The isolation against Abdullah Öcalan is a continuation of the international conspiracy which forced the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) founder to leave Syria on 9 October 1998, PKK Executive Council Member Duran Kalkan told Medya Haber in an interview on Tuesday.
What Kurds call the ‘international conspiracy’ of 1998 against Öcalan was a product of the United States, under the lead of then-President Bill Clinton, Kalkan said, and it “has divided Kurdistan and caused the Kurds to suffer genocide”.
“The 9 October Conspiracy was a attack to destroy Öcalan. When destruction failed, they moved for the death penalty via the 15 February conspiracy. And when they saw execution would not suit their interests, Turkey implemented a regime of isolation against Öcalan. They wanted to defeat Öcalan’s thoughts through a policy of denial. Unsuccessful in this, they have now implemented an order of absolute incommunicado.”
Turkey also aimed to eliminate the PKK and “leave Kurds without”, Kalkan said, as well as to “bring about cultural genocide in the four parts of Kurdistan”, and to “disperse the Kurds around the world”.
Kalkan called for protests against the implementation of isolation, and said such protests would be “fighting against the international conspiracy”.
The PKK leader has been held in the remote İmralı Prison on the northwestern Turkish island of the same name, under strict isolation conditions since his capture and trial in 1999 on charges of treason and terrorism. Öcalan has not been allowed to meet with his lawyers since 2011, and the last contact of any kind he had with them was in 2019. His most recent contact with the outside world was an interrupted phone call with his brother in March 2021.