Abdullah Ocalan was the most wanted man in Turkey for almost two decades until his kidnapping and arrest in 1999. He has been in prison ever since. He is the founder of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK). From 1984, under his leadership, the PKK fought for an independent Kurdish state in the south east of Turkey. In a sustained popular uprising, tens of thousands of PKK guerrillas took on the second largest army in NATO.
Since his imprisonment, Ocalan has written extensively on Kurdish history. This book brings together his writings for the first time. Breathtaking in scope, it provides a broad Marxist perspective on ancient Middle Eastern history, incorporating the rise of the major religions (Islam, Christianity and Judaism), and defining the Kurdish position within this, from the ancient Sumerian civilization through the feudal age, the birth of capitalism and beyond.
In his second book, Abdullah Ocalan applies the political and historical philosophy that was developed in the first volume of his Prison Writings to the Kurdish question. The book addresses the concrete political issues at the centre of the Kurdish question. Ocalan calls for a ‘Renaissance of the Middle East’ where the integration of democratic Western values and universal human rights with the deeply rooted cultural values of the Middle Eastern societies, especially the Kurdish, will form a new synthesis of civilisations. Abdullah Ocalan was the leader of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK). He was eventually kidnapped while in Kenya in 1999, and has been in prison in Turkey ever since. Ocalan was the most wanted man in Turkey for almost two decades until his kidnapping. From 1984, under his leadership, the PKK fought for an independent Kurdish state in the southeast of Turkey. In a sustained popular uprising, tens of thousands of PKK guerrillas took on the second largest army in NATO. The book begins with Preliminary Notes by Cemil Bayik, military commander of the PKK.
The Road Map is an extraordinary document. It was the centerpiece of the secret dialogue process between Abdullah Öcalan and the Turkish state that started in 2009 and was broken off in mid-2011. Here Öcalan defines the necessary steps that have to be met for a serious peace process to start. At the same time he outlines a real solution of the Kurdish issue. Going beyond traditional solutions like statehood or territorial autonomy, he envisions a democratic nation and a common homeland for all countries where Kurds live, indeed for the whole Middle East. Refusing traditional arguments, he gives all parties concerned something to think about.
“The Road Map offers ‘a solution to the Kurdish question’ in Turkey. But it raises issues that are far more general and widespread than the specific geohistorical questions it discusses.” from the preface by Immanuel Wallerstein
“The Road Map is great, thoughtful, clear and convincing.” Prof. Hassan Hanafi, Dep. of Philosophy, Cairo University
“Öcalan is the Gramsci of our times.” Prof. Tamir Bar-On, Monterrey Institute of Technology, Queretaro, Mexico