9 October 2012

It has been 14 years since a conspiracy against the leader of the Kurdish people, Mr Abdullah Ocalan, led to his imprisonment.

We condemn all states and individuals who have taken part in this conspiracy against the Kurdish people.

Ocalan’s freedom is an essential prerequisite for the Kurdish question to be resolved in a peaceful and democratic way.

Exactly 14 years ago, the international powers that wanted to eradicate the Kurdish freedom movement took part in a major conspiracy against Mr Abdullah Ocalan, leader of the Kurdish people. The US administration spearheaded this conspiracy. With NATO’s lead, countries like Turkey, Britain, Greece, Israel, Russia and Kenya and several others were actively involved.

Pressured by the threat of war, Syria, where Mr Ocalan had been residing, expelled him from the country on 9 October 1998 and he was offered entry into Greece. Despite making promises, Greece did not accept him and he was sent to Russia. When he was not accepted there, he moved on to Italy. Again Italy succumbed to pressure and he was forced to leave, going back to Russia. Despite promising to allow him to stay, he was then sent from Russia to Greece. The Greeks took him to Kenya and as a result of their duplicity and with Kenyan cooperation, Ocalan was handed over on 15 February 1999 to the Turkish State.

From that day until now, Mr Ocalan has been kept on Imrali island in the middle of the Sea of Marmara, in a single person cell, for a total of 14 years. The Imrali prison system is unlike any other. There, rather than the rule of law, control is maintained by the often arbitrary actions of the Turkish administration. Since Mr Ocalan is not succumbing to pressure, he has not been allowed to see his family members or his lawyers for the past 440 days. Instead, new and additional forms of punishment, such as this current isolation, are being administered.

The Kurdish people defend Ocalan

Since 15 February 1999, the Kurdish people have been protecting and calling for the freedom of Mr Ocalan in the face of this conspiracy by making many sacrifices, including laying down their own lives. More than a 100 people have set themselves alight, more than 10,000 demonstrations and events all over the globe have taken place, many hunger strikes involving thousands of people have occurred, and millions of signatures were collected under the title ‘Mr Ocalan is my political will’ and sent to international institutions. There continues to be frequent and on-going demonstrations, hunger strikes, signature campaigns and many other events demanding freedom for Mr Ocalan.

As of today, for the past 27 days, hundreds of political prisoners and detainees in 27 different prisons across Turkey are on indefinite and irreversible hunger strikes.

Freedom of Ocalan is of fundamental importance to the solution of the Kurdish Question.

Mr Ocalan is the leader of the Kurdish freedom movement, and the vast majority of the Kurdish people acknowledge him as their own political leader. Despite being imprisoned, Mr Ocalan is the person who started the search for a solution to the Kurdish question and it is he who has prepared the Kurdish side for dialogue. Mr Ocalan is the main interlocutor in this process and the principle negotiator. Being condemned to life in Imrali and forced to live under these harsh conditions is unacceptable. He must be freed at once.

To this end, we call upon all friends, all responsible powers that support dialogue and peace, and all those concerned about the issues to show their solidarity by joining the campaign to free Mr Ocalan.