Hunger strike of political prisoners in Adana continues

Political prisoners in Adana’s Kürkçüler Prison have been on hunger strike since mid-July. They are demanding an end to Abdullah Öcalan's isolation and inhumane prison conditions.

Hüseyin Aykol dedicated his column in the daily newspaper Yeni Yaşam to the hunger strike of political prisoners in the Kürkçüler F-type prison in Adana province. Founded in 2018, Yeni Yaşam ("New Life") is a successor medium in the tradition of the free Kurdish press. Hüseyin Aykol, born in 1952 in Manisa in western Turkey, has been writing for opposition and socialist magazines since the 1970s and has been in prison himself several times.

Aykol quotes in his column a fax message from journalist Ibrahim Karakaş, who was sentenced to almost ten years imprisonment last August and is imprisoned in Kürkçüler: "The isolation and repression policies in Imralı Prison and the rights violations and arbitrary practices that are spreading in parallel in all prisons have reached an extreme level. In the prison we are in, these practices are gradually becoming psychological torture. Unfortunately, all our legal attempts and our insistence on resolving our legal claims through dialogue are ignored by the First Director of the prison and the prosecutor, and the scale of the problems and the torture used is increasing day by day. We are dealing with an approach that places itself above laws and circulars and acts in a hostile manner for purely political motives."

The main demands of the prisoners are an end to the isolation of Abdullah Öcalan and an end to rights violations in prisons in general. Aykol's article states that the hunger strike has been going on since 14 July in the form of five-day rotations. Karakaş warns that the action will turn into an indefinite hunger strike if their demands are not met.

The prisoners demand to "end isolation in Imralı Prison; ensure our constitutional right to access medical treatment, which is de facto prevented by the practice of mouth searches; leave the rooms locked with wire fences and in violation of the law; meet our demands for a change of room; participate in social activities recognised by law; end all pressure and isolation policies".

Aykol also included messages from Dr Ayhan Kavak at Tarsus Type Prison No. 2, Kasım Karataş at Tekirdağ F Type Prison No. 2 and Elif Akkurt at Sincan Closed Women's Prison. In addition to their health problems, the prisoners stated that Akkurt's fellow prisoner Sibel Balaç is on a death fast and is demanding justice.