Freedom March in İdil: We will not stop until our leader is freed

Participants of the Freedom March, who were welcomed with enthusiasm in İdil, said, "A solution will not be possible unless the gates of Imrali are opened. We will not stop until our leader is freed."

The Great Freedom March, which started from two branches, Kars and Van, on 1 February to demand the physical freedom of Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan and a democratic solution to the Kurdish question, is on its 8th day.

Democratic Regions Party (DBP) Co-Chair Keskin Bayındır, Emine Kaya, co-chair of the MED Federation of Legal and Solidarity Associations of Prisoners’ Families (MED TUHAD-FED) Van branch, Peoples' Equality and Democracy Party (DEM Party) MPs and representatives of non-governmental organisations are taking part in the Van branch of the march. The group was sent off with applause from the DEM Party Cizre District Organisation and then moved on to the İdil district of Şırnak.

Peace Mothers greeted the Freedom Marchers with white headscarves representing peace in their hands. The group visited shopkeepers together with the people before they marched to the DEM Party İdil District Organisation.

Cemil Taşkesen from the marching group spoke at the event in front of the party building and spoke about the ongoing hunger strike launched by political prisoners in Turkish prisons. The action, which is on its 74th day, demands the physical freedom of Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan, who has been kept in absolute isolation in Imralı F Type High Security Closed Prison since 1999. The prisoners on hunger strike also demand a political solution to the Kurdish question.

"We do not want the hunger strike in prisons to turn into a death fast. Isolation is a crime against humanity. Isolation is an act that goes against both humanity and Islam. Isolation is immoral. Neither soldiers and policemen, nor prisoners and guerrillas should lose their lives. Let's take this burden together and lift it,” said Taşkesen and underlined that "The solution to the Kurdish question passes through opening the gates of Imrali. Isolation is a crime against humanity."

DEM Party İdil Co-Mayoral candidate Doğan Adıbelli said: "The Freedom March will not stop as long as the leader of the Kurds is not freed and as long as the gates of İmralı are not opened. The leader is paying a great price for this struggle, like Nelson Mandela did. We, too, must stand up for our leader and convey our voice to İmralı with the spirit and enthusiasm of the Botan region.”

The next stop of the Freedom Marchers is the Nusaybin district of Mardin.