The vigil in front of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg has been held there every single day, non-stop for ten years, calling for the freedom of the Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan. Speeches were made by all the politicians who attended the event, and many more individual messages of solidarity were sent to the vigil last week.
Jeremy Corbyn, former leader of the Labour Party and opposition in Britain between 2015 and 2020, joined the vigil for the freedom of Öcalan 22 June and spoke to Erem Kansoy of Medya Haber.
Corbyn said the severe isolation of Öcalan and his indefinite imprisonment are not only human rights violations, but also an obstacle to a peaceful resolution of the Kurdish question.
Veysi Sarısözen, a former leader of the Communist Party of Turkey and a leading intellectual, wrote an article for Yeni Özgür Politika about Jeremy Corbyn and the solitary confinement torture imposed on Öcalan.
A translation of selected parts of Sarısözen’s article follows:
You can implement “the torture of isolation” for President Öcalan but you cannot isolate him
An English man named Jeremy Corbyn stated that:
“Öcalan is the unique recognised leader of Kurds and his freedom should be ensured for peace.”
So who is this English man?
A young “internationalist?”
A radical militant?
A veteran-guerrilla who fought in Rojava and went back to his country?
This English man is the former leader of the Labour Party of Britain. 70 years-old.
Do not misunderstand by saying Labour Party of Britain, this party is not like our [Turkey’s] socialist or workers’ parties.
It is a political party which has governed the United Kingdom like the Conservatives.
Corbyn is a man who had been the elected leader of this party between 2015 and 2020.
And what is Corbyn saying now? Let us repeat. The words deserve to be repeated:
This is not a simple solidarity sentence. It is a sentence of “judgement”. The judgement sentence “He is the unique recognised leader of Kurds” declares that Öcalan is “the only interlocutor” in solving the Kurdish question and ending the war conducted by Turkey in Syria and Iraq.
While Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and coalition partner the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) chair Devlet Bahçeli think that they have almost “silenced” leader Öcalan, his situation is being announced to all humanity through the Labour Party’s former leader’s own mouth.
After the collapse of Soviet Union, just like other social democrat parties, the Labour Party had left “democratic socialism” programme it once defended. It had made vague the lines between itself, Conservatives and Liberals, thus joined neo-liberalism. Such a shift to the right had weakened the Labour Party, and ultimately Britain had become a tool of a populist politician named Johnson.
Öcalan succeeded in building a dialectical connection between class and the global left not only theoretically, but also in revolutionary praxis. That is why, on the one side, he has enabled poor and labourer Kurdish people as a leading community, and on the other side, he has created a paradigm that will unite all humanity from different classes, except for a handful of oligarchs.
The struggle against capitalist modernity is uniting all those who had lost their hope with the collapse of all variants of real socialism, namely political representatives of the international working class, communists, socialists, left oriented social democrats, spokespersons of Muslim workers in the former colonies, adherents of Christian-Catholic “liberation theology” in Latin America around Öcalan’s programme. The notions of confederalism and libertarian, communal socialism have already crossed the border of Kurdistan, have gained a universal characteristic.
In addition to such a class unity, the “ecological society” that Öcalan declared against the climate crisis, ecological disaster threatening human civilisation is heralding “alliance of humanity” that transcends the classes. The responsibility of the crisis is capitalism, but children of the biggest bankers are reading from the works of scientists describing the disaster that this crisis also threatens their own “bell jar.” The virus is also knocking on the doors of both sheds and pavilions, the climate crisis is threatening both the world of poor and of the rich who shape the world as their own property. Those who oppress people to share the world market are starting to see that they themselves will drown in oceans swelled by melting glaciers.
And the end of “uncompleted-human history” is being heralded by Öcalan. This is not merely a history of class struggle, but also a history of the struggle of “women” from all classes against “men”. The program of “women libertarian society” is uniting all women with the goal of extinguishing male domination as a “transition from a uncompleted-human history to a non-patriarchal human history”.
You army of fools with cauliflower in your heads instead of brains!
You can implement “the torture of isolation” for President Öcalan.
But you cannot isolate him.
Is it Öcalan that is being isolated or are you?
Look at the Labour Party’s former leader and see who has being isolated.