Conference participants demand freedom for Öcalan
The conference in Sulaymaniyah on the ideas of Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan and peace and stability in the Middle East ended.
200 delegates from Kurdistan and other parts of the world participated in the conference that began on July 19: the anniversary of the revolution in Rojava. The conspiracy against Öcalan, the İmralı system, economic issues, a new economy, autonomous administrations, the Democratic Middle East Confederation and the solution possibilities in Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran were the main themes of the conference.
ENDING OF ÖCALAN’S IMPRISONMENT DISCUSSED DURING THE LAST PANEL
Participants discussed how Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan’s imprisonment could be ended during the last panel of the 3 daylong conference. Freedom to Öcalan Bureau representative Reimar Heider, Öcalan’s former lawyer Aysel Tuğluk, Asrın Law Firm lawyer Rezan Sarıca, International Peace and Reconciliation Initiative representative Essa Moosa and Sulaymaniyah University Professor Mahmut Patel spoke during the panel moderated by Dr. Kamuran Berwari.
Berwari stated that Öcalan had their support and was not alone in İmralı. Berwari said that Öcalan’s thought and philosophy was a struggle that brought together oppressed peoples from all around the world, and Öcalan’s freedom was crucial for the freedom of peoples and coexistence in the Middle East. Lastly, Berwari demanded Öcalan’s freedom and the removal of the PKK from the list of terrorist organizations in Europe and the US.
HEİDER: IT IS IMPORTANT TO DISSEMINATE ÖCALAN’S VIEWS
Freedom to Öcalan and Peace in Kurdistan Bureau representative Reimar Heider spoke on the emergence of the bureau and said that the Rojava revolution was the biggest campaign for Öcalan’s freedom. Heider said that it was hard to foresee today when Öcalan would be liberated, but this moment in time would be when it is more difficult for the Turkish state to keep Öcalan in prison as opposed to releasing him. Heider noted that Erdoğan was losing respect and legitimacy in Turkey today, and this would provide Öcalan with more opportunities. Heider stressed the importance of disseminating Öcalan’s thoughts in Europe, and said that they were publishing Öcalan’s books and holding conferences for this purpose. Lastly, Heider questioned why Öcalan was the honorary citizen of many municipalities in Italy but not in a single city across Kurdistan.
SARICA: THE 17 YEARS-LONG IMPRISONMENT MUST END
Lawyer Rezan Sarıca said that Öcalan’s freedom would not be a favor but a victory of a long struggle, and the only way to ensure this victory is the joing struggle of oppressed and democratic forces. Sarıca stated that Öcalan’s freedom was connected to the Kurdish issue and could not happen before the solution of the issue. Lastly, Sarıca emphasized that the 17 years-long imprisonment must end with the support of European institutions.
TUĞLUK: WE ARE ALL PRISONERS LIKE ÖCALAN
Öcalan’s former lawyer Aysel Tuğluk said that Öcalan dedicated his life to the freedom of Kurdish people and emphasized that everyone is a prisoner like Öcalan as long as he is not free. Tuğluk noted that the Turkish state should accept Öcalan as the leader of a people, or the Kurdish issue could not be solved. Lastly, Tuğluk asked the conference participants to call upon the Turkish state to hold an emergency meeting with Öcalan.
PATEL: SOUTH AFRICA SUPPORTS ÖCALAN
Sulaymaniyah University professor Mahmut Patel and Nelson Mandela’s lawyer Essa Moosa talked about the efforts they make for the freedom of Öcalan, and Patel said that the impossibility of Öcalan’s prosecution in Turkey must be understood for the liberation of Öcalan. Patel called upon the International Court of Justice to make a statement on this issue, and recalled that veterans in South Africa had made such a statement and demanded Öcalan’s release on behalf of Essa Moosa. Patel noted that Öcalan was the legitimate representative of Kurdish people and a freedom fighter that has the backing of South Africa.
Lastly, International Peace and Reconciliation Initiative representative Essa Moosa said that lawyers and human rights defenders would like to organize a conference on Öcalan soon.