“The place where there has been an intensification of political killings has been inside the prisons. Freedom of speech and democratic rights of protest of the opposition has been increasingly defined and framed as terrorism. The politicians, who are considered a threat to the government are now facing heavy prison sentences under a regime of incarceration until death,” writes the jailed former co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Figen Yüksekdağ from the Kandıra No. 1 F Type Prison, in Kocaeli, Turkey.
Occasionally, some voices in the opposition share concerns and predictions regarding political assassinations. Of course, these claims are not unreasonable or unfounded, but missing something. The Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) coalition in Turkey have increased the level of violence as they lose public support.
Concerns regarding political assassinations are a natural result of this policy. Of course, political killings are not a new item on the agenda in Turkey; what is new is that the areas in which it targets and carries out these killings have expanded. For instance, the Kurds, the revolutionary-democratic powers and socialists have never been out of the crosshairs of those who have planned and executed political killings. Such attacks targeting these segments have gained such a characteristic that they have now reached to the highest level as we call it, “political genocide”.
Assassinations that have directly targeted particular politicians, activists in the women’s movement, elected officials and some intellectuals and journalists, who have played an active political role, have been targeted as part of this genocidal plan.
Recently, a killer walked in to HDP’s Izmir Office intending to commit mass murder and brutally murdered our dear comrade Deniz Poyraz. Just look at the HDP, because you will never find another party that has become the target of bombing attacks in its rallies. HDP members live their daily lives facing the danger of being killed, kidnapped or forcibly disappeared. You will not find another party like the HDP, which has been a target with not only of the full force of the state, but also a target of the illegal shadowy state linked powers. […..]
Running horses on the fields of war
It is for sure that the dark forces, that have been trying to choke the democratic, libertarian political movement developed by the Kurds and HDP, will attain outcomes for everyone. The fact that there have been recent vicious attacks, assassination and lynching attempts against the Republican People’s Party (CHP), Iyi (Good) Party and some other political parties that have been formed in opposition to the AKP prove this theory right. Remaining silent or paving the way for the political repression of the HDP has been evaluated as a policy “special” to the HDP, and has prepared the ground for the state to turn into a new coalition of crime organisations.
Hostility against HDP and the Kurds, a permanent state of war, a partnership with ISIS and similar groups, the “sword of terror” which has been hanging over the heads of democratic politics have been just some the land laid, fed by the darkness. Now, countless gangs, gladio structures, drug dealers, hitmen, mafia and the war lobby like SADAT, which is officially supported by the government, race their horses fiercely onto this field of war.
The confessions of mob leader Sedat Peker, who worked for the AKP once upon a time, have exposed the empire of crime built by the government, including Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Süleyman Soylu and Binalı Yıldırım.
Killing you by making you ill
In such circumstances all kinds of malignancy can grow and assassinations we know of may target politicians and some leaders.
Then what about ill-prisoners?
What about the ill prisoners, whose deaths are not even recognised as an assassination or killing?
What about those, whose deceased bodies remained on the streets for days just because they were not killed by a bullet or by a bomb in their car?
What about those children, who are only shown on TVs in the little boxes they were put in when they were killed?
What about the prisoners, the ill-prisoner, who suffers with their physical and mental health, whose bodies have been deteriorated and incarcerated in between walls, in the middle of nowhere with no one by them, in the centre of silence?
What never changes about the issue of so called ‘ill-prisoners’, the population of whom increases day by day in the prisons, is that they are the targets of a special political strategy. This strategy is tuned and designed to kill those inside the prisons, whom could not be killed by weapons and assassinations, by making them ill with isolation and persecution.
At the same time as the number of ill-prisoners increase, the numbers of coffins leaving the prisons also increase.
System of ‘execution of sentence until death’
AKP and Erdoğan’s “palace regime” have turned arrests and imprisonments into a strategy by which to rule the country. Turkey has turned into a great prison base with a huge population of political prisoners that has reached way beyond of the population of political prisoners in previous military coup periods of the country.
The place where there has been an intensification of political killings has been inside the prisons.
Freedom of speech and democratic rights of protest of the opposition has been increasingly defined and framed as terrorism. The politicians, who are considered a threat to the government are now facing heavy prison sentences under a regime of incarceration until death
The AKP and the palace regime have constructed a regime based on political killings, officially legalised by laws and they are not even trying to cover up their killings, the perpetrators are openly known by the public. The political power ruling the country issues decisions of killings and torture through its own channels and networks of gangs and police and also ultimately through the courts and prison administrations they control, they execute their decisions.
The Forensic Medicine Institute has also become the hitman of the government with their so-called ‘medical reports’ where they claim that an ill-prisoner hovering on the verge of death are “eligible to remain in prison”.
Since they are now completely illegitimate and there is no power left in their impotent hands, except for the tools of “force”, they use all the state institutions as weapons in their crimes. (…)
Assassinations are now official policy
Living under such circumstances that we are living under and repeating things like, “In our time there has been no political killings committed,” is just adding insult to the reality. Remember the assassinations of Hrant Dink and Sakine Cansız and her two comrades. These assassinations were committed by illegal hitmen and perpetrators have still not been yet brought to justice.
Furthermore, by simply forming a coalition with the MHP, which is historically and contemporarily established with a mindset of contra-guerilla-gang type organisation, the AKP and Erdoğan have turned political killings and assassinations into an official policy. This shows that the decadence of the Turkish state has fallen below the level it was even in 1990s.
We need no more proof other than to say Erdoğan and (Devlet) Bahçeli directly identify political figures as targets and order attacks against them. Remember Erdoğan’s words when he was talking about the death sentences, which were applied, but then lifted in Turkey:
“We are going to make them worse than dead.”
These words alone are sufficient to show the horrible atmosphere based on hatred and provocation they have built, inside and outside prisons.
Special assassination attempt to Aysel Tuğluk
What then, is it called to target political prisoners, who are eligible for release to leave them in prison to their fate, to death under persecution in prison, if it is not political assassination?
And there is this example of the special assassination attempt against Aysel Tuğluk, my cell-mate, my dear friend in prison.
All elected politicians, who were wanted dead, but have not been able to be killed outside of prison, are seen as a target, but Aysel Tuğluk has also seen extra attacks, special warfare attacks in addition to the sentence of more than 10 years she was given because of her political identity as the former co-chair of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK) and the former co-chair of Peace and Democracy Party (BDP).
What makes her different than thousands of other ill-prisoners is that, this situation she has experienced and the fact that she politically represents millions of women and men; that she politically represents the will of the Kurdish people.
Aysel Tuğluk’s situation is the most urgent case in our prison life.
Intention to kill
Aysel’s illnesses, which were triggered by the monstrous attack against the funeral of her mother 4 years ago have deepened with the torture of isolation, the unhealthy conditions of the prison and the deficiencies in the diagnosis and treatments of her disease. Political persecution and the total disregard of laws have only compounded these, just think and imagine of the rest of the situation yourselves…
It is not only about being subjected to an attack that no one who would regard themselves a human being could or would ever commit. It is also about being you; it is about you being that person, who carries the responsibility to resist against the policy, which creates and rules such a monstrosity. Knowing that you do not face normal humans, that what you face carries not a single shred of humanity, has pushed many political prisoners like Aysel Tuğluk into a very heavy and deteriorating process.
After months of tests in Kocaeli state hospital, Aysel Tuğluk was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease at an early stage and a medical report was prepared detailing that. She is also under treatment for bone and other internal diseases. The next stage that we will face is a period of systematic persecution with an intention to kill her.
The Forensic Medicine Institute has approved the political execution decision given for Aysel Tuğluk by the government, while blatantly ignoring the report prepared by specialist doctors, saying that she is “not eligible to stay in prison”.
The information we receive from Aysel shows that the so-called ‘medical check’ by the Board of Forensic Medicine Institute has turned into psychological torture for her. For example: Aysel has not been able use a pen for a while now and this has been documented in the medical report, but the Board forced her to draw some figures on a piece of paper.
Due to the very special and unique condition caused by her disease, she must in all circumstances go for a medical check with the assistance of a friend who stays in her cell and knows the details of her condition. However, the Forensic Medicine Institute did not care about this aspect of her medical criterion, because the decision was not made by the scientists, doctors and boards of ethics, but by the execution chairs of the government.
And the Forensic Medicine Institute has just played its role as the execution team of the government.
What is this if not a political assassination?
Yes, and now I ask: What is all of this including the attacks Aysel Tuğluk has been subjected to, if not a political assassination?
Do the perpetrators need to reach the exact end they aim for to call this an assassination?
Thousands of politicians, who have served the people and who have never let the dignity they carry to drop, who have proven that this government of persecution is made simply of flesh-and-bones and can be easily defeated, face exactly the same assassination attempts and threats in prisons today.
To be so far away from a position to be able to form bonds with ill-prisoners, I have no intention to call for sensitivity for ill-prisoners, but we all just need to sit and think about the fact that we are now counting deaths.
I just want to remind you that all the kinds of evil that members of the HDP, the Kurds and freedom and democratic forces have been subjected to, are now returning back to everyone.
I remind you that in order that some people to be left to raise voices, some people need to raise their voice.
Kandıra No.1 F-Type Prison
17 October 2021