Sit-Down Strike of Kurdish People in Diyarbakır
The Foreign Affairs Department of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party issued a press release on their sit-down strike in Diyarbakır, a Kurdish-majority city in south-eastern Turkey.
Diyarbakır - BIA News Center
24 March 2011, Thursday 20:47
The Peace and Democracy Party (Barış ve Demokrasi Partisi or BDP) and the Democratic Society Congress (Demokratik Toplum Kongresi or DTK), have called the people to an indefinite sit-down strike in Diyarbakir on 24 March 2011. DTK and BDP is also informed the public about the reason for the strike. According to the declaration, BDP and DTK announced four basic demands;
1. Stop military and political operations immediately.
2. Education in the mother tongue and providing constitutional guarantees for using the mother tongue in public.
3. Removing the 10% electoral threshold which hinders the representation of Kurdish People in Parliament.
4. Releasing all political prisoners.
While the BDP starts to prepare for the huge democratic civil disobedience action, AKP started to obstruct the Kurds' legitimate willpower. The police have attacked people who stay in the Democratic Solution Tents in the middle of the night. In addition to this, tents were removed harshly by the police and the sit down strike is banned by the AKP Governor.
In the morning, when BDP and DTK representatives and thousands of people came to the sit-down strike square, their way was blockaded by the police. After negotiations between the city governor and representatives of the BDP and DTK, only representatives and mayors are allowed to enter the area. Despite the state's preventions and threats, Kurds are continuously coming from all districts of the city. Only the co-chair, deputies and mayors are sitting down in the demonstration square and the police is preventing contact between the people and representatives. The police is blockading the city, action forces and hundreds of police officers are positioning in front of the square where the sit down strike is taking place. Police vehicles, including panzers, are positioned at the entrances and exits of all streets surrounding the sit down strike square. The police also cut the traffic at the city center. To prevent people from participating in the sit-down strike, the police carry out ID controls and body searches. Despite all this and blockades of the government, the action is taking place with great determination.
In a statement, BDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş and DTK Co-Chair Ahmet Türk, called on the AKP Government and PM Erdogan to answer four democratic demands of the Kurdish People. The co-chairs also called on the international public to be sensitive to the Kurdish People and take their situation into consideration.
PEACE AND DEMOCRACY PARTY
FOREIGN AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT