Clare Baker has called on the international community to push for the freedom of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan, arguing that he “needs to be free in order to be able to play his part in peace for the region.”
In an interview with the Hawar News Agency, the UNITE the UNION International Officer and Freedom for Öcalan Campaign Secretary Clare Baker stressed the wider impact of Öcalan’s isolation. “His isolation is indicative of the wider Turkish state’s attitudes towards not just the Kurds but also all people who oppose his isolation,” she said.
Baker condemned the silence of international powers, such as the United Nations and the European Union, in the face of the Turkish state’s human rights abuses. “Turkey are able to blackmail the European Union with the refugees that have come from the Syrian war,” she said.
There is hope, she said, in the example of Rojava. “So many people have taken it into their hearts and seen that there is another way of living life.”
Baker explained Erdoğan’s hostility to the democratic project of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria. “It is a threat to Erdoğan in particular because it represents freedom, equality, women’s liberation. Basically the opposite of what he believes in.”