Today it’s 19 years ago that Abdullah Öcalan was arrested. Statement by the International Initiative “Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan – Peace in Kurdistan”: On the 19th anniversary of his abduction we demand: Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan. On February 17th there will be a transnational demonstration in Strasbourg, France.
Originally published by the International Initiative “Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan – Peace in Kurdistan” (PDF file). The part about the demonstration in Strasbourg is written and published by Enough is Enough.
Note: Enough is Enough is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.
Print, read and spread the PDF file Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan (originally published by the International Initiative “Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan – Peace in Kurdistan”)
Who is Abdullah Öcalan?
Abdullah Öcalan was born on April the 04. 1949 in Amara. He actively led the Kurdish liberation struggle as the head of the PKK from its foundation in 1978 until his abduction on 15 February 1999. He is still regarded as a leading strategist and the most important political representative of the Kurdish freedom movement.
Under isolation conditions at Imrali Island Prison, Öcalan authored more than 10 books which revolutionised Kurdish politics. He has inspired a new political movement. Called Democratic Confederalism, this revolutionary model is developing on the ground in parts of Syria (Rojava) and Turkey; it represents an alternative to religious sectarianism, patriarchy, capitalism and chauvinistic nationalism, providing the blueprint for a burgeoning radical democratic society.
From 2009 until mid-2011 Turkish state authorities led a ‘dialogue’ with Öcalan. Since 27 July 2011 he is being held again in total isolation at Imrali Island Prison.
Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan
What is happening in Afrîn at the moment?
The Turkish army together with jihadi mercenaries has invaded the North Syrian canton Afrin. Afrin was one of the few regions in Syria where there was no fighting. Now the Turkish army is massacring defenders and civilians in violation of international law and human rights. The European states are silently approving of the invasion.
The fact that the Kurds in North Syria achieved the autonomy they fought for has moved the Turkish state to act even more aggressively towards them domestically and abroad. Erdogan categorically rejects any kind of dialogue and any manifestation of Kurdish ambitions for selfdetermination and instead opts for war and a “military solution”, which is impossible to achieve. The only possible solution is talks over political demands of the Kurdish population.
Tireless peace efforts
For many years, Abdullah Öcalan has been trying to bring about favourable conditions for a peaceful, political solution to the conflict. He held talks for a solution with the Turkish government for years. In 2009, he proposed his “Road Map for Peace”. In 2013, his call for the withdrawal of the guerrillas effectively stopped the armed conflict in Turkey. He remains the voice of peace and reason.
Isolation instead of talks
But Erdogan wants to silence this voice of reason. This is why Öcalan is totally cut off from the rest of the world on Imrali Island. For 11 years Öcalan has been the only prisoner on the island – watched over by more than 1,000 soldiers. Now he is one of four inmates in isolation. Since July 2011, he has not been able to talk to a lawyer. This is a Europe-wide record – the longest ban on contacts with lawyers: more than 6½ years! Since April 2015, the total time of visits received by Ocalan was 30 minutes – half an hour in three years! This total isolation makes Imrali the worst prison among the already bad prisons in Turkey: the Turkish Guantanámo.
Öcalan must be free
Öcalan’s freedom is not only a key demand of millions of Kurds. Together with the release of the other political prisoners, it is a necessary step on the way to peace. Öcalan is recognised by all sides as the key person for a real peace process. He has put a peaceful solution on the Kurdish people’s agenda. Abdullah Ocalan’s “Road map” is the only comprehensive peace plan on the table so far. He has to be free and able to communicate with all parties concerned for a way out of the conflict and destruction to be found.
Why are we here?
The renewed total isolation of Öcalan on Imrali Island was the impetus for the current escalation. Erdogan is doing everything in his power to block a peaceful solution. We want peace and a democratic solution within Kurdistan and Turkey. Abdullah Öcalan’s proposal for democratic autonomy in a democratic republic is the guarantor of a solution. We want his freedom, now! The time has come to stand for justice, peace and freedom!
That is why we demand:
● End the Turkish invasion and massacres in North Syria! Turkey must be stopped!
● Raise your voice against injustice! Europe must not stay silent!
● Respect the Kurdish demands for autonomy!
● Freedom for Öcalan and all political prisoners in Turkey! The time has come!
● Stop torture and isolation! Shut down Imrali prison!
The Time has Come!
International Initiative “Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan – Peace in Kurdistan”
PO Box 100511, 50445 Cologne, Germany | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.freedom-for-ocalan.com | www.freeocalan.org
Demonstration in Strasbourg
On the 17th of February there will be a transnational demonstration in Strasbourg, France. The demands are freedom for Abdullah Öcalan, a charter for Kurdistan and to stop the Turkish military aggression against Afrin.
Demonstration Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan! A charter for Kurdstan! Stop the military aggression against Afrin!
Saturday February 17th, 11:30am, Gare de Strasbourg (main train station Strasbourg), Place de la Gare, 67000 Straßburg, France.
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1635432363220460/
Support our independent on the ground reporting
We will report live from the demonstration on our Twitter account @enough14 and on our blog. If you want to support our independent on the ground reporting, you can donate on our PayPal account: email@example.com.