In a speech, Leyla Zana had praised Abdullah Ocalan for his tireless work for the Kurdish causes and announced him as the Kurdish national leader. She also stated that if Erdogan is intending to solve the Kurdish issue he should take Ocalan as the interlocutor and instead of travelling to Diyarbakir he should visit Ocalan in his solitary confinement in the Island of Imrali Prison.

In another speech Leyla Zana expressed his admirations to the PKK and its imprisoned leader Abdullah Öcalan’s importance to the Kurdish people to the importance the brain and heart have to humans. "They have created a new life for the Kurdish people, so that a people that used to be ashamed of its existence gained a spirit of freedom and resistance, Zana said"

Leyla Zana the winner of the Sakharov Prize was arrested in 1994 along with several other Kurdish politicians for using Kurdish language at the swearing ceremony for MPs. They were imprisoned for 15 years and released in 2004.

The supporters of Zana in Turkey and Europe organised campaigns after she was sentenced to another ten years imprisonment last year for speeches she made. The case was at the Supreme Court of Appeals and ended on Thursday with 3 years of imprisonment for her. The campaign in Turkey has called for the Supreme Court to overturn the sentence, and on MPs to lift legal obstructions to the freedom of expression. In France, a campaign started on 10 February was signed by many intellectuals. Nonetheless the campaign did not yield any result in favour of Zana.

Thursday, 08 April 2010