Green Left Party holds conference in Ankara to discuss a road map

800 delegates are attending a conference of the Green Left Party in Ankara, discussing a road map for future perspectives based on the proposals and criticisms in recent months.

The Green Left Party is discussing its future at a conference in Ankara under the slogan "With Change to Freedom". The two-day conference at the Nazım Hikmet Cultural Centre, which is attended by 800 delegates from all over Turkey, follows a women's conference of the party. At the conference, proposals from the local meetings with the grassroots in the past months are to be evaluated and put into resolution form in preparation for the party congress announced for the end of September.

The Green Left Party contested elections for the first time last May because the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) is threatened with a closure case in Turkey. After the elections, both parties started a joint process of criticism and self-criticism, discussing the mistakes and failures in all bodies and with the grassroots. More than 30,000 people participated in the popular assemblies. In addition, the opinions of imprisoned and exiled politicians were sought.

In the opening speech, the co-spokespersons of the Green Left Party, Ibrahim Akın and Çiğdem Kılıçgün Uçar, thanked Selahattin Demirtaş, Figen Yüksekdağ, Gültan Kışanak, Alp Altınörs, Sebahat Tuncel as well as Leyla Güven, Mahir Sayın, Ertuğrul Kürkçü and Nasrullah Kuran for their contributions and stated that democratic consensus and free politics are among their basic principles.

Çiğdem Kılıçgün Uçar spoke about the ever-worsening situation in Turkish prisons, where, she said, 81 prisoners died in 2022. At the moment, over 1,500 sick prisoners and 561 severely ill prisoners remain behind bars.

Uçar also spoke about the Kurdish question, defining it as the most important problem in Turkey, and a matter of denial and annihilation. “The Kurdish question is not a security issue. It is a problem of democracy, freedom and status,” she said.

Uçar remarked that the isolation of Abdullah Öcalan on the prison island of Imrali was one of the most important topics when dealing with the Kurdish question.

“Isolation is the denial of the Kurdish question and even discussing it is avoided. Every single remark and comment of our fellow deputies about the isolation is faced with serious attacks. Those who attack us are those who do not recognize the identity, language, culture and history of the Kurdish people. No matter how violently they attack, we will continue to speak about isolation and fight to end it,” she said.

“The isolation on Imrali does not concern the Kurds alone. It has turned into a regime that spread to the entire country. The fate of the Kurdish people seeking a free and equal life is more united with the people of Turkey than we hoped. We cannot treat the isolation and corruption in the country separately. Isolation is a problem of the country and we need to fight it all together.”