The indefinite-rotating hunger strikes launched on 27 November 2020 by political prisoners in Turkey to protest against the prison isolation conditions of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan as well as the violations of rights that are taking place inside prisons in the country has reached its 36th day.
Since 27 November 2020, approximately 2,500 prisoners in 7 groups have taken part in the strike. Around 300 to 350 prisoners from each group are in the strike, and the strike has been continuing in 100 prisons.
Lawyers reported that strikers have been facing various mistreatment like food not being given to the strikers when they end their action. In some prisons the prison administration has not been providing strikers necessary materials such as salt, sugar and lemons. The wards where prisoners are staying are being raided three times a day is some places and disciplinary penalties are given to some strikers as well. Some strikers were punished with confinement in their cells as part of the investigation launched by the prison administration into the hunger strike.
A hunger strike was also launched in Mahmur Camp in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region on December 18, and the strike is on its 15th day.
The first hunger strike against the isolation of Abdullah Öcalan was launched on September 12, 2012, the anniversary of the 1980 military coup. In 2016 and 2018 strikes were also made in prisons of Turkey.
As a result of the 200-day strike, initiated by Kurdish politician Leyla Güven in 2018, Öcalan’s lawyers met with their clients on May 2-22, June 12-18, and August 7, 2019, after 8 years of excuses given by the authorities and the hunger strike ended on May 26, 2019 upon the call of Abdullah Öcalan.