Bayik: We demand freedom for Abdullah Öcalan

Thousands of people demonstrated in Düsseldorf on Saturday demanding freedom for Abdullah Öcalan. At the final rally, after several speeches, a message from Cemil Bayik (KCK) was played to the crowd.

Thousands of people demonstrated in Düsseldorf on Saturday demanding freedom for Abdullah Öcalan. The demonstration march went from the main station to the Rheinpark and was led by women who carried banners reading "Freedom for Öcalan".

At the end of the rally, a minute's silence was held in memory of those who died in the Kurdish liberation struggle. The co-chairs of the Kurdish umbrella organization KON-MED, Zübeyde Zümrüt and Engin Sever, welcomed the crowd from the stage. Other speeches were given by PYD politician Foza Yûsif, KNK chair Zeynep Murad, Esra Güler on behalf of the Union of Democratic Forces, KCDK-E chair Yüksel Koç and TJK-E spokeswoman, Ayten Kaplan.

The KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) co-Chair Cemil Bayık also addressed the participants of a demonstration. In his video message, Cemil Bayık called on the international powers to refrain from insisting on the 100-year-old policy of the Lausanne Treaty and encouraged the Kurdish people and their international friends to increase their struggle for the physical freedom of Abdullah Öcalan:

“Dear people and respected international friends, I would like to greet you all with love and respect. I would like to pay my respects to all of you and wish you success. As you know, during this year’s March 8 and Newroz celebrations, but also during the Week of the Heroes [in remembrance of the fallen of the revolution in Kurdistan], our people and their international friends carried out many protests which were marked by great enthusiasm and morale. Your demonstration today is the continuation and peak of these protests. This demonstration for the physical freedom of Leader Apo [Abdullah Öcalan] has a historic meaning. It is well-known that the Kurdish people have regained their identity because of Leader Apo by struggling alongside him and by developing themselves into a nation. The occupying and genocidal enemy is carrying out a policy of genocide against the Kurdish people, especially through its approach towards Leader Apo. This is how they take their revenge on Leader Apo. As you know, a policy is being carried out against our movement and our people. They want to destroy our movement, carry out a genocide against our people and thus achieve their desired results. No matter how much they have tried this, Leader Apo, the guerrilla and our people have stood heroically against this policy. They have put up historic resistance and continue to do so. Thus, they have defeated the policy carried out by the genocidal forces and obstructed their policy.

The phase we are currently going through is both important and critical. Because if we want to achieve results now, everyone must take responsibility and act according to their means. Then we can achieve our desired results. The fate of Turkey lies in the hands of the [Labor and Freedom] Alliance in the upcoming elections. I am convinced that this alliance will fulfill its historic role in the elections for both the Kurds and all the peoples of Turkey. The alliance and all democratic forces need to finally bring about the end of the AKP/MHP government. Because we have brought this government to an end with our struggle and resistance. Now the [Labor and Freedom] Alliance must complete this in the elections. Leader Apo has resisted against the occupying and genocidal Lausanne alliance [reference to forces behind the Lausanne Treaty signed on July 24, 1923] and against the International Conspiracy [involving the illegal abduction of Abdullah Öcalan by international powers on February 15, 1999] under very difficult conditions in captivity. His resistance and struggle have caused important developments among the Kurdish people, their international friends, Kurdish women, socialists and democrats.

We are now approaching the 100th anniversary of the Lausanne alliance. It is well-known that through this alliance the denialist policy and the genocide against our people are being kept alive. Yet, Rêber Apo [Abdullah Öcalan], the PKK and the Kurdish people have defeated the Lausanne alliance through their struggle. They have rendered this alliance meaningless. The Kurdish people no longer want to live according to the Lausanne Treaty. They want to live freely. This is their clear decision. Today, everyone must accept this decision of our people. In its history, the Kurdish people have always fought against genocidal forces and occupiers. Whenever they saw the opportunity, they took up the fight against these forces. Genocidal forces and invaders, on the other hand, have attacked our people and their struggle many times. They attacked the struggling movements and leaders of our people. They executed some of them, while they threw others into prison or exiled them. They have executed, imprisoned and exiled many of our people. Şêx Saîd, Seyîd Riza, Qazî Mihemed, Şêx Abdusselam Barzani… These people have gained a place in history due to their efforts and struggle for the Kurdish people. Just like the genocidal forces and occupiers hanged these leaders, they also wanted to execute Rêber Apo. But they did not dare. Because Rêber Apo had already become part of the hearts of the Kurdish people. Millions of people had accepted him. And they had started to struggle based on the politics developed by him. Today, Rêber Apo’s philosophy, thoughts and political ideology are accepted and supported not only by the Kurdish people but also internationally. This is the reason why these forces did not execute Leader Apo. Millions of people support him today. People like Rêber Apo are rare both in the history of the Kurdish people and in the history of humanity.

For the last 50 years, maybe even more, we have been waging a struggle. This struggle continues uninterruptedly. It has developed based on the paradigm of Leader Apo, the paradigm of the democratic nation. This paradigm makes the solution to the problems of all peoples possible. It is based on democratic society, ecology and women’s freedom. The framework of this paradigm is Democratic Confederalism while its way for a solution is democracy both on a national and local level.

Rêber Apo and the Kurdish people are one. No one can separate them anymore. Our people always say ‘Bê Serok Apo jiyan nabe’ [‘Life without Serok Apo is impossible’]. This expresses today’s reality of Rêber Apo and the Kurdish people. Rêber Apo has been imprisoned in Imrali [prison island in Turkey] for 24 years. He is faced today with total isolation and huge brutality. We have not heard from him for two years. We do not know what his current condition is. Rêber Apo’s current situation is a reason to increase our struggle for freedom. That is why we must free him physically. Everyone needs to know that we will not accept anything other than the physical freedom of Leader Apo. The Kurdish people and their international friends, the Kurdish women and youth are fighting for the physical freedom of Leader Apo with all their energy and strength. And they will increase their struggle even more from now on. This struggle has been going on for years and it will continue until we achieve our desired results. Rêber Apo’s situation is a reason for all of us to increase our struggle everywhere. We need to wage a huge struggle so that we can achieve Leader Apo’s physical freedom.

I would therefore like to appeal to all intellectuals, artists, civil organizations, revolutionaries, democrats, socialist forces and leftists to fulfill their duties and responsibilities with regards to the physical freedom of Rêber Apo. All of them need to make efforts to raise this struggle in the international political, diplomatic and legal arena. The CPT, the Council of Europe, the European Union, organizations working on international law and international human rights organizations need to fulfill their duties and responsibilities.

I would like to greet everybody who took part in today’s demonstration and wish all of you success. Bijî Rêber Apo! [Long live Rêber Öcalan!]”