'Abolishing the isolation opens the way to an honorable peace'
- 12:49 9 January 2021
DİYARBAKIR - Seniha Atalay, whose two sons are in prison, drew attention to the hunger strike started to abolish the isolation imposed on PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan and said, "Abolishing the isolation means opening an honorable way to peace. Everyone knows this..."
The hunger strike which started on November 27 by prisoners in Turkey's and region's prisons to abolish the continued isolation of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan and end the right violations in prisons continues. The hunger strike action is on its 44th day with the ninth group.
Ömer Atalay (32) was arrested during the curfews in Diyarbakır's Sur District in 2015 and now is in Diyarbakır D Type Closed Prison. He is on hunger strike now. His brother Atalay Hasan (25) was arrested while fighting against ISIS in Rojava and brought to Turkey in 2016. Hasan, who was held in Antep H Type Closed Prison, took part in the third group of the hunger strike. Their mother Seniha Atalay stated that they lost their night sleep due to their children being on hunger strike.
'Our children did not remain silent, we will not remain silent neither'
Drawing attention to the conditions of the prisons, Seniha stated that the demands of the prisoners were legitimate and right. Seniha stated that the Kurds should open their eyes to what happened. She said, "Our children are under oppression, persecution and torture in prison. As mothers, we can no longer endure what happened. They cannot be fed, treated, given cleaning products, and the heaters cannot be turned on. Because of this cruelty, I can't sleep. Our children are always in our minds. They could no longer remain silent to this persecution and started hunger strikes. Nobody accepts these conditions. Therefore, their actions are right and legitimate. We also want our children's demands to be fulfilled. Kurds should not remain silent anymore. Our children did not remain silent. Then why should we sit in our place? We will not remain silent neither.''
'Our demands; abolition the isolation and have an honorable peace '
Underlining that their only demands are the abolition of the isolation and a meaningful peace, she reminded that the prisoners went on hunger strike two years ago and that the situation of many prisoners reached a critical point during that period. She said, “Now the prisoners' health condition is getting worse due to the epidemic. We must make our voices heard throughout the world. We no longer know what to say. When I cook, I remember my children are on a hunger strike so I cannot eat. The prisoners are on a hunger strike in prison, they are under persecution. All prisoners are valuable as my children are. I'm worried about all of them. They don't treat prisoners who are sick. But they leave abusers and rapists unpunished. Those who do not accept the persecution are in arrested and imprisoned for years. My son Ömer was sentenced to life imprisonment."
'If the isolation is abolished, the persecution will also end'
Stating that the prisoners are subjected to persecution inside and the families outside, Seniha stating that MPs, politicians, lawyers, human rights defenders should not remain silent and said, '' We don't want hunger strikers to be died. Our children started a hunger strike for their people. Then we will support children's rights by not staying silent. Ending the isolation means opening a meaningful way to peace. Everyone knows that too. If the isolation is lifted, the persecution will disappear and the doors of the prisons will be opened. "
'They apply psychological oppression'
Stating that her house was raided many times, Seniha underlined that although there was nobody in the house, all her belongings were scattered and broken. Stating that her house was raided again one day when they were not at home, Seniha said, "When I went to ask why my house was raided, they asked me about my children. My children were already in prison (they know that). With this excuse, they want to raid our house and apply psychological oppression. There cannot be another reason. They have no right to do this. They are doing this to hurt families.''