HEWLÊR-Erbil, Iraq’s Kurdistan region,— Kurdish security forces from the Kurdistan Democratic Party KDP are prohibiting marching supporters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), from entering Iraqi Kurdistan capital city of Erbil. A large number of security forces had gathered at Prde Checkpoint near Erbil and prevented the supporters from entering the city. Nearly 300 PKK supporters began their peaceful march to Erbil from Sulaimani city on February 10 after a demonstration was held in the city against the continued imprisonment of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan by Turkey. According to the correspondent, an estimated 500 armed security personal gathered at Erbil checkpoint to stop the 300 PKK supporters. “The security forces told the PKK supporters that they wouldn’t allow them to enter Erbil,” Jaf said, citing what demonstrators had told him. The PKK supporters gathered at Prde checkpoint said they will not leave until they are allowed to enter the region’s capital, NRT reported. The aim of the march is to demonstrate in front of the Turkish Consulate-General in Erbil and call for the release of the jailed PKK leader. The KDP party led by Massoud Barzani has close relation with the Turkish government. Ocalan has been incarcerated in Turkey for the past 18 years. The Turkish National Intelligence Agency (MIT) detained Ocalan, also known as Apo, in 1999 in Nairobi, Kenya. The PKK leader was taken to Turkey where he was sentenced to death under Article 125 of the Turkish Penal Code. 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. The PKK took up arms in 1984 against the Turkish state, which still denies the constitutional existence of Kurds, to push for greater autonomy for the Kurdish minority who make up around 22.5 million of the country’s 79-million population. A large Kurdish community in Turkey and worldwide openly sympathise with PKK rebels and Abdullah Ocalan, who founded the PKK group in 1974, and has a high symbolic value for most Kurds in Turkey and worldwide according to observers.