International Delegation: The release of Öcalan is the only solution to an effective peace process

Following a series of meetings with civil society organizations and political parties in Istanbul, the international Delegation from Europe highlighted the importance of Abdullah Öcalan's freedom for peace and a solution to the Kurdish question.

An 'International Delegation for a Solution to the Kurdish Question and Against Isolation' came to Istanbul for talks against the absolute isolation imposed on Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan, who has not been heard from for 35 months in İmralı F Type High Security Closed Prison.

After their arrival in Istanbul on Tuesday, the delegation visited the Asrin Law Office, which represents Abdullah Öcalan and his fellow prisoners in Imrali, the Human Rights Association (IHD) Istanbul Branch, and the Istanbul Provincial Organization of the Peoples Equality and Democracy Party (DEM Party). The delegation continued its contacts with civil society organizations and political parties in Istanbul on the second day and visited the relatives of prisoners who have been on a Vigil for Justice for the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan and for a political solution to the Kurdish question.

The delegation was made up of Konstanze Kriese, Representative of the German Left Party; Maria Lorena Lopez De Lacalle, President of EFA (European Free Alliance); Ann Jessica Theresa Karlqvist, Representative of the Swedish Left Party and Left Forum; Josu Estarrona Elizondo, Senator of the Spanish National Assembly, Eh Bildu (Basque Country); Montserrat Vinyets Pages, Member of the Parliament of Catalonia (CUP); Ségoléne Amiot, Senator of the Non-Submissive France Party Group; Clément Evans, Advisor to the Non-Submissive France Party Group and Hege Bae Nyholt, Member of the Norwegian Red Party.

The delegation members held a press conference at the DEM Party Istanbul Provincial Organisation before their leave from Istanbul.

The press statement made by the members of the delegation said: “We, parliamentarians and representative parties from Europe, have the honour to meet the lawyers of Abdullah Öcalan and human rights advocates of Turkey, such as the Human Rights Association (IHD), the Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD), the Peoples’ Democratic Congress (HDK) and the Justice Watch of the Kurdish mothers. We want to thank the artwork of these lawyers, the meticulous investigation of all the associations, and the sharing of these stories of political opponents, who have suffered from humiliation, rapes, arbitrary decisions regarding conditional releases, social isolation and bad treatment in the prisons of Turkey.”

The statement continued: “We have enough elements to believe that the release of Abdullah Öcalan is the only solution to an effective and concensual peace process with the Kurdish people. Each one of us will now return to our countries and be active in our respective parliaments, including the EP and international organization. We will introduce motions, celebrate hearings and get the matter known by the international public opinion. We will alert our governments to take the side of peace and democracy in Turkey. The international community must insist on the Turkish state to be reminded of its conventional obligations to the Council of Europe, like the Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations. We also need an answer from the CPT about the files introduced by Öcalan’s lawyers and request it for a real role in prevention of torture and ill-treatment.”