A CHP delegation has visited Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça, who were detained while on hunger strike, in prison. With Gülmen responding to comments by Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu linking them to the DHKP-C by saying, ‘If I had been, how did I become a civil servant?’ Özakça said, ‘I am living in a country in which being hungry results in one being a terrorist.’
The CHP’s Deputy General Chair Veli Ağbaba, Group Deputy Chair Özgür Özel, Ankara MP Necati Yılmaz and Muğla MP Nurettin Demir visited Gülmen and Özakça. The delegation asked Gülmen and Özakça, who are on the 79th day of their hunger strike, to end the strike. However, both of the educators replied that they would continue their protest until attaining a ‘concrete gain’. It was said in the report compiled following the visit, ‘Doctors from the Ankara Chamber of Physicians, who have concerned themselves with their health conditions outside prison, must be enabled to speak to Gülmen and Özakça in prison. The vitamin B1 that they were taking outside prison must be made available to them in prison, too. Consideration must be given to Özakça’s complaint that the health benefits to him of the B-complex vitamin that is being supplied to him in place of this medication and is said to contain this medication does not substitute for the outside medication. We observed that Gülmen’s bodily functions were still in order, but Semih Özakça’s resistance was lower.’ Gülmen and Özakça’s comments were as follow:
CRIME REPORT AGAINST THE MINISTER
NURİYE GÜLMEN: When we made known that we did not want food, they started to send us a special package. The package contained water, lemon, herbal teas and fruit juice. However, since fruit juice is not in our diet, we sent it back. In the course of one day, I am squeezing lemon into the water and drinking it with fresh peppermint leaves and sugar and I am also taking a few herbal teas and ten sugar cubes and two spoonfuls of salt. However, in line with suggestions the doctors have given that salt should be reduced as the strike advances, I am taking one spoonful of salt instead of two spoonfuls of salt. After having cut down on salt, the edema in my body has also reduced.
I was virtually driven crazy when I heard Soylu’s words on the TV. Three doctors from the Ankara Chamber of Physicians are monitoring our strike. We want these three doctors to make a press statement containing a reply to Soylu. Whatever I eat on the outside, that is what I am eating here. If his excellency the minister does not believe the Ankara Chamber of Physicians doctors, he should ask prison administration what we are eating and he will presumably believe them.
They have proclaimed me to be a member of the DHKP/C terrorist organisation and, if I had been, how did I become a civil servant and how did I continue to be a civil servant for so many years? I underwent arrest charged with participation in the Istanbul-Ankara march and there was also a trial in which I was detained in 2015, but I was acquitted. Who is the esteemed minister to say such things? I will file a crime report against him. Had the rule of law held sway here, the public prosecutors would have swung into action directly, anyway. I have embarked on a struggle by putting my body, youth and life on the line and they are trying to belittle and dampen this struggle of mine with these statements.
They have stated that they will intervene if we lose consciousness. However, I have stated that we do not consent to intervention and only we ourselves can decide about our bodies. I made the reminder to the delegation, ‘The intervention you make may also leave me maimed and this will be your responsibility.’
I sent a fax to Semih and I do not know if he received it. I will also send a letter and I will wait for a letter from him, too. Semih must ensure that he takes liquid, salt and sugar. We request that our doctors who have been monitoring us from the first day examine us when we feel the need and make these results public. We also learn that Nurettin Canikli has given a contorted account of the meeting he had with our mothers. It will be valuable for us if our doctors, families and lawyers hold a joint meeting. They have included the interviews I have given to foreign press organisations like AFP and ARD in the indictment and I cannot understand this.
THEY ARE NOT PROVIDING THE VITAMIN
SEMIH ÖZAKÇA: The first stink I will kick up is over the limitations on books. They say that the book limit is five and this limitation is worse than hunger. This limitation strains me more than the hunger strike. Newspapers have not been brought in since the day we were brought here. There has only been one activity I have participated in on the outside and that was putting up posters. I have entered prison for the first time and I have never been detained before. My criminal record is completely clean. On starting a hunger strike, I became a terrorist. I am living in a country in which being hungry results in one being a terrorist. There are 2,000 books in my home and they found 20 books and say they are proximate to the terrorist organisation. I am linked with a terrorist organisation on account of one per cent of the books in my home.
They are not supplying the vitamin B1 here I was taking on the outside. Instead of that, they are supplying vitamin B12 complex that contains vitamin B1, but this is tiring my mind. I want to be given vitamin B1 again. This is my first request of administration. I want to be given my confiscated vitamins. I have two separate investigation files due to being on hunger strike and the slogan I shouted while taking off my shoes. They have taken my bunk bed down to the bottom floor where the kitchen and toilet are because I am having difficulty walking.