Kurdish politician urges government, PKK to take steps

Kurdish politician urges government, PKK to take steps

ELAZIĞ - Anadolu Agency
Kurdish politician urges government, PKK to take steps

Kurdish political Kemal Burkay said ‘a new and democratic Constitution’ is a must for peace. AA Photo

Kurdish politician Kemal Burkay has urged the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to withdraw from Turkey as soon as possible and the Turkish state to rapidly take steps to ensure a lasting solution.

“The PKK must withdraw its forces as soon as possible without delaying, and the government must take the necessary steps in the direction of a solution,” he told Anadolu Agency in the eastern province of Elazığ. Burkay, the leader of the Rights and Liberties Party (HAK-PAR), which defends Kurdish rights but does not support the PKK’s armed struggle, said the Kurdish movement was not a monolithic organization but a mosaic with different viewpoints that should be taken into consideration during the peace process.

“Kurdish people’s fundamental rights shouldn’t be an issue of bargaining between the state and the PKK,” he told the agency. “A new and democratic Constitution is needed; this must first be achieved.

Turkey is still being governed with by the Sept. 12 junta Constitution [of 1980]. This Constitution must be put on the table as soon as possible, and it would benefit us a lot to have a democratic Constitution which requires a democratic solution process to the Kurdish Issue,” he said.

Burkay said there were three basic demands for Kurds: “Education in one’s mother tongue, Kurdish identity and decentralization.”

The Turkish government believes only 20 percent of the PKK’s militants have withdrawn from Turkey into northern Iraq although the outlawed group promised to accomplish the process in late June.

In return, PKK officials have recently criticized the government for delaying the opening of a democracy package that would include substantial steps to help end the three-decade-old insurgency.