This is not the first time hunger strikers go up against the Turkish State, risking their lives and often afflicted by serious side effects at the end of their tug of war.
Political prisoners have lost their lives during previous oppositions to military dictatorships.
And now we have a member of the AKP, a deputy by calling, and a member of the Assembly’s Commission of Human Rights telling us that this behavior is almost ‘haram’ (translator’s note : the highest status of prohibition in Islamic theology). According to him, the great universal Bearded One casts a baleful eye on those who risk their own lives in order to preserve it.
So how does the prophet look upon the decades of systematic massacres of opponents to the Turkish army in Kurdistan ? How would he react to the waves of layoffs, to the fall into great precariousness that ensues, to the hunger that results for entire families ?
The hunger strikers say they are doing it « for bread ». And they refuse to eat a single crumb, exposing their bodies to suffering in the face of power.
The rags that serve as information media over here have made vulgar claims that the strike was a hoax, that the « fast was broken once the police turned its back »… as they have done on every occasion when this form of struggle is used. They wrote the same thing during similar actions in the jails before the referendum, and made fun of the jailed opposition members saying they were on « intermittent hunger strikes ».
Meanwhile, intellectuals who called into question this form of struggle were told that their calls to cease the strike should be addressed to the government, since it is the one that holds the solution…
And as we know that the strikers, and the « hard core » of supporters at the forefront are battle-hardened militants (the press denounces them as all purpose terrorists), we can guess that strike days will succeed on other strike days, as long as a flame of life will subsist.
We are reminded of the call made to political prisoners by democratic opposition Parties to abandon the movement immediately after the results of the referendum were known. They considered the street demonstrations (which have almost died out) drew attention away from their struggle, that these same movements did not take into account the struggle of Kurdish prisoners, but also that the shift in power was « officially » in favor of the regime, with international opinions showing minimal reactions.
It was thus with the potential of more massive support, under more unified auspices that the hunger strike of laid off teachers was launched. One form of resistance took over from another.
If I talk to you about this, it’s because this strike cannot be hidden and that despite the fear, the inner withdrawal and the exhaustion obvious in the country’s daily life, the strike resonates, as did the petition for peace of university professors.
But what can I do ? How can I not feel helpless confronted by the possibility of their agony ?
The Tayyip travels, and even allows himself the right to have demonstrators beaten in the United States when they hold him to account over there. And one may think the new American president double deals with him, while comforting him in his « fight against terrorism ». And since those going hungry are « terrorists »…
I seem to have noticed that supporters have manifested themselves in some European countries and that delegations come to Ankara to support the strikers. Meanwhile our media and politicians examine their electoral navel, here, there and everywhere…
I’m told the police harass the strike movement, like flies sniffing at a corpse. They don’t dare attack it directly and arrest its supporters on a regular basis… This is a sign, in our republican dictatorship that these young people truly disturb power, in this post-referendum period when it would like to un-demonize itself a bit, while pursuing its purges by decree.
In the final instance, it’s an entire section of the Turkish population that hungers for justice, freedom and peace, just as I do, and that gets force fed violence, injustice and hatred.
Who am I, the elder, to pass judgment on their decision to pursue this slow descent in which their life no longer belongs to them ? And yet, if hundreds of thousands of dead ones in Syria, children whose drowned bodies drift ashore on beaches, if all these lives cut down only elicit reactions from those who are already « concerned », how will two emaciated bodies make the new Caliph yield ?
Nor will I pass judgment on the young people who take up arms because their brother, their sister, their parents or grandparents were assassinated while calling for nothing other than « life and recognition », I will make no further comments on he or she who uses his or her life as a weapon, in the service of a collective struggle.
But my anger does a poor job of masking my anguish at how this « assault against life » will be swept away by further murders, in a series of which we can foresee no end.
You will find all the Kedistan article on Nuriye and Semih by clicking here.