Freedom for Öcalan: Call for the Internationalist Long March 2024

The leader of the Kurdish people, Abdullah Ocalan, has been in isolation on the Turkish prison island of İmralı in the Sea of Marmara for over 24 years following his illegal abduction in 1999 as the result of an operation on which lot of states took part. Almost completely cut off from the outside world, he has been in isolation on the Turkish prison island of Imralı ever since. For almost three years Öcalan has been held in near-complete isolation, banned from any communication with the outside world in blatant violation of Turkish law and international law. His last meeting with his lawyers occurred in August 2019, and his last contact with the outside world – a short phone call with his brother – occurred in March 2021. Millions of Kurds and their friends fear for his safety and continue to protest demanding his liberation. The conditions of total isolation imposed on Abdullah Öcalan are unique in the world and are contrary to all international conventions on the protection of prisoners‘ rights.

Regardless of the undeniable key position Abdullah Öcalan holds for a solution of the Kurdish question, the isolation and attrition system of Imralı continues to be maintained, thus deliberately torpedoing a solution of the Kurdish question and the conflict in the Middle East. The state of health and the conditions of Abdullah Öcalan’s imprisonment have a direct influence on the course of the war. The end of the isolation and an actuation according to international law, but even more a complete release of Abdullah Öcalan would have a positive and stabilizing influence on the region and would be a decisive contribution to a peaceful settlement of the existing conflicts.

Despite the conditions of his isolation, he has never given up hope for a peaceful resolution of the conflicts in the Middle East. Öcalan is accepted by millions of Kurds as their legitimate representative and was the primary interlocutor during the dialogue between the Kurdish people and the Turkish state from 2013 to 2015. Attempts to harm Öcalan represent an attack on the Kurdish people and a decisive move to eliminate the possibility of any future dialogue aimed at achieving a peaceful solution to the Kurdish question.

Starting on October 10th 2023, elected officials, local governments, parties and movements, unions, civil society organisations, intellectuals, and others have come together in a global effort to form the global campaign „Freedom for Öcalan – A political solution to the Kurdish Question“. To kick off the campaign, 100 press conferences were held across in different cities of Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia.

The Internationalist Long March will support the demands of this campaign and give it an internationalist expression. For more than eight years hundres of internationalists from all around the world reunite in the internationalist long march with a clear demand: A political solution to the Kurdish Question, is that resolution of the conflict can only be achieved when Kurdish leader, Abdullah Öcalan, is allowed to meet with his lawyers and family and ultimately be free under conditions that allow him to play a role in finding a just and democratic political solution to Turkey’s decades-old Kurdish conflict.


Gathering and introduction on February 10th in Basel (Switzerland).

Long march from February 10th to 17th, 2024.

Conference in Strasbourg on February 15th.

Final day: Central Europe-wide demonstration on February 17th in Cologne (Germany)

Athletic shoes and warm clothing are appropriate for the march. Sleeping bags should be brought along.

Those interested can write to