Art performance in Zurich calls for “Freedom for Öcalan”

The Kurdish Culture and Art Movement in Switzerland staged a performance in Zurich in support of the international campaign for the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan and a political solution to the Kurdish question.

The Democratic Kurdish Culture and Art Movement in Switzerland organised a performance at the Rathausbrücke in Zurich to support the international campaign "Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan and a political solution to the Kurdish question" launched by the friends of the Kurdish people worldwide on 10 October. The demonstration on Saturday began with a minute's silence in memory of those who fell in the freedom struggle in Kurdistan.

In a subsequent speech, musician Kawa Urmiyê described how the PKK founder was abducted in Kenya 25 years ago on 15 February 1999 as part of an international conspiracy by the imperialist powers and handed over to Turkey. For almost three years there has been no information at all about Öcalan and his three fellow prisoners on the prison island of Imrali. In order to break the illegal isolation and initiate a democratic solution, a campaign was launched at international level last October, noted Urmiyê and added: "This campaign is of great importance to us. As Kurdish artists in Switzerland, we support the campaign and want to contribute to its success."

Kawa Urmiyê also saluted the Internationalist Long March, which began today in Basel and will conclude with a large demonstration in Cologne on Saturday.

After the speech of Kawa Urmîye, Kader Erdinç read out a statement by the Kurdish Cultural Movement in Europe (TEV-ÇAND) and Women's Culture and Art Movement Kevana Zêrîn, which included the following:

"The freedom of Kurdish art and culture cannot be considered independently of the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan. Öcalan stood up for the preservation and promotion of art and culture. He prioritised nature, democracy, humanitarian values and women. This perspective is acknowledged and defended by people worldwide.

On 10 October 2023, progressive women's and youth movements, trade unions, civil society organisations, human rights associations, intellectuals and activists came together to launch the global campaign ‘Freedom for Öcalan, a Political Solution to the Kurdish Question’. At the centre of the campaign is the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan as a precondition for the start of a new peace process in Turkey and the entire region. But the most urgent demand is the lifting of the isolation to which Mr Öcalan has been subjected for nearly three years. To launch the campaign, 74 press conferences were organised in Europe, Latin America, South Africa, Kenya, Japan, India, Bangladesh, East Timor, Philippines and Australia.

We, as intellectuals, writers, artists and people of culture from Kurdistan in Europe, call on everyone in favour of democracy to embrace this just and important campaign as much as we can.

Only the philosophy of free culture and art can ensure the existence of a democratic society in the face of state violence, fascism and racism.

The next major and important action of the campaign is the great demonstration for the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan in Cologne on 17 February 2024. We hereby call for participation in the Cologne demonstration. Let us raise our voices together and support the demand for the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan and a peaceful solution to the Kurdish question with our presence. Even a single sound that we will create with our voices, pens and musical instruments will be the biggest response to this campaign for peace, freedom and democracy."

After the statement, govend, erbane and theatre performances were staged by the groups formed within the Kurdish Culture and Art Movement in Switzerland.

After the performances, which were met by the Swiss people with interest , the crowd danced to Kurdish music.