Pro-Kurdish parties call for co-operation and “politics of peace”

Pro-Kurdish political groups have called for Turkey’s political parties to cooperate in creating “politics of peace” to resolve the decades-long Kurdish issue in the country, Gazete Duvar reported on Sunday.

The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Peoples’ Democratic Congress (HDK) and Democratic Society Congress (DTK) vowed in a statement on Sunday to “shoulder all responsibility in democratic discussions to attain social peace.”

“We believe that there is no such thing as bad peace or a good war. We call on the ruling party and the opposition to produce together politics of peace, instead of politics of conflict and war,” HDP co-chair Sezai Temelli said.

Temelli warned of a dangerous end he claimed the country is headed towards due to the crackdown, authoritarian rule, and injustice practiced by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

“We have two ways in front of us. One is a chaos environment that may last decades-long, while the other is a powerful society with democratic peace,” said the HDP leader.

Listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has been fighting for self-rule in the predominantly Kurdish region southeast of Turkey since the 1980s.

A peace process dubbed “solution process” and a two-year-long ceasefire came to an end between the Turkish state and the PKK in 2015, after two police officers were killed in their house in the southeastern city of Sanliurfa’s Ceylanpinar district.

Subsequently, Ankara initiated a months-long military campaign in the southeastern Kurdish-majority cities of Turkey, aimed at ousting the PKK members who gained ground in the area during the peace talks.

Since then Ankara adopted a nationalist discourse and implemented a crackdown on the Kurdish groups particularly HDP lawmakers, which it accuses of harboring sympathizers and acting in the interests of the PKK.

The Kurdish statement came after a May declaration by the PKK’s jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan who called for a negotiated solution to the Syrian conflict, urging the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to commit to diplomacy and work toward unity in Syria.

The Kurdish platform also called for an end to the threats by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who has recently repeated a military offensive against the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria, east of the Euphrates River.

Turkey wants to create a safe zone in the region in an effort to clear the area east of the Euphrates River of the YPG which forms the central command structure of the United States (US)-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighting against Islamic State (ISIS).

Turkey regards the YPG as a terrorist organization allied with the PKK.

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