Monday, December 14, 2009

WKI Statement on the Closure of DTP

Statement by Washington Kurdish Institute

December 14, 2009

Washington, D.C. – The President of Washington Kurdish Institute, Dr. Najmaldin Karim, addressed the decision of Turkey’s highest court on December 11, 2009, to close and ban the Democratic Society Party (DTP) as a backward step and an attempt to derail a just solution to the Kurdish issue in Turkey:

“The closure of the DTP is deeply disappointing to all those who believe that Turkey can overcome its historical failure to embrace Kurds as equal citizens. The decision is an attempt to derail the democratic reforms in Turkey by the ultra-nationalistic and chauvinist elements that have plagued this country throughout its past and prevented a basic acceptance and recognition of Kurdish rights, and the distinct culture of the Kurdish people. This removal of democratically elected representatives will only make matters worse for Turkey’s Kurdish citizens, and will reinforce their sense that they are deprived of any political representation. We are talking about an estimated twenty million people who are denied their fundamental human rights.

“The initiative of the Justice and Development Party needs to take the courageous measures that ensure against this sort of political obstruction does not happen again. A comprehensive plan for full Kurdish rights, representation, and a new pluralistic constitution is the only way to end the cycle of destructive policies and violence in Turkey.

“The European Union (EU) has rightly called on Turkey as a candidate country to make the necessary reforms that would bring it in line with EU standards of human rights. And it should be the policy of the United States to insist on these reforms and true democratic representation for Kurdish citizens in Turkey. This is an urgent matter of international concern which should not be neglected for any sort of long outdated and calamitous realpolitik. It is time for Turkey to abandon its supremacist policies of denial and deliver on its promised democratic reform program on the Kurdish issue.”