Kalkan: Women are leading the way in the campaign demanding freedom for Öcalan

Duran Kalkan spoke about the situation of Abdullah Öcalan and the international campaign for his freedom.

Duran Kalkan, member of the KCK Executive Council, spoke about the international initiative "Freedom For Ocalan, Political Solution to the Kurdish Question"

Let us have a look at the situation of the Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan at the beginning. What can you say about it and also accordingly, how is the global campaign for his freedom evolving?

First of all, I would like to draw attention to the historic resistance of Imrali and send my respectful salutes to Rêber Apo [Abdullah Öcalan]. Regarding the continued isolation, there is no change. The policy of torture, isolation and genocide continues on Imrali. All kinds of pressure on Rêber Apo continues. The demands and attempts of the lawyers and families to meet him are left unanswered or passed over with fake disciplinary penalties. The statements and initiatives of the legal circles regarding all these are not seen or heard by the relevant authorities. The ones that created the Imrali system and that are managing it, play the three famous monkeys. This is a clear situation. There is a complicity. But the resistance continues exceedingly. The life on Imrali is a resistance in itself; a resistance that shows humanity the path to freedom and liberation.

At the same time, of course, there is the global campaign for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo, that was announced on October 10. This campaign has spread to every field. It has indeed become a global campaign for freedom and a movement for democracy. Everyone that is part of it expresses and emphasizes this. The campaign has gained an important level and there are new developments. In fact, there is a situation where we can say that humanity is standing up. The Kurdish people, women and youth are already standing on the basis of the physical freedom of Rêber Apo. But humanity is also standing all over the world. Since October 10, the campaign has been spreading. Hundreds of organizations have joined and so grew the strength of the campaign. Every day there are a few new statements by new people and movements explaining why they join the campaign. There are circles, intellectuals, politicians, legal circles, academics, artists, people from all walks of life that are already part of the campaign. All segments that we can call the brain, soul and heart of humanity participate in this campaign for freedom. Within this, women are leading the way.

This was also seen at the World Youth Conference that took place not long ago. The youth declared at the conference in Paris that they have taken on this struggle, that they will carry it on their shoulders and lead it to victory. They demanded “Freedom for Rêber Apo right now”. This was a very important, big statement. If the youth and women will continue to embrace the campaign like this, of course that struggle will grow, develop and lead to victory. No one can stop it.

Like I said, there are many statements, many new participators, and the protests are intense. Society is on its feet. Kurdish youth and women in Europe are in constant action. So are parts of Kurdistan, so is our society in Rojava [North and East Syria]. There were also demonstrations in Northern Kurdistan, like for example the struggle round about the march of Gemlik. In a serious way, society has taken a stance. It clearly showed how it embraces Rêber Apo, how it opposes the system of torture, isolation and genocide that is being practiced on Imrali, and the society thereby expressed their demands.

Now there is also a voice being raised from the prisons. The stance and life in a prison is a resistance. In order to participate in the campaign, revolutionary prisoners have declared that they have started a rotating hunger strike, that they have taken action and that they will take an active part in this struggle. They were already part of the campaign with their stance, their lives, their attitude in daily struggle, but now they are becoming an active part of it. There is a very important widespread situation. This continues with various events. On November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, women filled the streets. They demanded freedom. In other words, it is the side that fights the hardest for women’s freedom and puts forward its philosophy and ideological principles most clearly with gynecology. Therefore, all the struggles for women’s freedom are struggles against the system of Imrali, torture, isolation and genocide. It is the struggle for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo. Women’s liberation and the reality of the Rêber Apo are intertwined at this level.

There were celebrations on the occasion of the party anniversary. In many different countries, people filled the streets and squares. Of course, the most prominent demand that was expressed there, was once again the physical freedom of Rêber Apo. Kurdish society, led by its women and youth, is shouting this out in everywhere, taking a clear stance and declaring its will. Embracing the PKK means embracing Rêber Apo and demanding his physical freedom.

An important new level of the current campaign has been reached. The beginning was magnificent. Its spread was also impressive. Now it is necessary to expand it with new plans, to diversify it, to enrich the forms of action. There are discussions in this direction, there are evaluations, statements, each new participation creates a even bigger richness and diversifies. Those who organized and carried out the campaign announced that they will carry it out further, they said “we will move on to its second phase”. They are explaining its framework.

This campaign is a campaign for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo and the solution of the Kurdish question, but it is a campaign for freedom for everyone, a global campaign for freedom. In such an action, everyone is educating and liberating themselves with his/her thought, spirit and dynamism. Therefore, a great struggle for liberation, a campaign for a freedom move is developing. This is a campaign that encompasses all kinds of actions, a campaign that can only be sustained through very rich forms of action. We believe that this is how it will develop. We believe that all the society will use their means in the most effective way, enriching them, diversifying and expanding their forms of action.

This is the first time there has been such a big campaign. It is a peoples’ campaign, a campaign of the oppressed, of women, youth, workers and laborers, intellectuals, socialists, revolutionaries. It is a free people’s campaign, and the formulation of the will of the peoples is emerging.

The will of the free people is actually intervening in the process globally. Within the framework of demanding the physical freedom of Rêber Apo, it is expressing its will by committing itself to such a goal. There is no obstacle that can possibly block this. It will grow and develop more. We have expressed this before and there have also several statements in this regard.

In the new 46th year of struggle, we will spread this campaign wherever we can do, and fully participate it as a movement. We will do this as a people. We will do it as a women’s and youth movement. Humanity is embracing it, we believe that all the oppressed, women, youth, all free and democratic humanity of the world will do it. Such a unity is emerging, an alliance is emerging, a system of relations, unity of thought, a solidarity. A solidarity of humanity. The most democratic and free solidarity. This means a new world, an alternative world. So not everything is capitalist modernity. It is not just those who created and carried out the international conspiracy. It is not just those who for 25 years have been carrying out the Imrali torture and isolation system in the form of persecution and prison. The world does not just consist of them. Yes, they are part of today’s world, but they are not without alternative. Those who claimed that the world would be like this until the end turned out to be wrong. It will not be like that. A new world is being born step by step. It is free, democratic, glorious and we are very enthusiastic and excited about it.

If we pay attention, this campaign is the most exciting campaign of action in history, it is drawing people into great enthusiasm and excitement. On this basis, I would like to thank everyone who participates in the campaign and supports the campaign, and I greet them on behalf of our party leadership. I believe that they will grow the struggle more in the coming period, that they will enrich their strength, and I wish them all the success.