Millions back hunger strikers in north Kurdistan

Kurdistan Tribune / Lvinpress – 31.10.2012 – Millions of people in north Kurdistan are today supporting a mass strike and protests to demand freedom and show solidarity with more than 700 Kurdish political prisoners who have been on hunger strike since 12 September.

In the city of Dyarbakir,  it’s as if the whole population of one million people is on strike.   A massive demonstration (pictured) has been organised by the Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP).  When the authorities refused to allow a rally in front of the central jail, two BDP MPs – Gultan Kshnak  and Salahadin Demertash – tried to negotiate with police for permission for this to go ahead. Their attempt failed and there have since been clashes between demonstrators and police. In the city of Van too there are massive protests by students and the local population. And in Istanbul, riot police have attacked demonstrators. As well as backing the hunger strikers, the protests have these key demands: the release of the imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) Abdullah Ocalan, the right to education in the Kurdish language and the use of Kurdish in Turkish courts.

The pro-Turkish government Today’s Zaman reports: “Witnesses say supporters of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) are clashing with police near a prison in south-eastern Turkey where a number of inmates are on a hunger strike”.

Like all backers of colonialism throughout history, Zaman uses the term ‘terrorist’ for those fighting for national self-determination, freedom and dignity.  On the anniversary of its foundation, the Turkish state has today received a very clear message from the oppressed Kurds.