Kurdish youth say enough to terrorism, discrimination
by Anadolu Agency
ANKARAAug 15, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Anadolu Agency
Aug 15, 2015 12:00 am
Fed up with rising violence from the PKK terrorist organization, a group of Kurdish youth has started an online petition titled "Edi Bese" (Enough -- in Kurdish), voicing their opposition to being associated with acts of terror by ultranationalists and denouncing violence by the PKK.
Launched some 10 days ago, the petition has collected 5,290 signatures as of Friday.
The petition is an idea conceived by activist Emrah İnanç. "Not every Kurd is a member of the PKK or HDP [Peoples' Democratic Party]," he said, referring to the pro-Kurdish party closely linked to the PKK. The PKK describes itself as a movement fighting for Kurdish self-rule in southeastern Turkey although its actions since 1980s were often acts of terrorism indiscriminately targeting civilians and security forces, landing the organization on the list of terrorist groups in Turkey, the U.S. and EU.
"Kurds are unfairly grouped either as PKK or HDP supporters. We respect the HDP as a political movement, but terror is something entirely different. We oppose the mindset that bluntly describes Kurds as terrorists. Kurds are not terrorists; they are only the victims of this war," İnanç said. The PKK's bloody campaign mainly in predominantly Kurdish southeastern and eastern Turkey has claimed tens of thousands of lives, including those of Kurds.
İnanç said Kurds, like everyone else, are citizens of Turkey. "We have always been together and united and will remain so," he said. The 28-year-old activist is calling on Kurdish youth to take action to stop the loss of life. He said that as Kurdish youth, they do not want losses among Kurds or Turks, in reference to soldiers and young recruits the PKK persuaded to join the organization.
The PKK announced on July 11 that the cease-fire, which was declared via a message from the PKK's imprisoned leader Abdullah Öcalan in 2013, had ended, dealing a blow to the reconciliation process the government sponsored in hopes of ending the bloody campaign and developing southeastern Turkey where economic growth has been stunted by security concerns for decades.
Since July the PKK has killed more than 30 members of Turkish security forces in a renewed cycle of violence after it largely ceased activities in recent years. Lethal and non-lethal PKK attacks have almost been a daily occurrence, especially in the southeastern region, with militants opening fire on troops and police and detonating remote-controlled explosives.