Jailed PKK head critical of Kurdish autonomy demands

TODAY’S ZAMAN

Abdullah Öcalan was seen during his trial in the prison island of ?mral? in 1999.

Head of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Abdullah Öcalan has criticized the Democratic Society Congress’ (DTK) demand for a Kurdish autonomous region, saying it was voiced prematurely.
Minutes from a recent meeting between Öcalan and his lawyers were posted online on several Turkish news sites yesterday. The notes suggest that Öcalan is worried that he might be murdered and also that he is highly apprehensive of the possible ramifications of his death. His lawyers visited him last week on ?mral? Island, where he is imprisoned.
About the DTK’s demand for an autonomous region for Kurds, Öcalan criticized the DTK’s strategy and said its project could have been presented in a better way. “Both the DTK and the party [referring to the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP)] handled the democratic autonomy issue from a narrow and simple perspective. What is expected from them is not to present a draft or a red book. They could have presented their project in a better way. For instance, they could have explained the democratic autonomy issue is a project of Turkey. They could have primarily explained how they will ensure democratic integration with Turks. They should have known how strong and resistant the nationalist segment in Turkey is,” he said.
Öcalan added that the DTK’s draft proposal has touched a raw nerve in Turkish nationalist circles, making them strongly opposed to the DTK’s project. Noting that Kurds and Turks may engage in clashes due to their increasingly hardening stances, Öcalan said he was trying to prevent such a thing from happening but that it may not be possible for him to achieve this all the time.
According to the reports, Öcalan told his lawyers that his possible death in ?mral? will be a casus belli and that it will start an eternal war. “Even if an earthquake occurs tomorrow and I die as a result of it, this will be casus belli. Even if I die of an illness here, my death will be seen as a part of a conspiracy. The PKK will think this way. But I say this, ‘There is no death on ?mral?; there is only murder here.’ No matter how I die here, it will be seen as a murder.”


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