It is the duty of Kurdish and socialist parties to support the imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) Executive Council Member Mustafa Karasu said in an interview with Medya Haber TV on Wednesday.
Addressing Kurdish parties and Turkish socialists, Karasu stated that this issue goes beyond the PKK, saying: “If another Kurdish organisation’s leader was subjected to such a strict isolation in prison and was not supported, we also couldn’t consider those who don’t show support to be a real Kurdish party.”
Karasu further noted that the struggle to end the incommunicado detention imposed on Öcalan for the past 29 months even extended beyond Kurds. He stressed that support for this cause was being demonstrated worldwide through events such as rallies, conferences, and concerts, while underscoring that this issue was gaining traction within Turkey itself, as the heavy isolation of Öcalan was becoming a topic of concern in the public.
According to Karasu, after 24 years of what he termed the “isolation system”, the time had come to fight for the freedom of Öcalan, who has been held in Turkey’s İmralı Island Prison. “It is no longer acceptable to keep a leader who presents the paradigm of democracy and freedom, who struggles for all of humanity, for women, for ecological life, in those prisons,” he stated.
Karasu also highlighted the significance of the struggle for Öcalan’s freedom carried out by Syrian Kurds. He mentioned, “Indeed, the people Rojava have consistently embraced the Leader Apo,” adding that the recently collected signatures should be seen as an expression of the commitment of Syrian Kurds to Öcalan.
Karasu’s statements came in the context of the representation of over 2.6 million signatures gathered in North and East Syria to United Nations and European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) representatives. A delegation from the autonomous Kurdish-led region in northern Syria had met with officials from the CPT during the submission of these signatures. In the meeting, the CPT officials conveyed that during their recent visit to Turkey, they had a face-to-face meeting with Öcalan at İmralı prison.
The CPT’s decision not to disclose their report on the İmralı visit has sparked debates about the ongoing isolation of Öcalan. The Committee’s authority to release a report on the issue depends on the permission granted by the visited countries’ authorities. Turkey has not permitted the CPT to publicly disclose their report, thus keeping the details of the recent visit unknown.
Karasu acknowledged this challenge during the interview, explaining that the Committee’s delegation lacked the authority to publish their report, and as such, they couldn’t provide detailed information about the visit. However, Karasu emphasised that the delegation could at least provide information about Öcalan’s health. He also noted that the CPT’s clear statement confirming their meeting with Öcalan marked an important development in this matter, as they had not made a definitive statement on the issue before.