The DTP, the only Kurdish party with representation in the Turkish Parliament, presents deputies with a 64-page document outlining proposals for state decentralization, more power to local governments and official recognition of Kurdish language and identity.
"What do the Kurds want?" This is the question asked by the Democratic Society Party - the only Kurdish party with representation in the Turkish Parliament, with 22 deputies - in the document sent to members of parliament detailing the party's vision for Northern Kurdistan, the region of Kurdistan under Turkish authority.
The 64-page document has been sent to Prime Minister Recept Tayyip Erdogan, to his cabinet ministers and to all 550 deputies in the Turkish Parliament. The DTP proposes changing the political and administrative framework of the Turkish state, for instance by dividing Turkish-controlled territory into 20 to 25 regions and transferring competences to regional and local governments. The DTP is calling for "a smaller state and a larger society."
For the DTP's proposals to become a reality, however, a new constitution would almost certainly have to be drawn up and approved first. This new constitution, the DTP hopes, would expand the "rights and freedoms" of all citizens, by officially recognizing Kurdish identity, for instance, and by legalizing the Kurdish national flag and allowing regional languages, such as Kurdish, Armenian and Azeri, to be used in public life. The DTP also wants the expression "nation of Turkey" to replace the phrase currently in use, "Turkish nation".
The Turkish newspaper Turkish Daily News calls the DTP proposals "suggestions" made by imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan and cites Mustafa Özyürek, a deputy representing the Republican People's Party (CHP) who is concerned by the first ever distribution of a document in Kurdish to Turkish deputies. The proposals were in fact in Kurdish, Turkish and English. Özyürek is also quoted as saying that the DTP are asking for "a federation by hiding behind democratic autonomy," and linked the Kurdish party's political proposals to "the escalation of terrorism by the PKK aimed at creating another state."