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HDP youth warn of ‘dirty war’ amid new wave of state disappearances in Turkey


TURKEY’S opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) will launch a new campaign next week aimed at countering attempts to close the party down in a “dirty war” being waged by the state.

The party’s youngest parliamentary representative Dersim Dag explained that a series of activities will be focused on four main themes: the isolation of jailed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan; the hunger strikes being waged in more than 100 Turkish jails; the so-called Kobane trial, in which 108 senior HDP figures face prison; and the recent European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling that former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtas should be released.

She warned how young HDP activists and members of its youth council are “kidnapped, arrested or pressured into being state agents” by the police and intelligence services.

The Morning Star has previously reported on a “new type of crime,” the kidnappings of HDP youth — abducted in broad daylight in the largely Kurdish Van province and pressed to become informants or to end their political activities.

Last week, Socialist Party of the Oppressed (ESP) activist Gokhan Gunes was freed after a five-day ordeal at the hands of a group that described themselves as “the invisibles,” who tortured him and threatened him with rape.

HDP’s parliamentarians said that the practice exposed how the state feared a politicised youth, conniving with security services to “smash its organised structures to make it incapable of acting.”

“As the HDP’s youth council, we fight against this ‘dirty war’ policy with grassroots work in the city districts and on the streets, and we go from house to house. That is why we are the focus of repression.

“However, no repression can prevent us from fighting. We do not step back. We will continue our years of struggle and be the ones who will win in the end,” Ms Dag said.

The HDP campaign launches on Monday February 8.

HDP foreign policy spokeswoman and spokesman Feleknas Uca and Hisyar Ozsoy were in Strasbourg last week, where Turkey’s continued oppressive measures against the party were discussed along with the ECHR decision and the situation of Mr Ocalan.

Mr Ozsoy explained: “The isolation of Ocalan and the other prisoners on Imrali [prison island] is not a question of violating individual human rights.

“Apart from the human-rights and legal dimension, the isolation on Imrali is a matter of preventing a solution to the Kurdish question through negotiations.

“It is a situation that poisons, constricts, militarises and strains the entire political climate in Turkey.”

In meetings with the Committee to Prevent Torture (CPT) and European leaders, Mr Ozsoy pressed for legal action to resolve the unlawful treatment of the Kurdish leader.

“Must people go on hunger strike or even death-fast and die every two or three years in order to break the isolation? There is no more absurd situation,” he said.

Hunger-strikers have been taking action for more than 60 days in at least 107 prisons to demand an end to the isolation of Mr Ocalan and a peaceful resolution to the so-called Kurdish question.

The Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats believes that some 80 per cent of the members of the Council of Europe support the expulsion of Turkey over its refusal to release Mr Demirtas. But critics say this is an optimistic claim, warning that Germany, which chairs the council, does not support such a move. /Morning Star

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