Turkey Kurd militant leader Ocalan calls for Peacebuilding
Abdullah Ocalan: “An armed struggle with Turkey is untenable”
Jailed Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan stated on Saturday that the endeavors of his militant group against the Turkish state have already ended in deadlock. He continued by calling a ceasefire to PKK’s 30-year armed struggle for Kurdish independence.
In a message read by Ocalan during Newroz (= the celebration of the traditional Iranian new year holiday in Kurdish society) in Diyarbakir, he called for a congress to decide on ditching the uprising:
"This struggle of our 40-year-old movement, which has been filled with pain, has not gone to waste but at the same time has become unsustainable."
More than 40,000 people, mostly Kurds, have died in fighting for a Kurdish homeland in Turkey's south-east.
According to a senior Turkish official’s statements at BBC, a solution to the Kurdish question would have consequences that supersede Turkey's borders, affecting Syria, Iraq and Iran, as well as non-regional powers. A senior Kurdish politician stressed that a solution would also help Kurds beat Islamic State (IS) militants in northern Syria.
A ceasefire announced by Ocalan in 2013 still holds despite ongoing uncertainty between the two sides.
Stumbling blocks remain
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan: Kurdish problem has never been existed!
President Tayyip Erdogan, then prime minister, launched talks with Ocalan in late 2012 to give an end to the problematic issue. It has to be said that because of the Turkish- Kurdish conflict 40,000 people has been killed, region's economy has been extorted and Turkey's image has been irreversibly damaged.
The peace efforts have also revealed tensions between Erdogan, who seeks executive powers as president, and the government.
“Newroz: It is digging a pit for Turkey”
The display of Kurdish insignia still infuriates many nationalists.
Devlet Bahceli, leader of the Turkish nationalist MHP opposition, spits harsh words against the Kuds: "Kurds are using this day, Newroz, as an occasion to challenge the state. Those traitors who are throwing Turkey's future to the fire will be burned in that fire ..."
Sources: Reuters, Euronews, BBC