25 May 2017

Dear friends in struggle, beloved peoples of Turkey,

Two days ago we were accused of trying to create a new Gezi*, or a new Tekel**, and we were arrested for being a member of a terrorist organization. The investigation they have in hand is 20-days-old. Other than precious, self-fulfilling questions like, “Has the organization contacted you,” all they could ask us was, “Have you shared anything on your social media accounts that contains an element of crime?”

Yet still we were arrested. We are not grumbling. We know this: Justice is not between the lips of prosecutors and judges who work by order at those palaces. Justice is in our hands, Justice is in our Hunger!

Today is the 78th day of our Hunger. With our 78-day-hunger, we call out, this time, from between these four walls: “We Want Our Jobs Back!”

We took, and brought with us, the spirit of Yüksel***, your smiles, your tears, your hands that held ours, your lives that watched over us, and your eyes that looked at us with love. They accompany our hunger. We turn them into colours on a concrete background, and we turn them into sounds among these walls.

Do not forget us! Do not forget to be the voice of hunger, to take sides in our struggle for our bread, and to decorate with flowers the front of our monument****. And don’t ever abandon Yüksel!

We love you very much!

And of course

We will win!


*The countrywide protests that took place in 2013 when police attacked protestors protecting Gezi Park in Istanbul against an urban development plan

**The resistance in central Ankara of the Tekel factory workers, 2009-2010]

*** The main street in Ankara where Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça began their resistance and held their hunger strike

**** The Human Rights Monument on Yüksel Street, Ankara, in front of which Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça held their hunger strike