Eight fighters from a PKK camp in the Kandil Mountains wait before their departure to the border of Turkey to surrender to Turkish authorities in the northern Iraqi town of Arbil October 19, 2009. A group of Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) guerrillas is expected to surrender to Turkish military forces on Monday in a gesture of support for Turkey’s Kurdish initiative, a PKK official said late on Saturday. Eight fighters from a PKK camp in the Kandil Mountains in northern Iraq will cross the border to Turkey on the wishes of imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, said Rouzh Welat, a member of the group’s foreign affairs department.REUTERS/Cihan/Alihan Hasanoglu
Turkish Kurds demonstrate in support of Kurdish rebels in Istanbul, Turkey, Monday, Oct. 19, 2009. A small group of unarmed Kurdish rebels in combat dress crossed into Turkey from northern Iraq on Monday in a show of support for peace with the Turkish government. Thirty-four Kurds walked across the Iraqi-Turkish Habur border gate, where they were immediately detained by paramilitary police and moved to the headquarters of a nearby military battalion for questioning by four prosecutors, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported. The banner reads: ‘Open the way for peace.’
(AP Photo/Ibrahim Usta)
So, they are back. All 34 of them, perhaps with many others to follow in their footsteps. They bring, to many Kurds, hope, a message — a call in line with what jailed Abdullah Öcalan has attempted to convey in recent times — with nine points. But they also bring a lot of questions and, inevitably, anxiety and fear — fear of a failure.
A symbolic gesture from outlawed Kurdistan Workers? Party?s (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan, who asked the PKK to send ?peace groups? to Turkey in a bid to support the government?s Kurdish initiative, which aims to solve Turkey?s long-standing Kurdish problem, has boosted hopes in the country for an eventual solution to this problem and the advent of peace in the country.
Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul (C) sits with Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan (3rd L), Deputy Prime Ministers Cemil Cicek (2nd L) and Ali Babacan (L), Turkey’s top military commander General Ilker Basbug (4th R), Commander of the Land Forces General Isik Kosaner (3rd R), Navy Commander Admiral Esref Yigit (2nd R) and Air Force Commander General Hasan Aksay (R) during a National Security Council meeting in Ankara October 20, 2009. REUTERS/Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Presidential Palace Press Office/Handout
The Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) imprisoned leader, Abdullah Öcalan, has ordered the PKK to send a 34-member ?peace group? to test the waters as to whether the Turkish state is sincere in its effort to bring about more democratization. In his recent statement, Öcalan stated that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government is implementing policies that he suggested on many different occasions.
Turkey was convicted by the ECHR of putting several newspapers to silence. 26 journalists from 4 Kurdish newspapers had applied to the European court. Turkey has to pay thousands of Euros in compensation to the complainants.
If today in Turkey members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) are actually descending from the mountains and surrendering their weapons, this is thanks to the resolute and consistent will of civilians in this nation.