Since 27 July 2011, while the Turkish military conducted air strikes in South Kurdistan, Abdullah Ocalan’s family and lawyers have been refused access to visit him in prison. The International Initiative wrote this statement at the height of his isolation:

22 August 2011

The Turkish government has renewed the complete isolation of Abdullah Ocalan. In the last two months all consultation with his lawyers but one have been inhibited by the Turkish state authorities. For the past four weeks no-one has been able to see Ocalan. Thus the total isolation that was imposed on Ocalan between 1999 to 2009 has been renewed by the Erdogan government.

The renewal of total isolation comes at a time when talks between Ocalan and state officials, which were officially conceded by both sides, seems to have collapsed. At the same time, the Erdogan government, having newly re-shaped the Turkish army, has declared war on the Kurdish legal party and organizations as well as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). This war is conducted through the close and cross co-operation between Turkey, the US and Iran despite all the sanctions of the Western alliance against the mullah regime. Thus, this is the reason why the well-being of the Kurdish leader is feared for.

This is the same government that until recently promised to find a political solution to the Kurdish issue and started several “reform projects”. But now thousands of Kurdish politicians and community leaders are imprisoned over scandalous accusations. Turkish warplanes have illegally crossed the Turkish-Iraqi border and have been bombing the alleged positions of the PKK militants for more than three days now. The PKK had repeatedly been holding a one-sided cease-fire, including before, during and after the June 2011 elections.

Talks with Ocalan

The International Initiative “Freedom for Abdullah Ocalan – Peace in Kurdistan” has over the years repeatedly demanded a political dialogue with Abdullah Ocalan. This dialogue has indeed – in secrecy – started more than two years ago. Ocalan stated that the talks held were based on the Road Map he had drawn up (see and after the elections things would move ahead with the formation of a Peace Council at the initiative of the parliament of Turkey.

Ocalan even went so far to offer concrete steps for the disarmament of the Kurdish militants, but Erdogan did not even answer to this proposal. This is why Ocalan does not find the talks meaningful at the moment. Instead of searching for the grounds for a viable compromise, the Turkish government has used the talks as a means of delaying a real solution.

Bombings are no solution

The Erdogan government is fully responsible for the current massive military attacks which are in violation of international law. It is no longer possible to hide behind the back of the powerful Turkish military. There remain no excuses for not solving the conflict through political means. Erdogan wanted this military operation, he prepared it and he is leading it.

Military attacks do not contribute to a solution of the conflict but can only intensify it. The attacks on all representatives of the Kurdish people in Turkey – renewed total isolation of Ocalan, bombing of guerilla positions and imprisonment of politicians – threatens to have disastrous consequences for the foreseeable future. Again civilians will be among the victims of this fatal military operation.

The International Initiative calls for an immediate stop of all military action and a prompt resuming of the talks between Ocalan and the Erdogan government. Only dialogue can lead to a meaningful solution of the conflict. Ocalan’s isolation must be lifted and he should be transferred into a setting which will allow him to successfully play his constructive and mediating role.

The international public should not stay silent in the face of the violation of Iraqi borders by Turkey and Iran. Europe should no longer support the warmongers in Turkey but pressure the Erdogan government to finally turn towards peaceful and political solutions to the ongoing conflict.

International Initiative
Freedom for Ocalan – Peace in Kurdistan
P.O. Box 100511, D-50445 Koeln
Telephone: +49 221 130 15 59
Fax: +49 221 790 76 10 30