Öcalan ‘salutes’ Turkey protest movement

Turkey police violence

Pic: Osman Örsal (Reuters)

In a letter handed to BDP (Peace and Democracy Party) Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş, the jailed PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) leader Abdullah Öcalan expressed his support for the protests that have engulfed Turkey this past week, beginning with a demonstration against the demolition of Gezi Park in Istanbul and escalating following the violent police reaction.

“I find the resistance meaningful and I salute it. By all means this stance has created a political rupture,” Öcalan said.

Echoing concerns expressed by the KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union), the PKK leader also warned about the involvement of Turkish nationalist forces.  “No one should let himself be used by nationalist, pro-coup circles. The democrat, revolutionary, patriot and progressive circles should not let this movement slide under their surveillance,” Öcalan added.

Selahattin Demirtaş read out this letter at a press conference in Istanbul yesterday where he also complained that, despite current peace talks and the withdrawal of PKK guerrillas from Turkey, the government was unnecessarily restricting BDP leaders’ access to Öcalan. “If the government pursues its approach this way, we would have to consider again our own approach,” Demirtaş said.

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