An open letter to UN, EU, Amnesty International about hunger strike of Kurdish prisoners in Turkey ‎ / By Kulka Kurdayati

Wolverhampton, 20.10.2012

Dear Madam/Sir,

I decided to write this letter to draw your attention to the recent events that occurred in Turkish prisons, where thousands of political prisoners of Kurdish origin are locked for defending human rights of Kurdish nation.

As for sure you know Turkish policy toward Kurds is one of the most inhuman and brutal. Persecutions and oppression that Kurds face on daily bases are being practiced by Turkish state for more than 90 years now. This oppression occurs in a number of different forms and ways, from banning the culture and language, denying the existence of Kurdish nation, through physical attacks (during peaceful demonstrations and funerals) and finally even killings.

One of the forms of this oppression is arresting and putting Kurds in prisons. These Kurds are not criminals, who broke the law; steal something or murder someone. These Kurds are intellectuals, lawyers, academics, journalists, human rights activists and politicians. These Kurds didn’t commit any crime; but all of them were accused of “terrorism”. This in fact baseless accusation is used by Turks as the most common, if not the only one excuse any time when Turkish authorities wants to silence the Kurds, who are asking for their basic human rights. As for sure you know Turkey is one of the countries where the number of violations of human rights is one of the highest. And although it is going worse and worse; International Community doesn’t do anything to change this situation. Kurds under Turkish control don’t get any help and support from International Community. They are left alone with their problems. But Kurds still struggle for justice and for their human rights. And the more they struggle, the more oppression they face. The large number of Kurdish political prisoners in Turkish prisons is the direct result of this struggle. Even in prisons these brave, forgotten people keep struggling – they consider it as their duty, their mission, and their destiny.

On 12 September the first Kurdish political prisoners started hunger strike. Their health and their lives are the only one thing that left for them as their weapon. They used to struggle with their words, and these words were silenced. The world was deaf. But they didn’t give up. They decided to struggle with their bodies, their health, and their lives. Will the world be blind again?

What chance these people have to be successful? What possibility they have to change the hopeless and terrible situation of Kurds on Turkish occupied territories? What chance they have if the world turned back from Kurdish nation?

How many of them will have to die to establish justice, freedom and the respect for human rights?

Are you ready to take responsibility for the death of these people? Are you ready to stand of the mirror one day and say to yourselves: “I could have done something to save these innocent people, but I didn’t.”

In XXI century, on the doorstep of European Union, the place of high culture and the cradle of human rights, Kurdish people have to put their lives in risk, sacrifice themselves to gain and defend their basic rights.

As soon as we got to know that our sisters and brothers decided to begin hunger strike in Turkish prisons – we, Kurdish activists, were trying to make the world to notice this fact, to turn world’s attention to this important issue. We were trying to encourage world’s mass media to cover it. But our efforts were in vain. We felt ashamed that we were not able to accomplish the mission, but it is the world and mass media that should feel ashamed.

Every time when human rights are abused, violated – straight away the entire world talks about it. In many cases it is the headline news. But when human rights of Kurds are violated by Turkey – the world is silent.  It’s high time to make a change. I can’t do that myself. But you can. So I appeal to you – to all of you, who has the ability and power to make a change – please, say “NO” to oppression of Kurdish people. Kurds are not criminals. Kurds are not terrorists. Kurds are forgotten, oppressed nation that suffer for many years on their own land. If we all are civilised humans, how it is possible, that one nation and its suffering is commonly ignored?

Would any of you like to see your nation bleeding and dying? I don’t want to watch my people suffering. I don’t want to watch my people dying. I don’t want to watch it any longer.

Please, don’t let these innocent Kurds in Turkish prisons lose their lives for something that you can establish very easy – for justice, human rights and freedom.

With respect and hope,

Heval Kulka

Kulka Kurdayati, a freelance writer and activist from UK