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 commenting on a recent rift between the PKK and the KRG. "Kurds need to solve their problems via dialogue. Those who can manage this are the Barzani and Talabani families and our friends in Qandil," he said.
A bomb on April 28 detonated on an oil tanker in the northern Syrian town of Afrin, which is controlled by Turkish-backed opposition fighters. The attack caused the death of 40 civilians, Turkey’s Defense Ministry said.
AKP mayor criticizes comparing opposition mayors to ‘terrorists,’ backpedals to avoid contradicting Erdoğan
Mayor Fatma Şahin has criticized likening CHP municipalities to "terrorist organizations," but backpedaled after learning that it was President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who did the comparison. "They are mayors elected with the votes of the people. Even if their methods are different, we can sit and talk, but I don't find such a comparison appropriate," Şahin said. Şahin then released a statement, saying that it's out of question for her to make statements that contradict the policies determined by Erdoğan.
Lawyers of jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan have called upon the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) to contact Turkey's Ministry of Justice to demand and ensure that the authorities take the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus to the Imralı prison where Öcalan is imprisoned. The lawyers have also demanded that Turkish authorities allow them as well as family members to speak with Öcalan on the phone.
KRG President Barzani has said that the presence of the PKK in the region is "not legitimate.” Barzani made the comments on April 20 in response to the PKK's call for the withdrawal of the KRG-affiliated Peshmerga from Zini Warte, a region of Erbil.
Notorious mafia leader Alaattin Çakıcı, whose ties to the deep state and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) are known, was released from prison on April 16 as part of a bill that allows some 90,000 convicts and arrestees to be freed in a bid to ease overcrowding in jails in the face of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Journalists and political prisoners, however, won't be released since they were excluded from the bill.
Currently a staunch supporter of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and a hawkish politician on the Kurdish issue, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu's political life has seen dramatic changes. Before joining the AKP, Soylu was known for his harsh criticisms against the party and Erdoğan. "People have forgotten how to smile as a result of the AKP government's wrong economic policies. They made Turkey face crisis with their inabilities and incompetence. They are covered in corruption," he said before joining the AKP.
The remains of a PKK militant have been delivered to the family three years after his death. The family received their son's body in a PTT cargo package.
A deputy in parliament said that jailed pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker İdris Baluken can die in prison, Özgür Özel, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Group Deputy Chair said during a debate on a prisoner release bill. Now, when we ask whether he should die in prison, the answer is 'They can.' Someone said 'He can die' at the back," Özel also said, while refraining from naming the lawmaker.
The COVID-19 isolation triggers post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety for children living in the Sur district of Diyarbakır since it reminds them of the months-long curfews imposed in 2015. “The first thing kids ask us on the phone is ‘What’s wrong outside?’ They’re worried that they’re not being told the whole truth,” Ezra Elbistan, the chair of the Colorful Hopes Association, told Duvar.
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has ordered a commander to rip PKK militants said to be involved in an attack in Diyarbakır's Kulp apart. "I called the regional commander and ordered, 'Rip them apart when you find them,'" a pro-government columnist cited Soylu as saying on April 9. The minister noted that the pictures of the "neutralized" militants will be shared.
Diyarbakır Governor's Office said on April 8 that five civilians were killed in a PKK attack in the province's Kulp district. Security forces launched an operation to apprehend those involved in the attack, it also said.
Ayhan Sefer Üstün from the newly-founded Future Party likened the coronavirus process in Turkey to the aftermath of the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt in terms of the government's authoritarian tendencies. "The society is being tried to enter a new authoritarian environment via making coronavirus an excuse," Üstün, a former deputy of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), told Duvar on April 7.
Iran said on March 31 its natural gas exports to Turkey have stopped after an attack on a pipeline inside the neighbouring country, Mehdi Jamshidi-Dana, director of National Iranian Gas Co., told Iran's state news agency IRNA. "The pipeline has exploded several times in the past. It is also likely that the PKK group has carried out the blast," he said.
An ousted HDP mayor is facing terrorism charges over her support for a women's agricultural cooperative that was planting green beans in Mardin's villages. The prosecutors said that activities of Saray Women's Cooperative are to be considered within the framework of the KCK, which the government says is the urban wing of the PKK.