Imprisoned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan said during a meeting on İmralı island on Jan. 3 that he should be considered the “only authority” in the process of PKK disarmament, daily Hurriyet has reported.
Two pro-Kurdish lawmakers of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) were permitted to meet with Öcalan on İmralı island, where he is serving a life sentence. Öcalan reportedly stated that “important steps may be taken in the upcoming months, if the process is not sabotaged.”
“The aim is to create an environment without the need for guns,” Öcalan said. “Everyone should be careful and sensitive.”
Ayla Akat Ata, a BDP deputy, and Ahmet Türk, an independent deputy and co-chair of umbrella group Democratic Society Congress (DTK), traveled to İmralı from Istanbul’s Ataköy marina at around 8 a.m. and returned to Istanbul at around 3 p.m on Jan. 3.
They will also be conducting a number of visits to the island in the future, according to reports.
Process will fail if Öcalan remains in İmralı: PKK member
The process for disarmament will fail unless Öcalan is taken out of İmralı, according to the PKK’s European head, Zübeyir Aydar.
Speaking to daily Milliyet, Aydar said it would be impossible “to do much within walls.”
“He is the chief negotiator, as well as our president and leader. His words will bind our moves. But the core of the issue is this: it cannot work from İmralı. He has already said that the way should be cleared for him to have more of a role,” he added.