“This war that has lasted 30 years is through an important democratic negotiation, the phase that leads to an end.” Who speaks so hope is the leader of the militia of the Workers Party of Kurdistan (PKK, Kurdish), Abdullah Ocalan, imprisoned since 1999 and sentenced to life itself. ” On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of our struggle, I note that we are about to have historical developments,” adds Ocalan, who sent his message through three members of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Party Peoples who visited him in jail especially Imrali island in the Sea of Marmara.
Yesterday marked 30 years since Ocalan the PKK took up arms against the Turkish state on August 15, 1984, then in order to achieve independence. The Kurds are between 15 and 20% of the Turkish population, and since the founding of the republic in 1923, complain that they can not recognize their rights as a minority. Even today the Kurdish language is not taught in the public school, and until recently it was forbidden to speak it.
The conflict has left more than 40,000 dead, the majority Kurdish militants and civilians, but many soldiers. Currently, the PKK is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the EU and the USA. In late 2012, the Government reported that since October had talks with Ocalan, with the aim of ending the conflict. In March 2013 the PKK declared a unilateral ceasefire and then began to withdraw its militia bases in the Kandil Mountains in Iraq.
The release yesterday of Ocalan comes just two days after the Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay announced that the government is working on a road map it want to present in September. Last month, Parliament passed a law establishing the framework for the completion of the peace process. The PKK settle for greater autonomy for the Kurdish region in the southeast of the country, the recognition of a new constitution in a number of social and political rights, and an amnesty that would include the release of Ocalan.
The government has always said it is open to negotiation but only from a disarmament of the militia. The process had been stalled for months. Back in September 2013 the PKK stopped their retreat and its leaders in the field since then complain that the Executive fails to arrange the talks. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the newly elected president, has made peace one of his big bets. A peace that could serve the government to gain the support of the Kurdish MPs to amend the constitution and grant executive powers to the president, and Erdogan wants.