The atmosphere of armed conflict and violence constitutes an obstacle to human rights and democratic developments. The violence that mainly derives from the Kurdish problem plays a fundamental role in this. It is necessary to stop the violence in order to overcome the dilemma and solve the problem.
Appeal from PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan to the Turkish and international public opinion,
released by his attorneys on 3 August 1999:
"The atmosphere of armed conflict and violence constitutes an obstacle to human rights and democratic developments. The violence that mainly derives from the Kurdish problem plays a fundamental role in this. It is necessary to stop the violence in order to overcome the dilemma and solve the problem.
For this reason, following the unilateral cease-fire that the PKK is trying to implement since 1 September 1998, I call upon the PKK to end the armed struggle and withdraw their forces [to territory] outside the borders [of Turkey] for the sake of peace from 1 September 1999. I express my belief that in this way a new stage of dialogue and conciliation will develop.
I further call upon all concerned institutions and authorities of state and society to act sensitively and supportively for the success of this process of peace and fraternity; and upon the governments and the international bodies [of the world community] to help on a positive basis."
2 August 1999 / Imrali Island
PKK Presidential Coucil Statement 5 August 1999
The Presidential Council of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) has given its full support to the call made by their President, Abdullah Öcalan, "to suspend the armed struggle and withdraw your forces beyond the border for peace". The PKK Presidential Council, which declared that it entirely agrees with the statement made by Öcalan on 2 August, called on Turkish administrators to demonstrate a sensible, responsible and respectful approach to current realities. The PKK Presidential Council statement is as follows:
Let us put aside all insignificant matters and join in the call for democracy and peace coming from Imrali for the future of our people and humanity. The historic statement made by comrade Abdullah Öcalan on 2 August incorporating a call for peace and democracy is undoubtedly a turning point in the history of the Kurdish and Turkish peoples, on account of his considerable responsibility. Whatever various circles say this historic decision will definitely give its own historical verdict.
This call made by our president and the new level reached by the sacred national liberation struggle waged by our party is the only valid way to resolve the Kurdish Question and bring democratisation to Turkey under current conditions. It is also the most fraternal stance expressing the interests of the peoples of the region and humanity. With this call our unilateral ceasefire launched on 1 September 1998 has been advanced to a more certain point and increases the feasability of the implementation of the comprehensive evaluations and Democratic Republic proposals made at the court in Imrali. This step is the only one that may be able to clear the logjam in the question of democratisation in Turkey and the Kurdish Question. This step is the only way to end all kinds of hostility that threaten the interests and future of the Kurdish people and to develop peace and fraternity.
Our party states clearly that it agrees entirely with the statement made by President Abdullah Öcalan on 2 August and that it will carry out its work on this basis. From now on our ideological-political, organisational and military activities will be undertaken with a new approach and style based on the fundamental points in our President's statement and the initiative to create a Democratic Republic. All our relationships and efforts to form alliances will not contradict this goal and will be based on the attainment of this. All party organisations and our national liberation forces will strive to implement this and gain peace and democracy, with a high degree of sensitivity, responsibility and discipline.
Our people, who have struggled for decades in a heroic manner enduring great suffering, will understand what these efforts mean for them and endeavour to the utmost to achieve the goals set for us by President Apo.
Our president's statement is clear, categorical evidence of the responsible, courageous and determined approach by the Kurdish side to the resolution of the Kurdish Question and democratic development in Turkey.
It is the most natural right of our people and of all humanity to await the necessary responsible approach of the Turkish Republic to this historic step we have taken for the purpose of the freedom of the Kurdish people and society and the development of democracy in Turkey.
Our president's statement is the greatest historic opportunity for the people of Turkey to gain peace and democracy. The evaluation of this opportunity as we enter the 21st century will initiate a broad process of resolution and development for Turkey. It is the task of democratic and intellectual circles and the working sections of the people to take this opportunity without waiting for others to act. These circles have an historic obligation to act in a realistic, responsible, decisive and united way without hesitation.
The statement made by President Abdullah Öcalan on 2 August is the most fundamental fact that will determine the future of the Kurdish and Turkish peoples.
We call on all party forces, our patriotic people and all Kurdish national forces to join in unity and solidarity and work towards determining our people's future on the basis of peace, democracy, fraternity and freedom. We also call on all forces desiring peace, fraternity and democracy in Turkey to struggle in unity for these lofty aims, abandoning all feeble and divisive attitudes, on Turkish administrators to show a sensible, responsible and respectful approach and on all political and democratic powers in the region and the world to support efforts to resolve this historic issue.
PKK Presidential Council