Jailed PKK leader Öcalan threatens to quit peace process, says sister

ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency – 30.7.2013 – Jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Abdullah Öcalan said he would quit the peace process if it continues to be ‘this way,’ according to his sister, Fatma, who spoke to members of press following a visit to the İmralı Island.

Öcalan told his sister and his uncle Süleyman Arslan that he “would quit if peace process continues in this way” and he would “pull away, and just watch.” When asked about what was it that bothered the jailed PKK leader about the process, Fatma told reporters that he was “bothered that there was a no peace.” “He is bored with prison now. This is not how it should happen,” Fatma said, adding they had a hard time standing “that closed up place” for half-an-hour, where the jailed leader is sentenced to serve his time.

Fatma refused to elaborate further on the details of the conversation, stating it was “between family.” A recent press conference request by Öcalan has been rejected by the ruling government due to “judicial legislation in hand,” according to Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç.  Öcalan had expressed his wish to organize a press briefing from his prison on İmrali Island, urging the government to move more quickly to the next phase of the peace process and speed up discussions on reforms on July 21, according to a statement released by the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP).