Güven: Termination of the isolation is the demand of millions

While the hunger strike started in prisons against the isolation in İmralı is on day 21, DTK Co-chair Leyla Güven who initiated the hunger strike action with the same demand 2 years ago said: “Termination of the isolation is the demand of millions.”

An indefinite- rotating hunger strike was launched on November 27, demanding the termination of the aggravated isolation on PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan in prisons. New prisoners from different prisons join the action every day.

The hunger strike initated by Leyla Güven two years ago which lasted for 200 days, was launched with the same demand.


Stating that there is an isolation on the Kurds for the last 22 years that continues to go deeper and deeper, Güven said the Kurds stand against this isolation with their actions and activities in every field. “I decided to start a hunger strike on November 7, 2018 in the Amed prison,” said Güven, “When I took this decision individually, I was also DTK Co-chair. We had an effort to solve the Kurdish problem as the congress. Öcalan was and is a must have in the solution of this problem. To be able to do that, the isolation needed to be removed and negotiations must have been started. . As a Kurdish woman and a Kurdish politician, I thought I should do that with the philosophy of Öcalan and took the firts step. And later, as everyone knows, the hunger strike grew bigger and our action spreaded to the world. I told I wanted to start this action and my demand is the demand of millions. And it turned out to be true. A huge support came, especially from the prisons.”

Recalling that the hunger strike ended the day the Minister of Justice told Öcalan could be visited by his family and attorneys on the 200th day, Güven said: “But after a few visits, we saw that the isolation was put back into effect. There is an indefinite rotating hunger strike now. We see that new groups join and the hunger strike continue. It is not an easy decision to go on a hunger strike or to see this as a method of course. No one wants to die. Every human being want to live a free life and explain their feelings in their mother tongue. Everyone wishes to see their leader free, not imprisoned.”


Speaking about the hunger strike action, Güven said: “A hunger strike is the only action one can do in a prison. Because all they have is their lives. Therefore, they want the public to be sensitive and aware about it. Helping them stay alive is in our hands. They have now made a statement of will and went on a hunger strike. But from now on, everything is in the hands of the public. Political parties, associations and institutions, everyone should be sensitive. Because this demand is a human demand.”

Underlining that the isolation spreaded to the whole society in the person of Öcalan, Güven said. “We know that pandemic is a big risk in prisons. Therefore, the situation is dire and critical. In this sense, it makes this our problem too. It is a moral problem. We have to support those on hunger strike in front of the prisons and on the streets without any concerns or fear. This is how we can keep them alive. The government will have to do something about it if the action is supported from the outside loud and clear. I believe that our people will do their part giving voice to this hunger strike and the demands of the prisoners will be met.”