In protest against the isolation imposed on the leader Abdullah Ocalan who has been detained for 21 years in Imrali Island prison, as well as against the violations that political prisoners are subjected to in Turkey, political prisoners announced an open hunger strike since November 27 of last year, and the hunger strike activity extended to many prisons.
The Member of the Union of the Legal Alliance Associations for the Detainees’ Families, Ahmed Oguz, spoke to our agency about the activity of the hunger strike.
Ahmed Oguz said: “There is a complete deprivation of all detainees in Turkish prisons. The isolation imposed on the leader Abdullah Ocalan continues, as well as there is complete isolation in Turkish prisons, starting first from Imrali, and extending to the rest of the Middle East, and the Turkish state does not implement this isolates itself.”
If we go back a bit, we find that the European Committee Against Torture issued its report in August of last year, and later when it visited Turkey again, it did not find any necessity to visit Imrali prison, and did not visit the leader Abdullah Ocalan, nor communicated with his family or his lawyer. This clearly indicates the intensification of this isolation, so the Turkish state does not implement this isolation on its own; rather, there are international parties that directly support this isolation.
Ahmed Oguz noted that the political detainees did not announce the launch of the hunger strike campaign only to solve their problems, but for the sake of the Kurdish people, and all the persecuted peoples of the Middle East.
The Turkish state benefits from the silence of the European Committee against Torture and the European Court of Human Rights
Oguz explained that the stripping and strict isolation imposed by the Turkish state is not limited to prisons and detention centers only, but rather it seeks to extend this isolation to the rest of the Middle East, and it draws its strength and support from the silence of the European Committee Against Torture, as well as from the European Court of Human Rights.
Oguz added, "Since 2011, the leader Abdullah Ocalan's case has not been discussed at the European Court of Human Rights, why is the case not being discussed? The European Court of Human Rights wants to say; I do not accept, but I turn a blind eye to it.
We call on all individuals who claim to be democratic and conscientious to oppose these positions and to rally around prisons resistance.
Because conditions in prisons are getting worse day by day, this activity should not be viewed as a hunger strike only, for in the coming days they will face death.”
Ahmed Oguz said that the political prisoner, Mahmoud Yildiz, carried out a self-sacrifice operation in the closed Shakran prison on the third of February, in protest against the moody practices and torture, as well as against the isolation imposed on the leader Abdullah Ocalan and the rest of the detainees in Turkish prisons, where the regime tried to promote this case as a criminal case. Before carrying out the commando operation, Mahmoud Yildiz left a letter in which he said: “Perhaps this type of activity will not be accepted, and the movement may reject it, but I insist on it.” This process has proven that political prisoners continue their struggle without hesitation against isolation and all forms of oppression that prisoners are subjected to, and that they are ready to make the necessary sacrifices for that, and all honorable peoples must rally around this resistance and this people.
Isolation should be our primary concern
Ahmed Oguz continued his speech by saying, "Without breaking the isolation, freedom cannot be achieved, and the way cannot be opened for the continuation of the struggle.
The isolation and the struggle against isolation should be our primary concern, and all the people of Kurdistan, whether in all parts of Kurdistan or in Europe, must fulfill all the responsibilities that fall on their shoulders.
The activities of the hunger strike in prisons are entering a difficult phase, and the corpses of the detainees will come out of the prisons, at that time neither we nor anyone else will be able to pay the price for that.”
Ahmed Oguz also indicated that the activity of the hunger strike has spread in Turkish prisons, and that the Turkish state has increased its pressure against political detainees after the hunger strike. He also said, “The pressure on prisoners is increasing in the prisons of Tarsus, Marash, Al Aziz, Patnos, Kayseri, Aksray, and Argali. In Argeli Prison in particular, prisoners were placed in separate cells for 28 days in order to prevent them from participating in the hunger strike, which extended to all prisons.
Ahmed Oguz also indicated that the families of the detainees are the ones who support this resistance, and he said in this regard: “Looking at the long hunger strike activities that were launched in 2018, we see that the families of the detainees participated in this struggle in many areas, and the struggle should not remain limited to families only.
When we look at the policies of intimidation and hostility practiced by the Turkish state, as well as the oppression and psychological persecution that it practices, we clearly see that we are facing a regime that does not recognize anything, does not accept anything, and a regime that practices brutal attacks. Therefore, we will continue our struggle against these practices with the support and backing of all institutions, particularly with the support of the detainees' families.”
Ahmed Oguz concluded his speech by saying: “In the name of the Union of the Legal Alliance Associations for the Families of Detainees, we call on all persons, everyone who believes in human values and has conscience, morals to rally around this resistance and be the voice of the detainees.