Posted by: hevallo | February 6, 2009

EU, Turkey and the Kurds. Meeting in UK Parliament.

EU, Turkey, and the Kurds

End the gross violations of the linguistic and cultural rights of the Kurds

For a peaceful and negotiated settlement of the Kurdish question now!

Wed 11 February 7-9pm

House of Commons, Grimond Room, Portcullis House, SW1

(nearest station: Westminster)

Hosted by Hywel Williams MP

Speakers: Emrullah Cin, Mayor of Viranşehir DTP (Democratic Society Party);

Lord Rea and Jonathan Fryer, Chairman, Liberal International British Group

A peaceful and negotiated settlement of the Kurdish question in Turkey has become a pressing reality on today’s international agenda, especially for the European Union, following recent alarming developments in Turkey.

The European Union is preparing for Turkey’s accession as a new member, as the Union moves to expand eastwards.

In this context there is both the urgency and an opportunity to exert influence on developments in Turkey, a country embroiled in a constitutional crisis and poised for full-scale conflict with its Kurdish population.

With the continuing violation of linguistic and human rights, authors, researchers, poets, journalists, publishers and other are being tried by courts, just because they express themselves in their “mother tongue”.

State school education in Kurdish is still forbidden, even as a second language.

Persistent Turkish efforts to criminalise members of the ‘pro-Kurdish’ party, the Democratic Society Party (DTP), and the ongoing proceedings against it with the aim of banning it; the recently threatened 10 years prison term for the Kurdish politician and Sakharov prize winner Leyla Zana; Turkey’s continuing failure to meet the EU’s Copenhagen accession criteria that serve to ensure “stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities” (Europa, 2007); the refusal to respond to the ‘peace process’ and unilateral ceasefire of the PKK; continuing military operations into northern Iraq; the continuing pursuit of Turkey’s dam ‘development policy’ that threatens to forcibly displace tens of thousands of Kurds; and Turkey’s failure to meet her obligations under international customary law and her bilateral agreements with Iraq, there is an urgent need to address key concerns regarding the Kurdish population of Turkey.

Ending the gross violations of the democratic, linguistic and cultural rights of Kurds and other minorities would be a step in the right direction, both for the victims of Turkey’s discriminatory policies, as well as Turkey’s ambitions as a member of the European community.

In the words of Leyla Zana, the well known Kurdish politician and former political prisoner, “Is there another people that you know, with a population of over 30 million, one of the largest of its kind, that is devoid of its political, social and cultural rights, cannot even use its mother tongue?

Turkey has signed many international treaties and made commitments to the entire world. But …Turkey does not fulfill its commitments.”

The event is supported by the Kurdish Federation UK and Peace in Kurdistan Campaign.
For information contact Peace in Kurdistan Campaign Estella24@tiscali.co.uk

Tel 020 7586 5892
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