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Doru, Mavrides, Sariyildiz & Turkdogan (left to right) / Twitter

07/09/2016 - 16:33 0
'Kurds’ Demand for Self Determination Must be Discussed Now': EP Conference

A one-day conference hosted by Socialist and Democrat groups took place at the European Parliament today.

Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Şırnak MP Faysal Sarıyıldız and Turkey's Human Rights Association (IHD) chairperson Öztürk Türkdoğan both spoke at the conference, as HDP Europe Representative Eyyüp Doru and Socialist Democrats Group member Costas Mavrides moderated the session.

Doru: The Turkish state's mindset hasn't changed

In a short presentation, Eyyüp Doru spoke about the Turkish state's anti-Kurdish policies and said, “The mindset of the state hasn’t changed since it's inception. It still wants to annihilate and eliminate the Kurds.”

"The Kurds are one of the regions oldest peoples. They were denied their right to self determination," Doru said and added that Western governments hadn't reacted strongly against the massacres in Kurdistan.

Türkdoğan: Crimes against humanity committed

The first speaker, IHD Chairperson Öztürk Türkdoğan spoke about the crimes committed by state forces during the curfews in Kurdish cities and towns, the current state of emergency in Turkey, severe rights violations following the 15 July coup attempt and the situation of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan.

Türkdoğan said the AKP had been ousted from government in the 7 June 2015 general election and a strong will for peace had emerged, but that this was denied by the government. “Erdoğan shelved the constitution and declared himself the de facto president,” Türkdoğan said.

Speaking about the human rights violations during the military curfews in Cizre and other cities, Türkdoğan said: “The rule of law was not heeded in any way and there hasn’t been a single effective investigation as impunity for state forces runs rampant.”

"Crimes against humanity were committed on a large scale, but the mechanisms in the international arena did not work to stop them. The ECHR disappointed us during the curfews. They didn’t issue any injunctions for the basements [where more than 100 people were burned alive]. My faith in justice was damaged,” Türkdoğan said.

The Human Rights Association chairperson also protested the silence of European governments and said there were at least 20 people dying every day in the Kurdish region.

"67,000 homes were demolished according to official records and 500,000 Kurds were left homeless."

Türkdoğan also gave an account of the rights violations following the 15 July coup attempt and said, “Whatever Kurds were subjected to before 15 July, continues now.”

Türkdoğan: Kurds' right to self-determination must be discussed

Commenting on the situation of 40 million Kurds, Türkdoğan said it was time to discuss Kurds' right to self-determination  and warned problems could not be solved by ignoring it.

The IHD Chairperson criticised Abdullah Öcalan's isolation and stated that government was trying to humiliate the Kurds.

Making an analogy with the peace negotiations between FARC and the Colombian government Türkdoğan commented: “A solution must be developed in Turkey. This is a necessity. The EU must take initiative. The EU must encourage the Turkish government. Otherwise war cannot be prevented.”

Sarıyıldız: We cannot achieve peace until crimes are faced

In his speech HDP Şırnak MP Faysal Sarıyıldız recalled how he had witnessed the "atrocities in Cizre".

Sarıyıldız also likened the current situation in Turkey to Nazi Germany’s first years.

“Great crimes against humanity were committed in Cizre. Great sins were committed. We cannot achieve peace until these sins, these crimes are faced.”

Likening the conflict that broke out following the 7 June 2015 general election to "hell", Sarıyıldız said all the generals who had committed crimes in the Kurdish regions had been rewarded by Erdoğan then but were now under arrest for being putschists.

Source: ANF