This Sunday will mark 24 years since Turkey amassed troops at its Syrian border, threatening its southern neighbour with an invasion of its capital Damascus unless it deported Abdullah Öcalan, founding leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
In search of diplomatic solutions to the Kurdish question, Öcalan left Syria on 9 October 1998. He was captured in Kenya on 15 February 1999, and was jailed in a prison on the İmralı island in northwest Turkey.
Various Kurdish and Kurdish-led organisations including the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Free Women’s Movement (TJA), Mezopotamya Cultural Centre (MKM), Marmara Prisoner and Convict Families Association (MATUHAYDER) are planning a march against what they call the international conspiracy against Öcalan on Sunday, Yeni Yaşam news website reported.
In a press conference on Tuesday, Kalo Bozukmak from MATUHAYDER said the conspiracy targeted coexistence in the Middle East.
HDP Istanbul co-chair İlknur Birol said security policies for the solution to the Kurdish issue have been threatening rights and freedoms at the same conference, adding that the plot to capture Öcalan “tried to eliminate a solution to the Kurdish issue via peaceful negotiations”.
Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) Spokeswoman Nilüfer Koç told Mezopotamya Agency in an interview that Kurdistan was designated a buffer zone in the wider Middle East, and that world powers including the United States wished to control the region through a fragmented Kurdistan.
“When Öcalan left for Europe, he sought to solve the Kurdish issue no longer in the context of the Lausanne Treaty, but through the reality of a people wanting to determine their own freedom and destiny. He wanted to make the Kurdish problem visible,” Koç said.
TJA, HDP, Peace Mothers Assembly and others held another demonstration in the south-eastern province of Batman, Mezopotamya reported.
HDP MP Feleknas Uca said the death of Iranian Kurdish Jîna Mahsa Amini in Tehran morality police’s custody was a continuation of the conspiracy.
“The slogan ‘Jin, Jîyan, Azadî’ resonated all over the world against those who target women’s struggle with massacres. Women are resisting by gathering around this slogan, a symbol of the Kurdish women’s movement. The creator of this slogan [Abdullah Öcalan] is kept in isolation. We will not allow this,” Uca said.
Other groups held demonstrations in several provinces, Turkey’s Mersin, Siirt (Sêrt) and Van (Wan).