Prisoners who cannot access their right to health in Turkey due to the arbitrary practices of the prison administration have stated that they are determined to continue with their hunger strike against the violation of rights in prisons and the prison isolation conditions that have been imposed against political prisoners and Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan.
The hunger strike that was launched by political prisoners in Turkey has been continuing for 223 days in various prisons in Turkey. Solidarity linked hunger strike actions in Makhmour Refugee Camp and in Lavrio Refugee Camp in Greece also continue.
Concerns over the desperate situation in prisons in Turkey have been voiced by various human rights organisations in Turkey. Prisoners have reportedly been deprived of basic rights relating to access to adequate food and health care and the situation in Düzce T-Type Closed Prison has revealed the depth of these concerns.
MA has reported that thirteen political prisoners in Düzce T-Type Closed Prison have not been transferred to hospital for two years despite all attempts by the prisoners to do so and despite negotiations to secure their health treatment there.
Vedat Gültekin, one of the prisoners, spoke about the rights violations they were subjected to in his weekly meeting with his family. Gültekin said, “While other prisoners are taken to the hospital, political prisoners are not taken to the hospital.”
Stating that the prison administration did not respond to his petitions, Gültekin stated that he was also ill and needed proper treatment. “Despite all my applications, I was not taken to the hospital. Since I was not treated, my condition has got worse,” he said.
He also stated that the continuous hunger strike actions that are being undertaken by prisoners (including himself) against the aggravated isolation that has been imposed on Kurdish Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan and the violations of rights in prisons are necessary, despite all the obstacles and difficulties they have faced. “This is our responsibility,” he said.
Gültekin’s family has criticised the stances and positions that have been taken by the prison authorities: “We do not want our children’s right to treatment hindered: Our children should be treated.”