PKK leader Öcalan wants house arrest, new laws

BURSA (CIHAN)- The imprisoned leader of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, has made demands to be released and placed under house arrest and for the government to pass new laws that will pave the way for the autonomy of Kurds in Turkey.

Öcalan has been incarcerated on Imrali Island in the Sea of Marmara since 1999.

Öcalan’s sister Fatma Öcalan visited the terrorist leader on Monday. After the visit, she told the media Öcalan wants to be released and placed under house arrest. “I told him I have difficulty visiting him. I have diabetes, I have trouble walking. He said I would be able to visit him easily if he were under house arrest,” Fatma said.

Talks are under way between the state and Öcalan in an attempt to broker a deal for the disarming and withdrawal of the terrorist group from Turkey. The PKK and Öcalan are demanding house arrest for the terrorist leader to conclude the talks as sought by Turkey.

Justice and Development Party (AK Party) officials are, however, cold to the possibility of house arrest for the PKK leader, believing such a move would cause huge public dissent.

Justice Minister Bekir BozdaI said on Tuesday the government has no plans at the moment to place Öcalan under house arrest.

On April 27, a group of deputies from the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) visited Öcalan. BDP parliamentary group deputy chairman Idris Baluken told the media that the delegation’s three-hour-meeting with Öcalan was positive and beneficial.

Baluken also said Öcalan was not satisfied with a newly adopted law on the National Intelligence Organization (MIT), which gives the intelligence agency the right to hold talks with all groups, including terrorist organizations, which pose a threat to national security. The article provides legal grounds for the Oslo talks, a series of meetings held secretly between some senior operatives of the terrorist PKK and MIT officials in Oslo in 2010 in an attempt to find a peaceful solution to the country’s Kurdish problem.

According to Öcalan, the government should make legal arrangements to prepare the legal basis for the ongoing talks between state authorities and the PKK.

Baluken also said the terrorist leader wants the government to pass two new laws. “One is on the autonomy of local administrations while the second is on a democratic civil society,” he said. According to Baluken, the law on the autonomy of local administrations will help soften the strict structure of the centralist state while the law on the democratic civil society will strengthen civil society groups in Turkey.