Turkey: Call to peace

Call to peace – Hassan Bleibel
Al-Mustaqbal (Beirut)

On March 21, the head of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan has called on his supporters to lay down their arms and pursue political means to achieve the goal of autonomy for the Kurdish region.

Öcalan has been held in Imrali prison in the Sea of ​​Marmara since 1999. His call was read out by a Kurdish MP in front of around 250,000 followers who gathered in Diyarbakir, the capital of Turkish Kurdistan, for Nowroz, the celebration of the Kurdish New Year. The appeal to end the violence follows the conclusion of two years of secret talks between the PKK, which is considered a terrorist organisation by the EU, and the Turkish government.

Since the PKK’s launch in 1984, clashes between its fighters and the Turkish army have led to the deaths of almost 40,000 people.