Hunger Strike Resistance Member Hülya Gerçek: Our Destiny is To Win!
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The hunger strike action started by Leyla Güven is growing with the participation of thousands of prisoners. Prisoners of the MLKP case have also started indefinite hunger strike. Along with Hülya Gerçek from Bakırköy Women Prison, Muhabbet Kurt from Sincan Prison, Aydın Akyüz from Kırıklar Nr. 1 F Type Prison and Ali Haydar Saygılı from Tekirdağ Nr. 1 F Type Prison continue hunger strike action. Following is an interview with Hülya Gerçek answering the questions about their resistance as prisoners of the MLKP case.
The hunger strike started by Leyla Güven with the demand of termination of the aggravated solitary confinement of Öcalan has spread in all prisons and been turned into an indefinite hunger strike. You also decided to take part in this resistance. Can you explain your decision to start this action?
First of all, I would like to salute all our resisting people on hunger strike in the name of comrade Leyla who gave us hope with her breath carrying spring and her heart as big as mountains. I bow before the memories of hewal Zülküf Gezen and other martyrs, who put their life at sake to speed up the process.
Isolation diffuse every cell of life of the oppressed as a state policy. The regime implement "the fate of state" through ramping up the fascist aggression especially on our peoples, starting with Kurdish people, on oppressed religions and women. The isolation policy on the oppressed is not independent of the aggression towards our Kurdish people, this policy feed on the same ground with this aggression. Dungeons, on the other hand, have played role as one of the main footholds against the attacks to surrender the future of our peoples over the vanguard forces throughout the history. Surely, the scale of the solitary confinement of Öcalan is a lot more unique. This tyranny and atrocity, which doesn't even recognize any law of war, have been responded with a great determination by both our peoples and Öcalan himself. As long as the Kurdish question continues to be one of the main elements of the structural crisis of the state, the isolation in Imralı prison has been deepened. Although the resistance which hewal Leyla started on the 8th of November started with the demand to provide Öcalan with his political and legal rights; it is, at the same time, clearly a move to break the oppression and persecution on the oppressed sections. All demands as the topics of the political freedom struggle has utmost rightness and legitimacy. Hewal Leyla put a mark on this page of history with her vanguard initiative. Naturally, women must have given the strongest respond to this historical appeal. As a communist woman, I saw that taking part in this genuine threshold level of the resistance is both a historical and a current responsibility. As known, four of us as the prisoners of MLKP case are on indefinite hunger strike.
We shoulder this period together with Muhabbet Kurt from Sincan Prison, Aydın Akyüz from Kırıklar Nr. 1 F Type Prison and Ali Haydar Saygılı from Tekirdağ Nr. 1 F Type Prison. I send them my endless love and my wishes for success.
What do you want to say about the vanguard initiative of Leyla Güven?
Above all, hard historical turning points compel vanguard initiatives. Perceiving the moment stands at a very critical point in that sense. Becoming a signal rocket by relying on your historical rightness and on a strong consciousness of legitimacy and self-confidence! This action of comrade Leyla can be described like that in a simplest way. She has carried the struggle to another level by opening a new path. Limiting this only as a responsibility taken in the name of our Kurdish people means a political blindness. This is also an effort to overcome the congestion and the boundaries of the freedom forces against the fascist siege on our peoples from different religions, women and the youth. It is a powerful intervention to women's movement at the same time.
While comrade Leyla put herself forth with her body and will as the plainest way of resistance, thanks to transforming and changing role of the action, the effects of the action have reached a level surpassing the forces taking part in the resistance. Her commitment, courage, belief have become the morale and power source of women's liberation struggle. Of course, she has smoothly dropped the honor and joy to be her comrade in our hands. This is an indescribable beauty.
How do you see the attitude of the state ignoring the resistance?
While consolidating itself, the fascist regime follows the path to violently crush every movement developed on the side of the oppressed. When t comes to our Kurdish people, this vehement aggression ramps up. While one of the main points of the crisis of ruling capability of the state continues to be the Kurdish question, they try to generate hostility towards Kurds through psychological war. Even though the regime impose an unsolvable situation, regional and international developments push for solution.
As much as it tries to control the streets, the palace keeps on having nightmares of new Gezi's. Social fragility created by the economical crisis and state-of-emergency rules is an objective fact. The scale of fascist aggression shows the level of this tight position overall. The regime sees the political and ideological effect of the resistance started by hewal Leyla exceeds the boundaries of Kurdistan. The reason of disturbance due to the level of international solidarity is a result of this. Assaults on the solidarity actions, waves of arrest of people supporting the actions are directly the expressions of this hardship.
Newroz has become a powerful declaration of will of our peoples. The main demand of millions filling the squares with determination and massiveness surpassing the last year was the break-off of isolation. A spirit and fervency flowing into the path opened by hewal Leyla filled the squares. Without a doubt, the determination of those who perceive the obligation to resist is not some issue to be ignored by the regime. The resistance, which turns into a lever of rising the fraternity of peoples with the determination of struggle against fascism, pushes the regime to take a position on every topic.
You started the resistance as a 15-days action at first, but then changed it to an indefinite hunger strike. Could you tell about this one month you left behind in terms daily life and interaction?
My decision to change the action into an indefinite hunger strike made an exciting influence on our quite crowded ward. Here, we spend our 24 hours all together and this creates a great opportunity for the interaction. Excitement, exaltation, determination were all intermixed as our common feelings. As I said at the beginning, the indefinite hunger strike is one of the plainest forms of resistance and every stage of it is kind of a struggle of willpower. That's why it has a renewing and transforming character. I am not talking about an action limited only with the one on hunger strike. This is a collective resistance and all of us are the subjects of this action. This truth has been the strongest feeling of mine since the beginning. Organizing all the details of life according to the resistance establishes a strong moral commonness. This is definitely another level of comradeship. I am surrounded with a profound attentive care, a strong labor and a beauty of being shoulder to shoulder. My biggest advantage in this refreshing and impassioned journey is the women comradeship bundling me up. My comrades here forbid themselves to get sick, for instance. Similarly, my walking tempo, the amount of water or sugar I consume etc. have all become the agenda of each one of my beautiful ward friends. My dear friend and comrade Hiyem has also started indefinite hunger strike on May 20 and this also brought different feelings into my life. We are walking on this path together by giving strength and motivation to each other. By the way, since I talk about being shoulder to shoulder, before we go on, let me mention my mother-comrade, who stands behind me like a mountain and gives me strength. We've just made a phone call and there is this same faith and courage in her voice saying "I shall sacrifice myself to your courage, faith and resistance". These feelings explained in words with my mother's voice are actually the longing, faith and trust of millions of people. And here we are trying to be worthy of them.
For sure, the resistance has also tough and challenging moments. For example, my decision to change the 15-days hunger strike, which we started all together, into an indefinite action was morally challenging for my comrades. Or the news of the sacrifice actions that we heard one by one were again quite difficult for all of us...
Every unique period creates an excitement itself as an occasion to accumulate new experiences and to purify. Learning from the past experiences is also an essential point. Our dead fast (ölüm örücü) experiences of ‘96 and 2001 are full of lessons which we lean on today as well. This is an important advantage for us. Also, learning from the past experiences of friends here who lived through this periods before helps us take it easy.
Would you like to give a message to the public?

As I said at the beginning, just as how the action of comrade Leyla pushes the fascist regime to get a specific position, it also pushes the freedom forces to carry the resistance to a new level. Meeting of the resistance spreading across prisons with the street actions more will become the basis for pushing back the fascist aggression. No one could reverse the fact that remaining unconcerned to a demand of a people means self-alienation. This resistance has humane and legitimate demands. It is very critical to carry these demands, which are responded by our Kurdish people with a strong will, to the western part of the country. And this duty is primarily on the shoulders of those who are exposed to the attacks of fascism. The level of Newroz actions echoed in the West presents a strong basis for this.
Getting a response of the resistance among the oppressed sections and women by carrying the demand "Leyla Güven is right, the isolation must be removed" will decelerate the fascist cruelty. We must not forget that this resistance is at the same time a test for humanity. Lastly, I would like to say this: the pining bodies are resisting with the enthusiasm of the spring which will be achieved by fighting. With my firm belief to the victory of this life-sacrificing resistance, I kiss all comrades from their hearths, who are beautified by the breath of the action. We don't forget even for a moment: our destiny is to win!