Originally published: https://kck-info.com/statements-030624/

The political prisoners in Kurdistan and Turkey have been in a state of resistance against fascist oppression, isolation, and genocide since November 27, 2023. In solidarity with them, their families and the groups that are aware of the situation in the prisons, are organizing various actions, trying to make the voices of the prisoners heard and bring them to the public agenda. We salute and celebrate this extremely meaningful resistance. We respectfully and gratefully commemorate the great July 14th July 14th resistance1 and those who played a great role in the development and success of the Kurdish freedom struggle. We thereby commemorate all the martyrs of revolution and democracy and state once again that we will definitely bring our freedom struggle, which develops along the lines of the resistance of our martyrs, to victory.

The attitude of the political prisoners and the message they give to society are extremely important. It is crucial to emphasize and fully comprehend this. Prisons are the places that best reflect the situation of a society. The mentality of those who are cruel and evil towards social values is most evident in prisons and can be best observed and struggled against by the political prisoners. In this respect, the words, attitudes, and actions of political prisoners should not be seen separately from social reality. On the contrary, it reflects the thoughts, expectations, and longing for freedom of society. Again, the resistance developed by political prisoners in their conditions is the most meaningful response to oppression, fascism, and genocide. Prisoners have defeated all kinds of oppression with their steel. They broke down the walls of genocide and strengthened the resistance and determination of society. By insisting on the stance of freedom against all kinds of surrender, they inflicted the greatest defeat on the enemy. Because victory is won first and foremost with freedom, consciousness, belief, and organized will. As there can be no success that is not based on will, it is never possible to stop a people who have won the victory of will from marching towards freedom. In our freedom struggle, this reality was experienced in its most striking form, and accordingly, the patriotic people of Kurdistan know this reality very well. Those resisting in prisons have destroyed the strongholds of oppression with their unshakable belief in the people and freedom. It was they who paved the way for success in Kurdistan. The struggle for freedom that rebuilt the Kurdish people has developed based on this legacy. Undoubtedly, not only in the Kurdistan revolution but also in the socialist and revolutionary democratic movement in Turkey and everywhere else, political prisoners have played such a historic role.

The AKP-MHP regime imposes its reality in prisons in its heaviest form. This regime takes its mentality from the fascist September 12 regime and carries out a policy of oppression, isolation, and torture on prisoners. Still, the prisoners do not surrender and put up a great resistance against the system of severe oppression, isolation, and torture. The resistance that the prisoners have been waging for more than six months is to lift the absolute isolation of Rêber Apo2 and to ensure the conditions of health, safety, and freedom. Imrali is the place where pressure, isolation, and torture intensify and where the greatest resistance attitude develops in response to this. The policy of the fascist AKP-MHP government that is ravaging society is centered on Imrali. It is clear that the AKP-MHP government wants to achieve results through isolation and torture, and it wants to establish the fascist order through this. This is why it insists so much on the policy of absolute isolation. Realizing this, political prisoners have put forward the aim of their actions as the lifting of the absolute isolation on Rêber Apo.

The attitude taken by the political prisoners and the message they give with their resistance must be understood very well by society. While the absolute isolation of Rêber Apo in Imrali continues and tens of thousands of political prisoners are resisting the lifting of the isolation, it is unthinkable for society to remain indifferent to this and to live according to the usual course. Prisons, particularly the Imrali system, are built to destroy the hope and future of freedom in society. Therefore, the policies developed against prisoners, especially the absolute isolation of Rêber Apo, are in essence a genocide against society. The future of society can only be won by eliminating this genocide system built by the rulers. Society cannot remain indifferent to the reality of prisons and the resistance of political prisoners.

First and foremost, the patriotic people of Kurdistan must protect the political prisoners and their resistance. The Kurdish people must strongly embrace the resistance of the political prisoners, see it as their own cause, unite with it, and increase the resistance of the prisoners with their actions. The AKP-MHP government has imprisoned tens of thousands of revolutionaries, patriots, and democrats who fight within the scope of the Kurdish genocide. With this, it is aimed at leaving the Kurdish people without a vanguard, without organization, and without action. It is the Kurdish people and their struggle for freedom that are being imprisoned. Just like in the past, the AKP-MHP government wants to destroy the Kurdish people’s hope for freedom and make the genocidal colonialist mentality and politics dominant in Kurdistan. The government has put Imrali at the center of this genocidal colonialist policy. By maintaining the Imrali genocide system and imposing absolute isolation on Rêber Apo, the Kurdish genocide is wanted to be realized. Aware of this fact, political prisoners have taken the stance of resistance to lift the absolute isolation of Rêber Apo. This means that political prisoners are taking the initiative on behalf of the people and are at the forefront of the struggle. Our people must deeply understand and feel this noble stance. Taking responsibility for the political prisoners cannot be left only to the prisoners’ relatives. The people as a whole must embrace the demands of political prisoners and take action.

Revolutionary democratic forces must take action against the absolute isolation of Rêber Apo, and on this basis, they must embrace the demands and resistance of political prisoners. They should take it as a basis to further develop the united struggle around the resistance of the prisoners. It must take more initiative in the democratization of Turkey by integrating the struggle for democracy with the ongoing global freedom campaign for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo and the democratic solution of the Kurdish question. It must lead the people to organize and take action on this basis.

For four years, absolute isolation has been imposed on Rêber Apo, and no news has been received from him. Thousands of political prisoners in prisons have been protesting against this absolute isolation for more than six months. As part of their protests, they are not receiving family visits, and they are not appearing in court. In an environment where there are policies of absolute isolation and tens of thousands of political prisoners do not appear in courts and do not visit their families, the most fundamental duty of democratic politics and society is to see this reality and to grow the struggle by embracing it without hesitation.

The 26-year-long Imrali system and the absolute isolation of Rêber Apo have no legal, humanitarian, moral, or conscientious basis. The law has been abolished in Imrali. Lawyers and human rights defenders must oppose this and take action. This is the most basic requirement of the situation. It is not realistic to expect law, justice, and democracy elsewhere when the law has been completely destroyed in Imrali. It is a reality that has been sufficiently proven that this cannot happen in Turkey. At the root of all the lawlessness in Turkey is the lawlessness in Imrali. Law is abolished in Imrali, and lawlessness is imposed on the whole country. Recognizing this reality, lawyers and legal institutions must oppose the absolute isolation and lawlessness in Imrali and stand by the democratic and just stance of society.

On the other hand, everyone who understands herself/himself as democratic, libertarian, faithful, conscientious, and considers herself/himself truly oppositional must stand against the absolute isolation of Rêber Apo and support the demands of political prisoners. The Imrali system and the absolute isolation imposed on Rêber Apo in Imrali are not only a policy against the Kurdish people; they are also a policy against Turkish society and the democratization of Turkey. The mentality and policy of the AKP-MHP government are based on Kurdish enmity and Kurdish genocide. This policy does not only harm the Kurdish people; it harms Turkish society as well. It is obvious what kind of situation the AKP-MHP government has brought Turkey and Turkish society into with this policy. It is clear that the continuation of this policy will lead to much worse consequences, and everyone will suffer. The main thing Turkey needs is democratization. This can only be achieved through a democratic solution to the Kurdish question. Everyone who does not stand with the AKP-MHP government and who is in favor of freedom and democracy should recognize this reality, stand against the absolute isolation of Rêber Apo, and, on this basis, support the demands of political prisoners.

Based on this, we call on the Kurdish people, the peoples of Turkey, and the democratic forces, particularly those who do not side with the fascist AKP-MHP government, who oppose fascism and are in favor of freedom, democracy, and law, to support the demands of political prisoners, to develop a common attitude against the isolation-torture system, and to raise a united struggle.

Co-Presidency

KCK Executive Council

Footnotes:

1 On July 14, 1982, the beginning of a death fast was declared in Amed prison. It represented the height of prison resistance in the 1980s.

2 Referring to Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan.