Peace in Kurdistan sends its solidarity greetings to Abdullah Ocalan, the leader of the Kurdish people, on the occasion of his 69th birthday on 4 April 2018.
Abdullah Ocalan has spent too many of his birthdays in confinement, so that his birthday has become just another day like all others: a day that is not his own, whose freedom has been stolen from him.
Normally a birthday is a time to see friends and family. it is a time to share with all those who are closest to you, to celebrate, reminisce and look to the future. It is an occasion for people to come together, for you to learn how much you are respected, appreciated and loved.
For public figures, a birthday is somewhat different: it is visibly a public event. You receive good wishes and greetings from people you don’t really know, but whom you have touched in some way – people with whom you have communicated, who are influenced or inspired by your actions, ideas and example.
For the Kurdish people, the birthday of their political leader and mentor, Abdullah Ocalan, is a national day, but one that cannot be celebrated ‘normally’, since it cannot be shared in person, because of his confinement and total removal from all contact with them.
He is not even permitted to see his closest family, friends, colleagues or even lawyers.
By his courage and determination, by his leadership and by his ideas, Ocalan has inspired his people. Above all, he has led by his unshakeable belief in the essential justice of his cause. He has inspired the Kurdish people to an awakening of their national consciousness as never before in their long history of struggle against oppression.
Abdullah Ocalan has paid a very hefty price in his loss of personal freedom in this quest to achieve freedom of his people. Even in his isolation he cannot be silenced. His ideas remain a dynamic social force in the world, and live inside everyone who has been inspired by his leadership and example.
His birthday is a time for the Kurdish people to recall and honour what he has already achieved and what will be achieved in the future by the people themselves, guided by his philosophy of humanism, equality and liberation.
Ocalan’s birthday is a time to celebrate the continuing struggle of the Kurds for their freedom and to reaffirm a Kurdish commitment to struggle on until victory has been achieved. This is the only gift that is needed.
Peace in Kurdistan
Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question
Contacts Estella Schmid 020 7586 5892 & Melanie Gingell – Tel: 020 7272 7890
Fax: 020 7263 0596
Patrons: John Austin, Christine Blower, NUT International Secretary, Prof Bill Bowring, Julie Christie, Noam Chomsky, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Prof Mary Davis, Lord Dholakia, Simon Dubbins, UNITE International Director, Jill Evans MEP, Lindsey German, Convenor STWC, Melanie Gingell, Rahila Gupta, Nick Hildyard, Dafydd Iwan, Former President Plaid Cymru, James Kelman, Bruce Kent, Jean Lambert MEP, Elfyn Llwyd, Aonghas MacNeacail, Scottish Gaelic poet, Mike Mansfield QC, Doug Nicholls, General Secretary, GFTU, Dr. Jessica Ayesha Northey, International Coordinator, Green Party of England and Wales;; Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy, Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley, Kate Osamor MP, Margaret Owen OBE, Gareth Peirce, Maxine Peake, Lord Rea, Joe Ryan, Stephen Smellie, Steve Sweeney, Dr Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, Dr Tom Wakeford, Dr Derek Wall, Julie Ward MEP, Hywel Williams MP.