Several thousand Kurds gathered in Strasbourg on Saturday, calling for the liberation of the former leader of the PKK Kurdistan Workers’ Party, Abdulluh Ocalan.He was captured in Kenya in 1999 by Turkish agents, with the help of US intelligence. In the south-eastern Turkish city of Batman, crowds of pro-Ocalan demonstrators were pushed off the streets when police turned water jets on them. Ocalan was sentenced to death for “separatism” but when Turkey abolished capital punishment in 2002, this was commuted to life in jail on the prison island of Imrali, where he is the only inmate. Ankara, the European Union and the US considers the PKK a terrorist organisation. Since 1984 the PKK’s campaign for a separate nation in the south east of Turkey and surrounding areas has led to the deaths of more than 37,000 people.