Mar 24 2018

Turkey tried to put pressure on Öcalan over Afrin - PKK

Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) executive committee member Murat Karayılan announced on Saturday that a delegation had been sent by Turkey to convince imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan to stop the resistance in Afrin, Syria.

Noting that the real war is fought over Öcalan’s prison on the island of Imralı, Karayılan said that the strategic alliance between Turkey and Russia attempted to put pressure on Öcalan. Karayılan also added that the PKK would release a more detailed announcement later on.

Operation Olive Branch, Turkey’s military campaign started on Jan. 20 to clear forces belonging to the majority-Kurdish Peoples’ Protection Units from Afrin, a Kurdish enclave in Syria that borders Turkey. According to Turkey, the Kurdish forces in Syria are no more than the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an insurgent group which has been inside Turkey for more than 30 years. 

PKK leader Öcalan was arrested in 1999 and sentenced to life imprisonment on terrorism charges afterwords. He is jailed in Imralı, an island in the Marmara Sea, and has not been allowed to receive visitors since spring 2015, when the peace process over the Kurdish issue collapsed. Öcalan used to share his views by submitting written announcements to his lawyers visiting him on the island.