ERNK Statement Concerning Amnesty International

From Arm the Spirit, 8 February, 1995

On Wednesday, January 8, 1994, Amnesty International published a report concerning human rights abuses in Turkey and Kurdistan. The National Liberation Front of Kurdistan (ERNK) has a positive opinion of this report, but the report was not sufficient nor was it complete. The situation in our country is one of total war wherein the Turkish Republic is carrying out unlimited state terror.

The fact that Amnesty International equates the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) - which is struggling for the national and democratic rights of the Kurdish people - with the Turkish government has more to do with Amnesty International's political worries rather than objectivity. In order to lessen the reactions from the Turkish side, which are not justified, Amnesty follows this line.

There can be no talk whatsoever of actions by the PKK aimed at civilians. In this sense, the report names a few teachers and villagers without seeking a closer explanation. We would like to emphasize the following: Turkey pays certain teachers to gather intelligence material to be passed on to the secret service and the army. Despite this fact, the PKK came and issued several warnings. But some of these people were members of the MIT (Turkish intelligence agency) who were involved in murder attacks against out people. The number of these people killed is very limited. Also, the "village guards", who are armed and paid by the state to carry out tasks for the army, should be considered as legitimate targets. To refer to these people as civilians means to mislead the international public opinion. Village guards, who use their homes as the front lines, are responsible for the burning of villages and the deaths of hundreds of villagers and guerrillas. The Turkish state is responsible for all of this by making the villages targets in military actions.

In January 1995, the PKK sent a communique to the Swiss government and to the International Red Cross stating the party's willingness to adhere to international accords such as the Geneva Convention of August 12, 1949 and the First Protocol of 1977. Turkey, in addition to its violations against the Convention, is not even a signatory to the First Protocol of 1977.

According to preparations which have been made, it looks as though the war will become even worse in 1995. Our party would like to state once again its desire to end this dirty war and to search for a democratic and political solution to this question.

Ali Sapan, ERNK European Spokesperson

February 8, 1995

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