Letter from imprisoned vegan anarchist Osman Evcan (Turkey)

From ABC Istanbul:

We visited vegan anarchist prisoner Osman Evcan at Kocaeli no:1 high security prison on his 16. Day of hunger strike. It is obvious that in parallel with the elections on November, the state fascism and oppression techniques have a reflection on the prisons. Because of the anarchist, vegan, libertarian ideas that Osman Evcan was fighting for, for many years; the pressure on him increases. Osman Evcan is now faced with F Type Prisons intimidation policies. His access to vegan food is blocked. And he is facing the imposition : “obey or die”. Osman Evcan continues his resistance under worsening conditions of imprisonment. And he made it clear that he is determined to continue his indefinite hunger strike with the will of total freedom. During our visit he was full of hope and told us to not to leave the arenas that organized violence is terrorizing. And he underlined that, the only way is resistance and struggle. And Osman Evcan also builds this hunger strike with a perception of psychological resistance that is against the fear and witch-hunt politics that is wanted to be created and calls us for action and to motivate ourselves for our rights arising from our existence. We shouldn’t let Osman Evcan and ourselves to be destroyed by the wheels of obedience mechanisms based on destroying all kinds of denial and objection. Let’s listen to the call of Osman Evcan who built his life on ideas based on solidarity, struggle and not harming any living being, and these ideas are bringing him to death. We want to share Osman Evcan’s letter on his reasons to start the hunger strike. Until all cages and prisons are destroyed!
ABC İstanbul

About informing public opinion about my indefinite hunger strike:

I am a prisoner in Kocaeli no:1 F type prison. Because I am vegan I don’t eat meat or any kind of animal products and I avoid using any kind of products made out of animal bodies. I chose to live this way because it’s related to animal liberation and animal rights.

I came to Kocaeli no:1 F type prison on 24 April 2014. I wrote to prison administration that I am a vegan. And I wrote to them that I don’t eat meat or any kind of animal products. I eat fruits, vegetables, grains and pulses. With this I requested that the food I get and subsistence is suitably arranged for my nutrition. Also with this I requested that vegan products should be sold and stocked at the inner and outer canteen in prison.

For a long time my requests were not accepted. Even though I wrote petitions to the prison administration tens of times, I didn’t get any reply.

For many years I wrote petitions about the same problems that I have had to the Ministry of Justice, the Chief public prosecutor’s office, to the Kocaeli judge of execution. My vegan diet problem was not solved.

In addition to this my family and my comrades also wrote petitions outside the prison to legal institutions to solve this problem. All our efforts and attempts as vegan prisoners to have our legal, humanitarian rights remained inconclusive.

Just because I couldn’t get the vegan food I needed, I started to have health problems. My body got weaker because of poor nutrition and I started to get sick quite often.

As a last resort to resist against repressive, authoritarian, arbitrary practices and to gain our basic human rights back, on 25 May 2015 I started my indefinite hunger strike. My hunger strike lasted 33 days. On 26 June 2015 my requests were accepted.

In accordance with the agreement;

1. We can supply the vegan products and food we need which doesn’t exist in prisons canteen, from the Vegan Market under prison administrations supervision.

2. Our meals which were cooked and brought from Kocaeli Open Prison shall be given to us as follows:

* The meals shall be cooked with seasonal vegetables,

* Non-seasonal greenhouse vegetables and canned products shall not be given to us,

* Meals with cereal products and legumes that we need shall be sufficiently given to us,

* In proportion to our food supplies, seasonal vegetables and fruits (vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, raw mushroom, carrot etc.) that we need shall be given to us as raw food all together on a weekly basis.

Our legal and humanitarian rights that we mentioned above have been granted to us, vegan anarchist prisoners as a result of our indefinite hunger strike action. I could have died or become permanently disabled due to this hunger strike action. Even the most fundamental legal, humanitarian and universal rights have been reinstated in consequence of the hunger strikes we had at the risk of death.

These rights that given to us, vegan prisoners have been accepted and put into effect on 26 June 2015. It approximately took 4 months. Most recently on 6 November 2015, our rights have been restricted by the prison administration with an arbitrary and authoritarian treatment.

This oppressive treatment is a non-humanistic and an illegal treatment.

This is violation and infringement of our rights. The fundamental rights that vegan anarchist prisoners have gained over years by the virtue of our efforts, struggle and hunger strike at the risk of death have been usurped in one swoop. Our humanitarian and universal rights have been
violated and disregarded.

The last package of vegan food sent by Vegan Market was posted to prison on 6 November 2015. When I went to take the package, they opened it, examined one by one but they didn’t let me take it. They put the package in storage. So the prison administration said that from now on they will
not give the vegan products to the prisoners.

Another vegan prisoner Kemal Toksa from C-Blok, his right to have vegan food was usurped in the same way. When it comes to vegan, vegetarian and sick prisoners, this violation of rights and usurpation of rights are systematically operated.

Another arbitrary treatment by the prison administration is the present content of the weekly vegan food list sent by Kocaeli open prison institution directorate on 12 November 2015. There were animal products like honey and yoghurt which contains domination on the list. Even though the prison authority knew about our choice of nourishment they started this psychological pressure and attacks.

In addition to these usurpation of our rights that we have as vegan, vegetarian and sick prisoners, there are many other problems we have in prison. Authoritarian, arbitrary practices by the prison administration brings violation and usurpation of humanitarian rights with it.

To condemn the violation and usurpation of our rights and to have our humanitarian rights back I started my hunger strike on 10 November 2015.

I bring to the public opinion that until we have our humanitarian rights back, I will continue my hunger strike.

During my hunger strike, I can become permanently disabled, my health can deteriorate and I might lose my life. The responsible ones for all kinds of negativities that may occur are;

1. Ministry of Justice
2. Chief public prosecutor’s office
3. Kocaeli No:1 F Type Prison
4. Kocaeli open prison institution directorate

Below I will write the vital problems we are having because of the prison administration’s authoritarian, arbitrary practices. Till all of our problems are solved I will continue my hunger strike.

The reasons for me to start indefinite hunger strike:

The problems we want to be solved;

1. Vegan prisoners vested interests must be given back to them. The substantive conditions must be prepared to get the vegan food, products that the vegan prisoners need to eat healthy and balanced. The need to get vegan food which doesn’t exist in prison canteen, should be fulfilled by the families or comrades from outside, under the prison administrations supervision. There shouldn’t be any restriction or prohibition about this matter. The vegan products brought to the prison canteen, is sold to vegan prisoners with prohibitive prices. This products should be sold without any profit motive.

2. The rights granted to vegan prisoners should also be granted to vegetarian and sick prisoners. Sick prisoners legal and humanitarian rights are violated. This violation must stop.

3. An electric stove must be provided to vegan, vegetarian and sick prisoners because of their nutrition needs. They need electric stoves to be able to eat healthy and balanced.

4. To purchase vegetable and fruits from outer canteen should be possible.

5. The seasonal fruits and vegetables that vegan, vegetarian and sick prisoners needs, must be provided by the prison administration weekly.

6. There shouldn’t be any animal products like honey, yoghurt etc. on the weekly vegan food list. They should stop this kind of psychological pressure and attacks.

7. Water boiler that the prisoners need should be sold in the inner canteen.

8. Authoritarian, oppressive, insulting nude strip search implementation on the first arrival to the prison should stop.

9. Body search implementation by taking the shoes off inside prison should stop.

10. During the free visit we should have the right to come together with the visitors and we should be allowed to take pictures with them.

11. There should be tea machines in the free visit rooms. Our visitors should be able to drink tea.

12. The authoritarian terror, oppression, violence, genocide against Kurdish people must end. Kurdish people’s right to determine freely their own language, culture, communal living shouldn’t be violated. Kurdish people and all the other people from different nations should have their right to use natural, basic, universal rights equally and freely.

13. Sexist oppression, violence, terror, genocide against women should stop.

14. Depredation, slaughter, contamination, exploitation of the Earth should stop.

15. Speciesism, genocides, violence, exploitation of animals should stop.

16. Homophobic, transphobic violence, terror, massacre directed to LGBT individuals should stop.

17. Imperialist, colonist governments should stop the occupation, exploitation, war, massacres in Syria and all over Middle East. The starters and responsible ones of the war in Syria and Middle East are the western colonist governments. All the people of the Middle East should put the active struggle into practice collectively.

18. The violence, exploitation, rape, massacre against the immigrants migrating to Turkey because of the war created in the Middle East and Syria should stop.

I started my indefinite hunger strike on 10 November 2015 in order to solve the problems listed above.

With love and greetings.

Vegan anarchist prisoner

Osman Evcan
Kocaeli 1 Nolu F Tipi Cezaevi 10.11.2015

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This entry was posted on Friday, November 27th, 2015 at 10:25 pm and is filed under Prison Struggle.