Gülmez: Öcalan’s isolation aimed at suppressing the Kurdish society

Co-chair of DBP Amed Provincial Association, Seval Gülmez said: “The regime has extended the injustice on Imrali to the whole country.”

For almost 22 years, Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan has been in total isolation. Since August 7, 2019, he has once again been denied a lawyer’s visit. Against the isolation, the PKK and PAJK prisoners in Turkish jails started an indefinite hunger strike in five-day shifts on November 27. Several thousand prisoners have participated in the hunger strike so far. In an interview with ANF, Seval Gülmez, co-chair of the provincial association of the Democratic Regions Party (DBP) in Amed (Diyarbakır), talked about the background of the hunger strike.

On the significance of Öcalan’s isolation, the Kurdish politician said: “Society is being isolated. No one can express his opinion democratically and freely. We are witnessing an intensified isolation aimed at suppressing a society. This regime first started its injustice in Imrali and made it the form of government over the whole country. All requests from lawyers are arbitrarily rejected with all kinds of excuses. They want to discipline the Kurdish society through isolation. Isolation, however, is a crime against humanity and is not acceptable in any way.”

“Governments that do not stand alongside society do not last”

Democratic confederalism offers an alternative to the capitalist system, Gülmez said and continued; “That is why the capitalist forces are using the AKP/MHP today. The AKP/MHP should look at history, because once upon a time these forces also used Saddam Hussein in the same way. Everyone knows the end of Saddam. They used dozens of dictators, not only Saddam, and dropped them after they no longer needed them.”

Gülmez added: “Saddam was not alone when he bombed the Kurds in Halabja. Today, the AKP/MHP regime is also not alone in implementing the isolation against the Kurdish leader Öcalan. The isolation is a continuation of the international plot of February 15. But they will not achieve anything with this plot. Just as this plot failed, the isolation will also fail. Today, capitalist modernity is at an end and is trying to survive with the help of dictators. Everyone knows that dictators do not end well. Governments that don’t stand alongside society don’t last.”

“Isolation affects women most”

Describing how Kurdish women are leading the resistance against isolation, Gülmez considers Kurdish women the group most affected by it. She said; “Just recently, Ayşe Gökkan and Leyla Güven have been imprisoned. Any Kurdish woman who stands against isolation becomes a target of the state’s violence and repression. Through the arrests, they want to send a message to the struggling women.”

The position of the CPT

Gülmez criticized the international silence on the isolation in Imrali and continued: “Today, the whole world sees the persecution and oppression by the AKP/MHP regime in Kurdistan, but everyone is silent. This silence means nothing but support for the oppression. The Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) publishes a report, but no sanctions are imposed on Turkey. After public protests, the CPT responds and goes to Imrali, but does not explain its findings there until a long time later. The report written by the CPT after its visit to Imrali in 2019 is of course important, but not sufficient. After all, Mr. Öcalan is not just anyone. Pressure must be built on Turkey regarding the isolation identified by the CPT.”

Solidarity with the prison resistance

Gülmez called for solidarity with the prison resistance and said: “The prisoners risk their lives and health for a dignified life. When law and justice no longer exist, people are forced to resort to such methods. The hunger strike is an action of self-defense. The demands of the prisoners must be accepted immediately and the isolation in Imrali must end. Everyone must give their voice to the prisoners and stand up to make the prisoners’ demands heard.”