FIREWORKS IN SILOPI

“If the government takes one step, PKK will take ten steps.”
~ Ahmet Türk.

There were fireworks in Silopi on Monday night as thousands of people crowded around the Habur border crossing to stand watch over the processing of the Kandil and Maxmur peace delegations sent to Turkey by the PKK. The eight members of the Kandil delegation are guerrillas. They are: Hamiyet Dinçer of Başkale, Elif Uludağ of Pazarcık/Maraş, Hüseyin İpek of Ömerli/Mardin, M. Şerif Gençdağ of Siverek, Mustafa Ayhan, Vilayet Yakut of Diyarbakır, Lütfü Taş of Kığı/Bingöl, and Gülbahar Çiçekçi of Kığı /Bingöl.

So far, from Ozgür Gündem:

The Processing of the Peace Groups Are Being Done at the Border Garrison

The processing of 34 members of the Peace and Democracy Groups who came to the Habur border by [order of] the Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan is being done in the garrison at the border. After crossing into Turkey, they have been taken to the Habur Border Jandarma Garrison. While they are being processed, they are expected to give statements to prosecutors.

Just now, 24 Haber reported that 29 of the 34 members of the Maxmur and Kandil groups have been cleared to leave freely and we are awaiting a judgement on the remaining 5 members. Four prosecutors and one judge were sent to the Habur Border Jandarma Garrison to clear the members of the groups to enter Turkey and thirty-four lawyers arrived to represent the groups’ members.

Earlier, on a replay of CNN Türk’s Beş N Bir K, Cuneyt Özdemir read the nine demands of PKK and his guest commented favorably on them. Özdemir then remarked that it was amazing that these people had just arrived from the mountains and that, if everything went smoothly, tomorrow they’d present their demands in the TBMM. Özdemir’s guest–whose name I never got due to a frantic surfing through channels–replied that if the guerrillas go to the TBMM tomorrow to present their nine points, it means that PKK is serious about a democratic solution and an end to the conflict.

At this moment, the morning talking heads on Turkish media are reading the newspapers . . .

Here’s a rough breakdown of PKK’s demands:

1. Öcalan’s road map for the peaceful and democratic solution of the Kurdish Question must be given to the addressees.

2. Ending the military and political operations and opening up a peaceful, democratic, and political solution to the Kurdish question.

3. As a part of Turkey’s democratic nation, living under free and equal conditions on the basis of our Kurdish people’s identity, assured by the constitution.

4. Using our Kurdish mother tongue everywhere and freely; Improving it and living our geography, culture, and historical values in our mother tongue.

5. Naming, educating, and raising our children in Kurdish.

6. As Kurdish people, living our culture, art, and literature freely, improving them and protecting them.

7. Improving our democratic social organization with our identity, doing politics and expressing ourselves freely.

8. Living in Kurdistan’s villages, towns, and cities away from the pressures of village guards, police, and “Special Teams”; Living there with sufficient possibilities {i.e. infrastructure] and in security.

9. Having a new civil democratic constitution for the democratization of Turkey.

Below are some photos of the Kandil group, from http://www.firatnews.com/gallery/index.php?rupel=galeri&gid=2026




Now ask yourselves: Do you see Hamas taking steps like this, or Al-Qaeda, or the Taliban? Did you see the LTTE take steps like this? And then you should ask yourselves: Who, then, are the “terrorists”?

Make no mistake: This has nothing to do with Article 221 of the Turkish Penal Code–the Repentance Law. There is no one here who will claim the Repentance Law because there’s nothing to repent. In fact, these guerrillas have rejected Article 221 for themselves.

Nor let anyone make the mistake of assuming that the Kandil Peace and Democracy Group has made this trip from a position of weakness. Some 400 new guerrillas have joined PKK in the last three months. There is no weakness of arms or of morale here.

It’s time for the Ankara regime to shit or get off the pot on doing its part to create a just and honorable solution to this 25-year-old conflict.

At this moment, CNN Türk is reporting that five members of the Kandil group may be arrested and they are trying to decide if the judge at the Habur Border Jandarma Garrison can make any decision on those arrests or if these five guerrillas will have to be taken to Diyarbakır.

Stay tuned.

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