PETITION: Hear the call for help of the Kurdis from Turkey

To : Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland

Secretary General of the Council of Europe

Avenue de l’Europe, 67075 Strasbourg


Subject: Hear the call for help of the Kurds from Turkey

Mr. Secretary General,

Since 2009, in absolute violation of the most basic democratic rights and freedoms, the Turkish government has jailed nearly 9,000 Kurds, including 6 Members of Parliament, 31 mayors, 96 journalists, 36 lawyers, 183 leaders of the BDP (Party for Peace and Democracy), trade unionists, human rights defenders, students and nearly 2,000 children, known as „stone throwing children“.

Moreover, the Turkish army conducted military operations beyond the border with Iraq, in violation of international law. 41 civilians have been killed in these operations and chemical weapons were used. Weiterlesen


Press release hunger strikers

To the press and public


The indefinite hunger strike, which we started at the 1st March 2012 in Strasbourg with the demand ‘Freedom for Ocalan, Status for Kurdistan’, today reached its 52 days.


We, 15 Kurds (5 women, 10 men), started this action as Initiative for the Freedom of Ocalan with 6 main demands. Central for us is the health, security and freedom of our leader Ocalan. While some of our demands are long term aims, the most urgent demand of our hunger strike is to break the total isolation of Abdullah Ocalan.


We aim to show the public the solitary confinement and isolation politics on the prison island Imrali, which are also known as ‘Imrali system’ and put pressure on European institutions, which do not fulfill their responsibilities. The Council of Europe, the Committee for the Prevention of Torture and the European Court of Human Rights have been staying silent in behalf of the trial of Mr. Ocalan, his life conditions, his health and security, the human rights violations against him and special politics of the Turkish institutions against his person. Since nearly 9 months, neither his lawyers nor his relatives are able to visit him at the island prison Imrali. There is no information on behalf of his situation since 9 months. These points show clearly that the named European institutions are not answering to their responsibilities. The Kurdish people and their friends, who are extremely concerned, cannot accept this situation.


We, 15 Kurds, are continuing our hunger strike since 52 days for ending these concerns, creating an consciousness within the society and being the voice of the Kurdish people and their demands.


We want to declare that our action has reached a new step. Together with our hunger strike, the legitimate and just demands of the Kurdish people and the freedom of our leader Ocalan as a realistic idea and object got an important acceptance. Also the institutions of the European Union and the Council of Europe are conscious on our demands and the aims of this action. Furthermore we can see that a wide front of friends of the Kurdish people and the Kurdish freedoms movement are in solidarity with this action.


The Kurdish people in all Europe and also Kurdistan did not leave us alone a single day. They supported this hunger strike with their own actions and worked hard for the success of the strike. They have been all the time in action for the freedom of our leader Abdullah Ocalan.


The demands for securing the health, security and freedom of Abdullah Ocalan will continue as a campaign. His freedom is not only possible, it is also realistic. His freedom depends on our struggle. We believe that together with this action, this consciousness grew. Our action got a big support from the public at its 52 day. We reached a moment, where we believe that the European institutions will plan first steps against the ongoing isolation of our leader Ocalan.  In this case, press statements had been published by the Council of Europe (13th of April 2012) and the President of the European Parliament (18th of April 2012). Together with talks between some supporters of our action and these institutions we came to the result that our demands will be taken into account by these institutions and that practical steps will follow. For fastening and facilitating their work, we declare that our hunger strike action reached its aim and therefore its end.


We want to thank all the people that did not leave us alone and supported us with their ideas, their consciousness and their actions, especially the Kurdish people, our European and Turkish friends, the alternative and oppositional press. We want to underline that the result of this action is a product of our collective struggle.


Finally special thanks to the St. Maurice Church. Since the very beginning of our action, they gave us their opportunities, kept their doors all the time open, showed big support and solidarity. Therefore we want to thank them and the whole Christian community.


Initiative for the Freedom of Ocalan – Members of the indefinite hunger strike



268 days of severe isolation carried out against Ocalan

57 days of indefinite hunger strike carried out by Kurdish political prisoners in Turkey

50 days of indefinite hunger strike carried out by Kurds in Strasbourg

Press conference in Strasbourg fron 18. 04. 2012 – UPDATE

18 April 2012 – ANF – The press conference in Strasbourg has just started. – Leyla Zana MP has reminded the audience of the meetings they have been having today with different European institutions.

Zana said „We hope the shadow of death will not reach this city“, adding that she would hope the 15 Kurds on hunger strike in Strasbourg to stop their fast.

MEP Jürgen Klute, Coordinator of the European Parliament – Kurds Friendship Group, said that the demands of the hunger strikers are just and fair and stressed that „they have reached to put the Kurdish question on the politicians‘ hands“. This is why, added that MEP, „we think they should use this success to capitalize on it and to announce an end to the hunger strike today, on its 49th day“.

Hunger striker Nigat Enayati called on the CPT (Committee for the Prevention of Torture) to comitt itself to visit Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan who has been in isolation since 27 July 2011. This morning, the President of the European Parliament, Mr Martin Shulz, met Mrs Leyla Zana, European Parliament Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought and Member of the Turkish Parliament, in Strasbourg. They discussed the political situation in Turkey and the Kurdish issue.


Follow the conference at

Follow the conference at

President of EU, Mr Martin Schulz met Leyla Zana

Yesteday morning, the President of the European Parliament, Mr Martin Shulz, met Mrs Leyla Zana, European Parliament Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought and Member of the Turkish Parliament, in Strasbourg. They discussed the political situation in Turkey and the Kurdish issue.

You can see some video images of the meeting @ following EP Audiovisual Services internet site:

Peace in Kurdistan Campaign; OPEN LETTER TO MR THORBJØRN JAGLAND, Secretary General of the Council of Europe from UK

Dear Mr Jagland

As you must be aware hundreds of Kurds in Europe and Turkey have been taking part in a hunger strike to demand justice for their people.

The hunger strike started as a protest by Kurdish political prisoners on 20 January 2012, to mark the 13th anniversary of the handing over of Abdullah Ocalan to Turkey in what the Kurdish people maintain was an international conspiracy.  This action has since escalated into an indefinite hunger strike with Kurds across Europe joining Kurdish politicians and activists in Turkey

Fifteen Kurds in Strasbourg began their indefinite hunger strike on 1st March and so far three have been hospitalised.

The Kurds want to see the resumption of talks towards a negotiated resolution of the conflict with Turkey, and are demanding the immediate relaxing of inhumane prison conditions imposed on Abdullah Ocalan, who has been kept in total isolation and denied the right to see his lawyers since July 2011.

Their deeply felt wishes are to see the release of all political prisoners and a fair and democratic resolution of the Kurdish question. We are of the opinion that these wishes must be respected and that the demands of the Kurds at least need to be heard. The escalating violence, conflict and increased repression inside Turkey today is a cause for great concern as it takes the country in totally the wrong direction.

We are writing to urge you to exercise your powers and take action as people who strongly believe in the necessity of finding a democratic political solution to the Kurdish question. Meaningful talks represent the only hope of finding a genuine and sustainable peace. The deepening crisis inside Turkey of which the hunger strikes are a manifestation needs to be reversed or the consequences for the country could be extremely damaging.  The ill-treatment of Ocalan reflects the injustice that the Kurds as a people see is being inflicted on them by the Turkish state while international institutions fails to respond.

These hunger strikes are a desperate plea from the Kurdish people to the Turkish government to persuade it to stop the clampdown on their political organisations and rights. In the last three years, over 8,000 people – including elected MPs, mayors and councillors, journalists, students, human rights activists, and academics – have been jailed in what Prime Minister Erdogan insists are counter-terrorism operations.

But as Selma Irmak, imprisoned BDP MP for Sirnak who was among the first to begin the hunger strike, has said, ‘Since I have been robbed of all instruments and means of expression, I am obliged to use my body as a means of communication’.

We wish to express our deep concern at the treatment being meted out to Abdullah Ocalan on the prison island of Imrali, where he has been held since 1999. By prohibiting contact with his lawyers – 36 of whom were themselves arrested under Turkey’s ever-widening anti-terror legislation in December 2011 – the Turkish government is putting itself in breach of international obligations on the treatment of prisoners.

As the only international body with any authority to visit Imrali, we request that the Council for the Prevention of Torture arrange an urgent visit in order to establish that Mr Ocalan is not being subjected to inhumane or degrading treatment.

We believe that such a visit will allay the fears of the Kurdish people and will help bring about an end to the hunger strikes and the desperate measures that they feel forced to take.

This matter is particularly urgent given the important contribution that Mr Ocalan has demonstrated that he is capable of making to any resolution of the conflict were he to be accepted by Turkey as a partner, or at least a key participant, in future negotiations.

As this is a desperately urgent issue we kindly request your prompt and positive response.

Yours sincerely
Lord Rea
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Hywel Williams MP
Katy Clark MP
Bruce Kent, Vice-President CND and Pax Christi
Gareth Peirce, human rights lawyer
Professor Bill Bowring, Barrister, Director of the LLM/MA in Human Rights School of Law, Birkbeck, University of London
Louise Christian, human rights lawyer
Jean Lambert MEP
Jill Evans MEP
Dr. Dafydd Iwan, Plaid Cymru past President
Stan Newens, former MP and MEP, President of Liberation
Margaret Owen OBE, international human rights lawyer
Dr Vicki Sentas, Kings College London
Dr Felix Padel, Social Anthropologist and author
Michael Ellman, lawyer
Nick Hildyard, Policy Analyst
David Morgan, journalist
Maggie Bowden, General Secretary, Liberation
Roger Tompkins, lawyer and humanist (New Zealander)
Joe Ryan, Chair of the Westminster Justice and Peace Commission
Khatchatur I. Pilikian, Professor of Music & Art
Les Levidow, Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC)
George Binette, Camden UNISON Branch Secretary (personal capacity)
Alain Hertzmann ,Trade unionist,  Unite the union (personal capacity)
Stephen SmellieBranch Secretary, UNISON South Lanarkshire Branch
Deputy Convenor, UNISON Scotland
Manivannan Pathmanabhan MP, Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE)
Osagyefo Otongogara-Tewodros, Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Defence Campaign UK
Saleh Mamon, Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC)
Manaz Baloch, International Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, UK
Estella Schmid, Peace in  Kurdistan Campaign

18 April 2012

Contact and further information
Peace in Kurdistan  Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question
Email: Tel 020 7586 5892 <>
Patrons: Lord Avebury, Lord Rea, Lord Dholakia, Baroness Sarah Ludford MEP, Jean Lambert MEP, Alyn Smith MEP, Bairbre de Brún MEP, Jeremy Corbyn MP,  Hywel Williams MP, Elfyn Llwyd MP, John Austin, Bruce Kent, Gareth Peirce, Julie Christie, Noam Chomsky, John Berger, Edward Albee, Margaret Owen OBE, Mark Thomas

If defending the honour of our nation is terrorism, we’re proud to be terrorist

Tariq Yusifi,

We the Kurds are a nation and have a country known as Kurdistan. We have our own national language, culture, custom, music, dance, national fests and ethics; that is why we should a free life and based on our own social and cultural norms we should live freely. Kurdish people have been struggling for their legitimate rights for centuries. To achieve freedom they have sacrificed millions of youth, elderly, male and female and will keep doing so.

The cynical superpowers whose objective is only to sow the seeds of immoralities and subjugation of humans have always prevented Kurds achieving their freedom by playing role in the policies of assimilation and denial imposed on the Kurds. The breakdown and disintegration of Kurdish successive rebellions is an undeniable evidence to show how the West particularly the United States as their chief have always supported the anti-Kurdish fronts and thwarted the Kurdish attempts at freedom. Weiterlesen

Statement by Thorbjørn Jagland on hunger strikers

Strasbourg, 13 April 2012 – The Secretary General of the Council of Europe today issued the following statement:

„The hunger strikes in Turkey and Strasbourg have been going on for several weeks and I am deeply concerned about the women and men who are putting their health and lives at risk.

Their action also creates obstacles to the work of the relevant Council of Europe bodies, in particular the Committee for the Prevention of Torture, which can only be effective if they are able to carry out their mandate without any undue influence or pressure.

This is why I would like to appeal to all who have approached me over the last few weeks, to use any influence they may have with the hunger strikers to bring their action to an end. Because it is putting their lives in danger and because it is counterproductive in terms of what the Council of Europe can do.”

Call for solitadarity action on 18th April by MEP Jürgen Klute

Dear Member and colleague,

I want to draw your attention to the dramatic situation of fifteen Kurdish hunger strikers in Strasbourg – where we are going next week for the EP plenary session – and to suggest a solidarity action in their support.

On March 1st, fifteen Kurds from several European countries joined an ongoing and indefinite hunger strike in Strasbourg, started by 400 other political prisoners in Turkey since mid-February. The fifteen people on hunger strike in Strasbourg’s Saint Maurice Church have been fasting for more than 40 days now. As you can easily imagine, their physical condition is seriously deteriorating from day to day, with some of their lives in real danger. Weiterlesen

Letter of Nobel Peace Prize owner Desmond Tutu to Secretary General of the Council of Europe

Secretary General of the Council of Europe

Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland

67075 Strasbourg Cedex



Fax: +33 388 412 799


Dear Secretary General

As a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate I am writing to you as a matter of urgency and with the sincere hope that you will spare some of your valuable time on the matter we hereby wish to share with you.

Nobel Peace Prize Laureates are against war; we work for peace and seek an end all on-going armed and political conflicts. Our sincere hope is that all people in the future can enjoy rights and liberties on equal basis. Weiterlesen

Prisoners in Osmaniye stop hunger strike

Fifteen prisoners on hunger strike in Osmaniye T Type Closed Prison have as of 11 April ended their fast on the 50th day following the prison administration’s promise to answer their demands.

Strikers in Osmaniye Prison have been on a fast since 21 February to protest against unlawful and humiliating implementations practiced in the prison.

Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Osmaniye, Hatay and Adana Provincial Organizations, TUHAYDER executives, relatives of prisoners on Thursday morning gathered in front of the prison where BDP co-chair Gültan Kışanak and lawyer Vedat Özkan met with the prison authorities and strikers.

Following the talks with strikers, lawyer Özkan notified that the strike had ended following a meeting between the prison administration and strikers on 11 April which ended up with the administration’s agreement to satisfy the demands of strikers. Remarking that the public pressure has forced the prison administration to step back and to agree to satisfy the demands, Özkan added that the administration will be taking necessary steps to not to allow the same things happen again.

BDP co-chair Gültan Kışanak’s talks with prison authorities and strikers continue.