Six Basque trade unions demand Freedom for Öcalan

On the 24th anniversary of the capture of Kurdish people's Leader, Abdullah Öcalan, six Basque trade unions launched a manifesto demanding his freedom.

Six Basque trade unions, LAB, ELA, CCOO, ESK, UGT and Steilas launched a manifesto demanding freedom for Abdullah Ocalan on the 24th anniversary of his capture in Kenya. 

In the manifesto, the Basque trade unions said: "Abdullah Öcalan, leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) has been imprisoned for 24 years, in extreme conditions, in total isolation and with restrictions on his communication with the outside world. In 2006-2007, 3.5 million Kurds signed a petition stating that they consider him their political representative. As the only leader who enjoys the trust of the Kurdish people, and as the forefather of this peaceful solution, Öcalan is an indispensable part of resolving the Kurdish conflict."

The manifesto added: "From past experience of other conflicts, we know that for a peace process to develop, among other things, strong personalities are needed whose leadership can help communities to seek peaceful solutions to the conflict.

Nelson Mandela, Gerry Adams, among other people, had and still have the respect and trust of their communities, which is why they could and can convince them to work actively in the search for a negotiated solution. Undoubtedly, Abdullah Öcalan also falls into this category."

The Basque trade unions underlined that "the current Turkish government run by Erdoğan held negotiations with Öcalan for two and a half years, during which the Kurdish leader proposed a gradual plan to achieve peace, from confidence-building measures, through a disarmament process under international surveillance, to a permanent political solution to the Kurdish question. Although the negotiations broke down in 2011, Öcalan's proposals, included in his "Road Map", continue to be of the utmost importance to address and seek a negotiated solution to the so-called 'Kurdish question'."

The manifesto continued: "The demand for Öcalan's freedom is vital to break the military logic of the conflict and thus divert attention towards peaceful negotiations and towards a democratic resolution of the Kurdish conflict."

The Basque trade unions demanded the following:

"-Support the request for freedom for Abdullah Öçalan and the rest of the Kurdish prisoners and political prisoners as an important step towards the democratization of Turkey and peace in Kurdistan.

-End the suffering and oppression of the Kurdish people.

-Articulate a peace process that guarantees a negotiated solution to

the conflict.

-That the Kurdish people be allowed to freely decide their future and organize themselves in the way they democratically decide."