Italy, october 2001


As far back as December 2000, anti agreement Republicans highlighted, protested, called for Turkish holiday boycotts, etc., for the Turkish prisoners on hunger strike in F-type prisons. Some of these protests, particularly at the protest organised by the Irish Political Prisoners Status Committee (IPSC), at the London Turkish Embassy, got world-wide coverage. It is natural that our people should want to highlight these violations of human rights; analogies between the Irish hunger strikers who died on political protest, and the Turkish ones are many.

At the outset of our collaborative works of solidarity, we worked directly with the DHKC, which is the Devrimci Halk Kurtulus Cephesi (Revolutionary Peoples Liberation Party Front) in Turkey. We still receive their news and press releases. However, some time in late May/early June, the Committee for Struggle against Torture through Isolation, the Turkish Hunger Strike Action Committee and various other Turkish prisoner support groups began to highlight the protests instead. Why? These groups were more palatable to the mainstream.

Around this time, some hunger striker groups in Ireland went mainstream, going so far as to take out the words 'DHKC' from any press releases, denounce a former Irish hunger striker for speaking out against Sinn Féin, and not showing up at protests for Turkish comrades which were arranged by the IPSC in cooperation with the DHKC. It was not long after that, it came to light that Sinn Féin (SF) had decided to cash in on the publicity of having 'a cause'. Of course they couldn't offend their comrades in Parliament by publicly supporting the DHKC and its more than 10.000 political prisoners - including trade-unionists, human rights activists, democrats, artists, writers, revolutionaries, Kurdish patriots, socialists, etc. So, the socialist, revolutionary, anti imperialist sentiments of those highlighting the Turkish atrocities had to be thwarted or at least muted.

And, now we hear that Gerry Adams has said that "the European community must show its revulsion over alleged human rights abuses against prisoners on hunger strike in Turkish jails", that Turkish holidays should be boycotted, and various other comments that ring déjà vu - we've already said all this 6 months before SF decided to jump on the bandwagon!

Gerry has found a political trump card.this is a cause people care about, it is useful to him. But how SF can honestly take a stance on these prisoners struggling for political status, yet turn a blind eye on the freedom fighters for whom political status has been withdrawn.freedom fighters in their own country - Ireland - is astonishing. It brings to mind that John Lennon song, "How do you sleep at night".Moreover, how do they look themselves in the mirror each morning?

Do our Turkish comrades really want to be part of this hypocritical regime? A regime that denounces its own people in order to sup on the scraps from the neo colonialist and fascist tables? Well, we all know money talks. But in the end, when all is said and done, it will have been the working class people, the proletariat, the socialists and anarchists, and true freedom fighters and revolutionaries, who stand up for the Turkish cause.

Watch the news on this a comradái, and watch Gerry run should anything controversial or not amenable to Sinn Féin's own political opportunist agenda arise in their new 'cause'.