Socialist Worker

Protest in London in solidarity with Kurdish hunger strikers

by Gareth Jenkins
Issue No. 2327

Kurdish and Turkish protesters outside the Turkish embassy (Pic: Gareth Jenkins)

Kurdish and Turkish protesters outside the Turkish embassy (Pic: Gareth Jenkins)

Up to 200 people from Kurdish and Turkish organisations protested outside the Turkish embassy today, Friday.

The protest marked the 52nd day since 63 Kurds in Turkish prisons started a hunger strike. They have been joined by 600 others.

Some may be near death. Thousands of Kurds around Europe have gone on solidarity hunger strikes.

Kurds make up roughly 30 per cent of the population in Turkey and have faced decades of repression. Thousands of Kurds, including MPs and mayors, are political prisoners.

Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of the Kurdish nationalist party, the PKK, has been held in prison since 1999.

Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently dismissed the hunger strikes—but protests have broken the wall of silence.

Mehmet Aksoy from the Kurdish Federation told Socialist Worker, “We want freedom for Öcalan, for there to be meaningful negotiations. And we want an end to the ban on using Kurdish in the law courts and in schools.

“We want the cries of the hunger strikers to be heard. We are here today to call on the international community to pressure Turkey into meeting our demands as the only way to bring a just and honourable peace.”

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Fri 2 Nov 2012, 18:56 GMT
Issue No. 2327
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