News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
Thousands have marched in cities around Turkey and Kurdistan with the demand for freedom for Abdullah Öcalan, the President of the KCK, and a status for Kurdish people in the Middle East. Yesterday tens of thousands joined demonstrations in Diyarbakir, Van, Hakkari, Mus, Urfa, Bingöl, Istanbul, and other cities under slogans such as “Resisting together with Öcalan we will win” – according to a report by Özgür Gündem.
The demonstrations came on the same day that the new `Democratic Package` – a series of promised governmental reforms – was revealed by the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. At the demonstrations in Hakkari Şaban Alkan, a deputy of the Mayor and a member of the BDP, made it clear that Kurds saw the reform package as inadequate and failing to meet Kurdish demands, saying:
“Freedom for PKK leader Öcalan is a red line for the Kurdish people. The second red line is mother-tongue education. We do not want to pay money to attend private schools. While we expected a change in the Turkish Civil Law Code, it was even touched upon in the package. The condition of autonomy based on local administrations was one of our basic demands. On the subject of village names and illegal letters we had solved these issues a long time ago. This package does not meet our demands.”
The co-president of the BDP’s Bingöl branch, Halis Yurtsever, likewise said that “until we have a constitutional guarantee for our language, our identity and our beliefs our struggle will continue.”
In the district of Suruç in Urfa Province, the local BDP director İsa Teki spoke similarly, saying “We need to have an immediate constitution guarantee for our language, our culture and our constitutional rights. The AKP should not use the peace process that they have started with Öcalan as an election strategy, they should not evaluation it has an opportunity to make temporary gains.”