Réseau Syndical International de Solidarité et de Luttes

mardi, 5 juillet 2022



TURKEY | A victory of the prisoners on hunger strike against fascism

Accueil > Motions > TURKEY | A victory of the prisoners on hunger (...)

The member organisations of the International Labour Network of Solidarity and Struggles welcome the initiative of the Kurdish people on hunger strike and that of those who support them. We support their struggle against Erdogan’s fascist regime and for the Kurdish revolution. We copy here a statement of the Kurdish Democratic Council in France that we assume as ours.

The endurance of the people on hunger strike has pushed fascism back in Turkey

We she announced that she was going to start a hunger strike on 7 November 2018, Leyla Guven, a Kurdish MP of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), declared : “I engaged actively in politics under the influence of the leader of the PKK, Abdullah Öcalan, who promoted the political participation of women. Today, the solitary confinement he suffers has not been imposed on just one person, but on an entire people. Solitary confinement is a violation of human rights. As a member of this people, I now begin a hunger strike of indefinite duration and without relay to protest against the solitary confinement imposed on Öcalan. From now on, I shall not defend myself in court. I will pursue my action until the judiciary puts an end to its unfair decisions and lifts the solitary confinement. If needed, I shall fast to death”.

The movement extended to other prisons, to Hewlêr (Erbil), Makhmour, Strasbourg, Paris, England, the Low Countries, Germany, Canada, Austria, Switzerland. Progressively, thousands of people have joined in. It has become an unprecedented movement of resistance against fascism. Thousands of people have risked their lives to denounce solitary confinement, the violation of human rights and the massacres incurred by Erdogan’s dictatorship, as well as to draw attention to the danger that this fascist regime represents for Kurdistan and the Middle East. The determination of those on hunger strike has had an effect on the solitary confinement imposed on Öcalan : after 8 years in which he has not been allowed to have any visit, the Kurdish leader has been able to meet his lawyers.

We owe this victory also to the mothers of all those political prisoners, for they have demonstrated without respite before the prisons and in the streets in support of their sons and daughters. For this they have endured repression, police violence and a humiliating treatment. They have broken the chains of solitary confinement. Their traditional white veil has become a symbol of resistance against solitary confinement and fascism. We cannot forget either all those political prisoners and militants who could not find another way to denounce fascism and dictatorship in Turkey than to put an end to their lives : Umit, Zulkuf, Ayten, Medya, Zehra, Ugur, Yonca, Siraç.

In the face of this resistance, which has been broadly broadcasted in Europe, and in particular in Strasbourg, thanks to the hunger strikes and the demonstrations in support, Erdogan’s fascist regime has begun to yield. First, in January it allowed Öcalan’s brother to visit him, and then it authorized his lawyers to meet him, first on 2 May and then on 22 May. After this last meeting Abdullah Öcalan has sent a message through his lawyers calling the hunger strikers to put an end to their action, as the objective has been attained.

In response to this call, Leyla Guven, the rest of the political prisoners, and all the people who have participated in this vast movement all throughout the world announced on Sunday 26 May that they were putting an end to their action. They have won a victory against solitary confinement, but the struggle for the liberation of Öcalan and the end of the Turkish fascist regime continues.