PKK leader’s letter to Kandil reaches northern Iraq: Report


ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News – 28.2. 2013 – A Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) group arrived in Sulaymaniyah in northern Iraq today to deliver a letter from Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is addressed to Kandil, the military headquarters of the PKK, daily Hürriyet reported, quoting the Pukmedia website. Hürriyet said the group arrived in Sulaymaniyah at 4 a.m. and that the letter would be send to Kandil later in the day.

The co-chairs of the Kurdish-umbrella organization, the Democratic Society Congress (DTK), Ahmet Türk and Aysel Tuğluk, were also in the group along with BDP’s co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Gültan Kışanak, as well as BDP deputies Sırrı Süreyya Önder and Altan Tan, the report said. Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) officials welcomed the group, it said.

Öcalan had send letters to the BDP, the PKK and the organization’s European branch.

Road map to be released at Nevruz: Report

Meanwhile, daily Milliyet, claimed today that the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan has said he would declare a “road map for peace” on March 21, expressing confidence in the ongoing talks to solve the Kurdish issue in a peaceful way. Milliyet claimed to base its coverage on “official prison records” of talks between him and the Feb. 23 mission. “If the process fails, ‘Apo [Abdullah Öcalan] died,’ you will say. I will not be there, I will not let the BDP and the PKK use me,” Öcalan said, according to the report.

“But everyone should know that we will neither live nor fight as we used to. I have trust in myself. You should know well that neither I nor the state will take a step back. [We will achieve] a historic peace and transition to democratic life,” he reportedly said.

“The PKK’s withdrawal from Turkey will be after a Parliament ruling and the Turkish Grand Assembly will approve it, a truth commission will be established. [Kurdish people who were exiled from their villages] will return to their villages. If these conditions are not met, the [PKK’s] withdrawal will not become real,” Milliyet quoted Öcalan as saying.

‘We will be free’

Öcalan also explained the political environment he expects after the “establishment of peace.”

“Neither house arrest nor amnesty, there will be no need for those. We will all be free. If I can be successful, neither the KCK [outlawed Kurdistan Communities Union – the PKK’s so-called urban wing] arrestees nor the others… A civil war will begin with 50,000 people. But everybody has to acknowledge we will not live as we used to or we will not fight as we used to,” Öcalan said.

Öcalan also made comments about “a team” that convinced Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan “to end the PKK.” “[That team] said ‘we will end the PKK.’ They arrested tens of thousands of people [in KCK operations]. This power planned a coup against MİT [Turkish intelligence agency]. I intervened and said ‘it is a coup.’ The prime minister realized that it was his turn after a coup was staged against MİT. He was going to be arrested for treason,” he said.

Öcalan also reportedly lent his support to the presidential system, saying he would support “Erdoğan being president” on the condition of a system similar to that in the United States.

‘War could occur’

Öcalan began the talks by saying it was a historic meeting and that he had been holding talks since the period of former Turkish President Turgut Özal. “Turks must acknowledge this. If [the peace process] fails, a middle-to-high-profile war will occur, and chaos and rebels will appear; I have been in contact [with authorities] since Özal and this was interrupted; now it must not be so,” he said.

Öcalan offered three phases and 10 principles in the meeting and told the deputies to “argue on them.”  “You will argue on it, frankly. You will take it to Kandil [Mountain, where the PKK base is located] and to Europe. If it comes back in two weeks I will revise my views. It would be better for me to meet with [the BDP’s] co-chairs. If [the government’s] attitude toward the chairs continues, again this committee will gather. I want to declare this at Nevruz. I, myself will declare it,” Öcalan said. March 21, the date of Nevruz, is a spring festival for many people in the Middle East and one of crucial importance to Kurds.

Öcalan also said the U.S. state of Florida was a hub for Turkish counter-guerillas who sabotaged anything related to a solution on the Kurdish issue.

‘Morsi a British invention’

Öcalan asked the visiting deputies to work to prevent the pollution of Islam. “The British used Islam and knocked down the Ottomans. [Egyptian President Mohamed] Morsi is their new invention. They used to produce generals, today they are producing imams,” he reportedly said. The PKK leader was quoted as saying that he himself used to practice Islam and that Kurds were living their own Islam secretly.

Blaming Israeli lobby, Armenians, Greeks

The Armenian lobby is bidding to become effective as of 2015, the 100th anniversary of the events of 1915, Milliyet reported him as saying. “Kurds are trying to a secure a place for themselves. They were expelled from the state during the last century. Even [Ottoman sultan] Abdülhamid give them room. [Modern Turkish founder] Mustafa Kemal also gave it. The Israeli lobby, the Armenians and Greeks [living in Turkey], which step in, think that they will be successful if the Kurds are alienated,” he reportedly said.