Ocalan: My real role in Kurds’ struggle for freedom

Originally published in the Guardian:

The Guardian, Monday 20 January 2014 21.00 GMT

I am writing in response to an editorial published in your newspaper on the occasion of Nelson Mandela’s death (5 December). The article drew comparisons between Mandela, Nehru, Aung Sang Suu Kyi and me. Such comparisons belying a hegemonic mindset demonstrate a lack of understanding of the reality of those faced with struggling for freedom.

In describing me as “feared and worshipped”, I detect hostility towards those who are forced to rely on their self-belief in their struggle against slavery, massacres and policies of denial. Since I have been imprisoned under conditions of solitary confinement on an island for the last 14 years, it is difficult to see how I can be credibly described as a source of fear for anyone except perhaps my captors.

Continue reading “Ocalan: My real role in Kurds’ struggle for freedom”

Ocalan’s tribute to Nelson Mandela: “A shining star that enlightened the peoples of Africa”

Below we reproduce a statement by Abdullah Ocalan on the death of Nelson Mandela


The tears that are being shed worldwide for Nelson Mandela today, the stories that are being shared about him and the wisdom that he bequeathed to all other freedom movements shows us what an outstanding individual he was.

The history of the peoples of the world is mostly shaped through the callous insolence of those trying to hold the masses in their grip. This insolence at times appears because the whole world sees this oppression but turns a blind eye to it, at times through the evil of totalitarianism and the banality by which it is fed. While the perpetrators of evil constantly bow their knees in shame and beg forgiveness or become a dark chapter in the book of history, the struggle against the banality of evil and rising totalitarianism appears in the only thing soaking all the soils of the world at the same time: the tears of the oppressed human being.

Mandela and the struggle for democracy and freedom that he pioneered are the very basis of what defines the concept of struggle for those who have adopted the principle of free and equal life. We cannot talk about people like Mandela in terms of the past. For individuals who have won their place in the hearts of the peoples such as he did bear the fate of playing the role of Prometheus. Neither the day they decide to carry the fire nor the way they carry it is coincidental. It is a struggle to honourably oppose the destruction caused by the capitalist modernist system which the rulers impose in the course of history.

Continue reading “Ocalan’s tribute to Nelson Mandela: “A shining star that enlightened the peoples of Africa””

Sign the petition to free Ocalan!

Sign the petition online HERE!

Dear friends,

The armed conflict between the Turkish and the Kurdish freedom movement that has raged for nearly three decades appears now to have reached an historic turning point. It would be a fair assessment to predict that the achievement of a political solution to this conflict will have a positive impact on the process of change in the entire Middle East.

An important step forward will take place on 8 May when the PKK will start to withdraw its forces from Turkey to Northern Iraq. This is part of an agreement that has been the result of months of painstaking negotiations between representatives of the Turkish state and the imprisoned leader of the PKK, Abdullah Ocalan.

Continue reading “Sign the petition to free Ocalan!”

Öcalan’s historic Newroz 2013 Statement


I salute the people of the Middle East and Central Asia celebrating this awakening, revival and resurgence day of Newroz with the most extensive participation and unity.

I salute all the fraternal peoples celebrating Newroz, the day of enlightenment and a turning point of a new era, with great enthusiasm and democratic tolerance.

I salute all those who are travelling on this grand path who have democratic rights, freedom and equality as their guides.

I salute you the Kurdish people from the Zagros and Taurus mountain sides, to the Euphrates and Tigris river valleys. I salute the Kurdish people who are one of the oldest peoples in the cradle of human civilisation and birthplace of agriculture in the sacred Mesopotamian and Anatolian lands to the pastoral, village and urban civilisations.

Continue reading “Öcalan’s historic Newroz 2013 Statement”

Statement: Somersault alaturca – Play it again, Sam!

­International Initiative “Freedom for Abdullah Ocalan – Peace in Kurdistan!”

Press statement, 15 February 2013


14 years after the abduction of Abdullah Öcalan in an international operation by intelligence services, the Kurdish question in Turkey is more current than ever. Not even this act, undertaken in violation of international law, was able to change this.

At one time declared “Public enemy no 1”, today leading Turkish politicians talk about “Imrali” as the authority to negotiate with if the vexed problem is to be resolved.

Continue reading “Statement: Somersault alaturca – Play it again, Sam!”

Demirtas addresses BDP group meeting about peace talks

Co-chair of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Selahattin Demirtas addressed the BDP group meeting on Tuesday with an in-depth discussion on the renewed negotiations between the Turkish state and the PKK. Below is a translated version of the full speech:

Selahattin Demirtaş, co-chair of the BDP (Peace and Democracy Party) addresses his party’s parliamentary group meeting on “the Imrali processs” on 8 January 2013

Dear friends,

Today, in our group meeting we would like to share our thoughts, suggestions and approaches to the process which has been under intense discussion for about a week now and has been dubbed ‘the Imrali process’ (i.e. negotiations with Abdullah Ocalan in the name of the Kurdish question, translator’s note) Of course, we are talking about 30 ongoing years of blood and tears with a history of almost 100 years of deep-rooted historical, social, political, cultural and economic problems. The Imrali process is not a topic that popped up today and will be gone tomorrow. At the present stage, everyone should evaluate and debate with a cool head. We should foster hope where it exists, we should criticise the weak points where they exist, everyone should sincerely debate how to bring about an honorable peace with dialogue and negotiation as well as a solution that is bloodless, weaponless and nonviolent. This is our basic intention and approach.Every suggestion and criticism that we will share with you today is rooted in this intention and approach.With us today are the constituents of the HDK (English: Peoples Democratic Congress) and the Left Green Party.

Continue reading “Demirtas addresses BDP group meeting about peace talks”

KHRAG send open letter to US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton

The Kurdish Human Rights Action Group have sent an open letter to the US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton calling for the US to demand the freedom of Abdullah Ocalan:

We are writing to you this open letter regarding the Kurds, a people of over 40 million, and its incarcerated leader, Abdullah Öcalan. In 1999, your government, through the CIA, abducted the revered and popular Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan, who was on his way to South Africa to seek political asylum. He was abducted in Kenya and handed over to the Turkish authorities. This was supposed to bring an end to the uprising of the Kurds in Turkey who have been fighting for their basic democratic rights for decades. But the Kurds cannot be expected to relinquish their most basic human rights like full citizenship rights, freedom of expression, freedom of association or the use of the Kurdish language as their mother-tongue in public schools. Continue reading “KHRAG send open letter to US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton”