KNK calls on public opinion to act on hunger strike

by editor | 24th October 2012 9:48 am

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Many prisoners are getting ill as a result of 43 days of fast
On 12th September 2012 an indefinite and non-alternate hunger strike started led by nine Kurdish women prisoners in Diyarbakir E type prison. The protest has been joined by many prisoners all around Turkey’s jails. At presente there are 63 Kurdish prisoners who have been on hunger fast for 43 days. The protest has been joined by a total of 380 political prisoners of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) and PAJK (Kurdistan Women’s Liberation Party) in 39 prisons since 15 October. These prisoners have been on hunger strike for days, or weeks.

12th September is a black day in Turkey’s political history, as it is the date of the military coup in 1980.

The 1980 military coup led to the detention of over a million people, the jailing and torturing of tens of thousands.
The aim of the military coup was to silence the opposition and create a monolithic society in Turkey and Kurdistan by any necessary mean; and the state was almost successful if it hadn’t been for the resistance of the Kurdish and Turkish cadres of the modern Kurdish Freedom Movement which in those days had recently been founded. It is an irony, as the Kurdish National Congress points out in a statement – that these cadres were also imprisoned in Diyarbakir prison when on 14th July 1982 they began what is now termed as the ‘Great Death Fast Resistance’ in protest against the prevention of the right to defence, torture and inhumane prison conditions. The leaders of that ‘death fast’; Kemal Pir, M. Hayri Durmus, Ali Cicek and Akif Yilmaz all lost their lives. But this single event stoked the fire that had been lit by the likes of Mazlum Dogan.

Necmi Oner, Ferhat Kurtay, Esref Anyik and Mahmut Zengin who had immolated themselves, and burnt to smithereens the shroud that had been pulled over the people, raising the Kurdish resistance against the Turkish state.

Today’s conditions are very similar to those of the 12 September 1980 coup times. “The AKP regime, like its military counterpart, has detained tens of thousands of Kurdish politicians, journalists, health workers, lawyers, human rights activists and children, imprisoning almost ten thousand since 2009, – says the KNK statement – when the witch-hunt known as the KCK (The Union of Communities in Kurdistan) trials began. It is not insignificant that almost all these people are members of the legal Peace & Democracy Party (BDP), the AKP’s most fierce and only opposition in the Kurdish areas of Turkey. And that not a single fire-arm, weapon or anything pertaining to terrorist activity was found or discovered about these people who have been in prison for almost four years without sentencing is further proof that the AKP is

behind the ‘hostage’ situation”.

The KNK statement also points out that “With only small changes in the constitution the AKP could bring an end to the unnecessary suffering of these people and their families. However, while this grave injustice hangs over the nation like a dark cloud Turkey’s Prime Minister has made ‘one language, one state, one nation’ his favourite slogan, saying that there is no longer a Kurdish issue in Turkey. The AKP-dominated Turkish media has followed suit and is not even reporting the clashes between the PKK and Turkish army anymore”.

The hunger strikers have three demands to be realized for ending their action. Firstly, the demands of the strikers are, first of all, to arrange conditions of health-security and freedom for Mr Abdullah Ocalan, Leader of Kurdish People held in total isolation for 13 years, and who has not meet with his lawyers since 27 July 2011. For Mr Abdullah Ocalan is the only person who can carry out an enduring peace to the Kurdish conflict, the AKP Goverment must end the illegitimate isolation against him and start renegotiations and a peace talks process with Mr Ocalan as soon as possible.

Secondly, the prisoners demand to recognition of Kurdish as a language in use in education and the public sphere. Thirdly and in conjuction with the second demand, they have underlined that they will speak Kurdish in courts and the judges must accept their defence in Kurdish.

The KNK calls on “democratic institutions and international public audience to heed these demands of the prisoners and criticize Turkish goverment and exert pressure on the AKP regime to make a start to the way of peaceful process by accepting these demands”.

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