Turkish prison authorities raid Kurdish politicians' cells after former HDP deputy starts hunger strike
The administration of a western Turkey prison raided the cells of Kurdish politicians in the facility, days after an inmate, former deputy of pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Çağlar Demirel, started a hunger strike. The Kocaeli prison confiscated politicians' notes, drafts of their legal defense,s and literary writings, along with books and writing utensils.
The administration of a high-security prison in western Turkey raided the cells of all Kurdish politicians and confiscated any written materials, along with all writing utensils, Mesopotamia Agency reported on Nov. 30.
The raids closely followed the start of a hunger strike by inmate Çağlar Demirel, a former deputy of pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) being held in Kocaeli Kandıra High-Security Prison.
Demirel stated that she was striking against "anti-democratic practices in prisons, along with isolation and rights violations, increasing political genocides and the terrorization of inmates."
Perhaps the most well-known case of prisoner isolation is that of Abdullah Öcalan, leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), whose extreme confinement led to numerous hunger strikes among political prisoners.
Most recently, a group of Turkey's political prisoners started an indefinite hunger strike on Nov. 27, demanding an end to Öcalan's isolation, as well as to countless rights violations in Turkey's correctional facilities.
The Kocaeli prison confiscated politicians' notes, drafts of their legal defense,s and literary writings, along with books and writing utensils, former co-mayor of eastern Dersim Nurhayat Altun said in a phone call with her family on Nov. 29.
Altun said that she thinks the prison administration is looking for materials to use as evidence to launch new investigations into the politicians, as Turkey's Court of Cassation recently dismissed ongoing legislation against some of the prisoners.
The cells raided included those of Altun and Demirel, along with former HDP co-chair Figen Yüksekdağ, former co-chair of Democratic Regions Party (DBP) Sebahat Tuncel, former Diyarbakır co-mayor Gülten Kışanak and other Kurdish politicians.