditions for any sort of dialog.
On that day, in my speech, I stated that ‘if here is was an opportunity for negotiations, the Kurds will respond in a positive light’. This is what happened. 22 days after the 9th conference, Turkish prime minter Mr Tayip Erdogan publicly confirmed that he had been meeting with Mr Abdullah Ocalan”.
A week after this public statement, two BDP MP’s attended to meet with Mr Ocalan and the dialog process started. “The views of Mr Ocalan – said Aydar – was communicated to various bodies of the movement and Mr Ocalan’s Democratic Resolutions messages were later publicly shared with millions at the Newroz celebrations in Amed”.
Aydar then repeated the proposed resolution by Ocalan which is articulated in three stages:
1. Both sides declare cease fire, and take steps which will create mutual trust. The parliment to become involved in this process and there to be commissions and mechanisms formulated to make process easier. Guerilla forces to retreat from conflict zones.
2. Laws and legislations which create the Kurdish problem to be reviewed and changed which pave way to a resolution
3. Imprisoned political prisoners to be freed, those in the mountains to come down, those who are in exile to return and for those who want to take part in politics to be given the opportunity to do. This last stage is the normalization stage.
According to the timetable for these stages, Aydar reminded that “the first stage was to be completed by June, and second phase completed by Spring 2013. So by now both phases should have been completed and by which time we would be on third stage. Unfortunately – he added – due to non-compliance of the proposed phases by the Turkish government, this has not been possible. Instead there were already blockages in the first stage. In accordance with the spirit of the proposed resolution, it was hoped that the parliment would propose decisions which would embrace these proposals. However this did not happen. There was legal changes which would enable Guerilla’s to leave the conflict zones, but unfortunately there were no laws or acts passed”.
Aydar underlined that “It was proposed that, in the parliament, there would be two commissions formulated; one observing the peace process and developments and the other ‘truth and justice’ commission. There was a commission which was formulated way later then dates envisaged which did not fulfill either of the purpose of either commission proposed. A commission would be formulated of group of intellectuals, independent and connected to the parliment, who would oversee the process and provide a report to the parliment. However a group was formed which was connected to the government”.
This commission met with various sects of society and prepared a report. “However – recalled Aydar – the government the recommendations on board. In order to show some commitment to the process and create a trust among society, it was hoped that the politicians imprisoned would be set free, but not even sick political prisoners were released”.
Instead, in the last months there is an increase of arrests. To add to this, Aydar pointed out “the ways in which the government came to perceive the Gezi Parki movement in Turkey as a ‘conspiracy’ and their anti-democratic approach to this, indicated a dangerous mentality. In order for the process to progress more comfortably and effectively, there was no changes in Mr Ocalan’s current situation”.
Aydar listed what Kurds think is required to enhance the process. “The Kurdish side – he said – uphold Mr Ocalan’s Newroz declaration. In order for the process to move forward in a progressive way Kurdish side demand the following:
1. Thus far the process commenced via a dialog. However this cannot go ahead one sided. Just like there are laws for wars, there needs to be laws created to pave the way to peace. For this to happen the parliament needs to create a legal base for this to happen.
2. In order for Ocalan to contribute to peace process, his health, freedom and safety conditions to be adressed.
3. Thus far the process reached blockages and did not progress as planned. Therefore in order to ensure that conditions set and timetable are adhered to, there needs to be a third observer commission formed to follow this process.
4. Turkey to stop attacks on the Kurds in Syria and not to support groups who are persecuting Kurds in Syria.