Canal tour for Öcalan in Amsterdam

Members of the Kurdish community protested against the plot against Abdullah Öcalan with a canal cruise through Amsterdam, marking the 23rd anniversary of the plot on 15 February 1999.

Kurdish activists protested against the "international plot" against Abdullah Öcalan by taking a canal trip through the historic waters of the Dutch capital Amsterdam. The canal trip lasted about two hours, with yellow flags bearing the PKK founder's image waving to Kurdish music and militant slogans. 

The Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan was abducted from Kenya to Turkey on 15 February 1999 in an act of piracy that violated international law. The Turkish secret service MIT received support from the US secret service CIA and the Israeli MOSSAD, among others. Since the kidnapping, Öcalan, soon to be 73 years old, has been held as a political hostage in the island prison of Imrali in the Sea of Marmara, most of the time in total isolation. Only massive protests have succeeded in breaking the isolation in recent years.

There has been no sign of life from Abdullah Öcalan for almost a year now. The last contact with him was a brief telephone conversation with his brother Mehmet Öcalan on 25 March 2021, and he received his last lawyer's visit on 7 August 2019. Since then, his defence team has submitted more than 170 visit requests, none of which have been answered positively. These special laws and regulations, which affect Öcalan and thus the representative of millions of Kurds, are considered the benchmark for the Erdoğan regime's Kurdish policy. Also affected by the isolation on Imrali are Ömer Hayri Konar, Hamili Yıldırım and Veysi Aktaş, who were transferred to the island prison in 2015 in the course of the dialogue between Öcalan and the Turkish state.

On the occasion of the upcoming anniversary of the abduction of Abdullah Öcalan, Kurdish society is calling for the intervention of relevant institutions with worldwide protests to ensure the lifting of the isolation of the PKK founder and his freedom. Activists in Amsterdam also called on the public and the government of the Netherlands today to act and take the initiative to end the prison conditions on Imrali. They also announced that they would continue activities such as boat trips and other creative protest actions to raise public awareness of their cause. On 15 February, there will be a rally at Rijnstraat 8 at 6:30 pm.