Full page appeal for Öcalan in the TAZ

Under the headline "The Time is Ripe - Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan, Peace in Kurdistan" a full-page advertisement appeared in the weekend edition of the TAZ.

In the weekend edition of the German newspaper Tageszeitung published today, a full-page advertisement with the headline "The time is ripe - Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan, Peace in Kurdistan" was published. This is an initiative of the British trade unions Unite the Union and GMB, which have been running the campaign "Freedom for Öcalan" for some time and want to spread their call in Germany as well.

The TAZ advertisement shows a photo of delegates to the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Brighton in September 2019, which was a powerful endorsement of the campaign launched two years earlier.

The advertisement text includes the following:

On February 15, 1999, the Kurdish mastermind Abdullah Öcalan was abducted from the Kenyan capital Nairobi to Turkey in an international operation in violation of international law. Since then, Öcalan has been held in solitary confinement on the prison island of Imrali.

The year of Öcalan's abduction also marks the beginning of two decades of war, occupation and invasion in the Near and Middle East. The prisoner himself, on the other hand, dedicates his life to the struggle for peace, democracy and a solution to the Kurdish question. During the long conflict with the Turkish state, he initiated numerous unilateral ceasefires and proposed constructive solutions. The only time he was allowed to lead a peace process with Turkey from his prison cell also marked the short period of time during which hopes for democratization in the region seemed to flourish.

In 2005 and 2006, about 3.5 million Kurds signed a petition stating that they consider Abdullah Öcalan as their political representative. In 2015, about 10.3 million signatories again demanded his freedom with a petition.

Öcalan not only continues to be an influential political figure who plays a central role for a peaceful solution of the Kurdish question in the entire region. He is also a source of ideas for democratic confederalism, which is currently being implemented as a social concept in Rojava (Northern and Eastern Syria) and from there has risen to become a symbol of peace and democracy in a crisis-ridden region.

Against the background of the current escalation in the Near and Middle East, which is being fueled to a large extent by the Turkish government, we are convinced that the commitment to the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan and all political prisoners is now more important than ever!”