On 31st January 2012 the Confederation of Kurdish Associations in Europe (KON-KURD) begun a general march in Europe with the slogan “We are on the Road for Our Existence and Freedom!”. The Long March protests the prison
conditions of the Kurdish Leader Mr. Abdullah Ocalan, who is a key person to the solution of the Kurdish question. The Long March for Freedom started at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva and will end in Strasbourg on the 18 of February. You can follow updates on the march at the Kurdish Freedom March blog.
Kurdish Rights and Freedom for Ocalan
Kurds are unable to secure their most basic rights and liberties that are attached to being a nation of 40 million.
The main reason for this is the division of Kurdistan! Divided by Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Western states in the Treaty of Lausanne, 24th July 1923. The Kurds, whose existence has been denied within this treaty, have been left to the mercy of their own fate, denied any status that guarantees their rights, as well as being exposed to the merciless assaults of the colonialist states.
The Treaty of Lausanne Paved the Way for the Kurdish Massacre and State Terrorism
Kurdish people, whose rights have been denied since that date, have been exposed to brutal oppression and assaults of states in every part of Kurdistan, and have been subjected to attempts at annihilation through cultural and political genocide as well as cases of physical genocides that took place in Halabja, Dersim and Zilan.
Kurdish language still continues to be subject to prohibitions, Kurdish settlements are brutalised, tens of thousands of people are subjected to inhuman systematic torture in Turkish prisons, nature is destroyed, while the historical wealth and cultural heritage of the land are being eroded by the construction of dams.
The consequences of these policies in the last 2 years can be summarised as follows:
– Over 8000 people including MPs, mayors, lawyers. journalists, local officials, representatives of women’s movements, professors and intellectuals have been detained, 5000 of whom are still in prisons due to the draconian ‘anti-terror’ law since 2009
– Around 200 children have been killed by the ‘security’ forces during the AKP term in office.
– Chemical weapons have been deployed against the Kurds on various occasions.
– Cross-border operations have continued without a break in violation of international laws
– 35 Kurdish civilians, many of whom were children, have been massacred by the Turkish fighter aircraft in Uludere on 28th December 2011.
It has only been thanks to the total resistance undertaken by the Kurds since the Treaty of Lausanne against the state terror imposed on them, that Kurds were able to avoid total annihilation.
EU States and International Institutions are in Violation of Their Own Values
There is no doubt that the genocidal and systematic oppression inclicted on the Kurdish people by the regional states for the sake of their political and economic interests could not have been conceptualised and realised without the international support offered to them by the USA, Israel and the EU states.
The same international powers have today declared the Kurds and their organisations ‘terrorists’, who are simply resisting annihilation, in consideration of their vested interests.
International laws and norms do not maintain their validity when it comes to the Kurds, who are subjected to specifically designed implementations. The clearest example of this reality is to be found in the sanctions imposed in Mr Abdullah Ocalan, the Leader of the Kurdish people. He was illegally kidnapped on 15 February 1999 through an international plot supported mainly by the USA, Israel and the EU states, and taken to Imrali where he is kept is solitary confinement conditions.
The Treatment of Abdullah Ocalan Determines the Approach to the Kurdish Question
The intense psychological and physical torture inflicted on the Kurdish Leader Mr Abdullah Ocalan for the last 13 years under the conditions of solitary confinement have been accelerated with further restrictions on his confinement. As is known, the current prohibition of Mr Ocalan’s meetings with family and lawyers have approached the 200th day. It is understood that the AKP government is in preparation of legal arrangements to maket this situation permanent!
It is clear that the domestic laws of Turkey, let alone the international laws, are blatently violated on political grounds in order to prevent meetings with families and lawyers! This is being done to interfere with his national responsibilities, communications and diplomatic efforts as leader of the Kurdish people. The international institutions that denied their own norms with the Proto-Guantanamo system and its implementation constructed on Imrali are in criminally aquiesecing in this plot.
Abdullah Ocalan is regarded as a political representative by the Kurds. Around 3.5 Million Kurds have proved that with a petition in 2006. Mr Ocalan is the most important representative of the struggle of Kurds for their rights and democracy as well as being the symbol of Kurdish liberation. A committee sent by the Turkish government has been in dialogue with him from 2006 to July 2011 due to his missions in respect of his status. These meetings, which have been covertly carried out by the state and government have ended and remained inconclusive as they have been utilized by the state as part of the plan to annihilate the Kurdish Liberation Movement.
Mr Ocalan occupies the key position in the intensifying continuity of the conflicts. Mr Ocalan plays a determinate role in the control of conflicts and in bringing a political solution to the Kurdish Question. There is no doubt that for this reason Mr Ocalan is the person with whom a dialogue should be established for the stability and social peace in Turkey and thereby in all the Middle East.
Therefore, the solitary confinement of such an actor will and already is jeopardising the solution and search for peace.
For this reason, we are expecting with anticipation for the United Nations and the European Council to use their sanction power in order to secure the freedom of Mr Ocalan, to play his determinant role in bringing a peaceful-political solution to the question as well as the improvement of the conditions of his health, life and security.
Kurdish People Demand an Official Status and their Democratic Rights
In commencing our march on 31st January 2012 outside the UN-Geneva, we express our demand for freedom for which we have paid enormous sacrifices but have never abandoned and demand the UN to fulfill their responsibility towards the Kurdish people and recognise them as a people.
In Strasbourg, we will highlight the living conditions of the Kurdish Leader Mr Abdullah Ocalan, who is critical to the solution of the Kurdish question, and emphasise the fact that the freedom of the Kurdish people is aslo dependent on the freedom of Mr Ocalan and call upon the EC and CPT to fulfill their duties.
We demand the international powers such as the UN, European Union, NATO, US and Russia use their relationships and influence on the states that occupy Kurdistan and initiate the dialogues in order to secure a status for the Kurdish people and maintain their national existence and rights in every part at national and international levels for the purpose of ensuring the culmination of the question in a permanent solution.
We call upon the institutions and individuals, who uphold the universal values of democracy, freedom, justice, peace, and human rights to participate in our march and to send messages of support. We call upon the press and public to demonstrate their sensitivity, support and solidarity.
Confederation of Kurdish Associations in Europe (KON-KURD)”