Kurdish City Declares Autonomy in Turkey

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from a Democratic Regions Party event

Talk of autonomy as a reaction to Turkey’s aggressive handling of Kurdish policies has long been heard. Every now and then some newspapers would appear with the headlights of a possible autonomy-declaration. On the morning of August 11th, Cumhuriyet Daily has published a piece of news which states that the Şırnak People’s Assembly of the Kurdish city of Şırnak has declared autonomy in Turkey, with a manifestation of the Democratic Regions Party. The declaration states the reason of autonomy as the loss of legitimacy of state institutions in the city in the eyes of the population. Previously, several other guerrilla groups had claimed autonomy of the province several times.

The province of Şırnak shown as red

The statement reads as follows:

“AKP’s government has declared war on Kurdistan upon the Suruç bombing. Most recently there has been a mass-killing attempt in Silopi that ended with the massacre of 3 of our people. Upon this massacre we, the Şırnak People’s Assembly, do not completely disregard the state but must clarify that we can not possibly continue with the state institutions as such, thus say it once again that the all state institutions in the city have lost legitimacy. No appointed governor shall rule us in this way. From now on, we will take hold of the principle of self-governance, build up our lives in democratic basis. Moreover, from now on, facing any attacks, we will be reverting to self-defense mechanisms. We will be governing ourselves from now, not let anyone rule over us.”

Upon the bloody events that have been going on in the provincial city-center and counties for past days, several Kurdish political parties, NGOs, institutions and assembly platforms have made a joint-public manifestation with the participation of Democratic Regions Party and declared Democratic Autonomy under the name of Şırnak People’s Assembly. The declaration came four days before the anniversary of start of Kurdish armed struggle against Turkish state. On August 15, 1984 Kurdish guerrilla group PKK had organized the first attack and August 15 is being observed as the day of “First Bullet” among sympathizers. In the mean time, at a separate manifestation, KCK -the urban structuring of the PKK- has called for release of political prisoners and taking solid steps by the state for Kurdish peace process.

 

Source: Cumhuriyet Daily [in Turkish]

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