MPs and union representatives from various countries expressed their support for a peaceful resolution of the Kurdish question and for the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan during their visit to Turkey on the occasion of the fifth congress of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
Bente Knagenhjelm, MP for the Norwegian Green Party, criticised the severe isolation imposed upon Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Speaking to Mezopotamya News Agency during her visit to Ankara, Knagenhjelm underlined that Öcalan’s isolation ammounts to torture, is a breach of his rights, and is unacceptable.
“Öcalan could have played a key role [for peace] a long time ago, but Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan did not accept it. I find it so unbelievable, sad and unfair,” she remarked.
Adding that efforts by the The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) are insufficient, she said, “They should have more positive contact with the circles that can pressure Erdoğan to let them visit Öcalan.”
A British trade union official who spoke at HDP’s congress, also expressed support for Öcalan’s freedom.
Tony Burke, assistant secretary general of Unite the Union and spokesperson of the Freedom for Öcalan Initiative said:
“Öcalan has the respect and support of the people. This is the reason why he is so feared and isolated.”
Llyod Russell Moyle, MP for the British Labour, said:
“Freedom of political prisoners is essential for a peaceful future of Turkey (…) It won’t help bringing forth the issue of terrorism in the context of the Kurdish question. You should talk about peace, and how to bring people together instead.”