Senior PKK members in Kandil respond to Öcalan’s call with letter: Report

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The leadership of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) at its main base in the Kandil Mountains of northern Iraq have responded to the letter sent by Abdullah Öcalan, conveying their response through Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputies, daily Milliyet reported March 2.

According to the report, the BDP delegation departed to Kandil after several meetings in the northern Iraqi city of Sulaimaniyah. They met with senior PKK members such as Murat Karayılan, Sabri Ok and Durak Kalkan at the organization’s headquarters, amid a raid conducted in northern Iraq by the Turkish Air Force.

Daily Milliyet, which also ran the story this week on the content of the talks between Öcalan and the three BDP deputies who visited him on Feb. 27 on İmralı island prison, claims that the meeting was delayed due to the raid and other “hesitations.” When eventually handed the letter from Öcalan reportedly calling for a truce and the retreat of militants, the PKK leaders prepared their own response and presented it to the BDP deputies. 

The BDP delegation is expected to travel to Arbil on March 3 to hold a meeting with Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani.
 
Meanwhile, daily Vatan reported March 2 that the air raid targeting Kandil was conducted in order to counter sabotage attempts from certain groups inside the PKK. The Turkish Armed Forces acted following an intelligence report that certain groups were planning to attack a number of police stations, the report said. 

A total of 14 jets took part in the raid, which lasted seven hours. Turkey’s first Earth observation satellite, Göktürk-2, which was launched Dec. 18, was used for the first time for military purposes in the operation, sending precise images from the Kandil Mountains, according to Vatan’s report.

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