The ‘Freedom for Öcalan, A Political Solution for Kurdistan’ campaign has seen a surge of international support, with cities around the world partaking in various activities to call for the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan, leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), currently detained in İmralı Island Prison, Turkey.
The Democratic Council of the Kurds in the Netherlands (DEM-NED) and the Kurdish Women’s Movement in the Netherlands launched a campaign to send 100,000 postcards to İmralı prison, where Öcalan is held. The initiative was announced at the Den Haag Democratic Kurdish Community Centre, during a press conference.
The DEM-NED statement highlighted the severe isolation of Öcalan, interpreting it as an extension of oppression against the Kurdish people. The resolution of issues in Turkey and the Middle East was linked to a new paradigm and Öcalan’s freedom, prompting a call to action for everyone in the Netherlands to support the campaign.
In Marseille, France, a significant conference was organised by over 120 intellectuals, elected lawyers, and academics. The conference focused on peace in Kurdistan and the liberation of Abdullah Öcalan, highlighting the campaign’s reach in academic and intellectual circles.
In Antwerp, Belgium, the Kurdish Society led a street demonstration, rallying for Öcalan’s liberation. This event underscored the local community’s engagement with and commitment to the Kurdish cause.
Furthering this, the Communist Party of Belgium joined the international initiative, supporting the postcard drive to İmralı prison. In a video, Pialot July and Christian Lebeau advocated for Öcalan’s liberation and a political resolution to the Kurdish Question, adding a media dimension to the Belgian support.
Egypt contributed to the campaign through its cultural domain, where a group of singers composed and performed a song titled “Qîrînek ji dinyayê re,” aligning with the call for Öcalan’s freedom. This artistic expression exemplifies the campaign’s diverse and creative forms of support.
The city of Liege, Belgium, witnessed a unique feminist-led postcard campaign. Over 100 Belgian allies, including law offices, participated, showcasing the intersection of gender rights activism and political advocacy within the campaign.
Italian activists also involved children in the movement, educating them about Öcalan and the Kurdish issue, and facilitating their participation in writing postcards.
Amsterdam, Netherlands, hosted a seminar by the Rojbin Women’s Commune, where Prof. Dr. Joost Jondergen and Beşir Melle Newaf from Rojava University discussed Öcalan’s paradigm, emphasising its global impact and practical implementation in Rojava. The seminar, attended by numerous international students, highlights the campaign’s academic and educational dimensions.
These diverse activities – from intellectual conferences in France to grassroots activism in Belgium and educational initiatives in the Netherlands and Italy – showcase the global solidarity and varied engagement with the campaign for Öcalan’s freedom. They collectively underscore the campaign’s growing influence and its role in advocating for political dialogue and a resolution to the Kurdish question, while emphasising human rights and peace in the region.