French President Francois Hollande and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras are among the international leaders who have been invited to this year’s Newroz celebrations in Diyarbakır, Turkey.
Hurriyet reports that the Democratic Society Congress (DTK), and Diyarbakir Mayor Gültan Kışanak, announced that other Newroz invites would be extended to Iraqi President Fuad Masum, Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud Barzani, and the heads of the Kurdish cantons in Syria.
Kurdish New Year Festival
Newroz is the Kurdish celebration of the Persian new year holiday “Nowruz.” Kurdish Newroz coincides with the Spring Equinox, and is a festival celebrating the beginning of spring. Over the years, Newroz has come to represent new beginnings, as well as an opportunity to support the Kurdish cause. For these reasons, Newroz is considered to be the most important festival in Kurdish culture. Typically the festival is celebrated in the days running up to the Spring Equinox, and this year will be celebrated from March 18th to the 21st.
Incorporating Ocalan’s Message of Disarmament
DTK spokesperson Seydi Fırat said that this year’s Newroz is an opportunity to reflect on the call for Kurdish disarmament by Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Fırat said that Öcalan’s message will be very important this year, as this year’s Newroz comes at a time when the Kurdish peace process has become more prominent.
“This [year’s] celebration will hold a unique place regarding our history. The 2015 Newroz will be a time when the negotiation opens in all ways, and becomes official and more evident. Our public will attend with this consciousness,” said Fırat.[Read more at Hurriyet]