The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) issued a statement on Monday about the anniversary of Abdullah Öcalan’s capture by Turkey, saying that the 6 February earthquake has exacerbated the sufferings of the Kurdish people this year.
The PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan was arrested in Kenya on 15 February 1999 after leaving Syria in October 1998 and seeking asylum in several European countries.
Since Öcalan’s abduction and his subsequent arrest and imprisonment in Turkey at that time, 15 February has been marked as an “international conspiracy day” by millions of Kurds and others.
Kurdish groups have protested Öcalan’s imprisonment and his prison conditions every year with rallies organised in Turkey and abroad.
Two major earthquakes that hit ten mainly Kurdish, densely populated provinces in Turkey as well as northern parts of Syria on 6 February will also impact the Kurds’ sentiments as 15 February approaches.
“As a movement and as the people, we enter the 25th year of the historical 15 February conspiracy and the struggle against this conspiracy under the heavy impact of the major earthquake which had its epicentre in Maraş,” the executive board of the PKK said in the statement.
“This double disaster multiplies our pain. We are mobilising to heal the wounds opened by the earthquake disaster on the one hand, and to beat the international conspiracy on its 25th anniversary on the other” the statement said.
“We feel deeply the consequences of both disasters in our minds and hearts and we are developing our freedom struggle by recognising the connection between them. We believe that on this basis we will beat the 15 February conspiracy, a date of genocide against the Kurds – a dark day, and minimise the destructive impact of the natural disasters,” the PKK said.
The PKK sent its regards to Öcalan in prison, offered its respects to people who lost their lives as a result of the struggle and wished success to everyone still continuing to shoulder the movement’s struggle.
The Kurdish party said that the 25th anniversary of the conspiracy should witness the collapse of the Turkish government and the end of fascist policies.
“Therefore, our patriotic people and our revolutionary-democratic friends should be know well the characteristics and the targets of the struggle in its 25th year and should organise according to these in every field. All types of resistance from the guerrillas and the people, as well as the legal and political struggle, and propaganda and artistic activities, should be based on these characteristics and targets,” the PKK said.