Osman Ocalan: Turk cities will pay if PKK
leader dies in jail
November 11, 2007
KOYA, Kurdistan region ' Iraq', -- Turkey is
denying urgent medical treatment to jailed Turkey's
Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan, his brother
charged on Saturday warning that suicide bombers
would strike Turkish cities if he dies in prison.
"Thousands of people will die in Turkey, civilians
as well as soldiers," Osman Ocalan told AFP in his
home in Koya across the border in Iraqi Kurdistan.
"The PKK has more than 7,000 fighters," said the PKK
leader's brother who spent 18 years fighting Turkish
troops before abandoning the armed struggle in 2004.
Osman Ocalan, (L), Kurdish PKK rebel leader Abdullah
"I am sure that if Apo (uncle in Kurmanci Kurdish --
Ocalan's nickname) dies, 5,000 of them will
volunteer for suicide operations in the heart of
Osman Ocalan, whose family has the right to make
weekly half-hour visits to the PKK leader on the
prison island of Imrali, south of Istanbul, where he
is the sole inmate, said that his brother's health
was "bad". www.ekurd.net
"He has a great deal of difficulty breathing. His
lungs are damaged. We are very worried.
"The PKK has been asking for months that a team of
doctors be allowed to examine him but Ankara
refuses. Is that because they've something to hide?
Apo is the PKK and the PKK is Apo. We must continue
the fight for his release."
Ocalan, who was detained in Kenya in 1999 after
being forced out of his longtime base in Syria, is
serving a life sentence for separatism and treason.
The PKK launched its armed struggle for Kurdish
self-rule in the mainly Kurdish southeastern of
Turkey in 1984. More than 37,000 people have died.
The group has stepped up its attacks in recent
months, drawing Turkish threats of military action
against PKK rear-bases in northern Iraq and of
restrictions on the booming trade across the border. www.ekurd.net
Kurds are not recognized as an official minority in
Turkey and are denied rights granted to other
minority groups. Under EU pressure, Turkey recently
granted Kurds limited rights for broadcasts and
education in the Kurdish language, but critics say
the measures do not go far enough.
The use of the term "Kurdistan" is vigorously
rejected due to its alleged political implications
by the Republic of Turkey, which does not recognize
the existence of a "Turkish Kurdistan" Southeast
Others estimate over 40 million Kurds live in
Big Kurdistan (Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Iran, Armenia),
which covers an area as big as France, about half of
all Kurds which estimate to 20 million live in
Turkey is home to over 25 million ethnic Kurds, some
of whom openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK for a
Kurdish homeland in the country's mainly Kurdish
southeast of Turkey.
Before August 2002, the Turkish government placed
severe restrictions on the use of Kurdish language,
prohibiting the language in education and broadcast
The Kurdish alphabet is still not recognized
in Turkey, and use of the Kurdish letters X, W, Q
which do not exist in the Turkish
alphabet has led to judicial persecution in 2000 and
The Kurdish flag flown officially in Iraqi Kurdistan
but unofficially flown by Kurds in Armenia. The flag
is banned in Iran, Syria, and Turkey where flying it
is a criminal offence"
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