We [AKIN] received the following letter from the European office of the National Liberation Front of Kurdistan (ERNK) in Brussels, Belgium. It follows for your perusal verbatim:
October 13, 1995
President William J. Clinton
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President,
As you are fully aware, the Kurdish question is becoming more violent with each passing day. A democratic solution to this enduring problem is of the utmost necessity.
In our recent past, a policy of genocide was visited upon the Greeks and the Armenians of Anatolia. It seems as if, with some slight variations, this same policy is now being inflicted upon our people, the Kurds. This policy has expressed itself in a way which has denied our people the chance to express their identity. The very existence of our people is slated for systematic extinction. The Kurdish people are denied the most basic human rights which are enshrined in United Nations declarations and other international covenants.
It is the policy of the Turkish state to forcibly assimilate the Kurdish nation within its borders. In our land, this policy of war has led to the destruction of over 3,000 villages. In the last ten years, some 3 million Kurds have been forced to migrate from their lands. In attacks that are clearly supported by the Turkish state, thousands of Kurdish politicians, writers and artists have been murdered. Violence has been a policy that has targeted all segments of our society. Duly elected Kurdish parliamentarians have been killed, their constitutional immunity lifted, and some are now serving time in prison.
These developments have followed the birth of our party and the nature of our struggle. We want to stand against the policies which seek to assimilate our people, we want to stop the forced removal of our people into oblivion. Because all of the legal channels by which our people sought to organize themselves politically were barred, we undertook our struggle so as to preserve ourselves.
Despite the widening, serious problems which confront Ankara, the government's policy is to insist on military solution. This mind-set will cause more bloodshed in Kurdistan and harm the interests of the people of Turkey. To pave the way for the cause of peace, our party unilaterally declared a cease-fire on March 17, 1993 which lasted for 83 days. But the Turkish government, refusing to accommodate the wishes of the Kurdish and Turkish peoples to live in peace, refused to acknowledge our goodwill.
Despite the continuing war, our party is ready for an unconditional, peaceful solution to the Kurdish question. If we are not attacked, we will not attack. We are ready to start a new unilateral cease-fire.
Allow me at this time to dispel some misconceptions about our party, namely that we are like other classic Communist parties and that we may be seeking to change the existing borders of Turkey or that we insist upon separation from Ankara. None of these assertions is true. We are also opposed to acts of terror. We want to end the pain and suffering of both the Turkish and Kurdish peoples. We want the record to show that we, as a party, are opting for peace and stability, not only in Turkey but also in the region as a whole. To that end, we are open to a federal solution, one that also prevails in the United States of America.
I have reason to believe that you will support non-violent solutions to the Kurdish question. To that end, I trust you will persuade the Turkish side to honor such a move. Your support will mean that genocide against a people will be averted, its cultural identity protected, and its democratic and political rights ensured.
Allow me to convey to you my deepest respects,
Chair of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)
cc: Senate Majority Leader, Bob Dole
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich
American Kurdish Information Network (AKIN)
2309 Calvert Street, NW
Washington, DC 20008-2603
Tel: (202) 483-6444
Fax: (202) 483-6476