A press statement expressing solidarity with the campaign to ‘End Isolation, Fascism and Occupation – Time for Freedom’ was issued in front of the German Parliament Building (Reichstag) on Tuesday 29 September.
The campaign focuses on the nature of the political pressure that is being exerted by the Turkish government on Kurdish activists, political prisoners and PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, who remains under harsh prison isolation conditions.
Politicians, activists, lawyers and parliamentarians voiced their international support for the Kurdistan Community Union (KCK) campaign which was launched on 12 September.
Yüksel Koç, Co-Chair of the European Kurdish Democratic Societies Congress (KCDK-E), emphasised the importance and significance of a common struggle for all people who are committed to democracy, freedom and equality.
Koç spoke about the ‘End Isolation, Fascism and Occupation – Time for Freedom’ campaign: “We will carry out our campaign using a variety of methods and work together successfully”.
A film showing the conditions in the prison at İmrali Island was shown at the press conference. PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan has been kept in isolation at İmrali for 21 years.
During the conference, Berlin city councillor Hakan Taş from The Left (Die Linke) party spoke about the political conditions and pressure exerted on politicians in Turkey and criticized the German Federal Government for exporting arms to Turkey.
Further declarations of support were made by Recep Maraşlı (author), Mecit Heso (KNK), Sibel Yiğitalp (former HDP deputy), Tahir Köçer (KON-MED), Adib Daloyi (South Kurdistan Commission of the KCDK-E), Halil Aksoy (Commune Magazine), Enver (Communist Party of Kurdistan), Irfan Keskin (Green Left Party), Mela Dawud (CIK) and Êgid Ural (a Strasbourg hunger strike activist).
Due to the restrictions in place because of the coronavirus pandemic, many people from around the world who could not be present sent their messages of support to the meeting and the campaign.
International supporters include Ramon Mantovani (Partito della Rifondazione Comunista, a former member of the Italian parliament), Arturo Salerni (the Italian lawyer for Abdullah Öcalan), Baroness Christine Blower (from the House of Lords, and also Co-Chair of the Freedom for Öcalan Campaign), Simon Dubbins (International Director of the union Unite and Co-Chair of the Freedom for Öcalan Campaign), Anna Maria Palacios (a lawyer and feminist from Spain), Ohiana Etxebarieta (Chairperson of the Kurdish Friendship Group in the Basque Parliament), Vilo Sigurdsson (the former Mayor of Copenhagen), Pernille Frahm (a former member of the Danish Socialist People’s Party), Solly Mapaila (from the Communist Party of South Africa), Mahmoud Partel (Chairman of the Kurdish Human Rights Action Group in South Africa), Benny Gustafsson (from the Solidarity Initiative Kurdistan in Sweden), Erling Folkvord (a former parliamentarian from Norway), Peter Boyle (a journalist from Australia) and Dr. Alex Wilson (a researcher based in Canada).