A group of intellectuals has made a statement on the ongoing hunger strikes in prisons, demanding for the government to take urgent action to resolve the issue and prevent deaths. Here’s the full statement:
Let us defend life, not standing by deaths!
The government insists on performing unlawful applications in prisons, just like in many other areas. Isolation in prisons, an open violation of enacted laws of the Republic of Turkey as well as international conventions that Turkey is a party of, is one of those applications.
In hunger strikes started by MP Leyla Güven to end isolation in prisons has spread through thousands of arrests and reached a very critical stage; hundreds on hunger strikes have come to the edge of permanent injury and death. In actions to end lives, which is also part of the same process, led to the deaths of eight people. The government is responsible of the lives of all citizens, especially the lives of those in prisons; therefore we ask the government to urgently take action to prevent further deaths. At this point, the resolution is to treat all arrests-convicts equally, with more justice and in accordance with law within the frame of human rights and to give up on arbitrary and politically-aimed sanctions.
We call those on hunger strikes!
You voice is heard. We continue to spread this voice in the public and invite the government into taking action. We expect with hope for you to end this protest and defend the right to life and not death, before reaching a point of no coming back, without having bigger losses.
These post-election days, the country agenda is focused solely on the threat of democracy being abolished completely. Under these conditions, we think that the hunger strikes do not have an environment to reach their goals and that every passing day will lead to irreparable losses.
The provocative environment identified through the manipulation of the ruling party in order not to apply the will of nation that resulted in the local elections on March 31st brings, just like legal safety, hunger strikes into a condition that is ineffective and unresolvable. This situation requires hunger strikes to end and different requests for rights to be conducted on various democratic grounds.
As we indicate our respect for the will of those on hunger strikes, we are in the belief that calls and encouragements will lead to permanent injuries and deaths instead of serving to the realization of any rights demands.
We call all institutions, parties, individuals and opinion leaders, who may be able to make their voices heard by the hunger strikers, to support life instead of death and to urgently do their best to end hunger strikes.
Abdulbaki Erdoğmuş, Abdullah Demirbaş, Ahmet Dindar, Ahmet Faruk Ünsal, Ali Bilge, Ali Haydar Konca, Arif Koçer, Aydın Engin, Ayşe Erzan,Ayşe Hür, Ayşe Sevin Kırıkoğlu, Ayşenur Aslan, Bahadır Altan, Bahri Bayram Belen, Baskın Oran, Berrin Sönmez, Burhan Sönmez, Celal Korkut Yıldırım, Cihangir İslam, Emine İnci İşbulur, Erdal Karayazgan, Erdoğan Aydın, Ergin Cinmen, Ersin Salman, Ertuğrul Yalçınbayır, Eşber Yağmurdereli, Fadıl Öztürk, Faik Bulut, Fatma Bostan Ünsal, Ferhat Tunç, Fikret Başkaya, Gençay Gürsoy, Gülseren Onanç, Gürhan Ertür, Hasan Cemal, Hasip Kaplan, Mebuse Tekay, Mehmet Bekaroğlu, Mehmet Rasgelener, Metin Yeğin, Nazar Büyüm, Nesrin Nas, Nesteren Davutoğlu,Neşe Erdilek, Nurcan Baysal, Nurten Ertuğrul, Orhan Alkaya, Orhan Silier, Oya Baydar, Rıza Türmen, Selim Ölçer, Sezgin Tanrıkulu, Suavi, Şanar Yurdatapan, Tarık Ziya Ekinci, Ufuk Uras, Viktorya Çiprut, Yasemin Bektaş, Zehra F. Kabasakal Arat, Zeki Kılıçaslan, Ziya Halis.