ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Kurds have endured much suffering and persecution over the last century but are now eyed with respect and their rights are welcomed, Barham Salih, a top leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), said.
After a meeting with Selahattin Demirtas, Salih described the co-chair of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) as a “symbol” of the Kurdish struggle in Turkey.
Salih, who is deputy secretary-general of the PUK, met with Demirtas and his delegation in Erbil on Wednesday to discuss a range of regional issues, most notably the Kurdish issue in Turkey.
“This is the era of the Kurdish nation, and its cause can no longer be resolved through oppression, exploitation and war,” Salih said. “On the world stage, Kurdish rights are eyed with respect,” he added, saying that “in the twentieth century Kurds endured suffering and persecutions."
Salih added: “The visit by Mr. Selahattin Demirtas and his accompanying delegation to the Kurdistan Region has its own significance. Demirtas has become a great symbol of Kurdish civic and democratic struggle” in Turkey.
“Demirtas and his friends are working hard to obtain Kurdish rights,” in Turkey, he added.
The HDP delegation arrived in Erbil on Wednesday for meetings with Kurdistan Region leaders.
Upon arrival, he explained that the purpose of the visit is to bring all Kurdish parties from the different parts of Kurdistan to an agreement in order to face existing threats and challenges.
“All Kurdistan land and the Kurdish people are going through a sensitive and historic time, when in many areas there are tensions,” Demirtas said.
“Unfortunately, all four parts of Kurdistan are under a big threat, therefore all the four parts should have an agreement, and we want such an agreement in the interest of the Kurdish people,” he said.
He added that we “will continue our efforts for this goal.”
The HDP delegation also met with Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani, Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and officials of the main Kurdistan political parties, including the Islamic groups.
In Turkey last August, President Barzani had invited the HDP for a visit.