Strasbourg hunger strikers: Martyr Zülküf made us stronger

“Comrade Zülküf’s action has actually sharpened, clarified even further what we have already established would be our path. He taught us what to do, how we should walk, how we should live in a clearer and more precise way.”

The group of 14 Kurdish activists on hunger strike in Strasbourg since 17 December, made a statement about Zülküf Gezen, a political prisoner who ended his life in protest at the isolation of Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan.

Hunger striker and Kurdish politician Mustafa Sarikaya gave the message on behalf of the group. He emphasized that Gezen’s action of resistance made him the first martyr to fall on the prison front.

The first martyr comes from prison

Sarikaya said: “We are faced with the first martyr from the prison front in the resistance launched by Leyla Güven that spread to all prisons and many cities abroad. We lost comrade Zülküf Gezen as a result of the action he chose to make. Of course, every loss is heavy for our people and for the comrades carrying out the struggle. But at the same time, with the culture that belongs to our tradition, every martyrdom shows us the way, further clarifying our goals; it shows us what we should do at the most accurate time and action.”

Zülküf Gezen with his action has further clarified the path, said Mustafa Sarikaya and added: “Comrade Zülküf’s action has actually sharpened, clarified even further what we have already established would be our path. He taught us what to do, how we should walk, how we should live in a clearer and more precise way.”

We come from a tradition of struggle

Sarikaya said that the Kurdish Freedom Struggle created a culture through these actions since PKK leading cadre Haki Karer.

“In fact, - he added - these actions strengthen the resistance and the determination. This movement, depending on the moment, got bigger over the basic values ​​of martyrdom. Leader Öcalan created such a culture. His own care of the memories, respect for martyrs opened the way to a huge revolutionary movement, the spring of our people, Newroz, established the PKK.  

Leader Apo responded to the martyrdom of Haki Karer on 18 May 1977, with the program of the PKK in the city of Antep.

He created a way of life, struggle and culture. We come from such a tradition and culture. Therefore, the martyrdom of our comrade Zülküf also clarified how we should respond to the moment, how we should defend the struggle and how we should respond to the martyrdom.”

Sarikaya continued: “Once again we repeat that their aspirations and goals are our aspirations and goals. We have only one way to be worthy of them: to achieve their aspirations and goals.”

Hunger striker Sarikaya added: “We don't think much of the consequences for our own individual life. What we see and observe is that in our country, in prison, in the other parts of Kurdistan and wherever they are, no one of our comrades who joined the resistance worries about the consequences for his own life. What we want is to achieve our goals, because these goals concern the future of our people. A future to live an honorable, dignified life.”

Isolation will end

The Kurdish people are the oldest and the most ancient people of this geography, said Sarikaya, adding: “A people who deserves to live with dignity. It is a people who deserves this very much because of the struggle they have carried out for 40 years.

We will not think of anything other than this as the children of this people and tradition. Regardless of the results, we will be concerned with one thing: the destruction of isolation, the collapse of fascism, the liberation of our country and our people.

Of course, all of this passes through Imralı and Leader Öcalan.

Leader Öcalan should be free and among us. This is a goal that can be achieved. We're definitely at that point. Together with Leader Öcalan, we are in the process of establishing and living a free future.

This was what all our martyrs had longed for and intended to achieve. They all became heroes and legends for the struggle to live with leader Öcalan in free Kurdistan.”

Victory is with our martyrs

Ending his remarks, Sarikaya said: “We salute the martyrdom of our comrade Zülküf with such a belief and emotion. This is how we renew our commitment. Commitment does not only renew our promise, no matter the consequences we will achieve our goals.

Our people never left their martyred children alone. It knows the meaning of martyrdom. Because they are our guiding stars all the time.

Now, one of these stars has been added. It bears the name of comrade Zülküf. So we’ll follow that star.

Victory is with our martyrs. Because each of them is a proven militant of Leader Apo. They are also the voice of Leader Apo. We'll follow them.”