UK trade union support for Kurds has “parallels” with opposition to Apartheid South Africa and Pinochet’s Chile, says Freedom for Öcalan Director

10 February 2020|Peace in Kurdistan Campaign

Matt Nathan, Director of the Freedom for Öcalan Campaign, describes to Kurdish Journalist Aleddin Sinayic how key trade unions came to back the Freedom for Öcalan Campaign, after becoming aware of the siege of the Kurdish-majority Syrian city of Kobane imposed by Daesh (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Islamic State) and exacerbated by the Turkish state. Nathan, who is also Labour Party Councillor for Clerkenwell, discusses how UK-based trade unions came to see the libertarian socialist vision of imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan as representing a “fulcrum around which many issues that as trade unionists we would instinctively find solidarity with”.

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Peace in Kurdistan Statement on 41st Anniversary of Founding of Kurdistan Workers’ Party

Celebrating 27 November 1978

For the Kurdish people, today is the 41st anniversary of the founding of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). It was a landmark in Kurdish history because this was the first time there appeared a modern, secular movement for Kurdish freedom uniting the Kurdish workers in political struggle.

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(VIDEO) Dr. Thomas Jeffery Miley Discusses Turkish State Violence, Kurdish Resistance, and Democratic Confederalism

8 November 2019|Alaettin Sinayic

Cambridge University Professor and author Dr. Thomas Jeffery Miley speaks with Journalist Alaettin Sinayic about Turkish state violence, Kurdish resistance and the philosophy of “democratic confederalism” which has been adopted by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the PYD in Syria for the better part of twenty years.

(VIDEO) Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival 2019 – Interview with Simon Dubbins

The Freedom for Öcalan trade union campaign interviewed Simon Dubbins, co-chair of the campaign and International Director at Unite the Union at the 2019 Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival. We asked Simon about his thoughts on the progress and future of the campaign, the international situation and the engagement of UK politicians in the Kurdish struggle.

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Gildernew meets Kurdish hunger strikers 

For immediate release
9 May 2019 
 
Sinn Féin MP Michelle Gildernew has called on the Turkish authorities to release Kurdish political leader Abdullah Öcalan and the thousands of imprisoned Kurdish hunger strikers.

Speaking after meeting Kurdish hunger strikers in London today, the Fermanagh and South Tyrone MP said:

“I met today with Kurdish political activists who are on hunger strike in London calling for an end to the isolation and the release of Kurdish political leader Abdullah Öcalan. 

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UK to raise issue of Kurdish hunger strikers with Turkey

http://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/ff4f6ae4-6480-41fa-a058-4c99362ab956

Kurdistan 24 reports today

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Statement from Leyla Guven and other HDP deputies:

The statement of the HDP deputies said the following;
“After eight years, Mr. Öcalan has had a meeting with his lawyers. This meeting is historic and of great importance. However, it also brings into question “In what kind of a country are we living that we feel happy over a visit of lawyers that has been arbitrarily and unlawfully prohibited so far?” True, we are all experiencing a bittersweet happiness. Bodies have been melting away to make sure that this meeting takes place. 8 young people have ended their lives for this visit to take place. Our mothers are dragged on the ground every day in order for this meeting to take place, in order for this state to implement its own laws, in order for laws to be equal for everyone.

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KCK: Isolation hasn’t ended, demands haven’t been met

ANF, Behdinan, Tuesday 7 May 2019

KCK: “The isolation hasn’t ended, and the demands of the resistance haven’t been met. The lawyers’ visit to Imrali was planned only to ease the domestic and foreign pressure created by the resistance to break the isolation.”

Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) Executive Council Co-presidency issued a written statement after the meeting Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Ocalan had with his lawyers on May 2 was announced to the public and said: “As the Kurdish people and the forces of democracy objected to the isolation, so do the peoples of the world and forces of democracy. The struggle against the isolation has gone beyond the borders of Kurdistan and Turkey and reached an international level. The struggle against the isolation has been assumed by the whole of humanity in the person of Kurdish mothers with white scarves.”

Lawyers for Abdullah Öcalan publicly read his letter, following their historic meeting with the Kurdish leader.

Lawyers for Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan held a press conference at the Taksim Hill Hotel in Istanbul regarding the meeting they were allowed with their client. The conference was attended by lawyers Faik Özgür Erol, Newroz Uysal and Rezan Sarıca from Asrın Law Office.

The meeting between Öcalan and his lawyers on May 2nd lasted one hour. The meeting was the first one held since 27 July 2011 when the Kurdish leader was last allowed to meet with his lawyers. Since then, lawyers for Öcalan submitted a total of 810 appeals to visit him on Imralı Island Prison.

Full text of the statement read by lawyer Newroz Uysal on Monday, with the signature of Abdullah Öcalan and three other prisoners on Imralı, is as follows;

“TO THE PUBLIC

There is a need for a deep social reconciliation in this historic process we are experiencing.

There is an urgent need for a method of democratic negotiations, far removed from any and all polarization and culture of conflict for the solution of problems.

We can solve the problems in Turkey, and even in the region, starting with the war, with soft power – with intelligence and political and cultural strength instead of tools of physical violence.

We believe that through the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), all should aim to solve the issues in Syria by refraining from conflict culture and within the perspective of local democracy guaranteed by the Constitution in the framework of Syria’s unity. As such, Turkey’s sensibilities should be minded.

With all due respect for the resistance of friends in and outside of prisons, we would like to stress that they should not take it to the level to threaten their health or result in deaths. For us, their mental, physical and spiritual health is above all. We also believe that the most meaningful approach is connected to developing a mental and spiritual stance.Our stance in Imrali is to deepen and clarify the method of expression we declared with the Newroz 2013 statement and to continue on this path.For us, a dignified peace and democratic political solution are paramount.

We commend all who were concerned and all who took a stand with respect due to our stance in Imrali, and we would like to offer our immense gratitude.

A. ÖCALAN     H. YILDIRIM    Ö. H. KONAR    V. AKTAŞ”