Former DEP MP Hatip Dicle, who was released from prison yesterday, said at a press conference today: "I believe that we will see Abdullah Ocalan, the main architect of peace, in our midst in a short time through the struggle of the people. The more we maintain our unity and work in a self-sacrificing manner, the sooner we will see President Apo in our midst."
Former DEP MP Hatip Dicle and Husamettin Cicek, who were both released yesterday after spending over 4 years in custody in connection with the main KCK trial, held a press conference today in the BDP Amed provincial building. The press conference, which was packed with reporters, was also attended by HDP Amed MP Altan Tan.
Dicle began by expressing a hope that Ramadan would offer the opportunity for peace in the Middle East, adding: "We are in the second day of Ramadan, and as most of our people are fasting I will not detain you for long. I thank all those who are not here. We will continue to base our strength in the people. We don't have any other capital. We have always been honest with our people and have not made any compromises. Since the founding of the [Turkish] republic, Kurdish politicians have been subjected to genocide. We all know what happened to the leaders of the Kurdish people after the Sheikh Said uprising. Today is the anniversary of Sheikh Said's execution. Since then there has been a policy of exile not to mention in the 1990s the 17,000 people who were murdered by unknown killers were all prominent figures for the Kurdish people. Today the genocide is being carried on in a different way. Then it was the gallows or the bullet in the head, today people are thrown into prison. A minister had said at the time of the mass arrests took place: 'you should thank us. We didn't throw you in wells, we put you in jail. What more do you want?' But did they achieve anything? The answer is no."
We want a Middle East where there is no fratricide
Dicle said the Kurdish people yearned for freedom, adding: "The Kurds must be cautious in order to obtain their freedom. There are still many colleagues in prison. We hope they will be out soon. In order for the chief architect of peace to be in our midst the people's struggle is important. We want a Middle East where there is no fratricide. We can achieve peace, which is the basis of the three great religions, in the Middle East by our own efforts."
Dicle then answered questions from journalists. Respondng to a question regarding the 2011 elections, where his election was annulled, he said: " this was an injustice done to the electors. The AKP should be held responsible."
Hatip Dicle said he positively evaluated the government's new resolution package. He said: "The Kurds are cautious about government promises due to experience. I hope the government will abandon its delaying attitude to the process. Bearing in mind the conflagration in Ukraine and the Middle East, we can turn Turkey into an island of peace and tranquillity. If the government plays its part at least our children will be able to live together in a more beautiful Kurdistan and a freer Turkey."
'I believe in the cause'
Replying to a question as to whether he would put his name forward as a Presidential candidate, Dicle said: "I see myself as someone involved in the struggle. I have never sought positions or rank. I will continue as long as I have breath in my body, we have promised our martyrs. For me, the appreciation of the people is more important. If the people give me a task, I will carry it out."
'Kurdish national congress must meet'
Dicle said: "In the 21st century the Kurds have torn up the shroud that was forced upon them a century ago. The Kurds must resolve their differences by political means and assemble the national congress as soon as possible. We face a historic mission, to establish the unity that Saladin accomplished 800 years ago in the Middle East."
In response to a question from the audience: "When will Leader Apo be in our midst?" Dicle said: "Öcalan could be amongst us by Newroz 2015. If I am not mistaken, I believe he would like to emerge to a Turkey where all the prisons have been emptied, where the comrades in the mountains have returned to democratic politics and where a democratic constitution recognises all the rights of the Kurdish people, and then come to Kurdistan. The more we maintain our unity and work in a self-sacrificing way, the sooner will we see President Apo in our midst."