April 26, 2001 |
The death toll in Turkey's months-long prison hunger strike reached 19, as two more people starved to death. Prisoner Sedat Karakurt, 25, died after a 177-day strike, Turkey's Human Rights Assn. said. Erdogan Guler, 29, died at his home in Izmir. Guler had been on a sympathy strike for 159 days. About 250 inmates and many of their relatives have been fasting to protest a new system of smaller cells that inmates say will leave them more vulnerable to beatings.
January 7, 2001 |
Turkish prisoners transferred to new small-cell jails were tortured and kept in isolation for long periods, a human rights group said Saturday. Turkey denied the charges. Amnesty International made its accusation just weeks after Turkish security forces launched a crackdown on jails across the country to try to end hunger strikes by prisoners protesting plans to transfer them from large dormitories to small cells. At least 30 prisoners and two police officers died in the raids.
December 28, 2000 |
The parliamentary Human Rights Commission has defended last week's crackdown by Turkish security forces on the nation's prisons that resulted in at least 30 deaths and drew condemnation from rights groups. "We have met as a commission since the operations and concluded that there have been no violations of human rights here," Commission Chairman Huseyin Akgul, a member of the far-right Nationalist Action Party, said Wednesday.
December 22, 2000 |
Left-wing prisoners defied a call to surrender Thursday, vowing to fight until "death or victory" as soldiers lobbed tear-gas grenades through holes drilled in the roof in an attempt to end a three-day siege. The 435 prisoners in Umraniye prison in Istanbul are the last group to hold out after 158 inmates in another penitentiary gave up Thursday afternoon. Soldiers found guns, computers and mobile phones in some recently captured prison wards.
December 20, 2000 |
At least 17 people were killed Tuesday when Turkish security forces stormed prisons across the country in a bid to end a widespread hunger strike. Most of the dead were inmates who set themselves ablaze to protest the raids. Justice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk said 15 of the dead were inmates who immolated themselves in the raids, which the government called "Operation Bring Back to Life." Two soldiers died in clashes with inmates in prisons in Istanbul and the northwestern province of Canakkale.
December 10, 2000 |
With hunger-striking inmates falling ill, Turkey on Saturday postponed indefinitely the transfer of prisoners from open wards to small cells, where they say they fear abuse by authorities. The decision came after human rights activists and prisoners' relatives and lawyers stepped up their protests of the transfer plan. Police clashed with hundreds of demonstrators Saturday in downtown Istanbul, detaining 200 people, according to activists and news reports.