Barış ve Demokrasi Partisi

Letter From Hunger Striker Mazlum Tekdağ

Posted on: 28/10/2012

The letter of Mazlum Tekdag, who is one of the activists on hunger strike, to our co-chair Gultan Kisanak.

Dear Sister Gülten


First of all, I hope you are healthy, happy and in good mood. I am sending my best wishes with my most sincere greetings and warm feelings.

It has been a long time since we have last seen each other, hasn’t it? Years have passed. Believe me, I do not know where to start. For such a long time, I always said that “I will write”, but somehow I couldn’t create that commitment, that atmosphere for this. You know, we had a nice camaraderie, considerable intimacy and abundant fondness and I think it’s still as it was. No matter how the time and space change, those valuable and deep feelings abide in the name of friendship and comradeship. These memories belong to us; they are within us, in our hearts and in our minds. They cannot be erased so easily and can never be forgotten… I believe that they remain so for you as well. That is to say, you are always in my mind and in my heart. You are being watched, being followed, and being considered. You are sincerely asked about and greeted. Sister Gülten, I am always with you, believe me, I missed you so much…

You know, the prison affects one’s emotions and thoughts to a certain extent. It causes a bit more sentimentality. If I go like this, I’m just about to cry, be sure. In this sense, you might understand how I feel. I’m going to prevent it, I’ll draw a line… I just want you to know that we love you and miss you so much…

My dear sister, you must have heard the news. As a group of comrades, we started a no-alternate and sine die hunger strike on 12 September 2012. We are fifteen people for now. Except Tayip and me, you may not know the other comrades. We initiated this protest based on two basic political demands. I will not go into the details of these demands here, since I’ll be preparing another writing to handle them on the political grounds and rationale. Moreover, some of our woman friends are also on hunger strike, with whom we are tried on the same court case. At the outset of the strike, we decided to send letters to several institutions to tell our goal. The friends asked me to write to BDP [Peace and Democracy Party]. When they have told me to write to the co-chairs of the party and to invite them to solidarity, we really laughed a lot 🙂 … I said, “Of course I’ll write but beware that I may not help chitchatting for the good old days, deviating from the goal…”

We haven’t eaten since the last week. This time we are determined, my sister. Our demands will either be accepted or the strike will end in death. We are serious. We have told this in all of our texts and petitions and also declared it to the public. Personally, I have already prepared myself for the possible results and I think all the fifteen friends in the group are ready. As long as we keep this will, this faith, this hope and determination, we won’t care neither food nor the world.

Such a pity that we are going through the days of pain and tears. That uneasiness caused by the war affects all of us. We have to stop deaths and bloodshed. The freedom struggle of the Kurdish people is still suppressed by means of unfair and unlawful practices. The Kurdish people’s language, culture, identity is disregarded; its political will is totally isolated and is tried to be eliminated and liquidated via military and political operations. We have to resist these practices and this concept in every sense. Each and every field forms a ground for intense struggle and we will fight and resist to AKP-state, to its all actions till the end. The current process is chaotic; we can’t see certainly where it evolves into and what results it will bring. We try to take part in this process and to direct ourselves in the right way through dissolving our bodies. Surrounded with the four walls, there is nothing else we can do against the cruelty of the tyrant.

Of course, it’s ironic and significant that we chose 12 September for the beginning date of our strike [He is referring to the coup d’édat of 12 September 1980]. Although nowadays they pursue a different style, there is no difference in method, practice, mentality and the system. In fact, it can be said that current policies have reached a lot more dangerous levels.

Anyway, you know much better about the current affairs of the process and the existing conjuncture, you follow the real politics better than us because you are in it, you live with it. After all, those oppression policies; discreditation, threat, intimidation, dividing, demolishment and imprisonment tactics and practices, which are carried out against democracy movement, will never be able to discourage you. As I said, either they understand your embrace event with the guerrillas correctly and we move forward to fraternity, or they misinterpret and distort that event and we move forward to hostility; that is to say secession.

Now that I write, let me tell you about my own situation, I guess you are curious about it. As you know, it has been more than 3 years since we are imprisoned and now we are familiar with it; we have learned, we have identified and we have understood it. We know this space. Of course, in the first year we had many difficulties. Maybe it was because of the intolerable, never-accustomable sides of the place and the anticipatory mood we were in had also some effect. Personally, on my side, I must say that I could organize a clarification in my mind to a certain extent. These courts will not free us. Isn’t it fooling around if one expects justice from a judicial system that runs on enemy law? It is naive to wish freedom from that understanding and mindset. The overall approach of the judiciary is subject of another letter. Besides us, we have seen so many tragicomic cases.

So I am prepared for the worst result. Of course it does not mean that I’m hopeless. We always get closer to freedom with the faith in us. Our eyes are set to our people and to our fight. Whatever there is to see is inside them, the rest is nonsense… And you are up next; our democratic political struggle continues. I remember the endeavours that we held together outside in the Party. Little time left, my sister, AKP’s policies will obviously fail as long as we stick to the way we know, stand upright and continue struggling. It is then when we have gotten closer to freedom.

My health, my mood and my general condition is quite well. There is no such serious trouble or problems. I try to evaluate this imprisonment process in my own way and try to focus on reading and studying. If I can make some time, I would like to write about the days of prison as well. My mother and my brothers often visit me here. They are doing well. I appreciate them, they do as much as they can to take care. They get along so, keeping the pot boiling.

Now we are staying at a separated place with the eight friends that have gone on hunger strike. Friend Ahmet Çelen is also beside us as companion. He looks after us well, gives morale, he sends special hello to you. All friends that you know are fine. I also don’t see most of them, soon is their trial, I consider attending for one day. There, I’ll probably see everyone. You know, prison is very crowded and there are problems with seeing people. Despite all, your comrade, against previous years, is still young and alive. I’m trying to protect my soul and my self. I’ll never resemble the prison walls, I have also no question about any need or want, I am getting on with myself. Indeed, I should ask about you: Sister, how are you? Are you doing fine? I hope you are okay as you have always been and I hope you are doing fine. You know we gain morale from you, that smile of yours is always in our minds. Believe me, smiling suits you so very fine. The dirt and rust of politics can never ruin your morale, we are aware of this. Sister, on behalf of the co-chairs, I am writing this letter to you, I’ll write a card for Friend Selahattin, you know, a card in a few short words. I’ll send cards to each of friends Ayla and Sabahat, you know we had a friendship with them, I don’t want to annoy them by not writing a single word.

My dear sister, I don’t know how long this strike will go on or how it will conclude. However it ends, I will never lose my faith, my morale and my trust in the struggle. You, our esteemed friends and comrades, with whom we fight together, enforces and encourages me along this way. I shall not continue being wordy now, I do not want to bother you. If one day we meet again, I will again help you in the kitchen; I didn’t change my mind about your hair style; beware, I will have a watchful eye on you while you are in halay dance 🙂 … It is all I want to tell for now, we all love you and miss you, my dear sister. You are always clear and brave, do not forget that please. One day we will certainly meet again, my Sister. However, I believe with all my heart that this place will not be a prison then. It is always a very nice feeling that to be remembered and to remember…

Take good care and treat of yourself and of your health. I send my greetings and love to all the friends on behalf of you.

May the peace be with you with the hope of meeting in the free tomorrow…

Greetings and love,



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