A cadre of international voices have publicly thrown their support behind Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), within the scope of the international “Freedom for Öcalan, a Political Solution for Kurdistan” campaign which has been going on since the beginning of the week.
The campaign garnered messages of solidarity from individuals and organisations around the world, including the video message of prominent philosopher Slavoj Žižek.
Žižek expressed three key reasons for supporting Öcalan, highlighting his criticism of authoritarian governments, admiration for Kurdish organisation in autonomous spaces, and recognition of Öcalan’s intellectual development during his imprisonment.
Fabrizio De Sanctis, the General Secretary of the Italian Partisans National Union, condemned Öcalan’s isolation and called for action from Italy and the European Union.
Dimitrios Roussopoulos, a Canadian political activist, stressed Öcalan’s role in the Kurdish Freedom Movement and called for direct talks with him. South African scholar Farid Esack called for international solidarity. Amanda Verrone from Bilbao, Spain, criticised Turkey’s treatment of the Kurdish population and lack of international support for it, demanding attention from the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture.
Patricia Gregorini, from Argentina, urged Öcalan’s release and highlighted the inhumane conditions of his imprisonment. Dr. Vicki Sentas from UNSW Sydney emphasised the importance of Öcalan’s release for a just resolution to the Kurdish conflict. Daniel Richard in Verviers, Belgium, drew parallels between Öcalan’s situation and Nelson Mandela’s release, advocating for negotiations and expressing solidarity with North and East Syria.
Mick Nugent, a Sinn Féin councillor in Cork, Ireland, stressed the need for meaningful negotiations and peace talks. Dr. Jason Dockstader, a philosophy lecturer at University College Cork, expressed his support and highlighted the challenge Öcalan’s vision poses to the Turkish state’s centralisation and authoritarianism.
The global campaign for “Freedom for Öcalan, a political solution for Kurdistan” continues to gain momentum, with a growing chorus of voices from around the world advocating for Abdullah Öcalan’s release and a peaceful resolution to the Kurdish conflict.