Statement by Yuksel Koc on day 64 of the Strasbourg hunger Strike

Adresse: Rue de Porto 132, 4020 Liège / BELGIQE TEL 003271318719 . Email:


Dear Friends:


I, Yüksel Koç, am 55 years old and the father of two children.  Since my arrival in Germany 30 years ago, I have been employed and also active in politics.  At the moment, I am co-chair of the European Democratic Kurdish Society Congress (KCDK-E), the largest Kurdish non-governmental organization in Europe, which includes 457 institutions and associations across Europe.  Since 17 December 2018, my 12 comrades and I, as part of the Freedom for Öcalan Initiative, have been on an indefinite hunger strike in Strasbourg.  We are on the 64thday of this action, and our health is deteriorating. Continue reading



Our dear friend Margaret Owen;

We greet you with the excitement and enthusiasm of hunger strikes that began with comrade Leyla Guven and which became widespread with us, political prisoners. We send our sincere greetings, love and respect to you and our dear friends who came from the UK together with you and other countries to share the message of solidarity and supported us, the revolutionary prisoners who are on a hunger strike. Together with my five other comrades in this prison, we have been in absolute resistance since December 2018 to break the absolute isolation (quarantine) on our leader. Until this isolation on Leader Apo is not removed, our action will continue at the expense of our death and we will continue. Continue reading

Solidarity with Leyla Guven MP




Dear Leyla

We send you solidarity, greetings and respect from Women Alliance for Kurdistan, Iraq and Syria.

We have been following the news of your hunger strike almost daily and we want to assure you that we are standing with you in your resistance and will do our utmost to support you and to spread the message that the cruel isolation of Abdullah Ocalan and the persecution of the Kurdish people must end. Continue reading

Leyla Guven : Letter to President of the European Parliament

28th January 2019

Mr Antonio Tajani

President of the European Parliament

Rue Wiertz 60
1047 Brussels

Dear MrTajani,

 We are currently facing serious tremendous on the path towards democratization and normalization in Turkey, as was also made known in sessions held at the European Parliament. The most critical of these obstacles is the persistence of total isolation imposed on Mr Abdullah Öcalan held in Imrali Prison since April 5, 2015. Mr Öcalan has played a key role in the pursuit of a peaceful solution to the conflict, especially by all his efforts during the peace process that took place between 2013 and 2015. He continues to be the person best placed to continue playing this historic role.I believe that the clear positions taken byall the institutions that collectively constitute the European Unionare going to be crucial for the restarting of the process of conflict resolution. The consistent demand for this stance in turn will enable a normalization to take place in Turkey, in my firmly held view. Continue reading

Women delegation from Ireland, Britain and Italy call for the unlawful prison policy of isolation to end.


 For immediate release

 13 January 2019, Diyarakir, Turkey

 The health of Hakkari 55 year old MP Leyla Güven, who started a hunger strike on 8 November 2018, has reached a life-threatening stage.

Leyla Güven, who is on the 67th day of a hunger strike, has become too weak to  meet with her lawyers. Continue reading


International Initiative – Freedom for Ocalan – Peace in Kurdistan


Peace in Kurdistan Campaign

12 January 2019

 We, the undersigned, call for an immediate end to the solitary confinement of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan and other political prisoners in Turkey who are being held in gross violation of their human rights and of the norms of the internationally agreed-upon Mandela Rules. Continue reading

Support continues to grow for the hunger strike from across the world

Urgent appeal:

November 10, 2012


To the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR),

To the Parliament of the European Union,

To the Parliament of the United Kingdom,

To Amnesty International,

To Human Rights Watch,

To international media outlets, and

To all political parties, trade unions and freedom lovers across the world:


The lives of hundreds of Kurdish political prisoners in Turkey must be saved.

We are writing to you regarding the recent wave of mass protests and hunger strikes in Turkey by Kurdish people. 63 Kurdish political prisoners have been on hunger strike for political solution to the Kurdish Question in Turkey since Sept 12th 2012. The hunger strike has been spreading day by day. While by the end of October the number of prisoners on hunger strike reached about 700 in more than 50 prisons, on November 5th spokesperson of the political prisoners declared that from now on 10,000 political prisoners are on hunger strike. Continue reading

KCK lawyers trial: Report by Melanie Gingell

The following is the latest in a series of personal reports written by members of a recent UK delegation to Istanbul. The delegation observed the continuation of the lawyers KCK trial, and included solicitor Ali Has, human rights lawyer Margaret Owen OBE, the Law Society’s Tony Fisher, and Bronwen Jones and Melanie Gingell, of Tooks Chambers, London. Here, Melanie Gingell gives her impressions of the trial and her concerns about how the trial is proceeding.

Tony Fisher, member of the Human Rights Committee of the Law Society, also participated in the delegation and wrote this report last week.

We will bring you further reports in the coming weeks.


In response to an invitation from a Kurdish solidarity campaign PIK, I attended the trial of 47 lawyers in Istanbul on 6th Nov 2012.

I was part of a 5 person delegation comprising 3 barristers and 2 solicitors from the UK. Legal delegations from France, Switzerland, Germany, Canada also attended the trial. Continue reading

Behind the Kurdish Hunger Strike in Turkey

Journalist Jake Hess has written this article for the Middle East Research and Information Project on the on going hunger strikes and their political context:

To hear Mazlum Tekdağ’s story is enough to understand why 700 Kurdish political prisoners have gone on hunger strike in Turkey. His father was murdered by the state in front of his Diyarbakır pastry shop in 1993, when Mazlum was just nine years old. His uncle Ali was kidnapped by an army-backed death squad known as JİTEM (the acronym for the Turkish phrase translating, roughly, as Gendarmerie Intelligence and Anti-Terror Unit) two years later. Mazlum never saw his uncle again, but a former JİTEM agent later claimed they tortured him for six months before killing him and burning his body by the side of a road in the Silvan district of Diyarbakır.

Such experiences have moved thousands of Kurds in Turkey to join the armed rebellion of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party or PKK, which has been outlawed since its inception. But Mazlum, along with thousands of others, chose to fight for his people’s rights through the non-violent means of pro-Kurdish political parties, a succession of which have been allowed to operate by the Turkish state before then being shut down. He was first arrested in 2001, when he was 17. Now 28, Mazlum has been in jail for three and a half years, though he has not been convicted of a crime. His trial is deadlocked because Turkish courts refuse to let him or his fellow political prisoners offer their legal defenses in their native Kurdish language. All of them speak fluent Turkish; they are making a political point. Continue reading