Protest action and advocacy work towards securing the release of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan, imprisoned under total isolation by Turkish authorities on the island of İmralı, is spreading in European cities.
Starting from Paris, France, the ‘March for Freedom‘ entered its 17th day on route to Strasbourg, highlighting widespread support for Öcalan to lead dialogue towards a peaceful solution to the Kurdish question.
In Geneva, Switzerland, Kurds gathered in front of the United Nations Office to call for participation in a large, Europe-wide march to be held in Cologne on 17 February, underlining the ongoing international mobilisation for Öcalan’s cause.
Similarly, in Stockholm, Sweden, supporters have launched a campaign to send postcards to Öcalan as a symbolic gesture of solidarity and support.
March for Freedom: From Paris to Strasbourg
The Paris to Strasbourg march, part of the ‘Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan, Political Solution to the Kurdish Question’ campaign, reached Sarcelles, 15 kilometres north of Paris, on its 17th day. Throughout the journey, activists distributed leaflets to inform the public about their cause and ended the day’s activities at the Democratic Kurdish Community Centre. The next stage of the march will be to Amiens, France.
In addition to street demonstrations, activists in Geneva have been meeting weekly for more than three years, campaigning for an end to isolation in Turkish prisons and supporting the hunger strikes of political prisoners.
After speeches at the UN office, dozens of postcards were sent from Geneva to Öcalan, a move that was echoed by Kurdish youth in Stockholm, organised by the Democratic Kurdish Society Centre and the Amara Women’s Council, who also sent postcards to Öcalan.
These efforts coincide with planned conferences and marches, including a one-day march in Stockholm on 11 February.
The widespread actions across Europe underline the resilience and determination of the Kurdish diaspora to fight for Öcalan’s freedom and the Kurdish issue, and signal a continued call for international attention and support.