DİYARBAKIR- While the conspiracy of NATO-oriented international forces against PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan did not succeed, Öcalan's paradigm became universal in the 24-year period.
It has been 24 years since PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan was brought to Turkey with an international conspiracy on February 15, 1999 and placed under heavy isolation conditions in the İmralı Type F High Security Closed Prison. How did the conspiracy process that the Kurdish people describe as "Roja Reş (Black Day)" develop and what was the aim?
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, conditions changed in favor of the western imperialist bloc. The hegemonic powers led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which was established in 1949 under the leadership of the United States (USA), began to redesign the geography of the Middle East in the created vacuum. This design plan would later become known as the Greater Middle East Project (BOP). This plan, which Spain and Turkey subcontracted at the co-presidential level, was announced to the world for the first time on August 7, 2003 by Condoleezza Rice, the National Security Advisor of the then US President George W. Bush, with an article titled "Transforming the Middle East".
Successive interventions were carried out in many countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Syria within the scope of the plan. Turkey, on the other hand, was assigned the role of "logistics base". After the interventions for various reasons, the energy resources of the countries were donated to western companies; however, the realization of the plan was only possible by eliminating the revolutionary and libertarian forces and their leaders in the region. In this context, the destruction and liquidation of Öcalan was targeted; The conspiracy was started by the forces behind the USA, England and Israel.
THREAT ON THE SYRIAN BORDER
In 1998, when Süleyman Demirel became president and Bülent Ecevit became president, pressure was put on Syrian President Hafez Assad to get Öcalan out of Syria. Atilla Ateş, the Commander of the Land Forces, who came from the German military school and took on the duty of Turkey's Bonn military attaché for a while, unexpectedly came under the control of the military units on the Syrian border on September 16, 1998. During his visit to the Border Division Command in Hatay's Reyhanlı district, Ateş spoke Syria through Öcalan: "The Turkish nation has now come to the end of its goodwill in this regard. Our patience is running out. They will not lose our patience."
Following Ateş's threats, then-President Süleyman Demirel also threatened to intervene militarily in Syria. Demirel, at the opening of the parliament on October 1, said: “Syria follows a policy of open hostility towards Turkey. It continues to provide active support to the PKK. I once again declare to the world that we reserve our right to react against Syria, which has not given up its hostile stance despite all our warnings and peaceful initiatives, and that our patience is about to run out." He threatened Syria with "war".
THE ROLE OF NATO
While the "war" threats of Ateş and Demirel continued, support statements began to come from western countries on the "justification of Turkey's legitimate security concerns". Having received support from its NATO allies, Turkey went to the second stage to escalate tensions and declared Öcalan's stay in Syria "a reason for war". After this announcement, Turkey started to build up a military build-up on the border line. Öcalan left Syria on October 9, 1998, as a result of pressure from international forces, and went to Greece; however, Greece did not accept Öcalan's stay in the country.
NATO not only shaped the Turkish raid on Syria, but continued to shape the conspiracy process. Öcalan was later not wanted by Greece, to which he was invited. Savvas Kalenderidis from the Greek National Intelligence Organization, who was assigned to manage the process against Öcalan, would personally explain this situation later. In an interview with Kurdish journalist Noraldin Waisy on May 21, 2013, Kalenderidis gave some clues about NATO's role in the process. Kalenderidis pointed out that the process is run by NATO that the intelligence chief, whom he did not name, told Öcalan at the airport that "Greece, as a NATO member state, cannot accommodate him in its country".
USA: ÖCALAN SHOULD BE RETURNED TO TURKEY
Öcalan, who went to Moscow upon the invitation of the Duma, the lower house of the Russian Parliament, was greeted by Russian security personnel and former Vice President of the Duma Parliament, Vladimir Jirinovski. The "political asylum" Öcalan demanded from Russia was not accepted. Upon Russia's refusal to accept Öcalan, the "Blue Stream Project" was signed between Turkey and Russia for the purchase of Russian gas. As Russia increased its pressure, Öcalan turned towards Italy on November 12. Massimo D'Alama, prime minister from the Left-wing Democratic Party of Italy, initially took a positive stance with the initiatives of his governing partner, the Communist Party; however, the fact that Italy, a NATO country, had a left-wing government, soon became clear that it would not be able to act independently of NATO's basic policies and would not be able to withstand the incoming pressures.
US President Bill Clinton, the founding country of NATO, threatened Italian Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema, whom he called on the phone on November 24, 1998, said: "Avoid a historical mistake." D'Alema could no longer withstand the pressures of the United States.
In this process, America and its allies in NATO were taking steps to ensure that Öcalan would go to third world countries with "unclean administrative records" and "lawless" and at the same time controlled by the USA and NATO allies. Kalenderidis also touched on this in the same interview he gave to Waisy. Kalenderidis explained the purpose of the US pressure on Italy: “A high-level American delegation visited Italy and tried to persuade Öcalan to send him to a country where lawlessness was prevalent. Öcalan could have been abducted easily from there.”
Italian Prime Minister D'Alema, in an interview he gave to Reha Erus from Hürriyet newspaper on May 15, 2013, said: "Turkey was constantly sending note after note, and we were looking for solutions. The then US President Bill Clinton stepped in. He phoned me and said: ‘Öcalan is a terrorist who should be exported to Turkey'."
USSIA, KYRGYZSTAN, GREECE...
Öcalan was sent back to Russia on January 16, 1999, on a plane allocated by the Italian Prime Ministry, 66 days later. The day after Öcalan arrived in Russia, Russian Prime Minister Primakov's message was conveyed: "Our government does not allow you to stay here. You have to leave Russia within three days without any justification, but we will determine your destination."
Öcalan was smuggled to Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, on a cargo plane that US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was forcibly boarded on January 20, before her visit to Moscow. Öcalan was held in a village house here for 8 days, cutting off his connection with the world. Öcalan was brought back to Athens on January 29. Öcalan was taken to the house of writer Vula Damyanaku. Haralambos Stavrakakis, Head of the Greek Secret Service EYP, who was aware of Öcalan's coming to Greece but was unaware of where he was staying, asked his deputy, Savvas Kalenteridis, to determine Öcalan's location. Then the house of retired Admiral Antonis Naksakis, who had close relations with Öcalan, was raided.
Foreign Minister Teodoros Pangalos Paksakis said to Öcalan over retired Admiral Naksakis, with whom he met on January 30: "Welcome to our country. We want to meet with you. The necessary legal actions will be taken. There will be no different approach. In this respect, we want to discuss your situation concretely. I will attend this meeting."
Öcalan, who went to the meeting place with Naksakis, hoped to meet with Foreign Minister Pangalos, but met with intelligence officers Stavrakakis and Kalenderidis. Stavrakakis threatened Öcalan and said: "We are giving you until 04:00 a.m.;otherwise, we will forcefully do what we know."
THE PLAN OF GREECE
In the face of the negative attitude of the Greek government, Öcalan suggested going to the Netherlands; However, Stavrakakis rejected the proposal, arguing that the Netherlands could extradite Öcalan to Greece as per the Schengen Agreement, so, a search for a third country outside the Schengen Agreement was made and it was decided on Belarus. According to the plan, Öcalan would first be taken to Minsk and then to the Netherlands by a second plane, thus preventing his extradition to Greece. Greece did not stick to the plan. The plane to take Öcalan to the Netherlands, who was held at Minsk Airport for 7 hours, did not arrive. When the plane did not arrive, Öcalan tried to be taken off the Greek plane he was on. When Öcalan resisted this, he returned to Athens on the same plane at around 04:00. Öcalan was welcomed by NATO member Stavrakakis. The same night, Öcalan was taken to Corfu Island, where American and British military bases are located, and his request to go to Serbia was rejected, as he demanded to return to the region.
While these were happening at Minsk Airport on January 31st, it was later revealed that Öcalan's situation was the subject of negotiation between Russian Prime Minister Piromakov and the US oil companies at the World Economic Forum meeting held in Davos on January 30. In this agreement, which will go down in history as the "Davos Agreement", it was decided that petrol of Kazakhstan would be distributed through Russia and petrol of Azerbaijan through Turkey. In line with this agreement, Turkey would not prevent the distribution of Kazakhstan petrol by Russia over the Dardanelles and Istanbul Straits. In return, the Russians would allow the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline and would not accept the asylum application of Öcalan.
USA: YOU GET HIM OUT OF GREECE, DO NOT INTERFERE WITH THE REST
Pangalos informed the US that Öcalan was in Greece on the morning of February 1, through the US Ambassador to Athens, Nicholas Burns. Burns then instructed Pangalos: "Okay, you get him out of Greece, don't interfere with the rest". In the evening of the same day, the intelligence officer Kalenderidis, who came to Öcalan, who was being held in the intelligence center in Corfu, said to Öcalan: "We succeeded! I spoke to Pangalos, he apologizes to you. He is sorry for his bad behavior. We found a solution, we will take you to an African country." You will stay here temporarily under the guarantee of the Greek government, during this time your passport will be prepared and you will be taken to the Republic of South Africa."
When Öcalan tried to state his doubts about the offer, Kalenderidis said to him: "You will stay at our embassy in Africa. Those are Greek lands, they have immunity. No power other than us can intervene and you will stay there safely. Your safety will be ensured."
Kalenderidis, who never mentioned Kenya to Öcalan in this meeting, stated that his destination was an intermediate stop to go to South Africa. Öcalan, accompanied by Kalenderidis, was taken from Corfu Island and set out for the so-called African plane. The vehicle that took Öcalan to the airport stopped 7 times along the way, and the driver of the vehicle was changed 100 meters from the airport. The vehicle, moved with the new driver, crashed into the wing of the plane. That's why Öcalan was taken to another plane from Switzerland, which was held at a secret military airport, and smuggled from there to Kenya.
'I RESEARCHED YOU CONTINUOUSLY FOR 20 YEARS IN NATO'
The stealth plane from Switzerland, arranged by the NATO Gladio or the CIA, landed at Nairobi Airport in Kenya on February 2, 1999. Öcalan was welcomed by Kenyan Ambassador George Kostoulas. He showed how NATO was organized for the liquidation of Öcalan, said to Öcalan, whom Kostoulas met for the first time at the airport: "I have been the head of the unit in NATO that has been searching for you for 20 years. I found you unexpectedly."
On February 3, 1999, when Öcalan was in Kenya, Kathourima, the Permanent Secretary of the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, met with the Greek Ambassador, George Kostoulas. On the same day, a delegation led by Israel Intelligence Chief David Ivry and officials from the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MIT and the General Staff Operations Department gathered in Ankara. These meetings continued with the involvement of the CIA on February 4.
The CIA offered Turkey's MIT Undersecretary Şenkal Atasagun a proposal to capture Öcalan in Kenya and bring him to Turkey. The Prime Minister of the time, Bülent Ecevit, later said, "We received the news that Öcalan could be taken from Africa on February 4th. Then, this mechanism was activated."
Meanwhile, every kind of pressure was put on Öcalan to leave the house of the Kenyan Ambassador to Greece, where he was staying. Öcalan did not accept these proposals, considering them inconvenient in terms of life safety. Öcalan later stated that he was expelled from the embassy with these suggestions and aimed to be destroyed, and stated that "When this did not happen, the İmralı Plan was put into effect".
PLAN TO KILL ÖCALAN
While these were happening in Kenya, preparations were made for the plane to deliver Öcalan to Turkey. The plane, whose preparations were completed, went to Uganda's Entebbe Airport from Istanbul on February 10, 1999. It was later revealed that this Falcon 900B type aircraft, manufactured by French Dassault with the TC-CAG registration mark, belonged to businessman Cavit Çağlar. The most important feature of this aircraft was that it was capable of traveling for 7 hours without stopping. In the letter sent by Mehmet Dülgeroğlu, an officer of Gözen Airlines, who provides security services at Turkish airports, who corresponded with Ugandan authorities to Entebbe Airport officials on February 9, "Operator: Nergis Airlines, Aircraft type: Falcon 900B, Number: TC-CAG, Purpose: For Business- private plane” information was included.
Vasilis Papaioannou, the undersecretary of Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, called Ambassador Kostoulas on February 13 to force Öcalan out of the embassy and conveyed Pangalos' instruction within the scope of the plan on kidnapping and destruction. This plan came to naught with Öcalan's resistance; however, this time Athens decided to arrange a special operation team of 4 people in Greece to remove Öcalan from the embassy residence and send him to the embassy. The purpose of this plan became clear with the words of those who first met Öcalan in Imrali: "If the Greek police had taken you out of the Greek embassy, we would have made preparations, we would have killed you”.
WHAT HAPPENED ON THE NIGHT OF FEBRUARY 14
The real items on the plane that would take Öcalan on the night of February 14 were deleted and replaced with a fake Malaysian flag and items. Greek Ambassador George Kostoulas, who came to the embassy in the morning of February 15, 1999, was taken to Kathourima, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. After the meeting that took place here, Kostoulas returned home in the evening, taking Savvas Kalenderidis with him. Kostoulas stated that the deadline for Öcalan expired on February 15 and that he had to leave the embassy. He replied, "I cannot guarantee what might happen at night," to the one-day period Öcalan requested.
A few hours after this meeting, 5 cars with Kenyan government license plates, 3 Land Rover type jeeps, including the Kenyan police, were parked in the garden of the Greek ambassador Kostoulas' house, where Öcalan was present. Kenya Intelligence Chief Noan Arap Ta, who came by vehicles, first met Öcalan after his secret meeting with Kostoulas. Öcalan stated that he would not leave without government assurance. Noan Arap Ta said: “The plane is ready, get out as soon as possible. Night is approaching, I cannot guarantee what will happen at night.” Upon Öcalan's insistence, Noan Arap Ta went further this time and said: “If you don't go out, the night will be bad for you, we don't want to shed blood in our country.” When Öcalan did not want to leave where he was, Ambassador Kostoulas and intelligence officer Kalenderidis stepped in. Kalenderidis promised guarantees on behalf of the Greek government. This assurance was effective in Öcalan's exit from the embassy.
Despite all the objections and arguments in the garden of Ambassador Kostoulas' house, the Kenyan police forced Öcalan into their vehicles in front of Kostoulas and Kalenderidis. The team that would take Öcalan to Turkey was the team that settled in the Entebbe Lake Victoria Hotel in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, and awaited the news from Kenya. Öcalan was kidnapped from the house of Ambassador Kostoulas, which is officially considered Greek territory, and brought to Turkey and put in İmralı Prison. The handing over of Öcalan to Turkey was announced to the public on February 16 by then-Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit.
In a statement he made later, Ecevit expressed his surprise at the fact that Öcalan was brought to Turkey and said: "I still do not understand why America gave us Apo."
THE PARADIGM OF ÖCALAN
The conspiracy process aimed at the liquidation of Öcalan and the PKK continued in a different way in the Imrali Type F High Security Prison. Öcalan put forward his "democratic, ecological and women's libertarian" paradigm against the capitalist system in conditions of severe isolation. Öcalan became a leader in the world with his ideas built on the ideal of a stateless society. Öcalan's stance and ideas in Imrali largely nullified those targeted by the conspiracy. The Kurdish problem ceased to be a problem stuck between “Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq” and gained an international character. Öcalan's paradigm has become a universal center of attraction for those who are dissatisfied with the capitalist system, oppressed nations, feminists and socialists. The Kurds, acted on Öcalan's ideas, achieved great gains in the geographies they lived in.
Tomorrow: Ruled by 'secret protocol', unique in the world