German Left Party (Die Linke) MP Gökay Akbulut has said that democracy in Turkey cannot be sustained without input from jailed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan.
Speaking to Jin News, Akbulut said that socialist parties in the European Parliament and the Council of Europe had long voiced the need for dialogue with Öcalan.
“A Kurdistan without Öcalan can’t exist, and democracy without Öcalan can’t be sustained in Turkey,” she said, adding that Öcalan should be released along with all other political prisoners.
Scores of Kurdish politicians have been jailed in Turkey, including former Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, who has been imprisoned since November 2016.
Both the Left Party and Akbulut herself have always been vocal about the Kurdish issue, Turkey’s attacks on the Kurds in the Middle East and Ankara’s mistreatment of the Kurds and the HDP.
Akbulut said her party demanded an end to the isolation of Öcalan, who has been deprived of contact with lawyers and family since 2019.
“This isolation is against international law. Everyone knows that Mr Öcalan’s democratic confederalism concept and the Kurds themselves form an alternative model to the capitalist and centrist state system in Turkey and the whole of Kurdistan,” said Akbulut.
“The Kurdish women’s movement achieved major success recognised around the world with the Rojava Revolution, and the whole world saw it. Mr Öcalan and the democratic confederal system are the main reasons why an alternative concept that is feminist, ecological and democratic was implemented,” she said.
“There will be elections in Turkey next year and as the Left Party, we call for talks to be held with Mr Öcalan,” she said.
Remarking that Turkey is undergoing a serious crisis in terms of the economy and democracy, Akbulut noted that the Kurds are important for the future of the country.
“The HDP and Mr Öcalan can unite all perspectives. What’s important is the lifting of the isolation,” she said.