The leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Ocalan, is “in good health” and has called for an end to the Kurdish conflict, his brother says after visiting him in jail.
Brother of Ocalan says jailed PKK leader in ‘good health’
Jailed Kurdish leader in ‘good health’: brotherDiyarbakir (Turkey) 12 September 2016 The leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Ocalan, is “in good health” and has called for an end to the Kurdish conflict, his brother said Monday after visiting him in jail.”He is in good health,” Mehmet Ocalan told supporters in the Kurdish-majority city of Diyarbakir in southeast Turkey, a day after meeting his brother on the Imrali prison island near Istanbul.The visit came amid concerns over the health of the leader of the PKK, which has waged a three-decade insurgency against the Turkish state and is considered a terrorist group by Ankara and its Western allies.Turkish media reported that the meeting was the first family visit Ocalan has been allowed since October 6, 2014. He last met with a political delegation from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in April 2015.”He has no problems but projects,” Ocalan’s brother said.”He said if the state is ready for the projects, we can implement them in six months.”Mehmet Ocalan did not give any details of what these projects might be.But he quoted his brother as saying in a message to supporters: “If the state gives a signal, this problem will not continue but will be resolved.”The Turkish government granted permission for the family visit before the Muslim holiday of Eid Al-Adha, countering alarm over Ocalan’s welfare.A group of 50 Kurdish activists including MPs, who started a hunger strike to protest lack of news on Ocalan’s health, announced on Monday they were ending their action on the eighth day. “We had only one request: to receive news from Ocalan,” the group’s spokeswoman Leyla Guven said.”We have received the news. Therefore, we’ve ended the hunger strike.”Ocalan was sentenced to death after being captured in Kenya in 1999 and his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment in 2002 when Turkey abolished the death penalty.More than 40,000 people have been killed since the PKK first took up arms in 1984.The group called for a ceasefire in 2013 after clandestine talks between Ocalan and the Turkish spy agency, but the conflict has resumed since the collapse of the truce last year, leaving hundreds more people dead.