Families of hunger strikers: Their demands are the demands of millions

“Their demands are the demands of millions,” said the families of the political prisoners, who have been on a hunger strike since October 27 demanding “freedom for Abdullah Öcalan and a resolution to the Kurdish question.”


 Amed-On November 27, thousands of political prisoners in Turkey initiated a rotational hunger strike demanding “freedom for Abdullah Öcalan and a resolution to the Kurdish question.” Their families have held a protest in Amed (Diyarbakır), Mersin and Adana since December 3 to support the hunger strike initiated by the political prisoners. Every day, they gather and issue a press statement to make the voices of hunger strikers heard.

In Amed, the families of the hunger strikers gathered in the building of the Association for Assistance to Prisoners' Families (TUAY-DER) yesterday. Expressing their solidarity with the hunger strikers, the families called for the end of the isolation imposed on Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan and all political prisoners.

‘The isolation has been imposed on the whole society’

Halime Topuz was one of the women gathered in the building to be in solidarity with her son İhsan Topuz, one of the hunger strikers held in Kırşehir S-type Closed Prison. Her son has been held in prison for 26 years.

“Today, we gather here to say no to the rights violations against our children in prison. We were not allowed to issue a press statement in front of the building. The isolation has been imposed not only on Imrali prison or other prisons but also on the whole society. The isolation imposed on Mr. Abdullah Öcalan must end. If the isolation imposed on him does not end, prisoners will be subjected to more rights violations and torture,” she told NuJINHA.

‘We will do our best to make their voices heard’

Halime Topuz emphasized that they, as the families of the hunger strikers, would do their best to make their children’s voices heard. “Previously, they went on a hunger strike for six months. We supported their hunger strike and we will support their hunger strike again. I call on all Kurdish families and patriotic people to support us. We are here and we will always stand with our children.”

‘We are here to make their voices heard’

Meryem Soylu’s daughter is one of the hunger strikers. “No one should remain silent against brutal policies carried out against the Kurdish people. The political prisoners started a hunger strike to end these policies. Today, we are here to make their voices heard. Sick prisoners are denied medical treatment and the prisoners are not released despite having completed their sentence. All Kurdish families and people should say no to the isolation. If we break this isolation, the hunger strike will end. We should break the isolation imposed in Imrali prison and other prisons,” Meryem Soylu said.

In an interview with NuJINHA, Hatice Güneş, co-chair of the TUAY-DER Amed Branch, talked about the action started by the families. “Today, an isolation has been imposed not only on Mr. Abdullah Öcalan but also on women and the whole society. The prisoners are subjected to torture. We support the action started by the families of prisoners.  We will always stand with the families and the prisoners. Today, no one can express his/her opinion freely. When you speak out, you are arrested and oppressed. This isolation must be broken.”