Esther López and Igor Olabarrieta (Kurdistanekin Elkartasun Ekimena)
The PKK and the Kurdish people in general have played a major role in the defeat of the Islamic State, but not even Europe and the United States have deigned to exclude the formation from the list of international terrorist organisations.
Twenty-three years ago, the collaboration of various occupying forces led to the arrest of Abdulkah Öcallan in Kenya. The Turkish secret services were assisted by the CIA in kidnapping the Kurdish leader and one of the founders of the PKK.
Since then, Öcallan has been held hostage on the island of Imrali, in a prison that exists solely and exclusively for him. As the Committee for the Prevention of Torture itself has credited, the prison regime applied to him is torture: he is not allowed to make contact with anyone, he is not allowed to receive letters or visits, he is not even allowed to read newspapers. The Islamist Recep Tayip Erdogan wants to keep him as a living dead.
Even so, the thinker’s theories – democratic confederalism – have left the prison walls behind and spread throughout Kurdistan and part of the Middle East. In Iraq, Syria or Turkish-occupied Kurdish territory, feminism, resistance or communak democracy have developed deep roots, and that is what is unbearable for Turkey.
Between 2013 and 2015 the PKK and Turkey established a ceasefire in which Öcallan’s role was important, as his intention is to seek a peaceful solution on the way to freedom. However, Turkey’s Ottoman imperialist craving has been resurrected in Libya, Armenia, Syria or Iraq, in order to conceal its economic woes. Thus, NATO’s second army is relentlessly dropping bombs on its favourite enemy: the Kurdish people.
The PKK and the Kurdish people in general have played a major role in the defeat of the Islamic State, but even so Europe and the United States have not deigned to exclude the formation from the list of international terrorist organisations and thus give legitimacy to Turkey’s endless crimes against the Kurdish people.
The only way to break this painful and bloody trend is to recognise the demands of the Kurdish people and for this Abdullah Öcallan is an essential representative and intermediary. If their oppression is the reflection and guarantee of the war, the end of the emergency measures against him can be a step towards a peaceful resolution.
That is why we demand Abdullah Öcallan’s freedom.