Turkish lawmakers may join hunger strikes

Nov. 2, 2012 at 4:29 PM
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ANKARA, Turkey, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- Turkish political leaders say they may join Turkish prisoners in hunger strikes if the government doesn't take action to address inmates' concerns.

Members of the Peace and Democracy Party, comprised largely of Kurdish Turks, said its members in Parliament may go on hunger strikes as well if the government finds no way to end the actions of 683 inmates in 66 prisons, which began Sept. 12, Istanbul's Hurryiet Daily News reported Friday.

"We will gather on Nov. 5, make an assessment of the issue and will accordingly make a decision," said deputy party parliamentary group chair Pervin Buldan.

The hunger strikers seek an end to discrimination against Kurds in Turkey, specifically the use of the Kurdish language in schools and courtrooms, the party said. Ethnic Kurds comprise 15-25 percent of Turkey's population.

The Ministry of Justice denied subsistence rations were being denied prisoners.

In a statement, it said: "We are giving all strikers a measure of salt, honey and sugar. None is in critical condition."

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