Inspired by Egypt: A Kurdish uprising in Turkey?

Abdullah Ocalan, the detained leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) called on Kurds in Turkey to stage Egyptian-wise uprising for obtaining their rights while he stressed destinies of Kurds in Iraq and Turkey are bound to each other.

The Kurdish Firat news agency, close to the PKK, cited Ocalan as recommending the protest rally in his weekly meeting with his lawyers.

“When millions of Kurds took into streets, demanding their rights unanimously, Turkey will be forced to step forward,” Ocalan was quoted by his lawyers.

The leader of the militant organization was caught in Nairobi in 1999 and repatriated to Turkey. Currently, he is serving prison sentence in Imrali Island in Turkey.

Commenting on the role of the Iraqi President Jalal Talabani (a Kurds by descent) as a mediator between the Turkish government and the PKK, Ocalan said though he does not mean threatening any party “no Kurd in the southern Kurdistan (the Kurdistan Region) will feel safe if the rights of Kurds are not admitted in northern Kurdistan (the Kurdish area in Turkey.”

Kurds are geographically divided mainly in four countries of Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria. Nevertheless, only in Iraq (the Kurdistan Region) they enjoy a semi-autonomous administration. Elsewhere they are subjugated and their rights denied.

Since 1984 the PKK has staged armed campaign against Turkey for the recognition of ethnic rights of roughly 20 million Kurds.

Ocalan’s call for a Kurdish rising comes after nationwide protest demos that have swept across Egypt, leading the three decade ruler, Hosni Mubarak, to step down, for now, from the presidency of his party.

Similar upheavals in Tunisia led another long-serving president, Zain al-Abedin bin Ali to flee for fear of his life and give way for replacement.

Hawar Baziyan


February 6th 2011


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