Create 20 regions, says BDP

Create 20 regions, says BDP

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Create 20 regions, says BDP

BDP co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş (R) and Gültan Kışanak salute supporters during the congress yesterday. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) revealed details of its proposal for “democratic autonomy” in Turkey, at the party’s extraordinary convention over the weekend.

Turkey, which is a populous and large country, should be administered with 15 or 20 autonomous regions that have their own parliaments, BDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş said at the convention.
“If this formula is not accepted, then we can discuss autonomy for the Kurdistan region. The demand for outlining a status and the demand for education in one’s mother tongue are both indispensible for the Kurdish people. If these demands are not met, any other option will be unacceptable for Kurdish people,” he said, addressing a crowd of several thousands, most of whom were wearing traditional Kurdish costumes with yellow, red and green colors.

Freedom and resistance

The BDP held its second extraordinary convention in Ankara on the theme of “We are walking toward freedom through resistance.” The main reason for the extraordinary congress was to renew the BDP’s party assembly, necessary because almost half of the 80-member BDP party assembly is currently detained in the ongoing Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) probe. The KCK is the alleged urban wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Unprecedentedly, a large poster of the convicted leader of the PKK, Abdullah Öcalan, was hung on a wall in the congress hall by the BDP. In its previous congresses, some BDP members carried Öcalan posters individually, but this represented the first time that the BDP has ever hung a poster of Öcalan with its party logo on it.

Öcalan is currently serving a life sentence on İmralı Island prison, but both BDP co-chairs, Demirtaş and Gültan Kışanak, emphasized the importance of Öcalan in finding a solution to the Kurdish issue.

“Mr. Öcalan is the key to a solution. Mr. Öcalan is the ultimate reality of the Kurdish question. Mr. Öcalan is the pioneer of the Kurdish people and the leader of the PKK. He represents a chance both for Kurdish and Turkish people,” Kışanak said.

The government should discuss the issues of equality and justice as part of Kurdish question with the BDP, Demirtaş said.