Kurdish Aspect covers issues related to Kurds and Kurdistan within the larger context of Middle Eastern concerns. The website offers readers a treasure of information as a useful guide to know how others view the Kurds. Kurdish aspect is proud that a significant number of contributors who have a deep understanding and experience in Kurdish history, culture and politics constantly write for the website. Kurdish Aspect also publishes the quarterly Kurdish Aspect Magazine."> Kurdish hunger strike in Turkey receives support from academic circles



October 30, 2012

Kurdish hunger strike in Turkey receives support from academic circles

An international group of social scientists with research interests in the Kurdish issue launched a petition campaign calling on the Turkish government to address the demands of the Kurdish political prisoners whose hunger strike protests have entered a critical phase.

Over 700 Kurdish prisoners are on the 49th day of a hunger strike as of October 30, 2012, for the right to defense in their mother tongue and the ending of solitary confinement of Abdullah Öcalan, the PKK’s imprisoned leader. Medical experts confirm that the 40th day is a threshold in hunger strikes where physical and mental dysfunctions commence, as well as cases of death begin to occur. 

Petitioners declare their full support to the Kurdish political prisoners’ demands, which, they believe, are among fundamental human rights.  The petition emphasizes that the international community’s opinion on Turkey will be strongly shaped by the way the present hunger strikes are handled and reminds the addressees, including the President, Prime Minister and Justice Minister of Turkey, that they will be personally responsible should this protest end in a human tragedy. Recalling the devastating cost of the prison operations of the year 2000, the petitioners warn the Turkish government  that any attempt at forceful intervention would cause irreparable harm and destroy the already dim democratic ground for a peaceful settlement of the Kurdish issue. 

The petition has received great interest and support from academic circles around the world, reaching over one thousand signatures on its first day. Some internationally renowned social scientists sent support messages to the campaign. Professor Michael Taussig of Columbia University, an international authority in anthropology, signed the petition with the following note: ‘To the Turkish State: please attend immediately to the welfare of these courageous prisoners’. The preeminent feminist theorist Professor Judith Butler of University of California, Berkeley, wrote: “Turkish government must enter into serious dialogue with these prisoners, who now risk their lives to expose the injustice under which they live.” And Noam Chomsky stated: “Elementary humanity requires that the just and desperate plea of these prisoners for dialogue should be answered quickly and appropriately, without delay.”

The campaign initiators state that they were inspired by Turkey’s great novelist Yasar Kemal’s recent statement on hunger strikes: ‘Watching death is ill-suited to humanity’. The petition can be reached online at the link below:


The list of Initiators

Can A?ar, Translator, ?stanbul, Turkey Ahmet Hamdi Akkaya, Ghent University, Belgium Emek Alici, University of London, UK Ahmet Al??, Bogaziçi University, Turkey Seda Altug, Bogazici University, Turkey Shiler Amini, University of Exeter, UK Mizgin Müjde Arslan, Bahçe?ehir University, Turkey Dr Mehmet Asutay, Durham University, UK Ebru Avci, Istanbul Technical University, Turkey Dr. Bilgin Ayata, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany U. Rezan Azizo?lu, Ankara University, Turkey Hanifi Bar??, University of Aberdeen, UK Luqman Barwari, president, Kurdish National Congress-North America (KNC-NA) Oyman Basaran, The University of Massachusetts, USA Dr. Bahar Ba?er, University of Warwick, UK Dr. Derya Bay?r, University of London , UK F?rat Bozçal?, Stanford University, USA Dr. Katharina Brizi?, Linguist, Austria Adnan Çelik, EHESS, Paris, France Umit Cetin, University of Essex, UK Cuma Cicek, Paris Institute of Political Studies, France Ozgur Cicek, Binghamton University, NY, USA Ayca Ciftci, University of London, UK Deniz Cifci, Fatih University, Istanbul, Turkey Dr Barzoo Eliassi, Lund University, Sweden Secil Dagtas, University of Toronto, Canada  Engin Emre De?er, Istanbul ?ehir University, Turkey Esin Düzel, UCSD, USA  Burcu Ege, Independent Researcher, Turkey Delal Aydin Elhuseyni, Binghamton University, NY, USA Muhammed Mesud F?rat, Bilgi University. Turkey  Bahar ?ahin F?rat, Bo?aziçi University, Turkey Özlem Galip, University of Exeter, UK Ba?ak Gemici, Koç University, Istanbul, Turkey Frangis Ghaderi, University of Exeter, UK Onur Gunay, Princeton University, USA Azat Z. Gundogan, Binghamton University, NY, USA Saed Kakei, Nova Southeastern University, USA Fethi Karakecili, York University, Canada Maryam Kashani, The University of Texas at Austin, USA Dr Janroj Keles , London Metropolitan University, UK  Ye?im Mutlu, METU, Turkey Dr. Nilay Ozok-Gundogan, Denison University, USA Dr. Cengiz Güne?, The Open University, UK Serra Hakyemez, Johns Hopkins University, USA Wendy Hamelink, Leiden University, Netherlands Murat Iss?, University of Panteion, Greece Mithat Ishakoglu, University of Exeter, UK Erkan Karaçay, University of Exeter, UK Elif ?nal, Koç University, Istanbul, Turkey Dr. Iclal Ay?e Küçükk?rca, Mardin Artuklu University, Turkey Dr. Kamran Matin, Sussex University, UK Caroline McKusick, University of California Davis, USA Dilan Okçuo?lu, Queens University, Canada Ergin Opengin, Paris 3, Paris, France Omer Ozcan, The University of Texas at Austin, USA Dr. Hisyar Ozsoy, University of Michigan-Flint, USA Prof. Dr. H.Ne?e Özgen, Ege University, Turkey Erlend Paashe, Peace Research Institute, Oslo, Norway Berivan Sarikaya, York University, UK Dr. Besime ?en, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Turkey Dr. Birgül Aç?ky?ld?z-?engül, Harvard University, USA Ruken Sengul, The University of Texas at Austin, USA Dr. Serdar ?engül, Harvard University, USA  Dr. Prakash Shah, University of London, UK Christian Sinclair, University of Arizona, USA Prof. Dr. Nükhet Sirman, Bo?aziçi University, Turkey Ülker Sözen, Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts, Turkey Marcin Starzewski, Sabanci University, Turkey Kelly Stuart, Columbia University, USA Dr. Engin Sustam, EHESS, Paris, france Dr. Raja Swamy, The University of Arkansas, USA Mohammedali Yaseen Taha, University of Lisbon, Portugal Dr. Latif Tas, Humbolt University, Berlin, Germany Salima Tasdemir, University of Exeter, UK Omer Tekdemir, Durham University, UK Dr. Sebahattin Topçuo?lu, Hamburg, Germany Dr. Nazan Üstünda?, Bogazici University, Turkey Dr. Kamala Visweswaran, The University of Texas At Austin, USA Muge Yamanyilmaz, Bilgi University, Turkey Serkan Yaral?, EHESS, Paris, France Güllistan Yark?n, Binghamton University, USA Prof. Dr. Mesut Ye?en, Istanbul ?ehir University, Turkey ?smail Hakk? Yi?it, Fatih University, Turkey Dilan Yildirim, Harvard University, USA Emrah Y?ld?z, Harvard University, USA Cagri Yoltar, Duke University, USA Dr. Zafer Yörük, Izmir University of Economics, Turkey Ayse Seda Yuksel, Central European University, Hungary Dr Welat Zeydanlioglu, Kurdish Studies Network, Sweden  Max Zirngast, University of Vienna, Austria

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