Second stage in the October 9 period- VII

The Kurdish People's Leader had to leave the Middle East on October 9, 1998. "From now on, a relentless pursuit and control were to be continued by the NATO and the United States wherever I went."

Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan explained everything clearly in his written defense (to the Judge and Jury Members of the Athens Joint Court and the Athens Defense) to the Athens Higher Criminal Court, where he himself was also tried in 2003.

Alongwith the general reasons, Öcalan said that the promises of Kostas Baduvas, the former Minister of Transport of Greece and PASOK Member of Parliament exerted an influence over his decision to go to Athens and therefore to Europe. He continued as follows: “On October 6, 1998 in Damascus, in a meeting also witnessed by Ayfer Kaya, Baduvas reminded me that I was invited by 109 deputies of the Greek Parliament to come to Greece, and stated that the Greek government supports my residency  in Athens and that he would return to his country and start preparations and promised to meet me at Athens Airport.

For this reason, we departed for Athens on October 9, 1998 at Damascus Airport with a passenger plane owned by Syria. When the plane landed at the Athens Hellinikon Airport, Baduvas, who had invited me personally, declared that everything was already prepared and promised to welcome us, was not around and never appeared. While we were waiting for Baduvas, we came across Savvas Kalenteridis and the senior intelligence officer Stavrakakis. While we were made waiting at the airport to we had headed from Syria on October 9, Ayfer Kaya,  who was next to me, called Baduvas many times. Baduvas did not come, saying "There is nothing I can do, I am in a meeting at the Prime Ministry."

It was later revealed that with the help of Baduvas, Britain played a role to take me out of Syria and draw into the Greek trap. The invitation of Baduvas, an Anglophile, was put into action as the first step of the US-England-Simitis conspiracy. From now on, wherever I went, a constant chasing and control were to be continued by NATO and the United States.

With rush and threats, I was told that I had to leave until five o'clock the same day, otherwise I would be forced. It was a situation I never expected and was not ready for. We were kept in the transit section of the airport for four or five hours. As the invitation prepared by our Russian representative, Mahir Welat (Numan Uçar), was faxed, Stavrakakis took care of visa procedures, disclosing that he had friends at the Russian Embassy. I was taken to Moscow on the same day (October 9) on a private plane prepared in a hurry by the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”

When the Kurdish People's Leader arrived in Moscow, one of those who welcomed him was Vladimir Jirinovski, who was the deputy chairman of the Duma, the lower house of the Russian Parliament. Abdullah Öcalan, who had stayed in Jirinovsky's house on the first night, was later taken to a mountain house. Meanwhile, he applied for a political asylum to the Russian official in charge of security, who accompanied him. However, as in Greece, the "right of political asylum" recognized by international law and the laws of the Russian state, which is the most natural right of Abdullah Öcalan, was not applied here.


On the second day of Abdullah Öcalan’s move to Russia, Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yılmaz was making statements to Turkish journalists on the plane from Antalya to Malatya. To the question "Where might Apo have gone?" by the journalists, Yilmaz responded: "It could be Russia or Armenia or Lebanon, but I don't think Russia will accept Apo." In reality, since October 11, intelligence information on Öcalan's routes and locations was regularly transmitted to Ankara. Yet, the Turkish state did not want to draw the attention to Russia, because the dirty negotiations that started behind closed doors had not yet been concluded.

While the negotiations were going on, Turkish state officials made public Abdullah Öcalan's presence in Russia on 19 October. Upon this, Mehmet Ali İrtemçelik, Deputy Undersecretary of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the time, rushed to Moscow. Irtemcelik sent a letter written by Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz to Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov. The letter addressed to economic bargains with Russia in return for the extradition of Kurdish People's Leader to Turkey. Öcalan requested "political asylum" from the Duma while these negotiations were continuing.

In the meantime, eyes were on Ankara for the 75th anniversary celebrations on October 29, 1998. Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov was also invited and he carried the letter of the Russian Prime Minister Primakov to the Turkish Prime Minister in his bag. In the letter, Primakov said that the Kurdish People's Leader would be driven out of from Russia. Confirming the letter, Yılmaz remarked that "We got the answer we expected from Russia."

Speaking to the press the same day, Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Kıvrıkoğlu revealed dirty negotiations made with Russia with the following words: “If Moscow is smart, it will not support Apo. We have an investment of 10 billion dollars there. We continue to do business while Europe is leaving Russia due to the economic crisis. We want these relations to develop further. "


In those days when the Turkish state was conducting a shuttle diplomacy with the Primakov administration, Duma reviewed Abdullah Öcalan's application for political asylum and announced its decision on November 4, 1998. Abdullah Öcalan's asylum request was accepted almost unanimously, 298 to 1. Yet, this time other international powers started to repress Moscow.

The US Department of State Spokesperson James Rubin was asked at a daily press conference on November 5, 1998, to respond to the following question: “Duma decided to grant asylum to the leader of the PKK. What is the US attitude?" Rubin replied that “The Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright declared the PKK as a terrorist organization. We asked the Russian government to investigate whether Öcalan was in Russia and to take the necessary steps to deport or extradite him immediately."

In the same statement, the US official said, "No country should grant asylum to a terrorist," by referring to the invitation of some parliamentarians from Greece. I emphasize again, no country ever…”

Things got clear. Washington administration was now involved, too. In his statement to MED TV on the evening of 19 October 1998, Öcalan explained that it was not a coincidence that the conspiracy against him started on October 9, with the following words: "There is something strange; Maybe it could be important to the Americans. October 9 is the day of Che Guevara's murder. It is remarkable that the same day is chosen. I think they want to connect us with this history, with the memory of that great revolutionary."


The Russian adventure took 33 days. In his defense to the Athens court in later years, the Kurdish People's Leader noted the reason why the Russian state administrators of the period abandoned him by expelling him: “The economic crisis in Russia may have played an important role in Primakov's refusal to accept the Duma decision. Moreover, following the collapse of real socialism, Russia was experiencing a corruption period. Prime Minister Primakov and President Yeltsin were important traitors of real socialism. No matter how strategic my position was, the interests associated with economic and dirty-secret intelligence were very suitable for abandoning me at that time. My expectation of respect for the value ​​of freedom from those who renounced an entire Soviet system was a self-deception”.

As one of the most distinguished centers of capitalist civilization, Moscow was to introduce a despicable plot against socialism, which was the hope of millions, without shame and slightest disturbance-in my case in an even more unrecognizable way. As a matter of fact, even the Duma decision regarding the granting of political asylum with 298/1 votes about me had no meaning for Primakov, and an unlawful attitude was displayed. During this process of splendor, they wanted to force me to go to Cyprus via Turkey. The Russian intelligence officer Heba Çili, who accompanied me at that time, said, "We have prepared Cyprus for you, you will go". It was an extermination operation. When I realized that the journey was to be completed via Turkey, I decided not to go because I thought the plane could either be destroyed in air or be taken to Ankara.”