NGOs call on PKK to ‘end violence’

NGOs call on PKK to ‘end violence’

NGOs call on PKK to ‘end violence’ NGOs in Turkey’s east and southeast have called on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to “refrain from violent acts and end violence” in a joint statement signed by a total of 61 people. NGO representatives, academics, lawyers and businesspersons were among the people who signed the statement, as violence has recently flared up again in the region.

“Each bombing narrows the area of democratic politics. Each death separates us from the solution more. We reject violence as a whole. In that regard, we call on the PKK to abandon violent means and stop violent acts as soon as possible,” the statement read, adding that recent bomb attacks “shocked society deeply.”

“The bombings that came one after the other in recent days shocked society deeply, push us towards sadness and at the same time cause us to get worried. We condemn the attacks that caused plenty of people to get killed and wounded,” the statement added. 

Saying that widening the civilian political arena would relieve people, the signatories noted they perceived the repelling of the July 15 failed coup attempt as “a great opportunity for constructing a democratic political base.” 

“In this framework, we call on the president, prime minister, opposition leaders, parliament and all institutions and people who are responsible to take steps which will enhance dialogue and cooperation in the solution of the Kurdish issue,” the statement added. 

The signatories of the statement stressed they were “ready to take responsibility.”

“We are ready to support all efforts that aim to solve the issue peacefully, enhance societal reconciliation and lift democratic standards higher,” they said. 

The wife of Diyarbakır Bar Association head Tahir Elçi, who was murdered by unknown assailants in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on Nov. 28 last year as he was facing jail time for saying he did not view the PKK as a terrorist organization, was among the signatories. 

The statement came amid renewed PKK militant attacks in the country. Two soldiers were killed when PKK militants detonated a home-mode explosive device during the passing of an armored military vehicle in the Uludere district of the southeastern province of Şırnak on Aug. 23. 

The vehicle was heading towards an army base when the militants detonated the bomb, killing two soldiers, one of whom was a lieutenant, at around 12 p.m. 

An operation with aerial support was launched to apprehend the militants involved in the attack. 

Also on Aug. 23, three soldiers were wounded in another hand-made explosive attack some 70 kilometers away from the Şemdinli district of the eastern province of Hakkari.  

The attack was also carried out during the passage of a military vehicle in the area. An aerial-supported operation to apprehend the fleeing PKK militants was initiated.