Kurdish National Congress of North America
KNCNA: Press release
July 23, 2012
On Saturday, July 14, 2012 in Diyarbakir, Turkey
a peaceful march was organized by Peace and
Democratic Party (BDP) and Democratic Society
This march was organized for the freedom of Ocalan
and the democratic solution to the Kurdish question.
For a year now the AKP government has banned Kurdish
rallies and implemented a policy of mass internment
of Kurdish political activists, mayors, MPs,
lawyers, journalists and human rights workers.
According to reports obtained many roads leading to
Diyarbakir from surrounding cities and towns were
blocked by police and army to prevent people from
participating in the peace march.
The protestors were
tear gas bombs, pressurized water, batons, and other
means. As a result three deputies from the
pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), Batman
MP Ayla Akat, Kars MP Mulkiye Birtane and BDP deputy
parliamentary group chair Pervin Buldan as well as
Diyarbakir Metropolitan Mayor Osman Baydemir were
among those injured in the clashes, which lasted
several hours. Moreover, many of the wounded and
dozens of demonstrators, including journalists, were
taken into custody.
During Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party
(AKP) of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s,
reign more than four hundred officials from the
Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) party have
been imprisoned, among them thirty-six elected
mayors and thirteen deputy mayors, along with six
hundred or more Kurdish civil-society activists,
including human rights workers, trade unionists and
people who did no more than attend their meetings.
Many have been held in prison for more than three
years while awaiting their trial.
According to Erskine May, “Parliamentary privilege
is the sum of the peculiar rights enjoyed by each
House collectively… and by members of each House
individually, without which they could not discharge
their functions, and which exceed those possessed by
other bodies or individuals. When any of these
rights and immunities is disregarded or attacked,
the offence is called a breach of privilege and is
punishable under the law of Parliament”.
It appears in Turkey that the above law only applies
to the parliamentarians who are ethnically Turks, or
are members of the chosen political parties like AKP,
CHP, MHP or other ethnic Turkish political parties.
Some political parties, specifically BDP, do not
seem to enjoy the same privileges. The above
mentioned peace march was a clear indication of
this. Members of parliament belonging to BDP do not
enjoy the same immunity, and were attacked, beaten
and have been imprisoned.
Therefore, we condemn the Turkish government’s use
of disproportional force against the Kurdish people
and their representatives including the
co-presidents of BDP party, Mr. Selahattin Demirtas
and Ms. Gultan Kisanak.
Furthermore, we ask the Turkish government to
abandon this biased political practice and policy of
discrimination against the Kurdish people. We ask
the Turkish state to cease any forceful action
against innocent Kurdish people who are trying to
enjoy their natural,www.ekurd.net
legal and democratic rights by marching for peace on
any given day. Moreover, we encourage the ruling
government AKP to take all necessary steps to
negotiate for peace with the Kurdish representatives
and their leaders for a lasting peace in the region.
We urge the US President Obama’s administration,
Congress and Senate, and the American civil society
and media not to stand idly by in regards to
Turkey’s gross human rights violations against the
Kurdish people in Turkey. We encourage a peaceful
solution to the Kurdish issue that includes sincere
peace talks with the arrested Kurdish leader Mr.
Abdullah Ocalan and the Kurdish political movement,
as this appears to be the overwhelming demand of the
Contact information: 805-402-6440, [email protected]
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