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Book cover for The Political Thought of Abdullah Öcalan
July 2024

The Political Thought of Abdullah Öcalan

By Abdullah Öcalan
Foreword by Dilar Dirik
Afterword by David Graeber
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'Abdullah Öcalan seems to have done a better job writing with the extremely limited resources allowed him by his jailers than authors like Francis Fukuyama or Jared Diamond did with access to the world's finest research libraries' David Graeber, author of Debt: The First 5000 Years

The Political Thought of Abdullah Öcalan offers a comprehensive introduction to the revolutionary ideas of one of the most influential thinkers in the contemporary Middle East. This collection presents the essential writings of Öcalan, whose concepts have reshaped the political landscape of Kurdistan and beyond.

For over two decades, Ocalan led the Kurdistan Freedom Movement until his NATO abduction in 1999. Now writing from Turkey's Imrali prison island, he continues to inspire a widespread political movement based on Democratic Confederalism. This revolutionary model, implemented in parts of Syria and Turkey, presents a compelling alternative to religious sectarianism, patriarchy, capitalism, and nationalism.

This volume explores Ocalan's core ideas on anti-colonialism, women's liberation, radical democracy, and ecology. It demonstrates how these principles form the foundation of a new societal model currently struggling for survival against religious extremism and state violence. Readers will gain insight into Ocalan's thoughts on the Kurdish question, gender, and the future of nationhood, as well as the practical application of his ideas in the ongoing Rojava revolution.

Featuring a new foreword by Dilar Dirik and an afterword by the late David Graeber, the book is an indispensable resource for anyone seeking to understand the theoretical underpinnings of one of the most significant political movements in the Middle East. It offers crucial insights for those engaged in 21st-century anti-colonial struggles and provides a blueprint for a radically democratic society.

Abdullah Öcalan led the Kurdish liberation struggle as the head of Partiya Karkerên Kurdistanê (PKK) from its foundation in 1978 until his abduction on 15th February 1999. He is a leading strategist and the most important political representative of the Kurdish freedom movement. Under isolation conditions at Imrali Island Prison, Öcalan authored more than 10 books which revolutionised Kurdish politics.


Originally published by Pluto Press

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