|The co-chairman of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) has said the path to peace in the country’s Kurdish issue passes through Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).|
|BDP Co-chairman Selahattin Demirtaş spoke on Sunday during a sit-in protest staged by the BDP in Diyarbakır, which marked the anniversary of Öcalan being forced to leave Syria, previously a safe haven, in the face of mounting pressure from Turkey in 1998. Police obstructed a march planned to be held in Gemlik Bursa. Gemlik is across the water from İmralı Island where Öcalan is currently imprisoned.“If the [Justice and Development Party] AK Party really wants peace, it has to work for it. It has to exert much more effort if it really wants an end to bloodshed as much as we do. And today the most important path to peace passes through İmralı [Island],” Demirtaş said. “It is hard, impossible to ensure peace as long as Öcalan stays in İmralı. Today, the path is open to open Öcalan’s freedom to debate,” Demirtaş added.Fifteen BDP deputies, including BDP Co-chairwoman Gülten Kışanak attended the sit-in protest in Diyarbakır.
Öcalan was captured in Kenya on Feb. 15, 1999, while being transferred from the Greek Embassy to Nairobi International Airport in an operation conducted by the National Intelligence Organization (MİT). He was sentenced to death the same year, but his sentence was suspended and later commuted to life imprisonment when the death penalty was abolished in Turkey in August 2002.
09 October 2011, Sunday / TODAYSZAMAN.COM,