IRSP Denounce Attack on Turkish Prisons, Applaud the Heroism of the Hunger Strikers
10 January 2001



In response to recent attacks on prisoners in Turkey, the International Department of the Irish Republican Socialist Party issued a statement denouncing the government of Turkey and applauding what they termed the "heroism" of the protesting prisoners.

"Kurdish and Turkish prisoners of war have long maintained their political structures and discipline within the jails of Turkey, a fact the Turkish government sought to end through the introduction of the so-called F-type high security prisons, which have been criticised by Human Rights Watch in Turkey for their regime of extreme isolation already imposed on over a thousand prisoners, who are held in solitary confinement or three-person cells. Hundreds of political prisoners undertook a hunger strike in protest of the imposition of these new prisons. The response of the Turkish government was to forcibly enter the prisons on December 19th and shot several of the men on hunger strike, killing 30 prisoners as a result," said the IRSP representative.

"The prisoners of the DHKC and other Turkish and Kurdish revolutionaries in the prisons of Turkey have been on hunger strike for over two months now and deaths are beginning to occur at an alarming rate. In all, there are hundreds of prisoners on hunger strike in the prisons of Turkey, seeking the same freedom of assembly that Irish revolutionaries of the INLA and IRA gave their lives for in the hunger strike of 1981

Comrades from the DHKC have visited with the IRSP. They have visited the grave-sides of Patsy O'Hara, Kevin Lynch, and Mickey Devine. They have demonstrated their solidarity with the Irish national liberation struggle and their respect for the hunger strike martyrs. We can offer no less as their brave comrades die from the hunger strike protest necessitated by the Turkish regime's brutality and lack of respect for human rights."

"The world must sit up and take notice of the events unfolding in Turkey and take action before the death count continues to grow. Turkey has become a rogue state, brutally slaughtering prisoners and now, we are told, also penetrating at least 100 miles beyond the international border with Iraq to attack and slaughter Kurdish men, women, and children. We salute the protesting prisoners and denounce the Turkish government for their brutality.

The representative concluded by saying, "The IRSP call upon the Turkish government to stop any further forced prisoner transfers to the F-type prisons and to end all such attempts to use F-type prisons for any political prisoners or prisoners of war. We call upon the nations of the world to shun Turkey in order to convey that its behavior towards its own citizens is unacceptable to the peoples of the world. Finally, we reiterate our profound solidarity with the Kurds and Turks engaged in struggle against the present regime."