Hunger strike brings 700 prisoners close to death
Published 02/11/2012 | 05:00
JAILED Kurdish militants on hunger strike in Turkey may start dying within the next 10 days, Turkey's main medical association has warned.
The hunger strike has entered its 52nd day, with some 700 prisoners refusing food in dozens of prisons across Turkey.
But the inmates are consuming sugar, water and vitamins that would prolong their lives and the protest by weeks.
The protesters, comprised mostly of Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) members, are demanding the government grants greater Kurdish minority rights and improved jail conditions for PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, imprisoned on an island in the Marmara Sea, south of Istanbul.
The protests follows a surge in violence between Turkish forces and the PKK, which took up arms 28 years ago to carve out a Kurdish homeland in Turkey's southeast and is designated a terrorist group by Ankara, the US and the EU.