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Abdullah Öcalan (/ˈoʊdʒəlɑːn/ OH-jə-lahn; Turkish: [œdʒaɫan]; born about 1947, Ömerli), also known as Apo (short for both Abdullah and “uncle” in Kurdish), is a Kurdish leader and one of the founding members of the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Öcalan was arrested in 1999 by the Turkish National Intelligence Agency (MIT) with the support of the CIA in Nairobi and taken to Turkey, where he was sentenced to death under Article 125 of the Turkish Penal Code, which concerns the formation of armed organisations.
The sentence was commuted to aggravated life imprisonment when Turkey abolished the death penalty in support of its bid to be admitted to membership in the European Union. From 1999 until 2009, he was the sole prisoner on İmralı island, in the Sea of Marmara. Öcalan now argues that the period of armed warfare is past and a political solution to the Kurdish question should be developed. The conflict between Turkey and the PKK has resulted in over 40,000 deaths, including PKK members, the Turkish military, and civilians, both Kurdish and Turkish.
From prison, Öcalan has published several books, the most recent in 2015. Jineology, also known as the science of women, is a form of feminism advocated by Öcalan and subsequently a fundamental tenet of the Apoist movement