Medya News presents a translation of an excerpt from Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan’s past evaluations of the Treaty of Lausanne, which has entered its 98th year.
In a meeting with his lawyers on 14 January 2009, Öcalan said that the Turkish National Pact and the Treaty of Lausanne should be revised in Kurdish conferences.
”Lausanne was unfinished from the point of view of the Kurds. The National Pact was unfinished from the point of view the Kurds. Today, they need to be finished by the use of democratic solutions and methods, and the rights of the Kurds must be recognised. A democratic confederal system needs to be established among the peoples of the Middle East. I am not against republics, but existing republics need to be democratised.”
In the 2009 meeting, Öcalan emphasised that nation-states in the Middle East needed to be superceded and the Turkish Republic needed to be imbued with democracy, and he suggested three separate conferences, to be held in Diyarbakır (Amed), Erbil (Hewler) and Lausanne to discuss the Treaty in relation with the Kurdish question as a priority.
He lists the “five principles” that should be discussed at these conferences as follows:
“The principle of War and Peace: What does war bring, what does it take, what does it mean? What does peace bring, what does it take, who gains what from it? How can peace be achieved? These questions need to be clarified. They need to be determined and explained at the conference, which will say, ”war is this, peace is that, peace can be achieved in this way.”
“The principle of Unity: Kurds in Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq discuss unity among themselves. This is unity among the Kurds. It is not to challenge the borders of the states where they live. The Kurds in Turkey discuss with Turkey a way to resolve their problems democratically. Kurds in Iran discuss with Iran the method of a democratic solution to their problems. However, the Kurds in Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria also establish relations and unions among themselves. This is not to challenge those states, rather it is the establishment of the Kurds’ own democratic confederal system. The solution here is not the nation-state, the nation-state is a deadlock. Greater Kurdistan is not a solution, it would turn into a bloodbath. Lesser Kurdistan is not the solution either. The solution is to organise within the framework of the principles of democratic confederalism.
“The principle of Democracy: The implementation of this principle is based on the removal of all obstacles to the rights of the Kurds, including their right to organise. It is the removal of all constitutional and legal obstacles to a transformation to democracy.
“The principle of Cultural Rights: Recognition and rejuvenation of the culture of the Kurds.
All these principles need to be clarified at the conference. What they mean and what their boundaries are must all be determined.
“The principle of Democratic Politics may also be added. The principle of Social Conditions too may be suggested. Principles of Social, Educational and Economic Conditions may also be added.
At his meeting with his lawyers on 4 February, 2009 Öcalan argued that the Kurds could convene their own Misak-ı Millî (National Pact) congress and discuss their own ‘Treaty of Lausanne’.
”At this National Pact congress, they could discuss conditions for the five principles I mentioned above. We can only pave the way for peace and democracy in the Middle on condition of these five principles. As I said before, this congress could be held in Erbil and Diyarbakır, and in Europe in Lausanne. The location does not matter. What matters is the content and that the five principles can be discussed.
“I have talked before about the revision of the Treaty of Lausanne. I want to pay my historical debt to the Kurds of that period. During the Lausanne process, the Kurds acted in unity with the [Turkish] Republic. Today, the Kurds need to complete the half finished Kurdish part by revising the Treaty of Lausanne. This can be achieved only by the recognition of the democratic rights and freedom of the Kurds and their constitutional and legal status. The Kurds need to work on this.”
Referring to a “social Treaty of Lausanne” for the solution to the Kurdish question, Öcalan made the following analyses in the meeting held on 1 July, 2009:
”The Treaty of Lausanne of the 1920s was a national treaty. The Republic was established with this treaty. So far this republic has not been democratised, but now it needs to be democratised. That is why I am talking about a “social Treaty of Lausanne”. This “Social Lausanne” will bring about the democratisation of all segments of society. The Kurds need to prepare well for the “Social Lausanne” . With the “Social Lausanne” the Kurds will take a leading role in the democratisation. The Kurds, need to prepare en masse for the “Social Lausanne”, as if they were preparing for a war. So I say the Democratic Society Congress needs to meet and work every day.”