Abdullah Ocalan, jailed leader of the terrorist organization PKK was nominated by Heval Kostani, the Iraqi member of Parliament, for the Nobel Peace Prize in July 2013, it was revealed Tuesday.
At a press conference held Tuesday at the Iraqi Parliament's office in Sulaymaniyah, Kostani told reporters that he applied to the Committee on July 18, 2013 nominating Ocalan for the peace prize. "My goal was to contribute to the peace process," Kostani said.
Kostani's decision to nominate Ocalan was made after hearing the "impressive" letter of peace penned by the imprisoned PKK leader to Turks and Kurds which was read out to crowds during the Nowruz celebrations in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir last year.
Kostani received a standard response to his application from the Nobel committee on April 9 stating that they were in receipt of 276 nominees this year and that the prize recipient will be announced on October 10, 2014. "However, the committee neither confirms nor invalidates that Ocalan is a nominee," Kostani said.
"However, the letter itself is proof that my nomination has been received," he added.
Abdullah Ocalan, founding member of the organization known by Turkey, EU and the U.S. as a terrorist organization, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), has been imprisoned on Imrali Island in the Marmara Sea, since his capture in Nairobi by Turkish security forces in 1999.
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