PM Press Blog

Let Freedom Ring. Let Them Hear Your

By Imrali Post

Today is the 23rd anniversary of Abdullah Öcalan’s abduction and incarceration.  Öcalan’s abduction was an “international plot” involving many countries, including the USA, the UK, Israel, Germany and
Greece. However, there has still not been a thorough investigation shedding light on the details of this
plot and its ramifications.

After Öcalan’s abduction, Kurds from all parts of Kurdistan and around the world united to prevent
some of its intended consequences: Öcalan’s execution; the emergence of a genocidal civil war; the collapseof the freedom movement. Even in prison, Öcalan himself made a major contribution, consistentlyfocusing on peace and a political solution to the ongoing conflict.

Although the Turkish state’s track record of genocides and oppression of the Kurds is well known,
Western states handed over Öcalan but called on Turkey to ensure that Öcalan received a fair trial. The
show trial in Turkey ended with the expected death sentence. The European Court of Human Rights in
Strasbourg deemed the trial “not fair and not impartial”, based, however, on a technicality rather than
substance. Thus, the facts of the odyssey that culminated in Öcalan’s abduction have been further obscuredand given legal cover rather than being clarified.

When the death penalty was lifted, a whole new level of isolation was introduced into Turkey’s penal
system: complete isolation, no contact with lawyers or family and an aggravated life sentence—with no
chance for parole—in effect, a slow-motion death sentence. These changes were supported by Europeaninstitutions and the US.

In spite of the abduction, total isolation in atrocious prison conditions and the aggravated life sentence,
international human rights institutions have shown no interest. The bodies that could not avoid
involvement either provided legitimacy for the isolation (ECtHR) or failed to obtain any improvements

For 11 years, Abdullah Öcalan was the sole prisoner on an island declared a military zone and guarded
by more than 1,000 soldiers. Since 2011, there have been 3 others in the island prison. They are all held
totally incommunicado, including no contact with family or lawyers. For more than a year, nothing has
been heard from Abdullah Öcalan or the other three inmates in the island prison. The complete silence ofEuropean institutions makes them accomplices.

We Are “Hope”

This much is clear: war and terror against the Kurds have always been both covert and systematic, based on joint interests of past and present forces in Europe and the Middle East. The US continues this policy.

With its critical role in the international plot, the US entered into open-ended and irresponsible experiments in the region, as can be seen in the terror unleashed by Turkey and ISIS against the Kurdish people in Kurdistan as a whole and in Turkey, Iraq and Syria, in prison or not.

To expect restitution from these states is a cat and mouse game. The institution of an aggravated life
sentence is a path towards a US-style prison system like the one Blacks in the US have been struggling
against for decades. Ill prisoners are dying by the score, often after more than 20 years in prison. Prison
complexes larger than anything previously seen are being built in Turkey, as is the case the world over.

The struggle of Kurdish society proves that only democratic circles and organizations can reverse this tide.There is no other possible force.

Abdullah Öcalan’s resistance and his approach to addressing issues of democracy, peace and war have
shown us how fragile the Turkish war machine and the world-system are, despite their show of power.

Öcalan’s Freedom Is the Only Path to Peace

Building Free Life: Dialogues with Öcalan
The Sociology of Freedom: Manifesto of the Democratic Civilization, Volume III
Capitalism: The Age of Unmasked Gods and Naked Kings (Manifesto of the Democratic Civilization, Volume II)
Beyond State, Power, and Violence