Kurds launch sit-in in front of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg

Representatives of several institutions and organisations, as well as politicians and artists attended the action, which was taken over by a 100-person group coming from Switzerland on its first day.


9 October marks the anniversary of the forced departure of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan in 1998 and thus the beginning of the international conspiracy that led to the PKK leader's abduction to Turkey on 15 February 1999. Since then, Öcalan has been held as a political hostage on the prison island of Imrali, most of the time under conditions of total isolation. Kurds and their friends are going into action all around the world to demand the lifting of Abdullah Öcalan's incommunicado detention and the resumption of peace negotiations and conditions for the Kurdish leader in which he can live and work freely in order to contribute to the solution of the Kurdish question. 

Gathering in Strasbourg following the call of the KCDK-E (Kurdish Democratic Societies Congress in Europe), Kurds and their friends have launched a four-day sit-in action in front of the Council of Europe on Monday to denounce the international conspiracy and to demand freedom for Öcalan.

Representatives of several institutions and organisations, as well as politicians and artists attended the action, which was taken by over a 100-person group coming from Switzerland on its first day.

The action will be led by a group for four days and each group will submit a dossier to the Council of Europe to detail the goal and demands of the action; an end to the isolation of Öcalan, freedom and “right to hope” for Abdullah Öcalan, an end to the increasing atrocities in prisons and repression against the HDP, and the release of sick prisoners behind bars in Turkey.

A delegation involving former deputies of the HDP, including Ertuğrul Kürkçü, Faysal Sarıyıldız, Dilek Öcalan and Nursel Aydoğan, will attend a meeting at the Council of Europe.

The group coming from Switzerland launched the action with a statement.


Speaking here, KCDK-E co-chair Fatoş Göksungur said, “We are here today for yet another protest action outside the CoE and the CPT. What Leader Öcalan has been subject to for the past 24 years is aggravated even more every day. The international conspiracy has been turned into international isolation. As long as this isolation is continued, there will be no democracy in Turkey and the Middle East. The isolation is meant to be continued because democracy is not wanted. Access to our leader is restricted on various grounds such as disciplinary punishment and coaster malfunction. The CPT and the CoE become partners in this isolation by remaining silent on it. Why is the international law not applied to Öcalan? This is a conspiracy which we will be denouncing here for four days in protest at the silence of the CoE members and the CPT. We will remain on the streets until Leader Öcalan is freed.”


Politician Selim Sadak stated that the Turkish state sought to destroy the Kurds and blamed Europe for being a part of this genocidal campaign. “Resistance is the only way out,” he underlined.


Politician Selma Irmak said, “The Turkish state continues its attacks against the Kurds. The Kurdish women’s movement is fighting with the paradigm presented by Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan. No bullet fired at Kurdish women can stop the struggle.


Ertuğrul Kürkçü said, HDP is the peoples’ hope for co-existence. We will never give up the struggle. The Council of Europe does not raise a voice against Turkey on the grounds of refugees. Europe did the same during the Hitler reign, but they were the first to be crushed by the boots of fascism.”