HDP’s Newroz Statement

Newroz Pîroz Be

We Will Achieve Peace Through Our Struggle…

Happy Newroz to the Kurdish and all Middle Eastern peoples…

Newroz Pîroz Be!..

Newroz has been the day symbolizing a century long struggle for free and honorable life and resistance against the cruel. It’s the day during which people stand up for their identities, cultures and the language they speak and shout freedom out the loudest. With the coming of Newroz of 2014, we celebrate the first anniversary of the beginning of a new era for the peoples of Turkey’s struggle for equality initiated by the “Declaration of Democratic Salvation, Peace and Freedom”. It was last year’s Newroz when millions heard the great news coming from Mr. Abdullah Ocalan that the future of the peoples of Turkey and the Middle East will be founded on an equal and democratic basis.

Nevertheless, during this past year, the AK Party government has not only fallen far from fulfilling the responsibilities the government had taken on regarding the peace process and lifting the barriers on the peoples’ struggle for peace but also destroyed the peaceful environment in place by its cruel crack down of the Gezi protests. The government has kept its distance from taking the necessary legislative for the peace process, has not amended the Anti-Terror Law and has not addressed the issue of freeing the Kurdish political, sick and minor prisoners. Furthermore, the government has made the drafting of a new, democratic and egalitarian constitution impossible. In short, the government has exhausted a chance for democratization for the sake of its own political gains. While taking its time to avoid taking any step for the peace process, took on an executive role with the implementation of all kinds of unfortunate policies on Rojavayê Kurdistanê.

In the meantime, the Kurdish freedom movement has fulfilled the responsibilities on its end through all three mediums of the peace process; at Imrali, Kandil and the Turkish parliament. The Kurdish freedom movement has taken on serious political sacrifices and carried out its obligations for the peace progress in the utmost determined manner. The goals set at the Newroz of 2013 are still in place. It is impossible for the peoples of Turkey and the Middle East to build a peaceful and democratic future unless these goals are reached. Such has been observed in Rojava. The Rojava Revolution has sent a strong message of peace, democracy, equality and freedom to the peoples of Middle East. This revolution has shed light on the peoples’ struggle for a democratic and free future.

Today, the democratic and peaceful forces of Turkey, once again, take on the call from the Newroz of 2013 and carry on the struggle to put this call into practice with an agenda for democracy and freedom. We will be witnessing yet another historical Newroz this year. The primary goals of our day are the constitutional and legal recognition all peoples’ identities and cultures, the recognition of the right to education in one’s mother language for all levels of schooling and the construction of self-governing practices through the set up of democratic autonomous local governments. All the measures listed above are of utmost importance for the democratization of Turkey as well.

Some of the most pressing issues of today are construction a self-governing practice to enable the free and equal expression of all, eradicating sexism through practices of equal representation on all mediums, the investigation of Turkey’s bloody political history through the establishment of Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, the reconstruction of a democratic legal system, ensuring that all political prisoners are set free, putting the dialogue between the government and the Kurdish peoples’ leader Abdullah Ocalan on a legal medium to officially develop peace talks, taking on the role of a third party to mediate between the parties and following up the ECHR decision regarding the possible release and the legal status of Mr. Ocalan.

This year’s Newroz celebration will be the peak of our election campaign as well. The joy of Newroz will take on to the polls on March 30th. The votes for the HDP-BDP coalition will empower all those in struggle for the peace process. Peoples’ Democratic Party recognizes that the Kurdish issue that has various political, social, cultural and international aspects to it can only be resolved through structural democratic reforms. We can only deem the delays of the governing AK Party void through the strong influence of the democratic and peaceful forces of Turkey.

The persistent and determined struggle of the labor and democracy forces will achieve peace. We call upon the working class, the intellectuals, the unions, women’s rights and ecologist movements, the democrats, the youth and the retired to empower this struggle. As the Peoples’ Democratic Party, we will continue our struggle to construct a democratic future for all. We will achieve peace and democracy in Turkey by struggling for freedom and equality.

Today, the responsibilities on our shoulders weigh much heavier as we aim to build a country where all languages, cultures and beliefs are free and equal. Neither history nor the society will forgive those who wish to put an end to the peace process for whichever little political gains they aim to derive from it. We sincerely wish all the peoples of the region a Happy Newroz, and salute the excitement of our peoples for freedom and equality.

Sebahat Tuncel – Ertuğrul Kürkçü

HDP Co-Chairs

March 20, 2014

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