Hunger Strikers sent letter to International Institutions

06 March 2012

Kurds on hunger strike in Strasbourg explained meaning of their action

Kurdish hunger strikers in Strasbourg have sent a letter to international organizations to draw attention to the indefinite hunger strike they – like hundreds in Turkish prisons and outside – are carrying out. The hunger strikers in Strasbourg are staying at a Church of St. Maurice’s hall (1, rue de Reims. 67000 Strasbourg). The letter has been addressed to the European Council, the European Parliament, the Committee for the prevention of torture.

The letter has been signed by Fuat Kav ,Gönül Kaya, Ahmet Çelik,Mecbure Özer Gülistan Hasan, Nigar Enayati, Emine Benek Tarik Yusufi, Öner Uludere, Hasan Acar Ahmet Kiliç,Harun Yilmaz, Imam Yildiz, Kerim Sivri, Erol Polat. The fifteen have pointed out the meaning of the action, underlining that Kurds are claiming their right to exist as well as freedom for Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan.

Here is the full text of the letter:

Dear Sir/Madam,

We have started an indefinite-irreversible HUNGER STRIKE on the 1st of March 2012 as a Kurdish group of 15 people in the city of Strasbourg in France. The HUNGER STRIKE is started for the cause ‘Initiative for Freedom for Öcalan’ and will continue until our basic demands are fulfilled.

Kurds, who are one of the most ancient nations of the history and Mesopotamia, have been living under the control of many different Governments, Sultanates, Dynasties and Empires; and since then never been given its identity; its language, history and will has always been ignored and taken away. Kurds and Kurdistan have been divided after 1920s’ into four pieces by the states of Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran; and its language and identity are still forbidden in this century, which is ironically called as the century of “freedom and democracy”.

Nowadays, Kurdish nation is being subjected to much more cruel applications than that any of the colonial states, cruel Sultan and Dynasties, kings and dictators can afford. Kurdish community of more than 40 million population are today considered as a forbidden community and nation. A natural question would be ‘Can a nation, a community, a culture and a language be forbidden’. But unfortunately, very sadly indeed, Kurdish community and nation of more than 40 million population are FORBIDDEN by the Arabic, Persian and Turkish state.

Kurdish community is resisting for about one thousand years because it does not accept these bans, politics of destruction and denial. They have always resisted and never bent the knee to the oppressors; sometimes by revolting, sometimes by uprising, sometimes by fighting, but always resisting. However, Kurds have still not managed to free themselves and revolted one more time in 1984.

The war, which has been going on between Turkish state and the Kurds since almost 30 years, has sadly reached to a point that Kurds must be destroyed and subjected to genocide. During this time, four thousand Kurdish villages, tens of cities and towns have been destroyed, more than 20 Kurdish intellectuals, writers and journalists have been killed after being kidnapped, hundreds of children aged between 3 and 17 have been violently executed. In this dirty war, which all possible chemical weapons have been used by Turkish state, more than 40,000 Kurdish and people from Kurdistan lost their lives. Turkish government has arrested tens of elected mayors and councillors, lawyers, doctors, women and youngsters during the political operations conducted in the last few years, and filled up the prisons.

Dear Sir/Madam,

Abdullah Öcalan is the legitimate leader of the Kurdish community, which has been brought near to a massacre in this ‘Freedom and Democracy’ age. Mister Öcalan has dedicated 40 years of his life to the struggle for the freedom of Kurds, and has also been imprisoned for the last 13 years in the prisons that belong to Turkish state. He has been kidnapped in Kenya, with joint efforts by USA, Europe and other international governments, and transferred over

to Turkey. Öcalan is kept alone under heavy isolation conditions since exactly 13 years in island prison of Imrali.

Abdullah Öcalan is not the creator of genocide politics applied to the Kurds for 200 years, the policies of denial and destruction, and basically the KURDISH ISSUE; on the contrary, he put forth the fact that Kurds exist and should have the right to live free as any other free nations. He has developed his resolutions based on democracy, equality and freedom and has defended this all his life. Öcalan also has been a leader believing in the freedom of women and struggle against all backwardness to defend this. Kurds, particularly Kurdish women, have learned the reality of democracy and freedom with Öcalan and based on that, they designate that Abdullah Öcalan is “our leader and political will”.

Dear Sir/Madam,

At this stage, we believe that Abdullah Öcalan left to dead in island prison of Imrali should gain his freedom. We say, “Enough is Enough”. War and bloodshed will be over on the condition that Öcalan will be free and can find the opportunity to do politics independently. Otherwise, neither Kurdish people will be liberated nor there will be a solution to the Kurdish issue. In other words, the freedom of Kurdish people is possible with the freedom of Öcalan and vice versa.

In this context, we kindly request your support for our indefinite-irreversible HUNGER STRIKE initiated by a group of Kurds and we also would like to mention that we find your saying of “STOP” very significant and precious by showing awareness in opposition to the crimes against humanity that Turkish state has been committing towards Kurds.

The safety, health and isolation of Mr. Öcalan has reached to a life-critical stage. He has not been allowed to meet his family members and lawyers for 7 months. Mr. Öcalan is the leader of a nation. The approach towards him conveys the approach towards Kurdish people as well. We do not accept the severe isolation applied by Turkish state and its policies to stop his activism in the politics.

We believe that European countries and the organisations and institutions representing these countries should not remain silent towards the politics of Turkish state isolating him and considering him as a hostage. This silence causes the death of more Kurds. We request the European Council and its institutions to contribute to create the environment for a meeting with Öcalan, resolve the conditions of isolation and to support Öcalan to meet his lawyers and family. Dear Sir/Madam,

The right to live is the most sacred right in the world. We are aware of it very well. However, if a life is taken away somewhere, freedom and democracy is disregarded, more importantly,

if a nation faces the danger of disappearing completely, you should acknowledge that this also means the right to live has been extorted.

We have started the Hunger Strike in relation to our right of resistance and self-defence. We request you to initiate the required approaches in order to end massacre towards Kurds who are one of the most ancient communities in the history, to liberate Öcalan who is in the position of Nelson Mandela, to provide essential health and safety conditions to him, and to support the process of negotiation and dialogue between PKK and Turkish state which has continued for the last 2 years but stopped currently.

Yours Sincerely,

Fuat Kav ,Gönül Kaya, Ahmet Çelik,Mecbure Özer Gülistan Hasan, Nigar Enayati, Emine Benek Tarik Yusufi, Öner Uludere, Hasan Acar Ahmet Kiliç,Harun Yilmaz, Imam Yildiz, Kerim Sivri, Erol Polat




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