Wednesday/Thursday 5-6 December 2018, European Parliament, Brussels
THE KURDISH FACTOR IN WORLD POLITICS:CRISIS, CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS
The Annual International Conference on the EU, Turkey and the Kurds was hosted by the EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC) in cooperation with the European United Left-Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL), the Greens/European Free Alliance (Greens/EFA), and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) groups of the European Parliament.
This conference was successfully held on 5-6 December 2018 in the European Parliament in Brussels.
EUTCC RECOMMENDATIONS AND DEMANDS
The EUTCC endorses the vision of the Kurdish people to become an actor of policy towards building stability in Middle East. Supporting Kurdish aspirations for peace and stability in the Middle East will contribute to global peace as the various interrelated conflicts in the region have global characteristics and ramifications. For that purpose, the EUTCC strongly believes that there is an urgent need for change in the political outlook of European and other global players with respect to the Kurds, and these powers must recognise the Kurdish people as a major stakeholder in the Middle East and as an important non-state actor striving for peace and stability in the region, rather than simply continuing to focus on state-based policy.
THE KURDS AND THE MIDDLE EAST: FROM FACTOR OF INSTABILITY TO ACTOR OF STABILITY
1. The EUTCC calls upon the European institutions, EU member states, the United Nations, His Holiness Pope Francis, and the United States to urge the Turkish government to immediately release Abdullah Öcalan.
2. The EUTCC calls on the European Council to take diplomatic, political and legal measures to compel Turkey to comply with international law concerning the ongoing isolation of Abdullah Öcalan. Furthermore, the EUTCC asks again the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) to immediately send a delegation to Imrali to visit Abdullah Öcalan.
3. The EUTCC calls on the Turkish government to end the isolation of Abdullah Öcalan and the treatment of Mr. Öcalan as a political hostage, and calls for the resumption for the peace talks between representatives of the Turkish state and those of the Kurdish people.
4. The EUTCC sends its solidarity greetings to the imprisoned Leyla Güven HDP MP and all who are currently on hunger strike in Turkey in protest at the continued isolation of Abdullah Ocalan.
5. The EUTCC recognises the recent ruling of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) calling for the immediate release of Selahattin Demirtas and the subsequent call by the Council of Europe for Mr. Demirtas’s release as important contributions to the promotion of justice and democracy in Turkey, and believes that similar steps must be taken concerning Figen Yüksekdag and other political prisoners unjustly detained and persecuted in Turkey and calls for the lifting of all restrictions on political parties and individual politicians in the country.
6. The EUTCC welcomes the judgment of the General European Court of Justice which determined that the decisions to maintain the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on the EU list of terrorist organisations must be annulled. The EUTCC calls upon the European Union to delist the PKK.
7. The EUTCC calls on the EU, the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the United States, the Russian Federation, the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS to treat Turkey’s occupation of Afrin as a clear violation of the Syrian territory which is contrary international law, to condemn Turkey’s campaign of demographic change in Afrin and other territory occupied in Syria, and to call for Turkey’s immediate withdrawal from these regions.
8. The EUTCC asks the EU member states and United Nations to recognise the Northern and Eastern Syrian Autonomous Administration as an initial step toward a political solution to the conflicts in Syria.
9. The EUTCC asks the Turkish government to ensure free and fair local elections on 31 March 2019 and urges the Council of Europe, the EU and the United Nations to send observer delegations to Turkey prior to these elections and ensure Turkey’s compliance with international legal obligations.
10. The EUTCC welcomes the active and autonomous engagement and participation of Kurdish women in building peace and democracy in the areas of society, politics, governance and the economy as a model for democratisation of the Middle East.
11. The EUTCC calls upon the European Union, the UN and the Council of Europe to push Turkey to stop airstrikes and occupation in the Kurdistan region of Iraq which is a clear violation of international law.
12. The EUTCC regrets and condemns the European Parliament Presidency’s sudden, arbitrary decision to prevent Mr Zubeyir Aydar from speaking at our conference held in the European Parliament. This regrettable action negates freedom of speech, the pursuit of peace and democracy.