November 9, 2012

Turkey: Peace and Democracy Party will start hunger strike

Note: Willamette Reds has previously covered the hunger strikes going on in Turkish prisons. Hundreds of prisoners there are refusing in solidarity to eat full meals while Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan is kept in solitary confinement in an island prison and so long as Kurds caught up in Turkey's legal system cannot use the Kurdish language in the courts. The prisoners are also striking for other rights issues. News of the strikes has been suppressed by the leading Turkish media outlets, although officials in government have reacted publicly and negatively to the striker's demands and there have been street demonstrations in Northern Kurdistan in support of the hunger strikers. Now the strikers have won additional active support from some deputies in the progressive Peace and Democracy Party (BDP).

BDP Deputies to Start Hunger Strike Idris Baluken, Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Vice Chairman, announced that 8 BDP deputies will start hunger strike on Saturday and other deputies will join various protests after BDP's political and diplomatic efforts to resolve the issue did not yield any results.

Eight BDP deputies will start hunger strike on Saturday, a BDP statement said. It also stated that BDP co-chair Gültan Kışanak will held a press conference that day concerning the issue.,

"We decided to start hunger strike Wednesday, but we delayed in the hope that our political and diplomatic efforts could yield some results" Baluken told bianet. "We will disclose the names of hunger striker deputies on Saturday."
Other deputies to join various protests

"The governing AKP did not take any concrete steps towards a resolution of the issue," BDP Vice Chairman Baluken continued. "But our plan will create a new awareness on the issue. Both in Turkey and around the world."

According to Baluken, BDP will continue its political efforts to resolve the issue: "We will amplify our efforts to change AKP's current position. We will also strive to have the international community on our side."

Baluken announced his party's strategy in the end: "We have planned a variety of protests where everyone can join, even on a passive level. We will actively continue hunger strikes as well." (EKN)

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