EU Socialists: Immediate ceasefire needed in Turkey
by Roni Alasor (Photo:www.pes.eu/)
Brussels, 22 February 2016 - Middle East Diplomatic (MED) - Following a delegation visit to Istanbul and Diyarbakir last week, the Socialists` Group in the EU Parliament (S&D) asked for immediate ceasefire in Turkey and gave full support to HDP leader Selahattin Demirtaş for peaceful solution between Kurds and Turkey.
The high-level delegation composed of S&D Vice-President Knut Fleckenstein, EP rapporteur on Turkey Kati Piri and S&D foreign affairs co-ordinator Richard Howitt, met with the governor, local authorities, Kurdish politicians, NGOs and intellectuals in Diyarbakir.
"Immediate ceasefire is needed between the Turkish security forces and the PKK to avoid further innocent victims among those trapped in the warzone who have no part in the fighting. Once a ceasefire is agreed, both sides must come back to the negotiating table", underlined S&D Vice-President Knut Fleckenstein.
Richard Howitt MEP, S&D Group foreign affairs co-ordinator and member of the EU-Turkey joint parliamentary committee, added: "To overcome the huge mistrust and lack of communication between local Kurdish politicians and the Turkish government, we pressed for an agreement for the Red Crescent or a similar independent humanitarian agency to be brought in to monitor and accompany the evacuation of civilians from the conflict zone. If local ceasefires have been possible in Syria to enable humanitarian access, then it must be possible to achieve this in south-east Turkey too."
"While conducting security operations, the Turkish armed forces must adhere to human rights standards and refrain from collective punishment against the local population in south-east Turkey”, insisted EP rapporteur on Turkey Kati Piri.
MEP Piri condemned “the massacre that took place in Cizre” and asked for thorough investigation and immediate solution for “the people, including babies, who are still trapped inside the zones of curfew".
"It is crucial that a ceasefire is agreed upon and the peace talks resumed. There is no military solution to the Kurdish question", concluded Kati Piri.
The Socialists MEPs mediated between Diyarbakir, Ankara and Brussels and managed to save the life of six civilians trapped in Sur under heavy shelling of the Turkish army. Unfortunately, one of them, 55-years old Fatma Ates, died on the way to the hospital from her injuries.
EP rapporteur on Turkey Kati Piri published on her social media profiles a strong text expressing her feelings after what she witnessed in Amed. The text with strong feeling made Turkish government angry and they started a black-mail propaganda against MEP Piri: “After long discussions with the governor and his deputy, urgent phone calls between Brussels and Ankara, coordination with the local mayors and hdp-members of the Turkish Parliament, there was an agreement: for a period of 1,5 hours, the army would stop shelling so wounded civilians would be able to exit the area. While we were at the office of the governor, severely wounded Fatma Ates was carried out of Sur by her family members. This photo appeared the next day on social media. But once in the ambulance on the way to hospital, she succumbed to her injuries.
Today was her funeral. The F-feeling is predominant. The " What If " - scenarios are constantly running through my head. A few hours before, we had talked to her brother. While the tears rolled down his cheek, he told us about the critical state of his sister. It turned out the help for her came too late.
On my way home, I try to calm myself with the knowledge that in the midst of all this misery, five other people have made it to come out of the area safely. For the first time in many weeks people managed to leave Sur alive. I just hope that in the coming days, more people will manage to leave from the basements of bombed buildings." COPY RIGHT: http://www.med-diplomatic.com/ !!