The indefinite, rotating hunger strike launched by Kurdish political prisoners in Turkey protesting the isolation of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan as well as the violations of rights in prisons, has reached its 215th day.
While isolation policies continue to be experienced in Turkish prisons, families have been unable to have open visits with prisoners for months due to pandemic restrictions. The applications of lawyers to visit Abdullah Öcalan are systematically rejected. Disciplinary punishment is cited as grounds for the rejection.
Batman Peace Mothers spoke to Jin News demanding that the isolation be lifted, drawing attention to the fact that isolation is a violation of human rights.
Peace Mother Leyla Onar stated that isolation is cruelty and torture and that they do not accept the isolation policies.
”As mothers, we cannot turn a blind eye to this cruelty. We want this isolation to end and Mr. Öcalan to be freed. We do not want anyone to die because of hunger strikes,” she said.
“We are all living in isolation. The cruelty and torture suffered by the prisoners is unacceptable. We all need to speak out against isolation and stand by the prisoners.”
Peace Mother Amine Onar stated that there is no justice or law in Turkey. Saying that there are attempts to intimidate society with policies of fear, Amine said, ”Sick prisoners must be released and get health treatment. Hunger strikes must end. The isolation must be lifted.”
”How much more will this state persecute us?” Onar asked and stated that Peace Mothers demand “peace, democracy,and equality.”
“We do not want anyone to die. This is our joint demand. To break the isolation, we must resist, we must raise our voices. It is in our hands to end the isolation. We can make it through struggle,” she said.
Peace Mother Dilber Kaplan noted that hundreds of hunger striking prisoners have no access either to the right to health or the right to life.
”They experience injustice every day. We must not abandon the prisoners. We need to be on their side and give voice to their demands,” Kaplan said.
“Our silence does not lead us to victory.This resistance is crucial to overthrow fascism. We can destroy fascism and end the isolation by resisting together.”