Rally in Strasbourg: Time for freedom and an end to fascism

In front of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, representatives of various organizations from Kurdistan and Turkey expressed their support for the KCK campaign against isolation, fascism and occupation.

Organizations and individuals from Kurdistan and Turkey made a statement before the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on the campaign launched by the KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) on September 12 under the slogan "Time for an end to isolation, fascism, occupation and achievement of freedom". Dozens of politicians and activists joined the vigil that has been held for years for the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan.

The press conference began with a minute's silence, after which musician Hozan Seyitxan enumerated the representatives and individuals present. The European umbrella organization KCDK-E with its co-chairs Yüksel Koç and Fatoş Göksungur, Kurdish politician in exile Hatip Dicle, Songül Çelik from the women's movement TJK-E were represented, Ertuğrul Kürkçü as Honorary President of the HDP as well as representatives of Gorran, KNK, Shengal Council, Communist Party Kurdistan, PYD, SYKP, KIP, PJAK, ATIK, MLKP and the Kurdish cultural movement TEV-ÇAND.

For the press conference, a banner was unfurled with the inscription "Freedom for Öcalan, end to isolation, fascism and occupation". Also present was a part of the group that carried out a month-long hunger strike for Abdullah Öcalan in Strasbour earlier.

The first to speak was KCDK-E co-chair Yüksel Koç, who demanded "freedom for Öcalan, status for Kurdistan”. In his speech he criticized that the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) was also partly to blame for the extermination campaign in Kurdistan. Koç said: “Kurds worldwide should support the offensive on a diplomatic and cultural level as well as with activities. We make a combat area out of all places. The fascism of AKP and MHP is experiencing its weakest phase. We will smash it and liberate Kurdistan and the population of the whole region.”

KCDK-E co-chair Fatoş Göksungur called for mass participation in the "liberation campaign against fascism, genocide and massacres". She said it was time to smash fascism, to push ahead with democratization and to liberate Öcalan.

In his speech, former DTK co-chair Hatip Dicle referred to the peace efforts of Abdullah Öcalan. He described the Kurdish liberation struggle as justified and legitimate and pointed out that Öcalan's ideas for a democratic model of society are heard worldwide.

A representative of Gorran (Change Movement) called for a political solution to the Kurdish question and said that Abdullah Öcalan could contribute a lot to this. Remarking that Öcalan and all political prisoners should be released, he called on the government of the Kurdish autonomous region in Northern Iraq to take a stand against the Turkish attacks on Southern Kurdistan.

Journalists Ahmet Nesin and Günay Aslan also spoke at the press conference. Nesin pointed out that the release of Öcalan and the destruction of fascism in Turkey are connected. Aslan addressed the responsibility of Europe in connection with the Kurdish question and called on the EU countries to fulfil their responsibility.

After further speeches, musicians from TEV-ÇAND took to the stage.