**Posted by Danielle Ni Dhighe
5 November 2004
Irish Republican Socialist Party

Support the Turkish Death Fasters, End the Campaign of Isolation

Three years ago on 5 November 2001, the Turkish state murdered four
people who had acted in solidarity with prisoners on a death fast to
bring an end to isolation of political prisoners within the gaols
there. At that time, the struggle had already been ongoing for a year,
today, as the protest enters its fifth year, 117 lives have been lost
in the fight to oppose isolation in the prisons.

It was the 20th of October 2000 when the Turkish state decided it
would break the will of the political prisoners it held by ending
their right to association and introducing a new system of isolation.
The prisoners responded with a death fast, which is a less austere
form of the hunger strike tactic employed by prisoners in Long Kesh in
1981. After only the 59th day of the death fast, on 19 December 2000,
a military assault was launched on the prisoners' compound, resulting
in the murder of 28 prisoners, including six women prisoners who were
burned alive in their cells.

Following the massacre, the state was able to gain greater isolation
of the prisoners, so their supporters on the outside took up the death
fast. When that resistance couldn't be broken, the area in the Armutlu
district of Istanbul where the protesters resided was attacked. The
result was the four deaths whose anniversary we observe today.

Throughout the past four years, the Turkish state has been unable to
break the resistance of these political prisoners and their
supporters. Despite solitary confinement, torture, arrests,
force-feeding of hunger strikers, brutal assaults, and more, the fight
continues. Though it is estimated that as many as 600 people have
sustained permanent damage to their health and 117 lives have been
lost, the struggle continues.

Comrades of the Irish Republican Socialist Party have stayed with the
death fasters in Armutlu. The comrades of the death fasters have
visited the graves of hunger strike martyrs of the Irish National
Liberation Army. We have both attended conferences that drew activists
from around the globe to speak out against state isolation of
political prisoners. The death fasters in Turkey and their comrades
have our deepest solidarity. We call upon all those who believe in
social justice, all those who oppose fascism, to join us in supporting
Kurdish and Turkish political prisoners in Turkey and fighting against
the state campaign of isolation. Only an end to the campaign of
isolation will bring to an end the struggle and martyrdom of
these revolutionaries.

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