Van NGOs: Heed Ocalan’s call

NGOs working in Van said Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Ocalan’s call should be heeded.

Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Ocalan said, “We are where we stood in 2013” in May, calling for a dialogue and negotiations.

The Regional Labor and Democracy Platform founded by 305 NGOs in Amed who came together despite the AKP’s fascistic policies issued a joint declaration to call for peace and democratization.

Efforts to the same end continue in Van, where NGOs will gather and issue a joint statement soon.


Linguistic Cultural and Artistic Studies Association (DISA-DER) Co-chair Salih Sertkal said the greatest desire of the Kurdish and Turkish peoples is a lasting peace.

Sertkal added the following:

“In 2013, a peace process started under the lead of PKK Leader Abdullah Ocalan and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would be the biggest supporter of the process, adding that they would sacrifice themselves if necessary. For two years the peace process gave the whole country a breath of fresh air, but the conflict that was rekindled afterwards has resulted in further bloodshed on these lands. The tragedy went further than just people dying. An atmosphere was created where pro-coup groups sought opportunities, hundreds of people were profiled under the guise of ‘cohesion’, tens of thousands were arrested and over a hundred thousand people were detained.”

Sertkal continued:

“And from what has happened we should understand that the peace process was something more valuable than we could imagine. So in the coming process, although it hasn’t been declared by the political authority to have started or to start in the coming days, we know very well that the biggest desire and hope for the Kurds, Turks, Greeks, Circassians, Arabs and all peoples who live in this country is that a process for a lasting peace start again. One hundred per cent of the people of the country demand this, and has shown the will to forget anything that happened in the past to make it happen. As such, the only thing that the politicians dealing with the issue have to do is to respond to this demand. We repeat our call for peace for all groups with authority and influence. I believe the worst peace where parents don’t bury their children is better than the best war.”


Van Cev-Der Chairperson Ali Kalcik said the association is ready to do whatever they can in the dialogue and negotiation process:

“Peace is a must have for all living beings. In communities without peace it is not only humans that are harmed, all living beings and the natural environment also perish. Why was the UN founded? Economic development comes with peace. Mr. Ocalan’s theses throughout the years for peace depict peace for the Middle East. War destroys our future, peace creates it. As such, all of society must show a reflex for peace. Ocalan’s calls must be heeded. It is of the utmost importance for all peoples in the Middle East. We demand compliance to this. I hereby issue this call: Peace is the future of our children and their children. There is no victor in war, in war everybody loses. The Republic of Turkey is losing through policies of war right now. We as the Cev-Der are ready to do whatever duty falls on our shoulders.”