PKK and PAJK prisoners in Turkey go on hunger strike

PKK and PAJK prisoners in Turkey will be on hunger strike from 27 November to 15 February in support of the international campaign "Freedom for Öcalan, A Political Solution to the Kurdish Question".

Members of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) and PAJK (Party of Free Women in Kurdistan) imprisoned in Turkey went on hunger strike on 27 November in support of the international campaign "Freedom for Öcalan, A Political Solution to the Kurdish Question". According to the announcement by the prisoners' representative Deniz Kaya, the hunger strike is to be carried out in alternating groups from 27 November to 15 February. Sick and elderly prisoners as well as prisoners with less than two years remaining on their sentence will not be included in the action.

Deniz Kaya announced that the prisoners will also publicise the campaign's demands by writing letters to foreign representations, human rights institutions, the media, political parties and non-governmental organisations, and will regularly ask the Turkish Ministry of Justice about Abdullah Öcalan's isolation on the prison island of Imrali. In addition, they will remind the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) of its neglected responsibility. The ongoing court proceedings will be used to denounce the isolation in public spaces and raise awareness about it, said Deniz Kaya and called on the prisoners to act collectively and to refrain from individual forms of action.

The statement released by Deniz Kaya on behalf of the PKK and PAJK prisoners includes the following:

"We wish success to our friends, comrades and peoples who are participating in this campaign with creative methods, with their minds and hearts, with pens, art, prayers and all kinds of resistance actions everywhere, and we would like to declare that we are with them with all our being, even if we are physically detained under strict isolation conditions.

We have had no news of Leader Apo [Abdullah Öcalan] for three years. His continuous isolation has lasted since the first day of his imprisonment almost 25 years ago. If nothing is heard from Imrali, anything is conceivable in a negative sense. This assumption is based on the tradition of the Republic of Turkey and what we are still experiencing today. Imrali is where the real battle is being fought. Since the gates of Imrali were closed to the public in 2015, the concept of total war has been realised. The violence of the massacres and intimidation policy outside is an indication that the struggle on Imrali is being waged with the same intensity.

The reality of İmralı was created as a result of an international alliance and is being tried to be carried out with the same alliance. For this reason, as long as the isolation and Imrali captivity continues, we will know that the inter-state conspiracy continues. The fact that a strategic move towards the Middle East was made with the captivity of Leader Apo is much clearer when we look at the practice of the past 25 years. Although the Kurds have suffered the most, the attack on Leader Apo was actually an attack on the democratic Middle East ideal. While the whole region was being redesigned, a strong potential that could benefit from this opportunity in favour of the peoples was wanted to be neutralised at the very beginning. The global powers and their collaborators, who based their political calculations on the derivatives of nationalism and religionism, did not want any discourse or action contrary to the status quo they had created.

The US can never have organised the capture of Leader Apo solely for the benefit of Turkey. The Turkish state mind was unable to recognise this, and this inability still exists despite the past 25 years. A government that has had its soul and thinking deformed by hostility to the Kurds could not be expected to read either the present or the future correctly. They did not think it necessary to take any intellectual or political measures that could thwart the fictionalised game. They did not see that the fire that had been lit in the Middle East would gradually grow and develop into a conflagration. Saddam did not see this and paid for it with his life. Iraq was redesigned. Libya, Egypt, Sudan and Yemen experienced different versions of this process. The situation in Syria is obvious. With his historical and current analyses, Leader Apo has often warned and offered solutions for what could happen. He analysed the impasse into which nationalist, religious and sexist scourges have dragged humanity with all its dimensions. He tried to be a breath of fresh air not only for the peoples of the Middle East, but for all the peoples of the world, the oppressed, women and nature. He did this in his cramped cell, where he was left breathless.

Societies have become breathless, fragmented, divided, powerless, helpless and vulnerable to intervention due to the mutual nationalist and religious provocations and the sexist siege that is still being attempted to be maintained. Any practice that provokes and feeds this situation supports the crisis and the prevailing understanding of power and has no future to offer the peoples. The current Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the latest harbinger of this mentality. Regardless of the outcome, it is already certain that there will be no solution to this conflict in favour of the peoples. It will not be possible to get out of this vicious circle without eradicating the religious and nationalist seeds that have been sown in these countries for years by the deliberate policies of the hegemonic powers and the governments on their axis. It is a state of endless conflict, of an inability to find a solution, of the devaluation of life and the gradual loss of its colours.

Leader Apo's idea of the democratic nation and democratic confederalism corresponds to the hope and practice of recreating life. It is a strong intervention in the power games on display. Which male despot can exist in a Middle East where differences live together, where faith communities nurture rather than destroy each other, and where women participate freely and equally in life? Which hegemonic power can move at will in a Middle East that has achieved its own inner peace and devotes its energy to strengthening free life?

The logic of keeping the doors of Imrali firmly closed in this process, in which the intervention to reshape the entire region is gaining momentum, is obvious. The absolute isolation on Imrali is maintained not only by the will of the Turkish state apparatus, which is entrusted with the task of guardianship, but also by the common will of the powers that have signed the international conspiracy. The isolation of Leader Apo is directed against all peoples and the alternative option of a free life, and the fire is growing and getting hotter. The delusions of those who believe they can protect themselves with even more nationalism and religious fanaticism are pouring petrol on the fire.

The peoples, democratic faith communities and women need to get more involved than ever before. The current political scene, including Turkey, has completely turned into an area of interest for specialised groups. A sickening hypocrisy has gripped many areas. It is clear that a comfortable conformist opposition can lead to no other result than the reproduction of the existing system. All social groups in Turkey speak of decay, injustice, impoverishment and crisis. These are all results. In Turkey, people talk about the results, but they do not want to see the reasons and causes, they are overlooked.

The Kurdish question is one of the main reasons leading to these results. It is not wanted resolved because it means more war. It is clear that this entails large military expenditures and the impoverishment of the population. It also means lawlessness, illegality, arbitrariness, in short, a special war and its financing. This means black money, drug trafficking, mafias and gangs. The lack of a solution to the Kurdish question means insistence on the oppression of the tyrant.

Leader Apo knows and defines the political, economic, ecological and gender-specific problems in his society and in the world and offers real solutions. He builds his life on fulfilling his duties and responsibilities to realise these solutions. When he is unable to do the things which he believes need to be changed, corrected and restored, he changes himself. Although he has been kept in strict isolation for years, he does not allow his potential and his accumulation to be taken away from him. He shares the definitions and solution methods he has chosen from this potential and accumulation at every opportunity. Leader Apo defends freedom, equality, justice and democracy at all costs and prevents the nation-state system from swallowing up these values and needs and condemning them to nothingness. He brings the truth to the people and presents excellent ways and methods of understanding and explaining this truth. He is subject to such severe attacks because he cares for the well-being and human life of all without complaining or expecting anything in return. He is a leader who keeps his promises and succeeds in everything he does. His promise to the peoples to make a revolution comes to life in Rojava and Shengal and spreads to all peoples in the world together with the Kurdish society.Leader Apo manages to survive under all conditions by focusing on the good, the beautiful and the true and bringing them together with life and people. He is a leader who brings forth free thoughts and theories and has solutions to every problem. He puts the consciousness and philosophy he has created based on these values at the service of humanity through his democratic, ecological and women-liberating paradigm. With this paradigm, he builds both the present and the future.

In the destructive isolation system of Imrali, where he has been held for years, Leader Apo has determined his own attitude, chosen his own path and achieved great success. For all these reasons, the solution to the Kurdish question and the physical freedom of Leader Apo are one and the same, one cannot and must not be considered separately from the other. It is indeed with this awareness that the campaign is called "Freedom for Öcalan, A Political Solution to the Kurdish Question". For this reason, it is both pleasing to see that people from all peoples are shouldering this campaign, and it is an expression of the determination to extinguish the fire of hell and create paradise together.

Leader Apo says, ‘Revolution is the separation of what needs to be experienced and what does not need to be experienced.’ Through its attacks, the AKP/MHP fascism imposes what is unnecessary on all of us. While the fascist regime imposes surrender on us and the guerrillas, it tries to condemn the democratic public to daily endeavours that cannot even meet their biological needs. As prisoners of the PKK and the PAJK, we feel with our whole being all the actions that are carried out despite the daily worsening conditions and isolation. Wherever we breathe, we will never give up our insistence on a free life and our belief in the free and equal unity of our peoples. And we will endeavour to be worthy of Leader Apo, who unites all these ideals, with even greater determination and practical implementation.”