Big crowd celebrates Nevruz in Diyarbakır

Big crowd celebrates Nevruz in Diyarbakır

Big crowd celebrates Nevruz in Diyarbakır

DHA photo

As Nevruz festivities took place in major Turkish cities over the weekend, the southeastern province of Diyarbakır became the scene of the biggest celebrations, with thousands of people gathering for the day, which is known as the beginning of the spring, amid politicians’ speeches signaling intent to return to a peace negotiation process.

Annual Nevruz celebrations took place in Nevruz Park of Diyarbakır’s central Bağlar district on March 21 with thousands of people gathering around 10 a.m. to join the day-long festivities, which marks the first day of spring and is celebrated across much of Central Asia.

“We are committed to the solution path you proposed in Dolmabahçe. War, conflict and death are not normal situations we need to get used to. What is normal is to insist on all peaceful ways and methods. What we call negotiation is to put all the solutions on the table. A negotiation table cannot be set up on winning and losing; on anger and hostility,” said Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş during a speech made at the festivities.

The “Dolmabahçe Agreement” was document signed on Feb. 28, 2015, between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and HDP officials, which set a 10-item list of priorities for a resolution of the Kurdish issue.

HDP deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder, who was a member of a group that frequently visited Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), in the past, also delivered a speech during the celebrations saying that if their call was responded to, they promised to “maintain peace in one week.” 

Over the weekend, at least 164 people were detained during unauthorized demonstrations to mark Nevruz in Istanbul, according to Turkish security sources.

Nevruz celebrations were banned in many cities and towns across Turkey due to security concerns amid fresh counter-terrorism operations in the southeast.