- Title: TURKEY: TURKISH PRISONERS AGREE TO END HUNGER STRIKE
- Date: 27th July 1996
- Summary: ISTANBUL, TURKEY (JULY 27, 1996) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) 1. SLV POLICE LINED UP IN FRONT OF PRISON 0.04 2. SLV/SV JOURNALISTS WAITING (2 SHOTS) 0.13 3. SLV AMBULANCE TAKING BODY OF YEMLIHA KAYA, A WOMAN PRISONER, (WHO DIED ON JULY 27, 1996) TO MORGUE 0.20 4. MCU PARLIAMENTARIAN MP MUKADDER BASEGMEZ FROM THE WELFARE PARTY OF THE RULING COALITION TELLING JOURNALISTS THE HUNGERSTRIKE IS OVER (TURKISH) 0.40 5. SV CAMERAMEN 0.45 6. MCU MUSICIAN ZULFU LIVANELI SAYING THE HUNGERSTRIKE WAS SUCCESSFUL/ THE PRISONERS ARE SATISFIED THEY KISSED EACH OTHER AND CONGRATULATED EACH OTHER (ENGLISH) 0.56 7. SV RELATIVES OF A HUNGERSTRIKER EMBRACING 1.17 8. MCU BLIND SOLICITOR FROM PANEL REPRESENTING STRIKERS ESBER YAGMURDERCLI WHO WAS A POLITICAL PRISONER ONCE HIMSELF SAYING HE IS HAPPY AN AGREEMENT WAS REACHED (TURKISH) 1.24 9. SLV CROWD 1.30 10. SV AMBULANCE 1.40 11. SLV POLICE 1.48 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
- Embargoed: 11th August 1996 13:00
- Location: ISTANBUL, TURKEY
- Country: Turkey
- Reuters ID: LVADYN9SEHF79BTEA8FK785UOZ89
- Story Text: INTRO: Hundreds of Turkish prisoners have agreed to end their hunger strikes after the government accepted some of their demands.
Twelve strikers died protesting against prison conditions.
------------------------------------------------------------------ Turkish prisoners agreed to end a wave of politically-damaging hunger strikes after the government partly accepted their demands, a member of parliament said on Saturday (July 27).
"I am pleased to announce that the hunger strikes are over," Mukadder Basegmez, a member of parliament from the Welfare Party of the ruling coalition, said outside Istanbul's Bayrampasa jail.
"Now the hunger strikers in all jails will be taken to hospital for urgent care," he said, speaking with Istanbul Governor Ridvan Yenisen, Prosecutor Ferzan Citici, prominent writer Yasar Kemal and musician Zulfu Livaneli, who had all negotiated with prisoners to persuade them to end their hunger strikes.
More than 300 left-wing prisoners had been on hunger strike for more than two months, demanding better treatment in prisons and an end to a policy of dispersal which they say cuts them off from each other, their families and their lawyers.
Prisoners have also demanded that inmates in the Eskisehir jail -- dubbed "The Coffin" for its small, single-person cells -- be moved to Bayrampasa jail in Istanbul, where several hundred other leftist prisoners stay, and that the Eskisehir jails be closed.
A group of parliamentarians, leftist writers, politicians and musicians had negotiated since Saturday morning with Bayrampasa inmates to end the hunger strikes.
Word of the deal came hours after three more prisoners had died.
Osman Akgun, aged 32, starved himself to death in Istanbul's Umraniye prison. He was the eleventh inmate to die in the 69-day fast. Earlier Yemliha Kaya died in Istanbul's Bayrampasa prison.
Kaya had been on trial for membership of a leftist urban guerrilla group. Hicabi Kucuk, in his mid-20s, died in Bursa prison, in western Turkey.
And early on Sunday (July 28), another Turkish inmate died,human rights workers said.
"Hayati Can died on his way to hospital in Bursa last night -- he is the 12th of the hunger strike," a spokesman for the independent Human Rights Association told Reuters. "About 150 people are in hospital -- around 20 of them in critical condition.
Others are being treated in prison." Basegmez had made his announcement minutes after Justice Minister Sevket Kazan announced that he had accepted some of the inmates' demands and that an agreement to end the protests was near.
"I agreed to their demand that at least 20 inmates from Eskisehir prison be transferred to Umrainiye prison in Istanbul," Kazan said.
"It is out of the question that the Eskisehir prison is completely closed," Kazan said.
He said 82 other leftist inmates in Eskisehir would be transferred to Gebze jail, to the east of Istanbul, partly meeting the inmates' demand.
A blind solicitor on a panel representing the strikers Esber Yagmurdercli said he welcomed the fact that an agreement had been reached.
And Livaneli said the hunger strike had been successful and that prisoners were satisfied.
Relatives and friends of the hunger strikers outside Bayrampasa prison seemed relieved after the prisoners agreed to give up their 69-day "death fast".
Several of them hugged each other and cried.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None