Reports: Ocalan Letter for Kurdish President Could Be About Rojava

By RUDAW 7 29-1-2014 – ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Turkish media reports suggest that an urgent letter by Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan for Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani could contain a call for better ties with a new Kurdish administration in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava).

The letter is expected to be delivered by Leyla Zana, a Kurdish MP from the city of Diyarbakir in the Turkish parliament, to Barzani, who has been traveling in Europe on an official visit. It is believed to contain an urgent message, and that is why Zana has been tasked with traveling to Europe to deliver it to Barzani in person.

According to Siri Suraye Onder, a member of the pro-Kurdish Peoples Democratic Party (HDP), Ocalan’s message could be a reply to a letter by Barzani to the PKK leader. “Barzani’s was a letter of goodwill,” said Onder. “He didn’t have any demands from Ocalan. He only asked after him, wished him good health and said to him that he supports the peace process” in Turkey.

Onder said that Ocalan’s letter has already passed through the Turkish ministry of justice. Last week, Onder and Zana visited Ocalan at his prison cell on Imrali island.

After the visit, Zana said the meeting was focused on the peace process in Turkey, a planned Kurdish National Conference and relations between the Kurdistan Region and Rojava.

Ocalan initiated a peace process with Ankara last March in which he agreed to order his fighters to withdraw from Turkey to their mountain bases on the border with the Kurdistan Region. Ankara and the PKK are still intent on seeing the peace process through.

According to reports in the Turkish media, Ocalan’s letter may contain a request to the Kurdish president to build closer relations between his Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the pro-PKK Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syrian Kurdistan. The reports suggest that Ocalan wants Barzani to support PYD’s interim government, announced recently in the Kurdish areas of Syria. Zana and other MPs from the Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) were recently involved in reconciling the KDP – the Kurdistan Region’s ruling party — with the PYD, the dominant Kurdish force in Syria. The BDP has also played a major role fostering a peace deal between the PKK and Ankara. The PYD’s declaration of autonomy in Rojava last November was rejected both by Erbil and Ankara.

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