Abdullah Öcalan is the founder of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). From 1984, under his leadership, the PKK fought for Kurdish liberation. Since his kidnapping and arrest in 1999, he has been in solitary confinement in Imrali Island Prison.
Since his imprisonment, Ocalan has written extensively on Middle Eastern and Kurdish history. With his books he has significantly influenced the course of Kurdish politics in the last two decades.
He argues for the concepts of Democratic Autonomy and Democratic Confederalism that are considered an alternative to a Kurdish nation-state.
From 2009-2015, the Turkish state held negotiations with him about a solution of the Kurdish Question. Since the collapse of the talks in 2015, Öcalan has been under total isolation.