Our Statements

february 12, 2024

Everyone should join the Campaign for Freedom

While the international capitalist powers, led by the USA, were preparing to enter the 21st century with the so-called ‘Greater Middle East Project’, they identified Rêber Apo1 and the Kurdish Freedom Movement as the biggest obstacle to their capitalist modernist and imperialist interests. They saw that the free Kurdish identity created by Rêber Apo had the potential to influence all of Kurdistan and the Middle East. Because the Kurdish Freedom Movement led by the PKK had succeeded in drawing the Kurds living under the colonization of the four nation states into an important struggle. The Kurds, who organized in all four parts of Kurdistan and abroad and grew their will for freedom, did not want to spend another century without an identity, without a leader and under a colonial regime. Therefore, they embraced Rêber Apo and the freedom struggle. They were providing all kinds of support and participation to the struggle. Under the leadership of the Apoist movement2, the Kurds were becoming the biggest dynamic of change and transformation in the Middle East based on the values of democracy and freedom. The aim of the February 15th international conspiracy3 by the capitalist hegemonic powers led by the US was to eliminate the free will of the Kurds in the Middle East. They wanted to leave the Kurds without identity, leader and status in the 21st century as they had done in the 20th century. For this purpose, they established the international conspiracy in a very dirty cooperation. In order to realize this conspiracy against the Kurdish people in the person of Rêber Apo, they did not hesitate to make all kinds of concessions among themselves. Because they calculated that if the Kurdish Freedom Movement was ended, they could more easily take over the Middle East and redesign it as they wanted.

The way Rêber Apo, the Kurdish people and our Movement responded to the international conspiracy was an attitude of great resistance and a kind of resurrection. The circle of resistance that our people and our heroic martyrs formed around Rêber Apo was the most fundamental link that prevented the conspiracy’s intended concept of annihilation from succeeding. Because the Kurdish people saw Rêber Apo as a sum of their achievements. They saw that what was being isolated and held hostage in the person of Rêber Apo in Imrali was essentially the free Kurdish identity, that is, their own will. Therefore, they considered Rêber Apo’s captivity as their own captivity. The Kurdish people understood very well the connection of the Kurdish Freedom Movement with their own historical tragedy, and knowing that their salvation depends on breaking this tragedy, they embraced the historic resistance of Imrali very strongly everywhere.

Rêber Apo’s stance in the face of the international conspiracy and genocide attack was a great resistance on the basis of breaking the tragic hundred-year genocidal fate that had been determined for the Kurds. Under all the burning reality of the conditions of captivity, Rêber Apo responded to the conspiracy with a revolution of thought and intellect. As a revolutionary people’s leader; sometimes as a philosopher and guide when necessary, sometimes as a political or historical scientist, he is at the same time the spiritual, intellectual and physical leader of the resistance to change the tragic genocidal fate of his people. He presents the most advanced ideas and thoughts of the age to all peoples, women and all resisting oppressed groups in the person of the Kurdish people. With the brand new concepts and theories he developed, Rêber Apo created a new paradigm of free and democratic life. With his theses on free life and free society, he responded to the greatest conspiracy of the age with the greatest defense of the age. The defense of ‘Democratic Civilization’4 was a powerful defense on behalf of all the oppressed, especially Kurds and women. It was a defense on behalf of free human beings, free life and democratic society.

Under the conditions of captivity in Imrali, Rêber Apo developed the paradigm of not only Kurdish but also democratic, ecological and women’s libertarian society as a new paradigm and program of life and struggle that would be sufficient to change the fate of all oppressed people in the 21st century. Therefore, the 25-year Imrali imprisonment process did not work as the conspiratorial forces intended. On the contrary, on behalf of humanity, it was a process in which the idea of a democratic and free society was developed and matured in every aspect. Today, these ideas and thoughts of Rêber Apo are transforming into a new social system where Kurds live. It is turning into a new understanding of life and resistance. All oppressed people, Kurds and women alike, are greatly inspired by this development. It is turning into a great enthusiasm and excitement, a great movement of hope.

The torture and absolute isolation carried out against Rêber Apo on Imrali is essentially a system of genocide. It is a Kurdish genocide system, a system of destruction of democracy and freedom. Rêber Apo has been waging a historic resistance for twenty-five years within the Imrali torture and genocide system, which is managed by international powers and guarded by the colonialist Turkish Republic. This historic resistance of Rêber Apo on Imrali constitutes the main center of our struggle against genocidal politics and attacks. As Kurdish people, friends, comrades and militants, we should all try to understand and deepen our understanding of how Rêber Apo has been resisting this torture and genocide system, this coffin-like system and hostage situation in Imrali for the past twenty-five years with the determination and claim of struggle. We must further expand and deepen our efforts to understand the reality of Rêber Apo in this regard. Particularly with regard to Kurdish existence and freedom, and for the sake of humanity’s values of democracy and freedom, we must deeply feel the meaning and importance of the reality of Rêber Apo, the inhumane conditions in which he is currently being held, and we must reveal a strong attitude and level of will in our stance of struggle.

The freedom guerrilla of Kurdistan, taking its ideological, philosophical and organizational basis from Rêber Apo, has been the main force that prevented the international conspiracy from succeeding during the past twenty-four years due to its determined struggle and will. The freedom guerrilla has an unbreakable bond with Rêber Apo and sees him as its main center of motivation. The colonialist genocidal Turkish occupying army is currently carrying out countless extermination attacks against the Kurdistan guerrilla in an unprecedented and inhumane way. It is using all of NATO’s war facilities against our guerrilla forces in a very brutal way. Unable to deter the guerrilla forces despite using the latest NATO technology, the occupying Turkish army uses chemical and poisonous gases. It uses tactical nuclear and thermobaric weapons. All these inhumane methods used against the Kurdistan freedom guerrilla are being developed as war crimes and crimes against humanity. The freedom guerrilla of Kurdistan continues to show its strength and will to resist against these inhumane attacks which fall within the scope of war crimes, due to the strength, morale and consciousness it receives from Rêber Apo. The freedom guerrilla is writing a history anew in the mountains of Kurdistan because of the strength and morale it receives from Rêber Apo. It is writing the history of the free Kurd, the free human, the free society.

Having endured the extraordinary conditions of torture and genocide on Imrali for twenty-five years, the intellectual, spiritual and will power of Rêber Apo was revealed. But it is not only Rêber Apo who is being held in the coffin conditions in Imrali. In the person of Rêber Apo, the Kurdish people’s will is being held hostage. The heart of the Kurdish people has been beating in Imrali for twenty-five years. In other words, together with Rêber Apo, the Kurdish people are also being imprisoned in the Imrali coffin. Because the Kurdish people form an inseparable whole with their leader. This is precisely why our people say ‘Bê serok jîyan nabe’5 every day in the streets and squares. On this occasion, we salute the freedom campaign led by the Kurdish people and their international friends, which will enter its second phase with the anniversary of the 15 February international conspiracy, and all those who participate in and support this campaign.

The February 15th international conspiracy was developed as a strategic and genocidal attack against the existence of the Kurdish people in the person of Rêber Apo and their will to live free. It was carried out as a strategic attack not only by one or a few states, but by the global capitalist system, which is the current representative of the five-thousand-year statist power and patriarchal civilization. The insistence on the lack of a solution to the Kurdish question, which is the biggest question of both Turkey and the Middle East, continues on the basis of this international conspiracy strategy. On this basis, the strategy of the international conspiracy continues today in the form of the Imrali isolation and torture system and through the insistence on the nonsolution to the Kurdish question. It is being implemented as a specially invented, aggravated life sentence for Rêber Apo. It is applied as a state of absolute non-communication and automatized disciplinary punishments.

The main reason for all these genocide and extermination attacks developed by the international conspiracy strategy against Rêber Apo, the Kurdish people, the Movement and the freedom guerrilla is the fear of the physical freedom of Rêber Apo and the transformation of Free Kurdishness into an organized will. In fact, in the current situation, the physical freedom of Rêber Apo has become inevitable in terms of international law. However, the colonialist, genocidal Turkish state ignores and does not recognize the international law that makes Rêber Apo’s physical freedom inevitable. This attitude of the Turkish state, which does not recognize international law, is a criminal situation. The ‘Council of Europe’ (CoE), to which structures such as the ‘European Court of Human Rights’ (ECHR) and the ‘European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment’ (CPT) are affiliated, is as responsible for the continuation of the current situation against international law, human rights and democracy as the Turkish state. The CoE must fulfill its duties in this regard and respond to the expectations of the Kurdish people within the framework of the principles of human rights, democracy and justice.

In conclusion, the 25th anniversary of the February 15th international conspiracy is an important year for the Kurdish people and Movement, and for the democratic and freedom seeking forces. As the Kurdish people, Movement and friends, we are determined to increase our struggle more than ever in order to unleash a historical level of development in favor of the Kurdish freedom struggle, in favor of the peoples and progressive humanity, defeating the conspiracy and bringing the Kurdish struggle for existence and freedom to victory. On this basis, we call on all the people of Kurdistan, especially the women and the youth, to participate in the freedom campaign, which has been launched under the leadership of our international friends and will enter its second phase on February 15th, and to increase the struggle and raise resistance to defeat the international conspiracy in its 26th year.


KCK Executive Council

Footnotes added by the translator:

1 Referring to Abdullah Öcalan.

2 Referring to the Kurdish Movment led by Öcalan.

3 This refers to the international complot against Abdullah Öcalan, which was initiated on October 9, 1998 and culminated on February 15, 1999 when Öcalan was unlawfully kidnapped to Turkey, where he has since been held on the prison island of Imrali in the Sea of Marmara.

4 This passage refers to the five-volume prison writings that Abdullah Öcalan formulated as submissions to the ECHR during his time in prison on Imrali. These works represent an analysis of the situation and brought about a fundamental paradigm shift within the Kurdish Freedom Movement.

5 Common Kurdish slogan, meaning ‘There is no life without leader’.