All constituents of Kurdish politics in Turkey have gathered in Amed and released a historic declaration announcing the beginning of a new period, with an indefinite – irreversible hunger strike to be launched by 50 politicians on September 5.
All constituents of Kurdish politics in Turkey have gathered in Amed and released a historic declaration announcing the beginning of a new period.
The historic declaration was read out during a press conference which was participated by co-chairs and co-spokespersons of DTK (Democratic Society Congress), HDK (Peoples’ Democratic Congress), KJA (Free Women’s Congress), DBP (Democratic Regions’ Party) and HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party), all elected deputies of the Kurdish politics, co-mayors, municipal council members, NGO representatives and opinion leaders.
The declaration which was read out by DTK co-chair Hatip Dicle focused on Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan who is held in solitary confinement in İmralı Island Prison for some 18 years and from whom no news has been received for 510 days. The declaration announced that an indefinite and irreversible hunger strike will be launched by 50 politicians on September 5.
The declaration pointed out that no single objective information has been received regarding Öcalan’s state of health and security for 510 days, even after the coup attempt of July 15 when coup plotters were confirmed to have intervened the İmralı Island.
The declaration stressed that the foremost problem in Turkey is undoubtedly the Kurdish question, one of the regional matters caused by the “victors” of the World War I that prorated the lands of Middle East, Mesopotamia, Anatolia and Kurdistan.
The declaration continues;
“Unfortunately, the Turkish Republic State policies that were for bloodshed rather than a resolution have resulted in the loss of countless lives and hand-over of this issue to the 21st century with the same violence. During the last century, Kurdish people were left with no choice but to rebel in order to attain their rights, and the state preferred genocidal policies to repress these rebellions. There is nothing left from this process but bloodshed and death of Turks and Kurds. As we tried hard to survive and struggle in this sea of blood, those powers seeking national, regional and global interests took advantage of this conflict and gained more power for themselves.
In order to end this vicious circle and bloodshed, to attain an honorable peace and change the conflict destiny of these lands, courageous politician and people’s leader Mr. Öcalan took a powerful initiative at the Newroz of 2013. He issued a call for the silence of arms and beginning of politics to say stop to this course of events, which helped emergence of a great hope and excitement as the state and government tended towards giving peace a chance. The bloodshed and deaths ended and a fair joy and happiness emerged in the whole society for the ending of the century-old war and vortex of death. Unfortunately, the hope for peace started to fade in late 2014 and gave way to the destructive and merciless reality of war as of the summer of 2015.
However, we have received no single news for 510 days now from Mr. Öcalan, the leader who transformed this possibility of peace into a powerful process of dialogue. War and conflict is undoubtedly not a choice preferred by our side. Still, there has to be a law and morality even in the times of wars and conflicts.
There is no moral nor lawful ground in this approach towards a people’s leader who enabled three years of peace in Turkey society, eight times of ceasefire during previous times, shaped the Middle East politics, and whom the Kurdish people and their political friends all around the world declared as “political will” with 10,328,623 signatures. Mr. Öcalan’s rights are clearly ignored as no laws or legal judicial rules are recognized on İmralı Island. Mr. Öcalan has been denied meeting with his lawyers for the past 5 days. He is treated just like a prisoner and subject to multiplied punishment and isolation.
It goes without doubt that our society – with Kurds, Turks, all identities and faith groups alike- deserve very much to live together in peace. It is the major duty of politicians to realize this expectation. We are also endeavoring to fulfill this duty with conscience and responsibility. On one hand, we try to remain standing by resisting against pressures and attacks, and on the other we continue our seek for a resolution by appraising a single hope for peace. However, the obstruction of communication with the leader of a folk and struggle for 510 days, and the insistent rejection of the demands for a meeting with him do unfortunately eliminate all the possibilities of peace. Past experiences have proven already the futility of efforts for peace in the cases of Mr. Öcalan’s exclusion. We are now facing a more critical and dangerous approach that goes beyond the political exclusion of Mr. Öcalan. We cannot be expected to put up with this unlawful and immoral practice against Mr. Öcalan. Nobody should expect us to acquiesce the denial of communication with a political leader whom millions pin their hope upon. All the political, legal, diplomatic and humane efforts we have made for 510 days have been frustrated by the government. For this reason, we have decided to initiate a new process until Mr. Öcalan is enabled a meeting with his lawyers, family members or a political delegation of our side, and proper news is received from him. Within this framework, 50 voluntary persons from among us will start an indefinite and irreversible hunger strike as of September 5. This hunger strike has one single demand; that Öcalan be enabled a meeting within the framework of laws.
In this regard, our first call addresses the government, we demand and expect this demand to be fulfilled immediately in consideration of political, legal, moral and humanistic legitimacy.
We also have a call to our people and democracy forces; to make the required preparations and plans in order to embrace the resistance around those who will start an indefinite and irreversible hunger strike in the event that this demand of ours is not met. It is time for action.
During these days when a single voice to be heard from Öcalan can create new hopes and open new doors, we would like to underline that everyone that believes in peace, civilian resolution and law should primarily object to this isolation.
We would lastly like to state that no folk that fails to embrace their leader can protect their honor or freedom. No folk that doesn’t accompany the freedom struggle of Kurdish people can talk about their own freedom. This is, above all, a matter of honor to us.
We call on all our people to embrace their own honor and right to freedom in the most powerful manner, and to declare the whole world that we won’t / can’t accept this dishonor imposed on us.”