Kurdish Political Prisoners’ Hunger Strike at Critical Stage


The hunger strike started by Kurdish political prisoners in 60 prisons across Turkey for putting an end to Abdullah Ocalan’s isolation and recognition of the right to use of mother tongue in courts and to education in mother tongue has reached at a critical stage. Around 700 prisoners are involved in the strike that has been going on since 12 September and the number of participants is increasing day by day.[*] As the strike approached the critical stage many actions and initiatives began to take place outside prisons, which also forced the deliberate silence of the media and the establishment parties, the ruling AKP being the foremost, to come to an end. Kurdish people embrace their sons, who laid their bodies to the brink of death for the recognition of the most basic democratic rights, and demand a solution in an increasing mobilisation.

There have been many marches, rallies, mass press statements, boycotts across Turkey, particularly in Kurdish provinces, to prevent any deaths and open a way for solution. On 30 October there was a boycott with a massive turnout in Kurdish provinces. Students did not go to schools, shops were all closed and tens of thousands of people took to the streets. Along with these mass actions, there have also been press statements and actions by intellectuals, artists, in which they try to raise awareness and make a call for starting an initiative for solution.

However the government keeps adding fuel to the fire by statements like “we may intervene to stop the strike forcefully” instead of taking steps for a solution, preventing observers from visiting the strikers, preventing the strikers from getting necessary items like B1 vitamins to prevent any lasting damages, and still, torturing and ill-treating the strikers. Moreover it does not stop attacking actions outside prisons as well. The police attack on 31 October against demonstrators when they headed towards AKP party centre in Ankara was a typical example of this. And the Prime-minister who knows no limits in recklessness can go so far as to deny the existence of the hunger strike disregarding even what his minister of justice has already said. Those who stuff their stomachs greedily even in the fasting breaking dinners in Ramadan are shameless enough to blame in forged reports in their own bootlicker media, asserting, that Kurdish politicians from BDP (Peace and Democracy Party) were feasting.

The establishment media has been largely deaf to the problem due to both their disposition and orders from their masters. When they realized that it was impossible to remain silent as the situation became grave their attitude has been largely to blacken the strikers, attack the Kurdish movement once more, and humiliate the Kurdish people again. There have been disgusting attitudes in the media where some asked impertinently “why Ocalan does not go on hunger strike” or “why BDP politicians do not go on hunger strike” and others who, after keeping silent until last days, suddenly began to question the “convenience” of hunger strikes “as a form of action”.

It has to be clearly underlined: the hunger strike stems ultimately from the deadlock in Kurdish question. This action is a new outcry of the Kurdish people for freedom, this time rising from dungeons. In a most demonstrative way the hunger strikers advance simple and clear demands that can open the way for a solution to the deadlock in Kurdish question.

Should any deaths happen in the hunger strike then it will undoubtedly be the government to blame in the first place. The government has forced the problem into a graver deadlock by its repressive and aggressive political line. Should any deaths out of the hunger strike add to this picture, then this would make the deadlocks in the Kurdish question graver along with the fact that this would mean deepening of the sufferings of the Kurdish people. Worse still would be any operations to end the hunger strike forcefully, like the one in 2000 called “back to life” causing 30 political prisoners on hunger strike killed and hundreds injured seriously. Such an operation would definitely result in serious consequences.

Therefore it is very important for the working class to support the oppressed Kurdish people to get the rightful demands of the strikers met, thus preventing any deaths as well, and help open a new page for a democratic-peaceful solution to the Kurdish question. The internationalist hand of the working class extended towards the Kurdish people will not only be an answer to the poisonous language of the rulers but also a great step for a genuine solution of this burning question that has claimed tens of thousands so far.

Meet Kurdish political prisoners’ demands immediately!

No more deaths, but democratic solution to Kurdish question!

(4 November 2012)



[*] The number has suddenly increased to more than ten thousand as of 5 November.