Kurds in Turkey demand democratic grounds for self-expression on Lausanne Treaty's 100th anniversary
A democratic foundation in Turkey must be established to enable Kurds to freely organize and articulate their viewpoints and the Kurdish people should be accorded a status within Kurdistan that permits self-governance, the final declaration of a conference organized by a broad range of political factions said on Monday.
The conference, aptly titled "Kurds and Kurdistan at the 100th Anniversary of the Lausanne Treaty", orchestrated by Democratic Society Congress (DTK), Democratic Regions Party (DBP), and several other parties, brought forward a powerful declaration that called for the acknowledgment of the Kurds' rights and their unique cultural heritage.
In a press conference held at the Southeast Journalists Society, the official Turkish translation of the resolution was read by Mehmet Kamaç, the President of the Party of Human and Freedom (PİA), whereas Nusrettin Maçin, spokesperson for the Kurdistan Communist Party (KKP), delivered the Kurdish version.
The statement vehemently criticized the signatories of the 1923 Lausanne Treaty, decrying it as a symbol of ongoing oppression and injustices faced by the Kurdish people. The conference underscored the unfulfilled promises and overlooked obligations set out in the treaty, especially the non-implementation of articles 38 and 39 which spoke to the linguistic rights of minorities.
The speakers highlighted the subsequent policies and regulations that had marginalized the Kurdish population within Turkey. They emphasized that the existing constitution, formulated in 1924, which disregards the existence, language, and culture of the Kurdish populace, bringing forward a citizenship concept that identifies everyone residing in Turkey as Turks, has outdated its tenure.
The conference declared that the failure to address the Kurdish issue had led to political instability not only in Turkey but throughout the Middle East. The attendees noted that the conflicts over the past 40 years have drained approximately four trillion dollars, a sum considerably higher than Turkey’s annual national income.
Through the declaration, the Kurdish factions encouraged a collective and peaceful approach towards solving the Kurdish issue, portraying it as the cornerstone for regional peace, stability, and prosperity. The demand for a democratic platform where Kurds can organize and express themselves freely using the names "Kurd" and "Kurdistan" was also emphasized.
Furthermore, the groups appealed to international signatories of the Lausanne Treaty, mainly the United Kingdom and France, urging them to amend the historic injustices enforced on the Kurdish people through the treaty. The international bodies like the UN and the EU were called upon to support the Kurds in determining their fate and surpassing the limitations imposed by the Treaty of Lausanne.
In conclusion, a direct plea to the Turkish state was made, calling for a fresh start to address the Kurdish issue through peaceful and democratic means, promising a mutual benefit for both Kurdish and Turkish communities. The conference beckoned a harmonized effort to forge a new constitution, one that recognizes the existence and identity of the Kurdish people, allowing a dignified life for all.