Jailed PKK Leader Urges End to Turkey Conflict

Ocalan Touts 'New Era' of Relations With Turkey

In a letter read during the Kurdish New Year’s celebration, Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan reiterated his calls for an end to some 40 years of conflict with Turkey.

Ocalan wrote the letter from a Turkish prison, where he has been held since 1999, and touted a “new era” of PKK relations with Turkey, saying everyone needed to recognize that reality and end the fighting.

The PKK has been leading a secessionist fight against Turkey for decades of on-again, off-again war, though the acrimony has faded increasingly in the last few years with both focusing on opposing ISIS in Syria.

Whether this “end” to the conflict means an actual end or simply another comparative lull for a few years until, once the Syria conflict is sufficiently shifted away from mutual interest, they will simply resume fighting over the unresolved status of Turkey’s considerable Kurdish minority.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.