The outlawed Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), an umbrella organization that encompasses the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), has claimed that the television and radio of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, who is incarcerated in İmralı Prison, were taken away after the Turkish military gained control of the Afrin province in northwestern Syria.
According to a report by the pro-Kurdish Fırat news agency (ANF), KCK executive council member Mustafa Karasu claimed in an article that the television Öcalan watched and the radio he listened to have been taken away and that the pressure on him has increased.
“After Afrin city center was invaded, leader Apo’s [Abdullah Öcalan] stance disturbed some people, and his television, which only had a few channels, and his radio were taken away, according to information we received, and they have further worsened his living conditions. Resorting to such measures shows how weak and fragile the Justice and Development Party (AKP)-Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) fascism is.”
PKK executive committee member Murat Karayılan had previously said: “There is a strategic alliance between Turkey and Russia. A committee went to İmralı to end the resistance in Afrin and pressured our leader with this demand, which was rejected by leader Apo. So they have worsened the systematic torture in İmralı even further.”
ANF reported that Öcalan was only able to listen to TRT FM and was given a small television that had only five channels in January 2011. Parallel to the peace process on the Kurdish issue, the television in his room was changed on January 12, 2013, and the Justice Ministry announced that Öcalan was able to watch “TRT-1, TRT-6, CNN Türk, Kanal 7, Samanyolu, Show TV, Kanal D, ATV, Star, Ülke TV, Kanal 24 and NTV broadcasts.”
Turkish authorities had conducted direct talks with Öcalan for several years until a truce in effect collapsed in the summer of 2015. Since then, there have been heavy clashes between the PKK and Turkish security forces. Over 1,200 Turkish security personnel and civilians, including a number of women and children, have been killed since July 2015 alone.
More than 40,000 people, including 5,500 security force members, have been killed in four decades of fighting between the Turkish state and the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the EU.