The 14 July 1982 resistance is alive in today's hunger strike resistance

On 14 July 1982, Mehmet Hayri Durmuş, Kemal Pir, Akif Yılmaz and Ali Çiçek went on death fast. The enemy did not succeed at that time, won't succeed today, says Deniz Kaya, spokesperson of the PKK and PAJK prisoners on hunger strike for 230 days.

On 14 July 1982, Mehmet Hayri Durmuş, Kemal Pir, Akif Yılmaz and Ali Çiçek went on death fast. It would be a historic and inspiring resistance and its legacy is still very much alive today.

Deniz Kaya issued a statement on behalf of the PKK and PAJK prisoners. He praised the struggle of Kemal Pir, Hayri Durmuş, Akif Yılmaz and Ali Çiçek as a successful resistance to torture, with which the prisoners were to be forced to surrender and the dignity of the Kurdish people were to be stripped. The enemy did not succeed at that time, writes Deniz Kaya. The same fascist way of thinking still prevails today. The political prisoners are particularly affected, but the whole Kurdish people is the target, said Kaya, adding: “The operations in Rojava and South Kurdistan pursue the purpose of triggering internal Kurdish conflicts and not granting the Kurds any living space."

The four PKK leading figures fell martyr as a result of the hunger strike. At the age of 30, Kemal Pir died on the 55th day of the death fast, after losing his eye-sight. He is an embodiment of the radical and internationalist spirit of the movement and a bridge for the struggling Turkish and Kurdish people.

Mehmet Hayri Durmuş had announced the start of a death fast in court. “There is violence in prison. – he had said - Dozens of friends have been killed, hundreds of people wounded and it is still unclear how many people will be killed. Yes, I say "Enough is enough" and I am entering the death fast from today."

The court board did everything in its power to deter M. Hayri Durmuş from his decision, but he was determined: "No, I am determined. It is not an action that I have developed on an emotional basis, it is a decision I have made by thinking and concentrating deeply. The PKK is a serious movement, I am here as someone who is primarily responsible for this movement, I have to carry out my duties seriously. First of all, you have to accept the Kurdish people and recognize the PKK movement that is its representative, and therefore, our political identity. But I do not give up my decision because I know that your mentality will not change…"

Kemal Pir and Ali Çiçek, who were among the prisoners who listened to Hayri holding their breath in the great silence of the hall, joined the death fast together with three other prisoners.

When the judge asked Kemal Pir, “You too, Kemal?”, he replied: “Yes, yes, me too. I have said dozens of times before, 'If someone raises the flag again, I'll be the second one.'”

Akif Yılmaz, who was not in the courtroom, also joined the death fast. Representing the military council of Kenan Evren in the dungeon of Amed, Esat Oktay Yıldıran took Akif Yılmaz to the 36th Ward where Hayri, Kemal, Ali and other activists entered the death fast two days after 14 July.