The hunger strikes launched by political prisoners in Turkey against the isolation of Kurdistan Worker’s Party leader (PKK) Abdullah Öcalan and the violations of rights in prisons has reached its 126th day with the 26th group of hunger strikers taking over the rotating hunger strike.
As the hunger strikes were continuing, on March 25, the Şanlıurfa Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office called Abdullah Öcalan’s brother Mehmet Öcalan to the Urfa Courthouse and had him talk to his brother Abdullah Öcalan on the phone. However, the phone call was cut off around five minutes into the call.
This 5 minutes phone call caused new concerns regarding the conditions of Abdullah Öcalan as he again shared his demand that he wants his lawyers to visit him in person in Imralı Prison, where he has been jailed since 1999.
Hunger striking prisoners announced that they will continue their action until Abdullah Öcalan’s meeting with his lawyers is ensured.
Mustafa Aktaş is among the hunger striking prisoners. He has been jailed in Silvan Type-T Closed Prison.
His daughter Dilan Aktaş shared her concerns and messages with Jin News regarding her father and the massive hunger strike action.
‘I had to take off my pants in the body search to visit my father’
“My father has been behind bars for 2 and a half years. We were really worried about him during the epidemic, but the government did not take any steps to reduce our concerns,” Dilan Aktaş said.
Mentioning the difficulties she encountered whenever she visits her father, Aktaş emphasised that the prison administration has very strict rules imposed on the prisoners and the families of the prisoners.
“The last time I visited the prison, they tried to block my entrance to the prison facility just because of a metal button on my jeans. They said I should take off my pants, I refused. However in the end I had to take off my pants in the body search to visit my father. This is a very embarrassing situation, but it is embarrassing for the prison authorities, not me,” Aktaş said.
‘I am proud of him’
Having been subjected to such inhumane treatment herself, Aktaş said she can overcome such pressure only through the hope and strength she gains from the resistance of her father and the prisoners.
“When I see my father and his resistance, I forget about all of these difficulties. I am proud of him and his struggle,” she said.
Aktaş shared her concerns about the health of her father, because “he lost a significant amount of weight during the hunger strike.”
“The reason they are on a strike is due to the unjustice they face behind the prison walls. The state creates a lot of problems for us. They try to prevent us from sending money to them,” Aktaş said.
“We don’t know what to say anymore. It is my appeal to the government: accept the the demands of the prisoners.”