Öcalan calls on gov’t, PKK to find new ways to resolve ‘Kurdish question’
Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), has called on the PKK and the Turkish government to find new methods to overcome a deadlock in the resolution of the “Kurdish question,” the Mezopotamya news agency reported on Friday.
He was visited in prison by his brother Mehmet Öcalan during the Eid al-Fitr holiday.
Öcalan, who has been in İmralı Prison since 1999, said the channels of dialogue between the government and the PKK are “neither fully closed nor completely open.”
“If these channels are closed permanently, it will bring destruction for everyone,” he was quoted as saying by his brother.
A peace negotiation between the two parties was halted in 2015 after the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) entered the Turkish parliament, ending the majority rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s party.
During the summer of 2015, the Turkish army launched military operations in southeastern cities targeting PKK, and Erdoğan’s party regained its majority in the parliamentary elections of November 2015.
Turkey’s Justice Ministry in May lifted a visitation ban on Öcalan, a move that was interpreted as a political maneuver to appeal to Kurdish voters in the upcoming İstanbul mayoral election on June 23.
The PKK has been waging an insurgency for decades in southeastern cities in response to the Kurdish question, which is usually referred as the lack of fundamental rights of the Kurdish people and the inequality they are subjected to.
The armed conflict between PKK and the Turkish army has caused the death of more than 40,000 people, including civilians.