Jailed PKK leader says ‘this is a war no side can win’
AA photoThe imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, is “in good health” and has called for an end to the Kurdish conflict, his brother said on Sept. 12 after visiting him in jail.
“He is in good health,” Mehmet Öcalan said in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır in southeast Turkey, a day after meeting his brother on the İmralı prison island near Istanbul.
The visit came amid concerns over the health of the leader of the PKK, considered a terrorist group by Turkey, EU and the United States.
The meeting was the first family visit Öcalan has been allowed since Oct. 6, 2014. He last met with a delegation from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in April 2015.
“He has no problems but projects,” Öcalan’s brother said.
“He said if the state is ready for the projects, we can implement them in six months.”
Mehmet Öcalan did not give any details of what these projects might be.
But he quoted his brother as saying in a message: “This is a war no side can win. It has been ongoing for 30-40 years, it may go on.
The Turkish government granted permission for the family visit before the Muslim holiday of Eid Al-Adha.
A group of 50 people, who demanded to hear from Öcalan, announced on Sept. 12 they were ending their action on the eighth day.
“We had only one request: To receive news from Öcalan,” the group’s spokeswoman Leyla Güven said.
“We have received the news. Therefore, we’ve ended the hunger strike.”
Öcalan was sentenced to death after being captured in Kenya in 1999 and his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment in 2002 when Turkey abolished the death penalty.
More than 40,000 people have been killed since the PKK first took up arms in 1984.