Languages: Kurdî ‏سۆرانی‎

3 years of Torture Against Abdullah Öcalan, is 3 Years of Collective Punishment Against Kurds

Three years ago, was the last time we received any sign of life from the Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan. On the 25th of March 2021, Öcalan held a brief five-minute telephone conversation with his brother, before the line was suddenly cut by Turkish prison authorities without any explanation. Since then, Mr. Öcalan has been held in a state of incommunicado detention, an illegal form of solitary confinement that aims to “disappear” him from the outside world and bans him from all human contact. This includes any communication with his family or lawyers, which again is a blatant violation of international law. Ever since Abdullah Öcalan was abducted on the 15th of February 1999, the Turkish state has wanted to use Imrali Island as a de-facto “floating coffin”.

The Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan is being held hostage by the Turkish regime in a state of extreme isolation to punish him for founding the Kurdish freedom movement and giving the Kurdish people a philosophy on how to liberate themselves. Turkey also bans all contact with him to remind the Kurds that they are an occupied internal colony. Mr. Öcalan is seen as the rightful leader by millions of Kurds and Turkey believes that if they can silence him, it will silence the voice of those millions who look him to him as their representative.

Thanks to Mr. Öcalan’s blueprint, the Kurdish people are no longer helpless victims, and they will not fall prey to the genocidal policies that have shaped the Turkish Republic since its inception in 1923. As the Kurds get stronger, Turkey finds itself on the brink of collapse, suffering in a state of economic, social, and political bankruptcy. Ironically, the regime in Ankara possesses the solution to their own problem. As the only solution to the Kurdish question and repairing the Turkish state lies in ending Mr. Öcalan’s isolation and restoring the dialogue with him for a lasting peace agreement.

As for the outside world, they can do their part by holding the Turkish regime accountable for the treaties they are bound by. The United Nations, Council of Europe, European Court of Human Rights, and Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) all continue to overlook Erdogan’s illegal treatment of Mr. Öcalan. As such, he views their silence as complicity and a green light to continue his crimes on Imrali Island.

As the Kurdistan National Congress we would ask those organizations to instead endorse the precepts as outlined by the international campaign “Freedom for Öcalan – A political solution to the Kurdish question” and demand that Mr. Öcalan be allowed to meet with his family and lawyers immediately. This will go a long way to restoring the path for peace.

En Castellano

Executive Council of the Kurdistan National Congress
March 25, 2024