Europe should act, not just express support, conference told

ANF – Brussels 04.12.2013  – Lifting the PKK from the list of the terrorist organization will facilitate the process towards a peaceful solution of the Kurdish issue. The 10th conference on Europe, Turkey and the Kurds, opened this afternoon at the European Parliament.

Opening the two days conference EUTCC (European Union Turkey Civic Commission) president Kariane Westrheim, said “it is not enough for the European Union to say we support the current process of talks. Facts should follow words. – she added – And one of these facts could be lifting the PKK from the terrorist organizations list”

The opening speeches reiterated how the Imralı peace process is an “historic opportunity” to put an end to the conflict.

Independent Kurdish MP Leyla Zana listed some of the necessary steps needed to facilitate the process of dialogue: “It is important that sick prisoners are released from jail – she said – It is also important to change the anti terrorism law and to take a more comprehensive step on the release of political prisoners. It is crucial – she added – that deadly events like the Roboski massacre are shed light on. And it is important to put in place the appropriate measures to end the ban on mother tongue”.

Among the speakers to attend the Conference from Turkey are MP Ms. Gulten Kisanak, co-Chair, BDP, MP Mr. Sezgin Tanrıkulu, CHP MP for Istanbul, Mr. Hüseyin Yayman, Academic, Member of Wise People Commission, Turkey Mr. Dogu Ergil, Academic, Member of the Wise people Commission, Turkey Mr. Hasan Cemal, Journalist, MP Mr. Ahmet Türk, co-Chair of the DTK, Turkey. The three main panels will be focusing on Reforming the State and Reconciling Society: Constitutional, political and social reforms in Turkey, Peace-building Initiatives and Imrali Peace Process: The role of the international community and the EU in promoting justice and democracy in Turkey, The Kurdish Democratic Project: Strategies and policies to bring peace to the Middle East.