KCK: Withdrawal to begin on 8 May – UPDATE

ANF – BEHDINAN 25.04.2013 – Kurdish Communities Union (KCK) Executive Council President Murat Karayılan has held a press conference on the withdrawal of Kurdish guerrillas out of Turkish borders.

The press conference, which was attended by KCK Executive Council member Zeki Şengali and Kongra-Gel Executive Board member Hacer Zagros as well, was followed by a number of worldwide press members. Karayılan started his statement by expressing his appreciation concerning the selection of Abdullah Öcalan in Time magazine’s annual list of the 100 most-influential people in the world, and extended his thanks to Sinn Fein Leader Gerry Adams who has written Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan’s profile for the magazine. Karayılan stated that the withdrawal will start on 8 May, noting that it would be ceased in the event of an operation or attack by the Turkish military.

He remarked that four conferences would be organized in North Kurdistan, Turkey, Europe and Hewler in the scope of the currently ongoing process in search for a peaceful and democratic solution to the Kurdish question. Referring to the declaration Kurdish leader Öcalan presented on in Diyarbakır on 21 March, Karayılan said that in this deceleration Öcalan called all oppressed peoples, representatives of all classes and cultures, women and religious sects to build a new Turkey and Middle East on the basis of the democratic modernity system.

Remarking that Öcalan has paved the way for democratic politics to replace arms, Karayılan said that the Kurdish leader has called for the withdrawal of guerrilla forces out of Turkish borders in his letter sent to KCK on 14 April.

“Taking this call for an instruction, our movement has decided to fulfill this call without any hesitation besides maintaining the position of the truce it announced on 23 March. It is the ultimate goal of not only ours but also of everyone siding with peace, brotherhood, democracy and freedom to accomplish this historic step which will enable a solution to the Kurdish question, bring democracy to Turkey and pave the way for peace in the Middle East”, Karayılan underlined and listed the following major points to be followed in order to avoid the interruption of the process;

1-Our guerrilla forces will practice the withdrawal by using the routes they have been using since before now in a completely organized and disciplined way avoiding clashes.

2-The withdrawal will take place on 8 May 2013 on the basis of the ongoing preparations by our forces. The withdrawal, planned to be practiced gradually, will be aimed to be finalized in the soonest time possible.

3-Following the withdrawal, our forces will be based in Southern (Iraqi) Kurdistan. We expect relevant powers, the government of Federal Kurdistan in particular, to display an understanding concerning the official presence of guerrilla forces.

4- It is a must for Turkish military forces to display the same sensitivity and seriousness during the withdrawal which will be stopped in the event of any kind of attack, operation and bombing to which guerrillas will respond on the basis of necessary defence.

5- The forces of the Turkish state should also avoid provocative and opportunist attitudes that may lead to any kind of military activity and clashes in Kurdistan. Apart from that, a healthy and accomplished progress in the process could be ensured by paying attention to the points we have highlighted in the letters we sent to Öcalan and are known to the state as well.

6- The monitoring of the process by independent delegations and the determination of mistaken points by both sides will also contribute to the progress of the process.

Karayılan remarked that the democratic solution process involved three phases, adding, “The first phase includes the already ongoing truce process and the withdrawal of guerrillas. The second phase involves the steps the state and government will take to ensure a permanent solution to the Kurdish question. Some of the moves to be made in this phase will be the democratization of Turkey by means of reforms as a part of a constitutional solution which will create the circumstances necessary for a solution to the Kurdish question. One other step should be to deactivate all systems, such as the village-guard system and special operation teams serving the war in the country and to create an environment in accordance with the civil society perspective. The third phase, the process of normalisation, includes the the processes of a permanent peace, social conciliation, equality and freedoms. The disarmament of guerrillas will be brought to the agenda following the realization of this process which will witness the liberation of everyone, including that of Leader Öcalan”.

Karayılan noted that they will not undergo any change in their policy on the Middle East after the withdrawal. He called on all states and democracy powers in the Middle East region to support the historic step they have taken and urged all international powers, the U.S., EU and Russia in particular, to display support for a solution to the Kurdish question.

Karayılan also called on all circles siding with peace, equality, justice and freedom to support this process by organizing a ‘Conference for Peace and Freedom’ with an aim to build a free future together.

KCK Executive Council President also urged all political parties and NGOs in all four parts of Kurdistan to organize a ‘Conference for Unity, Solidarity and Peace’ in Hewler in order to form a national platform for solidarity and peace.

Karayılan continued by calling on all patriot powers in North Kurdistan to organize a ‘Conference for Democratic Solution, Unity and Solidarity in North Kurdistan’ in Amed. He also called on the Kurdish people in Europe to organize a ‘Conference for People’s Democracy, Unity and Peace’ to contribute to the process. “Öcalan has done what is necessary in terms of fulfilling his responsibilities in this historic process. It is now the Turkish state and government’s turn to make a move for a lasting solution to the Kurdish question”, Karayılan said and remarked that the Kurdish people should strengthen their organization and aim to improve the democratic solution process by relying on their own power in order to gain accomplishment.

Karayılan ended the statement by extending thanks and to all those who have contributed to the process by defending and struggling for democracy, equality, brotherhood and peace.

Kurdistan National Congress – KNK Rue Jean Stas 41, 1060 Brussels