Greetings message from Abdullah Ocalan, which was read at a rally on International

Women’s Day in Amed (Diyarbakir) on 3 March 2013.

First of all, I would like to express my dismay that International Women’s Day on 8th March is only on a single day because it must be one of life’s indispensable conditions that every day is a day for women and for freedom. But it makes it clear that women do not have any real control over their own lives. That women are only appreciated one day in the year makes the extent of their enslavement all too clear. For me, it is a theme on which I am concentrating more and more. I do not consider the woman question as independent from war. Like with all revolutions, even today’s, in particular the revolution in Kurdistan, the woman question is the most important theme that needs to be resolved. It lies right at the heart of every question that concerns war and the progress of a peace process.

Despite being the darkest era for civilization, the 21st century will be the period for women’s freedom. I consider this civilisation as the darkest age, an ice age. But at the beginning of the 21st century, the women’s spring has begun. Women’s freedom is like the snowdrops that grow against snow and ice, in the hardest winter of patriarchal domination, which has ruled over the female gender with fraudulent mechanisms of oppression for the entire history of civilisation. In the Women’s Spring, the women’s freedom movement blooms. I find this very important. My relationship to women is one of the soul and spirit. That corresponds to my identity and my attitude to women.

No one must ever forget that a meaningful and dignified life with a woman demands wisdom and greatness. Whoever wants to experience love and passion, must always remember this. You must succeed in creating a mutual balance between wisdom and strength, through which beauty and great emotion can be produced and shared. There must be a connection between the individual and the universal, both a concrete connection between man and woman as well as between the abstract ideals of male and female identity. The relationship between woman as property and man as owner must be dissolved in a radical way. Instead of the traditional perception of “marriage”, beauty and the dignity of personality must be placed in the foreground. Without a radical women’s revolution, without overcoming male striving for domination, freedom is hopeless. Without the freedom of women, life would be a delusion. Until men seek peace in life and with women, all hope is an empty illusion. Most probably you have been married against your will. Many of you are mothers. You know what this pain means. There can be no love under duress. This form of love is deadly. A nation whose women are not free has no chance to be free itself. You must free yourselves. Politics is done with passion, with love to the people.

We experience the women’s freedom movement. Sakine is an example, you are examples. Sakine’s life was an example. Sakine’s fight was for women’s freedom. I demand justice for Sakine and will do everything to make sure this crime is pursued.

There are great heroines. Important is the awareness that life is sacred. Slavery must be overcome. That is my message on 8th March: A society cannot be free when women are not free. The completely liberated woman is a form of holiness. I think of the brave women, who have lost their lives in the struggle for freedom.”