Abdullah Öcalan, jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), could end within the week Turkey’s Kurdish conflict that has continued for decades, Greek-American historian and social theorist George Katsiaficas told Medya Haber’s Erem Kansoy on Wednesday.
“Great leaders of revolutionary movements have foresight and vision and Mr Öcalan has gripped the masses with his vision,” said the historian, underlining that Öcalan’s ideas became a material force in this way.
Katsiaficas recalled that Öcalan was willing to negotiate and ready to reach a settlement with the Turkish government over the 40-year-long Kurdish conflict.
“I think Öcalan’s situation being a peacemaker threatens the Turkish government’s desire to continue the war,” he said, comparing the PKK leader to South African anti-apartheid politician Nelson Mandela who had served 27 years in Robben Island Prison.
Regarding the absolute incommunicado state of the PKK leader, Katsiaficas pointed to Öcalan’s right to hope and said that ignoring international law was nothing new to Turkey and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, defining Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) as “corrupt and ruthless”.
“The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) did release a statement saying that Öcalan in particular has the right to hope. But these are words,” the former Wentworth Institute Professor said and called on the Council of Europe to consider expelling Turkey for violation of international law and the European Convention on Human Rights.
“I think the people of Kurdistan have a strong determination and eventually, they will win,” Katsiaficas concluded.