Hunger strike is a “crime” in Turkey

To give support for Güven, 6 party members including another MP joined the hunger strike in the HDP offices in Diyarbakır last month. Government reacted immediately by raiding the HDP’s offices on March 3rd, and detained the 5 members who continued their fast even under detention.

Hunger strike is a “crime” in Turkey

Turkish government and the ruling AKP party staged the third police raid to the opposition party HDP’s offices on March 14th, in Diyarbakır, a Kurdish city in South Eastern Turkey.

With provincial elections approaching, the government which has literally become the tool for the ruling AKP party’s corruption endeavors has escalated its attack on all opponents. However, the HDP, a progressive party representing mostly the Kurdish population however being the only serious opposition voice for the entire country is on the crosshairs of the government.

Other opposition parties who seem to have succumbed to the pressures and accepted their place behind the AKP have left the serious opposition to HDP which seems to have a more systemic, consistent and hard criticisms against the government.  Some even believe that other opposition parties participating in the election don’t even have the aspiration to challenge the AKP because they may have been cowered for unknown reasons.  This may explain their unwillingness to bring critical issues for discussion against the governing party.

Being a real opposition party comes with a high price in Turkey.  With a non-existing democracy, even the elections have turned out to be a farce.  Revelations of open and ridiculous election frauds around the country does not trigger a reaction from the officials. The local neighborhood managers called “muhtars” are working diligently to register fake voters to benefit the AKP interests.  Even when proof of this organized fraud was presented to the election officials like the lists of more than 2000 non-existent voters supposedly living at the same address in a small apartment, the AKP controlled election officials did not find this unusual or suspicious.

The opposition party HDP seems to hold the key to the elections and forming the government in a coalition.  That is why these elections are considered to be a life-or-death condition for the AKP, hence the big swindles and the efforts to cover these up.  Its position to make or break the future government coalitions makes it imperative that the HDP be stopped especially in the Kurdish regions where it enjoys the most support.

In a country like Turkey where even a show democracy has ceased to exist, HDP is resisting the dictatorship of the ruling AKP party with any legal, peaceful and non-violent way that it can.  Joined with the traditional racist anti-Kurdish sentiment of the Turkish Republic this resistance does not go unnoticed by the Turkish government and the deep state. However, with many of its representatives jailed by the government with fictional charges and no rule of law to defend their legal rights, they have no one to turn but the people.   And that is what HDP is doing.

Turkish government declaring, “We kicked down all tables” indicating they have stopped negotiating with the persecuted Kurdish minority had put the jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan (Apo) in isolation.  The isolation has been in effect for years now.  His attorneys are not allowed to see him, while his family has only very limited access to Öcalan.

To protest this inhuman and illegal procedure HDP lawmaker Leyla Güven has been on a hunger strike for months now. She is the deputy of HDP from Hakkari, another Kurdish region.

To give support for Güven, 6 party members including another MP joined the hunger strike in the HDP offices in Diyarbakır last month. Government reacted immediately by raiding the HDP’s offices on March 3rd, and detained the 5 members who continued their fast even under detention.

On March 8th, not satisfied by their earlier raid and detentions, the police again raided the party’s offices.  The doors of the offices were locked and barricaded from inside, so the police broke the door down, forcefully entered, drew their guns and beat the elected Assembly member lawmakers of the republic.  7 members who had joined the hunger strike were detained this time.

Still not satisfied with the raids against the hunger strikers, the government sent the police for the third time in a night time raid to stop the hunger strikers trying to call attention to the inhumane treatment of the Kurdish leader in the hands of the Turkish government.

In the raid on the 14th of March, one detained member was arrested by the court.  The prosecutor accused the members of “being members of a terrorist organization” with the evidence of “staging a hunger strike.”

These raids demonstrate that the government fears the serious opposition HDP shows to its reign and is determined to stop this party’s popularity in the Kurdish regions utilizing any means, legal or illegal, before the upcoming March 31st elections.

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