By Cenî -- Kurdish Women’s Office for Peace
On 15 February 2012 political prisoners went on an indefinite and non-alternate hunger strike in prisons of Turkey and Kurdistan. Among the 169 prisoners starting the hunger strike in Diyarbakır D and E-Type Prisons, Mardin E-Type Prison, Elbistan E-Type Prison and Bitlis E-Type Prison are also Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Şırnak MPs Selma Irmak and Faysal Sarıyıldız. They demand freedom for Kurdish people's leader Öcalan, assurance of education in mother language and an end to political and military operations against the Kurdish people.
In a letter MP Selma Irmak addressed to the co-chair and the members of the BDP Selma Irmak pointed out the reasons for their hunger strike by saying:
“The Kurdish question has reached a point where only a democratic process based on dialogue and negotiation can bring peace and solution. We are aware that this will be a long and delicate process. Our people has been demanding a democratic solution for the last thirty years. To fulfill their demand is both easy and difficult. A democratic solution can only be reached through a dialogue with Honorable Mr. Öcalan. Every peace process needs its actors. The person who assumed the leadership of our people is Honorable Mr. Öcalan; therefore he is the only person who can talk in the name of our people and must be the main actor. As elected officials and politicians of our people we are ready to fulfill our role in this process, take any risks and put our lives at stake. I am as concerned as you are because of the interruption of the peace process and of negotiations with Mr. Öcalan accompanied by his unprecedented forced isolation, which keeps him outside of the political realm. I am deeply worried that -what we call- the concept of political genocide towards the Kurds implemented through mass arrests, assassinations, massacres, verbal and material violence will lead to more hostility against them and will cause our two people to fight against each other. (…)
As a person who was elected by the honorable and willful people of Şırnak and, as a woman moved by what is happening all around, I can no longer remain a passive bystander in this process. Since I have been robbed from all instruments and means of expression, I am obliged to use my body as a site for communication.”
Ms. Zübeyde Teker, president of the support organisation for families of prisoners TUHAD-FED, announced in a press release on 22 February 2012 that the number of prisoners on hunger strike has already reached 400. She mentioned that there are in total 8 Thousand political prisoners of the Kurdistan Workers Party PKK and the Kurdistan Women’s Freedom Party PAJK in Turkey. Further, in an announcement made on 13 February 2012 they applied to United Nations to be recognized as prisoners of war. They declared that they would continue their hunger strike till their demands have been fulfilled. Some of the prisoners already started the hunger strike on 20 January 2012.
As Cenî – Kurdish Women’s Office for Peace, we declare our solidarity with the demands of the political prisoners on hunger strike. We ask all human rights organisations and UN-human right mechanisms to take urgent actions to prevent any harm to the health of the prisoners on hunger strike by supporting and by advocating for a political solution of the Kurdish question, the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan and all other political prisoners.
Some of the names of the prisoners on hunger strike are:
Diyarbakır D Tipi Prison (62 prisoners on hunger strike): Lütfi Dağ, Özgür Yıldırım, Sinan Kaplan, Nadir Yıldırım, Nihat Varlı, Mirhan Göktaş, Mahsum Akbaş, Murat Yıldeniz, Müstafa Türkan, Umut Özer, Sıddık Çete, Serdar Ziriğ, Ahmet Çelen, Ali Ekinci, Aykut Eroğlu, Recep Güler, Ercan Sezgin, Tuncay Ok, Enver Özkartal, Mehmet Ermiş, Mahir Birgül, İlyas Efe, Yücel Çelik, Ramazan Malçok, Saffet Durmaz, Serhat Keskin, Necmetin Kaçar, A. Kemal Türk, Mikail Çağrıcı, Savaş Aslan, Hekim Denli, Talat Uçar, İsmail Öndeş, Erdal Işık, Ömer Atlı, Mustafa Kaplan, Diyar Kaydu, Emrah Ubiç, Ulaş Telsaç, Murat Kozat, Ali Kurt, Ömer Sipek, Mehmet Aksu, Maşallah Özmen, Şafi Kayhan, Aslan Demir, Çetin Atlan, Mazlum Timuçin, Ufuk Fidan, Mehmet Taş, Bülent Buluç, Müslüm Tıkız, İrfan Bozencir, Osman Kılıç, Ozan Alpkaya, Selami Kızıl, Hüseyin Barsak, Cengiz Ünal, Murat Canşat, Salih İlem, Şerif Aslan, Yakup Borukanlı
Diyarbakır E Tipi Prison (9): BDP Şırnak MP Selma Irmak, Fadile Bayram, Hacire Özdemir, Leyla Deniz, Ayşe Irmak, Pınar Işık, Dirayet Taşdemir, Hanım Çeşme and Emine Yılmaz.
Mardin E Tipi Prison (22): BDP Şırnak MP Faysal Sarıyıldız, Ramazan Aktaş, Musa Aslan, Gürhan Koyuncu, Mahmut Balkaş, Toncay Gündoğan, Mesut Gökhan, Behruz Akgül, Bekir Kılıçaslan, Aziz Bulut, Mesut Kar, Ömer Kabul, Hayretin Alkan, Cahit Sevim, Zerdeşt Oduncu, Burhan Gök, Mehmet Ali Güray, Ruşen Erdem, Bahar Cirasun, Asiye Atılgan, Fatma Uyar, Cemile Duman.
Batman M Tipi Kapalı Prison (15): only the names of Mahsum Bilen, Şehmus Bülbül, İlhan Rengin, Resul Saçaklıdır and Ahmet Çelik are known. They went on an indefinite and non-alternate hunger strike on 25 January 2012.
Siirt E Tipi Kapalı Prison (15): 10 male and 5 female PKK and PAJK prisoners went on hunger strike. While the names of the femal prisoners are unknown, the names of the male prisoners are İbrahim Akın, Ali Temelkuran, Nusret Yıldırım, Mehmet Şakar, İskan Yiğit, Muhammed Demir, Uğur Eren, Şefik Uçkan, Kasım Çelik and Abdurrahman Demir.
Bingöl M Tipi Kapalı Prison (14): Bülent Buluç, Müslüm Tıkız, İrfan Bazencir, Osman Kılıç, Ozan Alpkaya, Selami Kızıl, Hüseyin Barsak, Cengiz Ünal, Murat Cansal, Salih İlem, Mehmet Şerif Aslan, Yakup Borukanlı, Hanım Çeşme, Emin Yılmaz.
Malatya Prison (8): only 4 names of prisoners on hunger strike are known: Nevzat İçen, Suat Daştan, Ramazan Demir; Çetin İnsel.
Muş: 8 prisoners went on hunger strike, their names are not known.
Tokat F Tipi Kapalı Prison (6): In a letter sent from prison Süleyman Yıldırım, Hüseyin Misto, Erdal Daş, Abdullah Cin, Hafzullah Kaçmaz and Havil Acar declared that they went on on an indefinite and non-alternate hunger strike.
Elbistan E Tipi Prison (5): Bedrettin Uzunboy, Salih Şimşek, Hüseyin Çığ, Emin Mutlu and Hüseyin Torunoğlu.
Bitlis E Tipi Prison (5): Pelin Yılmaz, Ediba Ekmen, Ruken Çelik, Ülkem Özkan and Şeyman Kantarcı. Osmaniye F Tipi Kapalı Prison (5): Emrah Özdemir, Mehmet Akar, Mazlum Kapan, Ekrem Coşkun, Feridun Kayacan.
Rize Kalkandere L Tipi Prison (5): Ramazan Özelçi, Haşim İzol, Mahsun Karaman, Abdulmenaf Aslan and Kamuran Aytaç.
Kandıra 2 Nolu F Tipi Prison (5): Yakup Taş, Hakan Yalçınkaya, Maşallah Yağan, Necat Saçı and Alattin Semir Zuğurlu.
Erzurum Oltu Prison (4): The prisoners Mesut Yabalak, İzet Eren, Kaçak Demirci and Metin Serhat went on an indefinite and non-alternate hunger strike on 20 January 2012. Their health situation is deteriorating.
Antalya L Tipi Kapalı Prison (2): Halit İnan and Mehmet Aslan
Tekirdağ Prison (1): Adnan Titiz
Further political prisoners of the prisons in Gebze, Urfa, Adıyaman and Midyat declared through communication with their relatives that they went on an indefinite and non-alternate hunger strike.
(Sources: ANF NEWS AGENCY, Statements of BDP and TUHAD-FED)
Cenî – Kurdish Women’s Office for Peace23 February 2012
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