Meeting in Rimelan: “The time is ripe: Öcalan’s freedom is the freedom of humanity”

Hundreds of people who personally met Abdullah Öcalan during his year-long stay in Syria have gathered in Rojava. They described how their lives have changed as a result.

Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan spent years in Syria until October 1998. 250 people who met him personally during that time gathered in the town of Rimêlan in the canton of Qamishlo on Saturday. The event at the Aram Tigran Cultural Center was held as part of the activities marking the anniversary of Öcalan’s deportation to Turkey on February 15, 1999 and was organized by the Rojava Committee for his liberation. The slogan was “The time is ripe: Öcalan’s freedom is the freedom of humanity”.

At the meeting, participants recounted their meetings with Öcalan and the impression they left on them, which years later led to the Rojava revolution. Women described how their lives had changed as a result. The idea that women’s liberation is a fundamental prerequisite for social change emerged for the first time during this period.

In a speech, PYD politician Aldar Xelîl addressed the international conspiracy that first led to Öcalan’s departure from Syria and, a few months later, to his deportation from Kenya to Turkey. “The plot was aimed at Abdullah Öcalan and all people who called for freedom and democracy. The imperialist powers wanted to cause a war in the Middle East to achieve their interests. There were several attacks on Öcalan as early as 1996. However, the plot did not achieve its goal,” Xelîl said.