Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network stands in solidarity with Harun Turgan, a co-founder of BDS Turkey and a longtime Palestine solidarity and social justice activist, who was arrested by the Turkish government on 24 May. We demand his immediate release and the release of all political prisoners in Turkish jails.
Harun Turgan’s arrest came only three days after he was detained in Kadiköy, Istanbul as he participated in a commemoration of revolutionary Turkish Communist leader, Ibrahim Kaypakkaya. Kaypakkaya, the founder of the Communist Party of Turkey/Marxist-Leninist (TKP/ML) was arrested by Turkey’s military government and was killed in prison in 1973; he was tortured for four months and shot in the head by his jailers and interrogators. Kaypakkaya remains today a prominent symbol of revolutionary politics and also one of steadfastness under interrogation as a political prisoner; as a part of the political prisoners’ struggle, his legacy is in many ways comparable to that of Ibrahim al-Rai in the history of the Palestinian prisoners’ movement.
When Turgan was detained three days earlier, he was handcuffed behind his back; photos showed other detained participants bloodied in the face. Of course, he is not alone as a political prisoner in Turkey; thousands of Kurdish and Turkish prisoners are jailed for their political activity and involvement in social and liberation movements and held in Turkish jails. The Turkish and Kurdish prisoners’ movements and Palestinian prisoners’ movement have shared histories of struggle and have developed joint knowledge about surviving lengthy hunger strikes.
The arrest and detention of Harun Turgan also comes as the Turkish state pursues further and deeper normalization with Israel and involvement in NATO’s wars and imperialist adventures in the region, while at the same time jailing supporters of Palestine. Turgan has been a consistent and active organizer over years of struggle confronting Turkish normalization with Israel, organizing the BDS campaign, supporting Palestinian liberation and participating only days ago in BDS Turkey’s and Samidoun’s protests commemorating the Nakba and demanding the release and supporting the hunger strike of Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails.
We join BDS Turkey in declaring our support for Harun Turgan and demand his immediate release and that of all political prisoners in Turkish jails. From Turkey to Palestine, free all political prisoners!