The Long March (Meşa Dirêj in Kurdish), traditionally carried out by the Kurdish youth movement in February, is taking place in France this year. This was announced by the preparatory committee of the youth organizations Tevgera Ciwanên Şoreşger (TCŞ) and Jinên Ciwanên Tekoşer (TekoJIN).
The Long March is part of the Werin Cenga Azadiyê initiative and will start on 6 February in the small community of Sierentz. The march will end on 11 February in Strasbourg, where the annual demonstration for the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan will take place a day later.
According to the preparatory committee, hundreds of activists from France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, England and other European countries are expected to take part in the Long March.
The initiative calls for the release of PKK founder Abdullah Öcalan, who was abducted in Kenya and brought to Turkey on 15 February 1999, and for an end to the occupation of Kurdistan.
The call for the march underlines that “the Turkish state is currently subjecting Abdullah Öcalan to an isolation regime that knows no comparison. Every visit by his lawyers or family members is only made possible by long social struggles. In May 2019, for example, thousands of people both inside and outside the prisons succeeded in breaking the isolation through a hunger strike that lasted for months. Thus, for the first time in many years, it was possible for Öcalan to have contact with his lawyers for a short time. The last brief telephone conversation between Abdullah Ocalan and his brother took place in March 2021, but was suddenly cut short for unknown reasons. The fact that not a single sign of life has been received from Ocalan since then raises concerns about his health. Through Imrali, the Turkish state is not only striving to isolate Öcalan as a person, but also and more so to target, isolate and suppress the democratic achievements that have emerged from his ideas.
For this reason, the struggle for peace and democracy must be thought in the context of the struggle against the isolation of Öcalan. For he is the architect of democratic confederalism, the counter-model to the crisis-ridden model of the nation-state. At the same time, this will also strengthen the struggle for democracy and freedom worldwide.”