“Happy birthday Mr. Abdullah Öcalan. Please know that you are a huge inspiration to so many including myself.” – Nathan Felix*)
Birthday Greetings to Abdullah Ocalan in Solidarity and Friendship
Peace in Kurdistan wishes you our warmest greetings as an expression of solidarity and friendship on the occasion of your 72th birthday on 4 April 2021.
We look forward to the day of freedom when we can all mark such occasions among family, friends and comrades.
We share with the Kurdish people our profound concerns for the present state of your health and welfare; our anxieties naturally exacerbated by the stubborn refusal of the Turkish state authorities to permit meetings with your lawyers for nearly a decade and the very meagre family visits that have been granted.
As an organisation, we continue to campaign for your freedom and call upon the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) to step up and honour its duties by demanding to visit you with the aim of verifying your state of health, the treatment you receive and the prison conditions. Such an intervention would at least allay some of the fears of the people who remain deeply concerned, and it would also assist in unwinding the social tensions that are reaching breaking point.
By your writings and your political leadership, you have inspired generations of Kurdish men and women and this legacy is a historic gain for the Kurdish people and endures among the youth, women and the entire society, inspiring Kurdish arts, music and creativity as much as political action. Kurdish women in particular are today at the forefront of the people’s struggle as never before in history.
The Kurdish freedom movement is strong and very resilient, the people’s spirits are high despite all that is thrown at them and we are all determined, despite the circumstances of Erdogan’s intransigence, to make progress.
President Erdogan is dragging Turkey back to the 1990s, a time that was the darkest decade of the country’s history still remembered with foreboding and great anguish by those who lived through those experiences with echoes of those dreadful years in the bans on legal political parties of the Kurds, political prisoners, evidence of systematic torture and widespread discrimination of the cruellest kind.
We believe that the only credible course open is a return to the peace process for which you have devoted a lifetime of thoughts and efforts despite the constraints and that, sooner or later, talks will at some level be resumed. We are working hard to achieve this, as likewise the Kurdish people are committing all their energies and activities towards winning peace and freedom.
As the founder of the Kurdish freedom movement, you are an integral part of the peace process and guarantor of its success. We continue to press for reopening of talks between the government in Ankara and true political representatives of the Kurds of which you are the unchallenged leader.
While it is not in our hands to make you the gift of freedom, our efforts to achieve it are undiminished and we work every single day for this outcome.
In solidarity and friendship enduring until the day of victory that must come.
Peace in Kurdistan on behalf of Patrons:
John Austin, Baroness Blower of Starch Green, former GS NUT, Prof Bill Bowring, Julie Christie, Noam Chomsky, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Prof Mary Davis, Lord Dholakia, Simon Dubbins, UNITE International Director, Jill Evans, former MEP, Desmond Fernandes, Lindsey German, Convenor STWC, Melanie Gingell, Christopher Gingell, Prof Dr. Michael Gunter, Secretary-General, EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC), Rahila Gupta, journalist, Nick Hildyard, policy advisor, Dafydd Iwan, Former President Plaid Cymru, James Kelman, Bruce Kent, Jean Lambert, former MEP, Dr Les Levidow, Open University, Elfyn Llwyd, John McDonnell MP; Aonghas MacNeacail, Scottish Gaelic poet, Mike Mansfield QC, David Morgan, journalist, Doug Nicholls, General Secretary, GFTU, Dr. Jessica Ayesha Northey, Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy, Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley, Kate Osamor MP, Margaret Owen OBE, Ali Gul Ozbek, Former Councillor and Mayor of Haringey; Gareth Peirce, Dr Felix Padel, Maxine Peake, actor, Dr Thomas Phillips, Liverpool John Moores University, Trevor Rayne, writer, Joe Ryan, Tony Simpson, Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, Stephen Smellie, PIK Trade Union Liaison Officer, Jonathan Steele, journalist, Steve Sweeney, journalist, Gianni Tognoni, General Secretary Permanent People’s Tribunal, Dr Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, Dr Federico Venturini, Associate Researcher, University of Udine, Italy; Dr Tom Wakeford, Dr Derek Wall, Julie Ward, former MEP, Kariane Westrheim, Chair, EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC); Hywel Williams MP.
*) Nathan Felix – Composer
Peace in Kurdistan
Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question
Contacts Estella Schmid: 07846 666 804 & Melanie Gingell: 07572 430903