Gebze Women’s Closed Prison – Political Prisoners Distress Call

By Gül Güzel:

45 arrested and convicted women, whose names I kept secret, wrote from Gebze Prison in Turkey.

On the occasion of the Corona pandemic, detainees and convicts all over the world were released from prisons and in Turkey as well… However, political prisoners and convicts were excluded from this practice, other criminals were released and so many femicides were committed recently.

The political prisoners and convicts in prisons are now double punished with inhuman sanctions, using the Corona Pandemic as an excuse. Arbitrary measures have been applied to prevent their voices from coming out. Therefore, wherever we are in the world, everyone who calls himself a human, a democrat must be sensitive to this reality. Because no matter where they are, the violated democratic rights are our diminishing humanity.

The sealed ‘Seen’ letter from Gebze Prison on 13 October 2020:

We are being held in prisons because of our ethnic identity and political opinions!

The deprivation of a person’s freedom is a punishment in itself. Being put in prison in itself signifies such a punishment. As Kurdish political prisoners, we suffer from spending decades within four walls, mainly because we are being held in prisons not for any action, but for our ethnic identity and political thoughts. The definition of our identity depends on the mentality of the ruling and dominant powers in Turkey and their power politics. Again, for the last 40 years, any restriction of our freedom have not been enough for the rulers. Each government develops methods and practices of punishment and deprivation according to the sovereign mentality. The AKP-MHP government is reflected in our lives as a government that carries out the deepest dehumanization and desocialization policy.

The greatest injustice and evil that can be done to a person is to leave him without society.

Although it is due to their sovereign mentality, the states claim that they put people in prison for the purpose of reintegrating them into society. However, the current Turkish government develops practices on the basis of absolute isolation and dehumanization of us. The House of the Dead, written by the author Dostoevsky years ago, tells of this fact. People whose social ties and activities are blocked in the prison are essentially people who are taken into the death process. In particular, the development of the coronavirus epidemic has been turned into an opportunity.

All of our social communication has been brought to the minimum, to the limit of nothing!

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, all kinds of social communication such as telephone, free visitation, non-contact visitation, use of common area and lawyer visits have been minimized and brought to the limit of nothing. With all applications, social isolation is aimed beyond the corona pandemic. Visits, which should normally be made four times a month, are made twice a month or less, according to the decision of the Ministry of Justice. Despite the Constitutional Court’s decision that non-contact family visitations should not be listened to due to the deprivation of private relationships, our closed visits continue to be listened.

We convey all our needs and requests over the phone!

Our only communication channel is mostly a phone call. Because most of us have been brought to prisons thousands of kilometres away against our will. Therefore, it is exceptional that our families have the opportunity to visit. In this case, we convey all our needs and requests over the phone. However, when we make a request to our family on the basis of our legal rights, when we convey our complaints, when we ask them to apply to international institutions on our behalf, our phones are cut off. We are threatened to talk about political issues.

We are not allowed to meet with our friends in the common area!

The administration takes counts twice a day. Again at the end of September, the administration entered the ward search. However, we are not allowed to meet with our friends in the common area. However, when the executioners and guards go out and come, we meet with them although they are the main risk groups. But we cannot meet with our friends who are isolated like us. While our friends with whom we have been in the same file and have stayed in a cell side by side for decades are released, we are not allowed to say goodbye.
The guards shout at us, “It’s forbidden, don’t talk!”

Power has been militarized up to its officers!

Professedly, our meeting with our friends has been suspended due to the Corona outbreak. However, all approaches and practices show that this is not the case. When we leave the ward due to any need, when we see our friends from afar and greet them, the guards shout at us, “It’s forbidden, don’t talk!” Even the power of the dominant mentality has spread to all levels of government in Turkey that the guards can go so far as to tell us, “It is unethical to talk to your friends in the hallway without permission, it is a crime.” This situation expresses the reality of a power that has been militarized up to its officials.

Finally, while all other prisoners in the prison are allowed to change rooms according to their needs, we are not allowed to do so. We have been condemned to see a few faces for years.

We expect everyone who calls himself a human, a democrat, to be sensitive to this reality, wherever he is in the world. Violated democratic rights are our diminishing humanity.


Gebze Women’s Closed Prison– IZMIT

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