• Live
    • Audio Only
  • google plus
  • facebook
  • twitter
News > World

Kurdish PKK Leader Ocalan Awarded International Peace Prize

  • A giant picture of leader Abdullah Ocalan is seen during a demonstration in support of Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic State group.

    A giant picture of leader Abdullah Ocalan is seen during a demonstration in support of Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic State group. | Photo: AFP

Published 30 October 2015

The International Peace Bureau said it hope the award will keep attention focused on the plight of the Kurdish community.

Abdullah Ocalan, the imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan's Worker's Party (PKK), the Kurdish resistance movement in Turkey, was awarded Friday a prestigious international peace prize for his social political model, “Democratic Confederalism.”

The Italian branch of the International Peace Bureau (IPB), one of the world's oldest international peace federations – itself awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1910 – announced Ocalan as the winner of its annual Peace Prize.

Announcing the award, IPB-Italy said Ocalan’s ideas on autonomy and direct democracy provide a model for cooperation and peaceful co-existence capable of overcoming religious and ethnic differences in the Middle East.

RELATED: Kurdish Struggle: World Kobane Day Nov. 1

“For this, and to further underline the commitment to the Kurdish people's efforts to restore a climate of peaceful coexistence in the Middle East by fighting the violence perpetrated by ISIS, IPB-Italy will deliver the prize symbolically to Ocalan, a living symbol of the ethnic group to which he belongs, and also for supporting the peace processes to which the leader of the PKK continues to work incessantly,” the announcement said.

The announcement comes amid increasing violence against the Kurdish populations in Syria and Turkey. In Syria, the Kurdish resistance has been fighting off offensives by the Islamic State group, while in Turkey the Kurdish population of more than 20 million people continues to face a lethal state crackdown and systematic discrimination, with the Turkish government restarting a decades-long conflict with the PKK this past July.

RELATED: As They Walk Alone, Kurds Brace for a Better Future

Voicing solidarity with the Kurds in their fight for the affirmation of their identity, IPB-Italy said the award was a recognition for the work Ocalan continues to do to promote peaceful coexistence from the prison of Imrali, where he has been serving a life sentence for the past 16 years.

“The support offered by IPB-Italy is to keep the attention of the international community to the fate of Ocalan and the Kurdish community,” the organization added.

The prize will be delivered during an upcoming conference involving delegates from the European Union, Turkey and the Kurdish community to be held in the European Parliament on Jan. 26-27, 2016.

RELATED: Why Turkey's Ruling Party Wants Elections Twice in a Year

Post with no comments.