Media: Turkish court denies retrial to Kurdish rebels’ leader

Türkiye Materials 2 August 2013 19:37 (UTC +04:00)

Turkish court denied the leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), Abdullah Ocalan, retrial and termination of his lawsuit, RIA Novosti reported with reference to TV channel CNN Turk on Friday.

Ocalan's lawyers decided to defend the rights of their client, serving a life sentence, amid normalization of relations between the Turkish authorities and Kurdish activists. Last week, they appealed to the 11th High Criminal Court of Ankara with request to terminate the prosecution of Ocalan and release him from a prison sentence.

The founder and leader of PKK, Ocalan launched fighting against Turkey to achieve independence of the Kurdish autonomy in 1984. In 1998, he was detained by security forces, placed in a Turkish prison on Imrali island in the Sea of Marmara and sentenced to the death penalty, later commuted to life imprisonment.

More than 40,000 people were killedd during the 30-year armed Kurdish-Turkish confrontation in Turkey.

Strating November 2012, the government is trying to resolve the conflict, engaging Ocalan as well. His appeal to supporters with demands of laying down arms was read in March. In April, the Kurdish leadership has officially presented the terms of the peace process. In early May, Kurdish fighters began to leave Turkey. Currently, the PKK leadership requires Ankara to follow-up within the settlement process, threatening otherwise to abandon the ceasefire and disrupt the whole process, blaming the authorities for the failure.