Leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Abdullah Ocalan has sent an anti-war message regarding Turkey’s possible military operation in northern Syria, pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya (MA) news agency reported on Friday.
Ocalan’s call has been been made public by his brother, Mehmet Ocalan, who visited him on the occasion of the Feast of Sacrifice.
“[In case of a war], both Turkey and the people [of the region] would be harmed. There should be a solution without a war. It will not be a solution for Turkey to invade Syria. The fact is that war does not bring any gains to the people [in the region]. The problem can be resolved through democracy. War has never been a solution,” Ocalan was quoted as saying by his brother.
During the past months, Turkish authorities repeatedly vowed a military operation against the YPG in the region if the United States (US) fails to agree on a solution that will safeguard Turkey’s border, demanding the creation of a safe zone. Turkey wants clear the area east of the Euphrates River of the US-backed Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).
A deal has been reached between the two NATO allies to form a joint operations center to coordinate and manage the planned zone in northern Syria, seemingly reducing the prospects of the military offensive.
Ocalan also touched on a Turkish military operation against the PKK in northern Iraq.
The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) in July launched the second stage of a campaign dubbed Operation Claw in northern Iraq following the first one that started on May 27 in Iraq’s Hakurk region.
“We will play our role in the solution of the Kurdish problem. This operation means war. The [Kurdish] issue is not something that could be resolved by shedding blood. We are always open to peace. We will always take a stand against war. There must be peace instead of war,” Ocalan added.
Ocalan reportedly claimed that Turkey would not succeed independently from the Federal Kurdistan government, saying the operation would extremely be harmful to Kurdish unity for which all must sacrifice.
Ocalan also sent messages to the pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) which has 60 lawmakers in the Turkish parliament.
“The [HDP’s] lawmakers must be among the public everywhere round-the-clock. A party is a great democratic institution. It is the will of the people and must serve them [those] who have lent their will to it. They [party members] are servants to the public.”
The PKK leader has been held in solitary confinement in Imrali, an island prison in the Marmara Sea since he was captured in 1999.
Mehmet Ocalan slammed the Imrali authorities as they allegedly conducted a strip search on him before the visit.
“What they did during the search is unacceptable. They conducted a strip search. We are human, the visit is our legal right. I am 68 years old. We were subjected to a very ugly search. Those who did it must be ashamed,” said Mehmet Ocalan.
The PKK launched an armed insurgency against the Turkish state in the early 1980s, calling for an independent Kurdish state within the country.