Irish MP and former political prisoner Martina Anderson and British Labour Party MP, Julie Ward visited the Kurdish hunger strikers in the French city of Strasbourg.
European Parliament member from Northern Ireland, Martina Anderson, and British Labour Party MP, Julie Ward visited the Kurdish hunger strikers in Strasbourg.
During the visit, Martina Anderson said: “On behalf of Sinn Féin we are committed to our responsibilities, therefore we are actively concerned with the Kurdish question.”
‘I understand the Kurdish people very well’
Anderson stated that they have brought the issue to the European Parliament agenda on behalf of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL), adding that their efforts will continue.
“I am from Ireland myself, I understand the hunger strike actions. In 1981 we lost ten of our comrades who were on hunger strike in prison. Similarly, we also understand very well the struggle for peace, I am myself a former political prisoner. Here with me, Michael Rogan is also a former political prisoner. I was jailed for more than 13 years and a half,” said Anderson.
Anderson stressed that during challenging periods of struggle, the impossible turns possible.
Hypocrite parties in the European Parliament
British Labour Party MP, Julie Ward noted that they are making efforts for a solution to the Kurdish question and the case of Ocalan. Ward mentioned Leyla Guven’s hunger strike and said that Kurdish women, who are very strong, apparently take their strength from Ocalan.
Ward pointed to some of the parties in the European Parliament who are acting interest-oriented in their political approaches toward Turkey and said: “Unfortunately in the Parliament we are surrounded by hypocrite parties. They do not want us to make a move against Turkey. Still, they are aware themselves that Turkey is not a safe country. Yet some issues like the refugees subject, keep them away from acting.”
Mustafa Sarikaya thanked the MEPs on behalf of the hunger strikers and said they sincerely respected the solidarity of parliamentarians from Northern Ireland.
Sarikaya remarked that European institutions are also among the perpetrators of the international conspiracy and isolation against Ocalan. “Those who surrendered Ocalan to Turkey, are those who built the Imralı system,” he added.
Sarikaya pointed out that the Kurdish people were experiencing challenging times, and that they believed the hunger strike campaign would triumph.
Ike: Political efforts should accelerate
Another hunger striker, Gulistan Ike stressed that the efforts by the Kurdish people’s friends were visible, yet not enough. Recalling that Leyla Guven was in a critical condition, Ike called for accelerated efforts at the European Parliament and the Council of Europe to move the CPT into action.
Another Kurdish hunger striker, Kardo Bokani said the it was in the hands of the international community, mainly of European Parliament members, to save the life of hundreds of hunger strikers in Turkish prisons as well as those in various places around the world like Strasbourg.
Bokani reminded that according to the European and the United Nations articles which are also recognised by Turkey, each prisoner has the right to one-hour meeting every week. Bokani stressed that the hunger strike will only end if their demands about Ocalan were met.