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Kurdish Human Rights Project: This is the legacy website of the Kurdish Human Rights Project, containing reports and news pertaining to human rights issues in the Kurdish Regions for 20 years.

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Sixth Annual EUTCC Conference Concludes at the European Parliament

KHRP Chief Executive and panel at EUTCC Conference
The EU-Turkey Civic Commission’s (EUTCC) Sixth International Conference on the EU, Turkey and the Kurds has concluded at the European Parliament in Brussels. 

Because of the overseas travel ban imposed against members of the now defunct pro-Kurdish Demokratik Toplum Partisi (Democratic Society Party, DTP), the third and final session of the conference— entitled 'Possible Roadmap for the Kurdish Resolution and Role of the EU’— was opened with a written message that was read out by EUTCC board member Mr. Hans Branscheidt, on behalf of Diyarbakir Mayor, Osman Baydemir. Baydemir vowed that despite the recent arrests and widespread detention of mayors in the south-east of Turkey, the non-violent civilian struggle for an honourable peace will continue and affirmed that peace is not only possible, but that it will prevail.

KHRP Chief Executive Kerim Yildiz later talked about ‘Recognition of the Conflict and Political Dialogue'. Yildiz outlined how the government's operations since December have further polarised both sides and underlined why recognition of the conflict alone will not be enough. He highlighted the need to consider a variety of mechanisms for justice and reconciliation and called for the design of conflict resolution and post-conflict programmes which involve all parties so that all citizens are 'galvanised in the project of peace'.

The session concluded with a speech by Mark Muller QC, Honorary Secretary General of the KHRP and Chairman of the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales. In his speech entitled, ‘Kurdish Initiative: Illusion or Reality', Muller conceded that despite their limitations, real gains have been made within Turkish society and that these are not illusory. He set out ten fundamental steps towards creating a platform for a durable peace process, and similarly asserted the need for the AK government to engage with a 'parliamentary partner for peace', and stated that long-term stability is incumbent on tackling the source of tensions within Turkish society.

The final resolutions to the Sixth International EUTCC Conference ended calling for:

• the immediate end to all military operations by Turkey within Kurdistan, Iraq;
• that the resolution of the armed conflict between the Turkish state and the PKK can only come through political dialogue with representatives of the Kurdish people and the Turkish government;
• that the government of Turkey, with the EU´s assistance, should ensure that there is a political space for dialogue between all peoples on concrete, substantive issues, such as constitutional reform;
• Turkey to immediately stop using anti-terror legislation to criminalise and detain the legitimate representatives of the Kurdish people;
• that the government's Kurdish Initiative must genuinely consult with elected representatives of the Kurds, and with those in wider Turkish and Kurdish society;
• all parties to commit to a peaceful Newroz where Kurds are permitted to freely celebrate, associate and express themselves without fear or favour;
• the EU and international community to seriously facilitate the above in order to support political dialogue and peace-building in Turkey and the region as a whole.

A full set of resolutions will be published in due course and will be available on the EUTCC website.

Copies of the speeches delivered by Kerim Yildiz and Mark Muller are available to download from KHRP's website.