FIRAT NEWS – REUTERS – MESOP – 4.4.2013 – ISTANBUL: Pro-Kurdish politicians travelled on Wednesday to a Turkish island where jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan was expected to pronounce on efforts to end a decades-old insurgency that has killed thousands of people: BDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş and deputies Pervin Buldan and Sırrı Süreyya Önder who had paid the previous visit to Öcalan on 18 March 2013.
A government official said a co-leader of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and two BDP lawmakers were visiting Ocalan in his jail on Imrali island, south of Istanbul. The delegation includes BDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş and deputies Pervin Buldan and Sırrı Süreyya Önder who had paid the previous visit to Öcalan on 18 March 2013. The visit came one day before 4 April, the birthday of the Kurdish leader.
Local media suggested the rebel leader would call on his Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) to begin withdrawing fighters from Turkey, despite a dispute with Ankara over terms of the pullout.
The PKK leadership in the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan region has demanded legal protection to prevent any military attack on them during their planned departure after decades of fighting,www.ekurd.net a call rejected by the government. “Ocalan will officially launch the withdrawal process,” Eyup Can, editor of the liberal Radikal newspaper which has closely followed the peace process, wrote on Twitter.