Salih Muslim: People will be on the streets until reliable news from Imrali are obtained

Salih Muslim, from the PYD co-executive board spoke about the significance of the current developments in relation to the situation of Abdullah Öcalan and their consequences for the region.

Salih Muslim, from the PYD co-executive board spoke to ANF about the current political developments and the situation of Abdullah Öcalan. Muslim expressed serious concern.

What do the rumours about the death of Abdullah Öcalan mean and how do you assess the situation?

There were some comments on Öcalan's health situation posted on social media. Öcalan's lawyers went to the Bursa Public Prosecutor's Office asking for clarification. The prosecutor said the allegations were not true. Nobody knows what's right. There is nothing we can actually rely on when it comes to the words of this state, the institutions or the public prosecutor's office. Since there is no such thing as trust, everything is viewed with suspicion. They have lied so many times. The past has proven that. It was claimed that Öcalan had been poisoned. As the pressure increased, state officials denied this. However, the CPT (European Committee for the Prevention of Torture) and some international organizations later stated that there was some truth to the poisoning. Therefore, there is no trust in the Turkish government. Therefore, the lawyers want to see the situation for themselves. That is usually their right.

"The Kurds must enter into constant uprising"

The Turkish state does not respect its own laws. It exposes itself as a liar. This situation is suspicious based on previous practice. That is why the peoples and all Kurdish forces and institutions must enter into constant uprising. They have every right to do so. The truth won't come out without pressure. The lawyers have the right to meet Öcalan in person. The condition of Rêber Apo [Öcalan] is an important issue for the peoples across Kurdistan. Everyone is extremely sensitive to this issue. That is why it has to be tackled. For the truth to come out, people have to take to the streets. It is very important for everyone in Kurdistan that some reliable people go there [to Imrali] and meet with Öcalan and share relevant information.

Why is nothing done even though the isolation on Imrali is against international law?

Of course, the isolation on Imrali is against international law. It even violates Turkish law. However, as we have already mentioned, this question goes deeper and is not just in the hands of Turkey. Gladio has been involved since the kidnapping of Öcalan in 1999. We said that before. The Imrali regime is not only dependent on Turkey. It's also related to NATO. As much as Turkey is responsible, so is NATO. Öcalan's kidnappers are also responsible. So it is an international problem.

The international powers are not putting Turkey under much pressure because they are accomplices themselves. It is as if Turkey were telling them, ‘What I do is not related to us, but also to you.’ That is the kind of picture that emerges. Turkey prevails, as it appears. Turkey is playing a game of blackmail with international institutions and states. This has recently become evident on issues such as the refugee issue. Even if Turkey is a member of NATO, the states cannot put pressure on Turkey. We, the Kurdish people, are the victims of this policy.”

What could happen if there is no real news from Imrali?

The Kurds in and outside the prisons have started hunger strikes because they feel responsible for Öcalan's situation. The fact that Rêber Apo remains detained under these conditions is an attack on their rights. The Kurdish people and the Kurdish institutions are absolutely right in all their actions, be it hunger strikes, protests, demonstrations or actions in front of all international institutions. Because on Imrali there are practices that in no way fit the values of humanity.

The Kurdish people are aware of this and act in self-defense. This situation could lead to chaos. We don't know what the people will do in such a situation. It's going to be very bad. We hope the other side will act with sensitivity. International institutions must also intervene. Either the Turkish government comes to its senses and pulls back a few steps or, I fear, it will be very bad for the region and everyone.

There are protests and calls for protest from Kurdish organizations everywhere. What will you do as PYD?

As we have seen the KCK, KCDK-E and other organizations are organising actions all over the world. And that's right. As PYD we stand by them. We are part of this people. We agree to these actions. Since the news about Rêber Apo first reached the public, the population here has poured into the streets and squares. Whether in Qamishlo or Kobanê, the PYD was on the side of these people and led the actions.

We are also bringing this up in our political and diplomatic contacts. I think, at our request, some of our friends contacted the United Nations and briefed them. We are active together with our people and will do what we can.