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Inmate commits suicide to protest public silence on hunger strikes in Turkey

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Ayten Beçet, a 28-year-old inmate in Gebze Prison, committed suicide to protest the public silence on hunger strikes in several Turkish prisons concerning the “isolation” of jailed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan, the Diken news website reported.

Her lawyer, Züleyha Gülüm, told reporters that Beçet left a note before killing herself.

Beçet was handed down nine years by a court in 2012 for membership in a terrorist organization. According to the lawyer, she had two years left before her release.

Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Leyla Güven in November went on a hunger strike when she was jailed on charges of disseminating terrorist propaganda.

Three other HDP deputies are also currently on hunger strikes seeking an improvement in Öcalan’s jail conditions.

The deputies are protesting Öcalan’s inability to speak with his lawyers, referring to it as his “isolation.”

HDP deputies criticize the silence in society in the face of hunger strikes that have been increasing among Kurdish politicians across the country. On March 18 a PKK member who was given life sentence committed suicide in Tekirdağ Prison to protest the public silence, according to the HDP.

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