Secret talks reported between Turkey and
imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan
July 11, 2012
A Kurdish protester flashes a victory sign in front
of a flag with a portrait of jailed Kurdistan
Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan. Photo:
ERBIL, — A source close to Abdullah
Ocalan, the imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan
Workers' Party (PKK), informed Rudaw that a meeting
between him and the Turkish state has taken place in
his cell on Imrali Island.
Ilhami Isik, also known as Balikci, told Rudaw that
a delegation from the Turkish state visited Ocalan
on June 26.
Balikci was visiting Ocalan that day and said that,
on this visit, "Ocalan did not talk like before.”
“Currently, he is busy writing a roadmap for solving
the Kurdish issue which consists of seven articles.
At the same time, he supports the statements of
Leyla Zana." Balikci said.
Last month, Zana, an independent Kurdish MP in
Turkish Parliament, gave an interview to Hurriyet
newspaper in which she said “the Turkish prime
minister and leader of Justice and Development Party
(AKP), Recep Tayyip Erdogan, can resolve the Kurdish
issue in Turkey.”
Balikci believes Zana consulted with Ocalan before
speaking to Hurriyet. Zana also stated that war and
weapons were no longer viable solutions to the
Kurdish issue, and met with Erdogan after the
interview was published.
Official talks between Turkey and the PKK, including
meetings with Ocalan and visits by his lawyers and
relatives, came to a halt after an attack on Farqin
on July 14, 2011 in which 13 Turkish soldiers were
killed, and with the release of a recording of a
secret meeting between the PKK and the Turkish
National Intelligence Organization (MIT) in Oslo.
However, some media outlets insisted talks with
Ocalan were ongoing, a claim reiterated by Kemal
Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the Republican People’s
Party (CHP). Last week, Aydinlik newspaper reported
that Ocalan was transferred from Imrali to an MIT
guesthouse near the Turkish province of Bursa, where
he was visited by an American delegation.
Turkish journalist Avni Özgürel met with PKK
military leader Murat Karayilan in the Qandil
Mountains and reported that talks between the PKK
and Turkish state were being carried out under the
supervision of the United Kingdom.
"The English are mediating between the PKK and MIT.
Adem Uzun represents the PKK in these meetings with
the support of Cemil Bayik and Karayilan," Özgürel
Rudaw tried to contact Adem Uzun, leadership
committee member of the Kurdish National Congress (KNK),
at his residence in Brussels, but was unable to
Some say that Bayik, a senior PKK leader, is
intentionally invited into these talks in order to
prevent further hindrances.
"This time the talks will last longer and will not
be interrupted by violence and conflicts," Balikci
Osman Ocalan, Ocalan's brother and former member of
the PKK leadership council, believes that the
Turkish state is holding talks "with Leyla Zana and
Ocalan at the same time because they know they are
not possible without Ocalan."
"A secret deal between Ocalan and the Turkish state
is possible, because Ocalan cannot remain without a
solution and he needs to put forward a roadmap at
this stage," he added.
Osman Ocalan, who separated from the PKK in 2004,
supports the efforts of Zana and believes her
initiatives are not meant to corner Ocalan and PKK.
"At this time, the PKK leadership is not taking any
steps towards a solution, and the initiative of Zana
serves to find a solution. The demands of Zana are
the same as those of the PKK and BDP (Peace and
Democracy Party), but hers are independent. Zana
must not let her initiatives be interpreted as
against the PKK or BDP," he said.
According to Osman Ocalan, any project approved by
Ocalan will be accepted by the PKK as well.
These statements come at a time when the Turkish
newspaper Sabah has published sections of a letter
written by Ocalan from his cell in Imrali last year.
In the letter,www.ekurd.net
Ocalan requested that the Turkish Ministry of
Justice not allow his lawyers to visit him anymore
because they had distorted his messages to the
public. He goes on to say the PKK and BDP were
complicit in this distortion as well.
Seydi Firat, one of 15 cadres of the PKK who
returned to Turkey based on a call from Ocalan, was
imprisoned for five years and later founded the
Peace Council of Turkey. He believes the PKK will
lay down its weapons if peace talks continue in
Firat was not aware of any talks being held in
Imrali, but said many who he had spoken to confirmed
that Zana made her statements to the press with
“Three months ago, Zana was saying that weapons were
the only protectors of the Kurds. How could she
support a civil solution in Hurriyet newspaper and
change her mind about weapons in such a short period
of time without directives from Ocalan? In some
time, we will know the truth for sure," Firat said.
Firat also confirmed that there are serious efforts
in the Kurdistan Region to persuade the PKK to lay
down its weapons. "The U.S. is the major supporter
of this process. According to the scenarios that are
circulating, the PKK will announce a ceasefire at
the beginning of the month of Ramadan, and as peace
continues they will lay down weapons,” he said.
“A permanent laying down of weapons will be
discussed after these two stages," Firat added.
By Hemin Khoshnaw - Rudaw
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