The Confederation of Kurdish Associations in Europe

Rue Jean Stas 41, 1060 Bruxelles BELGIQUE
e-mail: info@kon-kurd.org

International Initiative
Freedom for Ocalan – Peace in Kurdistan
P.O. Box 100511, D-50445 Koeln
E-Mail: info@freedom-for-ocalan.com
Url: www.freedom-for-ocalan.com

The Signature Campaign

“I, from Kurdistan, recognize Mr. Abdullah OCALAN
as a political representative in Kurdistan”

signed by 3.243.627 persons from Kurdistan

Brussels, 12 September 2006

From July 14th, 2005 until May 1st, 2006 people living in Kurdistan and those from Kurdistan living around the world have been conducting an extraordinary campaign. They have stated in an entirely peaceful manner, through participating in the signature campaign, that they want to see Abdullah Ocalan as a political representative.

Although there are hardly any other possible methods which are more peaceful than expressing one's opinion by signing a declaration, massive intimidation and repression against the conductors have taken place all over Kurdistan. In Syria there have been detentions and house raids. In Iran there have been massive intimidations of the Kurdish people. In Turkey, hundreds of people imprisoned and sentenced because of joining the signature campaign, signing the declaration or organizing it.

Despite all this repression which deterred a number of people from joining this campaign, more than 3 Million people, exactly 3,243,627 persons, have signed the declaration reading:

"I, from Kurdistan, recognize Mr. Abdullah Ocalan as a political representative in Kurdistan"

These figures and the fact that the campaign has been conducted under clandestine conditions gives an impression about how much higher the actual support for Ocalan is.

"I, from Kurdistan, recognize..."

Of those signing the declaration, 2,042,920 did so in Turkey, 537,335 in Iraq, 332,899 in Iran, 156,341 in Syria, 140,356 in Europe and 33,794 in the Russian Federation.

"...Mr. Abdullah Ocalan..."

Abdullah Ocalan has undertaken remarkable efforts for the de-escalation of the armed conflict during his trial in 1999, and through his call for a retreat of Kurdish fighters from Turkish territory the same year he gave the start to a lasting, one-sided ceasefire. In his messages and writing, Ocalan has since developed a bunch of proposals for a peaceful, political resolution of the Kurdish question in all parts of Kurdistan. These proposals are by no means extreme or unrealistic. Ocalan calls for the cultural rights and full citizenship rights of the Kurdish people and a political process that would eventually enable the rebel fighters to put down their arms and join the democratic process.

"...as a political representative in Kurdistan."

The massive support for Abdullah Ocalan in all parts of Kurdistan and abroad, especially in Turkey, where he has been sentenced to life imprisonment without parole and is still imprisoned under severe isolation conditions in violation of his human rights, does require a reconsideration of his role in the political process.

Kurds do not want war. Kurds want a political resolution to the conflict. For a political solution, political representatives are needed. Ocalan is the choice of the people. Millions of people from Kurdistan want this voice of peace to be heard and recognized. Their call is clear: "Take our political will seriously, support a peaceful solution, accept our representative."