Several campaigns have been launched in recent months in Europe and Africa calling for the freedom of imprisoned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan. One of them was a petition campaign that was launched in Italy. Italian journalist Benedetta Argentieri shared his perspectives about this campaign with Hawar News Agency.
Stating that governments in European countries and the United States (US), as well as the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), aimed at securing the imprisonment of Öcalan, Argentieri added: “All international countries are witnessing the crimes committed by Turkey against not only the Kurdish people but also all peoples. However, they support Turkey. European and NATO countries usually call for democracy and human rights. However, in fact, totally the opposite is taking place. They are following a hypocritical policy”.
‘Actions such as the Long March are being held in Europe’
Argentieri emphasized that the campaigns launched for the freedom of Öcalan should be supported: “Actions such as the ‘Long March’ are being held in Europe. These kinds of actions should be held in Spain, France and Italy as well. The signatures collected will be sent to the United Nations (UN). Firstly, signatures have been taken from intellectuals and politicians. This campaign has been carried out alongside the one in South Africa. Öcalan should be set free. He has been in prison for 22 years. What has Öcalan done except demand freedom, the protection of the ecological system and advocate for a women’s revolution? Those demands are legitimate. Why is Turkish state afraid? Everybody should see the facts”.
‘Solutions to the current crises are included in Öcalan’s proposals’
Drawing attention to the ideas and texts of Öcalan, Argentieri said: “Öcalan has written several books in prison. He established the basis of Democratic Confederalism. He surpassed and went beyond the nation-state in his analyses. Solutions to the current crises are included in Öcalan’s proposals. Several people have taken note of this. However, the European nation-states are afraid of this fact. For that reason, they do nothing to secure the freedom of Öcalan”.
‘Öcalan has gained the right of political asylum’
Argentieri also drew attention to efforts of Italian lawyers and said: “Öcalan has gained the right of political asylum. However, he was made to leave before it could be effected. Lawyers are working on it”.
For Argentieri: “The idea of Democratic Confederalism has spread, thanks to the Rojava Revolution. Though governments suppress these ideas, people express their reactions in support of it. Now there has been the coronavirus outbreak. People cannot take to the squares in mass protest because of that. There is a difference between peoples’ demands and the official policies of the governments”.
‘The PKK should be removed from terrorism lists’
Noting that the PKK is listed in places as a terror organisation, Argentieri said: “There is a decision taken by Strasbourg regarding the PKK – that it is not a terror organisation. The PKK should be removed from terrorism lists. That should be done in order to take Öcalan’s freedom efforts to a new stage. European countries cannot take a decisive stance in this matter due to their economic relations with Turkey. The Turkish state also suppresses journalists and intellectuals apart from Öcalan. They implement every kind of oppression against Kurds”.
‘No one acts as required. That is tragic’
“The whole world is talking about Turkey’s actions and stances”, noted Argentieri. She added: “However, no one acts as required. That is tragic. Italy and Spain state that they will end their economic relations with Turkey. However, it never actually happens. They halted economic relations during the assaults against Tell Abyad (Serekaniyê) and Ras-Al-Ayn (Gire Spî). After six months passed, however, they resumed their relations again. Britain has signed an agreement worth 25 billion dollars with Turkey”.