ISTANBUL, Turkey (A.W.)—Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan reaffirmed the Armenian Genocide and called on Turkey and the world to confront history in a letter first published by Agos on Jan. 30.
The PKK leader, who was arrested in 1999 and is serving a life sentence in the Imrali prison, wrote the letter in the context of a heated debate in Turkey following a notorious comment by Kurdish leader Bese Hozat about Armenian, Jewish, and Greek lobbies. (For context, read Ayse Gunaysu’s column.)
Repeatedly using the term “genocide” when referring to 1915, Ocalan called the survival of the Armenian people “a great miracle,” achieved thanks to the efforts and struggles of the Armenians.
“Today, the entire world should confront the historical truth of what happened to the Armenians and share their pain, paving the way for mourning,” Ocalan said. “Inevitably, the Turkish Republic too will have to approach this issue with maturity and confront this painful history,” he added.
Ocalan called for continued, joint struggle for rights. He accused anti-democratic forces and lobbies of blocking the resolution of the Kurdish issue in Turkey, seeing the murder of Hrant Dink as part of this process.
Details to follow.