Remaining silence about repression in prisons is no option

The tradition and culture of opposing persecution and oppression in prisons in Turkey and Kurdistan should once again be put in motion.

Prisons are one of the structures most built in Turkey during the AKP rule. The number of prisons built during the AKP rule is probably a record not only for Turkey, but for the whole world. The AKP government can indeed boast both the number or prisons it has built as well as the fact that it puts the highest number of people in them. Turkey has become the country with the highest number of political prisoners per population during the AKP rule. Also, the largest number of female political prisoners in the world is currently found in Turkey. The number of sick prisoners in Turkey is also at a record level. Again, Turkey ranks first in terms of elderly prisoners.

What kind of a country Turkey is can be understood by looking at these prisons and the number of political prisoners in them. It is also the first country in the Middle East for the number of political prisoners. In order to understand that Turkey is fascist and authoritarian, what should we look at?

Currently, the prisons in Turkey are also notorious for oppression and persecution. Everything has been turned into torture in Turkey's dungeons. The prisoners cry out that there is torture and cruelty going on, but very few listen to this voice.

When Tayyip Erdoğan, currently the head of the fascist government and the first degree responsible for the persecution in prisons, went to Diyarbakır, he said: "Even the walls in front of this prison, known for its tortures, can talk about the tortures here." Now in Turkey, there is not only one Diyarbakir 5, Mamak and Metris; There are dozens or even hundreds of such prisons. Each of them has been a Diyarbakir, Mamak and Metris. And in some cases, for the level of repression, some have surpassed Diyarbakır, Mamak and Metris. However, the awareness of the public on this issue is very low.

The torture experienced in prisons on and after the 12 September [1980] military coup went on for decades in Turkey and Kurdistan. This torture has been exposed. In particular, the democratic public and non-governmental organizations were very active when it came to prison issues: They took care of the prisoners, they took action against every oppression that took place in prisons. In this respect, democratic forces and even political parties in Turkey had a sensitivity to the oppression experienced in the dungeons. Currently, the number of political prisoners in Turkey's prisons is incredibly high, and oppression and persecution are practiced daily. However, the democratic public does not show the necessary reaction to this.

Apart from the HDP and socialist parties, other political parties are playing blind, deaf and dumb. Selahattin Demirtaş, one of the former co-chairs of HDP, made a call demanding the " political parties and the parliamentary prison commission to take action." The call went unanswered. Is this insensitivity just because the majority of political prisoners are Kurds? If not, the lack of response in hard to explain.

Hüseyin Akyol, one of the notable writers of our newspaper, has been the eyes, ears and voice of the prisoners for years. He reflects the pressures in the dungeons to the public. The families of the prisoners have been informing the public more and making calls more often. However, the public's interest in these and the reaction to the persecution in the dungeons remain insufficient. This is a dangerous situation for social reality. All democratic public opinion and non-governmental organizations should question themselves regarding this lack of response. Intellectuals, writers, artists should question themselves. Because one of the areas where conscience and morality are measured is the attitude towards the practices in the prisons. Unresponsiveness to oppression and persecution here means that our consciences are dulled. There can be no worse situation for a person and society than this.

By dissolving society and social values, capitalist modernity weakens both morality and conscience. The only value that people run after is materialism and access to consumption objects. For this reason, conscience and morality are left aside. With individualism, social values are set aside, and this creates weaknesses in dealing with moral and conscientious issues. But there is still society. There are social culture and values that socialist life has produced for thousands of years. In this respect, those who have socialist values, democratic forces and individuals, intellectuals, writers and artists who are the conscience of society should raise their voices against this oppression and persecution going on in prisons. Otherwise, these segments will also degenerate. The main factor that creates corruption is to remain silent to the injustice and oppression that takes place next to it.

During and after the fascism of 12 September, not only intellectuals, writers and artists, but also the entire society in Turkey, opposed oppression in prison. The tradition and culture of opposing persecution and oppression in prisons in Turkey and Kurdistan should be reactivated to put a stop to this persecution.

The AKP-MHP fascism wants to oppress the prisoners, who have no power other than their determination and will. Now is the time to raise our voices against the persecution in the dungeons. Otherwise, not those in jail, but we outside will degenerate. Those in jail, on the other hand, will go down in history for their honourable stance because they resisted oppression even if they suffered. They struggle to save our honour too.

Source: Yeni Yaşam