Duvar English

Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan has said that no one should build their future plans over him during a phone call with his brother Mehmet Öcalan while talking about a recent rift between the Kurdish groups in Iraq.

Abdullah Öcalan, who has been serving a life sentence in a prison on the İmralı Island since 1999, was allowed a phone call with a member of his family for the first time in 21 years on April 28.

During the phone call, Öcalan focused on the Kurdish unity in the Middle East, as he commented on the recent tensions between the PKK and the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Mesopotamia News Agency reported on April 29.

“There are certain mistaken evaluations about me. I know the struggle I’m putting forward here and will respond to these in the following process if I have the opportunity. No one should build their future plans over me,” Öcalan told his brother.

“Everyone knows what I’ve been doing for the past 50 years. Me and my friends with me are doing the best we can from our cells for the good of our friends. However, if there are those who don’t take me into account, it’s wrong and unacceptable. Everything is out in the open. There’s nothing to hide,” he added.

‘There’s blood flowing’

Founded by Öcalan towards the end of 1970s, the PKK carried out its first attack in 1984 in Turkey’s southeast. The state has been fighting the group, which is a designated terrorist organization by Ankara, Washington and the European Union, ever since.

Most recently, tensions between the PKK and the KRG are high due to the latter allowing Turkey to attack the former.

“There is a major problem and everyone needs to work towards solving it. There’s blood flowing and you can stop it if you gain power. That’s why, everyone needs to struggle on this basis and with this mindset,” Öcalan said.

During the phone call, Öcalan deemed the recent tensions “a policy to make Kurds kill other Kurds,” while also sending a message to all Kurdish groups, including the PKK leadership and the Barzani and Talabani families in KRG, on the need for Kurdish unity.

1982 protocol

According to Mehmet Öcalan, the PKK leader talked about a protocol signed with KRG President Nechirvan Barzani’s father İdris Barzani in 1982, which stipulated the bloodshed to be given a halt.

“Kurds need to solve their problems via dialogue. Those who can manage this are the Barzani and Talabani families and our friends in Qandil,” Abdullah Öcalan said, referring to the PKK headquarters in Qandil Mountains in northern Iraq.