Added time: 18 April 2014, Friday 14:00
Two provinces selected as a pilot zones for democratic autonomy
The major force in the Kurdish region, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) has launched practices preparing the ground for possible democratic autonomy in the provinces of Hakkari and Şırnak.
Two provinces, Hakkari and Sirnak have been selected as pilot zones for defining local policies in many areas such as education, health and agriculture and for self-management of people.
Demir Çelik, BDP Muş lawmaker and co-director of the party's program on local administrations, said they demanded a 20 percent of return from the income acquired by the state from energy resources in southeastern Turkey.
"Turkey cannot be administrated from one center anymore. We support an inclusive and democratic administration. We are not expecting regional autonomy, but what we ask for is local administration of 20-25 percent," Çelik said.
Çelik explained that some practices tried in the pilot provinces would be implemented in other provinces as well.
"Some of these practices, like cooperatives, have been successful in villages. These [practices] have been brought to other provinces as well," Çelik said.
"This is a region where oil products, metals such as copper, tin and chrome are extracted and over a hundred hydroelectric plants are operating. Despite all this, it's also Turkey's most underdeveloped region as well. Democratic autonomy does not only mean self-administration, but also letting the region have a say on how to use its resources," he added.
Çelik's statements came only a few days after Diyarbakır co-Mayor Gültan Kışanak demanded share on revenues from oil, and answered by the Minister of Energy saying that it was not on their agenda. Responding to Minister of Energy, Celik said "We are involved in organising a legitimate, democratic struggle to gain our rights. This is a humane, necessary demand that we shall not abandon."