Prof. Norman Paech: İmralı is the darkest page of Europe

Professor of International Law and Politics Norman Paech said: “İmralı is the darkest page of Europe in terms of law and human rights” despite reports from European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

Prof. Norman Paech is one of the leading experts in international law and politics, not only in Germany but also in Europe. Prof. Paech, who is among the founders
of many peace and anti-war initiatives, closely follows the situation of the Kurdish Leader Abdullah Öcalan, and the developments in the region.

Norman Paech told Fırat News (ANF) and made assessments about why Europe remained silent against Öcalan’s isolation in İmralı and how Öcalan’s freedom could affect the developments in the region.

“Before Abdullah Öcalan took the leadership of the Kurdish freedom movement, the Western powers were on good terms with his movement,” said Prof. Paech, and emphasized that the freedom of the Kurdish People’s Leader will open the door to important changes in the Middle East.

According to Paech, keeping Öcalan under heavy isolation for such a long time is a great crime against humanity. He said that European countries, especially Germany, have important roles to play in this respect.

”Europe prefers to cooperate with Erdoğan’s regime instead of the Kurds who are waging a legitimate struggle. Therefore, it is better understood why Mr. Öcalan is still in prison” he said.

”Perspectives on Kurdish movement has changed with Öcalan”

Regarding the question of the Kurdish movement and Öcalan’s position, Paech said that before Abdullah Öcalan took the lead of the Kurdish freedom movement, the western powers were on good terms with this movement. ”It changed after Öcalan’s struggle for the “right to self-determination” of the Kurdish people, and for giving the
Kurdish people an identity and consciousness. Because the international order ignored the Kurdish people. The success of this struggle also meant that the order would be disrupted,” he said.

In addition to this, he stated that the land where Kurds live is divided into four. The gathering of the Kurdish people around a single struggle meant that the order of these four countries was disturbed. ”Turkey becomes a member of NATO, with the greatest Kurdish population, so that Western powers preferred to support their partners rather than support the Kurds. Unfortunately, there is still no change in this situation,”
he said.

Regarding the question about isolation of Kurdish Leader Öcalan, Paech said that the isolation system established in İmralı constitutes the darkest page of Europe and human rights policy. He also drew attention to the attacks on Afrin, Rojava. He said ”Of course, this policy of Erdoğan is frequently criticized in European capitals, but in practice nothing is done against it.”

”Kurds are the biggest dilemma for the West”

Norman Paech stated that West has failed Kurds and Palestinians in the Middle East, and their approach towards these people is the biggest dilemma of the West.

Norman Paech describes his 1996 meeting with Öcalan in Damascus as follows:

”During this meeting, Öcalan was talking about the fact that Kurds live within the borders of different states, and therefore the idea of a federation of peoples in the Middle East. He stated that only with such a federation, Kurds and other peoples can live freely and equally. Years after, this project came to life in Rojava and a democratic administration was established. This system in Rojava, created in the light of Öcalan’s ideas, is the first and only attempt so far. For this reason, Rojava was subjected to the attacks of the Turkish state, and the fact that the West remained silent in this regard is the biggest wound of the West in terms of human rights and democracy.”

”Öcalan’s freedom starts a new process in the region”

Norman Paech emphasized that the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan opens the door to a new process in the Middle East, and he continued by saying ”I think the process will democratize the governments of the region
and lead to the free and equal life of all peoples will thus begin.”

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Prof. Norman Paech: İmralı is the darkest page of Europe

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