About the Author and this Essay Abdullah Ocalan was the leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party, the PKK, and the most wanted man in Turkey for almost two decades. He was eventually kidnapped while in Kenya in 1999, and has been in prison in Turkey ever since. The Kurdish settlement area comprises the entire Middle East. Hence, all Kurdish aspirations to nationhood will always involve several Middle Eastern countries and sources of conflict. From 1984, under his leadership, the PKK fought for an independent Kurdish state in the south east of Turkey. In a sustained popular uprising, tens of thousands of PKK guerrillas took on the second largest army in NATO. The conflict has remained unsolved till today and the fighting still goes on. While in prison, Mr. Ocalan has written a number of books, in which he analyses the situation in Kurdistan and offers proposals for a peaceful solution to the conflict. In this essay, Abdullah Öcalan gives an overview of the historical background of the Kurdish question and offers options and possible solutions.