Action day on October 10: Rise up against isolation!

The Kurdish umbrella organization in Germany, KON-MED calls for a decentralized day of action for the freedom of Abdullah Ocalan on October 10 under the motto #RiseUpAgainstIsolation.

The Germany-wide umbrella organization KON-MED (Confederation of the Communities from Kurdistan in Germany) calls for participation in a decentralized day of action for freedom and against the isolation of Abdullah Öcalan on the prison island of Imrali on October 10.

The KON-MED statement reads as follows:

"The social awakening in Kurdistan and its call for a world of social justice fascinates people all over the world who long for radical democracy, women's liberation and ecology. However, this cradle of hope continues to be exposed to attacks: be it the ongoing war of aggression and occupation of Turkey in Rojava/Northern Syria, the war against the people of Northern Kurdistan and the merciless war on the democratic opposition in Turkey by the AKP regime, as well as the ongoing military operation in Southern Kurdistan/Northern Iraq. This policy is tacitly supported by the German government and the European Union.

Political Representative and bearer of hope

Nowhere is isolation more concrete than on the Turkish prison island Imrali. Here the founder and mastermind of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Abdullah Ocalan, has been held in custody since February 15, 1999. He was the only prisoner there for over ten years. Despite the indescribable conditions of his imprisonment, he has never given up hope for a peaceful solution to the conflicts in the Middle East, especially to the Kurdish question. For several years the Turkish government negotiated with Öcalan to find a solution to the conflict. In addition, the vast majority of Kurds stand behind Öcalan. 3.5 million Kurds signed up to him as their political representative in 2005/2006.

Solution of the Kurdish question is blocked

At present, the Turkish state is once again subjecting Öcalan to an unprecedented policy of isolation. Every visit by his team of lawyers or family members to Imrali is the result of protracted social struggles. Thus, thousands of people inside and outside the prisons of Turkey broke through the isolation on Imrali in May 2019 with a hunger strike that lasted for months. After years of denial by the Turkish authorities, they made legal consultations at Öcalan possible again for a short period of time. However, since August 7, 2019, the defense team and Abdullah Öcalan have again been out of contact. The public prosecutor's office reacts neither positively nor negatively to the weekly requests for visits. The Turkish government is thus blocking any possibility for negotiations and a peaceful solution to the war in Kurdistan and the Middle East.

The isolation does not only concern one person

On Imrali, the Turkish state is not only aiming to isolate the person of Öcalan. The democratic achievements in Kurdistan and the entire Middle East, which are based on Öcalan's ideas, are everywhere the target of attack by the Turkish state and its partners.

Öcalan is the ideological pioneer of democratic confederalism, a grassroots democratic, gender-liberated and ecological concept of society that represents a counter-model to the crisis-ridden nation-state model in the Middle East. He laid the theoretical and practical foundations for the social awakening in northern Syria, the liberation of the Yazidi Kurds in Shengal, and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) project in Turkey. Despite prison walls and limited opportunities, he has inspired millions of people worldwide.

The isolation on Imrali is thus closely linked to the war against the Kurdish democracy movement and its model of solution, democratic confederalism. For this reason, the struggle for peace and democracy in the region can only be thought of together with the struggle against the isolation of Öcalan.

Indicators for the Kurdish society

October 9 marks the anniversary of the beginning of the international conspiracy against the Kurdish leader. Öcalan had to leave Syria 22 years ago on October 9, 1998, under international pressure from Turkey and NATO, and embarked on an odyssey for a peace process that ultimately led to his abduction from the Greek embassy in Nairobi by an international intelligence operation to Turkey. This day is a day of protest, because Öcalan's situation is also considered a yardstick for the situation of Kurdish society.

We therefore call for a decentralized day of action against the isolation of Abdullah Öcalan on Saturday, October 10. Let us stand up together for an end to the Imrali system, demand the freedom of Öcalan and break through the isolation of his person and his ideas! Participate in the day of action with creative actions in your cities! Rise Up Against Isolation!”