As Georgia residents and members of the Georgia Kurdish community, we are expressing our concern about the fate of the Kurdish political prisoners in Turkey who have completed their 68th day of hunger strike. The demands of the inmates consist of the right to freedom of speech and education in mother language which is a basic human right. We hope that the United States of America use its influence to assure those rights of the political prisoners and Kurdish people in Turkey.
The root causes of the hunger striker are therefore Turkey's refusal to accept a negotiated solution to the Kurdish issue and the AKP government's attempt to crush all democratic resistance to its unjust policies. Those on hunger strike include imprisoned members of parliament from the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), notably Şırnak deputies Selma Irmak and Faisal Sarıyıldız, as well as Mardin deputy Gulseren Yildirim. Bekir Kaya, the mayor of Wan, has also joined the protest.
As Americans, we urge you to engage in talks with the government of Turkey to meet the demands of the political inmates, to honor its obligations under international human rights law, and to persuade Prime Minister Erdogan’s administration to start a dialogue with its Kurdish citizens to reach a permanent solution to the Kurdish case in Turkey.