Long march demanding freedom for Abdullah Öcalan continues on day 10

Kurdish activists have completed the 10th stage of the 25-day-long march demanding "Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan, Justice for Kurds" as part of the international campaign "Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan, a Political Solution to the Kurdish Question".

The Democratic Kurdish Council of France (CDK-F) and the Kurdish Women's Movement in France (TJK-F) launched on 22 January a 25-day-long march for the freedom of Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan from Paris to Strasbourg, where the European Union institutions are located. The march is taking place under the slogan "Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan, Justice for Kurds" as part of the international campaign "Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan, a Political Solution to the Kurdish Question", which was launched worldwide on 10 October 2023. The march continued on its 10th day through the city of Melun.

During the march, thousands of leaflets were distributed to raise awareness of the people in the neighbourhood, while French shopkeepers and institutions on the route of the march were presented with files on the unlawful and intense isolation conditions in which Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan is being held.

During the march, a statement was made in front of the governor’s office. After a moment of silence in honour of all Kurdistan martyrs, Erdal Şahin, one of the activists partaking in the long march, stated the following: “Today we are on the 10th day of our action which started on 22 January and will end on 15 February in front of the CPT in Strasbourg. Tomorrow we will be in Evry.”

Speaking about the inhumane treatment of Abdullah Öcalan, Şahin said: “Our leader has been officially treated as a captive under the colonialist Turkish mentality for 25 years and the Turkish state has prevented him from meeting and communicating with his family, which is his natural right... This march is being organised to draw attention to the conditions of our leader under isolation.”

Şahin continued: “The fact that a people is kept away from its leader and that very leader is not even allowed to meet with his family reveals that the state has no mindset for a solution. We, as Kurds both in the diaspora and in the country, will constantly try to keep this issue on the agenda. The CPT last visited our leader 2 years ago but made no statement about his conditions. For this reason, we decided to end our march in front of the CPT on 15 February to draw attention to this matter."

The activists sang enthusiastically throughout the march and made statements in French over loudspeakers, and the postcards collected during the course of the march were sent to İmralı Island where Öcalan is held.

A public meeting will be held at the Community Centre in Melun at 18.00 local time today.

Tomorrow's stage of the march will be held in Evry, south of Paris. There will also be a dengbêj concert. Dengbêj singing is the most important part of traditional Kurdish musical culture. This name is given to singers who render poems, epics and historical events of oral Kurdish literature in the form of songs. The word is derived from deng (voice) and bêj (to say, to speak). For the Kurdish people, oral literature is regarded as the autobiography of society, which is why dengbêj are also considered historians.