Representatives of the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu today presented a call for the peaceful resolution of the Kurdish question in Turkey. The “International Peace Initiative” is supported by nine international leaders, among them former US president Jimmy Carter, former Finnish and Swedish prime ministers Paavo Lipponen and Ingvar Carlsson.
GUE/NGL Chair Gabi Zimmer welcomes the appeal: “During this year, we had to observe the ‘Arab Spring’ process of democratisation being blocked in many countries in the region. I share the view of this international appeal that the unresolved Kurdish question deserves much greater attention among the international community and European foreign policy makers in order to develop democracy and stability in the region. Turkey is often cited as an example for its neighbour States. It can only be so if both the Turkish government and Kurdish PKK rebels stop the violence and take credible steps towards dialogue and peace negotiations now.“
“For this reason, I warmly welcome the international peace initiative on the Kurdish question and I hope that the 9th international conference on “EU, Turkey and the Kurds“ that my group is hosting this week in European Parliament together with EU Turkey Civic Commission can contribute to the goals of the appeal“ Zimmer concludes.
GUE/NGL MEP and Coordinator of the Kurdish friendship group in the European Parliament Jürgen Klute, underlines his support for the initiative: “I think the appeal is coming at a decisive moment. Hopes created by Prime Minister Erdogan for a peaceful resolution have been frustrated with mass detentions of political activists and aggravated violence by the armed forces. The hunger strike undertaken by 700 political prisoners has highlighted the need for dialogue and common respect between Turks and Kurds. I call on Primer Minister Erdogan and his government to give a credible engagement for peace and not to waste this opportunity for building peace now”.
The 9th International Conference on EU, Turkey and the Kurds will open on Wednesday in the European Parliament.