Elina Stamatou: Peace through the mountains of Kurdistan

Lawyer İbrahim Bilmez spoke to Elina Stamatou of the Alphanews Live TV channel in Cyprus about the conditions of Abdullah Öcalan, who is held in solitary confinement in the Imrali Island Prison in Turkey and has not been heard from for 3 years.


Alphanews Live TV channel, which has a wide audience in Cyprus, featured an extensive interview with İbrahim Bilmez, a lawyer of Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan. The moderator of the programme spoke to ANF.

Lawyer İbrahim Bilmez gave information on many issues, such as the international campaign "Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan, a solution to the Kurdish question", the international conspiracy against Abdullah Öcalan, the process of his move to Europe, the torture and isolation regime in İmralı prison.

"I especially ask all democratic bodies in Cyprus, Greece and Europe to try to recognise the efforts of Mr Öcalan," Bilmez said in a lengthy interview.

Bilmez pointed out that: "Abdullah Öcalan has devoted his entire life to finding a peaceful solution for the Middle East and all the cities, people and religions of the region. Even today, Mr Öcalan is working for this peaceful solution, for peace to come to the region without war and conflict. Therefore, I ask all democratic institutions, democratic NGOs, political parties to appreciate Öcalan's efforts and stand by him. It is not too late, we can still find a solution. And believe me, Öcalan has the answers to what is happening today and the chaos in the Middle East. It is possible."

Speaking to ANF after the interview, the moderator of the programme, Elina Stamatou, said: "As a journalist, it was a historic moment for me to have an exclusive interview with one of the closest people to Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan."

Elina Stamatou stated that she wanted to "also use this interview to bring Mr Öcalan's prison conditions on the island of İmralı back to the agenda and to awaken consciences to the fact that his basic human rights as a prisoner have been violated for 25 years".

Stamatou stated that the situation in which Abdullah Öcalan is being held violates "every legal concept and every human right" enshrined in the "UN Charter on Human Rights" and the "European Convention on Human Rights".

"If Turkey wants to turn its face towards Europe and the West, it must first of all avoid practices that take the country back centuries. For this, it is important that Turkey guarantees the rights of its citizens, whether they are free or detained," Stamatou said.

"On the other hand, Europe itself, which has always opposed violations of fundamental human rights in time of war or peace, cannot turn a blind eye to such violations. On the contrary, it must take a stand as it always does in similar situations. In this context, the publication of the 9th Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) 2022 report on İmralı Prison, like the previous eight reports, is of great importance.

In the end, thanks to our meeting with Mr Bilmez, I believe that we have managed to revive, at least theoretically, the vision of a man like Abdullah Öcalan, which is nothing less than the consolidation of peace in the Middle East. This peace, as his lawyer reiterated, is essentially through the mountains of Kurdistan, through the solution of the Kurdish question."