Jailed PKK leader Öcalan to receive visitors this weekend, including HDP’s Önder
People Democratic Party’s Önder is expected to visit Öcalan in İmralı. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZThe jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, is expected to host yet another parliamentary delegation this weekend at the prison on İmralı Island.
In addition to Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputy parliamentary group chairs İdris Baluken and Pervin Buldan, the newly founded People Democratic Party’s (HDP) Sırrı Süreyya Önder is also expected to join the delegation. The visit was set to take place on either Nov. 9 or Nov. 10, and will be the 12th such parliamentary visit to Öcalan.
The most recent visit to Öcalan was paid by Baluken and Buldan on Oct. 14.
Being able to meet with his lawyers, the media and civil society organizations - as opposed to being limited to talking only with BDP delegations and his siblings - was one of the key demands put forward by Öcalan recently in order to be able to convert the ongoing peace process with Ankara from one based on “dialogue” to one based on “negotiations.” There has recently been considerable speculation about the future of the process, which has appeared stalled in recent weeks.
Önder, who was until recently a BDP deputy, most recently visited Öcalan in April. However, due to his participation in protests during the Gezi Park unrest that were sparked at the beginning of last summer, he was later vetoed by the government.
Önder is one of the four parliamentary deputies under the HDP, which was formed recently upon the suggestion of Öcalan “to bring the Kurdish movement and the Turkish left together.”