Tension will rise if we don’t hear from PKK leader: HDP co-chair

Tension will rise if Kurds fail to receive news regarding the condition of the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), according to a co-chair of the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).

“No one understands it, but if we don’t receive news from İmralı and we don’t solve this sensitive issue, tension will rise,” HDP co-leader Selahattin Demirtaş said in a rally in the eastern province of Muş, referring to the island prison where Öcalan is incarcerated.

Demirtaş’s remarks came after Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said there were no problems concerning Öcalan’s health and that security had been increased at İmralı Prison.

“They spread the wrong information regarding Öcalan’s health and safety in order to mobilize people to use it for their own purposes,” Bozdağ said.

Öcalan has been held incommunicado for around a year-and-a-half.

Commenting on Bozdağ’s words, Demirtaş said the issue would be over if a lawyer could go to İmralı and learn about the situation there.

“Send a lawyer if you think we are abusing the issue. Prevent us from being ill-intentioned if you think that we are. That’s why we started a hunger strike,” he said, referring to a hunger strike conducted by a group of 50 people in order to receive news regarding Öcalan.

During his speech, Demirtaş also said the “HDP is ready to make every sacrifice” to stop the ongoing clashes between the security forces and the PKK.

“Dialogue and discussing are the most virtuous manners that suit humans. It is desperation to seek a solution in war, violence, blood and tears,” he said, adding that they wanted “peace at home and abroad.”

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