Kurdish Peace Conference Print E-mail
Dear, Dearest,
 
As Women in Black very urgent calls to release Muyeser Gunes out of Turkish prison, maybe some WiB's will be interested to participate the Kurdish Peace Conference, of which Jill forward us this information.
If anybody will go, can you please talk about Muyeser Gunes too !

    This is another report of actions to support Muyeser from Femmes en Noir / Women in Black Marseille (France)
    We "femmes en Noir"marseille held a "gala de soutien"(support concert with some sketches put up by a refuznik yohv and a palestinian friend of his)  for the refuzniks and had a petition signed for Muyeser Gunes,on the 21st the past month.  Then at our vigil last wednesday I made a Sandwich -woman of myself with Muyeser photo pinned,and collected a number of signatures to mail to the turkish embassy in Paris.
    Very friendly,Rachel,Femme en Noir marseille.

FREE MUYESER GUNES
lots of love
lieve snellings 
 
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jill Small"

From: KNK [ ]
Sent: 18 April 2005 22:21
At the end of May (28-30 May) there will be a mini-Kurdish social forum-in Diyarbakir on peace for the Middle East with participants from all parts of Europe.
A major subject of discussion will be the situation of women. The Peace Mothers will also be there....you think there are some wib women out there who would be interested to go? What do you think?
Best Estella
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Main Invitation Text
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DIYARBAKIR DEMOCRACY PLATFORM
 
FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE IN THE MIDDLE EAST
 
The search for a new and better life for all
 
Conference in Diyarbakir 28-30 May 2005 

Dear Folleagues and Friends

You are cordially invited to take part in a major conference on For Peace and Justice in the Middle East to be held in the Kurdish city of Diyarbakir and hosted by the local Diyarbakir Municipality. The conference will proceed over three days between 28-30 May and will bring together members of NGOs, politicians, civil society organisations, including human rights, environmental and women activists, from across Europe.

The agenda will focus on some of the key issues facing people today in relation to peace, democracy and non-violent conflict resolution in the Middle East and the world.

The conference will allow delegates to share their ideas and experiences on the urgent problems of democratic transformation and the dynamics of change in the region and how these questions relate to the rest of the world, specifically to Europe.

The initiative will also be an opportunity to exert influence on public opinion and policy in Turkey and within the European Union. From different international perspectives the agenda will address the roles that can be played by civil initiatives, local democracy and governmental institutions in achieving these aims.

One of the objectives of the conference will be to draw up a final statement of common principles signed by all participants that will be issued as a public declaration and distributed to governments and more widely.
 
Themes on the agenda will include:

- Prospects for securing peace in the Middle East
- Human rights issues according to the Copenhagen Criteria
- Situation and perspectives of women
- Problems in fighting poverty
- The water question in the Middle East
- Protection of the cultural heritage and the environment
- Chances for a general amnesty or adequate measures for the social reintegration of political activists
- Resettlement and the financing of rehabilitation programmes for displaced people.
- Alleviating dangers posed by land mines
- Cultural freedoms, freedom of the press, the right to mother tongue education, publication and other language rights
- Education, training and employment opportunities
- Cooperation and networking among civil initiatives
- Dialogue and cooperation with European partners

For information about the Diyarbakir Democracy Platform please see BACKGROUND NOTES below. 

We will be delighted if you would consider attending the conference and enclose a participation form. 

Looking forward to hear from you. 

Yours sincerely, 

DIYARBAKIR DEMOCRACY PLATFORM SECRETERIAT

Selahattin DEMİRTAŞ

Ali ÖNCÜ

Necdet ATALAY

 İhsan BABAOĞLU 

Conference contacts              : Halil BAYHAN – Remzi YILDIRIM

Tel                                           : 0090 412 223 30 33 / 0090 412 229 58 66

Fax                                          : 0090 412 223 57 37

E mail                                      :  

DIYARBAKIR DEMOCRACY PLATFORM SECRETERIAT

Selahattin DEMİRTAŞ, Ali ÖNCÜ, Necdet ATALAY, İhsan BABAOĞLU
 
BACKGROUND NOTES 

 Democracy Platform of Diyarbakir 

The Diyarbakir Democracy Platform was established in 1992 as an association of 32 organisations from the city and its surrounding areas. It encompasses a large variety of ecological groups, human rights organisations, trade unions and professional organisations, journalists, women¥s organisations and activists of grass roots projects.  The platform has drafted a “Declaration for Peace and Democracy”. It is supported by 324 organisations from 19 provinces of Turkey. Much support has also come from groups and non-government organisations (NGO’s) working from outside of the Kurdish ‘south-east’ region. 

The objective of the platform is to initiate projects that would lead to a ‘sustainable’ and meaningful dialogue between the different social, ethnic, cultural, human rights and environmental groups of Turkey. Its activists believe that civic NGOs should play a fundamental part in the necessary democratisation of Turkey, not least in terms of tackling the issue of developing dialogue between communities and the state in order to promote both peaceful multi-ethnic relations and official state acknowledgement of minority groups and their identities. The platform seeks to promote a peaceful and practically ‘sustainable’ mode of co-existence in the predominantly Kurdish areas. 

The organisers of the conference are committed towards strengthening the position of NGO’s that are involved in seeking to accelerate democratisation processes within Turkey. It also aims to establish solidarity linkages with international NGO’s, community groups and people who can share their international experience and expertise in conflict resolution and peace, pro-democracy, and meaningful ‘sustainable’ development initiatives that address local cultural, economic and environmental concerns. These insights and linkages will undoubtedly be of use to NGO’s and civic groups within Turkey that are committed towards democratisation and peace/conflict resolution processes that will, amongst other things, practically seek to ensure that a peaceful mode of co-existence in the predominantly Kurdish areas must be found.

The deliberations of the Diyarbakir Democracy Platform must serve as a long-term orientation for the empowerment of NGOs and other civic organisations on their march towards democratisation in Turkey. 

The Diyarbakir Platform’s goals and objectives 

It is certainly an important task to espouse the implementation of peace, democracy and justice as the principal values of the contemporary world in the difficult and crisis-ridden times we live in. The goal is to organise an international civic forum with stated intentions along these lines in Turkey – a country facing tremendous challenges in terms of a pressing need for reforms. This initiative amounts to an enterprise of immediate practical relevance. Particularly for the deprived Kurdish provinces of ‘the East’, there is a need to establish in a peaceful and civic way, the international standards enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, expressed in the Copenhagen Criteria and voiced in European Union pronouncements concerning the democratisation process that Turkey needs to embrace. 

It would be detrimental to these ends if a vacuum was to arise where there was nothing but war and a state of emergency for several more years. Now is the time to promote and engage in open debate about the nature and course of democratic change. It is hoped that state and non-state sectors will be able to engage in fruitful and meaningful dialogue and debate. 

One concrete task envisaged by the initiative is the facilitation of networking among mutually cooperating local projects with a view towards catalysing a process of learning, particularly as it relates to issues of ‘rights’ and ‘freedoms’, ‘education’ and ‘economic development’ and ‘environmental concern’ by activating the grass-roots sections and formations of society. In these terms, the first and foremost objectives of the civil forum will be to discuss, debate and reflect upon transformative processes that are taking place, or that can or should be supported, in the region. 

 It is envisaged that out of these discussions there will emerge a programme of social and cultural development based on democratic perspectives and strategies leading to practical solutions of concrete problems and tasks which will help to develop and strengthen civil society in Eastern and Western Turkey.