Posted by: hevallo | February 13, 2009

Abdullah Ocalan Calls for Dialogue to Kurdish Question in Turkey.


Ocalan urges Turkey to resolve Kurdish conflict

By SELCAN HACAOGLU
Associated Press

2009-02-12 09:16 PM

Kurdish rebel chief Abdullah Ocalan urged Turkish leaders to spend less time addressing the Palestinian issue and more on resolving Turkey’s Kurdish conflict, a lawyer said Thursday.

Ocalan made the comments Wednesday during his weekly meeting with his legal team on the prison island of Imrali near Istanbul, said lawyer Muharrem Sahin.

Ocalan called for dialogue between Turkey’s government and Kurds as the 10th anniversary of Ocalan’s capture comes up on Feb. 15. Thousands of Kurds in Turkey and Europe are preparing to protest his capture.

Sahin quoted Ocalan as saying Turkey’s leaders would have “quickly solved this (Kurdish) problem if they had diverted some of their concern away from the Palestinian issue.”

There was no immediate comment from the Turkish government, which usually refrains from responding to remarks by Ocalan.

Turkey’s Islamic-rooted government has been engaged in peace-mediating efforts for Gaza, advocating a policy of engaging the Islamic militant group Hamas, which has been shunned by Israel, the West and some Arab nations.

Turkey refuses dialogue with Ocalan’s Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, but has recently granted more cultural rights to Kurds and launched 24-hour Kurdish language broadcasts by state television in line with demands from the European Union.

The rebel group, however, claims the Kurdish language channel is only a cosmetic change.

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