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Turkey must once and for all deal with the causes of the terror

No entry to the EU for persecutors of the Kurds!

Bolzano/Bozen, Göttingen, 30. August 2006

The Society for Threatened Peoples (GfbV) has today sent a letter with the same text to the governments of the 25 member states of the EU and the Directorate-General for the Enlargement of the EU calling urgently on the EU candidate Turkey to end the persecution of its large Kurdish ethnic group. The new terror attacks of Kurdish extremists must be taken as an opportunity, not only to combat the terror, but also to bring to an end the intolerable discrimination of the Turkish Kurds. Courts, army units stationed in the Kurdish region and Turkish provincial authorities still treat the Kurdish population as third class people.

"We call on the government and above all the generals, who are still the real power in Turkey, to begin at long last the reconstruction of the 3000 villages destroyed in South-east Anatolia in the Kurdish-Turkish civil war", says the letter of the General Secretary of the GfbV, Tilman Zülch. This is the only way to begin the return of the expelled Kurdish country families, who are at present forced to live in the slums of the Turkish and Turkish- Kurdish towns and cities.

These approximately two million people provide in the opinion of the GfbV a potential reservoir for the future recruiting of extremists. The Kurd problem in Turkey can only be solved by the complete equality of Kurdish alongside the Turkish language in schools and universities, in the mass media and in the other spheres of public life in the Kurdish language area of South-East Turkey. In the field of recognizing Kurdish as an official language Turkey has not gone beyond a few symbolic steps, criticised the GfbV. There are some 15 million Kurds living in Turkey.

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