Kurdish Federation UK, has delivered an open letter today to 10 Downing Street, urging PM David Cameron to take action to stop ongoing hunger strike on its 50th day in Turkey’s prisons.
Dear Prime Minister,
Over thousands of Kurdish political internees, incarcerated for campaigning for Kurdish rights in Turkey are taking part in possibly the biggest political hunger strike in history to apply pressure to the Turkish government to begin political negotiations to resolve the Kurdish Question in Turkey. 600 strikers are on their 50th day today many with serious health conditions. They are determined in their steadfastness to die unless their demands are met.
For nearly 80 years the Kurds in Turkey have suffered the most intolerable oppression.
Forcibly assimilated to be Turks they had their language banned and culture eradicated. The hunger strike represents, the long and painful struggle for justice and identity by the Kurds reaching its zenith.
In 2009 the Turkish state engaged in talks with the PKK to attempt to resolve the Kurdish issue. Unfortunately, these talks were abruptly brought to an end by the Turkish government and stalled.
The two central demands of the hunger strikers are as follows: The release of Abdullah Ocalan to negotiate a political settlement to the Kurdish Question in Turkey and Kurdish language rights in the public sphere. We urgently request that the UK government do everything in their power to apply political pressure on the Turkish government to solve the Kurdish Question, release these political prisoners so Turkey can finally begin to solve it’s longest standing political problem.
We have reason to believe that the UK were involved in the Oslo talks and believe that the government has a lot of similar experience and advise to impart to the Turkish government about how to tackle such a historical political issue.
We also respectfully believe that the UK has a moral responsibility to the Kurds being one of the signatories to the Lausanne Agreement that divided Kurdistan in the first place.