PKK leader Öcalan meets his lawyers, sends messages to YPG

Published 07.05.2019 00:04
Updated 07.05.2019 13:54

PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan met with his lawyers last week for the first time since 2011.

"This is the first meeting with the lawyers since 2011. The meeting lasted approximately one hour," on May 2, Rezan Sarıca, one of his lawyers, said yesterday at a press conference in Istanbul.

The jailed leader of the PKK terrorist group called on the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an umbrella organization that is dominated by the PKK's Syrian affiliate People's Protection Units (YPG), to pursue solutions in Syria other than through conflict, according to a statement read by his lawyers.

Turkey captured Öcalan in February 1999 and imprisoned him on the heavily fortified island of İmralı in the Sea of Marmara where he has been kept for 20 years.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU, has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women and children.

The PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU, waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years and has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people.

The SDF, which drove Daesh from northeastern Syria and captured almost all the Syrian territory located on the right bank of the Euphrates River including Raqqa, once dubbed Daesh's capital, now lying in ruins.

Ankara has long voiced its objection to the use of the YPG in the fight against Daesh, saying it considers YPG's presence on its southern border a grave national security threat. Turkish military liberated Afrin district from the terrorist group with the Operation Olive Branch launched in January 2018.

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