The Resolute Demands of the Kurds in Negotiations with Turkey
This morning in Paris, the lives and voices of three brave Kurdish lionesses were tragically gunned down. Despite this tragedy, which leaves unresolved who is to blame or the motives, the Kurds must not lose hope at the start of talks with the government of Turkey. Kurds everywhere mourn the loss of three courageous women activists and leaders in the struggle for recognition of Kurdish cultural and human rights. As the world pays homage to their memories, their names and images will undoubtedly illustrate the voluminous Book of the Martyrs of Kurdistan.
In the Kurdish legend, the stars of the Milky Way represent the caravan of brave men and women who have devoted and given their lives bravely for the homeland. These three will be the latest to join this bright cluster of stars. With a resolve and a determination that is stronger than ever, the daughters and mothers of Kurdistan will look into the depths of the Milky Way, and name three of its brightest stars in the honor and memory of these three Kurdish heroines. Kurdistan, and the memory of those who have sacrificed their lives for it, will like the Milky Way itself, remain eternal.
At the onset of talks with the Turkish government, the entry criteria for the Kurdish negotiators must be to keep in sight, clearly and firmly, the strategic goal that defines the ultimate aspiration of the Kurdish people. It will be very important to be willing to set aside one’s individual and party affiliated interests in order to achieve that goal. The goal is to achieve the right to self-determination and democratic representation, a right earned by the history of resistance and struggle for independence by the people of Kurdistan, backed by the Charter of the United Nations guaranteeing the right of a people to self-determination through Referendum.
This Right is reinforced by bodies of international law, historical examples of other nations achieving independence and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The negotiation must be sincere and candid in order to reach a meaningful resolution with measurable steps to be supported and enforced by legislation and politi- cal will of the parties involved. Such a resolution can be drafted for adoption by both parties with the following language:
1) Welcoming, the Representatives of the European Union, the United Nations and other mutually trusted third party observers to be a part of the negotiation and agreement process between the Kurdish and the Turkish negotiators.
2) Acknowledging that after decades of armed struggle, the people of Kurdistan have established their willingness to end the decade’s old armed campaign against the government of Turkey, in order to establish a new chapter in its relation with the good and honorable people of Turkey to live together in the spirit of peace, brotherhood and as good neighbors.
3) Ending immediately, military operation by the government of Turkey against the Kurdish population within the Kurdish populated regions.
4) Willingness by the government of Turkey to recognize in return, the full po- litical and human rights of the people of Kurdistan by creating and allowing a constitutional system of democracy in Turkey, under which peaceful and democratic referendum to independence of the Kurdish administrated region in Turkey can be held unhindered within a specific time frame.
5) Designating the Kurdish Administrated Region to consist of those provinces in Turkey with a predominately Kurdish population, and such region to be administered by a Kurdish Regional Administrative Authority.
6) Eradicating poverty and unemployment in the defined Kurdish Administrative Region, by the Central Government of Turkey allocating a per-capita share of the government’s annual budget to be invested in the designated Kurdish Administrated Region.
7) Empowering the Kurdish Regional Administrative Authorities to implement an Educational system in Kurdish, Turkish and English for K through 12 and higher education.
8) Implementing a system of Health delivery that will prevent disproportionate mortality among the children and the population living in the Kurdish Administrated Region.
9) Assuring gender equality with regard to educational need and economic productivity of women and with respect to social ethic and tradition.
10) Recognizing the importance of the archeological and historical sites in Kurdistan and handover of their protection and tourism to the Kurdish Regional Administrative Authorities.
11) Investing in the economic development of the Region by introduction of industries and technologies that respect the health and integrity of the environment.
12) Removal of Turkey’s military bases within the Kurdish Administrative Region, and their phased replacement with building of Universities and development of multipurpose community centers.
13) Promising of continu- ous negotiation between the parties until such time that the intent of this resolution is negotiated in detail, legislated, and enacted to the satisfaction of the parties and in witness of the engaged third parties.
14) Finally, the parties realize, that the path of war and violence which has by now taken the life of over 40,000 people, will never bring peace to Turkey nor will help the Kurdish people to realize their aspiration toward self-governance. Thus, the only road that remains is to follow the road of peace, and those who wish to achieve a peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue in Turkey must come to the table with the clearest of visions, sincerest intentions and a keen intellect prepared for problem solving that will take the KurdishTurkish conflict to a resolution with new hope and peaceful relations for the future.
Women react next to a portrait of Fidan Dogan inside the Kurdish cultural center in Paris, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013. Three Kurdish women, including Fidan Dogan and Sakine Cansiz, who was one of the founders of a militant group battling Turkish troops since 1984 were "executed" at a Kurdish center in Paris, the interior minister said Thursday.