“Leave this lawlessness to one side and start acting like a government and a state – there is a people in front of you. Look, a Kurdish state is being constructed in the Middle East,” he said during the rally, titled “We won’t be silent toward deaths.”

Demirtas invited supporters of his party to support the striking Kurdish political prisoners by pausing their lives for one day, asking them not to open their shops, not to send their children to school and not to shop on Oct. 30.

The BDP co-chair also said the interior minister wanted to approach Kurds with guns, sticks and violence.

“If the government approaches us with peace and dialogue, then we will be very close to a solution of this issue,” he said.

Demirtas has also demanded freedom for Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party <http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/tag/PKK>  (PKK).

The hunger strike, which began Sept. 12, has been continuing for 46 days, leaving some of the protesters in critical condition. The prisoners are demanding guarantees of health, security and freedom for Öcalan, the inclusion of Kurdish as an official language in education and the right to defend themselves in Kurdish.