KADEK dissolves itself

Emrah Goker eg577 at columbia.edu
Wed Nov 12 14:13:05 MST 2003

After 30 years, the Kurdish guerrilla movement decided to dissolve itself. 
This move plays into the hands of the two most powerful groups in 
Kurdistan, PUK and KDP, which are likely to strike some federalist bargain 
with Washington. The Turkish Army was constantly barking about "organized 
terrorists" in Northern Iraq, and trying to change Washington's mind about 
lending more autonomy to the region, so here you go. KADEK must have 
weighed the situation, and sacrificed organizational integrity to the 
future of the region. I don't know what kind of negotiation (if there was 
any) went on between KADEK an Washington.

The dissolution declaration in Turkish is longer and contains interesting 
points of self-criticism, the chief point being the authoritarianism of the 
Leninist party model. Here are the basic 4 reasons KADEK gave for 

"1. To open the way for a new organizational structure in harmony with the 
democratic-ecological system;

2. To create a new organization which would enable inclusive, democratic, 
free participation and which gets beyond the effects of the Leninist Party;

3. To make way for the development of an atmosphere of cooperation by which 
the Kurdish people will be represented, and a legitimate, democratic and 
legal politics in line with international criteria will be possible;

4. To resolve the Kurdish question in a peaceful and democratic manner with 
other sovereign nations;

KADEK dissolves itself."

Here's the news piece from http://www.kurdistanobserver.com/


Nov 11, 2003

PRESS RELEASE BY KADEK.   Kongra Azadî û Demokrasiya Kurdistan
Kurdistan Freedom and Democracy Congress
Congrès pour la Démocratie et la Liberté du Kurdistan

When the Kurdistan Workers? Party (PKK) declared it had fulfilled its 
historical mission and was dissolved on the occasion of its 8th Congress in 
April 2002, the Congress for Freedom and Democracy in Kurdistan (KADEK) 
announced its establishment and vowed to continue the heritage of struggle 
for the liberation of the Kurds. The KADEK marked an important stage in the 
transformation process of the democratic Kurdish movement. Centred on a 
resolution of the existing conflicts through democratisation, the KADEK 
took significant steps towards rapprochement. However, these steps proved 
an insufficient means to overcome the deadlock caused by the dominant 
central states? inveterate policies of denying the Kurds any rights. The 
KADEK?s various calls for dialogue remained unanswered despite the fact 
that its guerrilla forces observed a unilateral ceasefire over four years, 
starting from 1999. In August 2003, it presented a detailed road map as a 
concrete, viable framework for addressing the grievances of the Kurds in 
the regional states, aiming at separate bilateral processes between 
representatives of the Kurds and the governments of Turkey, Iraq, Iran and 
Syria respectively. The KADEK simultaneously called for co-ordination among 
the existing Kurdish parties. There can be no doubt that the approach 
adopted by the KADEK had an encouraging impact on the political process 
that led to constitutional changes in Turkey, entailing the abolition of 
death penalty and the abrogation of the constitutional ban on the use of 
the Kurdish vernacular. The organisational form of a congress allowed for 
the creation of specific organisations catering for the needs of Kurds in 
the different countries, and supported decentralisation by allowing for 
autonomous political work in given areas. However, the program and 
organisational structure of the KADEK fell short of meeting the 
requirements of the political struggle for pluralist, democratic civil 
life. Residues of the Leninist party model, as well as patterns of 
traditional, dogmatic Middle Eastern thought, rendered it a narrow and 
hierarchical formation that failed to incorporate new social groups and 
democratic elements.

These shortcomings had an adverse effect on the KADEK?s principal objective 
to establish a dialogue among the key players in the Kurdish issue in the 
Middle East. While deploring that the dominant regional states and some 
international forces pursued their long-standing efforts to eradicate the 
Kurdish freedom struggle against the backdrop of a clear misuse of the term 
?terrorism?, the KADEK is aware of its own responsibilities in resolving 
this situation. The substantial democratic openings expressed in the 
organisation?s program were only inadequately reflected in its inner 
structure; the personal continuity in the upper echelons fuelled spitefully 
dismissive notions that the KADEK is a mere continuation of the PKK. This, 
in turn, tainted international overtures and negatively affected the 
democratisation process envisaged.

Noting that the policies of the regional states hinge on the refusal to 
acknowledge the Kurdish reality, and that these policies and the 
international support they can still rally constitute the foremost reason 
for the failure to achieve a settlement, the Kurdish movement nevertheless 
has to take steps on its own part to facilitate a resolution. The recent 
developments in the Middle East and the wider political conjuncture provide 
us with significant opportunities for democratisation and a resolution of 
the Kurdish conflict. They can be used for the benefit of the Kurdish 
people to the extent that its organised political forces present an 
articulated will to arrive at a realistic solution.

It is on these grounds that the Congress for Democracy and Freedom in 
Kurdistan (KADEK) is being dissolved in order to make way for a new, more 
democratic organisational structure that allows for broader participation. 
This new structure shall be representative of the Kurdish people?s 
interests, legitimate under international criteria, and conducive to the 
pursuit of democratic and lawful political articulation with a view on 
negotiating a peaceful settlement with the dominant nation states.

First draft translation from the Turkish original.

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