Solidarity, resistance and strength: Peoples Democratic Party MP, Leyla Güven ended her 200-day hunger strike on May 26. Güven had been consuming only sugar and salt solutions and vitamins. Her core demand that the Turkish authorities lift the aggravated isolation of Abdullah Ocalan was achieved. Ocalan has now had three visits from his legal team, the first for eight years.
As we move onto a new post-hunger strike phase , we look back at the words of Hilal Seven, written on 16 May when Leyla Guven was on day 190 of her hunger strike.
London/ 16 May
According to the Human Rights Association 2983 prisoners are on hunger strike in 90 prisons in Turkey since first of March 2019. Most of the hunger strikers are Kurdish and they are political prisoners.
It was then-imprisoned Leyla Güven, a HDP MP, who first started the hunger strike on November 8 in 2018. Inspired by Leyla Güven, the action spread to other prisons and people from all over the world joined it. İmam Şiş, a 32-year-old Kurdish man from Newport began is hunger strike on December 16. Three more people from London are also on hunger strike since March 14: Nahide Zengin, Mehmet Sait Yılmaz, Ali Poyraz. Continue reading
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27 May 2019|Peace in Kurdistan
After 200 days, HDP MP Leyla Guven, along with other Kurdish MPs and thousands of Kurdish prisoners in Turkey, have ended their hunger strikes in response to the breaking of Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan’s isolation.
In ending her hunger strike, Leyla Guven, whose action in November 2018 started a mass movement, said the strike had achieve its immediate demands. She went on to declare that the struggle would continue by other means.
Speaking after meeting Kurdish hunger strikers in London today, the Fermanagh and South Tyrone MP said:
“I met today with Kurdish political activists who are on hunger strike in London calling for an end to the isolation and the release of Kurdish political leader Abdullah Öcalan.
Kurdistan 24 reports today
Tomorrow at 11 am Michelle Gildernew MP (who holds the seat previously held by Bobby Sands MP) will meet with Kurdish Hunger strikers at the Kurdish Community Centre at 11 am. Continue reading
ANF, Behdinan, Tuesday 7 May 2019
KCK: “The isolation hasn’t ended, and the demands of the resistance haven’t been met. The lawyers’ visit to Imrali was planned only to ease the domestic and foreign pressure created by the resistance to break the isolation.”
Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) Executive Council Co-presidency issued a written statement after the meeting Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Ocalan had with his lawyers on May 2 was announced to the public and said: “As the Kurdish people and the forces of democracy objected to the isolation, so do the peoples of the world and forces of democracy. The struggle against the isolation has gone beyond the borders of Kurdistan and Turkey and reached an international level. The struggle against the isolation has been assumed by the whole of humanity in the person of Kurdish mothers with white scarves.”
Lawyers for Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan held a press conference at the Taksim Hill Hotel in Istanbul regarding the meeting they were allowed with their client. The conference was attended by lawyers Faik Özgür Erol, Newroz Uysal and Rezan Sarıca from Asrın Law Office.
The meeting between Öcalan and his lawyers on May 2nd lasted one hour. The meeting was the first one held since 27 July 2011 when the Kurdish leader was last allowed to meet with his lawyers. Since then, lawyers for Öcalan submitted a total of 810 appeals to visit him on Imralı Island Prison.
Full text of the statement read by lawyer Newroz Uysal on Monday, with the signature of Abdullah Öcalan and three other prisoners on Imralı, is as follows;
“TO THE PUBLIC
There is a need for a deep social reconciliation in this historic process we are experiencing.
There is an urgent need for a method of democratic negotiations, far removed from any and all polarization and culture of conflict for the solution of problems.
We can solve the problems in Turkey, and even in the region, starting with the war, with soft power – with intelligence and political and cultural strength instead of tools of physical violence.
We believe that through the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), all should aim to solve the issues in Syria by refraining from conflict culture and within the perspective of local democracy guaranteed by the Constitution in the framework of Syria’s unity. As such, Turkey’s sensibilities should be minded.
With all due respect for the resistance of friends in and outside of prisons, we would like to stress that they should not take it to the level to threaten their health or result in deaths. For us, their mental, physical and spiritual health is above all. We also believe that the most meaningful approach is connected to developing a mental and spiritual stance.Our stance in Imrali is to deepen and clarify the method of expression we declared with the Newroz 2013 statement and to continue on this path.For us, a dignified peace and democratic political solution are paramount.
We commend all who were concerned and all who took a stand with respect due to our stance in Imrali, and we would like to offer our immense gratitude.
A. ÖCALAN H. YILDIRIM Ö. H. KONAR V. AKTAŞ”