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Prisoners Turkey

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NEWS
March 3, 1999 | From Times Wire Reports
A European anti-torture delegation visited the prison island where Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan is being held. They are the first foreign officials to visit the heavily guarded Imrali island since he was jailed there. The team of 15 lawyers and doctors from the Council of Europe did not comment on the trip but is expected to prepare a report on Ocalan's condition. It was unclear whether the delegation met with Ocalan.
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NEWS
November 6, 2001 | AMBERIN ZAMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
At least four Turks who were staging a hunger protest against the country's prison conditions died after setting their quarters on fire Monday rather than surrendering to riot police intent on taking them to hospitals for forced feeding, the government said. The three-hour police raid filled an Istanbul neighborhood with flames, smoke, tear gas and gunfire. The Turkish Human Rights Assn. put the death toll at six and said it was unclear how they died.
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NEWS
December 22, 2000 | From Associated Press
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.
NEWS
August 16, 2001 | From Times Wire Reports
A former Turkish prisoner on a hunger strike has died, raising to 31 the death toll in the months-long protest against Turkey's new maximum-security prisons, a human rights group said. Osman Osmanagaoglu, 44, died Tuesday at a private home in Istanbul after fasting for 299 days, the Human Rights Assn. said. He had been released from prison in June for health reasons after serving time for belonging to a banned leftist group, an association official said.
NEWS
October 2, 1999 | From Times Wire Reports
Left-wing Turkish prisoners released all their hostages, ending a five-day siege in protest of the killing of 10 inmates in a shootout with paramilitary police. The Anatolian news agency said the last 17 of more than 70 guards held hostage in Istanbul had been freed. Authorities said Sunday's raid in Ankara, the capital, was ordered in response to reports that inmates were digging an escape tunnel.
NEWS
September 3, 1999 | AMBERIN ZAMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Roundly criticized for its sluggish response to the devastating Aug. 17 earthquake in northwestern Turkey, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's coalition government is facing further public fury over a controversial amnesty bill that would free thousands of murderers, mobsters and crooked politicians but keep political prisoners behind bars.
NEWS
April 26, 2001 | From Times Wire Reports
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.
NEWS
January 7, 2001 | From Reuters
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.
NEWS
December 28, 2000 | From Reuters
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.
NEWS
December 10, 2000 | From Associated Press
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.
NEWS
April 26, 2001 | From Times Wire Reports
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.
NEWS
January 7, 2001 | From Reuters
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.
NEWS
December 28, 2000 | From Reuters
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.
NEWS
December 22, 2000 | From Associated Press
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.
NEWS
December 20, 2000 | AMBERIN ZAMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
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.
NEWS
December 10, 2000 | From Associated Press
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.
NEWS
July 26, 1996 | Reuters
Three more Turkish prisoners died on a hunger strike Thursday, raising the toll to six in the 2-month-old nationwide protest. The six were part of a group of more than 300 leftist hunger strikers in about 30 jails who are demanding the closure of Eskisehir prison--dubbed "the Coffin" by inmates--and protesting prison conditions. Medical experts say hunger strikers cough blood, suffer internal bleeding and lose eyesight, hearing and, finally, consciousness.
NEWS
December 1, 1988
A group of Turkish Kurds held four employees of Turkish Airlines hostage for six hours at the firm's Paris office before releasing the hostages and surrendering to police. The Kurds surrendered after their only demand, an opportunity to meet with reporters, was met. They told reporters they wanted to alert the public to the predicament of 1,500 Kurds who they say are on a hunger strike in Turkish jails.
NEWS
November 29, 2000 | From Reuters
The head of Turkey's National Intelligence Agency, or MIN, said in remarks published Tuesday that it would be against Turkish interests to hang Kurdish rebel chief Abdullah Ocalan, who was sentenced to death last year for treason. In an unprecedented briefing with selected national newspapers, Senkal Atasagun also said he is in favor of ending a ban on Kurdish-language broadcasting and of setting up a state-controlled television channel in Kurdish.
NEWS
June 14, 2000 | RICHARD BOUDREAUX and MARIA DE CRISTOFARO, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Mehmet Ali Agca, the gunman who wounded Pope John Paul II in a 1981 assassination attempt with still-mysterious motives, was pardoned Tuesday by Italy's president and sent home to Turkey to finish a prison term there for an unrelated murder. The surprise move did nothing to shed light on the lingering question of whether Agca acted alone.
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