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Free Kurdish Leader In Turkey

Thursday, July 16, 2015

GMB Call On Turkish Government To Release Of Kurdish Leader Abdullah Ocalan

Abdullah Ocalan should now be freed to strengthen the peace process by enabling talks to move forward says GMB.

GMB is backing a call for the Turkish Government to release of Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan, who has been imprisoned in Turkey since 1999.

Bert Schouwenburg, GMB International Officer, said "Ocalan is the spokesman of his people and has played a constructive part in progressive politics in Turkey for decades.

The results of the recent Turkish general election saw the pro-Kurdish HDP make historic gains and broke through the 10% obstacle to achieve representation in the country’s parliament.

The victory for the HDP has transformed the political landscape in the country and it has given hope to the millions of people who want to see a more democratic and pluralistic society.

The party fought the election on a platform of support for talks between the Turkish government and the Kurds which Abdullah Ocalan has been instrumental in developing.

Abdullah Ocalan should now be freed to strengthen the peace process by enabling talks to move forward.

GMB believes that Ocalan has played an absolutely central role in the reduction of tensions and the search for a just solution to the Kurdish problem in Turkey which has existed since the establishment of the Turkish republic under Ataturk.

Abdullah Ocalan has remained consistent in his strong advocacy of a peaceful road to achieving democratic rights for the Kurds and made important proposals to this end on the eve of Newroz, the Kurdish New Year.

The post-election mood in Turkey opens up a new opportunity to move forward on this peace process and all sides should be encouraged to grasp this opportunity. Ocalan’s release would contribute to a just settlement.

Ibrahim Dogus, from the Centre for Kurdish Progress in London, said 'A peace agreement between Turkey and the Kurds after so many decades of violent conflict and loss of life on both sides will be an important step towards the building of a more pluralistic, open and democratic Turkey and will have a positive impact on developments across the Middle East.“


Contact: Bert Schouwenburg, GMB International Officer, 07974 251 764 or Ibrahim Dogus of the Centre for Kurdish Progress on 07525 185288 or GMB press office 07974 2521823

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