Jailed PKK leader asks for enhanced ‘strategic role’ in Kurdish peace process
ISTANBUL – Doğan News AgencyThe jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has requested an enhanced strategic role in a message conveyed by two deputies of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) on Aug. 17.
“I have understood that my role has been seen as rather instrumental until this phase. However, my position must be taken into account as strategic in order to be able to contribute to Turkey’s internal problems or in Syria,” Abdullah Öcalan said in his letter.
He also welcomed a democratization package prepared by the government, but stressed that the process should be more inclusive. “To move the process forward, I view it as necessary that the government makes concrete steps by preparing democratization packages on democratization with an inclusive methodology,” he wrote.
Earlier, BDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş and parliamentary group deputy chair Pervin Buldan visited Öcalan on İmralı island in a meeting that lasted around four hours. It was the ninth visit of a parliamentary delegation to the island since the start of the protests more than eight months ago. The visit came as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan criticized the slowness of PKK militants' withdrawal from Turkish soil, as well as the BDP's mounting pressure for the government to enact democratic reforms.