Turkey: Chairman of pro-Kurdish DTP Ahmet
ANKARA, Turkey, — The pro-Kurdish
Democratic Society Party (DTP) received a blow from
within Tuesday as the chairman of the party's
parliamentary group, Ahmet Türk, resigned from his
The party has been in chaos for some time now after
newly elected party chairman
Nurettin Demirtaş had to give
up his position when he was arrested
and sent to the army for evading his obligatory
It has been speculated that Türk's resignation came
as a response to pressure from Abdullah Öcalan, the
imprisoned leader of the Turkey's outlawed Kurdistan
Workers' Party (PKK). The election of Mardin deputy
Emine Ayna as the party's deputy chairwoman in the
last party assembly was also perceived as a victory
for the Öcalan faction within the party.
Ayna will lead the parliamentary group from now on.
Asked whether he will be a candidate for the
leadership of the party in the next DTP congress,
Türk declined to comment and said he would prefer to
discuss the issue when the time comes. The party
congress will take place on July 5.
The rivalry in the party between those loyal to Türk
and those loyal to Öcalan has been growing for some
time now. On Nov. 9, 2007 Türk and his co-chair
Aysel Tugluk were forced to leave their posts to
make way for Demirtaş and Ayna, who are both known
to hold more radical views on the solution of the
Kurdish Problem that are more in line with the PKK's
Türk's visit to
semi-autonomous Kurdistan region in "northern Iraq"
on May 7 and 8 the Öcalan faction of the DTP elected
Emine Ayna as the new leader of the party and Türk
was left with the chairmanship of the parliamentary
group. Türk and his group,www.ekurd.net
experienced Kurdish politicians such as Tugluk,
Sirri Sakik, Nuri Yaman, Hasip Kaplan and Akin
Birdal, have argued that the normalization of
Kurdish politics will be possible only after
breaking all links between the DTP and Öcalan.
In November, Turkey's top prosecutor asked for the
Democratic Society Party — which has 20 seats in
Parliament — to be banned, accusing it of being "a
focal point" of separatist activities. No hearing
date has been set.
Ahmet Turk resigned from his post as chairman of the
pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) chairman
The Turkish authorities
seek to ban the
only pro-Kurdish DTP party, the DTP demanded
more rights for the Kurdish
minority and autonomy for the Kurds living in the
mainly Kurdish southeast Turkey.
Turkey refuses to recognize its Kurdish population
as a distinct minority. It has allowed some cultural
rights such as limited broadcasts in the Kurdish
language and private Kurdish language courses with
the prodding of the European Union, but Kurdish
politicians say the measures fall short of their
Since 1984 when the PKK took up arms for self-rule
in the country's mainly Kurdish southeast of Turkey.
A large Turkey's Kurdish community openly sympathise
with the Kurdish PKK rebels.
The PKK demanded Turkey's recognition of the Kurds'
identity in its constitution and of their language
as a native language along with Turkish in the
country's Kurdish areas, the party also demanded an
end to ethnic discrimination in Turkish laws and
constitution against Kurds, ranting them full
The PKK is considered a 'terrorist' organization by
Ankara, U.S., the PKK continues to be on the
blacklist list in EU despite court ruling which
overturned a decision
to place the Kurdish rebel group PKK and its
political wing on the European Union's terror list.
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** Kurds are not recognized as an official minority
in Turkey and are denied rights granted to other
minority groups. Under EU pressure, Turkey recently
granted Kurds limited rights for broadcasts and
education in the Kurdish language, but critics say
the measures do not go far enough.
The use of the term "Kurdistan" is vigorously
rejected due to its alleged political implications
by the Republic of Turkey, which does not recognize
the existence of a "Turkish Kurdistan" Southeast
Others estimate over 40 million Kurds live in Big
Kurdistan (Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Iran, Armenia),
which covers an area as big as France, about half of
all Kurds which estimate to 20 million live in
Turkey is home to 25 million ethnic Kurds, a large
Turkey's Kurdish community openly sympathise with
the Kurdish PKK for a Kurdish homeland in the
country's mainly Kurdish southeast of Turkey.
Before August 2002, the Turkish government placed
severe restrictions on the use of Kurdish language,
prohibiting the language in education and broadcast
media. The Kurdish alphabet is still not recognized
in Turkey, and use of the Kurdish letters X, W, Q
which do not exist in the Turkish alphabet has led
to judicial persecution in 2000 and 2003
The Kurdish flag flown officially in Iraqi Kurdistan
but unofficially flown by Kurds in Armenia. The flag
is banned in Iran, Syria, and Turkey where flying it
is a criminal offence"
North Kurdistan (
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