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Resistance will continue despite Ocalan's first visit in more than 2 years

HUNGER strikes in protest at the continued isolation of Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan are expected to continue despite his first prison visit in more than two years on Saturday.

Turkish authorities granted permission for Mr Ocalan’s brother Memed to visit him in his Imrali island prison cell on Saturday where he has been held prisoner since 1999.  

He was said to be in good health, however further details of the meeting, the first since 2016, have yet to be made public. Lawyers have not been able to meet with Mr Ocalan since 2011, despite 768 requests.

The visit came as People’s Democratic Party (HDP) MP for Hakkari Leyla Guven entered her 67th day of her protest hunger strike and she remains in a critical condition suffering nausea, disorientation and hypersensitivity to light and sound.

A European delegation led by Sinn Fein MEP Martina Anderson and including British lawyer Margaret Owen was blocked from seeing Ms Guven by police in Diyarbakir on Saturday with growing fears over her well-being.

The Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) hailed the breakthrough visit to Mr Ocalan as the first serious success for the “Let’s break isolation and tear down fascism” resistance campaign led by Ms Guven.

However in a statement it warned that the Turkish government has not ended the “aggravated fascist repression and isolation” of Mr Ocalan, therefore the campaign would continue.

It claimed Saturday’s meeting was “part of the special psychological war” aimed at derailing the campaign, saying that comrades and friends should not interpret it wrongly.

“It is obvious that in order to break and frustrate our resistance, the colonialist-genocidal AKP-MHP government resorts to such a special war trick due to the problems it experienced in the face of our developing initiative of freedom and resistance,” the group said.

KCK vowed the resistance would continue until the isolation of Mr Ocalan ends and he is able to live and work freely.

“Our resistance initiative will break the isolation, tear down fascism and on this basis achieve a free Kurdistan and democratic Turkey,” the statement concluded.

Deniz Kaya, on behalf of the PKK and PJAK strikers warned the meeting with Mr Ocalan was not sufficient to end the campaign and said they were “leading a liberation campaign in our fight.”

They called on “all peoples of the world to give voice to the resistance in the prisons. Our resistance will achieve success on the path of victory.”

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