Kurdish problem-focused HDP claims ‘unannounced isolation’ of Öcalan

Kurdish problem-focused HDP claims ‘unannounced isolation’ of Öcalan

Kurdish problem-focused HDP claims ‘unannounced isolation’ of Öcalan

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The government has launched an isolation of imprisoned outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan in İmralı Island where he is serving a life sentence, a leading deputy of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) said on June 12.

“An unannounced isolation of İmralı has entered into force. We believe this behavior doesn’t befit the seriousness of the peace process,” HDP Deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder on June 12.

Önder said they had applied at the Justice Ministry for a delegation to visit Öcalan in prison, noting that the peace process had been halted since two months. 

His remarks came at a joint press conference with two deputy parliamentary co-chairs of the HDP, İdris Baluken and Pervin Buldan. All three are frequent visitors of Öcalan at İmralı Prison as part of the government-led peace initiative. 

Recalling the PKK head’s request to form a “monitoring commission” for the process, Önder said the PKK leader’s aim was to “guarantee the commitments of the parties” and they had agreed on the issue with the government.

“Öcalan said he would declare a date of congress for laying down arms on the day that the monitoring commission visits him,” Önder said, claiming that the government had halted the peace process when it heard about this. 

If President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan did not react against the agreement and the monitoring commission could visit İmrali Island then eventually Öcalan would make the call, he added.

Meanwhile, amid negotiations for a coalition government, Turkey needs “a total national coalition” for peace, Önder said.

“We believe that we can drop the phenomenon of war from the agenda of this country in a very short space of time,” he added.