By CENI Kurdish Women’s Office for Peace

We are sending you some information concerning the Long March, which is still on its way from Geneva to Strasbourg. Despite freezing temperatures the participants are determined to overcome any obstacle to raise their demands “Freedom for Kurdistan – Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan”. Also representatives of the Kurdish Women’s Office for Peace CENÎ e.V. and the Initiative of Peace Mothers are marching at the forefront.

Yesterday, they were welcomed by a meeting of over 1.500 inhabitants in the town Basel. Songül Turhal, a board member of CENÎ, who is participating to the march, stated: “We are marching full joyfully, curiously and determinedly. Despite hard conditions, I noticed how much determined Kurdish women in Europe are participating to this freedom march.”

Kurdisches Frauenbüro für Frieden e.V.
Kurdish Women’s Office for Peace

Corneliusstrasse 125
D- 40215 Düsseldorf

Tel.: 0049 (0)211 598 92 51
E-mail: [email protected]

From the UN to the EU

The march that started in Geneva under the slogan of “Freedom for Ocalan, Political Status for Kurdish People” has reached Nyon. It is worth seeing the enthusiasm of the Kurdish people even in colds of -3 degrees.

The “Freedom for Ocalan, Political Status for Kurdish People” march got under way on the 1st of February under the call of the Federation of Kurdish Associations in Europe (KON-KURD). Kurds from all across Europe poured into Geneva. Kurds came to Geneva where they met in front of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees for a press release.

In the statement it was declared that “Today, here, all four parts of Kurdistan are taking part in this march”. The statement went on “the Turkish state is carrying out dirty negotiations in order to damage the freedom movement and through this is attempting to eliminate the Kurdish people’s struggle. Today, we are here to show that we will not allow any such attempt to succeed. This is a historical step towards the freedom of our people and our leader”.

The demand for participation is high

According to information from the organizing committee there are over a hundred voluntary participants ranging from politicians, writers, artists and intellectuals that will participate in the march from start to finish. At the same time there are hundreds of people that have applied to partially take part in the march.

The march included writers Aslı Erdoğan, Suzan Samancı, Mustafa Peköz, Günay Aslan. Politicians Ahmedi Kemalizade, Felaknas Uca, Mahir Sayın, Mele Şafi, Ahmet Demir, Cemil Çelik, and artists Şemdin, Seyitxan, Cane, Kawa and Ozan Çağdaş.

The march has arrived in Nyon

The march left Place de Neuve at 8am destined for Nyon. Towards 3pm the march had reached Nyon where they stayed the night. The next morning the march had once again started their journey to Morges. Despite the very cold weather the marchers are in high spirits as they shout slogans and demands for the freedom of Ocalan. At certain intervals the marchers are served with tea and coffee to help keep warm. It is not just the cold that is making this march difficult; at some points during the march there is no path to walk on so the marchers are forced to walk through muddy fields. Four marchers have so far been taken to medical centers to be treated after which they have returned to take part in the march. There are friends of the Kurdish Freedom Movement that are also taking part in this march. Five members of MLKP will be with the march from start to finish.

On the 3rd of February at the end of the march from Morges to Lausanne a big demonstration took place. Kurds living in Lausanne had greeted the marchers.

From Geneva to Strasbourg: Kurdish march for justice and peace

The route of the demonstration

Contact: Kemal Çalgan (0041765895487) u. Mehmet İlkhan (0041764843626)

  • -On the 31st of January there will be a press release in Geneva. The press release will be between 10.00-14.00 in front of the United Nations. After the press release the march will have been officially started.

  • -On the 1st of February at 8.00 the march will start from Geneva and reach Nyon in the evening. The distance is 20 km. We will stay in Nyon overnight.

  • -On the 2nd of February the march will be between Nyon-Morges. We will stay in Morges overnight.

  • -On the 3rd of February we will march from Morges to Lausanne. At 14.00 there will be a gathering in Lausanne. After this busses will take the marchers to Bern. There will be a panel in Bern where we will also be staying the night. 

  • -On the fourth of February between 09.00-13.00 there will be a gathering in front of Parliament where various meetings will take place. After this we will walk to Burgdorf. At night the marchers will be taken to Langerthal by car.

  • -On the 5th of February the marchers will return to Burgdorf by cars where they will walk back to Langerthal where they will once again stay the night. 

  • -On the 6th of February the marchers will walk from Langerthal to Olten where they will stay the night.

  • -On the 7th of February the marchers will walk from Olten to Liestal where they will stay the night.

  • -On the 8th of February the marchers will walk from Liestal to Basel where there will be an event.

  • -On the 9th of February the marchers will walk from Basel to Sierentz (France) where they will stay the night.

  • -On the 10th of February the marchers will walk from Sierentz to Mulhouse where there will be a mass greeting for the marchers. The Marchers will stay the night here.

  • -On the 11th of February the marchers will walk from Mulhouse to Meyenheim where they will stay the night.

  • -On the 12th of February the marchers will walk from Meyenheim to Colmar where they will stay the night.

  • -On the 13th of February the marchers will walk from Colmar to Selestad where they will stay the night.

  • -On the 14th of February the marchers will walk from Selestad to Erestheim where they will stay the night.

  • -On the 15th of February the marchers will walk from Erestheim to Strasbourg where there will be a mass greeting which will be aired live on TV as a panel.

  • -On the 16th of February the marchers will walk to the European Parliament and a present a document regarding their demands and conduct meetings.

  • -On the 17th of February the marchers will walk to the CPT where they will present a document regarding their demands and conduct meetings.

  • -On the 18th of February the marchers will lead the central mass march and salute the people on stage where a speech will be delievered on behalf of the marchers.

From Geneva to Strasbourg: Kurdish march for justice and peace

We are on the road for our existence and freedom!
Kurdish rights and freedom for Ocalan!

Kurds are unable to secure their most basic rights and liberties that are attached to being a nation of 40 million.

The main reason for this is the division of Kurdistan! Divided by Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Western states in the Treaty of Lausanne, 24th July 1923. The Kurds, whose existence has been denied within this treaty, have been left to the mercy of their own fate, denied any status that guarantees their rights, as well as being exposed to the merciless assaults of the colonialist states.

The Treaty of Lausanne Paved the Way for the Kurdish Massacre and State Terrorism

Kurdish people, whose rights have been denied since that date, have been exposed to brutal oppression and assaults of states in every part of Kurdistan, and have been subjected to attempts at annihilation through cultural and political genocide as well as cases of physical genocides that took place in Halabja, Dersim and Zilan.

Kurdish language still continues to be subject to prohibitions, Kurdish settlements are brutalised, tens of thousands of people are subjected to inhuman systematic torture in Turkish prisons, nature is destroyed, while the historical wealth and cultural heritage of the land are being eroded by the construction of dams.

The consequences of these policies in the last 2 years can be summarised as follows:

  • Over 8000 people including MPs, mayors, lawyers. journalists, local officials, representatives of women’s movements, professors and intellectuals have been detained, 5000 of whom are still in prisons due to the draconian ‘anti-terror’ law since 2009

  • Around 200 children have been killed by the ‘security’ forces during the AKP term in office.

  • Chemical weapons have been deployed against the Kurds on various occasions.

  • Cross-border operations have continued without a break in violation of international laws

  • 35 Kurdish civilians, many of whom were children,  have been massacred by the Turkish fighter aircraft in Uludere on 28th December 2011.

It has only been thanks to the total resistance undertaken by the Kurds since the Treaty of Lausanne against the state terror imposed on them, that Kurds were able to avoid total annihilation.

EU States and International Institutions are in Violation of Their Own Values

There is no doubt that the genocidal and systematic oppression inclicted on the Kurdish people by the regional states for the sake of their political and economic interests could not have been conceptualised and realised without the international support offered to them by the USA, Israel and the EU states.

The same international powers have today declared the Kurds and their organisations ‘terrorists’, who are simply resisting annihilation, in consideration of their vested interests.

International laws and norms do not maintain their validity when it comes to the Kurds, who are subjected to specifically designed implementations. The clearest example of this reality is to be found in the sanctions imposed in Mr Abdullah Ocalan, the Leader of the Kurdish people. He was illegally kidnapped on 15 February 1999 through an international plot supported mainly by the USA, Israel and the EU states, and taken to Imrali where he is kept is solitary confinement conditions.

From Geneva to Strasbourg: Kurdish march for justice and peace

The Treatment of Abdullah Ocalan Determines the Approach to the Kurdish Question

The intense psychological and physical torture inflicted on the Kurdish Leader Mr Abdullah Ocalan for the last 13 years under the conditions of solitary confinement have been accelerated with further restrictions on his confinement. As is known, the current prohibition of Mr Ocalan’s meetings with family and lawyers have approached the 200th day. It is understood that the AKP government is in preparation of legal arrangements to maket this situation permanent!

It is clear that the domestic laws of Turkey, let alone the international laws, are blatently violated on political grounds in order to prevent meetings with families and lawyers! This is being done to interfere with his national responsibilities, communications and diplomatic efforts as leader of the Kurdish people. The international institutions that denied their own norms with the Proto-Guantanamo system and its implementation constructed on Imrali are in criminally aquiesecing in this plot.

Abdullah Ocalan is regarded as a political representative by the Kurds. Around 3.5 Million Kurds have proved that with a petition in 2006. Mr Ocalan is the most important representative of the struggle of Kurds for their rights and democracy as well as being the symbol of Kurdish liberation. A committee sent by the Turkish government has been in dialogue with him from 2006 to July 2011 due to his missions in respect of his status. These meetings, which have been covertly carried out by the state and government have ended and remained inconclusive as they have been utilized by the state as part of the plan to annihilate the Kurdish Liberation Movement.

Mr Ocalan occupies the key position in the intensifying continuity of the conflicts. Mr Ocalan plays a determinate role in the control of conflicts and in bringing a political solution to the Kurdish Question. There is no doubt that for this reason Mr Ocalan is the person with whom a dialogue should be established for the stability and social peace in Turkey and thereby in all the Middle East.

Therefore, the solitary confinement of such an actor will and already is jeopardising the solution and search for peace.

For this reason, we are expecting with anticipation for the United Nations and the European Council to use their sanction power in order to secure the freedom of Mr Ocalan, to play his determinant role in bringing a peaceful-political solution to the question as well as the improvement of the conditions of his health, life and security.  

Kurdish People Demand an Official Status and their Democratic Rights

In commencing our march on 31st January 2012 outside the UN-Geneva, we express our demand for freedom for which we have paid enormous sacrifices but have never abandoned and demand the UN to fulfill their responsibility towards the Kurdish people and recognise them as a people.

In Strasbourg, we will highlight the living conditions of the Kurdish Leader Mr Abdullah Ocalan, who is critical to the solution of the Kurdish question, and emphasise the fact that the freedom of the Kurdish people is aslo dependent on the freedom of Mr Ocalan and call upon the EC and CPT to fulfill their duties.

We demand the international powers such as the UN, European Union, NATO, US and Russia use their relationships and influence on the states that occupy Kurdistan and initiate the dialogues in order to secure a status for the Kurdish people and maintain their national existence and rights in every part at national and international levels for the purpose of ensuring the culmination of the question in a permanent solution.

We call upon the institutions and individuals, who uphold the universal values of democracy, freedom, justice, peace, and human rights to participate in our march and to send messages of support. We call upon the press and public to demonstrate their sensitivity, support and solidarity.

Confederation of Kurdish Associations in Europe (KON-KURD)

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