International Initiative: Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan
Today Abdullah Öcalan will turn 71. Another year has passed where he and the other prisoners on Imralı island could only be visited a couple of times, despite the numerous protests against this unacceptable situation.
As social media are literally being inundated by greeting messages, the International Initiative “Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan — Peace in Kurdistan” reminded in a statement that "another year has passed, and we are now celebrating the 71st birthday of Abdullah Öcalan, the Kurdish leader and prolific writer of political philosophy."
The statement said: "These days in April 2020, many people are under some kind of quarantine or isolation. This is happening out of medical necessity, and it is enormously difficult for many. Now let’s imagine an almost total isolation that lasts 21 years, and not out of necessity, but as an arbitrary punishment. This is what has been imposed on Abdullah Öcalan since 15 February 1999.
But Öcalan never gave up his struggle for freedom. His freedom struggle is not centered around himself, but he inspires others to struggle for their own freedom and establish democracy in the Middle East, in fact wherever they are, in these times of war and religious and nationalist terror."
The statement continued: "And Öcalan has already successfully achieved this. Under the difficult conditions that he has been kept he has managed to inspire millions of people: women and men, young and old people in different societies, and brought them together in different parts of the world in the struggle for a free life. He inspired a strong and widespread women’s movement, the democratic revolution in Rojava, the Yezidi self organization in Shengal, democratic struggles in North Kurdistan, in Europe, in prisons, at schools and universities."
As Turkey and the whole Middle East are sliding into a new phase of crisis, a peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue is more necessary than ever, said the statement adding: "In times of pandemic, healing is more necessary than ever, and nothing could heal the conflict-ridden societies of the middle East better than a societal peace process which Öcalan has envisaged for so many years.
This 4th of April is not a classical celebration of a birth, but one that shows us that births can be a constant part of our lives; that only one thing matters at the end: the truth and its connection or bond with free life. This leads to being free despite your jailers."
The International Initiative “Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan — Peace in Kurdistan” ended its remarks by renewing "our demand for immediate freedom for Abdullah Öcalan and the other political prisoners in Turkey and the initiation of a real peace process."