Reasonable strike demands should be accepted
Be they hunger strikes or death fasts, these are actions that need to be taken into consideration seriously and a solution needs to be sought. None of us has a right to say: “They are blackmailing, they are forcing solutions.” The most dangerous stage has been reached, it is a maximum of 10 days before the deaths start.
If the strikers listed political demands that were impossible to be accepted, if they had a list of solutions that no government could tackle, then there may be nothing to do. However, the situation is different. Among the confusion of the messages coming from prisons, two significant demands come forward in particular. One is the acceptance of the right to make defense in courts using the Kurdish language.
Actually, this is an extremely natural right. If you are British or an Arab living in Turkey and you need to make a defense, then the court has to find an interpreter for you. The same means should also be provided for Kurds. In fact, the Justice Ministry included this in the 4th reform package it has just sent to Parliament. It would be enough for the government to quickly process this package in Parliament or to even verbally make an assurance in this direction.
The second concrete demand is about the situation in which Öcalan has been blocked from seeing his lawyers for one year, and is thus in a kind of isolation in this respect. The strikers demand that this isolation be brought to an end.
Actually, this would be the return of an already existing right, because the access of a convict to his lawyers cannot be blocked. However, with the constant excuse that “the boat that shuttles between the island and the shore has broken down,” Öcalan is prevented from seeing his lawyers.
If these two issues are solved then the strikes will end. What’s more, these are reasonable demands.
Some papers also mention the right to receive an education in mother tongue, but this is only a sentence that cannot go beyond a slogan. It is not an absolute must condition. Just like the lie that the strikers want Öcalan to be freed is circling around, there are voices being heard everywhere.
If the strikers came up with totally political demands and new lists that meant blackmail, then the state would be justified in resisting.
If the reasonable demands of the strikers are not considered and news of prisoner deaths starts coming one after the other, the tension will escalate uncontrollably. A solution to the Kurdish issue would become impossible. The country, primarily the southeast will be stained with blood.
If there are those who desire this, then here is the challenge: They may not move a finger and say, “I don’t act upon enforcements,” however this would not only harm themselves immensely, but also the entire country.
Admiring Orhan Pamuk
Orhan Pamuk is receiving prizes one after the other, he is applauded wherever he goes and his books sell like hot cakes. He received the most prestigious award in Denmark, the Sonning Prize. Then he received the Legion D’Honneur of France, which is the highest decoration in the country. French Culture Minister Filipetti said Pamuk resembled Victor Hugo. Isn’t this a picture we should all be very proud of as Turks?
No, some of us still cannot embrace Pamuk completely, or do not want to. It is very difficult to understand the reason. It must be because he is telling the truth that some of us distance ourselves from Pamuk. No matter what they say, we are proud of Orhan Pamuk. Fortunately, he is our citizen. With his success, he gives us power and prestige.