Invitation for the Long March
Freedom for Öcalan – Justice for Kurdistan
(1st to 11th February 2017)
Dear Friends and Comrades,
We take this opportunity to thank you again for the great solidarity, contribution, and support you have shown and continue to provide for the Kurdish cause in particular and radical-democracy in general. Together with your contribution, we have now reached a new phase where our struggle based on democracy, co-existence, ecology and women’s liberation is able yield some positive results. On the other hand, due to the current situation in Bakur-Turkey, Rojava-Syria and the Middle East, the Kurds and the other populations in the region face challenges on a radical scale. The Liberation Movement and its Avant-Guarde is now facing a big threat too.
The reason for addressing you now is to invite you to a Long March, scheduled for between 1st to 11th February 2017, starting from Luxemburg proceeding to Strasbourg, where we will hold a big rally with the Kurds and their friends coming from across Europe. Parallel to our March, there will be another Long March group. It will start from Germany (Mannheim). These Groups will meet on 11th February in Strasbourg at the big Rally.
The intense psychological and physical torture inflicted on the Kurdish Leader, Mr Abdullah Ocalan, for the last 18 years under the conditions of solitary confinement have been accelerated with further restrictions imposed on his confinement. There are serious concerns about Ocalan’s life, as according to new information, he is in a great danger of physical removal as part of an AKP-MHP agreement. This is also the reason why the discussion on the reintroduction of “death penalty” has resurfaced in Turkey.
In order to secure his presidency, Turkish President Erdogan has allied himself with the Turkish racists and nationalists, wishing to confront the Kurdish question with violence and suppression. The results of this alliance can be seen in the brutality with which they have conducted the war in Kurdistan, resulting in the destruction of cities, mass arrest of politicians, and the plan for the elimination of Mr Ocalan as well. There are reasons to believe that he will be removed in one way or another. After 5 April 2015, the government has ended all meetings with him, and he is currently held in total isolation on Imrali Island.
Since 24 July 2015, Turkey and Kurdistan are experiencing a serious war of attrition. Everything and everyone connected to the Kurds or Kurdishness is a target. Municipalities are seized, and the deputy mayors and Members of Parliament are being jailed under the lamest of pretexts.
The main purpose of the Long March is to draw further attention to the Kurdish issue in general, and to Mr Ocalan’s situation in particular. It will also aim to garner international support through which to communicate to the AKP that the fate of Ocalan is not so much an internal matter to Turkey alone as a matter of international concern. So, any harm brought to him will draw international outrage and condemnation.
We are looking forward to receiving your opinion on this matter, and your availability to participate in the March. Once we receive your reply, we will send out more information with the exact dates and a preliminary programme. There will also be appointed friends who will be responsible for communication with the participants, and in charge of coordinating a detailed programme of information and logistics/accommodation.
Our hope is that you would accept the invitation to participate on the March, as your attendance would have a noticeable impact on its work.
During our 10-day March from Luxemburg to Strasbourg, we will organise meetings/seminars and give interviews to highlight our struggle for democracy, and the living conditions of the Kurdish Leader, Mr Abdullah Ocalan, who is critical to the solution of the Kurdish question. We will also emphasise the fact that the freedom of the Kurdish people is also dependent on the freedom of all political prisoners, including Mr Ocalan, and, thereby, call upon the EC and CPT to fulfil their related duties.
We will call upon the institutions and individuals, who uphold the universal values of democracy, freedom, justice, peace, and human rights to participate in our March and to send messages of support. We will call upon the press and public to demonstrate their sensitivity, support and solidarity.