Doğan Erbaş, one of the lawyers of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Leader Abdullah Öcalan shared his evaluations with Mesopotamia Agency on the recent allegations regarding Abdullah Öcalan’s health and the current situation of the isolation imposed on the PKK leader.
Newroz, symbolises the arrival of spring and new year in Kurdish culture. Celebrated all over Turkey, one of the largest gatherings for the celebration of Newroz, where hundreds of thousands of people gather every year, is Diyarbakır.
In 2013 more than 2 million people gathered to listen to the message of PKK leader Öcalan sent via the İmralı Delegation. “An honorable peace and democratic political solution is essential for us. The door opens from the process of armed struggle to the democratic political process,” wrote Abdullah Öcalan in his letter.
Abdullah Öcalan stressed that it is necessary to initiate a dialogue process with legal regulations, “Peace is harder than war, but every war brings peace in the end. We were not afraid of resistance, and we will not be afraid of making peace. I call on everyone to take responsibility to build our great peace,” Öcalan said in his 2013 Newroz letter, “We are faced with the task of initiating a new process in the historic Dolmabahçe Palace on the basis of the 10 point declaration officially announced. Along with reaching the consensus in principles, it is necessary for the PKK to make a congress to end the armed struggle carried out against the Republic of Turkey for nearly 40 years and plan appropriate political and social strategy to the spirit of the new era and tactics necessary. In this way, we will be over the conflict-ridden past of the 90-year history of the Republic and marching towards a future woven with the criteria of peace and universal democracy.”
Lawyer Doğan Erbaş, who met Öcalan many times in Imralı, evaluated Öcalan’s messages and the recent allegations about Öcalan’s health and safety in Imralı Prison.
Importance of Öcalan for peace
Erbaş stressed on Abdullah Öcalan’s role in building peace in Turkey. “‘Everyone knows the importance of Mr. Öcalan for the Kurdish people. The state itself is aware of this. What happened in the 2013-2015 period also indicated the importance. We saw that millions of people could come together with a call of Öcalan, that there were various proposals for a democratic solution to the Kurdish issue and the Dolmabahçe Agreement,” he said, “It has given rise to the hope for a solution regarding the Kurdish issue, all has been with the contribution of Öcalan,” Lawyer Erbaş said and added ”They may also aim to create a provocative ground. We don’t know what.”
‘Prosecutor’s office has no credibility’
After the rumours of Abdullah Öcalan’s death spread on social media on 14 March, the public concern regarding his health has been increasing. Especially the lawyers and the family members who have demanded to meet with Abdullah Öcalan in person.
Then a prosecutor in Bursa issued a statement that Öcalan’s heatlh was in “good condition”.
“The statement of the Bursa Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has no credibility. It is well known how the state apparatus works in recent years in Turkey. Not only with the prosecutor, but there is a deep crisis of confidence with the state now in Turkey. For this reason, it is not only us, but no one would find the statement of the prosecutor sufficient and convincing. This explanation is extremely inadequate,” Erbaş said.
“No, the only way to end the concerns is to let family members and lawyers to visit İmralı. No other statement will be convincing other than the lawyers and the family member’s statements.”
Erbaş shared his view that the Turkish authorities must give a positive response to the family and lawyers of Abdullah Öcalan in their demand to meet him in person.
‘Isolation is a political issue’
Having represented Abdullah Öcalan for years, lawyer Erbaş especially stressed that the isolation on Imralı Island, where Abdullah Öcalan has been jailed over 22 years, “is not a legal issue, but a political issue” in its core.
“We are facing a political isolation, The problems needs a radical solution. Mr. Öcalan tries to pave the way for a solution and all he tries to do is to develop a proposal for a democracy in Turkey.” he said.
The Kurdish question has reached a certain stage now, according to Erbaş, that “it requires to be solved and it requires to be solved now. The parameters and methods for the solution have already been suggested by Mr. Öcalan in a comprehensive manner. Considering all these developments, the importance of Mr. Öcalan, even the smallest claims against his well-being should be taken very seriously.”