Letter from BDP MP Mrs. Selma Irmak

My Very Precious Co-Presidents,

My Dear Friends,

I greet you with love and longing. I embrace you with hope.

We will soon finish the third year of our separation. We have lived and watched this breathtaking process from the prison; our hearts pounding against iron fences. We experienced a lot. History will become witness to our experience. Just like you, we are struggling to come out clean from this test, which historical circumstances has subjected us to, for the sake of our people. We appreciate and support the work you carry out wholeheartedly and zealously. We derive our strength from watching you; sometimes with a smile on our face and other times with our hearts twisted. There is no doubt that these are difficult times. All of us are obliged to work hard and do our best. Certain moments in history necessitate quick action. Otherwise opportunities to turn defeat into victory, loss into gain will be missed. We are going through exactly such a moment when every event and development must be measured and evaluated with the sensitivity of an alchemist; so that the next movement can be planned carefully and executed successfully .

 

The stage we are in is one where the distance to reach our goal of democracy and peace has become smallest and as such any deviation from the right path makes an uttermost impact. We must handle everything with the subtlety of an artist. Unfortunately however, the government and the state – which is no longer different from the former in meaning and intention – is acting as irresponsible and destructive as an elephant in a glass cave. The attitude we are witnessing today on the part of the government is the kind performed by those who have power without having sovereignty. Hence, there is little doubt that the current recklessness of the government is caused by powers on whom it relies and by whom its back is caressed, thereby leading it to the pit of death.

We, as those who feel the hand of history on their shoulders, must bring this attitude to an end. A positivist outlook which feeds of from stereotypical judgments and which would provide stereotypical solutions will not do. Those who think that small fish will be eaten by the big fish are those who do not recognize the power of resistance. As you already expressed, submitting oneself to the actions of the powerful will only make us loose. Unfortunately, we have long been lingered by those in power. We don’t have any time to loose. We must slowly, systematically and modestly build our democratic autonomy without bringing what we do in conflict with what we say.

My Dear Friends,

I strongly wish I were with you in these times. To watch all that’s happening with hands tied or rather handcuffed is the worst that such times can do to a human being. That’s what captivity means.

Otherwise, to those who have free minds and hearts; the fences of the prison or, spatial limitation means nothing. On the other hand, those who serve freedom and democracy with their lives and ideas always land one time or another in prison. In other words, democracy is reached through the prison.

The Kurdish question has reached a point where only a democratic process based on dialogue and negotiation can bring peace and solution. We are aware that this will be a long and delicate process. Our people has been demanding a democratic solution for the last thirty years. To fulfill their demand is both easy and difficult. A democratic solution can only be reached through a dialogue with Honorable Mr. Öcalan. Every peace process needs its actors. The person who assumed the leadership of our people is Honorable Mr. Öcalan; therefore he is the only person who can talk in the name of our people and must be the main actor. As elected officials and politicians of our people we are ready to fulfill our role in this process, take any risks and put our lives at stake. I am as concerned as you are because of the interruption of the peace process and of negotiations with Mr.Öcalan accompanied by his unprecedented forced isolation, which keeps him outside of the political realm. I am deeply worried that -what we call- the concept of political genocide towards the Kurds implemented through mass arrests, assassinations, massacres, verbal and material violence will lead to more hostility against them and will cause our two people to fight against each other.

Repression, fear, violation of rights and prevention of freedom of expression, reckless insults and irresponsible speeches on the part of government and the state are planting seeds of anger among the Kurdish youth as well. There are so many examples for such unacceptable attitude such as the congratulating speech of the prime minister following the Roboski massacre or, that of the interior minister declaring he can find no Kurdish problem or, that of the Chief of Military commenting on the Kurdish mother tongue. All our municipalities have been attacked; our NGO workers, politicians, municipal workers, mayors, students and children are being arrested. No human being can have a good sleep under such conditions.

My Precious Co-Presidents,

As a person who was elected by the honorable and willful people of Şırnak and, as a woman moved by what is happening all around, I can no longer remain a passive bystander in this process. Since I have been robbed from all instruments and means of expression, I am obliged to use my body as a site for communication. I wish I were able to discuss and contemplate with all of you before taking this decision. However, circumstances don’t allow this. I want you to know that my heart is always with you. The history of this prison in Diyarbakır imposes on us to play a leadership role in resistance. I must confess that I am very excited and happy at this moment knowing that I am able to fulfill at least to some extent my obligation to my people.

I take this opportunity to declare that on the 15th of February, we are starting a hunger strike without interruption and rotation together with Hacire Özdemir, Fadik Bayram, Ayşe Irmak, Leyla Deniz, Pınar Işık and Dirayet Taşdemir. We are inspired by how before us this prison succeeded in resisting and overcoming the darkness of the 1980 military junta. We –as the women of the Diyarbakır dungeon –wish to tear apart the darkness of February 15, which symbolizes Honorable Mr Öcalan’s forced isolation and his exclusion from the political realm. We want to add our voice to the voice of our people. We want to meet you on your path to democratic resistance.

We hope we will succeed. With all our hearts Love and Greetings to all of you from all of us With Hopes to meet you in days to come filled with peace and freedom.

Selma Irmak
February 15, 2012 

Diyarbakir Prison

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