Jailed PKK leader to make statement on Nevruz, anniversary of ceasefire call

Jailed PKK leader to make statement on Nevruz, anniversary of ceasefire call

The jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, will make an assessment of the ongoing Kurdish peace process on Nevruz, which will also mark the first anniversary of his call for a ceasefire.

A delegation composed of members of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) has conveyed the message that Öcalan still maintained hope regarding the process, although it has stalled, particularly over the last few months, as the corruption scandal has taken center stage.

“Öcalan said he will make a general and significant assessment regarding the process and added that he still maintains his hope and wants the people to have the same approach,” said BDP Parliamentary Group Chair Pervin Buldan.

Buldan visited Öcalan with fellow group chair İdris Balüken and HDP deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder.  
“Öcalan stressed that he would determine how the lessons taken from this year of non-conflict can be rendered into practice,” Buldan added.

She also added he expected the process to resume following the March 30 local elections. “Öcalan said the upcoming elections had the characteristics of a referendum. These elections to be held while a negotiation process is ongoing have great significance, both for Kurdish and Turkish people,” she said.

Öcalan also reportedly condemned the latest wave of attacks targeting the HDP’s campaign offices.
With graft allegations targeting himself and his government, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has repeatedly said the corruption probes are aimed at scuppering the Kurdish peace process.
“This person in Pennsylvania [a reference to Fetullah Gülen, who lives in the United States in self-imposed exile] is performing attacks in a treasonous way in order to prevent the peace process and this country’s unity and solidarity,” Erdoğan said on March 9 during a rally in Şanlıurfa.