ANKARA—The Foreign Affairs Commission of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in Turkey has issued a call for international action after a sharp increase in violence and unrest fueled by ethnic tension across the country, following a breakdown of the ceasefire between the Turkish government and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The pro-Kurdish HDP has been targeted by violent ultranationalist protests in recent days after attacks by the PKK killed dozens of Turkish police and army forces. The HDP warned of a “lynching campaign” and coordinated mob attacks against it and ethnic Kurds earlier this week, and Asbarez reported yesterday on violent anti-Armenian and anti-Kurdish protests in Istanbul’s Armenian-populated neighborhoods.
The HDP’s full statement issued on September 10 calling on international attention on recent developments in Turkey reads as follows.
URGANT CALL FOR INTERNATIONAL ACTION
Turkey is increasingly drifting into a civil war. Politics of violence have escalated after the general elections of June 7 led by the AKP provisional government. Today, the peace and negotiation process between PKK and the Turkish state has come to a halt and war has started again.
Just within the last month, severe clashes have taken place in many Kurdish cities such as Silopi, Lice, Şemdinli, Silvan, Yüksekova and Cizre where the civilian population has been targeted by state forces. Tens of civilians, guerillas and members of state security forces have died in the ensuing clashes. Since July 24, the AKP interim government has not been attacking ISIS, as it claims to be doing, but the Qandil Mountains in the territory of the Kurdistan Regional Government instead, as well as Kurds, democratic forces, democratic politics, civilians, women and the opposition as a whole in Turkey.
The Turkish state and the provisional AKP government are implementing all sorts of oppressive measures such as forbidding entry into and departure from Kurdish cities against which it launches military operations, cutting off all communication including phone and internet lines, blocking off press and observers to prevent the truth about what is happening on the ground from reaching national and international public attention. A curfew has been in place in the province of Cizre for the past week where 21 civilians have been killed. The province of Cizre have been under siege for days where there is serious shortage of food, water, access to basic health services, preventative treatment of the wounded, and burial of those who have been killed by state security forces. Serious concerns regarding fears of civilian massacre in Cizre have been voiced by the elected members of the parliament and civil society organizations.
In this very violent situation, HDP has also been targeted by AKP spokespersons and pro-AKP mass media. Almost every day, our party officials and especially our co-chairs are being put on the target for those “nationalist and patriotic” people. Many calls and statements of AKP officials have been signaling a call for war against HDP. As a result of this violent discourse of AKP, many of our buildings in several cities have been attacked by groups of people associated with racist and fascist groups. On September 8, they attacked our HQ in Ankara, setting fire to the building. Our party archives and records were targeted specifically. No one was injured in the attack but our HQ is now heavily damaged and unavailable for use.
Until now, over 128 party buildings all over the country have been attacked. Moreover, the police and other security forces of the state did not do their job to prevent the attacks.
We once again want to emphasize that HDP is not a part of these violence-based, war- oriented policies. As HDP, we did not take part in any decision-making process of the war. On the contrary, we are trying to push both PKK and the Turkish state to end this armed conflict. It should be known that it is the AKP who is insisting on war politics and implementing anti- democratic practices all over the country.
In spite of these adverse developments, we call on all international communities, civil society organizations and the international media for solidarity and support to bring about an immediate cease-fire and the commencement of peace talks. Our call is also one for urgent action against increasing state violence, the violation of human rights and anti-democratic practices and measures ins Kurdish cities as well as the cities in the western regions of the country. We now need the support of the international public more than ever in order to achieve the realization of a lasting peace in the Middle East, Turkey and Kurdistan. In this context we invite all of our friends, political parties, associations, networks, civil society organizations and all peace-loving forces to act in solidarity with us. We call on all democratic international institutions and forces to take concrete steps against the Turkish state’s violent, anti-democratic actions against its own people and citizens.
Foreign Affairs Commission of HDP
10 September 2015