|Former PKK leader: Öcalan controls PKK, deep state controls Öcalan|
Yıldırım thinks that the environment of chaos in Turkey cannot end as long as Ergenekon maintains its grip over the country. “The environment of chaos cannot end unless Turkey does away with Ergenekon. It is Ergenekon that wants a clash between Turks and Kurds. The deep state wants weapons shot. Öcalan controls the PKK and the deep state controls Öcalan,” Yıldrım said.
Öcalan, captured in 1999 in Nairobi, Kenya, was initially sentenced to death but his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment when the death penalty was abolished in Turkey in August 2002. He has been serving a life sentence on İmralı Island in the Marmara Sea since his capture.
“Öcalan made an agreement with the deep state at İmralı to save his life. A program was given to him [by the deep state] and he is following it. He had made this public previously. He said that he was told to leave some 500 PKK members in Turkey when transferring others to northern Iraq [after his capture] and he had left them. The 500 PKK members were left in Turkey to be used in clashes because an environment of clashes is needed for the deep state,” Yıldırım said.
Noting that he cannot say for certain whether Öcalan’s links with the deep state date back to the period before his capture, Yıldırım says he is sure that Öcalan has been cooperating with the deep state since his capture. “He surrendered to the deep state after his capture. He said ‘okay’ to whatever it said. This is crystal clear. You have to be blind if you cannot see that,” Yıldırım noted.
Turkey has fought the terrorist PKK since 1984, when it was set up with the goal of establishing an autonomous Kurdish state in the eastern and southeastern parts of Turkey. More than 40,000 soldiers and civilians have been killed in clashes thus far.
The PKK has been declared a terrorist organization by the international community, including the US and the EU.
When reminded of Öcalan’s earlier remarks that Ergenekon had infiltrated the PKK, Yıldırım said: “He implies [PKK leaders] Şemdin Sakık and Selim Çürükkaya. This is in fact putting his own crimes on the shoulders of others. This is an effort to protect himself. In a book written by Mahir Sayan, he says the National Intelligence Organization [MİT] gave him money and weapon for two years.”
Although he is jailed, Öcalan is known to have continued to direct the terrorist organization. Öcalan recently announced the end of the PKK’s unilateral cease-fire with Turkey, which it declared in April of last year, paving the way for the recent escalation of violence in Turkey.
As for the question on what the PKK aims to achieve now, Yıldırım said the terrorist organization does not currently have a policy. “They want two things before laying down arms. One of these is the freedom of Apo [the nickname of Öcalan]. The second is equal citizenship for Kurds. If the state does not accept these, the weapons cannot be silenced.
Stating that many people who opposed Öcalan were killed by the members of the organization on Öcalan’s order, Yıldırım said it is “coincidental” that he survived. “Öcalan said of every person he ordered to be killed, ‘He was going to eliminate me’,” he said.
BDP decision to boycott referendum boycott wrong
Yıldırım also criticized the BDP decision to boycott the upcoming referendum on a constitutional reform package. “It is totally wrong for the BDP to boycott the referendum. The constitutional reform package proposes changes in favor of both Kurds and Turks. How can you boycott that? Furthermore, if these changes are approved, it will pave the way for a brand new constitution. The [ruling Justice and Development Party] AK Party has launched a process of change. Why are they waging a war against the AK Party? The BDP will lose a lot if it does not change its policies,” he says.
Sept. 12 will be a critical day, just as it was exactly 30 years previously. On Sept. 12, 2010 critical amendments to the Constitution prepared after the Sept. 12, 1980 coup are to be voted on in a referendum. Political parties have already determined their stance on the referendum to be held on that day. The BDP has announced that it plans to boycott the referendum.