This text is from a leaflet orginially published by International Initiative – Peace in Kurdistan. It can be downloaded as a pdf here so that copies can be printed for distribution at meetings, protests and other such actions.
Who is Abdullah Öcalan?
Millions of Kurds regard Abdullah Öcalan as their political representative. About 3.5 million Kurds have testified this in a signature campaign in 2006. He is the most important exponent of their struggle for cultural rights and democracy and has become a symbol for the freedom of the Kurds. Öcalan opposes separatism and secessionism and stands for a democratic Middle East with all the peoples having equal rights which he has put forward as his perspective for a solution. A worldwide signature campaign for his freedom was recently launched.
Tireless peace efforts
Since 1993, Öcalan has been trying to create conditions that are suitable for a peaceful solution of the conflict. Even after his illegal abduction and imprisonment in 1999, he has remained a consistent advocate of a peaceful, political solution. From 2006 to 2011 he led talks with the Turkish government for a political solution to the conflict. In 2009 he presented his “Road Map for Negotiations”. In July 2011 Erdogan terminated the talks, only to restart them in November 2012 after much bloodshed and a huge hunger strike by political prisoners.