EUTCC: Europe should take action against the isolation

EUTCC Chairperson Kariane Westrheim visited the hunger strikers who have been on a hunger strike in Strasbourg for 120 days and called on European institutions and politicians to take action against the isolation.

EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC) Chairperson Kariane Westrheim and Commission Member Dr. Dersim Dagdeviren visited the 14 hunger strikers who have been on an indefinite nonalternating hunger strike in Strasbourg, France since December 17. Westrheim and Dagdeviren visited the hunger strikers by their beds and spoke to doctors about their health.

EUTCC Chairperson Kariane Westrheim spoke during the visit and stressed that the hunger strikers putting their bodies on the line to make their voices heard is a very courageous step. Westrheim said she hopes the isolation imposed upon Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Ocalan will be broken and Ocalan will be able to intervene in the situation.


Westrheim mentioned the role of bodies like the Council of Europe (CoE) and the Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) and added that she supports the demands of the hunger strikers, but the fate of the hunger strikes depends on the stance of European institutions with authority. Westrheim said the institutions with authority should help to end the isolation, the fundamental demand of the hunger strikers, and pointed out that it would thus be possible for Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Ocalan to play his role in a peace process as the fundamental actor.


EUTCC Chairperson Kariane Westrheim stressed that the stance of European institutions with authority regarding the isolation and the hunger strikes against the isolation has been “disappointing” and added that many politicians and MPs defend the same position as herself. Westrheim called on the politicians to take action to effect change and pointed to the importance of establishing a dialogue with Turkey, hard as that may be. Westrheim stated that breaking the isolation against Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Ocalan will be a first step on the path towards peace.