On 9 October 1998, the internationally planned and executed conspiracy against Abdullah Öcalan began. This imperialist and fascist hunt resulted in his arrest on 15 February 1999. Abdullah Ocalan symbolises the struggle for freedom, freedom from colonialism, occupation, fascism, capitalism and freedom of women and all other oppressed genders from patriarchy. With the annual internationalist long march, we want to draw attention to both the war of occupation in Kurdistan and the inhuman prison conditions of Abdullah Öcalan and many other political prisoners. The philosophy of Democratic Confederalism, which was developed by Abdullah Öcalan and is the basis of the Kurdish freedom movement, inspires and gives hope to numerous movements and struggles worldwide.
Therefore, we see that the imprisonment of Abdullah Öcalan is not limited to him as a single person – but with him an entire people, an entire movement is being tried to punish and destroy. The imprisonment of his person is vicariously linked to the attempt to suppress an alternative to patriarchy, fascism and capitalist modernity. For 23 years now, the fascist Turkish state has held Abdullah Öcalan incommunicado in a prison created especially for him on Imrali.
Human rights organisations around the world, from the CPT to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) have condemned the persecution, the arrest, the ‘trial’ and the conditions of detention. After constant obstruction or prevention of communication over the decades, it has now been completely cut off for months. A ban on family visits for several months was imposed for ‘taking steps too quickly during sporting activity’, and a ban on visits to lawyers for six months for another alleged breach of the rules.
Germany in complicity
The imprisonment and isolation of Abdullah Öcalan is part of a plan of destruction against the Kurdish freedom movement and the Kurdish population. His personality and thus his release are the basis for a peace process in Turkey. But that such a peace process is not the goal of the Turkish state is shown by the daily attacks in all parts of Kurdistan. The Federal Republic of Germany has been an accomplice of this fascist Turkish policy for decades. With the criminalisation of the Kurdish population and massive political repression through §129b (criminal and terrorist organisation abroad), the annual arms exports in the hundreds of millions, up to the classification of the PKK as a terrorist organisation, the German state makes itself the extended arm of Turkey. By participating in the plot against Abdullah Öcalan and providing diplomatic support for his continued detention, Germany remains one of the reasons that perpetuates isolationist torture.
The release of Abdullah Öcalan and the decriminalisation of the PKK in Bakur, in Germany and everywhere else are steps of enormous importance for the women’s revolution. Abdullah Öcalan has created a paradigm that places women’s liberation at the centre of revolutionary struggles. An attack on him is therefore also an attack on the values of the women’s revolution. The patriarchal mentality that led to the arrest of Abdullah Öcalan is also reflected in the 500 feminicides in Turkey and in the Turkish-occupied parts of Kurdistan every year. Because occupation is violence. Occupation is fascism. And occupation is feminicide.
The withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention against Violence against Women is also part of the same patriarchal politics. If we want to defend ourselves as women and other oppressed genders against this, we have to organise ourselves. Abdullah Öcalan has shown a way with Democratic Confederalism that makes a free life possible for all.
Long March for Freedom by Abdullah Öcalan 2022
The struggle for the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan means defending and advancing the women’s revolution. That is why we are participating in the long march for the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan. On 5 February, we will start in Frankfurt am Main and walk to Saarbrucken until 11 February. On 12 February, we will conclude the long march together in Strasbourg with a demonstration.
Women Defend Rojava as a campaign unites the struggle of women and other oppressed genders worldwide, in solidarity with the Kurdish freedom movement and for the women’s revolution. Therefore, we also call for participation in the Internationalist Long March for the Freedom of Abdullah Öcalan in 2022: End isolation, fascism and occupation! – The time for freedom has come!
See you on the streets!
More information: longmarch.freeocalan.org