The Turkish government -the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its far-right ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP)- is treating 14 May polls as a race against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), top PKK official said on Tuesday.
No meaningful debates have been made in Turkish politics about the condition of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan in İmralı prison, said Murat Karayılan in an interview with the Fırat News Agency.
“As we have said before, there are only one-sided discussions in Turkish politics about Leader Apo (Öcalan). Leader Apo is kept under absolute, aggravated isolation using a method that have never been witnessed in the world. He is kept is a system of continuous psychological torture,” said Karayılan.
Despite the grave imprisonment conditions Öcalan is held under, political debates on him in Turkey are restricted to two sides accusing each other of building alliances with the PKK, Karayılan said.
While the opposition have raised claims in recent weeks about a meeting held between Öcalan and government officials, the government targets opposition parties by using the support of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (PKK) to opposition’s presidential candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu as evidence for cooperation with the PKK.
“Indeed, the AKP-MHP side approaches it as if they are in an election against the PKK. That is a problem by itself,” said Karayılan.
Yet, those attitudes prove Öcalan’s centrality in Turkish politics, the PKK executive added.
“We want to warn both sides once more. Do not discuss our Leadership in that way. Those approaches using our Leadership as an instrument are immoral. The Kurdish question and the situation of Leader Apo is an essential issue, not something that can be used as a tool for elections in Turkey,” said Karayılan.