Dec 19, 2009

Kurds of northern Iraq demonstrate against DTP closure

A recent Constitutional Court ruling that shut down the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) on charges of links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has been met with frustration in northern Iraq.
There were protests by DTP and PKK supporters in various Turkish cities, including a massive protest in Diyarbakır, but civil society organizations in the northern Iraqi town of Sulaimaniya are organizing protests of their own, sources in the region say. Public figures and political parties in northern Iraq also support the idea of demonstrations denouncing the Turkish Constitutional Court’s ruling to close the DTP. However, the details of the demonstrations remain unclear.
An official statement from an Iraqi organization advocating Kurdish rights said: “We are working on arranging a demonstration to show our reaction to the ruling. We intend to invite many public figures and local political parties to our event.”
A statement sent to Today’s Zaman by the Kurdistan Institute for Political Issues (KIPI) denounced the closure of the pro-Kurdish DTP, saying the Constitutional Court ruling was a political decision believed to be aimed at encouraging the re-emergence of violence in Turkey.
“We, from KIPI, strictly condemn the banning of the DTP, and at the same time we urge the European Union to put more pressure on Turkey to speed up the process of reform, and the amendment of Turkey’s Constitution, in which the law of political activities should be formed on the basis of free and democratic principles, in a way that the ban of DTP will be negated and political participation will be broadened in the country,” read the statement.
A statement released by the office of the president of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region, Massoud Barzani, expressed anger at the closure of the pro-Kurdish DTP and voiced hope that the ruling will not halt Turkey’s democratization initiative. The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has been working on a massive package aimed at improving Turkey’s democratic standards and settling the country’s chronic problems, including with its Kurdish population, through peaceful means.

17 December 2009, Thursday

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