PKK leader Öcalan urges renewal of peace process in Turkey
Imprisoned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan called for a renewed peace process during a meeting with his lawyers, Artı Gerçek reported on Thursday.
Öcalan’s lawyers had been banned from visiting him on the İmralı prison island, where he has been held since his capture in 1999. His first meeting with his lawyers took place in early May, after the justice ministry lifted an eight-year restriction, and another meeting took place on May 22.
Öcalan discussed the resolution of the Kurdish question and the historical development of Turkish-Kurdish relations with his lawyers during the Aug. 7 meeting, the law firm representing him, Asrın Law Office, said in a statement.
"I am trying to make room for the Kurds, let's solve the Kurdish question together. I say I will eliminate the conflict environment, or the possibility of a conflict, in one week," Öcalan's lawyers quoted him as saying in their public statement.
"I am ready for a solution. However, both the state and the mind directing the state must do what is necessary."
The Turkish Justice and Development Party (AKP) government launched a peace process in 2013 to solve the long Kurdish conflict in the country after over 30 years of fighting. The PKK launched an armed separatist insurrection in 1984, and has since changed its objectives to focus on Kurdish rights rather than independence.
Öcalan's meeting with his lawyers revived hopes for a renewed peace process which came to an end when a group allegedly linked to the PKK carried out an attack killing two policemen in July 2015.