‘Following Turkey’s coup, we are unaware if Ocalan alive or dead’

The co-leader of the largest Kurdish party in Turkey stated Friday that following Turkey’s coup they do not know whether the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Abdullah Ocalan is dead or alive.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The co-leader of the largest Kurdish party in Turkey stated Friday that following Turkey’s coup they do not know whether the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Abdullah Ocalan is dead or alive.

Selahattin Demirtas, the co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), delivered a statement in the Kurdish city of Wan, southeastern Turkey.

Demirtas revealed that during the night of the military coup attempt on July 15, fighting took place on the Imrali Island, northwestern Turkey, where Ocalan is jailed.

He mentioned during that night a Turkish military helicopter with some soldiers attempted to land on the island where clashes broke out, but they do not have any information about the aftermath.

Demirtas noted the soldiers were the ones who fled to Greece that same night.

After the failed coup, a Turkish helicopter filled with eight pro-coup soldiers fled to Greece seeking asylum.

So far, the soldiers have not been handed over to Ankara despite continuous requests from Turkey.

“50 days passed since the military coup, yet we have no information about whether Ocalan is dead or alive,” Demirtas stated.

Following the coup attempt, Ocalan’s family and lawyer often requested Ankara to allow visits to Imrali, but all the appeals were rejected.

The HDP co-leader also called on the Turkish government to allow those close to Ocalan to visit Imrali otherwise, after Sep. 5, they would start a hunger strike.

Demirtas mentioned that a total of 515 days have passed, and neither Ocalan’s family nor the lawyer had seen him.

Ocalan, also known by his nickname “Apo,” was born on April 4, 1948.

He is a Kurdish nationalist and founding leader of the PKK.

Ocalan was arrested in 1999 by the Turkish National Intelligence Agency (MIT).

 

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany