FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (04/05/2019)
“(UK) On the 4th May activists in twelve towns and cities across Wales, Scotland, and England took part in a day of action in solidarity with Kurdish hunger strikers across the world. The campaign highlighted Turkish human rights abuses and discouraged people in the UK from holidaying in Turkey, arguing this indirectly supports human rights abuses in Turkey.
The day of action focused on Tui (formerly Thomson Holidays). It included protests and leafleting at TUI branches across the UK. In Bristol activists occupied a Tui branch, with two activists starting a 5-day hunger strike from within Tui.
The list of places where actions took place are: Barry, Swansea, Newport, Cardiff City Centre, Bristol, Brighton, Hull, Exeter, Merthyr Tudful, Manchester, Roath (Cardiff), Dundee, London. Actions will be happening in Liverpool and Bangor early next week.
See this document for photos and links to further information on the various actions.
The day of action also raised awareness of the Kurdish hunger strikes happening across the world.
Over 7000 Kurdish activists are on hunger strike across the world. This action was initiated by Kurdish member of the Turkish Parliament, Leyla Güven, on 7th November 2018. Imam Sis, a 32 year old Kurdish resident of Newport, has been on an indefinite hunger strike since the 17th November 2018. Their conditions are rapidly deteriorating.
The hunger strikers are calling for an end to the isolation of imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan who has been held in a Turkish prison since 1999 and denied access to his lawyers since 2011 and only allowed very brief family visits to check he is alive in recent years. The hunger strikers are also demanding the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) re-open its investigation into the prison on Imrali Island (Turkey) where Öcalan is held.
On 3rd May Eluned Morgan AM, the Welsh Government’s Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language, sent a letter to Jeremy Hunt asking him to act on the hunger strikers’ demands.
Activists chose to target UK travel agents to highlight the links between the UK and the oppressive Turkish regime. Turkey continues to oppress the Kurdish people even after Kurdish-led forces have recently liberated the last of ISIS’ territory in Syria. Activists also highlight recent Turkish atrocities committed against the Kurds, for example in Afrin and Cizre.
In Bristol there are people starting a 5 day hunger strike in solidarity on this day of action.
Interviews available on request
Telephone: +44 7565 156655 Twitter: @KSCCymru