Turkish death fast campaign ends with sucess


Authorities allow inmates to meetBehic Asci removed to the Medical Faculty of Capa

Following a positive development in the F-type prisons issue, lawyer Behic Asci as well as the mother of two daughters, Gulcan Goruroglu, interrupted their death fast protest.So far it has not been possible to establish direct contact to female prisoner Sevgi Saymaz, who is continuing her death fast action since 1st of May, 2006 at the E-type prison of Usak.

On January 22nd the Turkish Ministry of Justice released an official letter concerning the F-type prison issue in Turkey. The letter says, among others, that up to 10, maybe 20, prisoners will be allowed to met and interact in future.

Gulcan Goruroglu who continued her resistance at her house in Adana/Sakirpasa made following statement regarding the circular of the justice ministry:"I think that the circular that was released today by the justice ministry, is a step and therefore I'm ending the death fast for now. But isolation hasn't beebeen completely removed yet. The isolation practice towards the prisoners in the F-type prisons is continuing in different ways."

Goruroglu was transferred to the 'Special Nobel' Medical Center and received medical treatment yesterday evening (22nd January 2006) at around 8.45 p.m. When she was carried out of her house, she was met with applause and slogans by the mass.

The medical analysis showed that Gulcan Goruroglu's health situation is regular. It was stated that she could receive fluid within 48 hours and afterwards step by step she will be able to get nutrition. After this examination yesterday night, Gulcan Goruroglu returned to the resistance house and shared her feelings with the people waiting there.

According to our latest information, the medical treatment of lawyer Behic Asci still continues.

22nd January, 2007:

A large number of people, among them Gencay Gursoy, the chairman of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB), Kazim Kolcuoglu, chairman of the Istanbul Bar Association, Suleyman Celebi, the chairman of the trade union DISK, representatives of the medical chamber of Istanbul (ITO), Akin Birdal, former president of the Human Rights Association (IHD), representatives of Istanbul branche oft the Contemporary Lawyer's Association (CHD), Lawyers against Isolation, TAYAD families, as well as Behic Asci's mother, Fazilet Erdogan, has gathered in front of the house in Sisli, where lawyer Asci continued with his protest.

The relatives of prisoners, huge democratic organisations and professional chambers found the circular to be a first step forward and immediatly met at the resistance house in Sisly, where Behic Asci lives, to hand him over the ministry's letter.

At the same time the circular was passed on to Gülcan Güroglu, the protester from Adana and Sevgi Saymaz, female prisoner and resister at Usak E-type prison.
Gencay Gursay, chairman of the medical chamber said in his statement, that with the circular of the General Directory of the Penitentiary and Detention Houses of the Justice Ministry, a concrete step was made in relation to F-type prisons. He told that, according to that circular, the prisoners and convicts would be able to come together in groups not larger than 10 persons. In the future this number could be extended with up to 20 persons.

The DISK chairman Celebi Süleyman underlined, that 122 persons have died and 600 have been permanently injured in this protest. 'The letter is a first step foreward, but comes very late', says Celebi. "We hope Behic and the other protester to recover as soon as possible".

The fight for the prisoners' rights is not over. Although the first step was made, Behic and the other protesters will continue to work an solutions for the isolation issue.