Democrats in Turkey must not remain silent over the absolute isolation imposed on PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan in Turkey’s İmralı prison island, Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Executive Committee Member Duran Kalkan said.
Kalkan urged the democratic circles and socialist movements of Turkey to follow the example of journalist Merdan Yanardağ in publicly condemning Öcalan’s isolation.
If enough such voices spoke out, Turkish officials would be forced to abandon the PKK leader’s incommunicado detention, the PKK exec said during a Medya Haber TV interview.
Yanardağ was arrested on 27 June, the day after suggesting on live TV that the Turkish government had strategically placed Öcalan in isolation for bargaining purposes.
According to Kalkan, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government’s rapid response to the aired comments was prompted by a fear of exposure. “The government is trying to silence Yanardağ because they are afraid,” Kalkan said, adding that the pressure exerted on Öcalan only demonstrates the AKP’s weakness.
Turkey must denounce the 28 month and ongoing forced isolation of Öcalan at İmralı, Kalkan reiterated, adding that progress can only be achieved through concrete resistance against the practice. He added that detaining Öcalan for over 25 years remains a gross violation of international law.
Kalkan connected the policy of mandatory isolation on İmralı to the AKP government’s policies as a whole, arguing that opposers of the incumbent government should by default protest Öcalan’s isolation.