İSTANBUL - Indicating that PKK Leader Öcalan does not call the situation in İmralı as “captivity”, Sırrı Süreyya Önder, a member of the İmralı Delegation, said, “Captivity for his literature means not being able to think, concentrate and produce. However, we witness that every moment of him passes with concentration on the future of the country, the region and the peace".
PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan, who was expelled from Syria via the interstate conspiracy put into operation on October 9, 1998 tried to open the doors of European democracies in order to produce a political solution to the Kurdish question, which he has been trying to detact from the grounds of conflict. But when all those doors were closing against his face one by one, his friends have betrayed him and as he was handed in to Turkey, he was imprisoned in İmralı F Type High Security Prison on İmralı Island on February 15, 1999.
DEATH SENTENCE ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF SHEIKH SAİD
The trial against Öcalan, continued through nine hearings and finally concluded June 29, 1999, a date of which he was sentenced to "death penalty" in accordance with the article 125 of the Turkish Criminal Code, which regulates the crime of "treason." June 29 was the day of the death of Sheikh Sait.
On August 2, Öcalan made a call through his lawyers for the withdrawal of PKK's armed forces outside of the borders of Turkey. Together with this call, PKK declared a unilateral cease-fire on September 1, which was the 4th unilateral cease-fire declared by PKK until this time. AS a result of this ceasefire, a peace group arrived in Turkey, both from the mountains and from Europe. However, these Peace Group members were also arrested and put in prisons, military operations continued despite the ceasefire declaration.
'DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC' THESIS
On the other hand, death sentence given for Öcalan turned into aggravated life imprisonment as required by laws of harmnozition code of the European Union. Öcalan was not executed, though he was completely isolated under heavy isolation policies put into practice on İmralı Island, where he was kept all alone, and he was not even to be visited by his family members for many years. Despite all this, Öcalan deepened and formulized his democratic republic thesis, never giving up on his insistence on the democratization of Turkey and Middle East.
OPERATIONS IN RESPONSE THE SOLUTION
After the conlusion of the DSP-ANAP-MHP coalition and AKP came to power, Öcalan prepared a “Road Map” of 156-pages containing the solution to the Kurdish question. The Road Map was announced on August 15, 2009. Nonetheless, turning a deaf hear to this Road Map, AKP government continued its isolation and war policies like its predecessors.
PKK and PJAK prisoners went on a hunger strike in September 2012, since no news could not be heard from Öcalan for a long time as he was not put in contact with his family and lawyers. After 68 days, hunger strikes were ended with a message from Öcalan. The path to diaoluge opened again. The first delegation went on İmralı on January 3, 2013 as this was the date recorded as the beginning of the "Resolution Process". Although the “Dolmabahçe Consensus” was signed on February 28, 2015, this process, which lasted for about three years, was terminated by the AKP government in 2015 and conflict environment returned back.
Sırrı Süreyya Önder, former MP of the Peoples' Democratic Party, who took part in the Imrali Delegation that was formed during the solution process and negotiated with the government, answered the questions of our agency regarding the 21st year of the interstate conspiracy.
You went to İmralı Island and met with Öcalan many times. How did Öcalan, who has been held there for 21 years, define or made sense of his detention?
First of all, for him his condition could not be named as "captivity" as such. I think that was the basis of his efforts for social peace. He always called this situation under the names, such as "physical barriers", "Imralı System", but he was saying that they would not prevent him, but could only delay the social peace.Captivity for his literature means not being able to think, concentrate and produce. However, we witness that every moment of him passes with concentration on the future of the country, the region and the peace".
After 8 years, Öcalan's lawyers were able to meet him 5 times in 2019. How can the “social reconciliation” mentioned by Öcalan during these negotiations, which states that there is a need for “deep social reconciliation” could be realized?
This can only, but only be achieved by peace and democracy becoming a social demand. Up to this date, power-state systems have built their existence on the absence of these two facts. They made conflicting processes a fundamental excuse for a non-democratic and therefore unlawful mode of administration. Only if the truths of the country and the region are discussed free and away from manipluations, then the real separation points and the framework of the truth would be clearly revealed.
In his messages, Öcalan emphasizes on "İmralı stand" and he underlines that he is determined on the persistence about the manner of expression stated in 2013 Newroz Declaration. What does Öcalan mean by "İmralı Stand"? What kind of a psychology is dominant to Ankara stand in the face of İmralı stand?
His İmralı stand was the name of a serious, determined and perspective-building effort towards peace. It was the solid dpractice that did not recognize personal concerns or expectations, but prioritized the future together with common discussions and demands. That is way İmralı stand was a level of self-confidence that came to existence. When we look at the spesifications in the last negotiations, we see that this stance continues to increase.
Öcalan states that he is on the same line, although it has been 7 years of conflict since the 2013 Newroz Declaration. Recently, you have said that you have the hope of solution as much as you did back in 2012. What are the signs of this hope?
Everything will change when the oppressed of the region, the peoples who have no interest in conflict and war, and who pay the whole price for the war begins to stand side by side, to talk about the construction of a peaceful and democratic future and not the past full of cruel oppressive past. My hope rises from the the signs I have been seeing regarding this matter. No equation constructed by leaning on one of the two imperial powers lasts 24 hours. The hope of a solution should not necessarily evoke an idea of sitting around table like the previous method. That previous process will be referred in history to as a good effort and a good 'intention'. However, the same process will not be repeated as a method. This is against reason and history.
What would you chat with Öcalan if you had the chance to go to İmralı tomorrow? How would you deduce from what happened since your last meeting?
I would start talking by asking about his health, and first of all, I would describe an inventory of our deficiecies and our own failures. Afterwards, I would state that everyone should have understood that this process could not be maintained as long as the conditions of freedom and security for him is supplied and I would finish talking saying that all other talks would consist of beating water in the mortar. THE END.
ma/ Ferhat Çelik