SENZA CENSURA n.5
Italy, June 2001
TURKEY: AN URGENT AND NECESSARY STATEMENT
By IKM, Commitee for Struggle against Torture through Isolation
On October 20, 2000, about 1,000 political prisoners from the organisations DHKP-C, TKP(ML) and TKIP started a hunger strike, which they turned into a Death Fast on November 19. Besides a number of political demands, the prisoners are demanding the abolition of the 'F' Type isolation prisons.
The state's response to the just demands of the prisoners was a massacre. So the state stormed 20 prisons on December 19 and burned to death and killed 28 prisoners with heavy weapons. About 1,200 prisoners were transferred into the newly constructed 'F' Type prisons. The prisoners have been continuing their resistance in the isolation cells up to the present.
Nearly all the other political organisations also began hunger strikes and Death Fasts following the massacre. So the number of resisters grew. Some days ago these circles issued a leaflet putting forward new demands by the prisoners. This is said to have been written in the name of 504 prisoners who are on the Death Fast. In the Turkish-language part of the leaflet it is clear which groups and organisations wrote it. The Turkish part also does not say that it was written in the name of the Death Fasters, but was merely written in the name of the prisoners from these particular organisations.
However, in the German version the names of the organisations are not
mentioned and the impression is given that all the organisations are behind it, which is not the case. The prisoners from the DHKP-C, TKP(ML) and TKIP clearly restated their demands in their March 17 declaration. They are the same demands that they started the Death Fast with. The leaflet we have is written in the name of 504 prisoners, who belong to the MLKP, TKP/ML, TDP, THKP-C/MLSPB, Direnis Hareketi, TIKB, Dev-Yol and TKP/Kivilcim. These names appear in the Turkish but not the German part of the leaflet. Moreover the names of democratic organizations, like for example TAYAD, which are listed in the statement cause confusion. Whether or not this is the intention, it gives the impression that the leaflet was signed by a broad democratic
platform which in reality is not the case. This behaviour demands an
Moreover, the leaflet talks of international standards. But revolutionary
organisations cannot be swayed by international standards. In Germany there are also international standards. But these include the isolation of political prisoners from the outside world. Ilhan Yelkuvan and Nuri Eryuksel are the latest examples in Germany. They were sentenced under Paragraph 129 and were isolated for 24 hours a day, being only allowed in the courtyard of the prison when there were no other prisoners. Ilhan Yelkuvan fought for his rights last year with a 63-day Death Fast and broke through the attempts to isolate him. Rainer Dittrich is another example of international standards in prisons. The justice minister of Schleswig-Holstein Lutkes, and the Lubeck Prison management have used every available method to break down Rainer's political attitude and identity. So for example they have tried for
months to break his solidarity hunger strike with the political prisoners in Turkey. Or as Rainer himself writes: "...over time they are trying to put me in a situation where my struggle from this cell against the system in the Federal Republic of Germany is no longer possible." These are the European standards which are directed against prisoners who resist. In Turkey isolation prisons are being introduced, the better to veil the current torture methods.
The leaflet we are describing tries, behind the backs of most of the
prisoners in struggle, to engage in opportunist compromises which are not in the interests of all prisoners on the Death Fast. Dispensing with the demand for the abolition of the 'F' Type prisons, so long as this is not the demand of all Death Fasters and hunger strikers, represents a crime against the prisoners who are resisting in the most adverse circumstances. We call on the organisations who are distributing this leaflet to stop distributing it and practise self-criticism.
In a period when the prisoners' struggle against isolation is becoming more aggravated with every passing day, it is suicidal to put forward
ill-thought-out opportunist demands which break the united front of the
prisoners aimed at abolishing the 'F' Type prisons. Since some organisations are watering down their demands, the struggle is being weakened and mutual solidarity is being destroyed. Unilateral deviations by some organisations are both a threat to prisoners' lives and damaging to solidarity, in view of the current situation of the prisoners.
Long live the unyielding struggle of the revolutionary prisoners!
Long live international solidarity!
Izolasyon Iskencesine Karsi Mücadele Komitesi
Komitee gegen Isolationshaft
Commitee for Struggle against Torture through Isolation
tel/ fax.:0049 / 40 / 28053625
Addr: Kreuzweg 12 - 20099 Hamburg
Bank; Postbank/ Hamburg
Account number: 79 966 205 BLZ: 200 100 20