Humanitarian situation of
the displaced Kurdish population in Turkey
The Parliamentary Assembly recalls and reaffirms its Recommendation
(1991) on the situation of the Iraqi Kurdish population and other
persecuted minorities, and Recommendation 1377
(1998) on the humanitarian situation of the Kurdish refugees and
displaced persons in south-eastern Turkey and northern Iraq.
The Assembly notes with satisfaction positive developments in the
humanitarian situation in the region as compared to the situation presented
in the last report on the subject in 1998.
In particular, the Assembly welcomes the considerable decrease in violence
and tension in the region over the last two years. The Assembly is aware
that full security in the area is the essential precondition for mass
returns of the displaced Kurdish population.
The Assembly strongly condemns the violence and terrorism perpetrated by the
Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has contributed to the displacement
of the population, and urges the remaining armed fighters in the region to
stop all the violence.
At the same time, however, the Assembly expresses its deep concern at the
reports of fresh village and hamlet evacuations by the Turkish security
forces. These actions should be stopped immediately.
The revitalisation of the economy is another main precondition for mass
returns. In this context the Assembly welcomes the elaboration and
implementation of the South-eastern Anatolia Project aimed at the integrated
economic development of the region.
The Assembly notes with satisfaction that the process of returns is under
way and that the returnees receive financial and material assistance from
the Turkish authorities.
Assistance in the reconstruction of destroyed villages should be given high
priority. It should not be preconditioned by the obligation to enter the
village guard system or peoples declaration that the cause of their
displacement was fear of the PKK.
The state of emergency in force in the four remaining provinces is impeding
the economic and social revitalisation of the region, and should be lifted
by the parliament as soon as possible.
Similarly, the village guard system continues to raise the most serious
human rights concerns. It should be abolished as quickly as possible.
Access to the region for international humanitarian organisations should be
granted. The Assembly cannot accept that respected organisations, such as Médecins
sans frontières, are denied access for allegedly supporting
The Parliamentary Assembly therefore recommends that the Committee of
urge Turkey to take the following steps:
lift the state of emergency in the four remaining provinces as quickly
refrain from any further evacuations of villages;
civilian control over military activity in the region and make security
forces more accountable for their actions;
step up investigations into alleged human rights violations in the
properly implement the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights;
abolish the village guard system;
continue its efforts to promote both the economic and social development
and the reconstruction of the south-eastern provinces;
involve representatives of the displaced population in the preparation
of return programmes and projects;
speed up the process of returns;
allow for individual returns without prior permission;
to precondition assistance to displaced persons with the obligation to
enter the village guard system or the declaration on the cause of their
present reconstruction projects to be financed by the Council of Europe's
Development Bank in the framework of return programmes;
adopt measures to integrate those displaced persons who wish to settle
in other parts of Turkey and provide them with compensation for damaged
grant full access to the region for international humanitarian
organisations, and provide them with support from local authorities;
urge the member states to step up financial assistance with a
view to fostering economic development in the south-eastern part of
invite the Council of Europe Development Bank to consider positively the
projects related to the returns of displaced persons in the south-eastern
regions of Turkey.
The Assembly strongly recommends that the two parties start a dialogue and
find a peaceful solution to the Kurdish question recognising the cultural
and social rights of the Kurdish people.
The Assembly invites the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of
Europe to consider extending its network of Local Democracy Embassies and
town twinning to the south-eastern region of Turkey.
Text adopted by the Standing Committee, acting on behalf of the
Assembly, on 29 May 2002 (see Doc. 9391,
report of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Demography, rapporteur: