Ocalan spoke with his brother after nearly a year of no contact
Kurdish rebel chief Abdullah Ocalan in 1993 giving a press conference on the Lebanon-Syria border. (AFP/File photo)
Zhyan News Network
SULAIMANI – Jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Abdullah Ocalan on Thursday (March 25) spoke on the phone with his brother briefly for the first time after nearly a year of no contact following rumors about his death more than eleven days ago.
Asrin Law Office representing Ocalan said in a tweet
on Thursday that the phone call was cut after a short time. Ocalan’s brother, Mehmet Ocalan, usually makes such phone calls.
On March 14, rumors circulated on social media that Ocalan had died in prison that worried the Kurdish leader’s family, lawyers and supporters who have been unaware of his health condition since his brother spoke with him for the last time on April 27,2020.
73-year Ocalan founded the PKK in 1978 and started an armed struggle in 1984 for Kurds’ cultural rights , especially autonomy, in Turkey. Turkey considers PKK as “terrorist organization” and regularly launch operations at home and abroad.
PKK is based in the Kurdistan region’s mountainous areas.
The PKK leader was apprehended in the Kenya’s capital Nairobi in 1999 and was transferred to Turkey where and his sentence was commuted to life in prison from an initial death sentence and was taken to a prison on Imrali Island in the Sea of Marmara along his three other PKK officials – Omer Hayri Konar, Hamili Yildirim, and Veysi Aktas.
The lawyer office also said that Yildirim also spoke with his family for a short time.
The other two prisoners did not speak with their families in protest against the long-standing restrictions imposed on them by the Turkish authorities, according to the lawyers office.
Despite his imprisonment, Ocalan retains an untold sway among many Kurds, especially in Turkey and Syria.
The PKK leader is seldom permitted to meet with his lawyers and family. His latest in-person meeting was with his brother Mehmet on March 3,2020 after rumors circulated about a fire incident in the jail.
He met his lawyers last time in October 2019.