The European Kurdish Democratic Societies Congress (KCDK-E) has called on all people who support the Kurdish struggle in Europe to join a march in Düsseldorf, Germany, on 15 April, to demand an end to the isolation of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan.
KCDK-E argued that it is the prevention of Öcalan’s democratic, ecological and gender-liberationist ideas and paradigms that is intended by the isolation, and criticised the European institutions that maintain silence against Turkey in this regard.
“We can no longer tolerate the isolation that has gone into its 25th year,” the KCDK-E said in a written statement, adding that marches and rallies will be held in several other cities in Europe as well as in Düsseldorf.
Following the KCDK-E’s statement, the People’s Congress of Kurdistan (Kongra-Gel), the European Democratic Forces Union (ADGB) and the European Institutions of Kurdistan Platform also called for a large turnout in the 15 April Düsseldorf rally.
“Another reason why the Düsseldorf march is so important is the 14 May election process, in which AKP-MHP* fascism will be crushed. The glorious echo and message of the march will have a direct impact both abroad and in Turkey. For this reason, a large turnout in the Düsseldorf march is very important,” said Kongra-Gel.
Calling on all those who believe in justice and human rights and oppose the one-man regime to join the march, the ADGB and the European Institutions of Kurdistan Platform emphasised that the severe isolation of Öcalan is a violation of basic human rights.
Öcalan has been serving a life sentence in İmralı Island Prison in northwestern Turkey since his capture and trial in 1999, and the Turkish government has imposed absolute isolation on him for the last two years, raising concerns about his health.
The PKK leader’s last contact with the outside world was on 25 March 2021 in the form of an interrupted phone call with his brother. Since that time, Öcalan and the three other detainees in İmralı Island Prison – Hamili Yıldırım, Ömer Hayri Konar and Veysi Aktaş – have been kept in absolute and total isolation.
* Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its far-right ally the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP)