PKK Chairman Addresses Letter to Kocharian

In a Friday–April 10–letter addressed to President Robert Kocharian–Kurdistan Workers’ Party President Abdullah Ocalan congratulated Kocharian on his recent victory and offered the PKK’s support to the Armenian nation. He also condemned Turkish denial of the Armenian Genocide and praised the Belgian Senate for their recognition of the Genocide. Ocalan urged Armenia and Turkey to establish dialogue and resolve their political issues. The following is the full text of the letter:

Dear Mr President

I am writing to congratulate you on your election as President of Armenia and to wish you every success in forming your new government. I want particularly to wish you well in implementing democratic reforms and a political solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

I also welcome and endorse the passage of a resolution in the Belgian Senate calling on the Turkish government in Ankara to recognize the reality of the Armenian holocaust perpetrated by the last Ottoman regime in 1915-19.

This resolution of 26 March–I believe–cannot be treated as a transient episode but is of paramount significance in the protracted campaign to end the political amnesia about 1915–deliberately contrived by Turkish and foreign governmen’s in the past in order to perpetrate the carve-up of Asia Minor and the Mid-East by the imperial powers at the Lausanne Conference of 1923.

The massacres during the First World War which shocked the civilized world then became a precedent for an even more appalling and destructive demonstration of genocide of the Jewish people by the German Nazis in the Second World War. Let us recall Hitler’s response to a critic of the "final solution" of the Jewish problem: "Who complained about the Armenia’s?"

Now–when the specter of ethnic cleansing is once again stalking the Balkans the courageous stand of the Belgian Senate–we feel–must concentrate the minds of Turks–Armenia’s–Greeks and Kurds alike the necessity for a wide-ranging discussion and fresh analysis of the causes of the 1915 events as a precondition for a genuine reconciliation of ethnic groups and nations and the settling of territorial disputes through negotiation. Such a process–we are firmly convinced–will help Turkish-Armenian and Greek relations.

Our movement will continue to support all efforts to set in train a genuine dialogue between all contending parties with the self-evident proviso that the Kurdish claim to self-determination and freedom will not be prejudiced–as it was in Lausanne.

We urge the new governmen’s of Armenia and Turkey to seize the historic opportunity. We look forward to future cooperation with your government and the Armenian people and wish you all the success needed to move the peace process forward.

In the name of peace–freedom and reconciliation–we remain

Yours respectfully,

Abdullah Ocalan

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