2009 Progress Report: Alternative Perspective

Alternative progress report calls on EU to listen to PKK
From Rudaw.net, 14 October 2009

The PKK lobby group “Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan–Peace in Kurdistan” published an alternative to European Commission’s annual progress report on Turkey. The EU told Turkey on Wednesday to speed up reforms, but the Kurdish lobby group says this is not enough.

The EC said that the opening of a public TV channel broadcasting 24-hour in Kurdish nation-wide was a “very positive step forward” and praised the government’s process of broad consultation with political parties and civil society with a view to addressing comprehensively the Kurdish issue.

But the pro-PKK organization says that this ‘optimism’ or even ‘enthusiasm’ is unrealistic. “The “Kurdish initiative” that was later re-labelled to “democratic initiative” and even later “project of national unity” has not produced any palpable results yet”, says the alternative report of the pro-PKK organization “Human Rights in Turkey 2009: One step forward, two steps back.”

The alternative report says that the ‘small steps in the field of cultural and linguistic rights lag far behind the expectations’ and that the ‘zero tolerance policy’ of the Turkish government failed and human right abuses continue, including ‘brutality of police and jurisdiction against children’. “This policy, if at all seriously pursued, can only be described as a failure.”

The report says a sincere peace process is needed and this should include the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). “By labelling all kinds of Kurdish political activities as “terrorist”, Europe does nobody a favour. Instead Europe should actively encourage conflict resolution activities and dialogue between all relevant sides in this conflict–including the PKK.”

The PKK initiative concludes that without a genuine and sincere peace process in which the reasonable demands of the Kurdish people are addressed in a proper manner, all reforms must remain patchwork without real substance. “Until now, AKP has not shown a real interest in solving the Kurdish issue. Half-hearted attempts may cause more problems than they solve.”

The alternative report can be downloaded here. (8-page, .pdf)

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