BDP issues first one-month schedule of rallies urging government action
A large crowed marched in central Istanbul June 29 upon a call by the BDP to protest the killing of an young man in Diyarbakır in the southeast. DHA photoThe Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) has announced a one-month schedule of the “government, take a step” rallies it said are part of the three-month-long “Democratic Resolution Move” that kicked off as of June 30.
“We are entering a process along which we have called on the government to take a step; we will voice our society’s demands in squares; and we will develop democratic and civilian demonstrations and activities more than ever,” the BDP headquarters said in a written statement released June 30.
While calling on “all powers of democracy and freedom to be together in squares with their own colors, demands and stances in order to say, ‘government, take a step,’” the statement added, “The main demand the ‘Democratic Resolution Move’ wants the government to fulfill is the freedom of [jailed Kurdistan Workers’ Party – PKK – leader] Mr. Abdullah Öcalan.”
Debate on phases
The BDP has been urging the government to take action in the form of legal reform, which they referred to as the “second phase,” as the “first phase” of the peace process was considered to be the withdrawal of PKK militants from Turkey. Other demands listed as components of the “Democratic Resolution Move,” are: the release of all political prisoners, in particular sick ones; an absolute end to the construction of outposts, dams and HEPPs (hydroelectric power plants); an end to ecological damage and massacre; an end to military buildup with troops, police, Scorpion jeeps (armored riot control vehicles called Akrep in Turkish), TOMAs (Mass Incident Intervention Vehicles) and armed combat cars being withdrawn from among people to barracks and stations; the launching of education in mother tongue and removal of all barriers to use of mother tongue; abolishment of the TMK [Anti-Terror Law] and antidemocratic laws; abolishment of the village guard system; lowering of the election threshold.
As a matter of fact, this was the second announcement concerning the same series of rallies by the BDP. The party released its first such announcement on June 28. As of June 29, Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay referred to the rallies announced by the BDP, as he was speaking on the killing of 18-year-old Medeni Yıldırım in Lice during a telephone interview with NTV news channel.
Recently, the BDP executives have been arguing that “the government has not been fulfilling its part,” Atalay said. “Our government never cheats,” Atalay added. In the first release, the BDP announced that the ‘Government, take a step’ rallies, would start on June 30 in Diyarbakır, Mersin and Adana. In the second release, Gaziantep was added to the June 30 schedule as a new venue. Many other cities will see demos in July 1 to 30.