Thursday, January 19, 2012

Kurdish women in Ankara launch initiative for Ocalan’s freedom

ERBIL, Jan. 19 - A group of seven Kurdish women in the Turkish capital launched an initiative on Thursday that calls for the release of jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebels as a first step towards a peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue in the country.

The women released a statement to announce the initiative which they have called "Freedom for Ocalan for the Sake of Peace"

Among the women are lawmakers from the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) – the largest Kurdish party in the country – Ayla Akat and Amine Ayna in addition to five other activists.

The initiative calls on the Turkish government to "resume talks with the jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan to achieve peace in the country"

They stressed that the Kurdish question in Turkey can come only through dialogue.

Ocalan has been in jail since 1999 when he was arrested in Kenya and was extradited to Turkey. He has been serving imprisonment on the island jail of Imirali near capital Ankara.

Last year, Turkish authorities blocked his lawyers from meeting him anymore no grounds that they passed messages to his armed group who still remain loyal to him.

Established in 1984, the PKK has taken up arms against the Turkish state to fight for the country's minority Kurds. The fighting has claimed some 40,000 lives most of them Kurds.