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.

Autonomy demands
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!

Who is Abdullah Öcalan?
Millions of Kurds regard Abdullah Öcalan as their political representative. As their most important representative in the struggle for rights and democracy, he symbolises freedom for the Kurds. He stands against separatism and secessionism and presents a democratic Middle East of equal peoples – as is currently being implemented in Rojava (northern Syria) – as a perspective for a solution. The worldwide signature campaign for his freedom has gathered 10.3 million names. TIME Magazine listed him among the 100 most influential people in the world in 2013. In prison, he has authored more than a dozen books. The Time has Come!

International Initiative “Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan – Peace in Kurdistan” PO Box 100511, 50445 Cologne, Germany | | | February 2018