ANKARA (Hurriyet Daily News)—As the country’s president affirmed that Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, leader Abdullah Öcalan would be staying in his İmralı Island jail cell for the foreseeable future, a top European court stepped in to protect some of his rights.
The European Court of Human Rights has intervened to deliver a strategic plan to the lawyers of the imprisoned PKK leader 18 months after the documents were seized by Turkish authorities. The road map for a solution to the Kurdish issue in Turkey was prepared by Öcalan and was seized and not made public for 1.5 years.
Öcalan prepared the 156-page plan in 2009, but it was not delivered to his lawyers by prison authorities because they deemed it not relevant for his defense and “contradictory to the state’s interests.” The lawyers obtained access to the document only after a decision by the European court. The road map was then published by the Dicle news agency Wednesday.
In his three-step plan, Öcalan suggests: First, PKK will announce a lasting cease-fire and both sides “will prevent provocations, preparing the public opinion for peace.” Secondly, a “Verifying and Negotiating” parliamentary committee will be established with “maximum consent” from both sides, which would lead to an amnesty project according to the confessions and defenses to be offered. The third step suggested by the road map is judicial and constitutional reforms that would lead to the legalization of the Kurdish Communities Union, or KCK.
Öcalan presented 10 main principles for the solution of the Kurdish issue in his road map, named “Democratization Issues in Turkey and [a Roadmap for] Solution Models in Kurdistan.” “A democratic nation” and “common land, democratic land” were two of the principles. They related to having multi-lingual and multi-ethnic communities based on free and equal individuals.
“A democratic republic” and “a democratic constitution” were principles related to accessibility and transparency of the state and social consensus.
Öcalan also suggested in his road map that the state should not discriminate among individual and collective rights as they were equally important. He also included the principle of democracies’ self-defense, which implies democratic societies cannot exist without self-defense.
While European court intervention made the release of Öcalan’s long-overdue road map suggestions possible, the state is resolute that nothing can circumvent Turkish courts’ rulings on the PKK head’s imprisonment conditions.