On 12 November a group of international figures, activists and human rights defenders from several countries sailed from Greece to Italy onboard the “Freedom Ship” as part of a political initiative demanding the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Sylvia Jan, a representative member of the France -Kurdistan Association of Solidarity was among the passengers on the ship.
“The Kurdish people, the peoples of the Middle East and the world needs peace. And the Kurds hold the solution for peace efforts in the Middle East, they have the answer,” she told ANF, sharing her appeal for peace and for the solution of the Kurdish question.
Having visited Kurdish-inhabited lands in the Middle East several times before, including Turkey, Iraqi Kurdistan and Rojava, in northeastern Syria, of each visit, she said, “I have only met people who are committed to peace. Therefore rather than speaking of a Kurdish question, people should be talking about a Kurdish solution.”
Jan believes that for a solution to the Kurdish question, it is necessary to release and conduct political negotiations with Abdullah Öcalan as a representative of the Kurdish people.
The fact that the Kurdish people are leading a democratic, ecological and feminist project is also a cause for hope for Jan.
“I think that the Kurdish people represent the future for a new world. Kurdish women have the capacity to fight, to think of the future, and to organise accordingly,” she said.
“Their grassroots democratic approach to building an equal society and a peaceful coexistence of all social groups is future-oriented for a new world.”
For this reason, she explained, the world can only win only if solidarity with the Kurdish people is bolstered. “However, there is an inescapable problem with this project,” she adds, “The isolation of Abdullah Öcalan must be lifted and he must be released. I think this is the key issue that must be resolved. This is in the hands of all world citizens. That includes me.”
Jan also demands that the PKK is removed from EU’s list of “terrorist groups”.
“We live in a world in which opposition activists are defined as terrorists,” she concludes. “States do not want to recognise them and condemn them. However, I think this will change. Everyone can take part in this. We are like a drop in the ocean, but as such we must do our job. For the future of the world and for peace, we have to play this role. It is about our shared future.”