Hunger strikes can’t be seen as a simple show
I am trying to figure out Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s stance regarding the hunger strikes but I cannot understand it.
He surely must know the delicacy of the situation. He must be aware how much of a negative mood this action creates for at least some of our Kurdish-origin citizens. His own minister announced that 683 people were participating in the hunger strike. The prime minister, though, said there was only one person on a death fast. He separates hunger strikes and death fasts; he is able to say that hunger strikes are each just a simple show. As the prime minister says, there can be a biological difference between them but even so, such a difference should not be validated in humanitarian terms.
Meanwhile, days are passing. With each passing day these people are getting closer to death. The passing of the 52nd day is especially a sign that the point of no return has been reached.
From a humanitarian point of view, this approach is not acceptable.
When dead bodies start coming out of prisons tomorrow, we will all suffer as a society. Remember the strikes we experienced in the past. Think of those who lost their lives in those strikes, think of those who were sick after they had been saved. Remember that incidents will escalate. Calculate new deaths every day and new clashes, and make a decision after that.
If there is actually a desire to stop these hunger strikes, if there is a desire to prevent these deaths, we should know that we cannot go anywhere with this stance. As a society, all of us should see the seriousness of the situation.
The prime minister is toughening his stance on the Kurdish issue and terror from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) everyday. He is making his discourse harsher.
Militant Kurds also are toughening their reactions. The ongoing escalation continues. More importantly, this escalation is nearing a dangerous zone.
Well, what should be done?
The task of the government is to understand what these people want and meet the logical ones among these demands.
There is another side to the coin though, and that is the necessity that these strikers should not be demanding political conditions that no government is able to manage and that are extremely difficult to meet.
There is no way out other than finding the middle course.
Are we going to expel 10 BDP deputies from Parliament?
There is no need to explain how the prime minister has toughened his stance.
The most distinct sign of this is his approach toward the lifting of the political immunity of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputies who embraced members of the PKK. The prime minister is one of those people who know best the tension such a situation would create. He has personally criticized the previous example. He is a politician who believes that expelling the deputies from Parliament risks creating more damages than benefits.
Despite this, he especially wants the BDP deputies to be punished this time. If he weren’t pushing so hard, then the court records would arrive, only for them to be shelved and processed at the end of the term. However, this time it is different. The prime minister is so persistent, it looks as if the ruling Justice and Development Party (Ak Party) won’t be able to act any differently. The court records will arrive at the commission and with the votes of his party members, it looks as if the political immunities of the BDP deputies will be revoked.
Add to the situation a case in which the hunger strikes get out of control, as well as the tension of the expulsion of Kurdish-origin deputies from Parliament.
What will this escalation bring? What does the prime minister want to do? There are no satisfactory answers to these questions.