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Kurdish party calls for mediator to solve problem

Turkish Daily News


Thursday, 22 May 2008 | ISTANBUL – TDN with wire dispatches

In an advertisement that appeared in French daily Le Monde, the Kurdish Institute of Paris and deputies of Turkey's pro-Kurdish party (DTP) called for an international mediator who could facilitate a solution to the Kurdish problem.

In the advertisment, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, Spanish Prime Minister Felipe Gonzales and former Finnish Prime Minister Marti Ahtisaari are cited as names for the new mediator.

The ad, under the headline “A call for a peaceful solution to the Kurdish problem in Turkey,” was signed by 1,000 people, including Democratic Society Party (DTP) deputies.

The call includes requests not to define citizens of Turkey as Turks in the constitution currently being prepared, and requests for education in Kurdish.

While the ad expresses demands for the removal of all obstacles preventing Kurdish broadcasts, it also calls on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) to lay down its arms.

Politicians cited as possible mediators are known for their role facilitating peace in Spain, Ireland and Kosovo, the ad notes, adding that all signatories of the statement had declared themselves to be Kurdish.

The DTP currently has 20 deputies in Parliament and faces a closure case at the Constitutional Court.

Don't trust Europe:

Meanwhile, former DTP Leyla Zana, who was imprisoned for close to a decade for links to the PKK, made a speech Tuesday at the British House of Lords on “Turkey, Kurds and the European Union,” calling on Kurds not to trust Europe.

Before starting her speech at the Grand Committee Hall, Zana asked the attendees which language she should use. The majority said Kurdish.

Zana said Turkey could not be an EU member before addressing the freedom of speech problem, arguing that Kurds were committing a huge mistake by trusting European countries.

“Now is the first time in history that the interests of Turks and Kurds have met," she said before arguing that Kurds are too dependent on overseas support.


Turkish Daily News Kurdish party calls for mediator to solve problem