The hunger strikes launched in prisons in Turkey against the isolation of Kurdistan Worker’s Party Leader Abdullah Öcalan have reached their 51st day.
Women’s rights activists in Istanbul spoke to Mesopotamia News Agency about the ongoing hunger strikes and drew attention to the links between the isolation of Öcalan in İmralı prison and violence against women.
Arguing that violence against women is not independent of the isolation policy in İmralı, women’s rights campaigners said, “If women are being murdered today, this is also a part of the isolation policy. We have to explain it to the public”.
Isolation policy is applied against women too
Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Tuzla District co-chair Fikriye Sarıgül said women who are struggling for freedom should also struggle against isolation. “The struggle of the Kurdish woman has been an example to the whole world”, she said. “Now women should also fight against isolation”.
Sarıgül stressed that the isolation policy is not only applied to İmralı island. “Isolation is applied to all segments of society, especially Kurds who demand democracy. Those who hold power are also isolating women. Women have to raise their voices against it”.
Zöhre Evren, who lives in the Tuzla district of Istanbul, agrees with her and calls for a common united struggle. “We women have to fight for democracy. Everyone, especially women and rights advocates, should stand up for hunger strikes before they lead to more serious consequences”.
Öcalan’s thoughts guided women
Lütfiye Baydemir is another activist from Istanbul who believes that the freedom of women cannot be separated from the isolation policy in Turkey. She believes that Öcalan’s thoughts strengthened women who struggle for freedom.
“Öcalan opened a way for the women’s movement. The state does not want that. Violence and murders against women are also a result of isolation. If women are murdered today, it is also a part of the isolation”.
Baydemir recalled the women who lost their lives in death fasts during the previous hunger strike led by Leyla Güven in 2019. “Some women friends lost their lives in those strikes”, she said. “We must continue their resistance. We need to explain the results of the isolation to the whole society. We need to come together as women and improve our power”.