As hunger strikes continue in Turkey’s prisons, prisoner Selim Keği has joined the strikes, saying, “We will struggle until Öcalan’s physical freedom is ensured”.
According the Mesopotamia Agency (MA), the indefinite rotating hunger strike, launched to protest the aggravated isolation imposed on Öcalan, was taken up by the fourth group of prisoners on 12 December.
In addition, Selim Keği, who was in the second group and is imprisoned in the Antalya L-type closed prison, stated via a message to his family that striking prisoners would continue the struggle until Öcalan’s isolation is lifted.
Keği, from the Yüksekova (Gever) district of Hakkari (Colemêrg), was sentenced to 21 years in prison in 2017 on charges of being a member of an organisation and a holder of false documents. Keği had also supported the hunger strikes launched by the Democratic Society Congress (DTK) co-chair Leyla Güven in Diyarbakır (Amed) E-type closed prison on 7 November 2018, and another strike launched on 27 November 2020.
Öcalan should be free
In his message, Keği said, “We aim to achieve Mr Öcalan’s physical freedom with this action. The isolation has spread everywhere, especially in Kurdistan. These walls of isolation have also surrounded people. We certainly don’t accept the isolation imposed on Öcalan. We have launched this strike for Öcalan, the isolation of prisoners and those whose rights have been disregarded. We will struggle until Öcalan’s isolation is lifted and his physical freedom is ensured. No matter the price, we are ready to pay”.
Mistreatment in prison
Selim Keği’s brother, Hamit Keği said, “My brother has significant stomach disorders since staging the hunger strike. Prisoners may lose their lives if the strike lasts a long time. We do not want anybody to die”.
Regarding the phone call he made with Selim, Hamit said, “Selim said they were also under isolation. In addition, he said guards threw bottles and iron pieces at them when they went to the prison yard.
“A solution should be found immediately. The strike should end before any bereavement takes place and we demand the end of isolation. Prisoners have several difficulties in prisons. Political prisoners also must be released by a law immediately”.
The strikes spread
Prisoners in Turkey announced the beginning of their hunger strike via the weekly phone calls they made with their families on 27 November. Former Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Çağlar Demirel, who is currently imprisoned in the Kocaeli Kandıra F-type high security prison, launched a hunger strike.
Imprisoned former Democratic Regions Party (DBP) member Sebahat Tuncel also decided to strike, and applied to be transferred to the İmralı prison island complex where Abdullah Öcalan is being held.