Öcalan will be set free, says senior PKK leader

Öcalan will be set free, says senior PKK leader

Öcalan will be set free, says senior PKK leader

Karayılan said the peace process would 'end in freedom for everyone, including leader Abdullah Öcalan.' DHA Photo

Senior Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Murat Karayılan has said the peace process will “end in freedom for everyone, including leader Abdullah Öcalan” in an interview with German magazine Die Welt.

Once the third phase of the peace process is complete, Öcalan, who is currently serving life in prison on the İmralı Island, will be released, according to Karayılan.

“What matters now is the improvement of his conditions in prison, so that he can communicate with us more easily. If the third phase is complete, Abdullah Öcalan will be free, just like everyone else,” Karayılan told Die Welt.

He was asked whether or not a possible fall of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) from power would affect the process, to which he claimed there existed “secret powers” in Turkey.

“The problem with the Erdoğan-led AKP is that they think too much of themselves. The people and their demands are not taken seriously by the government. That mistake could be exploited by the Nationalist Movement Party [MHP] and the Republican People’s Party [CHP]. There are secret powers in Turkey, there is a deep state. These groups are causing tension for us. If they start getting involved, the process could then be negatively affected. That’s why the AKP needs to change its outlook,” Karayılan said.

He had previously called on the European Union to remove PKK from its list of terrorist organizations during an interview with another German daily, Die Presse.

Meanwhile, Öcalan himself released a statement June 25, saying the peace process had now reached its "second phase." 

“The debate on the second phase has started. I wish for everyone who sides with democracy, resolution, and peace to participate in these debates,” his statement said.