News24

Turkey cops gas hunger strike protesters

2012-11-04 19:21

Istanbul -Turkish police fired tear gas and water cannon at protesters in Istanbul staging a demonstration in support of a widespread hunger strike by Kurdish prisoners, an AFP photographer at the scene said.

Around 400 protesters were gathered outside the Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) building, chanting "Evacuate prisons" and "Freedom to inmates", when police fired the tear gas and water cannon without warning, the photographer said.

The group also shouted slogans in favour of the imprisoned leader of the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) Abdullah Ocalan.

The Turkish government is under increasing pressure over how to tackle the hunger strike by around 700 Kurdish prisoners which is now in its 54th day.

The strike involves jailed politicians, mayors and parliamentarians, some of them senior figures in the BDP, which holds 29 of the 550 seats in the Turkish parliament, and also inmates accused of ties to the PKK.

The strikers are calling for the lifting of restrictions on the use of Kurdish language but their main demand is improved jail conditions for Ocalan, who is imprisoned on an island off Istanbul.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned hunger strikers against "blackmail" for the release of Ocalan, saying: "We will not release the terrorist chief just because you say so or resort to such an action."

Comments
  • fidel.mgoqi - 2012-11-04 21:27

    This is the same Turkey that is going to bring "democracy" to Syria!

      Shane Loxton - 2012-11-05 07:08

      yes the same Turkey that has just been caught smuggling weapons hidden in biscuit box's to another country

  • albert.m.burger - 2012-11-05 04:12

    Nothing gets my appetite back as a bit of tear gas.

  • costas.georgiades - 2012-11-05 15:10

    On Saturday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned hunger strikers against "blackmail" for the release of Ocalan, saying: "We will not release the terrorist chief just because you say so or resort to such an action." LOOK AT HIM WHOM HE CALL TERRORIST! WHAT WE CALL HIM AND THE OTHER TURKISH? WHAT WE MUST CALL THE TURKS WHO 38 YEARS THE OCCUPIED THE HALF EUROPEAN COUNTRY THE CYPRUS? WHAT WE MUST CALL THEM, WHO KILLED, RAPE, DESTROYED, THE GREEK-CYPRIOTS, TURKISH-CYPRIOTS, KURDISH, ARMENIAN, SYRIANS, AND MANY MANY OTHERS? THESE PEOPLE WHO THEY WANT TO ENTER IN EUROPE, ALLAH WILL FORBID IT. WE WILL NEVER NEVER ALLOW TURKEY TO ENTER INTO EUROPE. THEY CRIMINALS, THIEFS, TERRORIST, LIARS, VERY BAD CHARACTER. THEY BEG AND BEG SO TO ENTER AND DESTROY OUR CIVILIZATIONS, THEY WANT TO MAKE ALL EUROPE MUSLIMS, CAREFUL HOLLAND AND ENGLISH DO NOT ALLOW THEM AND STOP SUPPORT THEM. RESPECT YOUR NATIONS, YOUR COUNTRY, YOUR RELIGION, YOUR FAMILY, EXCEPT IF YOU WANT TO CHANGE AND BE A TURKISH MUSLIM, IF SO THEN GO AND LIVE IN TURKEY AND LEAVE THE OTHERS IN THEIR NATIONALITY.

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