Turkey’s Kurdish political groups call on gov’t, opposition to cooperate in finding peace

Turkey’s pro-Kurdish political groups on Sunday released a joint statement, calling for the country’s ruling party and opposition to cooperate in creating "politics of peace’’ to resolve the decades-long Kurdish problem.

The statement by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the Peoples' Democratic Congress (HDK), and the umbrella group of the Kurdish political movement, the  Democratic Society Congress (DTK), released in the majority-Kurdish southeastern province of Diybarbakır, said the group was prepared to "shoulder all responsibility in democratic discussions to attain social peace,’’ left wing news site Duvar reported on Sunday. 

A peace process between the state and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party ( PKK) collapsed in 2015. The PKK is an armed group that has been at war for autonomy in Turkey for over three decades. The PKK insurgency has killed 40,000 people since 1984. Since the failed talks, Ankara has implemented a crackdown on Kurdish groups, particularly HDP lawmakers, which it accuses of harbouring sympathies and acting in the interests of the PKK. 

"There is no such thing as bad peace or good war. We care calling on the ruling party and the opposition to produce politics of peace instead of politics of power and opposition,’’ HDP co-chair Sezai Temelli said.

The statement called for an end to the threats of a military operation targeting Kurdish militia into the north and east of Syria and referred to a May declaration by the jailed leader of the outlawed PKK Abdullah Öcalan as a manual for peace.

Öcalan’s statement, his first communication since the mid-2015 breakdown of the peace process, 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.