Gateway to Öcalan’s ideas

Abdullah Öcalan used his defence statements to the European Court of Human Rights to issue an extensive manifesto for what he calls Democratic Civilization. This has been published as five volumes (so far, the first three have been translated into English) and has inspired the achievements of the Kurdish Freedom Movement on the ground. Attempts to put the ideas into practice in southeast Turkey (North Kurdistan) have been met by brutal repression that has seen thousands of activists imprisoned and a full-scale military assault on Kurdish-majority cities, but the Syrian civil war has provided an opportunity to establish an autonomous system in the north of the country that has inspired people across the world.

Here we give links to sources where you can find more about Öcalan’s ideas and their implementation:

Öcalan’s own books, and publications by the International Initiative Freedom for Öcalan Peace in Kurdistan, can be ordered here. If you click on the images you will find that some of the smaller pamphlets are also available as a pdf to download, including extracts of Öcalan’s writings.

Öcalan calls today’s dominant political system Capitalist Modernity, and his alternative Democratic Civilisation or Democratic Modernity. For political analysis about Democratic Modernity and analysis that uses the concepts of Democratic Modernity to look at current issues, see the Academy of Democratic Modernity.

Öcalan’s ideas on women’s freedom and on reframing our understanding of the world through a feminist perspective are given the name jineoloji, from the Kurdish word for woman – jin. You can find out more about jineoloji at For news of what is happening to the women’s movement on the ground see Women Defend Rojava.

Ecological issues are discussed by the Internationalist Commune of Rojava who have set up a campaign to ‘make Rojava green again’.

Information on developments towards a co-operative based economy in both northern Syria and southeast Turkey is shared by Co-operation in Mesopotamia.

There are many local discussion groups and online events, as well as large international conferences, such as those organised in Hamburg by the International Initiative and by Women Weaving the Future