A day in front of the prison: Give voice to freedom!

  • 10:41 20 May 2024
  • News
AMED - Prisoners' relatives, who previously organized Justice Watch protests to demand the physical freedom of PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan and a political solution to the Kurdish problem, are now gathering in front of the prison with the "Give voice to freedom" protest.
Political prisoners in Kurdistan and Turkey started a hunger strike on November 27, 2023 demanding "Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan, political solution to the Kurdish problem". The Prisoners' Families Solidarity Association (TUAY-DER) and relatives of prisoners also started a Justice Watch action in 7 cities with the same demands. On April 4, the prisoner decided to boycott the courts by taking a new action and refusing to make phone calls, visit visitors and refusing to appear in court. TUAY-DER and prisoners' relatives also decided to expand this action by gathering in front of prisons with the slogan "Give voice to freedom".
Going to prison
The weather is still cold even though it's May. It has been raining and shining and we have been sick, and today it has been both cold and hot again. I left to catch the A2 bus, and even though I was sure, I asked the bus driver for confirmation, "Isn't it going to the prison?" The bus driver, with a face as if he knew me from before and knew I was going to the prison, bowed his head and said, "Yes, yes it is." There is a longer distance between the prison and the office than in the other regions we visited. Until I get there, I listen to songs in my own language that are good for me while I think about what kind of a day it will be, what I will encounter. Then I look at the people, the tiredness that comes out of the weight of life determines their facial expressions. Then I dive out of the bus window, dreaming of life, or rather thinking and questioning how to achieve the life that should be, but more like just wondering. Then I dive into the music again, trying to catch the rhythm. I have a long way to go. Koma Mezrabotan's songs are so beautiful..., the sound of "Way li mîn way li mîn" relaxes me.
Arrived at the prison: These are very big stones
I arrived at the prison. There's a terrific wind due to the lack of land.  Yes, political prisoners had started a hunger strike on November 27, 2023, demanding "freedom for Abdullah Öcalan and a political solution to the Kurdish problem". It continued for more than 3 months. Prisoners are now being denied visits. They neither visit their families nor make phone calls. They are also boycotting the court by not appearing in court. Conditions in prisons are very difficult. Especially for sick prisoners, the difficulties are even more intense.  The families also found another way for the action to find its purpose. Now they are coming in front of the prisons and staging a sit-in with the slogan or motto "Give voice to freedom". As I am in Amed, I only know this place. There have also been marches in other cities. (There are so many ring vehicles, I don't know the number of people going in and out.) While waiting here, I hear women who know each other for the first time chatting, "Ya we çend sal in girtî ye?" I had come here before when journalists were released and some political prisoners were released. I came again, to follow the protests about politicians. A huge area has been reserved for the prison, at first glance you might think that half of the city has been reserved for it.  Huge concrete piles, barriers. These are very big stones...
‘Bijî berxwedana zindanan’
I arrived a little early so as not to be late. I sat down, and soon people in white scarves appeared in the distance. They were coming towards the visitor entrance chanting slogans, "Bijî berxwedana zindanan!, Bijî berxwedana zindanan..." At first the commissioner's breath was heard on the microphone. Then he starts, "Riot police form a circle line." The police started running and prepared to surround them. On the one hand, the wind continued to intensify. Then rain, then hail. Women, including party members, went under a building with a roof. I didn't bring anything to protect my camera from getting wet, so I immediately took off my jacket and wrapped my camera around me like a baby in swaddling clothes. It started to hail, very heavily. I went under the roof with my journalist friends. The women started shouting again, "Bijî berxwedana zindanan, bijî berxwedana zindanan, bijî..." When the rain stopped for a while, the "Give voice to freedom" activists came back to the area and started to increase their slogans. At the command of the commissar, a circle line was formed again. In the meantime, as always, they tried to narrow the space for us, the press group, and prevent us from shooting. My friends and I tried to shoot as much as possible. The protesters sat on the wet ground and continued to chant slogans. 
'Keep suffering this injustice'
Then, with police interference, the relatives of the prisoners began to disperse in groups. First they took the mothers out of the famous circle line. The mothers started chanting slogans and these slogans were prevented. The mothers entered another circle from the one they had just left. There the mothers reacted to the verbal taunts of Aklime mothers who were shouting slogans again. The slogans started to be blocked again. In response, mother Afife said, "You impose isolation on our children, will you impose isolation on us too?"  Then the circle was opened again. The mothers marched again and started chanting slogans again, from there mother Sülhiye said to me, "Bikşine xezalê". Then another mother said to me and my friends, "Keep suffering this injustice, you see it." Then they got into the car they came in. The mothers made the victory sign and chanted slogans again as they left. Then they left the second group. This is how this week's protest went on, mixed with rain.