Long March, Freedom for Ocalan – Status for Kurdistan

(1st to 11th February 2017)

The Kurdish cause has now reached a phase where its struggle for democracy, co-existence of national and religious groups, ecology and women’s liberation has brought positive results. On the other hand, due to the current situation in different parts of Kurdistan, like Bakur-Turkey and Rojava-Syria, and in the Middle East, the Kurds and other populations in the region face challenges of a most radical dimension. The peoples of Kurdistan and their Liberation Movement are now confronting a great menace.

To raise the awareness of the world public opinion, the friends of Kurdish people have organised a Long March, scheduled for between 1st to 11th February 2017, starting from Luxemburg, proceeding to Strasbourg. The participants of the March will arrive at Strasbourg on 11th February, where thousands of Kurds and their friends will convene in a big Rally to protest the arrest of Mr Ocalan, and all political prisoners in Turkey.

Ocalan was abducted on 15 February 1999 in an international conspiracy co-organised by the Turkish state, the US and some EU member states. The intense psychological and physical torture he has been subjected to for the last 18 years has reached a critical point, with further restrictions imposed on the condition of his solitary confinement. There are serious concerns about his life, as according to leaked news, he is in danger of physical removal, following a collusion made by the Turkish Islamic and Nationalist parties (AKP-MHP). This is also the underlying reason as to why the debate on the reintroduction of “death penalty” has made its appearance in Turkey.

As a result of this alliance, Turkey and Kurdistan are experiencing a serious war of attrition that has been going on since 24 July 2015. Having observed the trajectory events thereafter, one cannot but note the brutality with which they have conducted this dirty war in Kurdistan, targeting everything and everyone connected to the Kurds. Municipalities are seized, the deputy mayors and Members of Parliament are being jailed under the lamest of pretexts, and, now, an ominous plan for the elimination of national Kurdish leader has been outlined.

With this Long March and the Rally, we intend to draw further attention to the Kurdish issue in general, and to Ocalan’s situation in particular.

  • Our Long March is aiming to garner international support through which to communicate to the AKP that the fate of Ocalan is not so much an internal matter to Turkey alone as a matter of international concern. Therefore, any harm done to him will draw international outrage and public condemnation. 
  • We also emphasise the fact that the freedom of the Kurdish people is also dependent on the freedom of all political prisoners, including Ocalan, and, thereby, call upon the EC and CPT to fulfil their related missions.
  • We call upon the institutions and individuals, who uphold the universal values of democracy, freedom, justice, peace, and human rights to be in solidarity with our demands.
  • We call upon the press and public to demonstrate their sensitivity, support and solidarity.