Derry Journal: Poster campaign to target Derry travel agents
27 July 2001



A HARD-hitting poster campaign designed to persuade Derry's sunseekers to boycott Turkey as a holiday destination this year will target local travel agencies next week.

Backed by the IRSP, the campaign will target local travel agents and will feature the image of a Turkish hungerstriker killed by gunfire as government troops stormed Istanbul prisons last year.

Dozens of revolutionary left-wing prisoners have perished on "deathfasts" during the past year-and-a-half. The international office of the IRSP in London have taken up the plight of the prisoners and plan to target travel agencies across Ireland and England with disturbing poster images of the plight of the hungerstrikers.

In tandem with this, INLA prisoners in Portlaiose jail will begin a one week fast on Monday in sympathy with their Turkish counterparts. Derry man Terry Harkin, spokesman for the IRSP in London, said the public in the city should answer the call to boycott holiday destinations in Turkey since two local men died on hungerstrike in Long Kesh in 1981.

Turkish resorts have become increasingly popular among local holidaymakers in recent years, attracted by its hot climate, cheap accommodation and good rates of exchange.

The huge and harrowing poster images are pitched to make the public think twice about travelling to the country which has been struggling to shed its image as an abuser of human rights.

Mr. Harkin said: "Obviously the key thing that needs to be done here is to deny this country foreign exchange. People from a society which has been oppressed itself should not be contributing to a government so influenced by its military.

"I have been there and I have seen how these people are dying with a quiet dignity and it is incumbent on Derry people not to give this government a shilling while they are acting like this.

"I think that the public should send a clear message that they don't want to go to Turkey, not just nationalist and republicans. If Derry people want to help give these people the gift of life then they should not spend a pound on Turkey," Mr. Harkin said.