Posted by: hevallo | December 16, 2009

Al Jazeera: The PKK Are The Real Representatives of the Kurdish People.

“Long live Abdullah Ocalan” – something I heard time and time ago during the two days I spent in Diyarbakir.

It seems the Turkish constitutional court’s decision to ban the pro-Kurdish party – the DTP – has only made the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) stronger.

Many Kurds now believe Prime Minister Tayeb Erdogan – the man who promised more rights for Kurds – wasn’t serious and his aim had more to do with regaining popularity lost to the DTP in the southeast

There is a growing sense of frustration and disillusionment in the Kurdish heartland – but at the same time anger.

Saban Karakas, resident in the city told me that the Kurdish question cannot be solved without a fight.

Many lost faith in the democratic process.

“We hoped that by sending our representatives to parliament we would find a peaceful solution but the government doesn’t care about us,” Enver Toktas said.

There is no doubt where loyalties lie here – the majority of Diyarbakir is behind the now banned DTP. The leadership was given hero’s welcome when they arrived

They came to their stronghold to take a crucial decision – either continue its struggle for Kurdish rights in parliament or take its fight to the street.

They opted for their MPs to resign from parliament and it seemed that is what most of their supporters wanted too.

But now the burning question among Turkey’s Kurdish people seems to be what is next in their struggle for more rights after they lost their only representation in the Turkish parliament.

I met a group of old men drinking tea at one of Diyarbakir’s cafes. They seemed to have the answer to that question.

“Now that they banned the DTP … our real representative is the PKK. The PKK is our party and our leader is Abdullah Ocalan. He was the person who woke up Kurds to their rights,” Hajj Moustapha Alay told me.

Looking back, these men believe, the PKK was right to take up arms after the failure of the democratic process

The government had hoped promises of more Kurdish rights would erode popular support for the Kurdish rebel group

For now, the winner seems to be the outlawed PKK.

“If people aren’t represented … they will represent themselves in the streets using weapons and violence to get their demands,” a resigned MP from the DTP party, Bengi Yildez told me.

“We have been in parliament for two-and-a-half years and they have been trying to silence us ever since. They may have banned us but they can’t ban our society”. Source:Al Jazeera


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