Pro-Kurdish party says isolation of Öcalan a cause of economic crisis


The co-chairperson of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) on Sunday said that one of the reasons behind the country’s current economic crisis is the imprisonment of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan, independent news site T24 reported.

Öcalan, leader of the outlawed PKK, an armed group which has been at war in Turkey for autonomy for over three decades, has been jailed in Turkey since 1999.  

‘’Leading Justice and Development Party (AKP) authorities were saying that Turkey would attain peace and democracy following its June 24 [presidential and parliamentary elections]. The reason for the crisis is the government’s Syria policy. Another reason is the isolation of Öcalan,’’ Pervin Buldan said as she spoke on Turkey’s embattled currency, which has lost 40 percent of its value since the beginning of the year.

Stressing that during the Kurdish peace process between 2009-2015 Turkey was in much better place, Buldan said the leaders of the country chose conflict instead of peace by shelving the process.

Following the deaths of 40,000 people  from both parties and huge economic loss in the region due to the three decades-long conflict, Erdoğan, the Prime Minister at the time, initiated a process of talks between Turkey’s intelligence service and the PKK leadership in 2009.

The talks failed in July 2015 as relations between the two sides came under pressure due to the Syrian conflict and domestic politics.