In the early hours of Tuesday, Abdullah Öcalan’s 74th birthday, social media was alive with calls to end the conditions of absolute isolation imposed on the jailed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader in Turkey’s İmralı Island Prison.
In several posts with the hashtag #FreedomForOcalanNow, social media users emphasised that the PKK leader’s role towards a lasting peace and solution to the Kurdish conflict cannot be denied.
“The system of absolute miscommunication and torture on İmralı Island must be abolished,” Asrın Law Office said on Twitter, lawyers that have represented Öcalan since his capture in 1999 and during his ensuing life sentence.
“Mr Öcalan has given my humanity back to me as a former soldier,” said Yannis Vasilis Yaylalı, a former Turkish ultra-nationalist soldier, turned Turkish-Greek pacifist and activist.
Journalist Meltem Oktay urged Turkey to comply with international law, while journalist Fehim Işık called for an end to absolute isolation, emphasising that isolation is a crime against humanity and that the ‘right to hope’ is a fundamental human right.
“Mr Abdullah Öcalan is a key to the solution of the Kurdish issue. As his 74th birthday is being celebrated, it would be very useful for everyone to keep this in mind,” Işık added.
“On the road to freedom, we greet 4 April, the birthday of our leader Rêber Öcalan with enthusiasm,” the European Kurdish Democratic Societies Congress (KCDK-E) tweeted.
Meanwhile, the Rojava Platform announced on Twitter with the hashtag hashtag #FreedomForOcalanNow that the park built on a 40-acre land in Kurdish-controlled northern and eastern Syria will be opened to the public on Tuesday.